Is GIMP the Best Free Photoshop Alternative?

Photoshop is a pretty popular photo editor widely used around the globe. It offers a lot of fascinating features for its users without any premium charges, but alas- it’s not cheap. So the question arises- are there any cheap alternatives to Photoshop that are actually decent? 

When we talk about free Photoshop alternatives, the application that stands out from the rest is GIMP. But how can GIMP be the best alternative to Photoshop?

We'll answer this question for you in this article, and introduce some other free alternatives to Photoshop.


GIMP - Best Free Photoshop Alternative 

GIMP is a fantastic Photoshop alternative ideal for those who can't spend money on a premium-based editor. Despite being free, it offers some mind-blowing advanced features for its users. GIMP's advanced features definitely resemble some Photoshop features.

GIMP is a multidimensional photo editor that can be used as a photo retouching program, an image format converter, and an online batch system. Above all aspects, GIMP is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, making this tool nothing less than excellent. 

Like Photoshop, GIMP also recognizes popular file formats like PNG, GIF, JPEG, and TIFF. You'd probably get these kinds of features in a paid editor, but GIMP has been fantastic in providing satisfactory services to users. In addition, it also supports PSD format, although not all layers may be readable. 


  • Custom brushes and patterns
  • Editable text layers
  • Transformation tools like shear, rotate, flip, and scale.
  • Color correction
  • Editing tools like masks, layers, levels, and curves
  • MNG assistance for animations


  • No limitations
  • No ad display
  • Support for image slicing
  • History toolbar


  • No drawing capabilities



The best way to see if an image editor is a right fit for you is to actually test it out. We have a library of free photos for you to download and alternate! The best part? You don't need to sign up to start downloading.

Start Browsing Dissolve Creators



Other Affordable Photoshop Alternatives

Still not convinced that GIMP is the best affordable alternative editing app to Photoshop? You may find a better fit after reading our article, 12 Best affordable (and free) Photoshop alternatives. Here are three other affordable Photoshop alternatives besides GIMP. 


PhotoWorks is a terrific photo editor possessing the right balance between impressive and user-friendliness functionality.

It is a perfect editor for both newbies and pros, offering an array of sensational photo editing features. PhotoWorks supports over 450 Raw Formats, making it one of the best Photoshop alternatives. 

Like Photoshop, this photo editor also provides its user with non-destructive editing, meaning you can undo changes after editing the photos.

You can apply some breathtaking effects with one click, or take matters into your own hands with manual adjustment tools. 


  • Portrait face sculpting and auto retouch tool
  • Easy background removal, change, and blurring
  • 180+ artistic filters: Color splash, vintage, HDR, etc. 
  • You'll also get fascinating color grading tools and 3D LUT presets


  • Supports 450 RAW formats
  • AL-driven retouching and editing
  • Pro-level tools including Radial filter and Curves


  • It is not compatible with the PSD format.


Colorcinch possesses a pretty intuitive interface and has been the appropriate alternative to Photoshop for quite a long time now. 

It offers a fascinating collection of graphics, presets, and some other creative assets. One of the biggest pluses you get with this tool is that it features plentiful AI-powered specialty effects.

One of its most noticeable effects is the Cartoonizer that can convert your photos into sketches, paintings, and cartoons.

Since it is an online website, you need to download or install it on your device to use it. Colorcinch is compatible with Linux, Windows PC, and Mac.

There are also some breathtaking masks and artistic borders to pick from. Importantly, you can also export your photos in formats like PDF, JPG, and PNG.


  • It comes with AI-powered filters that transform your photos into paintings, sketches, and cartoons.
  • Hundreds of overlays, masks, frames, and modern text tool
  • Filters and non-generic artistic effects
  • Tools to resize, crop, rotate pictures, and straighten.


  • User-friendly, clean, and intuitive interface
  • It is a web-based tool compatible with Linux devices, Apple, and Windows.
  • You don't need to pay anything as it open-source tool for anyone.
  • Over 50,000 vector graphics


  • It doesn't work offline.



Krita can be an ideal Photoshop alternative for those looking for a photo editor and offers some advanced features for free. It can make your photo look stunning by adding remarkable effects and filters. 

You can use a pop color palette to add flavor to your video. Krita is one of those editors that doesn't complicate simple tasks. Instead, it's intuitive and will do most of the work for you with minimal effort. 


  • It creates a shortcut for you to access the mainly used tools easily.
  • With Brush stabilizers, you can take out the shakiness from the photo.
  • It offers you endless brush customizations.


  • You'll get a Customizable interface with Krita.
  • It supports most PSD
  • It looks like Photoshop and offers some features like it.
  • With advanced layer management systems, it appropriately edits your video.
  • It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.


  • Now History Toolbar
  • No Raw Filter

Final Thoughts

Both Photoshop and GIMP have a lot of similarities. They both use vector methods for elements and general layout such as text. 

Like Photoshop, GIMP also possesses the ability to cope with raster images, down to the pixel. In addition, GIMP also offers a non-destructive editing feature, meaning you can turn your pictures to their original state if you don't like the editing. 

Besides GIMP, some other valuable affordable alternatives to Photoshop are available, like PhotoWorks, Colorcinch, and Krita. But GIMP is the best free alternative up till now due to its remarkable popularity and fascinating features.

Find us at Dissolve Creators

If you're in the market to learn more valuable tips and tricks related to editing, photography, filmmaking, you can read many informative blogs fit for a multitude of creative industries at 

We host an online community of creatives (amateur and pro) who showcase their work, connect with other creatives, and get seen by industry pros. Ready to kick-start your creative career? Join our community for free! 

Furthermore, put any of these recommended photo editors to the test with our library of free stock photos. 

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