The right free photo editor can transform an ordinary picture into something breathtaking. Like most of us, you likely have dozens, if not hundreds of pictures stored on your phone or your camera’s SD card. But are you making the most of them? Most of them probably look okay, but why settle for that?
Whether you’re looking for a powerful free photo editor that gives you fine control over every minuscule detail of your photos, or basic Instagram-style free photo editing software that offers a range of one-click filters, you’ll find something interesting here.
If you’re already happy with the general look of your photos and just want to tweak them a little before sharing them, a simple free photo editor that allows you to resize, crop and apply filters will be ideal. Many of these have social media sharing built in, removing the hassle of uploading your snaps manually later. They also have the benefit of being easier to use.
If you’re planning to print your work, you’ll be better off considering a more nuanced free photo editor that will give you the fine control you need to make your pictures look perfect, even at high resolutions.
A free photo editor that’s a worthy rival to premium software
GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program) is the most powerful free photo editor around. It’s packed with the kind of image-enhancing tools you’d find in premium software, and more are being added every day.
GIMP’s interface will be instantly familiar if you have ever used Photoshop or other premium photo editing software – especially if you select the single-window mode, which lays out all its toolbars and canvases in an Adobe-style layout.
The photo editing toolkit is breathtaking, and features layers, masks, curves, and levels. You can eliminate flaws easily with the excellent clone stamp and healing tools, create custom brushes, apply perspective changes, and apply changes to isolated areas with smart selection tools.
GIMP is an open source free photo editor, and its community of users and developers have created a huge collection of plugins to extend its utility even further. Many of these come pre-installed, and you can download more from the official glossary. If that’s not enough, you can even install Photoshop plugins.
This combination of power and flexibility make GIMP the best free photo editor you can download – whether you’re using Windows, macOS or Linux.