This article contains a list of free photo editing software available for Mac users.
Mac is a powerful OS loved by many artists (and photographers) because of its sleek user interface and fast responsiveness. Unlike many Windows users, many photographers look forward to using Macbook as their default photo editing machine.
What is photo editing?
Photo editing is the process of manipulating photos in a digital format to make them appear according to your preferences or requirements.
This includes fixing the lighting conditions, and colors, adding effects, removing unwanted objects or enhancing the subject, and so much more. Photographers need good editing software that covers most (if not all) of these features.
For photographers with Mac, that are just beginning to learn how to edit photos in a professional manner, there are a lot of software to choose from that doesn’t require a paid license or yearly subscriptions.
We have created a list of the top 10 free photo editing software for Mac users to help them use such software so they can edit their photos for free:
- Apple Photos
- Pixlr X
- Google Photos
- Fotor Photo Editor
Web-based free photo editing software for Mac
Photopea is a web-based free photo editing platform for Mac and Windows users with editing capabilities that match photoshop and GIMP.
For beginner photographers, there will be a huge learning curve with all the editing options available from basic to advanced within Photopea. Although there are tutorials available.
Such range of options also comes with its limitations as it will have performance issues with huge image sizes.
Advantages of using Photopea:
- Full-fledged editing software
- Web-based application
Disadvantages of using Photopea:
- Has a big learning curve
- Performance issues with large image formats
- Annoying ads
Apple photos is one of the best free photo editing software available for mac and IOS. Apart from its remarkable features such as seamless integration with the Apple cloud, intuitive library, and the ability to share with others, Apple Photos provide basic editing options.
Apple photos is a jam-packed software that is absolutely free but has limited editing features unlike other competitors on the list, so photographers might lose on various possibilities in manipulating their photos.
Advantages of Apple Photos:
- Stunning library design
- Seamless sync to apple cloud
- Basic editing options
Disadvantages of Apple Photos:
- No advanced editing option
Pixlr X is web-based free photo editing software for Mac and Windows users. It is also available as an app for Android and IOS users.
Having a beginner-friendly user interface, this web-based photo editing software contains a good amount of basic editing options and funky effects/collages that beginner photographers can use on their photos.
All this makes Pixlr X a good contender for this list. However, photographers will have to compromise on the photo quality while exporting the images. This makes photos unsuitable for printing purposes.
Advantages of Pixlr X:
- Web-based Photo editor
- Easy learning curve
Disadvantages of Pixlr X:
- Low-quality export
- Lots of annoying Ads
Google photos is another photo management software and web-based platform like Apple photos, that provides basic photo editing capabilities along with some great features to manage photos.
With a free 15GB storage, it provides a good start for photographers to store their photos for editing. While having basic editing options and filters, it also automatically organizes photos according to faces.
For photographers who wish to print their photos, it does have a downside of having a 16 MP limit on photos.
Advantages of Google Photos:
- Free online storage
- Clean user interface
- AI Facial Recognition
Disadvantages of using Google Photos:
- Less editing options in comparison to other free software
- No Mac or Windows software
Fotor Photo Editor
Fotor Photo Editor is a web-based photo editing platform that is also available as software for Mac and Windows.
Fotor Photo Editor can also edit and convert RAW files to Jpg in a high-quality format. The user interface is clean and easy to navigate.
The various editing options provide an explanation of what they do, making it easier to understand for beginner photographers.
Although editing options in Fotor are limited when compared to other free software. For example, there is no brush for retouching purposes. The edits also apply way slower than other photo editing programs.
Advantages of using Fotor:
- Clear and easy user interface
- Great for Batch Editing
- Web-based application available
Disadvantages of using Fotor:
- Slower than other editing software
- Annoying ads in the web version
Offline Free Photo Editing Software for Mac Users
Darktable is an amazing open-source editing software that competes with the likes of Adobe Lightroom because of its editing capabilities. Having all the basic editing capabilities such as exposure, saturation, temperature, color correction, etc it provides a great editing experience for beginner photographers.
Although it may not have as advanced editing options as Lightroom, it is a great alternative and starting point for photographers that are just starting out.
Advantages of using Darkroom:
- Good variety of editing options
- Cross-platform functionality 9in case you switch from Mac)
- Open source platform
Disadvantages of using Darkroom:
- Design is not intuitive
- Limited Advanced editing options
GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is one of the oldest editing software available for Mac, and practically one of the best free editing software for photographers.
GIMP, just like Darkroom, is open-source editing software that is often compared to photoshop because of its editing capabilities.
Being a free alternative to Photoshop, GIMP gives you a variety of photo editing options for free with various plugin supports.
Beginner photographers can make great use of GIMP to manipulate their photos before moving on to better alternatives with paid subscriptions such as Adobe Photoshop.
Advantages of using GIMP:
- Lots of Basic to advanced editing options (Comparable to Adobe Photoshop)
- Much lighter than Adobe Photoshop.
- Requires less storage space than Adobe Photoshop.
Disadvantages of using GIMP:
- No Mobile version
- Huge learning curve for beginner photographers.
Photographers can try these free photo editing software for their Mac devices and check if they work out according to their requirements or not.
Later when the photographers are ready for paid software they can check out the list of best AI editing software.