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SoftwareMedia Blog | November 29, 2014

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The 4 Best Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop CS6

The 4 Best Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop CS6

Adobe Photoshop has dominated the image editing and designing software niche for a long time now. It’s powerful, an amazing piece of software, but also quite expensive. Many amateurs who are looking for simpler functionality or just a small fraction of the functionality Photoshop has are turning to alternatives to Adobe’s powerhouse.

We’ve compiled some of the more popular, cheaper (sometimes free!) alternatives to Adobe Photoshop CS6 below. We hope you find these useful!


1. CorelDRAW Premium Suite X6

Whether you’re an aspiring artist or an experienced designer, CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite X6 is a trusted graphic design software solution. With its content-rich environment and professional graphic design, photo-editing and website design software, you have everything you need to express your style and creativity with endless possibilities.

What’s included?

· CorelDRAW X6

Intuitive vector illustration and page-layout application


Professional image-editing application

· Corel PowerTRACE X6

Accurate bitmap-to-vector tracing tool

· Corel Website Creator X6

Powerful do-it-yourself website design software

· Corel CAPTURE X6

Simple one-click screen capture utility

· Corel CONNECT X6

Instant content finder

· PhotoZoom Pro 2

Convenient PHOTO-PAINT plug-in to enlarge digital images

· ConceptShare

Interactive online collaboration tool


2. Sketchbook Designer 2012

Autodesk SketchBook Designer 2012 illustration software lets you explore design concepts and produce stunning artwork. In addition to the sketching capabilities and quality results that professionals have come to expect from Autodesk SketchBook Pro software, SketchBook Designer enables professional designers and artists to use a hybrid paint and vector workflow for concept design illustration and graphic design. Within the intuitive SketchBook creative environment, even new users can be productive within minutes.

Product Features

  • Unique Hybrid Raster/Vector Environment
  • Optimized for both pen-based (freehand) and mouse interactions
  • Highly discoverable interface; easy to use without compromising quality or functionality


3. Pixlr

Pixlr Editor is a relatively advanced and powerful free online image editor. There are quite a few different free online image editors available and this can make it difficult for users to decide which is right for them. To an extent, most of these web applications fall into two broad groups.

The first group is for casual users looking for a straightforward way to improve their digital photos before sharing them and Pixlr Express is an example of such an application. Pixlr Editor, however, falls into the second group and these look like fully fledged pixel based image editors that run in a web browser. Anyone who has ever used Adobe Photoshop will feel very comfortable using Pixlr Editor, though there are some idiosyncrasies that can disrupt the flow a little.

Pixlr Editor is a good looking, free, online image editor with a number of attractive features:

  • Clear and logical user interface
  • Layers support with blending modes, masks and layer styles
  • All the tools you’d expect from a fully fledged pixel based image editor
  • Quick and responsive in use
  • Powerful adjustment tools including Curves and Levels
  • Full screen mode maximizes work space and makes it feel like a desktop application
  • Extensive range of filters for creative effects
  • Save and share images online using the built in save to option

4. Gimp

GIMP is arguably the most powerful free photo editor available today. With that comes the Photoshop comparisons. Often lauded as the “free Photoshop,” the GIMP does offer many features similar to Photoshop, but it has a steep learning curve to match.

GIMP is a bitmap/pixel based image manipulation program for photo editing and retouching, and creating images and animations. It offers basic and advanced image editing and retouching tools – painting, drawing and selection tools, layers and channel support, selection masks, color adjustments, paths, etc. Features can be extended through the use of plug-ins and scripts. Hundreds of plug-ins are available in the GIMP Plugin Registry. GIMP Supports a huge number of file formats for display and export and supports pressure- and tilt-sensitive graphics tablets and many other hardware input devices.


  • Free.
  • Frequently updated with new features and fixes.
  • It’s community developed, so users can have direct input on new features.
  • Customizable and extensible through the use of plug-ins, scripts, etc.
  • Runs on many platforms including GNU/Linux (i386, PPC), Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista), Mac OS X, Sun OpenSolaris, FreeBSD


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