Photoshop is the premier graphic design app for Mac or Windows. While Photoshop is used by millions the ongoing expense and complexity of its capability makes those in the graphic design field look for alternatives.
Adobe’s new pricing scheme for Photoshop may make the company more money and create a steady ongoing and growing revenue stream, but renting Photoshop by the month becomes and expensive proposition after just a year or two.
Are there affordable alternatives to Photoshop? Here are two that I like and use.
First, GraphicConverter. This amazing app has been around since the last century and is loaded with Photoshop-like features, but in a more simplistic interface. The latest version features non-destructive image editing and a lower price (in the Mac App Store version).
Tools and configuration options abound in GraphicConverter which specializes in image editing and file management and format conversions. It even uses Photoshop compatible plugins for added functionality.
IF there are complaints about GraphicConverter they usually center around the user interface, which remains early 2001 despite the addition of a the Photoshop charcoal look. Functions are often buried deep in menu selections.
Similarly priced and even more Photoshop-like is Pixelmator, another Mac-only image editing app. While not feature-for-feature compatible with GraphicConverter, Pixelmator is a perfect app for entry-level graphic design for those on a budget, but can act as a good replacement for Photoshop if you don’t need some of the latter’s more esoteric functionality and complexity.
Pixelmator is loaded with painting tools, photo retouching tools, even vector-based drawing tools, but the claim to fame is both ease-of-use and the real time effects machine– over 160 in the latest version.
Layers are non-destructive so effects are easily dropped in and tested. There are plenty of color correction tools, but, alas, no CMYK support. Yet.
Both GraphicConverter and Pixelmator are highly capable apps, but they’re quite Photoshop, and priced accordingly.