7 of the Best Photo Editing Software for Desktop

7 of the Best Photo Editing Software for DesktopThese days, even when you can take a photograph on a smartphone which can rival a Dslr for quality, there is still a real demand for high-end desktop photo editing software. But with so many packages out there to choose from, which is the best? Do you need to use your photo editing for business or pleasure? Here is a look at some of the leading contenders in the desktop market from File Hippo.

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  1. Adobe Photoshop

Operating System: Windows and Mac

The granddaddy of them all, and that’s not likely to change any time soon. It’s not cheap, but in the world of photo editing software you get what you pay for, and there is a reason why industry professionals use Photoshop: it’s the best at what it does.

If you’re at all serious about photography, pay up - you won’t regret it. The feature set is unbeatable, with an astonishing range of filters and editing capabilities that will allow you to do things with photographs that you never even dreamed were possible and that can turn even the most shabby of pics into a competition-winning masterpiece.

New features on the latest update of Photoshop CC (2015.1) include Face-Aware Liquify which automatically identifies eyes, noses, mouths, and other facial features. Opening documents faster and delivering greater responsiveness and getting content into libraries faster with a new bulk import dialog box.

  1. Adobe Lightroom

Operating System: Windows and Mac

Photoshop’s little brother is often overlooked but comes with one feature that it’s more famous sibling lacks: organisation. In fact, Adobe mainly market Lightroom as a cataloguing application for professional photographers to keep track of the thousands of digital images they produce.

However, Lightroom also includes an impressive set of editing features that knock almost all of the free alternatives out of the park. You can combine the darkest and lightest areas from a series of images of the same scene to make a single HDR photo or use a simple slider to remove haze from your images, or add haze to create an artistic effect.

One other bonus is that Lightroom’s editing features are ‘non-destructive’, meaning that your original image is never altered, with Lightroom simply saving the edits you make as changes and allowing you to revert to your original image at any time.

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  1. GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

Operating System: Windows, Mac and Linux

If you’re a Linux user, a fan of open-source software or simply don’t want to pay for Photoshop and/or Lightroom, then GIMP is the choice for you. Be under no illusion: there is nothing you can do with Photoshop that you can’t do with GIMP. The problem is that as with a lot of open source software, it’s also one of the most difficult to use with extensibility through integration with many programming languages including Scheme, Python, Perl, and more.However, it does help a lot that there are icons for each button and tool-tips to show you what each one does, but you really do need a manual if you’re going to make sense of any of the more complex functions to be found in the menus at the top of the screen. If you’ve got free time on your hands to learn it and you really don’t want to pay for Photoshop, then this is the best option. Luckily there is even a Tutorial on their website to help you along.

  1. Fotor

Operating System: Windows, Mac and Online

It’s free and it’s accessible from any device with an internet connection, which is great. The range of editing tools and filters is impressive for a web-based tool, but it can’t compete with GIMP for the sheer range of options on that score and their “Simple yet Powerful” slogan seems to agree. If you’re looking for a free photo editor that you don’t have to install, then this is probably the best user friendly one. While the ‘collage’ and ‘edit’ features are already enjoyed by millions of users, daily, the new ‘design’ feature gives the common user the ability to design any form of graphics and cover, limited only by your imagination.

  1. Serif Photo Starter Edition

Operating System: WindowsA scaled-down version of Serif PhotoPlus the Starter Edition is an inexpensive alternative to Photoshop (and Photoshop Elements) it offers many of the more popular but far more expensive apps' features, including layers, filters, selections, image adjustments and text tools. There is lots of help with processes on the Starter Edition too.

Serif Starter Edition offers the same interface with a few tools locked out. With it, you get a decent understanding of how the software works while being able to import, edit and export images. Although this software is similar to some other demos of photo editing programs, PhotoPlus Starter Edition is far more than a simple introduction and the elements that are restricted aren’t imperative. This makes it well worth considering for PC users.

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  1. Pixlr Editor

Operating System: Windows, Mac and Online

Pixlr is a browser-based editor that carries a decent feature set for free. It allows you to work in layers, replace colour, transform objects, and more - all from your browser.

The editor doesn’t have the same range of features of software like Photoshop or the open-source GIMP. However, if those are beyond your price range and you're a keen amateur who’s serious about photography, then you should give Pixlr serious consideration.7. Photo! Editor

Operating System: Windows

With Photo! Editor, you can remove red eye instantly, enhance the colour of an image, add astonishing lighting effects, straighten, re-sample and crop images. The Caricature tool lets you create funny caricatures by transforming photos with special warping effects. The Make Up tool contains a set of retouching filters that can be used for portrait enhancement.

This photo editing software could be right for you with the Denoise tool being one of the world's best to effectively remove luminance and colour noise from digital images made under poor lighting conditions.Select the perfect software for you and start creating some beautiful images.

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