Most content creators as a rule know what Photoshop is, but this tool has evolved dramatically in the 20 years. In recent years, software was criticized for a variety of reasons, ranging from extra high costs to decreased PC performance due to heavy processor resource usage.

Replacing Photoshop on Mac: 10 Alternatives

So what to do if you need a powerful effects layer, retoucher, background remover? Let’s pick up alternatives to the famous software.

Replacing Photoshop on Mac: 10 Alternatives

1. Apple’s Photos app

The Photos app is known to all Mac owners. However, not everyone knows how to use the rather wide functionality of the program. Basically, everyone is used to just storing their pictures and videos here, sorting and viewing “Memories”.

However, here you can make color correction of the photo, equalize the exposure, add contrast, play with levels, white balance, etc. Or apply existing filters and use the basic cropping type settings.

2. Serif Photo Plus X7

One of the direct competitors of Photoshop but for a quite affordable price. Well, it may seem unfriendly to novice users, its interface is quite complicated. However, in the right hands, the PhotoPlus X7 can truly surprise.

3. Pixelmator

Pixelmator, a graphics editor for Macs, has swiftly acquired popularity. The project is known for its fast performance and was built using open source software and macOS technology. Pixelmator includes a lot of options for working with raster and vector graphics, as well as drawing. Moreover, the app is equipped with a simple and user-friendly interface, which even a beginner can master.

4. Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo is a multifunctional photo editing solution with a huge set of retouching and image processing tools that can support hundreds of layers and process RAW files at the same time. What’s more, some of its features and brush library leave the competition far behind, making Affinity Photo the main Photoshop alternative for passionate creators.

5. Polarr

The app, which is a high-quality equivalent of Adobe Lightroom for Mac, features HSL adjustment, face auto-detection, several image parameter settings (color, lighting, perspective, saturation, etc.), a filter library, and the ability to work with JPEG and PNG as well as most RAW formats.

You can also create your own preset filters here.

Replacing Photoshop on Mac: 10 Alternatives

6. Luminar

A specialized photo editing solution that many professionals have already preferred to another powerful tool from Adobe – Lightroom. Luminar offers a whole range of tools, including various presets, AI-based filters, noise removal, and more. The application has a user-friendly interface that simplifies the interaction with the tools, automatically adapting to the user’s work style.

7. Fotor

A free photo editing software that allows you to quickly and easily enhance your photos. Fotor allows you to adjust the brightness and size of the image, retouch the portrait, and make a collage. The program has a whole set of design tools: drop shadow, alignment, cloning. Photos can be decorated with stickers and icons.


The free GIMP photo editor is open source, so it is equipped with many different tools for working with pictures – from basic things to serious color correction, adding effects, working with brushes, selection tools and more.

GIMP is famous for supporting all popular photo formats and even a lot of rare ones.

9. BeFunky

BeFunky is a mobile photo editor, but it’s also available on the web version. The application has a convenient automatic color correction function, manual point editing, changing proportions and sizes. Users absolutely adore the built-in database of effects, inscriptions and other decorative features.

10. Lightroom

We’ve already mentioned this awesome tool on the list. Lightroom is a photo manager that offers tons of editing options. This photo editor is sometimes preferred over more advanced Photoshop thanks to its proprietary cloud gallery for working with a collection of photos. There are also plenty of tools here, and the interface is more responsive and more loyal to beginners.

Replacing Photoshop on Mac: 10 Alternatives

3 bonus tips on photo editing

Work with pictures only on a computer with a high-quality screen

The monitor is the eyes of the editor. When retouching, correct, objective color reproduction is important. Macs are famous for good color reproduction, but if you have changed the screen on your device, be prepared that the quality of processing will decrease.

Make a plan of action

Often the editor, having opened the image, doesn’t know what he wants to get as a result, and starts to click all the settings. Perhaps this approach is good at first when learning the functions of photo editors. But in the future, it will negatively affect the result.

Therefore, before starting work, make a plan. As a rule, pros start with RAW conversion, dynamic range adjustment, white balance and exposure adjustment, horizon alignment and perspective distortion.

Don’t work with photos for a long time without a break

The eyes get used to the picture on the screen, and over time, the perception of color changes. If you look at saturated colors for a long time, they will no longer appear as such, you will want to increase the saturation. Therefore, it is important to take breaks at work, say, every 15-30 minutes.

Good luck!

iLounge author Lucy Bennett

Lucy Bennett is a Contributing Editor at iLounge. She has been writing about Apple and technology for over six years. Prior to joining iLounge, Lucy worked as a writer for several online publications.