Available for: Windows, Mac, Linux
GIMP is one the most well known photo editors out there. It’s simple to use and includes most of Photoshop’s features. Missing something? GIMP also has great support for plugins. Here is a list from BeeBom of some the best plugins. I did find GIMP to be a little more rough around than edges than Photoshop. Missing were the advanced layer styles that I used so often in Photoshop. Still, this software has some powerful tools that any non-professional will be happy with.
Available for: Windows, Mac, Mobile (Android and iOS)
If you’re already familiar with photoshop, Pixlr will be a quick and easy platform to use. The layouts of the two programs are almost identical (I see Pixlr as a watered-down version of Photoshop). Pixlr is online, so no need for a download. It is also available as an app on Android and iOS, making it a superb photo editor on the go. Your images can be saved in Pixlr’s own format, which allows easy transfer/editing between mobile and desktop. Pixlr does not offer as many export formats (jpeg, png, tiff, and bmp) as one may hope from a photo editor, but it’ll do the job.
Available for: Windows
Used to the old school editor that comes with all Windows operating systems? Paint.NET will feel familiar to you. However, this packs in a lot more features. Layers, ‘special effects’, and unlimited history makes this free editor a great beginner program. I’ve also found this to be very quick, even on older systems. It is missing some more of the advanced tools, but still allows for simple editing. And sorry Mac users, Paint.NET is only available for Windows.
4. Serif Photoplus Starter Edition
Available for: Windows
Serif’s paid version of Photoplus (at $100) is one of the top editors of 2016. This free ‘Starter Edition’ is just a stripped down version of this program. It is another Photoshop look-alike, with many of the expected editing tools. One noticeable feature left out is keyboard shortcuts, making quick, repetitive tasks a little annoying. Still, this editor has a lot packed into it, and competes with the best free programs.
Available for: Windows, Mac
Compared to the other programs, Photoscape is a much simpler editor. While it may not have a lot of the advanced editing tools, the software is great for a quick edit. Apply filters, crop, frame, add text, draw, clone, and more basic tools are included. There is also a nice gif creator that will animate multiple photos that are added. This is probably not the program to use if you’re looking for Photoshop-like tools, but it has its uses.
Any other free photo editors that you’d recommend? Please comment and let me know!