Best Free PhotoShop Alternatives (Beginner-Friendly!)

While PhotoShop is an incredibly powerful graphics program, it isn’t worth paying for if you just want to create simple designs. There are plenty of dupes out there that are FREE and beginner-friendly.

Here’s a round-up of our top three picks for free graphic design programs. They are all web-based, so no software downloads are required.

Each program is more suitable for a different purpose. We’ve categorized them to make it easy for you to decide which to try!

1. Pixlr - Photo Editing

Photoshop Alternative for Photo-Editing: Pixlr Editor
Pixlr Editor. Doesn't the toolbar look familiar?

Pixlr is the most similar to PhotoShop in functionality, so it’s incredibly easy to use if you’re an existing PhotoShop user. The web app allows you to work in layers and is packed with features like clone stamp, magic wand, transform, smudge, and curve. It even has the same keyboard shortcuts as PhotoShop.

Photoshop Alternative for Photo-Editing: Pixlr Express
Pixlr Express.

There are two versions of Pixlr which are both free. Pixlr Express is great for quick photo editing needs, allowing you to add filters, creative effects, and borders. Pixlr Editor is the more robust PhotoShop dupe that offers full features. You don’t even need to create an account to use Pixlr – you can upload and edit your images immediately!

2. Canva - Blog and social media posts

Named “The easiest to use design program in the world”, Canva is a fun and simple interface that will let you create professional looking designs in a snap. In fact, we use it all the time to create social media ads for our clients. Canva provides templates for perfect-sized Facebook ads, Instagram posts, business cards, and more, so you’ll never have to search for the correct dimensions again!

Photoshop Alternative for Social Media and Blog Posts: Canva

It comes fully stocked with a giant library of free stock photos, icons, shapes, and fonts, which you can drag-and-drop onto your design. You can also upload your own photos. Once you register, your designs will save in the cloud, so you’ll have access to them from anywhere!

3. Piktochart - Posters, presentations, and infographics

Piktochart’s gorgeous collection of ready-to-use templates allow you to display information in a stunning manner. Visually-enticing infographics help you captivate viewers and relay information in an easy to read format, drawing more visits to your website.

Much like Canva, Piktochart allows you to play with icons, lines, fonts, and backgrounds, as well as upload your own images. While Canva is awesome for smaller graphics, Piktochart is great for lengthier visual content pieces.

Photoshop Alternative for Posters, Presentation, and Infographics: Piktochart

With free user-friendly resources like these, getting started with graphic design doesn’t have to be daunting! Let us know if we should add any other programs to this list.

Need help creating engaging online ads? Search & Gather is a digital agency specializing in PPC, paid social, and conversion optimization. Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how we can grow your online business!

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