It’s time once again to have a look at some of the best free photo editing software. In this review I am not going to be looking at general graphics editors as I have in previous reviews. I will only be listing software that is specialized for photo editing, retouching and management.
If you require a general graphics editor with which to do photo manipulation and other such things, then please take a look at my best free graphics design software review.
|1||PhotoScape||Excellent||Great||Yes||Windows & Mac||8.5/10|
|2||Pixlr||Excellent||Great||No||Windows, Mac, Web, Mobile||8/10|
|3||Fotor||Great||Great||Yes||Windows, Mac, Web, Mobile||7.5/10|
|4||RawTherapee||Good||Good||Yes||Windows & Mac||7/10|
PhotoScape is probably the best free general photo editing tool. It is in some ways more like a photo editing suite rather than just a simple photo editor due to its variety of features.
PhotoScape has an editor which supports most of the basic features you’d expect to see from a photo editor. But it also has a number of preset filters which makes editing much faster and smoother as you don’t have to play around as much with the settings. It also supports batch editing and renaming multiple images. Additionally it can combine several images into collages with custom borders and other features.
PhotoScape 3.7 is available for Windows, but there is also another version called PhotoScape X which is available for Windows 10 and Mac computers.
Pixlr produces a range of photo editing tools that can be used on multiple platforms. These include browser based applications, mobile applications for Android and iOS, and also desktop programs for Windows and Mac computers. Pixlr has three web apps that they are currently maintaining, these include Pixlr Express, Pixlr O-Matic and Pixlr Online Editor.
The Pixlr Online Editor I checked out in my Best Free Graphics Design Software review, so I will not be discussing it in this review.
Pixlr O-Matic is a predecessor to Pixlr Express and Express has many of the same features but also much more. It has a wide range of preset filters and overlays, and a good number of tools that can be used to enhance your photos. The desktop apps are similar to Pixlr Express, albeit less laggy and with some additional features. However, you have to sign up for a free account with Pixlr to be able to utilize all the features on the Pixlr desktop app.
Fotor is a company that makes free photo editing tools for multiple platforms including for desktop computers using Windows and Mac, Android and iOS mobile devices. Fotor also has browser based applications.
With the Fotor web apps you can edit individual images and apply a decent selection of free filters and effects. You can also combine multiple images into collages and design various social media graphics such as Facebook headers and YouTube banners. The desktop application also supports batch editing and renaming of multiple images simultaneously.
RawTherapee is a free open source raw image processing program that can also be used for general photo retouching. The interface of RawTherapee looks quite polished but it is also more complex than some of the other editors in this review.
Obviously based on the name, it does have extensive support for RAW image processing. Making it a good tool for photographers. RawTherapee can also do batch editing of multiple images at the same time. It is available for Windows & Mac, with possible Linux support coming soon.
EXTRA: Google Nik Collection
Google Nik Collection is not a photo editor per se. Rather it is a collection of photo retouching tools and filters. These come as both standalone programs and plugins for various photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop. Nik is available for both Windows and Mac computers. Google acquired the Nik Collection back in 2012 and decided to make it free for everyone in 2016. With the Nik Collection you can enhance your images in various ways. For example Analog Efex Pro 2 simulates vintage film footage and Color Efex Pro 4 can be used for advanced color correction, retouching and creative effects.