Photoshop is awesome. It has been a standard tool for graphic and web designers for over a decade, but it’s freaking expensive. The Adobe Creative Cloud is fine if you use Photoshop on a regular basis and can justify a monthly payment to keep access, but what about the poor sap that just needs it every once in awhile?
There a few tools floating around as Photoshop alternatives, GIMP for example has become popular by those unwilling to dish out the bucks for Photoshop, but it can be sort of clunky and just takes up room on hard drive for the person that is only needing basic photo editing or graphic design tools once in a blue moon.
That leaves us with cloud based tools. Unless you are caveman, you probably understand the benefits of cloud apps, but just in case: nothing to download, access from anywhere, works on just about anything with a web browser, and usually easy to use.
There are a ton of internet-based photo editors, but these 2 apps are the best free alternatives to Photoshop.
Built by Autodesk, the genius’ behind AutoCad, 3ds Max, and Maya Pixlr is incredibly versatile and well built for a free app. As an Adobe customer for 10+ years Pixlr makes me feel right at home.
Pixlr’s UI looks similar to Adobe Photoshop CC. There is a navigator, layers, and history panel on the right and tools panel to the left with many Photoshop-esque tools. You will find a wand, marquee, lasso, blur, sharpen, shapes, etc just like Photoshop. The biggest noticeable difference in the lack of a pen tool like the one in Photoshop.
In addition to the tool set, Pixlr boast a good selection of other goodies like layer mask, filters, adjustments, and canvas resizing.
If you have never used Photoshop or you are seeking something that requires a little less creative juices, Befunky will be your best friend. It comes in three flavors, Photo Editor, Collage Maker, and Designer.
I will let your own imagination determine the use for each tool, but if you are using it to create graphics for your website or social page I will give you a hint, go to “Designer”.
Befunky gives you several free templates for the things that you need to design most like blog titles, social media headers, infographics, business cards, and more. Fair warning, not all of the templates are free. For those looking to the DIY design option that will turn out looking professional no matter you design skill Befunky is your super bike with training wheels.
Go forth and create awesome graphics!