Photo editing software is a must-have tool in a photographer’s toolkit. Photoshop is probably the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the best photo editing software for photographers. But, is Photoshop still the best image editing software out there? Well, that is why I have written this photo editing software guide.

Each photo editor has unique needs for their image post-processing software. So, read on to find out the best photo editing software for your specific needs. Furthermore, I have only included PC photo editing software (for Mac, Windows, and Linux). I have another list of the best mobile photo editing apps if you are interested in smartphone photography. 

What is Photo Editing Software?

Photo editing software is used to alter, manipulate, retouch, or enhance digital images. They are essential to the photography process.

Digital photo editing software includes:

This software category ranges from basic apps, which can apply simple effects, to industry-standard programs used by professional photographers for more advanced needs. 

Best Photo Editing Software

Whether you click casual selfies or professional RAW photographs, photo editing software lets you get the most out of your images. The best photo editing software varies based on your workflow. Let’s explore the top picks so you can make an informed decision. 

The Best Photo Editing Software for Desktops in 2024 (Windows, Mac, and Linux):

  • Adobe Photoshop – Best for Advanced Manipulation and Design
  • Adobe Lightroom – Best for Professional Photo Workflow with Cloud Syncing
  • CyberLink PhotoDirector – Best for Combined Workflow, Editing, and Effects
  • GIMP – Best Open Source Photo Editing Software
  • Corel PaintShop Pro – Best for Image Editing Software on a Budget
  • Skylum Luminar Neo – Best for Clean Interface, Filters, and Unique Fixes
  • DxO PhotoLab – Best for Noise Reduction, RAW Conversions, and Camera Profile Corrections
  • Affinity Photo – Best Subscription-Free Photo Editing Software
  • Capture One Pro – Best for Raw File Rendering
  • ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate – Best All-in-One Photo Tools
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements – Best for Beginners and Photo Hobbyists
  • Adobe Photoshop Express – Best Mobile Photo Editing App 

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Adobe Photoshop

Best Overall Photo Editing Software. Suitable for Detailed Image Manipulation and Design. 

Platforms: Windows, MacOS, iOS (iPad only).

Developer: Adobe.

Pricing: Starts at US$20.99/month for Photoshop with 100GB of Cloud Storage.

Pro Tip: You can get the Photography Bundle from Adobe which includes Lightroom Classic, Lightroom, and Photoshop on desktop and iPad, which includes 20GB of cloud storage for US$9.99/month. Know more about pricing from this article on downloading Photoshop.

Pros of Buying

  • Amazing Features.
  • Use Ai Time-savers.
  • Synced Libraries And Cloud Documents.
  • In-built Tools For Mobile And Web Design.
  • Can Use It On The Ipad For On-the-go Editing.
  • A Detailed Set Of Drawing And Typography Tools.
  • A Large Set Of Photo Correction And Manipulation Tools.

Cons of Buying

  • Premium Assets Are Cheap.
  • The Interface Can Be Challenging At Times.
  • Not Suitable For Beginners, It Is Not The Simplest To Use. 
  • No Option For A Lifetime License, Need Monthly Or Yearly Subscriptions.


There is a reason that photo editing software is synonymous with Photoshop. 

Adobe Photoshop is the most popular and powerful photo editing software for photographers on the planet. 

You can expect the latest and cutting-edge features from Adobe in Photoshop first. For example, Adobe Photoshop currently has several clever AI-based Neural filters like Skin Smoothening, Colorize, and Photo Restoration. 

Furthermore, Photoshop includes amazing features and tools for professional photographers and designers. For example, you can do advanced manipulations with complex layers, masking, gradients, text and shape tools, and filters. 

Finally, you can bolster Adobe Photoshop’s capabilities with a wide range of third-party plug-ins.

Who Needs It

Adobe Photoshop is most beneficial for professional and serious photo editors. 

Professionals get a wide range of tools and features to do serious image manipulation and design. 

Adobe Lightroom

Best for Professional Photo Workflow with Cloud Syncing

Platforms: Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and tvOS (Apple TV). 

Developer: Adobe

Pricing: US $9.99/month with 1TB Cloud Storage. 

Pros of Buying

  • Simple, Easy-to-use Interface.
  • Amazing Photo Organization Tools.
  • Powerful Raw Profiles And Filters.
  • Perfect For Light, Color, And Detail Adjustments.
  • Syncs Photos To The Cloud For Easy Access On Other Devices.
  • Lightroom Complements Photoshop For Complete Image Editing.
  • Works On Multiple Devices (Desktop, Mobile, Tablet, And Even Apple TV). 

Cons of Buying

  • Subscription-only Model.
  • Limited Sharing Options.
  • Adobe Forces You To Upload All Photos To Its Cloud Storage.
  • Photo Editing Tools Are Slightly Limited (Compared To Photoshop).


Adobe Lightroom has a simple interface targeted toward regular users. It also offers cloud storage for all photos so you can edit on any device seamlessly.

However, Lightroom lacks powerful photo editing tools like Photoshop. It is best used in tandem with Photoshop for professionals. 

Lightroom provides great photo organization tools so you can manage thousands of photos easily. Also, you get AI search functionality and cloud syncing for advanced usage. 

In conclusion, Adobe Lightroom is one the best photo editing software for finding and organizing your photo collection from any device. So, if you want to learn photo editing, Lightroom is a good package for you. 

Who Needs It

Adobe Lightroom is a great choice for people working with large numbers of photos, like photographers and designers. They normally use Lightroom in tandem with Photoshop. 

Furthermore, Lightroom appeals more to amateurs who do not need plugins or tethered shooting capabilities and don’t mind storing all their photos on the cloud. 

Best for Combined Workflow, Editing, and Effects

Platforms: Windows and MacOS.

Developer: CyberLink.

Pricing: Subscription US $14.99/month, or US $54.99/yearly. 

Pros of Buying

  • Tethered Shooting.
  • Powerful AI Features.
  • Extensive Layer Support.
  • Inexpensive Subscription Cost.
  • Many Complex Animation Effects.
  • Impressive Tools Like A Body Shaper.
  • Intuitive Yet Powerful User Interface.

Cons of Buying

  • No Geotag Maps
  • Occasional Typos
  • Weak Color Matching
  • Occasional Slowness


CyberLink PhotoDirector combines Lightroom’s organization and workflow benefits with Photoshop’s layer photo editing in a clear and intuitive user interface.

While Photoshop is a powerful tool, its UI can be difficult to grasp for beginners and has a long learning curve. On the other hand, CyberLink offers strong fundamentals with powerful functionality.

However, PhotoDirector needs to be more polished, with occasional typos, slowness, and glitches. 

In conclusion, CyberLink PhotoDirector is a solid photo editing software with AI-powered features and cloud storage. 

Who Needs It

PhotoDirector is for enthusiasts and professioanls who need an all-in-one workflow for their image editing software.

Furthermore, CyberLink offers a one-time buying option for those who don’t want a recurring fee. However, with a subscription, you can be frequent updates, content, and access to stock images from Getty. 


Best Open Source Photo Editing Software

Platforms: Windows, MacOS, Linux.

Developer: GIMP Development Team.

Pricing: Free.


  • Completely Free Software. 
  • Open Source with a Large Community. 
  • Highly Customizable with a Large Suite of Plugins.
  • Compatible with Linux (Most of the other options in this list don’t work on Linux).


  • Dated User Interface.
  • Needs to be More User-friendly. 


GIMP is an open-source, free, and cross-platform image editing software for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It will be free forever, so photo editors can use them without worrying about pricing. 

GIMP offers a wide range of editing tools like color correction, painting tools, selection, cloning, and enhancement. 

You can work with various popular file formats with ease. 

However, GIMP has a dated user interface that is challenging to master. 

In conclusion, GIMP is a good option for free, can-do-everything photo editing software for photographers and casuals alike.

Who Needs It

You will enjoy GIMP’s open-source model if you are tired of paying a monthly subscription fee to Adobe for Photoshop and Lightroom. 

Corel PaintShop Pro

Best for Image Editing Software on a Budget

Platforms: Windows.

Developer: Corel.

Pricing: US $79.99 for PaintShop Pro 2023 and $99.99 for PaintShop Pro 2023 Ultimate. 

Pros of Buying

  • Automatic Noise Removal.
  • Lots Of Help And Tutorials.
  • Powerful Effects And Editing Tools.
  • Good Range Of Vector Drawing Tools.
  • No Subscription Is Required, Just A One-time Purchase.
  • Affordable As A Single Purchase (Compared To Photoshop).

Cons of Buying

  • Not As Powerful As Adobe Photoshop.
  • Windows-only, So Macos Users Miss Out.
  • Inconsistent User Interface With Occasional Slowness.


Corel’s PaintShop Pro has been a longtime budget competitor to Adobe Photoshop for Windows users for over twenty years. 

PaintShop Pro has advanced AI tools like Background Replacement and Portrait mode that help designers and photographers do their work quickly.

Designers in particular love PaintShop Pro’s painting tools, brushes, text, and pattern tools for both raster and vector images. 

Photographers benefit from PaintShop Pro’s RAW file support, Photoshop-like layers, masks, scripts, and extensive plug-in support. 

In conclusion, Corel PaintShop Pro is a top choice among photographers and designers fed up with paying monthly (or yearly) fees to Adobe. In addition, its Photoshop-like features make it a powerful tool for Windows users.

Who Needs It

Corel PaintShop Pro helps amateur and professional designers and photographers make powerful edits with RAW files, many layers, and textures. 

Another group that prefers using PaintShop Pro is those who want to avoid regularly paying fees for photo editing software.

Skylum Luminar Neo

Best for Clean Interface, AI, Filters, and Unique Fixes

Platforms: Windows, MacOS

Developer: Skylum 

Pricing: Subscribe for US $59/month or get a one-time purchase for US $79.

Pros of Buying

  • Very Fast Operations.
  • Simple And Intuitive Interface.
  • Unique And Useful Ai Photo Editing Tools.
  • Many Adjustment Tools, Filters, And Effects.

Cons of Buying

  • No Keyword Tagging.
  • Lack Of Face Recognition. 
  • Limited Number Of Presets.


Skylum Luminar Neo is a well-designed photo editing software providing unique and innovative tools. 

The team at Skylum has focused on AI features to help casual editors make smart adjustments without much experience. For example, AI Relight can change the lighting in different areas of the photo based on their distance from the camera. 

You can expect a clear and simple interface in Luminar Neo with powerful AI capabilities. Some AI features include automatic Sky, Skin, and Composition adjustments. 

In conclusion, Skylum Luminar Neo is an impressive photo editing software for photographers focusing on AI-based features. You will not be disappointed working with Luminar.

Who Needs It

Amateur and pro photographers alike will enjoy working with Skylum Luminar Neo as it’s compatible with both MacOS and Windows. In addition, Skylum offers a good one-time price for this image editing software. 

However, it probably won’t be the main photo editing software used by a professional photographer. But, there is good news on that front. 

Lightroom and Photoshop users can get Luminar Neo as a plug-in. Thus, you can easily use the AI features of Luminar and then return to your regular workflow in Photoshop!

DxO PhotoLab

Best for Noise Reduction, RAW Conversions, and Camera Profile Corrections

Platforms: Windows, and MacOS.

Developer: DxO.

Pricing: US $54.99 for Essential and US $79.99 for Elite.

Pros of Buying

  • Watermarking Tool.
  • Remove Haze Easily.
  • Make Geometry Corrections.
  • Best Tool for RAW Conversion.
  • Excellent for Noise Reduction (Denoising).
  • Accurate Autocorrection Based on Camera and Lens.

Cons of Buying

  • No HEIC/HEIF Support
  • Noise-Reduction Can Be Slow
  • Limited Features and Workflow Tools


DxO PhotoLab offers powerful photo editing tools to help professionals. However, DxO also helps casuals by automatically making photos look better. 

The single most important tool in PhotoLab is the DeepPrime XD noise reduction. You can use this powerful noise-reduction technology to make unusable photos usable. 

Other useful features and tools in PhotoLab are the ability to remove chromatic aberration, automatically fix lighting issues (with the SmartLighting tool), correct lens profiles, and geometric fixes. 

In conclusion, DxO PhotoLab is a good tool for specific use cases. 

Who Needs It

If you want to convert RAW files and reduce noise, DxO PhotoLab is the software for you. On the other hand, if you only require noise reduction and lens correction, DxO offers a less-expensive software called DxO PureRAW. 

Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom users can also use DxO PhotoLab as a plug-in. 

Affinity Photo

Best Subscription-Free Photo Editing Software

Platforms: Windows, MacOS, iOS (iPad)

Developer: Serif

Pricing: US $69.99 for Windows and MacOS versions and US $19.99 for the iPad. Get a Universal License for Windows, MacOS, and iPad at US $169.99.

Pros of Buying

  • Layer Editing.
  • Million-plus Zoom.
  • One-time Payment.
  • Support for RAW Files.
  • Available for Windows, Mac, and iPad.
  • Strong Brush Selection and Customization.
  • Works With Both Raster and Vector Images.
  • Panorama, HDR, and Focus Stack Merging Tools.

Cons of Buying

  • Weak Photo Adjustment Tools.
  • Lacks Photoshop-level Features.
  • Design Templates Are Not Included.
  • Does Not Have Import And Photo Management Tools.


Affinity Photo is the best one-time purchase photo editing software in the market. 

It is a viable alternative to Adobe Photoshop due to its professional feature set. 

Affinity Photo can handle RAW photos, batch processing, smart objects, and non-destructive layer-based photo editing. 

However, Affinity Photo lacks some of the high-end features of Photoshop like the AI-powered Neural filters. 

In conclusion, Affinity Photo is a top image editing software offering a smooth workflow. 

Who Needs It

Photo editors who prefer not to pay monthly subscription fees will like the one-off payment model for Affinity Photo. 

Want to jump ship from Adobe Photoshop? Affinity Photo supports .psd files so you will be able to work with your current files. 

Capture One Pro

Best for Raw File Rendering

Platforms: Windows, MacOS.

Developer: Capture One

Pricing: Monthly Subscription at US $24/month and annually at US $179. Also, there is an option for a one-time payment for a license at US $299. 

Pros of Buying

  • Fast Import.
  • Improved User Interface.
  • Useful Photo Adjustment Tools.
  • Excellent Raw File Conversion Quality.

Cons of Buying

  • No Face Recognition.
  • Weak For Online Sharing.
  • Interface Can Get Complex, Especially With Layers.


Capture One Pro is a Lightroom-like photo editing software with some Photoshop features. In addition, it offers photo workflow control like Lightroom for photographers. 

Capture One Pro is an excellent software for rendering RAW files accurately. In addition, you can make advanced edits using many adjustment tools like layers and color grading. 

In conclusion, Capture One Pro is an excellent Lightroom competitor with only a few weaknesses like a lack of geotagging and face recognition.

Who Needs It

Capture One Pro is built for professional photographers. First, photographers can use the software’s tethered shooting features to frame the perfect shot. Then, if you need to edit the shot or share it, Capture One Pro provides excellent editing and collaboration features. 

ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

Best All-in-One Photo Tools (File Manager, RAW Editing, and Layers)

Platforms: Windows.

Developer: ACDSee.

Pricing: Subscription at US $8.90/month or US $89/year. You can also get a one-time download at $149.99. 

Pros of Buying

  • Merge Photos Easily.
  • Hdr, Focus Stacking.
  • Tons Of AI Features And Actions.
  • Face Recognition And Geotagging.
  • Various Modes Like Edit, Develop, Manage, Search, And Media Modes. 

Cons of Buying

  • Slow Import Performance.
  • Many Tools Are Buried In Menus. 
  • Less Powerful Noise And Chromatic Aberration Tools.


ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate is truly the “ultimate” photo editing software. It offers the entire spectrum of photo editing tools for file management, RAW photo editing, and easy organization for photography studios

Professionals and amateurs both benefit from using this all-in-one software. It has many features like face recognition, geotagging, layer editing, and more. 

In conclusion, ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate offers features found in both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. In addition, it offers powerful lighting and color correction tools for excellent photo editing.

Who Needs It

ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate is perfect for professional photographers and serious amateurs that need both workflow editing and full pixel & layer editing in one software. 

The option of a one-time price will be appealing to users who don’t want to pay monthly for competing products (looking at you Adobe). 

Adobe Photoshop Elements

Best for Beginners and Photo Hobbyists

Platforms: Windows, MacOS.

Developer: Adobe.

Pricing: One-Time Purchase for US$ 99.99. 

Pros of Buying

  • Easy To Learn And Use.
  • Many Image Output Options.
  • Powerful Search Functionality.
  • Many Powerful Photo Manipulation Tools.
  • One-time Purchase, So No Ongoing Subscription.
  • Excellent Face-tagging And Geotagging Capabilities.
  • Provides Helpful Guidance For Advanced Techniques.

Cons of Buying

  • Missing a lot of tools from the standard Photoshop.
  • Not included in the Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • Not enough social sharing options.
  • Lack of lens geometry profiles.


Adobe Photoshop Elements has many features that standard Photoshop has. But, the image editing software has a friendlier interface suitable for beginners. Also, the smart Organizer utility helps keep track of your photo collection.

Photoshop Elements include Guided Edit modes that help new photo editors create amazing effects with their images. However, that does not mean you don’t have standard photo editing tools. Adobe Photoshop Elements provides layers, filters, and other powerful tools.

A big advantage of Photoshop Elements is the one-time fee. As a result, you can avoid the monthly fees associated with Adobe’s other photo editing software. 

In conclusion, Adobe Photoshop Elements is great for folks who are getting started with photo editing. 

Who Needs It

Adobe Photoshop Elements is helpful for beginners and photo editing hobbyists. If you want to make edits to your family photos but find Photoshop too daunting, this offering from Adobe will help you out. 

Furthermore, you will appreciate Photoshop Elements’ one-time purchase model if you dislike paying a monthly subscription fee. 

Adobe Photoshop Express

Best Mobile Photo Editing App

Platforms: iOS (iPhone, iPad), Android, and Windows

Developer: Adobe

Pricing: Free to download on App Store, PlayStore, and Windows Store. The premium version starts at US $4.99/month or US $34.99/year. 

Pros of Buying

  • Great Social Meme Tools.
  • Clear User Interface.

Cons of Buying

  • Many Features Need An Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription. 
  • Doesn’t Have Enough Features For Retouching. 


Adobe Photoshop Express is different from the other software in this list. Photoshop Express is Adobe’s answer to smartphone photo editing. 

It is a solid smartphone app that is available for free. So, for quick edits on your smartphone (and on the go), Photoshop Express is a solid option. 

The premium version starts at US $4.99 per month if you require additional features. You will get the full set of filters, borders, effects, stickers, and retouching tools. 

Who Needs It

Adobe Photoshop Express is suitable for smartphone users who want to make quick edits directly from the mobile app. You can make quick edits and share them online immediately.

Why Should You Edit Your Photos?

Photo editing is part of a photographer’s job. 

You can make your stunning photos even more amazing by adjusting your photos using image editing software. 

Editing photos also helps reduce the size of your image files, which is important for using photos online. Smaller file sizes make websites load faster, helping satisfy customers and improve search engine rankings. 

So, photo editing is a win all around!

Having intuitive and easy-to-use photo editing software helps save time while taking your images to the next level.

Benefits of Photo Editing Software

Why should you use Photo Editing Software? There are many benefits of using photo editing software for photographers and graphic designers, including:

  • Enhancements: Photo editing software can be used to enhance your image quality. For example, you can adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and other parameters. As a result, your image will look its best and visually appealing. 
  • Correction: Photo editing software can be used to correct many issues in your images. For example, use image editing software to remove red-eye, distortion, and color correction. Thus, your image will look as close to the original as possible.
  • Creativity: Photo editing software provides tools and features for creative experiments with different effects, like filters, layers, and blending modes. As a result, you can create unique and artistic images.
  • Time-saving: Photo editing software can automate many tasks and provide shortcuts for repetitive actions. As a result, you save time and can focus on more important tasks.
  • Collaboration: Many image editing software help with collaboration and teamwork. For example, you can use cloud editing and file management so that multiple people can work on the same project and share their work.

Overall, photo editing software offers various benefits that help photographers and casuals to improve their image quality, save time, and be more creative.\

Types of Photo Editing Software

In general, there are two main types of photo editing software: 

  • Beginner
  • Professional

Photo editing software for beginners helps hobbyists and casual photographers to make simple edits to their photographs. Some beginner photo editing software includes Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Lightroom Classic, and Pixlr. 

On the other hand, professional photo editing software is for high-end photographers and photo studios. They can use software like Photoshop and Capture One Pro (among many others) to make powerful edits to tell their story.

History of Photo Editing Software

The history of photo editing software begins in the late 1960s when the first image editing software was created for the Lucasfilm computer graphics division. This early software, called the Display File System, was designed to manipulate images on a graphics terminal.

In the 1980s and 1990s, desktop publishing revolutionized the printing industry, and photo editing software became a common tool for professional photographers, graphic designers, and desktop publishers. Some of the first commercially available photo editing software for personal computers included Adobe Photoshop, Corel Photo-Paint, and JASC Paint Shop Pro.

In the early 2000s, digital cameras became widespread, and photo editing software became a necessary tool for amateur photographers as well. The rise of the internet also made it possible to share photos easily, and online photo editing tools, such as Fotor, emerged.

In recent years, photo editing software has become even more sophisticated, using advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Examples of such software include Adobe Lightroom, Skylum Luminar, and DxO PhotoLab.

Today, photo editing software is a crucial tool for photographers, graphic designers, and everyday users who want to improve their photos or create unique images. With the ongoing advancements in technology, it is likely that photo editing software will continue to evolve and become even more powerful in the future.

What is the Future of Photo Editing Software?

The future of photo editing software is likely to be focused on developing more advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools to make photo editing easier, faster, and more intuitive. 

AI-powered tools will be able to analyze photos and make suggestions for adjustments and improvements automatically. These tools will become more sophisticated and will be able to recognize objects, people, and scenes in a photo, allowing for more precise and personalized edits.

Another trend in the future of photo editing software is likely to be the integration of virtual and augmented reality (AR/VR) technologies. This will enable users to preview their edits in a more immersive way, giving them a better idea of how the final result will look.

Cloud-based photo editing is a popular trend that continues to grow. All the processing is done on remote servers rather than on a local device. As a result, photo editing is getting more accessible from anywhere and will allow for collaboration and sharing of photos and edits in real time.

Finally, the trend towards mobile-first photo editing will continue to grow, with more and more users editing photos on their smartphones and tablets rather than on a desktop or laptop computer.

How to Use Photo Editing Software?

Many parts of an image are manipulated using photo editing software. 

Most of the photo editing software described above can do basic editing, including:

  • Cropping: Adjust The Image Dimensions.
  • Saturation: Adjust The Dramatic Appearance Of All Colors.
  • Exposure: How Much Brightness Or Light Is Applied To The Image.
  • Noise/grain: Adjust The Level Of Detail Or Distortion Between Pixels.
  • Burning/dodging: Adjusts The Contrast Between Light And Dark Areas.
  • Color Balance: Adjust The Intensity Levels Across The Color Spectrum.

More advanced photo editing software (which is basically all the software described above), enables background removal, layering, healing, cloning, and selective adjustments. Furthermore, there are specific software for particular jobs, like Background Removal Software.

Other advanced features include artistic functionalities like textures, brush and pencil strokes, and 3D design.


In conclusion, the best photo editing software for desktops depends on the use case and personal preferences. A lot of the image editing software shown above offers free trials. So, I recommend you try out different software if you want to get a feel for them. 

I hope you found the information on the best photo editing software useful! Let me know which software you use for your photo editing tasks. Thanks for reading this guide on the best photo editing software for 2024. Happy Editing! 

Photo Editing Software FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the various photo editing software. 

Which Photo Editing Software Should I Use?

The choice of photo editing software depends on the use case. For example, a selfie photographer will have different photo editing needs compared to a professional photographer using a studio setup. You should read the reviews of the various options to select the best photo editing software for your needs.

What is the Best Photo Editing Software for Beginners?

For beginners just starting in the field of photo editing, the best options are the free apps included in their devices. They include Google Photos (on Android), Microsoft Photos (on Windows), and Apple Photos (on Macs). These image editing software are helpful to make minor edits like basic cropping, light, and color manipulation. 

However, if you need a bit more power, the next step is Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom may be a bit more difficult to learn but is still suitable for beginners to make edits with. Another offering from Adobe, Photoshop Elements, is also an excellent choice. For example, you get the option for Guided Edits, which shows you how to create amazing effects.

What Is the Best Free Image Editing Software?

People who are just starting out with photo editing, or only occasionally edit their photographs, are probably looking for free photo editing software. In that case, they have a few options, including the software that comes for free with their desktop operating system. 

Windows users will benefit from Microsoft Photos. It includes a touch-friendly interface with advanced features like blemish removal, face recognition, auto-tagging, RAW file support, and more! So, you will not be left wanting with the default software. 

Mac users also have access to Apple Photos, a free photo editing software. It is connected to Apple’s iCloud storage so you can edit photos from any of your devices (iPhone, iPad, and Mac). 

Of course, any conversation about the best free photo editing software will not be complete with the ever-popular GIMP software. GIMP is open-source software available on Mac, Windows, and Linux with amazing functionality. You can also add plug-ins to get extended, Photoshop-like features.

Can I Edit Photos Online?

Yes, you can! In the best photo editing software guide, I have only included the desktop installable software options. However, there are many top online photo editing tools available, like Flickr, Canva, and Google Photos. 

Online photo editing tools are good but lack many features available on paid desktop software or apps.

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software for RAW Image Files?

Adobe Photoshop is great for RAW photo editing with the Camera RAW plugin. Another offering from Adobe is Lightroom, which is very good for editing RAW photos. Other popular RAW photo editing software are CyberLink PhotoDirector, Affinity Photo, Luminar Neo, and Capture One Pro.

What Is the Best Image Editing Software for Professionals?

In simple words, Adobe Photoshop is the best photo editing software for professionals. It offers many powerful features like layer editing, vast plug-in support, color correction tools, and much more. 

Professionals require more than one photo editing software of course. They can manage their workflow (importing and organizing photos) with Adobe Lightroom or AfterShoot Pro. On the other hand, tethered shooting is best done with software like Capture One Pro, which offers many advanced tools.

This page was last edited on 15 February 2023, at 9:15 am