Adobe Photoshop has been the dominant force in photo editing for the last 25 years. There’s no doubt that it is an excellent tool for professional photographers who consider Adobe to be nothing less than the ‘pinnacle of photo editing.’ It is true!
However, most people can’t afford to buy the software for it is seen as expensive and costs close to $25 per month. But that’s not the only issue that people face with working with Photoshop.
One needs to learn to properly use Adobe Photoshop and gain experience to be able to make the most of it. Of course, like others, this software can be self-taught, but the whole process is tedious, complex, and often requires a high amount of patience and time.
So if you are looking for fast, easy to use, web based and effective photo editing tools, then, there are plenty of adobe Photoshop alternatives in the market, and even if you have no experience with editing tools you will not be disappointed.
Some of these products require downloads or installs, while some are specifically made to cater to the audience using only mobile phones or tablets. An online community available is also a great thing that can make using even complex tools easy.
However, there is one such tool like adobe Photoshop that not only allows the users to simply fix a photo and add style or fonts but also is welcomed by professional photographers and graphic designers for a whole lot of reasons.
The Free Photoshop alternative you’ve been waiting for-
PicMonkey is one of the popular free online photoshop alternatives that doesn’t require the users to download anything unless of course, they want to use the tool on their mobile phones.
Using it unlike others is a hassle-free task that even the most inexperienced photographer or graphic designer or photo editor can play with the numerous creative layouts, fonts, styles, etc. the online Photoshop alternative has to offer.
PicMonkey is free and is super easy to use but does come with a premium version that is inclusive of extra cool features and functionalities.
Features of PicMonkey
To make an informed decision, it is important for you to know all the photo editing tips that PicMonkey offers to its users.
The main aim of these free online Photoshop alternatives is to ensure the photo editing processes are more efficient, without compromising on the quality of photos or the final product.
The features of this online editing tool are divided into four broad categories:
A. Easy editing and filtering tools
1. Essential editing tools
Features like other free online Photoshop alternatives, PicMonkey includes basic photo editing options such as crop, colors, exposure, rotate, resize and sharpen. These features are not complex, unlike Photoshop.
Although their use is limited and will make the user use them only towards the beginning, these core editing features of PicMonkey do come in handy in certain tasks, such as:
(a) You can ‘rotate crop.’
Yes, rotate crop is possible with it. This feature of your Picmonkey online photo tool rotates your crop area. Have you ever used this feature anywhere else or tried any similar products? We guarantee you haven’t.
At the moment, it may sound insignificant, but when you would want to rotate the crop area, this feature will save you from getting frustrated and also take very little of your time.
(b) Fit the canvas to the size of a window
Next time you zoom your image, a little zoom menu box will appear on the right-hand side corner of the screen.
It has got a cute new button that will automatically fit the image to the size of the window. Yes, it is another insignificant feature, but it does count when you need it or want to do something familiar!
2. Basic filtering tools
Color tints, boosted hues, vignette edges, black & white and watercolor options, lighting effects, double exposure are just some of the filters that are featured in this online Photoshop alternative offer.
The user has a wide range of filters to not only apply but also to experiment with. The list is quite long and there is too much to explore within the online tool. Following are three features that are a must-try:
(a) To give the Mirror effect
Present in the Artsy group, this feature turns the image into a duplicative work of art. You can mirror the picture to the left, right, top and bottom. There is also a slider to control the image offset.
It is actually quite cool, and if you really use the right picture, you can easily create a pop culture kind of end product. It hardly takes a minute for any novice user to come up with a series of uber-cool images without any issues.
(b) Apply dark and gritty Super B&W
A black and white image can have a million tones and contrasts. The B&W, feature, lets you experiment with the brightness and contrast of the photo – however you like it to be! You can convert a colour photo to a black and white one with just a few clicks.
(c) Get the classic cinema look with Silverscreen
This feature of this applies a layer of film grain and makes the curve adjustments of the image look moody and mysterious. Who needs professional photographers when you can be one?
Silverscreen is an auto-fix tool which means you don’t really have to worry about making changes to the image.
All you have to do is just click the button for your image to be ‘Silverscreened.’ This is another great tool to create a series of images for a blog on old cinema or all things vintage – just an idea!
(d) The Clone tool
As the name suggests, this free Photoshop alternative tool – PicMonkey allows you to paint over part of your photo by copying another part of the picture.
This photo editing feature is efficient when you want to remove unwanted elements from the picture such as your thumb that accidentally comes in the way of the lens.
The Clone brush follows the movement of the cursor to copy a path within your image. The process takes seconds, and you get fabulous results in the end.
3. Adding text to photos
You can access a wide range of fonts to put on your photos. Creating a watermark is also simple and can be completed in minutes. You can also apply text effects here such as Drop Shadow, inner shadow, and curved texts.
It can really help professional photographers who want to add a watermark to their images.
Try it out for yourself. Experiment to see how you can actually use it for your work. You can use this option to create social media posts. Pick a nice picture and write on it artistically with one of these font types.
4. Toying with clipart
Because sometimes free vectors add more color to an image than the filter itself! Choose from a pool of cool free vectors, layers, labels and seasonal clips (such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, etc.).
You can even create a standalone image with just clipart and text. Again a fabulous idea for social media campaigns. Pick a theme, to begin with and create an array of customized images all by yourself.
5. Framing a photo is a good idea
From shape cut-outs to Polaroid borders to museum-quality frames – PhotoShop Alternative has got everything covered.
In fact, it is easy to get lost while applying multiple frames to images to see which one looks better. No image won’t mind getting framed! Creating portraits has never been easier either.
6. Pick a theme
If you are creating a series of images based on a particular theme, then Photoshop like app will offer you all the help that you need.
You can choose any available themes such as summers, Winterland, Santa Claus, and Halloween, etc. to start off your project.
The users can create multiple themes and even mix ‘n’ match to come up with a string of images.
The bloggers, especially, can experiment a lot to get original and authentic images for their articles.
7. Apply photo textures
Starry sky or forest? You can juxtapose a gorgeous background image within the picture for an eclectic appeal.
This editing technique is called double exposure. Just analyze the look and feel of the picture given below, and you’ll understand what we are trying to say.
You don’t have to be a professional or a genius by any means to know this photo editing skill. This online Photoshop alternative makes fading, flipping, and adjusting every corner of the image simple. It hardly takes a few seconds!
(a) Fancy touch up options
In this category, you will find several tools that will help you photoshop the faces present in your images inside Photoshop alternative. Some of the sub-features of the photo editor are:
|Reducing blemishing||Regularizing uneven skin color|
|Hiding splotches and marks||Add a tint to lips|
|Whitening teeth||Changing the eye color|
|Applying mascara||Defining and thickening eyebrows|
|Applying eye shadow||Hiding scars and stains|
You can easily save plenty of hours just playing around with these photoshop skills inside PicMonkey.
(b) Design on your ownPhotoshop alternative.
Even if you are a small business owner or an independent writer, you will find that using this online tool is much easier. You can create a range of marketing collaterals for professional purposes such as:
- Business cards
- Greeting cards
As you already know, you will have ample options to experiment with clipart, text fonts, and textures, basic photo editing tools, etc. PicMonkey allows the creativity to flow and is quite flexible regarding use and functionalities.
(c) Making collages is simple
Collage is for mashing pictures together, and there are a plenty of pre-made collage templates. You can choose to edit a template as you go by adding more photos. You can even play with the size of the individual photo boxes.
Whether you want to make a collage for your Instagram account or wedding invitation or Pinterest – PicMonkey can help you.
This online Photoshop alternative also offers templates which are comically named “Square Deal” and “Ducks in a Row.”
If you don’t want to use any of these templates, you can create your layout and fill it with images just as you want to.
When you select this option, it will automatically ask you to upload the photos. If you choose “Auto Fill,” the online image editing tool will automatically fill the boxes with images already there in your dashboard.
You can always add more images from anywhere on the system or the internet.
Here are two must-try sub-features of making collages using PicMonkey:
(i) In-cell editing
With this photo editor you can change the dimensions of any of the photo boxes. All you need to do is position your cursor along the border until the little arrows pop up.
Then draft left, right, up or down to change the size of the photo box. There’s enough of flexibility regarding selecting the box dimensions.
(ii) Remove all images placed in a collage
This one’s a time-saving function, and you can remove all the images place in your collage with just a single ‘clear all’ button.
Making a collage is not as difficult as it seems with Picmonkey online photo editor. You can select relevant beautiful images, but if you put them all together, they may not always spell M-A-G-I-C.
In that case, what do you do? You individually remove the images from the collage or rearrange them – in whichever way you like!
However, that’s a more tedious process and not for everyone who is looking to save minutes while working on any photo editing software or tool.
If you are frustrated and want to use none of the images previously selected for the collage, just click ‘Clear All’ on the sidebar on the left-hand side of the screen.
You can even ‘Auto Fill’ the images if you are feeling a bit lazy and just want one button to do the task of uploading the images.
Update: Recently Shutterstock acquired PicMonkey for $110 million. This move will allow Shutterstock to expand its reach and tap into the $8 billion market opportunity for creative software and design tools.
7 exclusive features of PicMonkey that are super impressive and worth a shot
1. Combine all the elements of the photo
This image editing feature makes it easy to combine all edits into one layer. In the toolbar at the bottom, you’ll notice an icon that resembles two stacked squares and a down arrow.
The reason it is called the “Combine” button is that it buttons, flattens or merges all the elements of a photo or image rather effortlessly.
So whatever photo you have done on your image, you can make them into one unified layer. And once this is done, it allows you to apply the next change to the entire bundle.
Undoing the process is equally simple. Just click that undo arrow in the bottom toolbar, and everything will be back to normal.
The complete process with these image editing tools of the Picmonkey image editor is a breeze. I definitely like to say that getting familiar with this platform is quite easy.
2. Check out the before & after images
So you have been experimenting with lots of different special effects and touch-up features on your image, but you want to see how different the end product looks from the original image.
Don’t worry. This specific feature helps you to see conveniently the before and after pics without you having to undo or redo anything for real.
All you have to do is move that cursor to the icon that looks like two image files divided by a thin line.
Click and hold it to see the pre-edited image and release to continue working on the edited one.
3. Choose dimensions before saving the image
If you didn’t specify the image dimensions before you began photo editing, you could do so from the Save panel.
This panel appears after you have clicked Save in the top toolbar. The dimension boxes will appear just below the photo quality options.
To specify the dimensions, click Change and type in the numbers. Then save the image – voila – you are done! it is quite simple, isn’t it?
4. Option to open and save image files from multiple locations
This is a very convenient feature as it allows the user to upload the image from any part of the computer system or internet.
Be it Facebook, OneDrive, Dropbox and Flickr – it is possible to open and save the images from a variety of places. Just hover over Edit right in the top menu to look at the options that appear below.
There is another possibility called Hub which is PicMonkey’s image storage platform that allows premium users to re-edit the images after they have saved them.
5. PicMonkey’s Chrome extension is God sent
Really – it is! If you use Google Chrome, then you must most certainly install the extension.
Now we understand that if you are a photographer, you will always have your images somewhere on your system or your external hard drive.
But there can be times when you would want to edit images you saw on any social media channel or the internet. Plugins can be a lifesaver in such cases.
To save time and space on your system, just click the orange monkey icon next to your search bar and in less than one second, every image on the page and a screenshot of the entire page appears as a tiny thumbnail in a sidebar towards the left.
Choose the image you like, and it will open up in the Editor. It’s free; get it here.
This could be seen as a bonus for those who are professional photographers, educators, lifestyle bloggers or small business owners with proper websites.
If you hyperlink your blog or portfolio images to PicMonkey, you are likely to get paid for promoting them.
7. Use designer-made templates
If lack of inspiration is stopping you from starting off your projects, then these designer-made templates will help you fight off your creative block.
Whether it is an invite, a poster, an announcement, or a V-Day card – PicMonkey offers dozens of templates for its users to get started.
The only drawback is that you have to be a premium user of this online Photoshop alternative to be able to lay your hands on this template trove.
8. Hub – PicMonkey’s storage space
This was launched early next year just for its premium users. Hub allows the users to access and edit their photos from anywhere via PicMonkey website or mobile app.
Users can even select their overlays and texts after they have saved them. Hub is a storage space for all of your photos – something like Dropbox or OneDrive.
But this one’s specifically to increase the user’s use of the tool from anywhere on the internet.
Here’s a lowdown of five fantastic features of Hub for its users:
a. Resume your editing session mid-way
This is a fantastic function and not available in many online Photoshop alternatives. So this allows you to continue your photo editing session in case you stop in the middle for it will save it and store it in ‘your’ Hub.
When you want to start editing again, all you have to do is hover over the taskbar on the top.
Instead of choosing a computer, Facebook or OneDrive, use Hub to resume your photo editing process.
b. Update or make a copy of your design
If you have picked up the image editing process in the middle, you do have the option of saving the freshly updated one as a copy.
It’s not necessary for you to save the changes in the same exact file. You can duplicate the file and save the new changes on it.
c. Upload images in bulk swiftly
To upload images in bulk, just select Hub on the homepage and click Upload in the top right corner. Instead of selecting one image, pick up multiple images from the computer.
You can also drag images from the desktop and drop them straight into the Hub. It saves time and also doesn’t disrupt the workflow so much.
d. Template-fy your designs without fear
Hub can also be easily used to create and store templates. For instance, if you made an excellent flyer that you want to reuse, Hub will allow you to template-fy your design by swapping out text and overlays.
This copy feature just keeps the formatting and effects of the image just as they are, which you can duplicate and use in the future.
e. Hub is still in beta version
Hub is not operating as the final product as the makers want the users to get a feel and touch of the feature first. No date or year of the launch of the latest version is out yet. But given the popularity of this feature, it is worth a try!
PicMonkey and its pricing plans
There is no doubt that PicMonkey is a powerful online photo tool offering a plethora of photoshopping tools and filters.
However, the user can make full use of it and explore more by becoming a “Royale” or premium user.
The Basic users can only take benefit of first four core features of PicMonkey. However, if you choose to buy a pricing package, you can avail the following features of the online tool:
|Core editing tools||Basic touch up features|
|Basic effects||Overlays, fonts, textures|
|Advanced touch-up tools||Primo effects, overlays, fonts|
|Top-shelf templates||Save your custom effects|
|Edit after saving|
The Royale – Monthly package costs $4.99 USD/mo, whereas the Royale – Annual package is $3.33 USD/mo which I find more affordable. It is in the annual package that the user will be able to get rid of ads.
For both packages, you can opt for a 7-day free version trial before beginning to make the payments.
How PicMonkey is better than Adobe Photoshop
Adobe is not affordable for everyone as it is four times more expensive than Photoshop alternative. Not everyone has the capability to spend so much money on a tool – which is no doubt excellent – but burns the pocket.
2. Solid core features
Adobe Photoshop users can:
- Easily organize and find your photos
- Create perfect shots with ease
- Easily create and share
- Artistically enhance photos
PicMonkey users can:
- Experiment with 40% more effects
- Use twice of the touch-up tools
- Toy around with Royale fonts
- Access 50% more frames, overlays, and texture options
- Add their overlays and textures
By the simple analysis of the two application, it is clear that Photoshop alternative holds more weight when it comes to usability, features, and pricing.
However, it also depends on the user’s background. Is he a professional photographer or a budding blogger? Both the users will have different needs.
If you want more flexibility regarding use, then PicMonkey is a better option.
Other Photoshop alternatives
Another slightly different and lightweight alternative to photoshop available is Beacon. by. It is a free lead magnet software that helps you create professional high quality converting lead magnets.
As per their website, they try to pinpoint the fact that how a good lead magnet can really help with conversions.
If you are considering Beacon.by then here is how this lightweight tool actually makes a difference :
1.) Beacon.by help you create beautiful looking lead magnets where you can control the design depending on your needs. It also allows you to convert your long or short blog content to lead magnet format.
2.) You can either choose original templates included in the repository or create your own design from scratch.
3.) The included drag and drop editor helps you to set elements as per your wish.
4.) You can also select your own color scheme that suits your brand image or logo. You do not need any course or long hours of retouching as it is a very lightweight yet smart and robust tool. One can always trust it with improved lead magnet performance.
5.) Create your own template design and reuse it making you do smart work. Even a beginner without any artistic skills can get the best out of it.
With the help of the available templates, users can create lead magnets effortlessly and quickly. Although it is meant for lead magnets you can always customize them as per your preferences and repurpose them.
Krita is a free open source graphics illustration platform. The application is a great option for painting, drawing concept art, comics, and other related stuff.
It comes with a clean intuitive interface that allows you to customize workflow as per your needs. The main focus of this tool is doing digital drawing which can be used by both hobbyists or professional designers.
The thing is that Krita is only available on desktop and doesn’t support android, ios mobile apps. Also, they don’t have customer support to help you if you get stuck. But since it will cost you nothing to access one can definitely try it out.
It is not a replacement for Photoshop but can help you in other similar design creation categories.
Features of Krita :
1.) Brushes: It offers more than 100 brushes with an additional feature called a brush engine. It helps you customize your brush which is better than other selection tools to achieve varying effects with digital drawing.
It also gives you a brush stabilizer where you bring more control to your image editing and design skills.
2.) Layer management: Krita help to control layers with a healing brush which again gives you full control of your painting. You can edit individual layers or also add special effects to them.
3.) Vector and Text: If you are interested in creating comic panels then the in-built vector tool allows you to do this.
You can select a word bubble template from the vector library and add it to your canvas. Add text as you want to your design and all this free of cost.
4.) HDR display: HDR images are the ones with really bright colors. Krita supports the HDR setup by providing support for not just16-bit colors but even higher.
It is one of the best editing features if you want to edit or work on images of fire, sunsets, or other similar art. Krita cannot show HDR images with any display so you will need a HDR capable setup.
A quick round-up of Picmonkey:
|What do we like?|| It is a web-based tool|
Very easy to use and affordable
Solid image editing and designing features
|What we don’t like?||Limit on image size that you can edit.|
Sometimes the software hangs making you lose data.
|Value for Money||The pro plan priced at $12/mo is better value for money as compared to other plans.|
|Customer Support||Queries can be emailed.|
|Who should use it?|| Social media marketers/influencers.|
Small businesses who need basic image designing.
|PicMonkey Alternatives||Canva, GIMP, Pixlr and Fotor|
Over to you
As you may have guessed: you can avail all the Photoshop alternative, but all of that comes at a cost.
The number of features applicable to the free version are limited and might not satisfy a user who is looking to experiment with the photos and even create his or her designs.
So if you are one of those who want to be super creative but without undertaking the cost of buying an Adobe Photoshop subscription, then PicMonkey is a fantastic web based investment that provides plenty of useful editing features.
If you want to take it slow, you can opt for a 7-day trial to get comfortable with the options available only to the premium users of this online Photoshop alternative.
It is one of the fantastic online photo editors that require zero downloads and upgrades. It is completely web-based so you literally don’t have to download anything, except for the Google Chrome extension which is an awesome add-on in itself and makes searching for and saving images easier.
So use the software for a week or two and to find out what it provides for yourself. Opt for the 7-day trial version of the premium tool to get the hang of the PicMonkey and try to understand how you can use it to its best potential.
Remember – it’s a web tool. You don’t have to worry about any downloads or upgrades. You can use it, leave it there and come back to it when you want to get work done. You can always find a helpful community to learn more basics.
Happy photo editing! Get photos of your dream.
Questions related to finding better online Photoshop alternative:
What are some of the best photoshop alternatives?
Some of the alternatives are Canva, PicMonkey, Pixlr and Fotor.
Why should I use Photoshop alternatives?
Photoshop has a steep learning curve and is an expensive tool. So, for people who want to do easy editing for their businesses other tools can come in handy.
What are some easy to use programs like photoshop?
Some easy to use programs are PicMonkey and Pixlr.
Which is the cheapest alternative to photoshop?
GIMP and Pixlr are two of the most lightweight, affordable and cheapest alternative to Photoshop. They also provide features like blending and adding layers.
Which is better PicMoney or Canva?
For basic designing solution, Canva will fit fine and is user-friendly as well but if you are looking for advanced features of photo editing like masking, layering then PicMonkey is more useful and supports operating systems such as windows mac .
Is Photoshop free?
No Photoshop is not free but they offer a free trial.
What are some new features of PicMonkey that are not in Photoshop?
PicMonkey is one of the cloud-based solutions so you can access it from anywhere. It also has a myriad of ready to use templates and stickers which Photoshop doesn’t offer.
A great tool to improve your social media performance as it allows you to create images quickly.
It also supports various file formats that include jpg png and jpeg. It works well even for a beginner with no artistic skills.