With the barrage of smartphones hitting the shelves over the last few years, it’s becoming increasingly easy to take professional looking photos and share them online. But what happens when your photo isn’t quite right and needs a little bit of a touch up? This is where photo editing software and tools come into play. Today’s list will share the 12 best free photo editing software.
No longer do you need to fork out the insane price tag for adobe’s creative suite. But unfortunately Microsoft paint won’t do the job, you and your photos deserve better than a few measly sliders and cropping tools. All of the tools in this list are completely free, though you might have to sign up to download. They will cover a wide range of features from hue/saturation all the way to path making and layer masks.
12 Best Free Photo Editor Software For Windows
Table of Contents
Here are 12 Best Free Photo Editor Software For Windows.
This is really the best photo editor you can get apart from Photoshop itself. Gimp has been around for a very long time and runs on any operating system. The tool is now 20 years old and slowly starting to show its age, but for simple photo editing in a snap, you can find no better tool anywhere. Gimp allows you to create entire projects using its layer based editing interface.
Users and developers get together to create a plethora of unique plugins which expand the functionality of the tool. Gimp is the top of this list due to its popularity and continual improvements. Sure some of the tool looks 20 years old, and most of it is, but the user community have continually improved the tool to create a rival of Photoshop and go to for any aspiring designer.
PicMonkey is a popular and simple tool that allows basic photo editing and a little bit more. The user interface is divided into four sections: Editing, Touchup, Design and Collage. Hundreds of tools can be found under the four sections. Impressive tools lie under the touch up section which allow for easy blemish removals and fake tan. This tool is ideal for anyone, with any level of experience from professional image editor to humble hobbyist.
This unusual photo editor can do much more than just touch up your image. On the surface, it looks like any other editor you can find, but delve into the effects and features options and you will find hundreds of useful features from raw conversion and image splitting all the way to gif creation and sheet music printing. The developers made no attempt then simulate the Photoshop interface so this one may be a little bit tricky to get to grips with. Ideal for beginners who are just venturing into photo editing.
4. Google Nik
Google is well known for purchasing smaller companies to join the monolithic corporation, and it shows no mercy in the editing world. It purchased German developer Nik in 2012. Nik is a suite of tools created for graphic designers and sold for $500 per package before google acquired it. Now the software is completely free and is a must have for any designer on a budget. Here you will find useful tools and features to remove noise, manipulate color and much much more. Especially when you integrate the user made plugins.
Browser based photo editing and quick filtering. Pixlr is a great little tool that is available on all platforms including your smartphone and tablet. The Desktop version boasts the largest range of features. Ideal for users with a low ended system as it is browser based and doesn’t require much in the way of local processing. All of the staple tools are available here such as layers, color selection, layer masks and path tracking.
With its simple user interface and huge range of filter options, you can turn a dull image into a masterpiece worthy of any art academy. Try experimenting with the filter options and be amazed at the capability of this browser based photo editor!
Easy to use photo enhancement software. That’s how we sum up Fotor. You won’t find any brushes or stamps here. Fotor is just for entire image filters and touch ups. The library of filters is amazing for a free piece of kit. The tool can become quite high end in some aspects, with tilt focus and sliders for a huge range of different transitions. Throw in a batch processing tool and you have yourself a powerful photo editor, ideal for the pro photographer whose images don’t need much TLC.
Fancy filters what you’re looking for? Look no further, Vintager is what you need. This one doesn’t have a whole showcase of high end features, but does offer a stunning selection of visual filters to apply to your image. With hundreds of filters ranging from the retro sepia all the way to ultra-modern pure crisp filters, you will find what you need and more from Vintager. Ideal for the Instagram addict or photo editing hobbyist, Vintager makes photo editing a fun and rewarding process.
8. Sumo Paint
“In browser editing” is great for people with low end pc’s or a very tight budget. The tool works right in your internet browser, so you don’t need to play around with downloads or installations. Simply load up the webpage and open up your project and you’re good to go. Many features are available but some do seem more of a gimmick than a professional tool. Nonetheless, Sumo Paint is a great starting place to have fun with some images for the beginner.
More of an image viewer than an editor, Irfanview is a great tool for the fast sorting and filtering of your images. The file size is incredibly small, meaning that even the lowest end of users can make the most of the software. It can do more than just view your images though; it has a batch processor which allows some subtle changes to be made to a whole heap of images with ease.
10. On1 Effects Free
This is a simple tool that is completely free! A spin off tool from the popular On1 creative suite, this tool is ideal for beginners. You will find all the standard features and design styles using layers. Have fun playing around with the sliders for your image to experiment with exposure, contrast and saturation and experiment with the unique tool which lets you paint on the filters instead of applying them to the entire image. This allows for some truly unique pieces of work!
Picasa is another tool from those data giants over at Google. Originally designed as a tool for sorting a viewing our photographs. It has since evolved into a simple photo editing tool which allows you to adjust the various aspects of your image and enhance its appearance. Simple one click editing allows you to touch up a photo with ease.
Paint.net is the simple alternative to GIMP. It has a few features but nothing to crazy, Paint.net is great for those who just need to make a few adjustments to an image, rather than create a composition or collage. The name may seem like it is just another paint software for windows, but in fact it is a full blown photo editor, it just lacks the professional features of other pieces of software on this list.
This is great for those who need something with a bit more punching power than Microsoft Paint, but don’t want to be overwhelmed by Photoshop and its intrusive user interface. The tool works well on low end as well as high end systems, with very fast reactions you won’t be waiting for your brushes to render no matter what system you are using.