Free Apps/Software for Making Covers (Photoshop Alternatives)

No doubt Photoshop is the best software there is for editing, but if you’re just getting started with editing or don’t want to spend money, here’s a list of free apps and software programs/websites that I personally recommend!

Note: In case you are wondering why a specific app or program isn’t listed, I want to emphasize that these are my personal recommendations. These are what I think is good and suitable for making edits. Also please take note that most of these apps, I have used but it’s been ~quite~ a while, and some I haven’t. So I only included brief descriptions bc I can’t include all of their features.

MOBILE

These are not ranked in any order.

phonto

Phonto

Phonto is great for adding simple text/titles to your edits or covers. The complete font families of some commercial-free fonts such as Roboto are included with the app by default, but you can also add custom fonts. I have used Phonto before and at the time, it was limited, but it was superb compared to other add-text-to-photo apps especially since titles are essential in making covers.

Download: Appstore | Playstore

Pixellab

Pixellab is similar to Phonto, and I wish I had known about Pixellab when I was using my iPad to make covers because it has more “advanced” features for adding text than Phonto like styles, texture, masking, emboss, perspective, and 3D. You can also add your own fonts!

Download: Not available on iOS devices | Playstore

picsart

Picsart

Pretty sure everybody knows or has heard of Picsart. It’s one of the most popular PS-like apps on mobile. I have used it before but I honestly don’t remember most of its features (it is constantly getting updates and new features too I think) because I took interest in it when I was already learning how to use Photoshop and was already getting used to Photoshop, but I’ve heard that Picsart is not the best free PS alternative on mobile, but rather the app that gets the closest PS-looking finished product. It supports layers and has the basic editing tools needed! Also, Picsart has a large editing community and there are lots of tutorials for editing with Picsart.

Download: Appstore | Playstore

ibis Paint X

I haven’t fully tried ibis Paint out, so I don’t have much to say about it. I only included this here because some of the best editors in this community use this app. Although ibis Paint X is most suitable for drawing and digital painting, it has too many beneficial tools for editing to be considered as just an app for artists.

Download: Appstore | Playstore

snapseed

Snapseed

Snapseed is amaaaaazing for color correction, adjustment, and enhancement of photos. Here are the tools that Snapseed has to offer:

Download: Appstore | Playstore

Polarr

Polarr is similar to Snapseed, it has lots of adjustment tools too. But the best thing about Polarr is the large variety of filters made by people which you can get by scanning their QR codes or entering shortcodes. You can look up more filters on google, but I recommend the treasures on Pinterest! If you like adding a specific tone or mood to your edits, you can create presets with Polarr and use it to keep your edits consistent with the filters. Polarr also has some great overlay textures.

Download: Appstore | Playstore

PC/LAPTOP

The following are the best Photoshop alternatives that I know of ranked from least to greatest.

Pixlr

Pixlr is available both as a mobile app and as a website, but of course, the app one is less like Photoshop. It has layers support and basic editing tools. In my opinion, Pixlr is the least similar to Photoshop, probably like 45% in similarity.

It actually has two editors, Pixlr E (complex edits) and Pixlr X (simple). If you’d like to use Photoshop at some point but find it a bit overwhelming, I suggest you use Pixlr first and then PS!

GIMP

GIMP is probably the most popular Photoshop alternative. It’s definitely a lot more similar to Photoshop than Pixlr with its ability to import and export .psd (photoshop document) files as a more advanced and “intelligent” program since if I’m not mistaken, it was designed to counterpart Photoshop.

I would say GIMP is 65% similar to PS.

Photopea

Honestly, to put it simply, Photopea is a Photoshop clone. It looks and feels almost exactly like Photoshop, the interface kinda looks like PS CS6, but the actual program is a mix of CC 2015+, which, in my opinion, makes it the best Photoshop alternative there is. It’s all online just like Pixlr, so there is no need to worry about your storage or disk space.

Photopea can also import .psd files without causing changes to the layers, settings, etc., and as well as export them. I would say about 85% in similarity.

I’m not sure about this but I have a pretty powerful computer that can run the latest version of Photoshop smoothly but when I was using Photopea, ironically, it felt slow compared to PS lol. It could be because since it’s just a website, it’s not able to fully use the computer’s capabilities and highly relies on the performance of my internet speed? Anyway, I guess that could be a pro to those with less powerful computers.

Do you use any of these? Comment your recommendations!

Hope this helps!

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Which one do you use?
  • I use a phone/iPad
  • I use a laptop/computer

0 voters

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If you’d like to follow my tutorials, I suggest you use Photopea if you don’t have Photoshop!

Every keyboard shortcut, tool name, etc. in Photoshop is the same in Photopea. Despite the other features that can be found exclusively in Photoshop, the rest of the features that I’ll mostly be using and mentioning in my future tutorials are in Photopea.

Here’s a little comparison between the two.

Photopea:

pt layer style

Photoshop:

ps toolbar

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bumpo coz this took :sparkles: kinda :sparkles: long

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