If you want to edit images or create graphics, Photoshop is usually the recommended software. However, Photopea has been attracting more users in recent times.
Both platforms come with powerful editing and designing tools, which make them similar. However, they also have significant differences. The question is, which is better?
Today, I will do a side-by-side comparison of both platforms and talk about their features, pros and cons, and other things.
Hopefully, this will help you pick the better tool if you are looking to consider one for your graphic design needs.
Photopea is an online photo editor and one of the best online alternatives to Photoshop. It’s free and lets you work with Photoshop file formats like PSD.
Photopea was launched in 2013 to provide an affordable photo editing service. According to the developers, the aim is to build an advanced photo editor service that people won’t break the bank to use.
While working with Photopea, all files you create are saved on your device. Nothing goes to Photopea cloud servers, which makes the platform safe if you’re particular about privacy.
Furthermore, it’s an open project available on GitHub. You can suggest new photo editing features you want the developers to add.
Although Photopea is famous for being free, the platform also has a premium version.
To use Photoshop, you often need to download and install the software on your device. It primarily supports Windows and Mac computers. However, you can use the official Express Photo Editor app on Android, iOS, and Windows mobile devices.
You can use Photoshop online if you don’t want to download and install the software on your device. The online version is comparable to the downloadable version, but the latter is more convenient to use.
Furthermore, Photoshop, like all the high-end Adobe design programs, is premium. Whether you opt for the downloadable or online version, you must pay.
You can load the Photopea website on any device, so long as it supports a browser. However, for the best experience, you should only use devices with large screens. So, desktops, laptops, and tablets are ideal.
Photopea’s interface features a tools tab on the left and layers on the right. In addition, there’s a menu bar and a tools bar at the top.
You can begin a new project from scratch, a file on your device, or a template. Also, you can import from PeaDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
To get started with Photoshop, you have to download the installer software for your device. When you launch the software, you’ll get a prompt to create an account.
You can create an account with your email address or your Google, Facebook, and Apple account. The software will begin installing after you sign in and accept the terms and conditions.
Note that the installer will first install the Adobe Creative Cloud app – unless you already have it installed – before installing the Photoshop app.
While it downloads, you can select what you intend to use Photoshop for. Once the download is complete, you choose and pay for your preferred pricing plan. Or, you can use the free trial before paying.
Photopea comes with basic and advanced image editing options, similar to what you get on Photoshop.
You have four modes to apply, including RGB, CMYK, Raster, and Vector. But the Vector mode is still in the beta stage.
Other image editing options include auto tone, auto contrast, auto color, vectorize bitmaps, and reduce colors. Also, you can transform images and adjust their canvas file.
For image adjustments, Photopea has about twenty options. Some include brightness, contrast, levels, curves, exposures, vibrance, hue, saturation, and color balance.
Other adjustment options are invert, posterize, shadows, highlight, desaturate, and match color.
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With Photoshop, you get five modes from the image editing options. The modes are RGB, CMYK, Grayscale, Bitmap, and Index.
The image editing options also include auto tone, auto contrast, and auto color, similar to Photopea. Other similar options are options to edit the image size, canvas size, and rotation.
However, Photoshop has some image editing options you won’t get on Photopea. Some examples are Calculations, Apply Data Sets, Analysis, and Trap Features.
The calculations option, as a highlight, lets you combine two different channels from different images. It’s one of the most powerful enhancement tools in the Adobe software.
Trap is another notable feature, which lets you overlap multiple color areas.
You get six filtering options from the Photopea Filter Gallery. These include Artistic, Brush Strokes, Distort, Sketch, Stylize, and Texture Filters.
All it takes is one click to apply your preferred filter. And you can adjust the intensity before the final application.
Photopea also supports lens correction, with options to adjust the amount and scale. In addition, you can add camera raw and liquify filters.
Other filter options you get with Photopea include 3D, Blur, Distort, Noise, Pixelate, Render, Sharpen, Stylize, and Fourier. With all these, you’ll agree that Photopea is a reliable photo editor for adding filters to images.
From the Photoshop filter gallery, you’ll find Artistic, Brush Strokes, Sketch, Texture, Distort, and Stylize filter options. You get at least ten preset filters with each of the options.
Like Photopea, Photoshop supports lens correction, liquify, and camera raw filters. But the Adobe software takes a step ahead with support for adaptive wide angle and vanishing point filters.
The vanishing point filter allows you to fix perspective errors in images with ease. Meanwhile, the adaptive wide angle will fix camera lens problems.
The other filter options like 3D, Blur, Distort, Noise, Pixelate, and Render are also similar to what is on Photopea, but Photoshop has a video filter option.
Photopea features hundreds of PSD templates. You can start editing and designing with these templates and not begin from scratch.
Most templates on Photopea are social media templates. These include post and banner graphics for YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. There are templates for memes, signs, and animations.
You also get close to three hundred mockup templates with Photopea. Such templates are ideal for creating sales and marketing graphics. There are mockup templates for mobile, web, print, and product.
Note that most templates you get on Photopea are designs from other users. Subsequently, you can save your own PSD designs as templates so others can use them.
Photoshop has thousands of templates created by in-house designers and users. The templates are available on Adobe Stock, many of which are free.
Adobe Stock doesn’t feature Photoshop templates alone. It also features templates of other programs in the Adobe Creative Cloud, including Illustrator, InDesign, and Premiere.
Therefore, when searching for a template, you should use the filters to select Photoshop. That way, you get only PSD templates.
As mentioned earlier, many templates are free, but not all. You can access more templates if you have an active Creative Cloud All Apps subscription than with a Photoshop subscription. Nevertheless, you can also pay a separate subscription plan for Adobe Stock.
Photopea works with Raster and Vector image files. As a result, it supports PSD, XCF, Sketch, PNG, JPG, and GIF file formats. It also supports WebP, ICO, BMP, PBM, TIFF, SVG, and DNG.
However, you can only save your works as PSD files. Alternatively, you can only export them as PNG, JPG, SVG, GIF, and PDF files. Other supported export file formats include WEBP, BMP, TIFF, RAW, and EMF.
Photoshop’s supported file formats transcend Raster and Vector image files. This is because the software also works for editing videos. As a result, it also supports audio and video formats.
Photoshop supports up to thirty graphics file formats, including native formats like Photoshop PSD, DCS, EPS, PDF, and Raw. Others include popular formats like JPEG, PNG, TIFF, WebP, and BMP.
Furthermore, Photoshop supports advanced graphics file formats like Cineon, DICOM, Scitex CT, Targa, and Pixar. Support for these many graphic formats sets the software apart from others.
Photoshop works with MP4, MOV, JPEG2000, and DPX for video exports. It supports more formats for imports, including 3GP, AVI, FLV, and AVC.
You can only import five audio formats with Photoshop. These include AAC, M2A, M4A, MP2, and MP3.
Photopea falls short when it comes to collaboration. With the free account, you cannot collaborate with others in real time.
The same applies to premium account owners, even though Photopea has team options. The team options only offer a medium to save money on subscriptions and for leaders to track members.
If you’re a team and want to collaborate, your only option is to use cloud storage platforms. For example, you can save the PSD files on PeaDrive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive, which Photopea supports.
That way, anyone can access the files if they have access to the cloud storage.
Collaborative editing is one of the most recent Photoshop features. Known as “invite to edit,” you can add other Photoshop users and give them access to your work.
However, this doesn’t mean you can all edit one file at the same time. Instead, you can make changes at different times, and when you save, it syncs with changes made by other users.
As a result, to collaborate in Photoshop, your file must be stored in the cloud. If you attempt to access a file while another user is editing, you can wait for them to finish or make a copy of the file.
If you make a copy, you can still sync the changes with the main file when you’re done.
As an online tool, Photopea only needs a browser to work. Hence, it’s a photo editor you can use on almost any device platform.
In particular, you can use Photopea on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPhone, and iPad, to name a few. All you need is a modern browser. Browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera will work perfectly.
Being an online tool doesn’t mean you always need an internet connection to use Photopea. Once you load the website, you can turn off your internet connection and use it offline. It’s possible because the tool stores your work locally on your device.
Photoshop supports Windows and Mac devices. You can install the software on 64-bit Windows 10 or later versions. Also, you need at least 1.5 GB of GPU memory.
If you’re a Mac user, you can install Photoshop if your device runs on Big Sur version 11 or later.
Not long ago, Adobe launched Photoshop for the web. Hence, if you don’t want to install the software or your device isn’t compatible, you can use it via a browser.
However, note that Photoshop’s web version has limited functionality. It’s not as feature-equipped as the desktop version. Also, to use Photoshop online, you need a Creative Cloud subscription.
Plugins let you do more with Photopea, and about thirty of them are available. Some popular plugins include 3D Elements, Emoji, Pexels Embed, Freepik, and Wikipedia Images.
From their descriptions, it’s easy to tell what these plugins do. The 3D Elements plugin offers premade 3D elements, while the Emoji plugin lets you insert emojis.
The Pexels Embed, Freepik, and Wikipedia Images are similar. Each lets you import pictures from Pexels, Freepik, and Wikipedia, respectively.
Photopea also features effects and filters plugins. One plugin you’ll appreciate is the OCR plugin, which lets you extract text from images.
Photoshop has a global user community. So, the platform boasts thousands of plugins. You can find these plugins in the Plugin Marketplace in the Creative Cloud desktop app.
Most Photoshop plugins in the marketplace are not free. Their prices vary, as it’s up to the creators. If you can program, you can create your own plugins.
Furthermore, while the Creative Cloud desktop app is the official plugin resource, it’s not the only one. You can find Photoshop plugins on other websites and third-party marketplaces as well.
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If you need help as a Photopea user, you can consult the Photopea community on GitHub, Reddit, and Facebook. You can only get support via email if you’re a premium subscriber.
For resources, Photopea features a Learn platform, tutorials, and a blog. Among these resources, you’ll find articles to guide you on making the best of the photo editor.
You can contact the Photoshop support team via the live virtual assistant on the website. But you must log in. Alternatively, you can post in the online community and get answers from millions of users worldwide.
Photoshop also has a help center, user guide, and tutorials to help you learn how to use the software.
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Photopea is free. You can visit the website and start using it without making any payment. However, as mentioned in the overview, there’s a premium option.
The main difference between the free and premium versions is that the premium version gives you online storage space and contains no ads. In addition, you get access to quick email support and more steps in the edit history.
Photopea Premium pricing depends on the number of users. The plans include the following:
- 30 Days: $9
- 90 Days: $10
- 365 Days: $40
Team of Five
- 30 Days: $15
- 90 Days: $30
- 365 Days: $120
Team of Twenty
- 30 Days: $50
- 90 Days: $100
- 365 Days: $400
Team of Fifty
- 30 Days: $100
- 90 Days: $200
- 365 Days: $800
Photoshop pricing is straightforward. You can purchase the software alone or as part of the photography bundle with Adobe Lightroom. You can also purchase it as part of Adobe Creative Cloud with twenty other apps.
Check out the pricing plans below:
- Photoshop Plan: $31.49 per month ($20.99 per month with annual payment)
- Photography Plan: $19.99 per month (billed annually)
- Creative Cloud All Plans: $82.49 per month ($54.99 per month with annual payment)
Note that you can try Photoshop for seven days before paying a subscription. Also, Adobe has plans for businesses and educational institutions, which may be more affordable.
- Free to use
- Affordable paid plans
- Easy to get started
- Hundreds of free design templates
- Supports different graphics file formats
- Up to thirty plugins
- Works without an internet connection
- Only available via web
- Doesn’t support collaboration
- Available online and for desktop and mobile
- Extensive image editing and filtering options
- Large collection of templates
- Supports graphics, video, and audio files
- Supports collaboration
- Extensive plugin marketplace
- Relatively expensive
- Requires Creative Cloud app to install
- Both platforms primarily work with the PSD file format.
- Both Photopea and Photoshop have paid plans.
- Both platforms have similar image editing and filtering options.
- Both platforms feature design templates.
- Both Photoshop and Photopea support multiple file formats.
- With either Photopea or Photoshop, you get support for plugins.
- Photopea is only available as online software, while Photoshop is available on desktop and online.
- Photoshop works for editing video, while Photopea does not.
- Photoshop has an Express Editor mobile app, while Photopea doesn’t support any mobile app.
- Photopea is available for free, while Photoshop is only available as premium software.
- Photopea doesn’t require account registration to use, but Photoshop does.
- Photoshop has more image editing and filtering options than Photopea.
- Photoshop supports more file formats than Photopea.
- Photopea has up to thirty plugins, while Photoshop has thousands.
- Photopea doesn’t support collaboration, but Photoshop does.
Without question, Photoshop is a better photo editing software than Photopea. Currently, no photo editing software is as advanced as the Adobe software considering its features.
Photoshop has more image editing options, filter options, and templates than Photopea. It also supports more file formats, platforms, and plugins. Nevertheless, Photopea is a good option if you cannot afford Photoshop.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing.
Tom has been a full-time internet marketer for two decades now, earning millions of dollars while living life on his own terms. Along the way, he’s also coached thousands of other people to success.