Best Photo Editing Software Free Download Windows PC 2023
Best photo editing software? This is a question that occupies many people. However, which is the best software depends on the needs of the user and whether he is a beginner or a professional.
Programs to edit, improve or optimize photos are numerous and all have their advantages and disadvantages. But which one is the most suitable for each user? It is time to get to the bottom of this question as well as possible, taking into account the demands of different users. Here, the various photo editors are compared according to new methods, the winner is determined, and then it is shown which program best suits the particular needs of the user. Another plus is that here is explained what users should consider when choosing a software.
The 8 Best Photo Editing Software
There are many different opinions about which one is considered the "best photo editing software". And to be honest, there is no clear-cut answer. It really depends on your specific needs and preferences.
FotoWorks XL - The Best Photo Editing Software for Beginners Free Download
This photo editing software for PC is one that is easy to use and yet offers a wide range of features. FotoWorks XL photo editor can be downloaded for free and is especially suitable for beginners and professionals. With this easy photo editor for PC users are able to edit, enhance and improve photos.
This software offers many functions and tools that will let you edit your photos professionally. Moreover, this program is very intuitive and easy to use. It has a simple and intuitive interface that allows you to edit your images in no time. Besides, it offers a large number of useful features present in this program. Thus, FotoWorks XL is the perfect one for those who like it simple.
Free download: FotoWorks XL
- Intuitive working
- Photo editing software for beginners
- Free support
- No previous knowledge in image editing required
- Suitable for beginners and professionals
- Automatic correction
- Preset effects
- Manual effects
- Create collages
- Create photo montages
- Batch processing function
- Print studio
- User-friendly interface: FotoWorks XL has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, making it accessible for both beginners and more experienced users. Its well-organized layout and clear navigation make editing photos a smooth process.
- Wide range of editing tools: This software offers a comprehensive set of editing tools, including basic adjustments (brightness, contrast, saturation), cropping and resizing options, red-eye removal, color correction, and more. It provides users with the tools they need to enhance and retouch their photos effectively.
- Advanced editing features: Apart from basic editing tools, FotoWorks XL also includes advanced features such as layers, masks, and effects. These features allow users to create more complex edits and achieve professional-looking results.
- Batch processing: The software enables users to apply edits to multiple photos simultaneously, saving time and effort. This feature is particularly useful when editing large photo collections or preparing images for online galleries.
- Creative filters and effects: FotoWorks XL offers a variety of creative filters and effects to apply to photos, allowing users to experiment and add artistic touches to their images. These effects can range from vintage and retro filters to artistic overlays and textures.
- Printing and sharing options: The software provides printing options, allowing users to easily create physical copies of their edited photos. It also offers sharing options, making it convenient to upload and share images on social media platforms or via email directly from the software.
- Limited compatibility: FotoWorks XL is primarily designed for Windows-based systems, which means it may not be compatible with other operating systems such as macOS or Linux. This limitation can restrict potential users who prefer alternative platforms.
- Software design: The user interface is in colors that take some getting used to.
GIMP - Best Free Photo Editing Software for Professionals and Advanced
Windows, macOS, Linux
As a photographer, you know that a good editing software make the difference between an amateurish photo and a work of art. But with so much choice on in the web, it is difficult to find the right software for your needs. If you're looking for a versatile and affordable program, GIMP is a good choice.
GIMP offers a wide range of functions, including basic editing tools, layers, filters and plug-ins. Besides, it's easy to download and use. No matter what you need exactly, GIMP is a good choice for all your editing needs.
Free download: GIMP
- Editing with layers
- Extension by countless plugins or code
- Many tools to choose from
- Tools for retouching
- Included are numerous filters and effects
- Cost: GIMP is completely free and open-source software, making it accessible to anyone without any financial barriers.
- Cross-platform compatibility: GIMP is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, ensuring users on different operating systems can use the software without limitations.
- Comprehensive feature set: GIMP offers a wide range of powerful features for image editing and manipulation, including layers, filters, brushes, selection tools, and advanced color correction. It can handle tasks such as retouching photos, creating graphics, and designing interfaces.
- Plugin support: GIMP supports a vast array of plugins and extensions, expanding its capabilities and providing users with additional tools and effects.
- Customizability: GIMP's interface and workflows can be customized to suit individual preferences. Users can rearrange panels, create custom tool presets, and personalize the software to streamline their editing process.
- Non-destructive editing: GIMP enables non-destructive editing through the use of layers, masks, and adjustment layers. This allows users to make changes without permanently altering the original image.
- Community and resources: GIMP has a large and active community of users who share tutorials, tips, and resources. This makes it easier to learn the software, troubleshoot issues, and stay up-to-date with the latest developments.
- Learning curve: GIMP's extensive feature set and customizable interface can be overwhelming for beginners. Learning to navigate and utilize its capabilities effectively may require a significant investment of time and effort.
- User interface: While GIMP's interface is customizable, some users find it less intuitive and less polished compared to commercial image editing software. The layout and organization of tools and menus may not be as user-friendly for certain individuals.
- Compatibility issues: GIMP's file format, XCF, may not be universally supported by other image editing software. When sharing files with users of different programs, exporting to more common formats like JPEG or PNG may be necessary.
- Limited professional features: GIMP may lack certain high-end professional features found in commercial software like Adobe Photoshop. It may not have specific tools or workflows required for advanced retouching, prepress, or print production.
- Slower performance with large files: GIMP's performance can be slower when working with large image files or complex projects, especially on older or less powerful hardware. This may lead to delays or lag during editing processes.
- Lack of dedicated technical support: As an open-source software, GIMP does not offer the same level of dedicated technical support as commercial alternatives. Users rely on community forums, documentation, and online resources for troubleshooting issues.
- Industry compatibility: In certain professional fields or industries where specific software is commonly used, GIMP's adoption may be limited. Collaborating with others who primarily use different software can pose compatibility challenges.
PhotoScape - The Photo Editor with Many Functions
If you are looking for a powerful and easy-to-use software, then you should take a look at PhotoScape. With just a few clicks you'll be able to crop, rotate and resize your photos, as well as adjust brightness, contrast and saturation. You'll also be able to add text and graphics, and even create collages. Besides, PhotoScape offers a wide range of filters and effects to let you give your photographs a unique look.
This program is packed with features, yet easy to use. It offers a wide range of tools for cropping, resizing and adjusting brightness and contrast. It also supports layers, so you are able to easily make complex edits.
Free download: PhotoScape
- Good basic functions
- No previous experience required
- Batch processing function
- Portrait printing
- User-friendly interface: PhotoScape offers an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, making it accessible to users of all skill levels.
- Comprehensive editing tools: It provides a wide range of editing tools, including cropping, resizing, color adjustments, filters, and special effects, allowing users to enhance their photos creatively.
- Batch editing: PhotoScape enables batch processing, allowing users to apply edits to multiple photos simultaneously, saving time and effort.
- Collage creation: The software offers a collage feature, enabling users to combine multiple photos into a single, visually appealing composition.
- Raw image support: PhotoScape supports the editing of raw image files, providing greater flexibility and control over the editing process.
- Printing and sharing options: It provides various options for printing photos directly from the software and also facilitates easy sharing on social media platforms.
- Limited advanced editing capabilities: While PhotoScape offers a range of editing tools, it may not have the same level of advanced features found in more professional-grade software.
- Lack of non-destructive editing: PhotoScape does not offer non-destructive editing, meaning that changes made to an image are applied directly and cannot be easily undone or reverted.
- Limited file format support: It may have limitations in supporting certain file formats, especially uncommon or specialized formats used by professional photographers.
- Slower performance with large files: When working with large image files, PhotoScape's performance may be slower compared to more robust editing software.
- Less suitable for complex projects: While PhotoScape is suitable for basic and intermediate editing tasks, it may not be the ideal choice for complex projects requiring advanced features and precision.
- Lack of professional-level features: Professionals may find PhotoScape lacking in advanced features, such as layer-based editing, advanced retouching tools, and sophisticated color management options.
Paint.NET - The Creative Photo Editor with Effects
Paint.NET is a fast photo editing software for Windows. It has a simple and intuitive interface with many useful tools, such as a gradient tool, a hatching tool and a large number of effects.
It offers many of features you'd expect from a professional photo editor, such as the ability to edit images in layers, adjust colors and brightness, add effects, and more.
Free download: Paint.NET
- Special effects
- Adjustment functions
- Good collection of brushes
- Simultaneous editing of multiple projects
- Simple user interface
- Online community
- Automatic updates
- User-friendly interface: Paint.NET provides a simple and intuitive interface, making it easy for beginners to navigate and use the software.
- Wide range of tools: The software offers a comprehensive set of tools, including drawing and selection tools, various brush options, layers, filters, and effects, allowing users to create and edit images with versatility.
- Customizability: Paint.NET supports the use of plugins, which allows users to extend the software's functionality based on their specific needs. There is also a large community of plugin developers who regularly contribute to the available plugins.
- Lightweight and fast: Paint.NET is known for its efficient performance, utilizing system resources optimally and providing quick response times even when working with larger images.
- Active development and updates: Paint.NET is actively maintained and regularly updated by its developers. This ensures that users have access to bug fixes, performance improvements, and new features over time.
- Limited to Windows: Paint.NET is only available for Windows operating systems, which means users of other platforms, such as macOS or Linux, cannot directly use the software.
- Lack of advanced features: While Paint.NET offers a robust set of tools, it may not have the same level of advanced features and capabilities as professional-grade image editing software like Adobe Photoshop. Complex tasks or intricate designs may be challenging to achieve with Paint.NET alone.
- Not suitable for professional use: Due to its limitations and focus on simplicity, Paint.NET may not be the ideal choice for professional graphic designers or photographers who require advanced editing and professional-grade output.
- Text handling limitations: Paint.NET's text editing capabilities are relatively basic compared to other software. It lacks advanced text formatting options, such as extensive typographical controls or advanced character and paragraph styling.
- Limited file format support: While Paint.NET supports popular image formats like JPEG, PNG, and BMP, it lacks comprehensive support for some specialized file formats used in professional workflows, such as RAW or PSD (Adobe Photoshop's native format). This can be a limitation when collaborating with other professionals or working with specific file types.
Adobe Photoshop - Very Good Photo Editor
Adobe Photoshop is a photo editor for Windows operating system and macOS. This software offers a wide range of editing tools that are especially suitable for professionals and photographers. Adobe Photoshop is a very popular and well-liked program and for good reason. With a user-friendly interface and a wide range of features, the program is also suitable for professionals.
Whether you want to make simple adjustments or create complex digital artwork, Adobe Photoshop has tools you need. In addition, Photoshop offers a wide range of filters and presets that let you give your graphics a unique look. And if you ever get stuck, there is a large community of users that will be happy to help you. If you are looking for photo editing software, Adobe Photoshop is a good choice.
Visit website: Adobe Photoshop
- Powerful photo editing
- Layer-based editing
- Selection tools
- Content-aware features
- Text and typography
- Image retouching and restoration
- Advanced image manipulation
- Adobe Camera Raw integration
- Support for third-party plugins
- Workspace customization
- Industry Standard: Adobe Photoshop is widely regarded as the industry-standard software for image editing and manipulation. It is used by professionals in various fields such as photography, graphic design, web design, and digital art.
- Extensive Tools and Features: Photoshop offers a vast array of tools and features that allow users to retouch, enhance, and transform images with precision. From basic adjustments like cropping and resizing to advanced techniques such as layering, masking, and content-aware fill, Photoshop provides a comprehensive set of tools for creative control.
- Advanced Editing Capabilities: With Photoshop, users can perform complex editing tasks like removing unwanted objects, adjusting colors and tones, applying filters and effects, and creating realistic composites. The software also supports non-destructive editing, allowing users to make changes without permanently altering the original image.
- Customization and Automation: Photoshop allows users to create and save custom presets, brushes, and actions, enabling them to streamline their workflow and apply consistent styles across multiple images. Additionally, users can take advantage of automation tools like batch processing to apply edits to multiple files simultaneously.
- Integration and Compatibility: Adobe Photoshop seamlessly integrates with other Adobe Creative Cloud applications such as Illustrator, InDesign, and Lightroom, allowing for a smooth workflow between different software. It also supports various file formats, including PSD (native format), JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and more.
- Steep Learning Curve: Photoshop has a vast range of features and tools, making it a complex software to master. Beginners may find it overwhelming and require dedicated time and effort to become proficient. The abundance of options can also lead to a cluttered user interface.
- Expensive Subscription Model: Adobe Photoshop is available as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, which requires a monthly or annual fee. While this model provides access to regular updates and additional Adobe software, it can be costly, especially for occasional users or individuals on a tight budget.
- Resource Intensive: Photoshop is a resource-intensive software that demands a powerful computer system, particularly for handling large files or performing complex operations. Running Photoshop on older or low-spec machines may result in sluggish performance and longer processing times.
Fotor - The Online Photo Editor
Fotor is an online photo editor that offers a large number of useful functions. This program is intuitive and easy to use, with a clear interface that makes it easy for users to find their way around.
Fotor is a good program and is used by both beginners and advanced users. This software offers numerous templates and editing tools with which users professionally edit their images. Moreover, with Fotor users can also create collages and add sophisticated effects to your images.
Visit website: Fotor
- Good filters
- Basic HDR technique
- More than 100 exclusive effects
- Add frames or borders
- Common RAW formats
- User-friendly interface: Fotor has a clean and intuitive interface that makes it easy for users, even beginners, to navigate and edit photos efficiently.
- Wide range of editing tools: Fotor offers a comprehensive set of editing tools, including basic adjustments like cropping, resizing, and rotating, as well as advanced features like filters, effects, and retouching options. This allows users to enhance their photos and achieve professional-looking results.
- Collage and design features: Fotor includes a collage maker and design templates that enable users to create visually appealing collages, posters, social media graphics, and more. The templates provide a convenient starting point for users who may not have design skills.
- Batch processing: Fotor allows users to edit multiple photos simultaneously, saving time and effort when applying similar edits to a group of images.
- Cloud storage and synchronization: With Fotor, users can store their photos in the cloud and access them from any device. This feature ensures that your edited photos are readily available and synchronized across multiple platforms.
- Limited advanced editing capabilities: While Fotor provides a range of editing tools, it may not have the same level of advanced features and precision as professional-grade editing software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. It may not satisfy the needs of professional photographers or those seeking highly precise adjustments.
- Watermark on free version: The free version of Fotor includes a watermark on edited images, which can be removed by upgrading to the paid version. This limitation may be a drawback for users who require watermark-free images but are unwilling to pay for the premium version.
- Limited storage for free users: Free users of Fotor may have limited cloud storage space, which can restrict the number of photos they can store and access remotely. This limitation may be problematic for users with a large number of photos or those who frequently edit and store images.
- Internet connection required: Fotor is primarily an online editing tool, and while it offers a desktop version, an internet connection is necessary to access and use the software. This reliance on internet connectivity may be inconvenient for users in areas with unstable or limited internet access.
- Paid features and subscriptions: Some advanced features and additional resources within Fotor may require a subscription or separate payment, which could be a disadvantage for users who prefer a completely free editing experience or are on a tight budget.
IrfanView - Image Editing and Photo Viewer
IrfanView is a free photo editing software for Windows, developed by Irfan Škiljan. It is a universal viewer program that is suitable for both viewing and editing of different types. Besides, IrfanView offers numerous advanced features such as creating slideshows, converting images to other file formats.
IrfanView is a real powerhouse when it comes to photo editing. Its editing capabilities are on par with those of some more expensive photo editors, and yet users download and use it for free. It offers a wide range of features, including the ability to batch edit, create slideshows, convert files between different formats, and much more.
Free download: IrfanView
- Useful viewer
- Take screenshots
- Supports plugins
- User-friendly interface: IrfanView has a simple and intuitive interface that is easy to navigate, making it accessible to users of all skill levels.
- Lightweight and fast: IrfanView is a lightweight program that doesn't consume excessive system resources. It loads quickly and performs efficiently, even when dealing with large image files.
- Wide range of supported file formats: IrfanView supports a vast array of file formats, including popular ones like JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, and more. It also supports multimedia formats like audio and video files.
- Batch processing capabilities: IrfanView offers batch processing features, allowing users to perform actions on multiple files simultaneously. This feature is particularly useful for resizing, converting, or renaming a large number of images.
- Versatile image editing tools: IrfanView provides a variety of essential image editing tools, such as crop, rotate, resize, adjust brightness/contrast, apply filters, and more. These tools enable users to make basic adjustments to their images without the need for complex software.
- Slideshow creation: IrfanView allows users to create slideshows with customizable transition effects, timings, and background music. It is a convenient way to showcase images or create presentations.
- Plugin support: IrfanView supports a wide range of plugins, which enhance its functionality and extend its capabilities. Plugins can be easily installed to add new features like additional file format support or advanced image filters.
- Limited advanced editing features: While IrfanView offers basic image editing tools, it lacks more advanced features found in dedicated image editing software. Users looking for advanced retouching, layers, or non-destructive editing capabilities may find IrfanView's feature set limited.
- Windows-only software: IrfanView is primarily designed for Windows operating systems and does not have official versions for macOS or Linux. However, there are third-party workarounds available for running IrfanView on non-Windows systems.
- Limited organizational features: IrfanView's organizational capabilities, such as file tagging, metadata management, or advanced sorting options, are relatively basic compared to dedicated photo management software. Users with extensive image libraries may find it lacking in terms of organization and search functionalities.
- Steeper learning curve for advanced features: While IrfanView's interface is user-friendly, some of its advanced features may have a steeper learning curve for users who are less familiar with image editing concepts. It may require some exploration and experimentation to fully utilize the more advanced capabilities.
- Lack of comprehensive user support: IrfanView's official documentation and user support resources are somewhat limited. While there is an online community forum, it may not provide as extensive and immediate support as dedicated help centers or tutorials available for other software.
- Limited multimedia playback capabilities: While IrfanView supports playing audio and video files, its multimedia playback capabilities are relatively basic. Users looking for a full-featured media player may need to rely on dedicated software options for a better experience.
- It's important to note that some of the limitations mentioned above are relative to IrfanView's primary purpose as a lightweight image viewer and editor. While it may not offer all the features of professional image editing software, it provides a convenient and efficient solution for basic to intermediate image processing tasks.
Pixlr - Online Photo Editor, Android and iOS
Web-App, iOS, Android
For a professional photographer it is important to find a free photo editing software. Most people think they need to buy an expensive camera first, but that's not true! This photo editor turn your pictures into works of art. Pixlr is one of the best photo editors and there is no limit to size of files.
Whether you want to enhance your vacation photos or create professional-quality graphics, Pixlr has everything you need. So why not give it a try? Pixlr offers a variety of useful features to help you edit your digital photos. For example, this program lets you easily change colors, remove backgrounds or convert your photos to black and white.
Visit website: Pixlr
- Design templates
- Create collages
- Skin retouching tools
- Online version and mobile or desktop version
- Accessibility: Pixlr is a web-based platform, meaning you can access it from any device with an internet connection. This convenience allows you to edit your photos on the go, without the need to install any software.
- User-friendly interface: Pixlr offers a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate, making it suitable for beginners and casual photo editors. The layout is intuitive, with clear icons and menus, ensuring a smooth editing experience.
- Extensive editing tools: Pixlr provides a comprehensive set of editing tools and features. You can perform basic adjustments like cropping, resizing, and rotating, as well as more advanced edits such as applying filters, adjusting colors, and removing blemishes. The range of options allows you to achieve professional-looking results.
- Layer support: Pixlr supports layers, enabling you to work on different elements of your image separately. This feature gives you greater control and flexibility during the editing process, as you can manipulate specific layers without affecting the rest of the image.
- Integration with cloud storage: Pixlr seamlessly integrates with various cloud storage platforms, such as Google Drive and Dropbox. This integration allows you to directly import and save your photos to the cloud, ensuring easy access and backup of your edited images.
- Limited offline access: As an online tool, Pixlr heavily relies on an internet connection. If you don't have access to the internet or experience a slow connection, it can hinder your ability to use Pixlr effectively.
- Performance limitations: Pixlr's performance may vary depending on the device and internet connection speed. It can sometimes be slower compared to desktop photo editing software, especially when working with large files or using complex editing features.
- Subscription model: While Pixlr offers a free version with basic features, it also provides a premium subscription plan for accessing advanced tools and additional resources. Some users may find the subscription cost restrictive, especially if they only require basic editing capabilities.
- Limited advanced features: While Pixlr has an impressive range of editing tools, it may not offer the same level of sophistication and advanced features as professional desktop photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop. If you require highly specialized or complex editing techniques, Pixlr might not be the ideal choice.
- Online reliance: Pixlr's web-based nature means that it requires an active internet connection to use the tool. If the server experiences downtime or the website encounters technical issues, it can disrupt your editing workflow and potentially lead to data loss if changes were not saved.
What Is a Photo Editing Software?
Photo editing software is a program that uses mathematics and its mathematical formulas to apply desired corrections, manipulations or effects to photos. Most free photo editing software are for Windows PC and with these photos are edited on PC. In most cases, photos come from a digital camera. Generally used formats in photo editing are, for example, JPG, TIFF, BMP or GIF. Editing is divided into layers so that the elements are placed in the foreground or background. Masks are used to set the areas for photo editing and popular functions are create photo collage and photo montage.
The Best Photo Editing Software Must Have:
Corrections and optimization:
Correction of brightness, saturation, contrast, lighting, color correction, exposure, hue, gamma correction and tonal value.
Color depth, color channels, color mode, color spectrum, histogram and gradation curve.
Effects, enhancements and manipulations:
Sharpen, blur, retouch, sepia, photo filters, solarization, replace colors, photo effects, remove background, crop, customizable brushes and visual effects.
How to Edit a Photo
Here is the explanation of how to edit a photo with Fotoworks XL.
Step 1: Click "Open picture" or "Open series of pictures" button
Step 2: Select a photo to edit, or an entire folder of photos to edit.
Step 3: Select an editing function or effect from the menu to apply to a photo. Help videos and tutorials are also available if you need them. There are many functions available here such as color adjustment, black and white effects, sepia, saturation, hue, tone, sharpness, masks and more.
Step 4: After editing a photo, press "Save pictures" or "Save series of pictures" button. This is how easy editing is and it is possible for everyone without PC knowledge.
Best Photo Editing Software: Criteria for Selection
- When deciding on software for your needs, you should first check what kind of images you will be working with. If you're a professional photographer or graphic designer, you'll need a program with more advanced features than someone who just wants to make simple edits to their personal photos.
- Another important factor is your experience with photo editing. If you are new to the world of photo editing, you should opt for a program that is relatively easy to use and that has a large number of tutorials. On the other hand, if you are already familiar with the basics of photo editing software for PC, you should opt for a more powerful program that offers you more creative possibilities.
Some people prefer simplicity of photo editors like FotoWorks XL, while others need advanced features of Photoshop. There are also many options, such as GIMP, that offer a good range of features. It's best to try several photo editors to see which one works best for you. With so much to choose from, you're sure to find the best photo editing software for your needs.
There are a few things to consider when choosing the best photo editing software.
First, consider what kind of edits you want to make. If you only want to make basic corrections like cropping and resizing, a free program like GIMP may be enough. However, if you need more advanced features like layers and masks, you'll need to invest in a paid program like Photoshop.
Another point to consider is your level of experience. If you are new to image editing, you should choose a program that has a steep learning curve. However, if you are an experienced user, you may prefer a program with an intuitive interface.
How We Review Photo Editing Software
Our review team consists of a group of experts who excel in the field of image editing and software evaluation. Each member of the team has extensive expertise and years of experience in these fields. We are familiar with the latest developments in the image editing industry and understand the complexities and demands placed on high-quality software in this field. Our expertise ranges from basic editing techniques to advanced features and specialized tools. As a result, our software team can provide an informed and objective assessment of various photo editing software.
A notable feature of our review team is the use of novel scientific criteria for reviewing photo editing software. These criteria were developed to provide a comprehensive approach to evaluating software performance, usability, efficiency, and quality. Our team has carefully defined these criteria to ensure that they meet current scientific standards while taking into account the specific needs of the imaging industry. By applying these innovative criteria, we are able to conduct objective and comprehensive reviews of photo editing software.
When creating the reviews, we not only took into account the opinions of our team, but also included reviews from the Internet from other reputable websites and popular review platforms. Our team conducted an extensive research and evaluated a wide range of sources to get a complete picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the various photo editing software.
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