Did you know there were 281,500 people employed as graphic designers in the U.S. as of 2019?
While not all of us have aspirations to be graphic designers, having editing skills is useful for a wide variety of jobs. Many people even take up editing and design as a hobby.
However, it can be intimidating if you're new to editing. How can you choose the right editing app to use?
We're here to fill you in. Keep reading below for seven of the best free photo editing apps!
If you're looking for a free Photoshop alternative, you won't find any that are better than GIMP. GIMP is a perfect choice for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. Plus, it supports a massive amount of plug-ins.
There are also a wide variety of customizable brushes you can use to edit your photos. The GIMP community also provides a variety of tutorials, so you can learn the best and easiest ways to edit your photos.
In fact, if you don't mind the learning curve, GIMP is a great tool for beginner editors. Since it has both basic and advanced features, beginners can hone their editing skills through GIMP.
When you access Fotor, you're immediately prompted with three options: edit a photo, make a collage, or create a design. This makes it an exceptionally well-rounded tool for those searching for a free, user-friendly Photoshop alternative. Fotor is an online application, so you can use it through any device.
Its photo editor, in particular, is simple to use, and you can easily upload your creations to the cloud. Fotor offers fun options, such as photo frames, stickers, and beauty effects.
You can then use their collage creator to combine your edited photos without ever leaving the application. They offer a library full of free templates to choose from, and you can download your creations as JPEGs, PNGs, or PDFs.
3. Free Photo Editing Apps for Professionals: Canva
Canva is the perfect editing tool for busy professionals. Canva makes it easy to add graphics and text to photos, and they have an entire library of free fonts and images to add to your photos.
You can also use Canva to make sure your photos are social media-friendly. For example, they have a variety of Instagram post templates. You can use one of the pre-made templates and upload your own photo and proceed to edit it as desired.
Canva makes it easy to access your designs wherever you go. You can use Canva for mac, windows, and even on your mobile Android and iOS devices.
VSCO is one of the best free photo editing apps if you're looking to engage with a community of like-minded editors.
While not all of VSCO's features are free, there are still plenty of options available without purchase. VSCO is especially popular for its filters, along with standard photo editing features, like contrast and saturation adjustment.
Once you're happy with your edits, you can share your photos to VSCO's own social network. The UI is similar to Instagram's, and it's a great place to check out the work of other aspiring photographers.
The VSCO app is available for Android and iOS, but your VSCO profile can be viewed through both mobile and desktop browsers.
5. Editing Apps for Beginners and Pros: Pixlr
Whether you're an editing rookie or an expert, Pixlr has what you need. Pixlr has recently changed its editing tools—it now offers Pixlr X or Pixlr E.
Pixlr X is perfect for new editors who want to get their feet wet. Pixlr X allows you to crop photos, add text and filters, draw on your photos, and more.
Pixlr E is better suited for well-seasoned photo editors. It is a great substitute for Photoshop, as it features many of the same tools and functions. One of the biggest differences between Pixlr X and E is the ability to add layers through Pixlr E.
Pixlr is another in-browser application, so you can use it through any device. It also offers a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices.
BeFunky is another three-in-one tool that allows you to edit photos, make collages, and create graphic design projects. It's especially friendly for beginner editors.
Some of the BeFunky features are only accessible through a premium account, but there are still plenty of high-quality free features. It offers fun overlay shapes, a blemish touch-up feature, and texture overlays as well.
Want to practice on a few photos before you jump in? BeFunky has a stock photo library that you can search through to try your hand at editing before you upload your own photos.
BeFunky is an in-browser application, which makes it easy to access anywhere.
Paint.NET is a powerhouse amongst free photo editing apps. It offers a variety of plug-ins, and its design is well-organized if a bit dated. Unfortunately, Paint.NET is only available to download for Windows users.
Paint.NET is best used by intermediate and advanced photo editors since the variety of tools can be overwhelming to beginners. However, it's an easy enough tool to learn through with a little practice.
One major pro of Paint.NET is that you can save and export your files in high resolutions and in just about any file format. This is helpful if you're looking for a free photo editor to create edits for a portfolio or professional project.
Photo editing is a rewarding process, and it's a great way to flex your creative muscles. The list of free photo editing apps above will help you find the resources you need to start editing today!
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