Five of the Best Alternatives to Photoshop for Mac

In terms of photo editing, nothing comes close to Adobe Photoshop, a software which has always been the go-to image manipulation software in both professional and home computers.

However, let’s say you don’t have it installed on your Mac or if you find it too complicated to use. There are currently a wide variety of photo editing software which happen to be pretty good in their own right. Most don’t even have Adobe’s subscription model, which requires professionals to cough up $9.99 a month – a cheap, but bothersome amount.

Though they may not be as comprehensive as Photoshop and you will have to deal with familiarity issues, they can still provide an amazing editing experience. Sometimes, Photoshop’s features may be overkill for the regular home user, who may only need a simple and intuitive photo editing software.

Let’s take a look at some of the best alternatives to Photoshop for Mac.

Affinity Photo

This app is available for download on iTunes and the Mac App Store (click the header) and has already been optimized for the Mac’s latest operating system, the OS X El Capitan.

Affinity Photo is as comprehensive as Photoshop and is aimed toward a professional consumer base. It’s arguably the closest thing in the market compared to Photoshop, you can assume this just by looking at the interface. It has numerous tools which are similar to Photoshop and can pan and zoom at 60fps (frames per second).

It’s a bit pricey at $49.99, but it’s worth the purchase and is more cost-effective than Photoshop in the long run, considering that it doesn’t have the subscription model.

Acorn 5

The best thing about Acorn 5 is it looks like it was made for squirrels who have never sat in front of a Mac computer to edit photos before.

This app is perfect for users who are not well-versed in photo editing software – Photoshop and Affinity are great, but they are extremely difficult to learn and get used to. Acorn is intuitive and best suited for people who simply looking for a way to retouch their photos, add filters, create collages, and blur out their pimples before uploading their selfies on Facebook or Instagram.

It’s not as feature heavy as Photoshop, but it’s worth the $29.99 price tag.

Apple Photos

If you have OS X El Capitan, you no longer need to download any photo editing software if you’re a casual user, since there’s already a built-in one.

Photos may not be as comprehensive as Photoshop or any other photo editing software in this list, but true to Apple’s standards, it’s a simple, effective, and easy-to-use application. With it, you can adjust the colors, the contrast, and of course, add filters into your photos.

Basic commands like crop and align are also present in the app. It’s perfect for quick and easy editing without having to pay and download rather expensive apps.

Aftershot Pro 2

Created by Corel, which is a known name in the photo editing and image software world, the Aftershot Pro 2 is a great app for photo management and editing, perfect if you don’t have Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom. It is also faster – at least, that’s what Corel says – compared to other RAW converters and is a great app which can easily help you manage your workflow, especially if you have numerous photos to work on queue.

Its editing capabilities are equal to Photoshop and Affinity. It can also support numerous cameras created by different manufacturers, like Canon, Nikon, and Samsung. It can be downloaded through iTunes for a rather pricey $49.99. Regardless, it’s worth downloading if you consider its features and task management capabilities.

Sketch 3

If you clicked on the link and saw the $99.99 price tag, please give it a chance – you will get more than what you bargained for.

Sketch is a powerful app, which is no surprise considering that it’s an award-winning application and has received universal acclaim from the people in the graphics industry. It’s basically like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator in one: you can draw vectors, use layers, gradients, use a color picker, and style gradients.

Not only is it a great photo editing app, it’s also your go-to app for illustrations and creating logos. One of its most telling features is its advanced yet simple to use vector tool. The app also supports PDF imports and exports and Retina displays in both the iMac and MacBooks.

So yes, we can safely say that it’s worth a hundred bucks and one of the best alternatives to Photoshop.


Overall, you don’t need Photoshop to edit your photos – there are alternatives to Photoshop which can fill the void and give you your retouching needs. You might even find them better than Adobe’s flagship software.

So, the next time you’re contemplating whether to download Photoshop or other software, put the above mentioned software into your options!

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