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  • Writer's pictureDenis Yankovsky

The Best Photo Editing Software for Mac In 2024 (Free & Paid)

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The world of photo editing has come a long way since the days of having to carry around huge cameras and rolls of film. Now, with the advent of modern technology, we have access to powerful photo editing apps right at our fingertips. But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the best photo editing apps for Mac in 2024, both free and paid. Whether you’re a content maker or an entrepreneur, these apps will help you create stunning visuals quickly and easily and fill up your calendar with lots of new orders.

Photo editing software for Mac is a powerful tool that can be used to enhance any photo. It’s a great way to add effects, fix imperfections, remove unwanted elements, change the color of your photos, and even transform them into digital art. Photo editing apps for Mac are a dime a dozen these days, with the number of great options growing by the day. There are both free and paid best photo editing software for Mac 2024, so choosing the best and the most worthy one is not a trivial task.

Some of the best free photo editing software typically have fewer features, and users are required to subscribe to access advanced tools. However, Mac image editing apps are still useful for beginners who want to experiment with their photos and pros alike. Best paid photo editing software solutions for Mac usually offer more functionality, including creating custom presets and saving your favorite settings, so you don’t have to re-enter them each time you use the program.

With the various Mac image editing options available, choosing the best photo editing software for Mac can be daunting. We’ve rounded up some of the best photo and video editing software for Mac, so you can find what works best for your needs if you are asking what is the best photo editing software for Mac for free.

What Constitutes a Great Photo Editing Software for Mac?

Have you been asking what is the best photo editing software for Mac, free or paid? We’ve researched a bunch and came up with this list of the qualities to look for in the best photo editing software for Mac.

– Features.

Every photo editing software comes with a set of features that make it unique and stand out from the rest. Here are some of the most important features that you need to know about:

Editing tools: Most of the best photo editing software for Mac come with basic editing tools like crop, rotate, color balance, and other basic functions you can use on your photos. Some examples of the best photo editing software for Mac beginners also offer advanced tools such as curve adjustment and vignette effects. But if photos are not the only thing you need to edit, and you work with texts and content too, make sure to check out our recent overview of the best AI tools for content writing and editing.

Adjustments: You may not think of adjusting your photos as an important part of your day-to-day workflow, but it’s actually important to get it right every time. You can make various adjustments to your photos, like brightness/contrast, saturation, etc., depending on their condition.

Photo library management: This feature allows you to organize your photo library and make it easy to access all the photos in one place. You can also use this feature to add new photos from external sources such as Facebook or Instagram so that they can be added automatically to your photo library.

– Usability

The usability of any photo editing software for Mac is an important aspect. You have to feel comfortable and confident in your work. If you are looking for the best photo editing software for Mac beginners, make sure it is easy. The best photo editing software for Mac is one that is designed with the user in mind. It must have a user-friendly interface that helps you access the software and easily make changes to your pictures. This reduces the risk of making mistakes while editing your photos and allows to spend more time scheduling the next photo shooting appointments instead.

– Performance

The best photo editing software for Mac professionals must feature high-performance capabilities. The performance of a photo editor is very important because it determines how long it takes before you can start working on your image. High-performance editing software for Mac offers better results.

If you’re working with more complex 3D image renderings, visit our dedicated article reviewing The Best Rendering Software for SketchUp.

Top 13 List of Best Photo Editing Software for Mac In 2024

Adobe Elements 2024 Photo Editing Software for Mac

The best photo editing software for Mac professional users is undoubtedly Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop contains all the features you could need, whether you want to make minor or more intricate alterations. But if you are rather looking for the best Mac photo editing software beginners can use, Adobe has a new offering in their creative suite that might be just the right choice for you. With a friendlier interface for inexperienced users, Elements 2024 is a somewhat more basic version of the app. Adobe Photoshop is the more comprehensive program of the two. It has more features and tools for editing photos.

But don’t let its slightly less formal appearance mislead you. Elements 2024 is brimming with photo-editing tools, creative effects, entertaining animations, and Adobe’s Sensei Artificial Intelligence technology, speeding up and improving your photographs’ analysis and editing. Additionally, there is a function called Guided Edits that aids users in selecting the appropriate changes.

Photoshop CC may be necessary for professional, skilled picture editors due to the numerous additional editing options and more power it offers. For everyone else, though, Photoshop Elements 2024 offers all the tools you require to transform your favorite pictures into amazing works of art. It costs $99.99 when purchased separately or $149.99 when combined with Premiere Elements 2024.

Price: From $20.99/month for the Photoshop subscription or you can purchase the Elements for a one-time payment of $99.99

In-App-Purchase: No

Lightroom Photo Editing Software for Mac

Lightroom CC also without a doubt qualifies as one of the best free photo editing software for Mac. It is largely devoted to picture processing, in contrast to other programs of Photoshop, which largely focus on image manipulation. It offers all the features needed to fine-tune things such as temperature, color, contrast, and much more. It also gives you the option to add texture, change the amount of noise in your image, and get rid of any extraneous objects.

In addition to more premium presets, quicker editing methods, and inbuilt tips and tutorials to help you advance your skills, the most recent version of Lightroom CC employs artificial intelligence to recommend the best modifications. Besides, this best photo editing software for Mac beginners has a handy function called Community Remix that enables you to share your shot with other Lightroom users and get their feedback on how to make it better. Since Lightroom CC is a component of Adobe’s Creative Cloud, membership is necessary.

Price: Free

In-App-Purchase: No

Fotor Photo Editing Software for Mac

Check out the Fotor Photo Editor if you’re searching for free yet usable photo editing software. This is a wonderful image editing program for beginners because it is very simple to learn, even though it may not be as effective as GIMP. TIFF, JPEG, PNG, plus RAW images are just a few of the many picture types that may be imported and exported with the program. Fotor offers enough functionality to keep you from feeling limited.

Fotor is ideal for Batch processing. You can apply preset filters to several photographs at once, which helps save a ton of time. It comes with additional features, including effects, the capacity to make collages, borders, tilt-shift, etc. To put it plainly, Fotor is essentially a simplified and streamlined variant of Lightroom, Luminar, or any other professional image editing Mac tool on this list. Even though the program is free, it just launched a Fotor Pro version that adds additional capabilities and charges $39.99 per year.

Price: Free (Pro Version $39.99/year)

In-App-Purchase: Yes

PhotoDirector 365 Photo Editing Software for Mac

PhotoDirector 365 is a highly effective Mac photo editing program. It combines functionality from professional versions of Photoshop and Lightroom into a single program. Even if you are unfamiliar with the product, you can jump in and begin editing straight away thanks to the user-friendly interface of this best photo editing software for Mac. The guided editing features in this Mac photo editor let you add watermarks, enhance photographs with touch-up tools, and use AI-inspired effects. This Mac photo editor comes with special goodies only available with PhotoDirector, like cutting-edge video-to-photo maker and 360-degree photo editing capabilities.

This best beginner photo editing software for Mac includes background music libraries for creating slideshows, DSLR and RAW formats compatible, and OpenCL technology optimization as organization and workflow tools. Additionally, you can face-tag, import GIFs as multi-image sequences, and keep GPS photo records. Thanks to the layering features included in this Mac photo editor, you may isolate the various components of a photo before doing edits. The newest layering capabilities are present, including better customizable bevels, snap alignments, layer filtering, and AI object segmentation.

High-end photo editor PhotoDirector has all the functionality a photographer would require. The guided adjustments make the program simple to learn.

Price: $3.33/month

In-App-Purchase: No

Affinity Photo Editing Software for Mac

The finest photoshop for Mac for layer editing is Affinity Photo. It boasts unlimited clipping layers, non-destructive live filters, live blend modes, and masking layers. The filters can be removed, hidden, or rearranged even after application.

Affinity qualifies as a superb Mac picture editing program thanks to its large collection of brushes for incredibly precise selections. Other properties include batch processing, panoramic stitching, skin retouching, and blemish eradication.

Unlike Photoshop, Affinity Photo has fewer features. This best beginner photo editing software for Mac edges out PhotoShop on our list since it is also less expensive and simpler to use. However, it can’t compete with the more user-friendly and reasonably priced features of the PhotoDirector photo editing app for Mac.

Price: $40.99 One-off payment

In-App-Purchase: No

Pixelmator Pro Photo Editing App for Mac

For digital artists, the greatest photo editing software for Mac is Pixelmator Pro since it is a professional-level tool. Use a wide range of vector tools to illustrate, including more than 200 fresh vector shapes created by artists and organized into categories like activities, science, and symbols. The vector tools support the SVG vector file format, allowing users to generate graphics independent of resolution and containing editable smart shapes. Additionally, it includes a state-of-the-art painting engine and dual-texture brushes.

The ML-Enhance mode in this best beginner photo editing software for Mac uses Machine learning to perform color tweaks, saving you time and effort. Objects can be moved or removed and replaced with other pictures, like a background. Additionally, you can access all the fundamental photo editing tools, including color correction, cropping, and resizing.

Pixelmator is a good option for Mac users because it has full MacOS integration and a few high-end features at an affordable rate.

Price: $19.99

In-App-Purchase: No


GIMP 3.0 Free Photo Editing Tool for Mac

Unlike other best raw photo editing software for Mac open-source alternatives, GIMP features plug-in support from its online community. It is considered to be one of the best photo editing software for Mac for beginners. GIMP has a ton of sophisticated capabilities you wouldn’t anticipate in a Mac picture editor that is entirely free.

For artists looking for free best raw photo editing software for Mac, GIMP is the best solution. Because of its extensive toolkit, this best free photo editing software for Mac is popular among artists, illustrators, and graphic designers. The retouching and repairing tools we tested proved to be quite accurate and of the highest caliber. A clone brush, animation tools, and a range of editable brushes are also included.

GIMP is no different from other entirely free and feature-rich best free photo editing software for Mac in that it comes with a catch. GIMP features a complicated user interface and a steep learning curve. As a result, it is not ideal for novices, but it’s the best for professional editors.

Price: Free

In-App-Purchase: Yes

DxO PhotoLab Photo Editing Program for Mac

DxO PhotoLab is an excellent photo editing program for Mac users that requires lens adjustments. The software’s automatic lens correction pays off potential lens faults, including sharpness, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, and distortion. Control points are handled precisely, and there are choices for both local and global adjustment.

Due to its DxO DeepPRIME deep learning AI engine, the program is among Mac’s greatest photo editing software for Mac. The technique can dehaze, demosaic, and denoise photos at the best quality and even restore old photographs that were previously deemed worthless.

For skilled photographers with a wealth of post-processing experience, DxO PhotoLab is a respectable Mac picture editor. Compared to the other best photo editing software for Mac 2024 on this list, the software’s interface is not the most user-friendly for beginners. However, the fact that it has excellent denoise and auto restoration tools is a plus.

Price: $219

In-App-Purchase: No

Capture One Photo Editing App for Mac & iPad

Capture One is the best free photo editing software for Mac for adjusting colors. Eight color ranges are available in Capture One’s sophisticated color editor, which lets you modify only certain colors within an image. With the Skin Tone Editor, you can quickly and correctly depict skin tone.

This Mac and now also iPad image editing tool has what it takes to be the best free photo editing app. For instance, it allows you to use up to 16 layers. You may create a precise mask using a mask brush for specialized object removal or editing. Three style packs featuring instant looks made by seasoned photographers are included with Capture One. You will love the styling brush since it lets us add a filter to a specific region and adjust the strength using sliders.

With the best photo editing software for Mac 2024 precise and superb tools, Capture One produces results of the highest caliber. Its features are excellent, but there aren’t many of them compared to other Mac image editing tools.

Price: Free

In-App-Purchase: Yes

Luminar Neo Free Photo Editing Software for Mac

Luminar Neo is among the finest free photoshop on Mac for portrait retouching. The software employs AI to enhance facial characteristics and correct skin flaws. Along with tools for highlighting and slimming, there are areas dedicated to the skin, eyes, and lips.

This best photo editing software for Mac free can be used alone or as a plug-in for Apple Photos, Photoshop, and Lightroom programs. It has a ton of AI-powered tools, comprising six tools for adjusting shadows, highlights, and mid-tones, in addition to a cropping tool, background remover, and flash-recreation tool.

Several fancy tools are included in this free photoshop on Mac user-friendly packaging. Beginners will appreciate the one-click corrections, but intermediate to professional editors may lament the limited flexibility of this best photo editing software for a Mac. Thus it qualifies as the best photo editing software for beginners on Mac.

Price: Free

In-App-Purchase: Yes

ON1 Photo RAW 2024 Photo Editing Software for Mac

One of the best photo editing software for Mac professionals is ON1 Photo RAW due to its superior format support. This Mac photo editor supports more than 800 cameras and JPEG, TIF, PSD, PSB, PNG, and DNG. ON1 Photo RAW utilizes RAW technology to preserve image quality and ensure that your photos appear just as they appear on the camera’s screen.

This best photo editing software for Mac professionals features hundreds of popular one-click templates and filters, along with LUTs, borders, and textures. If you like filters, you can apply filters to the entire image or a selected area, then use a slider to change the filter’s strength. Additionally, you can merge filters. Professional photographers can benefit greatly from ON1 Photo RAW’s customized AI tools and media organization features.

Price: $99.99

In-App-Purchases: No

Exposure X7 2024 Photo Editing Program for Mac

One of the best photoshop for Mac alternatives for picture effects is Exposure X7. The effects are Film grain, bokeh, light strikes, vignettes, overlays, and vignettes. To add effects to a portion of your image and combine effects in diverse ways, employ planar or radial gradients.

The capabilities for organizing photos make this photo editing program for Mac stand out. Besides, Smart collections can be made using particular criteria. The other most outstanding feature includes cropping composition guides like the golden triangle and golden ratio.

Price: $129

In-App Purchase: No

PhotoPad Best Mac Photo Editing Software for Beginners

PhotoPad, the last one in our list of the best photo editing software for Mac for beginners, offers a very easy-to-use and friendly interface. Should you require assistance, you can consult the user guide, user forum, video tutorials, FAQs, or a customer support staff.

All the fundamentals are covered by this best photo and video editing software for Mac, along with some more sophisticated options. You may crop, resize, rotate, flip, add frames, clipart, or text with this Mac photo editor. Other features worth noting are the passport photo tool and Super Color, a feature that employs Machine learning to apply color to white and black photos. This best photo editing software for a Mac is best suited for beginners, all thanks to its user-friendly interface.

Price: Free

In-App Purchases: Yes

Recap on the Best Photo Editing Software for Mac

The best photo editing photoshop for Mac is a much-needed tool that can help you bring out the best in your photos. With the right software, you can transform your images into something beautiful.

You can do all sorts of things with the best photo editing software for Mac, from adding effects and filters that make your images look even better than they did before to using it as a way to create collages and montages. The possibilities for what you can do with this program are endless. If you’re asking what is the best photo editing software for Mac free, consider the several options available on the market as outlined above.

The best photo editing software for Mac depends on the user’s needs and budget. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are the most popular, but other options such as Pixelmator, Affinity Photo, and GIMP are also available. Each program has its own unique features and tools, so it’s important to research and compare the different options to find the one that best suits your needs.

Photo editing is a popular hobby and a potentially lucrative business, but did you know that optimizing your images for SEO can also improve your website’s rankings in image search results?

So what is the best Mac photo editing software for you?

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