This is the ultimate guide to the best photo editing software.

The best photo editing software can help you take an average-looking photo and enhance it to look amazing and irresistible.

While the best DSLR camera or smartphone can help you shoot quality photos, you still need to edit your photos to make them pop.

The demand for photos and graphics is high as well as the competition. More than 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook and Instagram daily.

With a photo editing tool such as Adobe Photoshop, Luminar AI, Adobe Lightroom, Corel PaintShop Pro, Canva, and On1 Photo RAW, your photos will stand out in the crowd.

In this guide, you’ll discover:

  • What the best photo editing software programs are
  • What to consider when choosing photo editing software
  • How to avoid wasting ‘money’ on photo editing tools with non-essential or hard-to-use features
  • The benefits of using photo editing software to fix dull photos, add colorful filters and enhance your photos for personal or business use.
  • And much more!

If you’re ready, let’s dive right in.

What is the Best Photo Editing Software For Photographers?

Here are my top picks for the best photo editing software for photographers:

Alright, let’s dive right in. Here’s a breakdown of the 15 best photo editing software for photographers of 2023:

1. Adobe Photoshop

Best overall photo editing software for Mac and PC

Best photo editing software - adobe photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the most popular photo editing software in the world.

It’s perfect for retouching photos, creating banners, editing photos, transforming images, and even creating graphics for websites.

Unlike most other photo editors, Photoshop offers advanced image editing tools. It has a streamlined interface and high-level image effects.

It features a picture resize tool that lets you enlarge or reduce a part of a picture and crop it to a specific size.

Photoshop has a sidebar that contains tools to edit images. It includes tools for drawing, painting, measuring, navigation, selection, typing, and retouching.

Key Features

  • An intuitive photo editor
  • Retouch and remix your photos
  • Improve image edits with neural filters
  • Use Adobe Illustrator vector content into Photoshop with color, stroke, and layers
  • Quick-click select for a portion of your image to improve


  • A huge list of photo-editing tools for touch-up and retouching
  • Extensive image management tools
  • Lots of filters, brushes, and presets
  • Experiment with multi-layer editing and 3D designs
  • Fix image colors with color-grade presets


  • Adobe Photoshop requires a steep learning curve
  • It might be overwhelming to beginners (because of too many tools & features)
  • No option for auto removal of image background


Best photo editing software - adobe photoshop pricing

Adobe Photoshop can be purchased as an individual photo editing program or as a bundle. Here are ways to get it:

  • Photography ($9.99/month): With the Photography plan, you get access to Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, Photoshop on desktop and iPad, and 20GB of storage space.
  • Creative Cloud All Apps ($52.99/month): This is a bundle plan that gives you access to 20+ Creative Cloud apps such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and more.
  • Photoshop ($20.99/month): This is the official subscription plan to access Photoshop software. You can create beautiful graphics, photos, and art on both desktop and iPad. You can also draw and paint with Adobe Fresco.

Creative Cloud for teams

Best photo editing software - creative cloud for teams

With the Creative Cloud for teams bundle, you can access Photoshop and other programs.

  • Creative Cloud All Apps ($79.99/month): Businesses and Teams can access Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and other programs when they subscribe to the Creative Cloud All Apps for teams.
  • Single App ($33.99/month): With this license, you get to choose one app from the Creative Cloud. In this case, it could be Adobe Photoshop.
Adobe Photoshop
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2. Skylum Luminar AI

Best photo editing software for AI editing

Best photo editing tool - skylum luminar ai

Skylum Luminar is an AI-powered photo editor for both Mac and PC. The Luminar AI photo editor includes advanced tools for changing textures and PNG image overlays.

The software’s Mask feature lets you selectively remove effects to create the perfect look.

It features a new interface that makes it easier to navigate and use and improves ease of use.

The new UI includes editable steps and presets. The performance is excellent, and users can apply multiple tools to a single image without affecting its performance.

Key Features

  • AI photo editor with 20+ unique photo effects
  • Makeup and portrait photosets to make stunning portraits
  • SkinAI and Face to highlight outstanding face features
  • Fast and user-friendly templates
  • A ton of photo tutorials from well-known photographers


  • A powerful and easy-to-use photo editing tool
  • A polished user interface you can master in less time
  • It provides automated photo enhancing tools for multiple files at once
  • Sky replacement tool works great


  • The AI sometimes suggest templates you don’t want
  • The tools are limited for professionals
  • Lack of layer support (as you’d find in Photoshop)


Best photo editing tool - skylum luminar ai pricing

Skylum Luminar AI comes with 3 plans:

  • ($47/computer license or $59/per 2 computers license): You get Luminar and Soulful Panoramas (free)
  • ($67/computer license or $79/per 2 computers license): Luminar, Aurora HDR, and Soulful Panoramas (free)
  • ($108/computer license or $138/per 2 computers license): Luminar, Aurora HDR, Soulful Panoramas (free), and Luminar Neo.
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3. Adobe Lightroom

Best photo editing software for filters and online editing

Best photo editing tool - adobe lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is a fantastic photo editing tool with awesome filters.

If you’re looking for the best photo editing software available, consider the Lightroom photo editor.

With its powerful editing tools, it helps you capture beautiful moments and edit them with high quality.

Lightroom lets you use your finger or stylus to remove unwanted objects from your images.

You can even apply enhancements with exact detail.

You can also tweak the perspective of your images. It offers three different slider tools: upright, guided upright, and Geometry.

It comes with an interactive learning path and lessons curated by fellow photographers.

Key Features

  • Lots of presets and templates
  • Lightroom works on iOS and Android devices
  • Learn Lightroom by doing with the interactive tutorials
  • Curate and improve your best photos
  • Collaborate and share your photos with anyone


  • Simple and clutter-free interface
  • Automatically syncs photo to the cloud
  • Intuitive mobile app for iOS & Android
  • Powerful search tools let you find your photos with ease
  • Loads of presets and plugins to enhance your photos


  • It requires a lot of disk storage space
  • Uploading existing libraries to the system seems time-consuming
  • Pricing is subscription-based, and not a one-time cost


Best photo editing tool - adobe lightroom creative cloud pricing

You can get Lightroom as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud apps. Here’s the pricing:

  • Photography plan 20GB ($9.99/month): With the Photography plan, you get access to Lightroom and Photoshop.
  • Photography plan 1TB ($19.99/month): Transform your photos with Lightroom and Photoshop
  • Lightroom plan ($9.99/month): Get 1TB of storage space and take your photo editing to the next level with Lightroom.

4. Corel Paintshop Pro

Best photo editing software for beginner photographers

Photo editing software - paintshop pro

PaintShop Pro is an intuitive vector and raster graphics editing software by Corel. This software offers a variety of tools to help photographers create great-looking images.

PaintShop Pro was originally published by Jasc Software — but was later purchased by Corel. It supports Photoshop plugins.

It also has a variety of useful extensions. Its most prominent feature is the ability to edit and manipulate layered images.

This versatility makes it the best choice for amateur and professional photographers. This review will focus on the program’s key features.

The main features of PaintShop include the ability to import and export to standard file formats. The program’s Image Optimizer is useful for web producers.

Key Features

  • Photo corrections with a custom set of tools
  • Sketch, draw and paint with the Painter Essentials tool
  • Transform your image into animation with PhotoMirage
  • Professional-grade RAW photo editing with Corel AfterShot 3
  • 100+ royalty-free backgrounds to enhance your photo projects


  • Easy-to-use brushes to improve your photos
  • Automate photos with AI in one click
  • Work with intuitive text, brushes, textures, patterns
  • Customizable workspaces give you full control over your designs
  • Gain access to creative filters and fun effects to make your photos enticing


  • There’s no macOS version
  • The features can be overwhelming for beginners


PaintShop Pro 2022 Ultimate costs $99.99. You may get started with the free 30-day trial to see if it’s what you’re looking for. Also, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee if you upgrade but don’t like the software.

5. Skylum Aurora HDR

Best photo editing tool for HDR editing

Best photo editing software - skylum aurora hdr

Skylum Aurora HDR is an advanced photo editor for creating high-dynamic-range (HDR) images, and its user-friendly interface makes it easy to use.

It works with Mac & Windows and supports JPEGs and RAW files.

You can merge multiple exposures to create a single image.

One of the best features of this HDR photo editor is its ease of use, with no annoying ads that could distract you from your photography.

This HDR photo editor does a great job of aligning and merging multiple exposures into a single tone-mapped image.

Key Features

  • 20+ essential tools for HDR editing
  • Works great as a plugin or standalone photo editor
  • 80+ unique looks to make your RAW photos amazing
  • Create custom designs with powerful layers and blending modes
  • Color toning, HDR Denoise, creative LUT mapping, and more


  • It’s user-friendly
  • You can customize the workspace to suit your needs
  • Image effects are rendered quickly
  • Amazing app for HDR and single exposures
  • Adjust verticals and denoise with multiple filters


  • Limited learning resources to help master the software
  • It’s a bit pricey compared to some photo editing tools


You can get this HDR photo editor through the Aurora HDR Bundle, which costs $99.99. This license is for 5 computers, and requires Mac OS 10.11 or above, or Windows 7 or above to work

6. Adobe Photoshop Elements

Best photo editing software for ease of use

Best photo editing software - adobe photoshop elements

Adobe Photoshop Elements is an easy photo editing software for beginners.

It was designed to assist beginner photographers in producing eye-catching images and is packed with features to help photographers fix common photo problems.

Adobe Photoshop Elements comes with a range of features that will help you make the most of your editing sessions.

Its basic features include layer selection, image resizing and correction, and adjustment layers.

It also has a variety of export options, including slideshows, emails, discs, web galleries, and social sharing.

Key Features

  • Adobe Sensei AI technology
  • Automated editing options
  • Lots of video tutorials and demo videos to speed up your learning
  • Built-in prints and gift service
  • Replace backgrounds quickly


  • Create flawless photos with 60 Guided Edits
  • Show off your photos in dynamic slideshows
  • Easily find photos using Smart Tags, facial recognition, and more
  • Erase distractions with ease
  • Make one-click selections, then improve portions accordingly


  • It’s not included in the Creative Cloud apps
  • More design templates would be great
  • Sometimes, working with layers is a bit laggy


Best photo editing software - adobe photoshop elements pricing

Here are the 2 main plans that Adobe Photoshop Elements offer:

  • Photoshop Elements 2022 ($99.99/one-time): Turn your photos into works of art. Existing users can upgrade for $79.99.
  • Photoshop Elements 2022 & Premiere Elements 2022 ($149.99/one-time): Buy this bundle and save $50. Existing users can upgrade for $119.99. Students and Teachers can get it for $79.99 (verifications are required).

7. Canva

Best overall online photo and graphic editor

Best photo editing tool - canva

Canva is an all-in-one online photo editor and visual design platform for creatives.

If you’re looking to create attractive visual content for the web, you should check out Canva.

It allows you to create professional-looking graphics, with an extensive collection of clipart images and icons. With Canva, you can even import your own images for free.

You can use the free version of Canva to make stunning graphics, flyers, YouTube thumbnails, and more or upgrade to Canva Proto to enjoy additional features.

Regardless of your level of experience with graphic design, you’re sure to find something to meet your needs with Canva.

Key Features

  • 1000+ professional templates, images, and graphics to choose from
  • Collaborate with ease (invite people to edit with you)
  • Save color palette for future designs
  • Intuitive and user-friendly photo editing tools
  • A huge learning resources (videos, articles, demo videos)


  • It’s easy to remove image background
  • Import your own photo and improve it with graphics and texts
  • Easily customize any template quickly
  • Lots of custom graphics and images for your design
  • The free version comes with amazing features and tools


  • You can’t create unique elements with Canva (only premade elements can be used)
  • Free users have a limitation in storage space


Best photo editing tool - canva pricing

Comes offers 3 pricing plans based on the number of users:

  • Free ($0.00): 250,000+ free templates, free photos, and graphics, 5GB of storage space, invite up to 5 members to your team, and more.
  • Pro ($119.99/year or $12.99/month): Up to 5 people, 100+ million premium stock photos, videos, audio & graphics, and everything in Free plan.
  • Enterprise ($30.00/user/month): An ideal plan for a team of 25 people, unlimited storage, everything in the Pro plan, and more.

Note: Canva is free for classrooms and nonprofits. There’s also a free 30-day trial to test the graphics and photo-editing tool before upgrading to Pro.

8. Stencil

Best online graphic design tool for everyone

Best photo editing software - stencil

Stencil is an easy-to-use online graphic design tool for bloggers, business owners, and marketers.

If you are tired of the same old photos, you may want to try using Stencil photo-editing software.

This app will convert any photo into a stencil and allow you to customize the image.

You can add custom fonts and icons and scale and rotate your picture as desired.

Once you are satisfied with the result, you can save your new picture or send it to a friend via email or social network.

Stencil offers free and paid plans. The free plan gives you 10 images per month and a limited number of images.

Key Features

  • Create unlimited images per month
  • 100 Instagram SMS/month
  • 2,200+ Google fonts for your designs
  • 1 million+ icons and graphics pack
  • 600+ amazing templates to speed up your designs


  • Excellent range of features including free photos and icons
  • Upload your own fonts add watermarks with ease
  • Useful support for beginners
  • Easy to use interface
  • It’s easy to watermark images for your brand


  • The free version of Stencil is a bit limited
  • It’s hard to select all image layers at the same time


Best photo editing software - stencil pricing

Stencil comes offers 3 pricing plans based on the number of users:

  • Free ($0/month): The free plan for the Hobbyist, save up to 10 images/month, limited icons, 50 images, create 10 collections, keep 10 favorites, and more.
  • Pro ($15/month): Save up to 50 images/month, 5,000,000+ photos, 1,300+ templates, and more.
  • Unlimited ($20/month): All Pro features included, plus upload and save unlimited images, 100 Instagram SMS/month, and a lot more.

Note: Save 40% of the total monthly cost when you pay yearly. All plans come with a 7-day money-back guarantee. So you have nothing to lose.

9. Snappa

 Best for creating quick online graphics

Best photo editing software - snappa

Snappa is a full-featured graphics editor. It lets you create graphics online in seconds even if you’re not a graphic designer.

You can choose from a large library of stunning photos to begin editing.

The program also guides you through the steps to choose the correct photo or image size.

The software also offers a library of pre-loaded stock photos and pre-defined templates.

Users can easily import custom fonts and collaborate with their team of graphic designers.  

If you want to work on a team, Snappa makes collaboration easy. Members of your team can share fonts, templates, and assets.

Key Features

  • Image editing tools for non-designers
  • 5 million+ free, high-resolution stock photos
  • Add texts, graphics, and effects in seconds
  • Remove image backgrounds in seconds
  • Third-party integrations
  • Collaboration tools for teams


  • Create amazing designs with the premade templates
  • Ability to export images in retina quality is a plus
  • Intuitive photo editing tool with responsive dimensions for posters
  • A great photo design tool for non-designers
  • Snapper has a good graphic editor and folder organization structure


  • It’s limited to raster formats only, no vector formats (yet)
  • Lack of advanced features for experts
  • No support for animations and GIFs


Best photo editing software - snappa pricing

Here’s the breakdown of the 3 different plans and pricing from Snappa:

  • Free ($0/month): 1 user, 3 downloads per month, 6,000 templates, and 5 million+ photos and graphics.
  • PRO ($15/month): Everything in the Free plan, plus unlimited downloads per month and social media integrations.
  • TEAM ($30/month): Everything in PRO plan, plus 5 users, custom font uploads, remove image backgrounds, and social media integrations.

Note: Get 4 months free when you pay annually. That’s a huge savings of 33%.

10. Capture One

Best video editing software for collaboration

Best photo editing tool - capture one

Capture One gives photographers the most efficient tools to shoot photos, edit photos like a pro, and collaborate with others.

It provides a flexible workflow, true-to-life colors, powerful editing capabilities, and easy filtering to organize your top image selections.

The software’s tools are built into the interface to make image editing a breeze, whether you’re on a location or working in the office.

The software features preset and allows you to batch edit several photos at once.

It also supports HDR+, which will help you get better results when importing photos from different camera systems.

Key Features

  • Lots of image editing tools (Style Brushes, HDR, Advanced Color Editor, etc.)
  • 15+ layers and masks to map out precise portions to edit
  • Mult-imaging tools
  • Smart image management tools
  • Personalized interface and fast performance


  • Add true-to-life color mixes to your photos
  • Edit images with powerful and precise editing tools
  • The skin ton editing tool is intuitive and fun to use
  • Make fast edits to your photos with Styles
  • Enhance your photos using the 3 Style Packs.


  • The smaller community offers fewer presets to download
  • Annual subscription is pricey at $179/year compared to some photo editing tools
  • It has a learning curve and is more suitable for experienced users


Best photo editing tool - capture one pricing

You can subscribe to a Capture One license monthly or yearly. You can even make a one-time payment to own everything at a go. Here’s the breakdown for you:

  • Monthly subscription ($24.00/month): Pay monthly and cancel anytime, all Capture One Pro tools and features.
  • Annual subscription ($179.00/year): This yearly plan saves you $9 per month, and you get to enjoy all the powerful features and tools.
  • License ($299.00/one-time): Own a license for Capture One Pro 22.

Note: Capture One Pro comes with a 30-day free trial to all the features and tools, plus free learning resources.

11. ON1 Photo RAW

Best budget-friendly video editor for Mac & PC

Photo editing software - on1 photo raw

ON1 Photo RAW is a professional-level RAW photo editing program for Windows and Mac OS X.

The ON1 Photo RAW photo editing software allows users to use the lens profile option to correct images with distortion.

This feature can automatically detect most lenses, but if your lens is not listed, you need to create a lens profile manually.

This feature is especially helpful for wide-angle lenses. With the right setting, the lens distortion can be fixed.

You can adjust the focus and exposure by moving the slider in the Camera Pane.

Key Features

  • Import and organize photos in one place
  • Adjust and edit photos with ease
  • Save settings and layers as Presets for frequent use
  • Layer editing to achieve double exposures or creating masks
  • ON1 offers both mobile apps and a cloud service for syncing photos and edits


  • The face-tuning features as fun to use
  • Choose from a collection of high-quality filters
  • Working with layers is intuitive
  • Enjoy the flexibility of Lens profile adjustments


  • Limited online sharing in Windows app
  • Some operations run slowly


Photo editing software - on1 photo raw pricing

On1 Photo RAW comes with all of ON1’s new editing technologies, including built-in NoNoise AI, Sky Swap, Time-Lapse, Effects, Resize, Portrait AI, HDR, and more.

  • Photo RAW 2022.1 ($79.99): This is an upgrade license for existing users.
  • Photo RAW 2022.1 ($99.99): This gives you access to the Full License for new users.
  • ON1 Everything ($89.99 paid yearly): This includes Photo RAW 2022.1 + Bundle + All plugins + Cloud sync, and 200GB.

12. Fotor

Best photo editing platform for templates

Best photo editing tool - fotor

The program offers a wide variety of photo-editing tools. Users can use the One-Tap Enhance tool to fix common image problems.

Other features include dozens of fonts and hundreds of stickers. Fotor’s photo-editing features can help you edit and polish your photographs.

The software features an intuitive interface that makes them easy to use and master.

This makes the process of photo editing more enjoyable. The user interface is also simple to understand and navigate, making it a great choice for beginners.

With its many preset templates, users can accent ideas with ease. This software can also help users to finalize their pictures in minutes.

Key Features

  • Remove image background
  • 1,000+ design templates dimensions
  • Basic photo editing effects
  • 30+ stylized photo frames
  • HDR Technology to enhance your images
  • Edit images anywhere and anytime with one Fotor account


  • Easy-to-customize templates for any project
  • Store and retrieve all your images in the cloud
  • A huge learning resource
  • Amazing effects to enhance your photos
  • Set custom project dimensions with ease


  • Limited editing tools compared to PicMonkey and Canva
  • It doesn’t save the state of the sessions. This means that you might need to start editing afresh when the application is closed by mistake.


Best photo editing tool - fotor pricing

Fotor is a fantastic online photo editor with free and premium plans. Take a look:

  • Fotor Basic ($0/month): Take Fotor for a test drive with basic photo effects, limited collage layouts, and more.
  • Fotor Pro ($8.99/month or $39.99/year): Perfect plan for small businesses, freelancers, and designers. All advanced editing tools, 200+ premium photo effects, 200+ photo collage layouts, and more.
  • Fotor Pro+ ($19.99/month or $89.99/year): Best for agencies, startups, and corporate marketing. All Pro features, plus upload your fonts, 100,000+ templates and design resources, advanced beauty touch-up, and more.

13. PicMonkey

Best photo editing software for social media

Best photo editing software - picmonkey

PicMonkey (by Shutterstock) is a powerful photo editing software that offers a variety of tools for users to use.

This online photo editor that allows you to crop, adjust brightness and contrast, remove background, and trim videos.

You can edit photos with the Basic editing tool and use the other tools to improve them.

The basic editor is easy to navigate, with the different editing tools divided into tabs on the left side of the screen.

The advanced editor includes features for professional-looking images. For example, you can make your profile picture or cover photo look more interesting with the Color Changer Effect.

Key Features

  • Cut, trim, and crop videos and images with powerful tools
  • Professional editor to improve color, add effects, and Audio Post
  • Immersive 3D audio workflows
  • HDR grading tools to enhance your mood
  • Create Cinematic quality visual effects and motion graphics
  • 100 GPU Accelerated video and film effects


  • Modern, sleek designs
  • Editing photo with PicMonkey is super easy
  • Choose from a wide range of templates to customize as you see fit
  • The team is always adding new features and updates
  • You get several ‘auto’ functions, which makes editing fast and smooth
  • It’s quite affordable compared to some photo editing tools


  • Sometimes, the website will freeze and you may lose your work
  • Tutorial videos and additional learning instructions would be great


Best photo editing software - picmonkey pricing

PicMonkey offers 3 plans and pricing namely:

  • Basic ($72.00/year or $7.99/month): Handy photo editing and design tools for rising creators.
  • Pro ($120.00/year or $12.99/month): Get unlimited storage, brand fonts, and are perfect for growing businesses.
  • Business ($228.00 or $23.00/month): Everything in the Pro plan, plus collaboration tools for teams.

Note: PicMonkey comes with a 7-day free trial. So you might want to give it a try and see whether or not it’s the right photo editing tool for you.

14. ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

Best photo editor for photographers

ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate is an advanced photo editing software. Its features include raw processing, fast loading time, and localized adjustments.

This program is an excellent choice for a variety of photo editing needs.

ACD Systems International has launched the new 2022 edition of their flagship software.

This new release introduces AI-powered facial recognition and streamlines the process of managing digital assets.

Key Features

  • Create cinema-quality videos
  • Edit videos on the go with the mobile app
  • Shape your story with Magic Moview and Storyboards on iPhone or iPad
  • Experiment with 20+ different video styles
  • Trim, split, delete, and rearrange clips from your shots


  • It’s easy to manage your photos and graphics in one place
  • An intuitive layered editing features
  • Adding filters is fast (there’s no delay at all)
  • The text tool is quite easy to use
  • Easier and faster uploads from phone to Photo Studio


  • You may have to pay an extra fee to access some advanced photo editing tools
  • Automating some tasks is time-consuming and non-intuitive


Best photo editing software - acdsee photo studio ultimate pricing

Here’s a breakdown of ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate plans and pricing:

  • Home Plan ($8.90/month or $89/year): This subscription plan allows up to 5 users per product, 50GB cloud storage, and more.
  • Lifetime License ($99.95/one-time fee): This plan gives users a lifetime license and 1 year of free updates and technical support.
  • ACDSee Creator Pack 2022 ($109.00/one-time fee): It supports 3 unique devices per product, and you save $80.

15. Pixlr

Best online photo editor for design tools

Best photo editing software - pixlr

Pixlr Editor (by Inmagine) is an online image editing program that offers high-quality editing on any device.

Its user-friendly interface and extensive set of tools allow even beginners to create stunning photos without a professional background.

Users can even post their creations directly from the editor.  

The program lets you crop your image with the help of its built-in effects.

You can choose from Default, Creative, Subtle, Vintage, and Too Old. If you want to add text, select the Constrain Proportions button.

If you want to add text, select the Constrain Proportions button. This feature will automatically change the height and width of your photo.

Key Features

  • Intuitive video editing tools (color match, title designer, distortion correction, etc.)
  • AI-powered tools to automated your video editing
  • Professional format video import (HEVC HDR10 & HLG, AVC)
  • Create marketing videos with pre-crafted templates
  • Add background music and sound clips to your video


  • You can use a range of fonts even in foreign languages
  • Pixlr is pretty easy-to-use and learn
  • It’s cost-effective (starting at $58.8 per year)
  • A wide range of tools to create high-quality images
  • An intuitive basic online image editor (especially for beginners)


  • Pop up labels that explain what different tools represent would be amazing
  • More learning resources showing how to use the photo editing software would be helpful


Best photo editing software - pixlr pricing

Pixlr Editor offers 3 flexible plans and pricing to help you make smarter decisions:

  • FREE ($0.00): Basic editing tools, limited overlays, supported by Ads, etc.
  • PREMIUM ($4.90/month billed yearly or $7.99/month): Full access to Pixlr X and E, extensive editing tools, 3,000 extra overlays, and more.
  • CREATIVE PACK ($14.99/month billed yearly or $29.99/month): Everything in PREMIUM, plus AI CutOut tools, 28,000 extra overlays, 5,000 decorative texts, templates, and more.

What Is Photo Editing Software?

The basic purpose of photo editing is to improve the quality of photos.

No business wants to use mediocre pictures, so professional software can help them look and feel better.

A good program can be used to create a range of effects, from black-and-white options to noise reduction.  

What to Look for in Photo Editing Software

Photo editing tool - what is photo editing software

Photo editing software is designed to help you manipulate, fix, or enhance digital images.

Ultimately, what you want to accomplish with photo editing software will determine what features to consider.

The best photo editing tools are designed to help you fix, improve, and polish average-looking photos, giving them a professional touch.

What to Look for in Photo Editing Software

You can do so many things with a photo editing tool. It doesn’t matter the type of photos or images you want to manipulate, it shouldn’t not difficult even for a beginner.

You can also create surreal art pieces with a photo editor, so let’s consider some important factors:

1). Easy to use

Whether you’re a professional graphic designer, a photographer, or just an enthusiast, you shouldn’t struggle to use photo editing software.

Accessibility and ease to use are the hallmarks of any software tool. Even a complete beginner to photo editing should be able to use it.

Essentially, a photo editor should have a clean interface, plenty of documentation for guidance, as well as a large community of active users who can answer your questions or help you out.

2). Photo sharing

Most of the time, you’re not editing photos for your personal use. You might want to share them with your team members or on other platforms.

The photo-sharing industry is growing at an exponential rate. People are more excited to share photos with others on social media and on websites. More than 2.5 trillion photos have been shared already, and it’ll double by 2025.

Photo editing software - photo sharing

So choose a photo editing software that makes photo sharing simple and intuitive.

Programs such as Adobe Lightroom lets you upload images directly to WordPress. Canva lets you share images or graphics that you’ve designed on Facebook, Reddit, etc.

3). Essential editing features

You need both basic and advanced photo editing features to win.

You should be able to import images into the editing workspace, adjust elements such as white balance and exposure, improve the contrast, as well as add filters or experiment with Duotones.

If your image has a background that needs to be removed, tools like Canva and PickMonkey can help you remove it with a click.  

4). Organization tools

You should be able to stay organized when using photo editing software tools.

Keeping track of your images using thumbnail previews, search functions, and naming schemes can help you find what you’re looking for in the future.

5). File formats

You need to be flexible with image file formats. The perfect photo editing tool will let you select from a range of different options and formats.

This will give you the chance to use the images in different environments.

6). Customization

Many top photo editing software programs make it easy to download and use different filters, effects, color-grading tools, and pre-sets.

But these may not be enough for what you want to do with a photo editor. So being able to customize and add new plugins or functionality is a factor you might want to consider in photo editing software.

How to Use Photo Editing Software

To effectively use photo editing software, you should know what to look for. The best programs will provide you with the tools and features you need to take your photos to the next level.

Beginner-friendly photo editing tools like Canva and PickMonkey will give you the basics but will also give you advanced features.

If you’re going to be using photo editing to make your work more professional, you’ll want to invest in a program that offers many powerful features.

This will bring you more potential clients and make your current customers happy!

Before using photo editing software, you should consider several factors. These include the size and number of presets you can apply to your photos.

For example, a large-scale photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom will give you a larger number of presets.

If you’re working with a RAW image, you should get one that supports this format.

This way, you can fix a problem with the details without damaging the rest of the image.

Benefits of Using Photo Editing Software

Photo editing software tools can help you manipulate and dramatically improve the quality, mood, and size of your photos if you know how to use them.

Here are the 5 key benefits of using photo editing software:

1. Automatic image enhancement

You can’t possibly enhance the feel of your photo/image manually. You’ll need the handy tools and features provided by a photo editing software program.

Photo editing tool - automatic image editor

Adobe Photoshop, for example, has several features for automatic image enhancement. It offers various editing tools and effects, including Auto Contrast and Smart Stack.

Users can adjust the contrast, brightness, shadows, highlights, and saturation of their photos.

2. Data compression

If you’re going to use your images on the web, you need them to be lightweight. A photo editing software can help you with data compression, while still retaining the quality.

Using photo editing software that compresses your data is a smart way to save space on your computer.

By compressing your images’ data, you’ll have less to store, which is great if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on additional storage.

3. Set the mood

Lightroom has an extensive preset library, which makes it easier to achieve a particular look in your photo. You can download preset packages and apply them to your photo.

Photo editing software - set the mood

Another option is to design your own custom presets, which work like editing recipes.

You can choose which settings to apply and which ones to omit, which means you can experiment and adjust the results.

You can always go back and change the settings to get the look you want.

4. Use of layers

When you use photo-editing software, you can apply a layer to the entire image or a selected part.

The process of applying layer adjustments is simple. While layers are the most basic of image enhancements, they can be surprisingly powerful.

They let you blend multiple exposures and apply special techniques without affecting the overall image.

5. Resizing images

Aside from compression data associated with your image, you can also resize your images using photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop or Canva.

Resizing an image is a common task in photo editing software. It allows you to make it smaller or larger depending on your needs.

How to Choose the Right Photo Editing Software for You

While you might not need all of the features of a specific program right away, there are a few essential features to look for.

Having a good photo editing tool will help you make the most out of your photography.

Photo editing tool - working with adobe lightroom

Features & Price: 

The features and the price of a photo editing software should match your skill level and budget.

Adobe Photoshop, for example, is very comprehensive and has a variety of paid features.  

However, if you’re a beginner, it’s the best option to start with. The free version will give you a good experience with different edit settings and effects.

The price of photo editing software should also be considered. There are many options, and choosing the right one is crucial to ensuring your photography is as high quality as possible.

The price should also be reasonable, especially since many of the more popular programs can be very expensive.

You’ll likely use it for personal projects and for a small budget. It’s important to choose software that offers a lifetime licence.

FAQs About Photo Editing Software

Here are some frequently asked questions about photo editing software.

Photo editing software is a digital tool used to manipulate or enhance photos & graphics.

Adobe Lightroom, On1 Photo RAW, Canva, Adobe Photoshop, and Pixlr are the photo editing software programs used by progressions to edit photos.

Adobe Photoshop Elements is the best photo editor for beginners.

Photoshop offers a 7-day free trial. This is the full free version of the photo editing software. It includes all the features of the software

Adobe Photoshop is essentially a photo editor for image manipulation, creation, and enhancement, while Lightroom is focused on organizing, processing, and fixing photos with filters.

Adobe Photoshop has more useful features for manipulating and rendering the highest-quality images. GIMP offers basic photo editing tools for beginners.

Yes, Microsoft Photo Editor is the native photo editing tool from Microsoft. It lets you adjust color, add effects, rotate, crop, resize, frame, mirror, and sketch on your photos.

There’s a built-in editor known as Photos that comes with your Mac. It uses a set of editing tools that are present in Photoshop’s Camera RAW.

It all depends on the photo editing software you’re using. With Canva and PicMonkey, you can learn how to edit photos in 30 minutes. However, photo editors such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom may require a steeper learning curve.

It’s easy to get started with photo editing. Start by choosing photo editing software, familiarize yourself with the tools and workspace, import your photos from the camera or hard drive, then use the tools to crop, fix, adjust white balance, sharpen images, and share/download them.

Adobe Lightroom, ON1 Photo RAW, Fotor, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Corel PaintShop Pro, and Canva are examples of photo editing programs.

Photo editing affords you the opportunity to fix blemishes, sharpen dull images, add filters, and enhance the overall quality of your photos.

ON1 Photo RAW and Adobe Photoshop are the best photo editing tools for Mac.

Adobe Photoshop is the best photo editing software for PC.

Shotcut and VSDC are the best free video editing software to use on Mac and PC.

It depends on your photography needs. You may use a standalone photo editor such as Fotor and use an all-in-one program such as Canva — to edit photos and videos.

Pixlr, PhotoDirector, Canva, and PicMonkey apps offer free photo editing tools for both beginners and experts.

Best Photo Editing Software – Summary

With too many photo editing software tools out there, how do you choose the perfect one?

While there are no standard rules, it’s important to always choose a photo editor based on key features that you need, pricing, and the pros and cons.

What are you looking to accomplish with a photo editing tool? Do you need basic editing features or you’re ready to experiment with advanced editing tools?

Here are my recommendations for top photo editing software:

  • Adobe Photoshop –
  • Luminar Neo –
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Canva

Over to you.

Do you have any particular photo editing software you want to use?

Do you already use a photo editing tool covered (or not covered) here?

Either way, let me know in the comment below right now.

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