Photo editing software

Luminar 4

Verified

Desktop



$67/mo

Canva

Verified

Desktop, Mobile, Free



FREE

Pixlr

Verified

Free, Free trial, Online



FREE

Fotor

Verified

Free trial, Online, Desktop



FREE

PicMonkey

Verified

Free trial, Online, Mobile



$7.99/mo

Snappa

Verified

Free, Online



FREE

Ashampoo

Verified

Desktop



$29,99/mo

CyberLink

Verified

Free, Desktop



FREE

inPixio

Verified

Desktop



$60

WidsMob

Verified

Desktop, Free trial



FREE

Adobe Photoshop

Verified

Desktop, Mobile



$9.99/mo

Skylum Luminar 4

The primary photo editing software, available for Windows and macOS. Standalone or plugin versions. Unique features available only here

Canva

Creates professional designs. The modern cross-platform graphic design service, suitable for both ordinary users and professionals designers

Photo Editor Software you can (and should) use to tweak and improve your photos

Remember the days when you loaded film into your camera, took photos, then handed over the roll to the developer? When the prints came out, you had no choice but to accept what they looked like based on the film you used. If you looked at one and felt like it would be better in black and white, you wouldn’t have the chance to change it by yourself anymore. You’re stuck with the look of the photo forever. 

That’s no longer the case nowadays. Technology has made the once hard to master camera easier to access, putting cameras in phones with outputs comparable to entry level digital cameras and some digital SLRs, meaning shorter learning curves for people. And that means more people taking pictures everyday.

That also means there are people who are not necessarily pro photographers who still want to be able to tweak the final look of their photos. We get more control these days on the output thanks to technology, so why not take advantage of it?

Whether you’re a professional photographer, a photography enthusiast, or someone who likes to take photos with your phone, because of technological advancement, you now have so many options to modify the appearance of your photo.

Let’s take a general look at different types of photo editing software to help you decide what to use for achieving the desired look and feel of your photos.

What’s the best photo editing software available?

The immediate answer to this is that the photo editing software that is best for you is the one that you have readily available. For PC users who have Windows 10, you have Microsoft Photos. It can easily enhance your photos with its built-in adjustable filters, as well as touch up faces and brighten and darken photos.  Mac users have Preview for quick editing, cropping, and rotating photos, and the Photos app, which is just like Microsoft Photos. Phones like Huawei have their own built-in editing apps. These apps have generally limited options, but for enthusiasts and everyday clickers, they may do.

If you want more power to edit your pictures, look no further than the photo editing software by Adobe: Lightroom and Photoshop. In Lightroom, you can tweak exposure and colors, and add filters, but its strengths are being able to support different camera formats as new cameras come in, and also being able to import filters created by third party suppliers, so you’re not limited to built-in filters. It can also crop, remove red-eye because of flash, clone out items you don’t want, adjust blurs, and copy the edits of one photo to all the other photos you imported. And when it comes to Photoshop, it can do most of what Lightroom can, plus a lot more, especially now with the 2021 version: it can change the colors of the sky easily, and can now even change facial expressions and even direction of the head. Photoshop is definitely the tool for the professional photographer and/or editor.

Of course, if you search online right now for free photo editing software, you would be bombarded with a lot of options. A popular one for PC and for Mac is GNU IMAGE

MANIPULATION PROGRAM, or GIMP. It’s free, open-source, and has sophisticated tools for whatever image manipulation you want to make. Easy and popular choices for phone users who want to edit from their phone are Snapseed, which has the option to add more blur to photos for shallower depth of field, and VSCO, which is popularly known for giving photos vintage film looks, adding to the cool factor of your pictures.

Are there online photo editor options? 

When you hear the word “software” or “apps”, you immediately think you have to download new stuff to your laptop or phone that could eat up a lot of your precious storage space, especially if you’re not a user of external hard drives, or your phone only has 128GB of storage. Thankfully, developers have made a way for you to edit your photos online. All you need to do is open the website, upload your photo there, and you’re good to go.

There are definitely a lot of good free online photo editor options, but they’re mostly targeted at photography enthusiasts and regular people. If you are looking for more flexibility, you’d probably have to shell out to upgrade to the pro version of these online editing sites.

What’s the best photo editor online?

When you search “photo editor online”, you’ll get plenty of options. One is the free Adobe Lightroom option for your phone, which is like a lite version of the flagship app. Other options include Canva, where not only can you edit your photos, you can also choose different backgrounds, textures, and texts to further enhance your images; Flickr and Google Photos, which are attached to online photo and sharing services; and Photopea, an online editor which immediately calls to mind Photoshop when you see the interface.

So what’s the best photo editor online? Again, it’s really up to you, the purpose you’re going to be using your photos for, and what would work for you best. We recommend you try out all the options that you possibly can and settle on maybe just one or two to use and get really comfortable with.

Should you be an image editor?

With all the image editor online and offline options given to you, should you really be manipulating images in this day and age? Well, why not? It’s fun to have the capability to manipulate your photos. Sometimes, even if the photo is technically correct or passable, it just lacks some oomph, and there’s nothing wrong with adding to it. And on a more practical note, editing helps make the file size of your images smaller, which can be helpful when posting on websites or social media accounts.

Besides, it doesn’t have to be a super manipulation. Just: 1. load up your favorite website or app, 2. edit image online, and you’re done. It can be as simple as just applying your favorite color filter or cropping out some parts you don’t like. It’s still the same photo, just a version you like better.

And with all the available choices for an online image editor, whether using your laptop or your mobile phone, it’s not like it’s going to take up a lot of time, or that you will have to be an expert to use it. That’s the beauty of all these available apps: a lot of them are user friendly, and are easy to use, with very cool results.

The best part is that even if you are just using a free image editor, you get plenty of ideas and options that there’s usually no need to upgrade to a pro version (well, for some at least). You are only limited byyour imagination.

Go try out a picture editor now!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the free picture editor choices, ask for the opinions of your friends. Maybe check out your friends’ pictures that have a certain look and feel that you like, and ask them what they use. Have them introduce you to the app or software they use, and start from there.

If you feel like you want to explore by yourself, we suggest you take one picture, choose three of the many online picture editor options that you feel you may work best with, and try editing that one picture with your chosen software. See which tool works for you the most, which is easy to use, and which result you like the best. 

Oh, and final reminder: before using any picture editor online, or offline for that matter, make sure that you have a good picture to start with, meaning investing in the proper tools, and practicing a lot to become a better photographer. We guarantee it: no amount of editing can save an already bad photo. When you have great pictures starting out, you can make them look even better with the software of your choosing. Most of all, don’t forget to enjoy the process!

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