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Best Free Image Editing Sites and Software

Women's hands holding smartphone in camera view
(Image credit: Pixabay/Firmbee)

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Fortunately, in the age of computers, smartphones, and the internet, teachers and students already have the tools to readily record and access digital images. And the top free image editing tools below will help users enrich assignments, convey information, or even create art.

The following image editing sites and software range from straightforward and convenient to powerful tools that rival Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. All are fully free or offer a robust free basic account. 

Best Free Image Editing Sites 

Pixlr
Super easy-to-use site with a clean stylish interface that’s great for photobugs of any skill level. Simply upload your image and start using the tools provided, including text, animations, special effects, filters, touchup, and more. Freemium model. 

Sumo Paint
Offers a Photoshop-like scope of image-editing tools, drawing and painting tools. Free basic account, with education accounts only $19 annually and bulk discounts.  

Photopea
Billing itself as an advanced image editor, Photopea supports multiple popular formats such as PSD (Photoshop), XCF (Gimp), XD (Sketch App), and CDR (CorelDRAW). The generous free account allows all features, while going premium adds history steps and removes ads. 

Colorcinch
Simple interface supports quick image editing with plenty of editing tools, free graphics, and templates.  The handy tooltips are great for novices; experienced users can disable with one click. Free basic account provides essential features and effects. Unlike many other freemium-model sites, premium features are easily identified with a diamond symbol.

iPiccy
On this deceptively simple site, visitors will find a wide range of free photo, collage, and design tools. Upload images and start editing and creating right away. Check out the features page to quickly link to tutorials on professional-style techniques such as editing backgrounds, retouching, and meme creation. Fully free. 

 Best Free Image Editing Software 

GIMP
GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) is considered by many to be the best free alternative to Photoshop. Building on more than two decades of development as an open-source program, Gimp is widely employed by both amateurs and professionals to create and edit images and illustrations of every kind. Tutorials and multiple online forums are helpful for beginners as well as more experienced users. Ideal for high school graphic arts projects. Linux/Windows/MacOs.

Paint.net
Often cited as one of the best free Photoshop alternatives, Paint.net is full-featured software with all the bells and whistles, from layers to plugins to unlimited history. A robust users’ forum offers a great way to discover how to make the most of this potent imaging software. Windows. 

Inkscape
A free, open source vector graphic design tool to rival Adobe Illustrator. Features include a diverse set of drawing, shape, text, and transformation tools, as well as tutorials and forums to learn how best to use this powerful freeware. Linux/Windows/MacOs. 

Reshade
A super-light and fast free image resizing software, Reshaden is designed to do one thing very well—resize/enlarge, enhance, and crop images without loss of resolution. It’s extremely easy to use, but watch the brief tutorial first for an even better result. Windows. 

Ashampoo Photo Commander Free
From the German software company Ashampoo comes a free image-editing download, designed with powerful features—but not with a steep learning curve. Windows.

iRFanView
A free, fast and lightweight download that supports multiple languages, dozens of file types, and easy batch conversions. Windows. 


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