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As a Mac user, I find a lot of Windows articles on how to edit images, fix photos, remove backgrounds etc. While many programs are OS neutral, it’s always good to find programs that cater and support the software that goes onto your Mac. The alternative option is to use online web based programs but there are a few disadvantages to both. Still, I use a number of photo editors for Mac both online and downloadable that I like.
GIMP (Download free)
Pixlr Editor/ Pixlr X (Online free)
Pixelmator (Download, pay)
Affinity Photo (Download, pay)
Canva (Online free and pay versions)
PicMonkey (Online low cost pay)
Adobe ( if you budget allows for it)
The beauty of the first 4 are that they offer full range of features to photo “shop” add, correct, fix, adjust, enhance, merge, remove, and many others to photos and images. Both GIMP and Pixlr Editor/ Pixlr X are free.
Photo Editing With GIMP on Mac
GIMP is a downloadable software; has some amazing features, and a big online community of users. The con with GIMP appears that a large portion of the focus is on using GIMP with Windows. Don’t let that stop you from testing and downloading this great free photo editor for your Mac. If you need solid instructions on getting GIMP running check out my article here —> Installing GIMP on MacOS High Sierra.
Photo Editing Using Online Pilxr ( require Adobe Flash enabled on Mac)
Pixlr Editor has been around awhile and the creators are now slowly migrating it to the newer online version called Pixlr X. Not all the features have been incorporated, specifically the transform and distort features that skew images and text. There is no login to use; that is a pro and a con because if you don’t download your work its gone. But still I find background removal and color tweaks with Pixlr amazingly easy to do.
Photo Editing With Pixelmator ( download from App Store For Mac, Ipad/Iphone versions available)
Pixelmator was and still is a Mac product purchased through the App Store. I purchased Pixelmator and the developers of this have just release Pixelmator Pro. The previous version prior to Pro did have some vector capabilities but that has gone away in Pro although there is some discussion about a future vector graphics program. Still for the price tag ($39.99) it’s a real steal compared to Photoshop.
Photo Editing Using Affinity Products – MacFriendly
Affinity Photo is another Photo Editor between the free GIMP/Pixlr low end range and the high end Adobe products. Personally I have no experience with Affinity Photo but if you’re looking for one stop shopping (that is getting all your design needs from one developer) Affinity makes both Photo (Photoshop Alternative) and Designer (Illustrator Alternative).
Photo Editing With Canva (Online, very Mac friendly)
Canva is an amazingly useful online tool for minor photo editing. The free version frankly is limited in my opinion. The Canva for Work is $12.95/month and has nice features. It crops, resizes, edits in an easy intuitive way. However, it’s not in the same playing field as the first four programs listed. It won’t remove backgrounds, retouch or modify image areas. It’s an all around editor for creating collages, text, small photo adjustments and even pdfs. It’s basic editing of images makes it a natural choice for non-designers.
PicMonkey is very similar to Canva but has slightly better capabilities with text effect overlays (dropshadow, arc or circle text) if you’re adding text to images. Again like Canva, it’s not built for heavy photo editing, but it does work for basic functions. It cost’s about $7/month.
One con is that the resize function in PicMonkey with distort any of the overlaid text on an image; that doesn’t happen in Canva. Really the functionality of Canva and PicMonkey is for the DIY’er that needs to do basic editing including photo editing for web, projects and social media. Serious designers should look towards the first four listed or shell out the cash for Adobe.
Personally, I’ve used everything but Affinity and Adobe. Canva and PicMonkey are my favorites for creating social media images from my designs. GIMP/Pixelmator are my go-tos for images and photos. Pixlr Editor is great for background removal and adjustments if you’re not wanting to learn a more complex program like GIMP or Pixelmator. As for Affinity, I’m toying with the idea of getting it but I’ve just not had the time. Adobe while an amazing productline, just isn’t for me right now as the subscription price tag is not something I can justify.
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