So, what are the best alternatives to Photoshop for Chromebooks?
Well, look no further than the Chrome web store. I’ve done all the legwork and sorted through dozens of Photoshop alternatives for Chromebooks and chose only the best of the best.
Let’s get started. We’ve got a lot to cover.
Note: I’m not an expert, nor am I even a professional image editor. I just use these apps (and Photoshop on my Windows desktop) to do some slight adjustments and edits on photos here and there. I’d say my image manipulation skills are basic to moderate.
The following apps do everything I need as a substitute to the real thing, so it works fine for me.
However, just because it works for me doesn’t mean it’ll work for your needs.
If you’re a full-on designer, these apps may not fulfill all your requirements.
Nonetheless, let’s move onto the list already. Woot.
Last updated: 5/1/17.
Here are 3 of the best Photoshop alternatives for Chromebook (in my humble experience and opinion).
Photoshop Alternative #1: Pixlr
Pixlr is probably the most popular Photoshop-like web app available on Chromebooks. It’s also my favorite of the bunch. Pixlr isn’t a Chrome web app that you download and install. Instead, it runs in your browser by visiting their website (available below). You don’t need to download or install anything on your Chromebook to run Pixlr.
Pixlr has a full-fledged interface and can run directly in your Chrome browser. It looks the most similar to Photoshop in my opinion and works almost the same way. You can clearly see that Pixlr design is inspired by Photoshop.
Some basic tools include red-eye reduction, spot heal, clone, sharpen, blur, drawing tools, contrast, a variety of filters and effects, and your basic levels, curves, saturation, hue, brightness and contrast adjustments. You can also use your common go-to tools such as lasso and pen.
What’s nice about Pixlr is that you can open your .PSD files right in the browser, and you can copy and paste from your clipboard.
Of course, since this isn’t Photoshop, you won’t have access to all the finer adjustments you may be used to.
Pixlr requires no money to sign up with. It’s free to use. It runs straight in your web browser without any download onto your Chromebook nor any installation. It’s the fastest way to start editing and retouching images without any mishmash. There really isn’t a faster image editing app on Chromebooks that doesn’t require any annoying account signups and downloads. Pixlr is the real thing. Give it a try and see.
I personally use Pixlr to make some graphics for some of my articles here. I know I’m not the best, but I’ve made some impressive images before (in my opinion). It’s very easy to use and you can make some very nice images and art straight from your web browser on your Chromebook using Pixlr.
Check it out on the Chrome web store here to launch Pixlr, and you’re good to go.
Again, you don’t even need to register. And you don’t need to download anything. It’s easy. If you’re in a rush and need a Photoshop substitute, go with Pixlr. Pixlr is the most similar to Photoshop in user interface (UI) and toolset.
Photoshop Alternative #2: GIMP
GIMP is already well-known as it’s not exclusive to Chrome. GIMP is an image editor that’s been around and can be downloaded on Windows/Mac/Linux and now Chromebooks. GIMP runs in your Chrome browser via cloud service. This means no downloads or installs. Simply launch open GIMP in your browser (link below) and you can start editing photos.
GIMP is a raster graphics editor, which means it’s best used for retouching images and editing them rather than creating. You can draw images, but you may experience quality issues. You can free-form draw as well as resize, crop, combine, montage, and convert between multiple image formats.
Something special about GIMP is that you can create GIF animations. You know, like this:
The interface of GIMP is also similar to Photoshop, but not as much as Pixlr. The feature set and tools of GIMP are advanced enough for the moderate editor, but again, it’s not Photoshop so there will be missing tools. However, it’s still an excellent replacement to use on Chrome instead of the real thing.
GIMP is also constantly updated and has a huge support forum.
You can check GIMP on the Chrome web store here.
You’ll need to register as it’s powered by a cloud service provided by rollApp, but once you make a quick account, you’re ready to go.
Photoshop Alternative #3: iPiccy
iPiccy is a Chrome web app that you can download straight from the Chrome web store. What I like about iPiccy is that it’s extremely easy to use and you can quickly push out pictures like nothing.
iPiccy provides a super easy to use interface. You can pull images from the Internet or your downloads folder. You have a bunch of different layouts to choose from and once you pick one, you can go ahead and start adding images.
I’d suggest iPiccy for making collages, montages, or quickly editing images. You can see all your changes in real-time before you make the edit, and you can use your basic tools such as rotate, crop, resize, auto-fix, color adjustment, sharpen, contrast, and saturation. You can also use a variety of filters and effects, such as painter, vignette, pencil, liquify, and much more.
If you want an easy to use Photoshop alternative, go with iPiccy. It’s simple and straightforward and you’ll be making masterpieces instantly. The learning curve is basically none.
You can download and install iPiccy from the Chrome web store here.
Getting Photoshop for Chromebook is only possible through an app (for now)
So there you have it, 3 alternatives to Photoshop that all run on Chromebooks. All these web apps are somewhat similar to Photoshop and can do a level of editing that the real thing can do. But then again, they’re not Photoshop, so you can’t expect too much from them.
If you really need it on your Chromebook and won’t accept an alternative, then you may want to check out Adobe’s blog about it.
As you probably know, you can’t really run a full instance of Adobe’s program on a Chromebook just yet.
But, you may want to know that it’s coming to Chromebooks, just not yet. It’s still under development. The only problem? It’ll be a while until this happens, so if you’re in need of editing images, it’s best to use an alternative while you wait for the real thing to be developed.
Do you have another Photoshop app that you’d recommend? Let me know.