Mac Reviews

Best Photo Editing Software for Mac 2018: Paid and Free Options

Written by John

A few touch-ups made on a photo can change its meaning and looks for the better. But the question is; what is the best photo editing software for Mac 2018? This is an app that will help you edit your photos and make them better.

Whether you are a professional photo editor or would like to give family photos better looks and feel, you need reliable software. The software that you can choose will depend on many factors among which are the features the editor offers, the price and personal preferences. Bearing the above in mind, the best photo editor for Mac will depend on who is asking. What may be perfect for you may not be what another person perceives as best.

With all photo editing needs in mind, we have come up with a list of the top five editors. Whether you want something paid or free you will find a great choice here.

Best Photo Editing Software for Mac 2018

1. Photoshop CC for Mac ($9.99/mo)

This is an advanced photo editing software that is meant to bring out the creativity of an artist and photographer. The Adobe Photoshop CC interface will take the new user a while to learn how to use but those moving from other Photoshop products will find it easier to adjust.

Photoshop CC on Mac

With this program, you can be able to create a magnificent painting, draw great drawings and design logos, icons, banners and so on. Whether you want to make 2D or 3D images, you can create them with this program. There are many tools to help put that eye-catching effect every artist wants. There are many brushes you can use to paint but they are better categorized and give more intuitive strokes.

Photoshop CC vs Photoshop Elements and Lightroom

2. Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018 ($69.99)

The new release of the Photoshop Elements has all the good of the old and some new features you will love. It comes with a simple interface that makes editing photos very easy. With guided edits, editing is easy and so is using all the other features of the program.

Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor on macOS High Sierra

What edits can you make with this Mac photo editor? You can replace backgrounds, add artistic overlay effects, add watercolors, create a double exposure, paint effects over photos, create a visual text photo, add a motion blur, add custom frames and create a collage of effects. All these done with guided edits! That is not all! You can make group photos perfect by using other photos to make the affected subject smile, open their eyes and so on. Get rid of haze and shake in images. Fix tilted photos and customize the looks of any photo to your liking.

3. Affinity Photo ($49.99)

This is the best photo editing software for Mac for all the professionals out there. It is a fast, smooth and powerful app that has a huge toolset to allow editors to create masterpieces. The interface has a dedicated workspace where editing can be done easily.

Affinity Photo on macOS

With Affinity Photo, you will get the opportunity to correct images white balance, shadows, highlights and others. Among the many retouches you can do to an image you will be able to clone, patch, dodge, blemish and remove red-eye issues. Use the in-painting brush and liquefy features to create a blemish-free image.

Merge different exposure brackets to come up with the perfect photo. Making changes to certain parts of an image is very easy with the precise selections one can make. As for those who want to create complex images they can do so with the many layers and filters there are.

Affinity fully supports Photoshop files. You can move files between the two apps seamlessly and the images will remain intact. As for multi-tasking, you can edit images as a batch in the background as you do other things on your Mac. There are many other features that you get with this best photo editing software for Mac. Only pay once and edit images all your life!

4. Adobe Lightroom ($9.99/mo)

This is for those who love the freedom to work on their photos no matter where they are. Adobe Lightroom is a cloud-based photo service. You can edit images from any browser. All you need to do is log in and start making awesome images.

Adobe Lightroom

When you sign up for the Lightroom service, you will be given 1TB cloud storage and powerful editing features. The massive storage will have a backup of all your original images and their edits so you can retrieve them at any given time. Finding photos is very easy with the use of searchable keywords when organizing the photos.

The intuitive interface of the Adobe Lightroom has quick adjustment tools you can use to make images look just the way you want them to. You can work on any photo including HD ones.

Other than editing photos, users can create graphics, web pages and videos with the Adobe Spark that is included in the Lightroom subscription. There are tutorials that will explain all you can do with this photo editing program which will help you better your skills.

5. DxO PhotoLab ($99)

This is among the best photo editors Mac that allows its users to create JPEG and RAW images that are the best quality. Correct any lighting issues in your image, create great contrast without haze in images and automatically correct any measurement and calibration issues.

DxO PhotoLab on Mac

You can make corrections to only a part of an image by manually selecting the area then use filters, brushes and automatic repair to make it perfect. To make easy corrections to many images, simply copy and paste settings from one image to the other. 

When you need to share your work, you can do so in batches. Share as many photos as you want to online and to other platforms at one go.

6. GIMP (free)

With many similarities with Photoshop, many people find GIMP easy to use. It is equally as capable and stands out as the best photo editing software for Mac. With it, you will be able to do many edits to your photos. These will range from the basic functions like cropping pictures and resizing them. More advanced features like removing, blurring and making the background transparent can be done using this free photo editor. Color management is also eased with the use of this software.

GIMP on macOS

GIMP is one photo editor that is ideal for use by many people of different professions. From graphic designers to scientist to photographers they will all find GIMP useful. With this high quality photo manipulation tool, you will be able to make as many changes as you wish. Graphic designers will be able to make use of the many elements that are present and artists can be able to transform simple photos into amazing works of art.

GIMP is modular software that can be expanded and extended. Different extensions and plug-ins can be added to the software so it can do whatever the user wishes, from simple tasks to complicated ones.

7. Krita (free)

This is an open-source digital program that can be used to edit photos. It is mainly designed for digital painting and making art workflows though it can still do the basic feature of cropping and adjusting images. Here are some of the cool features that make this the best free photo editor.

Krita on macOS

The line tool is similar to the one in Corel Painter and makes it very easy to draw straight lines. The perspective tools make it easy for you to draw. When you draw points on the canvas a perspective grid appears and you can then use to arrange. The color picker and brushes can be easily accessed as they are displayed right on the screen. A really cool and unique feature is the kaleidoscope tool which applies effects like those of a kaleidoscope on the image. There are many more features in this app. If you are into digital painting, you will surely love Krita.

8. Photoscape X (free)

This is not like PhotoShop but will surely prove to be a good choice for the Mac users looking for basic photo editing tools. The program has seven features. These are Animated GIF, Page, Batch Editor, Editor, Merge, Print and Viewer.

PhotoScape X

There are many different filters you will find in Photoscape including some great film filters. The cropping ratio is brilliant and allows users to determine the final print ratio. On the downside, there are no layers in Photoscape but generally, it is a good photo editor for basic needs.

Regardless of what you intend to use the best photo editor for Mac to do, you can be able to find one that will suit your needs. From the leisure photographers to professionals in the field of web design and digital drawing, all can find an ideal app they can use in their Mac. Choose from the above and you will be happy with the results.

9. Pixlr Editor (free)

If you prefer online photo editors then this is the right option. With this, you will be able to create a new image or upload one. The editor works just like PhotoShop so it should be easy to use if you are familiar with image editing tools. You will be able to smudge, crop, fill, blur and do many other changes to images.

Pixlr Editor

Pixlr Express enables users one-click manipulation for different attributes like size, rotation, inversion, changing saturation and hue among others. With the Pixlr Grabber for Firefox add-on adding pictures to the photo editor is much easier. All you have to do is right click on the image.

This is one of the easiest photo editors to use. It will only take a few minutes of learning and you will be able to use it like a pro. The downside associated with Pixlr is that there is not much support but their blog is a good source of information on its features.

Bottom line

With the best photo editing software for Mac 2018, it is actually possible to create perfect photos. Choose one of the photo editors above and you will not be disappointed. All of them come with free trial periods whose lengths differ from one to the other. Be sure to try them free of charge before committing financially. The trial will help you determine if a particular video editor is best for your needs.

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