Adobe Photoshop

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop Express

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 Photoshop Express is a mobile and Windows app made for all-in-one photo editing and sharing.

Photoshop Express is proprietary software. We recommend the best free and open source alternatives for Linux.


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.

MyPaint


All articles in this series:

Alternatives to Adobe's Products
Adobe Acrobat ReaderAcrobat Reader is a multi-platform PDF reader. It lets users view, print, sign and comment on PDF documents.
Adobe After EffectsAfter Effects is digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing software used in the post-production process of film making, video games and television production.
Adobe AnimateAnimate is a multimedia authoring and computer animation. Animate is used to design vector graphics and animation for television series, online animation, websites, web applications, rich web applications, game development, and more.
Adobe AuditionAudition is a digital audio workstation featuring both a multitrack, non-destructive mix/edit environment and a destructive-approach waveform editing view.
Bridge is a creative asset manager that lets you preview, organise, edit and publish multiple creative assets quickly and easily.
Character Animator is software that combines real-time live motion-capture with a multi-track recording system to control layered 2D puppets based on an illustration drawn in Photoshop or Illustrator.
Adobe DimensionDimension is 3D rendering and design software. It's designed to build brand visualizations, illustrations, product mockups and other creative work.
Adobe DreamweaverDreamweaver is a web development tool. It includes a code editor that supports syntax highlighting, code completion, real-time syntax checking, and code introspection for generating code hints to assist the user in writing code.
Fill & Sign lets users fill out PDF documents on a smartphones and tablet and share them directly with others.
Fresco is a vector and raster drawing and painting app. It's primarily used for digital painting by artists, illustrators, animators, and sketchers.
Adobe IllustratorIllustrator is a vector graphics editor and design tool. The software lets you create everything from web and mobile graphics to logos, icons, book illustrations, product packaging, and billboards.
Adobe InCopyInCopy is a professional word processor that integrates with InDesign. The software enables editors to write, edit, and design documents.
Adobe InDesignIndesign is a desktop publishing and page layout designing application. The software is used to create posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, presentations, books and ebooks
Adobe Photoshop LightroomLightroom is a creative image organization and image manipulation. Its main uses include importing/saving, viewing, organizing, tagging, editing, and sharing large numbers of digital images.
Lightroom Classic is a creative image organization and image manipulation software. This photo editing app is optimised for the desktop.
Media Encoder is an encoding engine for Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Audition, and Adobe Character Animator.
Adobe PhotoshopPhotoshop is a raster graphics editor with multiple layers, masks, alpha compositing. It edits and composes raster images in multiple layers and supports masks, alpha compositing and several color models.
Photoshop Express is a mobile and Windows app made for all-in-one photo editing and sharing.
Adobe Premiere ProPremiere Pro is a timeline-based video editing tool. It is geared towards professional video editing.
Scan provides a portable scanner that recognizes text automatically (OCR) and allows you to save to multiple files formats including PDF and JPEG.
Adobe XDXD is a prototyping tool for user experience and interaction designers. Adobe XD features are used for creating wireframes, prototypes, and screen designs for digital products.
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epeeist
epeeist
1 month ago

Only the first could remotely be considered an application for editing photographs, the other two are image manipulation programs.

For photo editing, the best applications are darktable, digikam and rawtherapee.

Torin Doyle
Torin Doyle
1 month ago

Hands down, I go with GIMP every time.

RedXXI
RedXXI
29 days ago

Can you comment on a small error? The screenshot of MyPaint belongs to Pinta, the interfaces of both are totally different.

For the rest, good alternatives, a good place to move around the Linux universe 🙂