Adobe Alternatives: Replacement for Photoshop and Firefly AI

Adobe is the absolute top dog when it comes to creative apps on Mac and Windows PCs. If you want to edit photos, use Photoshop. If you want to conjure up video effects, use After Effects. If you want to record and edit audio professionally, use Audition. And so forth. But there are definitely viable alternatives for many of Adobe’s “Creative Cloud” apps. Below I have brought together Adobe alternatives for cheap or even free replacement of Photoshop and the Firefly AI. You should not skip the introductory instructions on replacing Adobe programs.

Are you looking for a replacement for Adobe's Creative Cloud apps? Here you can find Photoshop alternatives and image AIs other than Firefly. For each software there is a small description and a link to the respective website.
Are you looking for a replacement for Adobe's Creative Cloud apps? Here you can find Photoshop alternatives and image AIs other than Firefly. For each software there is a small description and a link to the respective website.

Previous posts on Adobe alternatives

Note: The alternatives are not Adobe clones

When replacing Adobe software, it's important to understand that the alternatives aren't just downloading cheap or free clones of Photoshop, Premiere Pro, or Audition. Many of the apps listed below come with their own interfaces, their own menus, their own tools, and their own strengths and weaknesses. Of course there may be similarities. But you can't implement the same workflow 1:1.

It's easy to get used to Affinity Photo if you already have Photoshop experience. However, anyone who has previously been active in After Effects will not be able to find their way around DaVinci Resolve 100% straight away. And anyone who has previously recorded and edited audio recordings in Audition will be able to GarageBand or Audacity you have to study the menus first to get roughly the same results. So there is a learning curve to prepare for. Sometimes it is very steep.

This is not intended to serve as a deterrent, but rather to prevent know-it-all comments complaining that this or that alternative mentioned is not as nice / simple / comprehensive / intuitive / whatever as the Adobe program that you get with it want to replace. With that in mind: let's go!

Photoshop alternatives: Cheap and free apps other than Adobe

  • Affinity Photo: Anyone who has already had experience with Photoshop and is looking for an easy switch will be happy with Affinity Photo. I have been using it myself for several years and am completely satisfied. Affinity Photo costs €74,99 (macOS, Windows) or €19,99 (iPadOS). There is also a universal license including Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher for use on all compatible devices (Mac, PC, iPad) for just €179,99.
  • GIMP: GIMP is probably the best-known, open-source and free alternative to Photoshop. When I first looked at GIMP over 15 years ago, I thought it was just a better paint. Over the years and with the growing range of functions, I have come to see it more and more as an alternative to more complex photo and graphics programs. There are more details about the GIMP app (macOS, Windows, Linux). in this blog post.
  • PhotoLine: PhotoLine is not quite as extensive as Photoshop, but is still well equipped with various functions and tools. This app for image and photo editing is available for a one-off price of €79, each as a single license for Mac or PC.
  • Chalk: The Krita app is free and open source. For anyone looking for extensively usable drawing software, it could be the best offer. The app for Mac, Windows PC and Linux machine certainly has a learning curve, but once you get used to it, it can help you create complex digital art. Read more here.
  • paintstorm studio: At Paintstorm, the focus is also on creating your own art. However, the various tools and customization options can definitely help you edit photos. A demo version helps you get an insight into Paintstorm Studio for free - on macOS, Windows, Linux and on the iPad. The individual license also costs only $19. Two licenses are available at a discount for just $29.

Firefly alternatives: AI imaging without an Adobe subscription

  • Sumo Paint: Sumo Paint is a web app that offers multiple image editing options. At first glance, the free web app, which can be used without registration, is not as extensive as Photoshop. Where that in Browser The only usable program that can score points is AI image creation. Simply enter a prompt here, press Enter, wait a moment and receive an AI image. With an account (“Basic” is free) and possibly a subscription, you get more functions and options.
  • Slab: OpenAI's AI image generation is the graphical counterpart to the chatbot ChatGPT. Anyone who uses paid access to ChatGPT can also use Dall-E. A subscription model is also used here, but this is at least linked to the advantage of being able to use the latest public language model from OpenAI. Jens offers you details about Dall-E here.
  • Tip for Windows users: Uses the free one Copilot AI in Windows 11 or in the Edge browser of Windows 10 to use Dall-E. Copilot is based on OpenAI technology and offers the same image generation technology as the paid OpenAI subscription.
  • midjourney: An AI for image generation used via Discord. I've never tried it, but I know that Jens uses Midjourney from time to time. If you have any questions about the topic, you can contact him.
  • Ideogram: If it bothers you that the image AI you have chosen cannot handle fonts and the display of words, then Ideogram is the right Firefly alternative. In addition to general image generation, this AI is specialized in correctly representing the words mentioned in the prompt and to be written in the image and not in scribbling any nonsense. More details here from Jens: Ideogram – Free image AI that can also do typography.
  • Locally running “Diffusion” apps: In order to use stable diffusion or similar AI models for image creation locally, you need a program into which you can load the models measuring several GB and then feed them with prompts. Examples would be Mochi Diffusion, Diffusers and AI Photo, but also Diffusion Bee. You have to pay a bit of attention to the updates, which sometimes add or take away features. In addition, the results you get depend on the model you use.

Alternatives to Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Illustrator and Co.

I actually wanted to list the alternatives for many other Adobe programs from the Creative Cloud subscription in this post. But that would go beyond the scope and actually make the overview rather confusing. That's why the alternative apps for video editing, audio manipulation, desktop publishing and so on follow in their own individual articles. If you are urgently looking for an alternative to a specific Adobe app, please leave a comment. And also if you know other replacement programs and can recommend them.

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