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The 4 Best Free Photo Editors

Updated: Apr 27

graphic design is my passion

Graphic design and photo editing are essential to running a successful marketing business or campaign, and there are actually a lot of free apps and software that can probably accomplish everything most people need at a fraction of the cost. I'm going to share my secret for the 4 best free photo editors, but first, a preamble like this is a bad recipe page (SEO, sorry, a girl's gotta eat).

I am a Photoshop gal at heart. My computer and wallet beg to differ, however. I have used Photoshop at jobs, but I do not want to buy my own subscription, and I also do not like to mix my professional and personal life (besides here, oops).

To say that I've tried every free software there is would be an understatement, as I have gone from Microsoft Paint to Macromedia Fireworks to Lunapic to Picnik and back again. I started working with graphic design at a very young age, so I've been around the block a few times and tried what feels like everything from the ripe age of 10.

Graphic design is my burden

If anyone knows who made this, please let me know because I would like to give them credit and also thank them personally. Same with the feature photo.

The 4 Best Free Photo Editors

1. Photopea

Photopea is incredibly similar to Photoshop. I have no idea how they get away with it, but I am incredibly grateful for it. It can get a bit confusing because the "File" tab and such are within your browser. It took me way too long to think of clicking on the green expand thing (Mac, sorry) to expand the page and make it feel more natural. Photopea has a lot of the same functionality as Photoshop and supports layers and PSD format. It does not have everything Photoshop has, but pretty darn close.

2. Ribbet

Ribbet is picnik. I was devastated when Picnik went under, and if any other of my zillennial girlies feel the same way, I promise you Ribbet is the EXACT SAME. And you can download it which is nice too. Ribbet's strengths lie in its effects and filters. It has cool overlay types, and so on. Its weaknesses lie in that it does not support layers. For a quick editing or touchup job, it is my go to.

3. Canva

The efficiency of Canva is crazy good. Photoshop is powerful, but for most intents and purposes, it is largely unnecessary and is more tedious than it's worth, especially for graphics that are going to be on the web. Canva is more limited, but most people who use it will only need a few features over and over again. For example, their background remover is super efficient.

4. Seashore

Seashore is based in GIMP. I have always hated GIMP, but Seashore is great. It is very user friendly. It's open source so occasionally buggy/unstable, but it overall is quite robust. It is much more robust than Ribbet as it can support layers, PSD format, and so on, and is also a lot more robust than Canva.

I have used all of these Photoshop alternatives both personally as well as professionally, and I have never needed anything more than what they offer. YMMV, but these are 4 great photo editors that cover a very wide range of graphic design tools.

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