Can’t Afford Photoshop? Here are Some Alternatives

Businesses can use Adobe Photoshop to generate professional marketing material easily. It is a very powerful program with many features so it’s no wonder that it can cost over $600, depending on the version. Many small business owners do not want to invest this much, and they don’t require all the features that come with it. However, there are a few alternatives to Photoshop that are low-cost or free.

Not surprisingly, these programs are not as powerful as Photoshop. But they have enough photo-editing features for small business owners to easily create professional looking material. Below is a list of the best free photo-manipulation programs currently available.


GIMP means GNU image manipulation program. It is extremely easy to use and contains the most used features of Photoshop. There are many different versions of GIMP and best of all it is completely free.


Remember that old MSPaint program that came with your Windows program? Paint.NET is the successor to this, and it’s really a remarkably powerful—and free—photo editor. Paint.NET comes with its own special effects, an unlimited undo (a nice feature for those designers who are far from perfect), and an online forum full of users who aren’t shy about sharing their favorite tips and strategies for using this program. The only negative of Paint.NET? It only works with Windows-based systems.


Picnik is a free program that works well on Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems. This program has some really fun effects such as blurring, darkening, and lightening images. It’s probably the most popular free editing programs, as you don’t have to download files to use it.

Business owners needn’t let Photoshop’s high cost keep them from inserting professionally edited photos into their marketing materials. With only a bit of online hunting, even the most frugal of business owners will find the perfect alternative.