Best photo editing software for Mac 2023: Photoshop alternatives

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editing image on mac 5.jpg
editing image on mac 5.jpg

Back in the mists of time, Adobe’s Photoshop was the killer app that gave the Mac credibility in a world of Windows PCs, and established the Mac as the favoured tool of creative users. So it’s apt that Adobe was quick to release a native version of Photoshop designed for M1 or Apple Silicon Macs. And it gives the new Macs its seal of approval by stating at the time that many filters and other effects run up to 50% faster on the M1 models.

And, of course, Photoshop’s selection of filters and creative tools is unrivalled, with the ability to quickly and easily select and replace objects within an image, versatile masks and layers for creating composite images, and – following the fashion for AI technology – a number of neural filters that can alter colour within scenes, repair blemishes and even alter someone’s expression or make them look older. You can even remove the sky from a scene if you don’t like it and drop a new sky into the background.

Admittedly, Adobe’s insistence on monthly subscription fees for using Photoshop and other Adobe software has opened the door to rivals that simply charge a one-time fee, but Photoshop still rules the roost when it comes to the sheer depth, precision and creative freedom that it provides, and with plans starting at $9.99/£9.98 per month it’s pretty competitive. There’s also a free 7-day trial available.

Paying that monthly fee also ensures that users get instant access to new features and updates as soon as they become available, with the most recent update including a new super-resolution feature for increasing the resolution of RAW image files while maintaining clarity and detail, according to Adobe.

There are various ways to get Photoshop on your Mac. You can subscribe to Photoshop on its own ($20.99/£19.97 including 100GB cloud storage), or as part of a bundle. You can pay upfront for one year, pay monthly for a year, or pay slightly more a month but cancel at any time. There are also Students & Teachers or Schools & Universities deals. We cover the best pricing and deals for Adobe Creative Cloud separately.

The Photography Plan is the best deal. It include Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC (for web and mobile), and Lightroom Classic CC (for desktop). All that costs $9.99/£9.98 a month (you have to sign up for a year). You get 20GB storage included (there’s a 1TB storage option that costs about $10/£10 more a month). Sign up on Adobe’s website.

Alternatively you can get the single Photoshop app for $20.99/£19.97 a month if you sign up for a year, or $31.49/£30.34 a month if you just pay on a monthly basis (which will mean you can cancel within the year). Sign up on Adobe’s website. There’s also a Business option where you can get a single licence for $33.99/£25.28 (ex VAT) a month.

All the Adobe Creative Cloud apps, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and Acrobat, cost $54.99/£51.98 a month. Sign up on Adobe’s website

You may also want to consider Adobe Photoshop Elements, which we review here: Adobe Photoshop Elements review.

For more information read
How to get Photoshop on a Mac

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise