Yes, Photoshop may be one of the most sought after photo editing programs but it’s not available for free. You need to purchase its creative suite before you can gain access to its full list of tools and features. However, this doesn’t mean that you no longer have any other options. As a matter of fact, the web is full of interesting photo editing tools that you can use for free. One good example of this is Photo Raster, an online photo editor that flaunts a user interface that is very similar to Photoshop.
What is it and what does it do
Photo Raster is a free online photo editor. You can use it right after you register an account. What’s great about this app is that you can directly load it on your web browser. In other words, there’s no need for you to download or install anything on your computer. That’s not all. This app also features a wide variety of photo editing tools for transforming your plain images into a magnificent work of art.
- Web-based, no download or software installation required
- Neat, responsive and user-friendly UI
- Features a wide variety of photo editing tools for photo editing and painting tasks – ex. paintbrush, clone stamp, eraser, insert text, image resize, adjust image brightness and contrast, etc.
- Supports layers
- Supports drag and drop
- You can save your image in PNG, JPG or PRA format
- Works on any web browser
- No offline support
- Since the said photo editor is currently on beta, some of its features are not yet available – ex. pencil, brush and eraser presets, duplicate layer, pen tool, freeform pen tool, etc.
- There is a tendency for the app to lag whenever you’re editing a high-resolution image or photograph
As for someone who is constantly in the lookout for new and reliable Photoshop alternatives, I find Photo Raster very convenient to use. Most importantly, I like the fact that it’s free without any hidden rates or charges.
As a matter of fact, you can use its full version for free and it won’t require you to upgrade to premium just so you could access its entire advanced photo editing tools and options. To get started, all you need to do is to load the web app on your web browser then click the “sign up free” button to register an account. Once you’re registered, just log-in to the web app and launch the online editor. No need for you to download or install any additional software, plug-in or browser extension.
Moving on, you can start by uploading the photo that you want to edit. You can also opt to start working on an empty canvas. Needless to say, the user interface of Photo Raster is very similar to Adobe Photoshop. So if you’re already familiar with the core tools and features of the latter, then it will be much easier for you to adapt to the interface of Photo Raster.
Furthermore, this online photo editor is fully packed with advanced tools and options. It has tools for image adjustments and applying image effects and photo filters. It also flaunts its painting tools as well as its tools for adding text, vectors and layers. Some of the most useful tools that you can find in this web app are as follows:
- For image adjustments – brightness, contrast, levels, curves, exposure, shadows, highlights, degrade, hue, saturation, sepia, desaturate, vibrance, invert, posterize, etc.
- For image filters – soften, soften edges, sharpen, sharpen edges, tilt shift, vignette, diffuse, emboss, relief, ink, pixelize, halftone, etc.
- Painting and selection tools – pencil, brush, clone stamp, eraser, red eye removal, blur, sharpen, smudge, rectangular and elliptic selection, selection modes, magic wand, lasso, polygonal lasso, etc.
- Vectors, layers and image transform – add text, shape, bitmap layers, free transform, resize, resize canvas, crop, rotate, flip, etc.
Performance wise, I have not experienced any serious issues with this online photo editor except for the fact that it has the tendency to lag whenever a user attempts to load and process a high-res image or photo. Apart from this, it should also be noted that this web app is still on beta mode so some of its tools and features are not yet available. This web app also lacks offline support.
Conclusion and download link
To wrap things up, I can say that Photo Raster is a great online alternative to Photoshop. It’s free, user-friendly plus it flaunts a familiar UI so you won’t have to relearn things all over again. Just load and edit the photos that you like and that’s it. The only downside to this app is that you cannot use it offline.
Version reviewed: 1.3 Beta
Requires: Works on almost any type of web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc.) on any desktop operating system (Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, Mac OS X, Linux, etc.)