Top 17 Photo Editing Software for PC [2021 Edition]

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Chanchal

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: July 9, 2021

There are many reasons to edit photos – to spice them up when they look too bland and uninteresting, customizing for branding, resizing, and cropping so that they can be used for multiple devices with varying display sizes like mobiles, tablets, laptops, etc.

For this purpose, the best approach is to research with the help of detailed reviews by experts.

Whatever your reason may be, you definitely need a good photo editing software to get the results you want.

If you just want to make the color correction or basic photo retouching, you can download one of the best photo editing software for beginners that is usually free and user-friendly for amateurs.

Top Photo Editing Software for PC from Beginners to Pro

1. PC Image Editor

PC Image Editor is a great example to show that you don’t need the top of the line and super expensive Adobe Photoshop suite to apply professional-like edits to a photo.

Not only PC Image Editors is user-friendly, it’s also extremely powerful.

PC Image Editor

Features

  • Support for a wide range of formats including TIFF, JPG, GIF, BMP, etc.
  • Multiple filters to choose from such as Add Noise, Emboss, Blur, etc.
  • Scanner support that allows you to scan physical documents and photos to get started with editing instantly
  • Easy toggle to show/hide advanced features

2. Corel PaintShop Pro 2018

Corel PaintShop is a perfect photo editing software for both casual editors as well as professionals. This is because it’s user-friendly enough for those who need to edit the photos occasionally, but has all the main tools that a professional would need. It’s available in two versions – PaintShop Pro 2018 for $79.99 which is the standard one, and PaintShop Ultimate for $99.99 that includes Perfectly Clear 3 SE, Painter Essentials 5, and Corel Aftershot 3 for RAW photo editing.

Corel PaintShop Pro 2018

Features

  • Easy editing features for RAW images
  • Impressive features like makeover tools, one-click photo fixes, and effects like photo restoration, retro lab, red-eye removal, etc.
  • Keyboard shortcuts for faster and simpler editing
  • Social media support

3. Affinity Photo 5

If you are looking for a decent photo editing software that doesn’t burn a hole in your pockets, then Affinity Photo 5 could be your best bet. It comes with 57 types of filters which can be used on your base photograph, real-time check-ins, 120+ brushes for you to work with, and excellent support for RAW image editing.

Affinity Photo 5

Features

  • Professional corrections and adjustments for developing premium images for websites and personal use
  • Dedicated RAW workspace
  • An entire library of layers with features like layer effects and live filter layers, mask layers, blend mode, text tools, and more.

4. GIMP

If you are really in a pinch and have no budget for an image editing software, then you can give GIMP a try. It’s a free and open source image editing software which is also pretty good.

GIMP offers both basic and advanced image editing tools including colour adjustments, selection masks, etc. What’s more, you can enhance your experience and usability with the use of scripts and plugins too!

GIMP

Features

  • Frequent updates and great support from the community
  • Extensive support for plugins
  • Can be used on the majority of operating systems including Windows XP, Vista, 7, and Mac OS X, FreeBSD, etc.

5. Capture One 11

Capture One 11 is the latest version of the Capture One image editing software series, and easily one of the best programs out there.

After enjoying the success of Capture One Pro 10.1 which also won the Lucie technical award for the “Best Photo Editing Software” category, the developers knew they had to meet the expectations of the users, and meet they did!

Capture One 11

Features

  • Option to buy the product in a standalone purchase, or through a monthly subscription fee
  • 30-day free trial
  • Features like the duplicate checker, feather mask and refining mask, layer opacity control for each individual layer, etc.
Looking for Photo Editing Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best photo editing software solutions.

6. NCH PhotoPad

NCH PhotoPad is one of the best photo editing software for PC, especially for those who have little experience in editing. It offers a free version for non-commercial users and readily available support to help you quickly learn how to edit photos.

With its easy-to-use interface, you can easily add text to the photos using PhotoPad. It has a diverse range of basic and advanced editing tools, such as cropping, resizing, rotation, painting, and more. Besides, it lets you use multiple layers so that you can make several changes to the picture without literally destroying it. 

You can buy this software directly from the manufacturer for $24.99 on their website.

NCH Notepad

Features

  • Supports 20 different types of file, which includes PNG, GIF, PSD, JPG, JPEG, etc. 
  • Can run on multiple operating systems — Mac OS X, Windows, Android, and Kindle
  • Offers several support options, which includes access to tutorials videos, FAQs and user forums on PhotoPad’s website

7. Skylum Luminar

Skylum Luminar is a powerful photo editing software for PC, which is quite easy to use. Its clean and intuitive interface makes it easy to navigate and locate specific tools. Plus, the tools are efficient and reliable too. You can easily do the basic editing using the crop, cloning, and red-eye remover tools.

Being one of the best photo editing software for PC, it boasts of more than 40 filters, such as tone, grain, soft focus, vignette, radiance, and more. One of its unique features is that it allows batch processing. That means you can make changes to large numbers of photos all at once; it can be quite handy when you want to upload your family vacation album. 

You can buy the software for INR 5100. 

skylum luminarFeatures

  • Easily imports common image file types, such as RAW, JPEG, TIFF, PSD and PNG
  • Allows you to directly share the image to your social media accounts and via email too
  • Offers compare tool which lets you see what your image looked like before and after the change

8. Adobe Photoshop Element

Adobe Photoshop Element is the simplified version of Photoshop, designed for novice users. This photo editing software for PC offers three workspaces to match with your skills level. Those are Quick, Guided, and Expert.

Once you have mastered Quick and Guided, you can easily move to Expert session. In the Quick view, you get to use the most common tools and elements to create or edit a design quickly. 

The Guided view teaches you how to apply design effects to your images. And lastly, the Expert mode disposes all the necessary tools required. And the best part is that it comes with over 100 predesigned templates. You can get this photo editing software for PC for $99.99. 

adobe photoshop elementFeatures

  • Lets you quickly make a precise selection by merely dragging the cursor
  • Allows you to change the background of the picture by placing the subject on the background you like
  • Enables customization of your typography by color, size, and weight, or add effects

9. Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe Photoshop Express is a free photo editing software for PC and mobile devices. It has fewer editing tools as compared to Elements, but it has a clean and smart user interface. 

This photo editing software for PC offers basic editing tools, such as Resize, Saturation, Crop & Rotate, Exposure, Red Eye, White Balance, Sharpen, Soft Focus, and Fill Light editing tools. And the best part is the Auto-fix and enhance, which gives you a quick auto fix to your image contrast and saturation. 

Furthermore, it provides you with layers while editing so that you can revert to the original image of any item. After editing, you can save the edited photo to your device. 

adobe photoshop expressFeatures

  • Supports Raw photo; you can easily import and edit photos in raw formats
  • Offers 45 eye-catching effects for you to choose from, which includes Nature, Black and White, Portrait, and Duo Tones 
  • Allows sharing of your edited image with just one click to multiple destinations

10. Capture One Pro 12

The latest edition to Capture edition is Capture One Pro 12 — a powerful and effective photo editing software for PC. It is an all-in-one image capture, organizing, and editing program, which is mainly aimed at professional photographers.

What makes it stand apart is that it is both effective for black and white photography and colored pictures. It has an entire toolbar dedicated to monochrome conversion, editing controls, and split toning. It may initially look a bit complex, but it allows customization of its layout to suit the tools you use most often. 

The starting price for this amazing photo editing software for PC is ₹ 25,684.00. However, they have different packages to choose from and also offer a subscription plan.

capture oneFeatures

  • Provides extensive sharpening tools with control over everything — from the amount to halo suppression
  • Enables noise reduction by providing tools for managing noise while preserving details
  • Allows you to add film grains to the images by choosing from six different kinds

11. Polarr

Polarr is one of the best photo editing software for PC that can be used by both novice or and pro. 

It is well-known for its intuitive and simple design as compared to Photoshop. The application is best used for deep color correction. It can even help to make basic adjustments to your face or skin. 

It offers both free and premium versions. Of course, the free version has limited functionality. But it can be an excellent choice for beginners. 

What’s more, it has over 1000 filter choices to offer. Besides, you can create your own. 

Polarr

Features

  • Compatible with desktop as well as mobile phones
  • Allows you to create watermark using the ‘Add text’ button
  • Enables you to blur the background
  • Supports large JPEG images up to 30MP

12. Photo Pos Pro

Photo Pos Pro is an easy-to-use photo editing software for your PC. It offers a robust set of tools that lets you create, enhance, and manipulate your digital photos. 

This particular tool is useful for novice editors. The interface is so simple that a beginner will be able to learn all the tools and functions without any difficulty. 

Besides, its retouch mask function allows you to adjust the image to any background. 

Photo Pos Pro

Features

  • Comes equipped with DSLR and scanner support
  • Supports all existing file formats, including RAW, GIF, and PSD
  • Enables you to overlay a pre-installed filter on the picture
  • Offers many educational tutorials for learning

13. ACDSee Photo Studio

ACDSee Photo Studio is a powerful photo editing software that lets you create top-quality images. 

It offers a comprehensive set of editing tools, such as advanced lens correction, layered editor, and more. Its advanced lens correction lets you repair distortion with ease. Furthermore, the layered editor makes it super simple to adjust lights, colors, and add special effects. 

What’s more, you can save files using keywords, categories, ratings, and locations, making it easier to search for files. 

ACDSee Photo Studio

Features

  • Supports various file formats, including raw, JPEG, and more
  • Offers high-speed GPU-enhanced layers engine
  • Has additional blend modes for smoother images
  • Has extensive digital asset management capabilities

14. PaintNet

PaintNet is another free photo editing software for PC that offers a customizable interface and supports hotkeys function. What’s more, its editable layers feature enables you to perform multi-level image editing.

This particular tool might not be useful for professional retouchers and photographers as it lacks custom brushes and layer masks. Despite that, it has valuable photo correction functions that can raise your images without losing its quality. 

PaintNet

Features

  • Allows you to return to any stage of photo editing
  • Enables you to add noise and fractal effects to the image
  • Supports various formats for saving images after photo editing
  • Has a clear and well-organized user interface

15. ON1 Photo RAW

ON1 Photo RAW is a robust photo editing software that supports a wide range of features. 

This professional-grade photo organizer has a lot to offer from layered editor tools to its raw processor capabilities. In fact, its latest update has improved the decoding of raw files and noise reduction. For its advanced functionalities, it is quite an affordable option. 

The best part is that the system automatically detects faces in the photographs and offers precise retouching tools. 

ON1 Photo RAW

Features

  • Gives you complete control over your storage, organization, and editing
  • Full interface with .psd file
  • Supports various formats like supports JPEG, TIF, PSD, PSB, PNG, and DNG
  • Has a rich source of learning material

16. DxO PhotoLab

DxO PhotoLab has recently released its new update – the DxO PhotoLab 3.0. 

It offers an advanced set of tools to manage color and produce more natural-looking images. It enables you to select color ranges from eight separate channels, including orange and purple.

Besides, it’s a perfect tool to brighten up the horizon in your images. It lets you create a more radiant-looking photo without creating a halo effect. 

It can even remove noise from your high ISO images without making you lose any details or colors.

DxO PhotoLab

Features

  • Has two interface modes, including PhotoLibrary and Customize
  • Its sharpness tool can noticeably improve the detail in your shots
  • Offers a great autocorrection tool based on camera and lens characteristics
  • Helps with geometric corrections

17. CyberLink PhotoDirector 11

CyberLink PhotoDirector 11 is one of the top-rated photos editing software for PC that only works on Mac and Windows. 

The application is loaded with exclusive AI tools and portrait retouching features. It enables you to fix up photos of excited kids and pictures taken from moving vehicles. It removes the blurriness with its intelligent deblur feature. 

What’s more, the layer editing feature gives you the flexibility to create unique compositions.  

CyberLink PhotoDirector 11 

Features

  • Driven by AI, the application can intelligently apply brushstrokes to the image
  • Offers multiple-exposure and faux HDR effects
  • The AI facial recognition solution can help manage large photo collections 
  • Advanced color replacement to change the whole look

Name

Free Plan Available

Supports Multiple Formats

Platforms

User-friendly

Layers

PC Image Editor

✔️

✔️

Windows

Corel PaintShop Pro 2018

✔️

Windows

✔️

✔️

Affinity Photo 5

✔️

Windows and iOS

✔️

✔️

GIMP

✔️

✔️

GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows

Capture One 11

Yes -30 days trial

✔️

Mac and Windows

✔️

✔️

 NCH PhotoPad

Yes, for non-commercial use only

✔️

Mac OS X, Windows, Android, and Kindle

✔️

✔️

Skylum Luminar

✔️

Mac and Windows

✔️

✔️

Adobe Photoshop Element

✔️

Mac and Windows

✔️

✔️

Adobe Photoshop Express

✔️

Mobile - iOS, Android, and Windows

✔️

✔️

Capture One Pro 12

Yes - 30 days trial

✔️

Mac and Windows

✔️

✔️

Polarr

✔️

✔️

MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android

✔️

✔️

Photo Pos Pro

✔️

✔️

Windows

✔️

✔️

ACDSee Photo Studio

✔️

Mac and Windows

✔️

✔️

PaintNet

✔️

✔️

Windows

✔️

✔️

ON1 Photo RAW

Yes- 30 days trial

✔️

Mac and Windows

✔️

✔️

DxO PhotoLab

Yes- 30 days trial

✔️

Mac and Windows

✔️

✔️

CyberLink PhotoDirector

✔️

Mac and Windows

✔️

           ✔️

Wrapping Up

So, these were some of the best photo editing software that is currently quite popular. However, be careful when you pick one for yourself. This is because you have to invest some time learning the various shortcuts and tools that are particular to each software, and you don’t want to repeat the process again and again.

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Chanchal Soni is a Growth Hacker and CRO Specialist at Appitsimple. She has experience in digital marketing, social media, content strategy, and marketing communications. Lover of huskies, the ocean & Boston sports.

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