Best photo editing software? 7 Photoshop alternatives tested and rated

Best photo editing software? 6 Photoshop alternatives tested and rated

How we tested this photo editing software

Serif PhotoPlus X6 Review: is this budget photo editing software better than Photoshop?

All of the photo editing software featured here were tested on a dual-core computer with 8Gb RAM in order to achieve a level playing field for speed and performance comparisons.

Lightroom 4, Aperture 3.4.3 and DxO Optics Pro were run under Mac OS X 10.8, while Elements 11, PaintShop Pro X5 and PhotoPlus X6 were tested with Windows 7.

The applications were evaluated using a range of criteria:

  • Range of tools compared to Photoshop
  • Additional options that are missing or less advanced in Photoshop
  • Ease of use and interface design
  • Range of effects and quality of results
  • Suitability for users of different levels

The brief was principally to find which program(s) are genuine alternatives to Photoshop, but also to highlight new advances or ideas in image-editing that Photoshop users may not have considered.

We use reviewers with long-standing experience in their respective fields, both with the products being tested and their previous versions. Our reviews also allow for the latest trends and developments in the marketplace.

PAGE 1: Why you might want a Photoshop alternative
PAGE 2: The photo editing software we tested
PAGE 3: How we tested this photo editing software
PAGE 4: Best photo editing software – our top Photoshop alternative


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