Adobe Photoshop

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

Adobe is a large multinational computer software company with over 22,000 employees. Its flagship products include Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, XD, Acrobat DC, as well as the ubiquitous the Portable Document Format (PDF). Their products are wrapped up and marketed as the Creative Cloud, a subscription-only way of accessing more than 20 desktop and mobile apps and services for photography, design, video, web, UX, and more.

We are long-standing admirers of Adobe’s products. They develop many high quality proprietary programs. It’s true there are security and privacy concerns in relation to some of their products. And there’s considerable criticism attached to their pricing practices. But the fundamental issue regarding Adobe Creative Cloud is that Linux isn’t a supported platform. And there’s no prospect of support forthcoming.

What if you are looking to move away from Adobe and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not tracked, monetised and attached to Adobe’s ecosystem. We only recommend free and open source alternatives. Our recommended software don’t necessarily replicate every feature of their Adobe counterparts but they offer sufficient functionality for many tasks.

Adobe PhotoshopAdobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor. Photoshop can edit and compose raster images in multiple layers and supports masks, alpha compositing and several color models including RGB, CMYK, CIELAB, spot color, and duotone.

Photoshop uses its own PSD and PSB file formats to support these features.

What are the best free and open source alternatives?


1. GIMP

GIMP stands for the GNU Image Manipulation Program, a freely distributed program for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

GIMP offers artists the features and flexibility to create truly original artwork.

The software sports a large feature set. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, and much more.

Linux for Starters - GIMP
Click image for full size

2. Krita

Krita is a professional free and open source painting program. It’s made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone.

Krita is really sublime open source software. It’s very easy to use, intuitive, and offers features and tools for a wide range of digital painting.

We particularly admire its excellent support for displaying brushes, its highly customizable user interface, and easy editing.

Krita


3. MyPaint

MyPaint is an open source paint program with dynamic brushes for graphic tablets.

This is a pressure sensitive Wacom tablet paint program. A number of prominent artists use this software.

Pinta
Click image for full size

All articles in this series:

Alternatives to Adobe's Products
Adobe PhotoshopPhotoshop is a raster graphics editor with multiple layers, masks, alpha compositing.
Adobe IllustratorIllustrator is a vector graphics editor and design tool.
Adobe InDesignIndesign is a desktop publishing and page layout designing application.
Adobe Premiere ProPremiere Pro is a timeline-based video editing tool.
Adobe AnimateAnimate is a multimedia authoring and computer animation.
Adobe Photoshop LightroomLightroom is a creative image organization and image manipulation.
Adobe XDXD is a prototyping tool for user experience and interaction designers

Popular series
Linux for StartersNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Each article is supplied with a legendary ratings chart helping you make informed decisions.
Linux ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.
Alternatives to GoogleAlternatives to Google's Products and Services examines your options to migrate from the Google ecosystem with open source Linux alternatives.
MicrosoftAlternatives to Microsoft's Products and Services recommends open source Linux software.
AdobeAlternatives to Adobe Cloud looks at free and open source alternatives to products available from Adobe Cloud's subscription service.
AppleAlternatives to Apple recommends free and open source alternatives to Apple's proprietary world.
CorelAlternatives to Corel surveys alternatives to Corel's range of graphics processing products and other software applications.
DockerGetting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.
Linux System ToolsEssential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
Linux ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
Home Computer EmulatorsHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.
Best Free Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. We showcase free Android apps that are definitely worth downloading. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series.
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language. Learn a new language today!
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to our free programming books series.
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.
Share this article

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.