As of September 19, 2017, PicMonkey cut down all restrictions on the use of their premium features, so basically, it is now really a free online photo editing software, anyone can use it full-scale.
You have to go Premium to download or share edited photos.
If you're looking for a good web-based option, PicMonkey is one of the best photo editing software, it offers a huge selection of features, templates, effects, and fonts to help you create totally cool pics from your photos.
Retouching, Design tools, Collage templates, PrintDirect, Effects, Frames, Hub storage
Freemium, 7 days trial for Premium
CyberLink's professional photo editing software works perfectly not only with images but with video as well. It is the easiest thing now to make GIFs, photos with motion, and to catch all the excellent moments and make flawless photos from screenshots.
Only Ultra works with Mac computers.
One of the fullest desktop photo editing software options, PhotoDirector will enable you to make the most beautiful images for social networks, blogs, or simply to print out and hang on your wall.
Windows 7 and later
Mac OS X 10.8 and later (Ultra only)
AI Style Effects, Blending modes, Content-aware removal, Beautification tools, Video editing tools, RAW decoding, 1-click presets, Over 100 lens profiles, CyberLink Cloud, 40+ overlay templates, Tethered Shooting, Import GIF as Multi-image Sequence, Face Tag UI, HEIF support, etc.
The pack of latest improvements includes enhancement of existing tools like path, brush, pen, and others. There is also a built-in exclusive pack of over 1,000 brushes created by a renowned illustrator Kyle T. Webster.
Interface language can only be selected during installation.
Adobe's Photoshop is the most popular photo editing software today, used by professional photographers and designers worldwide. As s part of the Creative Cloud program, it offers the all-encompassing functionality for your creativity.
Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
macOS 10.13 (High Sierra), macOS 10.12 (Sierra), Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
Access to Lightroom photos, Brush stroke smoothing, Curvature Pen, Quick Share, Exclusive brushes from Kyle T. Webster, Custom path color and width, Group layer arranging, Tooltips, 360 panorama workflow, Support for Microsoft Dial, HEIF support, Masking, etc.
Macphun is a company that offers photo editing software for Mac that has been named the best for five years in a row. It has pro-level tools and uses the world's first AI-powered filter, the Accent.
No photo library management tool.
With Macphun, you can choose to either use a single all-things-covered photo editing software or a selection of smaller and cheaper dedicated apps if you only need a specific feature or two (or six).
Mac OS X 10.10.5 and later
(Windows support for Aurora HDR)
Accent AI filter, Smart editor, Over 300 tools, RAW support, Customizable interface, Works as a plug-in
Windows support, HDR-tailored tools, Batch processing, Advanced tone-mapping
A set of dedicated apps for certain tasks, Fully integrates with Luminar
15 days for Luminar
The Ultimate package includes additional apps dedicated to performing specific tasks but if you don't need them you can purchase the core app only and save some money.
Some tools need to be bought additionally.
PaintShop Pro 2018 is a good option for beginners as it has a simplified interface as well as a complete one so after growing your skills you won't need new photo editing software, you'll just switch to another workspace with more features.
Over 100 royalty-free backgrounds, Photo-to-drawing/painting feature, Simple RAW editing, Several crop composition guides, Text tools, Scripting engine, Face recognition, Batch processing, Social media features
PicMonkey Photo editor. Design maker. Idea realizer.
Run Wild with Your Photos
PicMonkey is a browser-based photo editing software created by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. When it was all only starting in 2012, PicMonkey had a pretty basic set of options for photo editing; today, it is one of the most advanced online tools where you can use layers of effects, add stickers and text, change the image this way and that. It is actually kind of awesome.
PicMonkey offers just about everything, from retouching tools to edit people's photos (everything down to teeth whitening and blemish removal) to overlays and mood-altering effect to apply to your favorite landscape images and photos of nature or your pets' best shots. Altering or adding makeup? Here's your eyeliner, mascara, lip tint, shadows. Visual weight loss options (because we all know that photos add weight!), whisker grow, hair highlights—everything you can imagine is accounted for. Hell, you can even create a Haloween look with gore elements and scary "makeup" then go add a "ghostly" mood or a haunted house aura and scare your family and friends to the moon and back. Themed effects are a blessing here, they make it all so much more fun. And the best thing is? PicMonkey is a free online photo editing software.
The selection of templates offered by PicMonkey is a great choice when it comes to making designs for social media, beautifying your profile and posts. There are options for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. If you need a business card or an invitation to just about any event, PicMonkey can help with it, too. Announcement pictures, postcards, collages—it is simple and fast to get. You can even select a size to print it right away, then order it with PicMonkey Print Shop, and they will deliver the completed item to your mailbox.
Up till September 2017, PicMonkey had a policy similar to the majority of Freemium services on the net. That is, you could use a limited number of features for free and obtain access to the whole list by buying one of two paid options: Premium or Supremium. Now, all the features for image beautification are available for free users as well, you can go wild as much as you want. However, to save the edited picture to your computer or post it via share option, you will need a paid account. This controversial change has brought up quite a commotion among the users, of course, but the PicMonkey team has issued their justification for such drastic move on their blog. Whether it will be for better or worse is yet to be seen but for now, you can just go check out the whole scale of offered options to see if you want them all at the tip of your fingers or you can try Premium for free for 7 days to assess the quality of saved pics (we think it's good) and make your decision.
In the meantime, the changes have not yet been applied for any of the two available mobile apps (Android and iPhone). There, you can still use the limited number of features but you can save those pictures freely.
CyberLink PhotoDirector 10
Best Photo Editing Software 2016
CyberLink's PhotoDirector might be not the most known photo editing software out there but we did find it really useful and, what's also important, entertaining. CyberLink puts great emphasis on it being created with everything to spur creativity in the users and we are inclined to agree. The best thing about PhotoDirector is that it works with video as well as with photos (well, to a certain extent, of course). What caught our attention first is the interesting video-to-photo face swap feature. What it means, in a nutshell, is the following. When you take a family video and want to make a photo from a shot but can't find the moment where everyone looks perfect, you can just take the PhotoDirector software for photo editing and combine faces from different shots into a single image. There, everybody is smiling, no one is blinking or making faces (or, alternatively, everyone does make the most hilarious face ever and you combine them into one shot). It can be handy and extremely fun to play with. And that just one feature. There are more.
Full-packed Easy-to-use Editor
PhotoDirector by CyberLink offers features for just about any kind of photos that professionals and amateurs alike will appreciate. When you work on pictures of people, there are so-called beautification functions that will enable you to correct skin tone, retouch wrinkles or little pimps, slightly correct face and body shape. Landscape photos will look immensely better after you apply Express Layer Templates to them—the feature that has all the necessary elements already set so you don't need to tweak it much. The number of blending modes is also being increased constantly, the way to make stunning mixes that will look good in your header on Facebook, YouTube channel, or work/travel blog. PhotoDirector offers easy-to-use GIF creation tool and over 40 overlays for you to make magic images to catch the eye of every single person seeing them. It also supports both widespread and quite a number of proprietary RAW formats and works with more than 100 lens profiles. There is not much that a photo editor needs that is not included here.
The Dream of a Traveler Photographer
Three more features we'd like to point you towards. The first one is the magnificent and beautiful Little Planet. It's unbelievable what can be done with a panorama shot, really. With just a few clicks, long 360° scene transforms into a movie-like picture that looks like it was made to portrait a mysterious planet in a bewildering atmosphere. You can choose to center around the ground level or the sky, set the magnification and rotation of the image. It looks absolutely marvelous. The second feature is the Photo With Motion. A great option to liven up your blog posts, it offers you to make a so-called motion still, a photo-from-video where only some part of the image is moving—the water is flowing or cars are moving—whereas all around it everything stays still. Looks fascinating and hard to tear your eyes from. Finally, the CyberLink's professional photo editing software is equipped to work with time-lapse photography, another hip topic in the modern photography circles. What else you need? We didn't cover everything, chances are the feature you're looking for is right there too. If you're not sure, before buying the license, you can just use the 30-day trial. A whole month should be enough to explore.
The number of users who have never heard of Adobe's Photoshop software is probably close to zero. The Adobe company has been ruling the photo editing software market for quite some time already and it seems they are in no hurry whatsoever to surrender the crown. Creative Cloud has been the main and the most advertised of their products in the latest years, having replaced the Creative Suite after its final 6 edition release in 2012. The Creative Cloud is a subscription-based product instead of perpetual licenses and, granted, the transfer was not the smoothest process at the time, many customers were reluctant and the mistakes were made but right now, Adobe Photoshop is still one of the most used software in both amateurish and professional branches of graphic design.
The latest release of the Photoshop, the Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 (out on October 18, 2017), offers the users a major update of the existing wide range of features as well as several new ones. In this edition, you will find, among others, several upgrades for the brush tool, like a new algorithm for the brush stroke smoothing, the option to reorganize your brushes, and the fixing of the lagging issue that might have slowed down your work before. There is the added functionality to work with 360° panorama images, an easy access to the Lightroom photos (if you include it in your package), and many many more. If you are completely new to Photoshop, you might actually feel a bit frustrated with how much there is to learn. But it does not take all that much time, actually, thanks to the better tips for mastering tools.
New Curvature Pen
The Pen tool is one of the most used tools in the Photoshop. Once mastered (a task somewhat bewildering at first without any guidance), it will become your favorite option for creating irregular shapes for further coloring and stroking, performing careful pinpoint cutting, and more. It is highly convenient thanks to the possibility to set points and draw lines exactly the way you need them. And now it has become even more user-friendly, making your job as an artist loads easier and faster. Before, in the drop-down Pen Tool menu, there were five options: Pen Tool, Freeform Pen Tool, Add Anchor Point Tool, Delete Anchor Point Tool, and Convert Point Tool. You used either Pen Tool or Freeform Pen Tool to outline the general shape of what you needed and then, with the help of anchor points and their conversion, you adjusted the shape till it was exactly what you wanted. That is, you had to switch between the tools. You can still do that now, of course, since these tools are still available, but the new Curvature Pen Tool allows you to do all that without switching! You add points by simply clicking the cursor on the line you've made, you convert them by double-clicking, and you drag the lines with ease. It saves a lot of time, it really does.
Over a Thousand Brushes, for Free
As of this latest upgrade to Creative Cloud, the Photoshop users can rejoice: the digital brushes by the designer for Time, New Yorker, and New York Time magazines and famous brush maker Kyle T. Webster have been added to the Creative Cloud collection. Without any extra cost aside from what you pay for your CC subscription. And since the creator himself has joined the designers' team, there are more brushes to come, exclusively for Creative Cloud. That's quite the news.
There is actually more, the extension of this newest update to the Adobe's main photo editing software is vast enough to write a large review on it alone. But when it comes to the software, it is much better to see for yourself, isn't it? You can even have a free trial period to get acquainted with the whole specter. And in our opinion, the subscription price is not that big for everything that is offered, especially seeing how often Adobe upgrades their products.
Skylum Super-charged Photo Editor
Luminar by Macphun is considered to be the best photo editing software for Mac by many users, point in case being that Macphun has been holding a leading position for five years in a row. Luminar offers a workspace specifically designed for comfortable and convenient work without sacrificing the speed—you will not notice how much you've accomplished in the time you previously spent on simply getting used to the interface. The main new addition to the latest Luminar upgrade is its Accent filter powered by artificial intelligence that automatically adjusts the settings on your photo to create the perfect look. Now there is no need for complex tweaking of numbers of settings, with Accent alone you can do wonders already. That being said, the pro-level photo editing tools are still available, of course, over 300 of them, all hi-end, including RAW files support.
Another interesting detail about Luminar is that it automatically detects the type of your image to reveal the most appropriate filters first. Really handy. Luminar can replace Apple Aperture or it can work as its plug-in or as an extension to Apple Photos. You can also use it as a plug-in to Adobe's Lightroom and Photoshop apps. Luminar is a professional photo editing software for Mac that works with OS X 10.10.5 and newer.
The Ultimate HDR Solution
Aurora is Macphun's dedicated photo editing software for HDR photography. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range imaging, the type of photo where to achieve top quality image the photo is taken several times with different exposure and then all shots are layered one over the other and mixed automatically. It is a technology that works magic on landscape-in-the-sunlight photos and low-light scenes. At the same time, HDR is not a recommended option for photos where something moves as any difference between the shots makes the resulting image blurry at best and utterly indiscernible at worst.
Aurora HDR was developed by Macphun in collaboration with a famous HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff and it is, for now, the only Macphun photo editing software that works not only with Mac computers but also with Windows ones. The number of tools in the app is really large, from the basics like cropping and histogram to HDR-dedicated Enhancer, advanced tone-mapping, and lens corrector. It is also possible to process several images simultaneously with batch processing.
The final product offered by Macphun is actually a batch of six different apps focused on certain tasks. You can buy each of those apps individually or choose a batch purchase and save some money. The set includes the following:
- Intensify app to adjust the photo with presets and highlight certain details.
- Tonality—160 tools for creating different types of black-and-white photos.
- Snapheal, the app that will erase unwanted objects and enhance the photo afterward so that it looks natural.
- FX Photo Studio is a collection of 200+ filters and effects.
- Focus app offers pro lens effects and blur controls.
- Noiseless, as the name suggests, removes digital noise from your photos without losing the essential details. Has a proprietary technology for RAW photos adjustment and works with smartphones.
PaintShop Pro Photo editing software & bonus collection
Corel is another name well-known in the field of graphic design, alongside Adobe. Most people have heard of CorelDRAW at least once, it's a famous software for vector graphics. But this is a review on top photo editing software and we are here to tell you about another Corel product, the new PaintShop Pro 2018 Ultimate. Creators claim it to be an "affordable alternative to Photoshop" and they are more or less truthful in it.
The new thing in PaintShop Pro 2018 is that it has two workspaces for users with different level of skills and experience. For those only beginning their journey into the world of photo editing, it might be more convenient to start with the Essentials workspace (you make the choice upon startup and can switch at any moment). In here, you will find the most basic functions like Crop, Eraser, Drop, Gradient and some more heavily used instruments. You can also add some features here if you need, using the Search button—this might be useful for editors who have some (or even a lot of) experience but need fast work with certain tools and uncluttered window. On the other hand, with Complete workspace, you get the whole range of tools and instruments, large enough to get lost in sometimes. Fortunately, Corel has answered the pleas of its users of previous versions and has made the user interface much simpler to navigate.
Do It Faster
What Corel PaintShop Pro 2018 offers its users is over 100 backgrounds, 75 new patterns/gradients/textures, 30 new brushes, color palettes, and, what we've found even more useful, a scripting engine. What does it mean, in this particular case? The scripting engine in a photo editing software is a feature where, when you need to edit several photos with the same effects (for example, a series of photos in the same color scheme and with similar contents but at different angles), you create a script with the necessary changes and apply it to all the photos. You can create a script for almost every task you do often, or not often but sometimes it's just the best. There is, by the way, a batch processing option as well. With these two possibilities, editing becomes much easier and faster, which can be extremely useful at times.
Buy a Batch
The Ultimate is in fact not a single app but a collection of professional photo editing software, it includes Painter Essentials 5, Perfectly Clear 3 SE, and Corel AfterShot 3, dedicated apps for certain tasks. With the Painter Essentials 5, you can take your photo and turn it into a drawing or a painting; it also offers tools to sketch from scratch and create stunning pictures. Perfectly Clear 3 SE is an intelligent app able to enhance images tremendously with a single click thanks to the collection of presets. Corel AfterShot 3 is an app designed for RAW editing, it makes photos from your camera look professional and it also supports batch processing, you can apply the changes to up to 1000 photos.
What Is Photo Editing Software?
There was a time when photo editing was considered a highly superior skill that required some significant training and a drop of a talent. True, professional photographers are still valued as theirs are often works of art instead of just photos. But at the same time, the technology has made a huge leap in the direction of digital amateur photography, to the point where Snapchat and Instagram can somewhat help make photos more appealing. And, along with it, the wide variety of good photo editing software is being created every day.