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Best Photo Editing Software for 2021

Photo editing software helps you change photographs you’ve taken and fix old snaps that are damaged or marked. You can easily perform simple edits like brightening or cropping photos. And you carry out advanced alterations too - like changing colors, ‘airbrushing’ out elements – or even combining images creatively.

Photo editing software comparison chart for 2021

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Photo Explosion Deluxe 5
Movavi Photo Editor
NCH PhotoPad
Pixelmator Pro
Excellent
Five stars means excellent
Very good
Four stars means very good
Good
Three stars means good
Average
Two stars means average /
Poor
One star means poor
Cyberlink PhotoDirector 12 has been awarded best buy Product image of cyberlink photodirector 12 Product image of corel paintshop pro 2021 Product image of adobe photoshop elements 2021 Product image of dxo photolab 4 Product image of photo explosion deluxe 5 Product image of movavi photo editor Product image of nch photopad Product image of pixelmator pro

*$99.00
$29.01 off

*$79.99
$32 off

*$50
$15.01 off
 
 
 
Ratings
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Overall
cyberlink photodirector 12 has a rating of five  overall corel paintshop pro 2021 has a rating of five  overall adobe photoshop elements 2021 has a rating of five  overall dxo photolab 4 has a rating of four  overall photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four  overall movavi photo editor has a rating of four  overall nch photopad has a rating of three  overall pixelmator pro has a rating of four  overall
Setup
cyberlink photodirector 12 has a rating of five for setup corel paintshop pro 2021 has a rating of five for setup adobe photoshop elements 2021 has a rating of five for setup dxo photolab 4 has a rating of four for setup photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for setup movavi photo editor has a rating of three for setup nch photopad has a rating of three for setup pixelmator pro has a rating of four for setup
Importing
cyberlink photodirector 12 has a rating of five for importing corel paintshop pro 2021 has a rating of five for importing adobe photoshop elements 2021 has a rating of five for importing dxo photolab 4 has a rating of four for importing photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for importing movavi photo editor has a rating of three for importing nch photopad has a rating of three for importing pixelmator pro has a rating of four for importing
Photo editing
cyberlink photodirector 12 has a rating of five for photo editing corel paintshop pro 2021 has a rating of five for photo editing adobe photoshop elements 2021 has a rating of five for photo editing dxo photolab 4 has a rating of five for photo editing photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for photo editing movavi photo editor has a rating of three for photo editing nch photopad has a rating of three for photo editing pixelmator pro has a rating of five for photo editing
Features
cyberlink photodirector 12 has a rating of five for features corel paintshop pro 2021 has a rating of five for features adobe photoshop elements 2021 has a rating of five for features dxo photolab 4 has a rating of five for features photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for features movavi photo editor has a rating of three for features nch photopad has a rating of three for features pixelmator pro has a rating of four for features
Organizing
cyberlink photodirector 12 has a rating of five for organizing corel paintshop pro 2021 has a rating of five for organizing adobe photoshop elements 2021 has a rating of five for organizing dxo photolab 4 has a rating of four for organizing photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for organizing movavi photo editor has a rating of three for organizing nch photopad has a rating of three for organizing pixelmator pro has a rating of four for organizing
Sharing
cyberlink photodirector 12 has a rating of five for sharing corel paintshop pro 2021 has a rating of five for sharing adobe photoshop elements 2021 has a rating of five for sharing dxo photolab 4 has a rating of four for sharing photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for sharing movavi photo editor has a rating of three for sharing nch photopad has a rating of three for sharing pixelmator pro has a rating of four for sharing
Ease of use
cyberlink photodirector 12 has a rating of five for ease of use corel paintshop pro 2021 has a rating of five for ease of use adobe photoshop elements 2021 has a rating of five for ease of use dxo photolab 4 has a rating of four for ease of use photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for ease of use movavi photo editor has a rating of three for ease of use nch photopad has a rating of two for ease of use pixelmator pro has a rating of five for ease of use
Help & support
cyberlink photodirector 12 has a rating of five for help & support corel paintshop pro 2021 has a rating of five for help & support adobe photoshop elements 2021 has a rating of five for help & support dxo photolab 4 has a rating of five for help & support photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for help & support movavi photo editor has a rating of three for help & support nch photopad has a rating of three for help & support pixelmator pro has a rating of four for help & support
Photo editing tools
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Auto straightening
cyberlink photodirector 12 includes auto straightening corel paintshop pro 2021 includes auto straightening adobe photoshop elements 2021 includes auto straightening dxo photolab 4 includes auto straightening photo explosion deluxe 5 includes auto straightening movavi photo editor does not include auto straightening nch photopad does not include auto straightening pixelmator pro includes auto straightening
Cloning tool
cyberlink photodirector 12 includes cloning tool corel paintshop pro 2021 includes cloning tool adobe photoshop elements 2021 includes cloning tool dxo photolab 4 includes cloning tool photo explosion deluxe 5 includes cloning tool movavi photo editor includes cloning tool nch photopad includes cloning tool pixelmator pro includes cloning tool
Convert to grayscale
cyberlink photodirector 12 includes convert to grayscale corel paintshop pro 2021 includes convert to grayscale adobe photoshop elements 2021 includes convert to grayscale dxo photolab 4 includes convert to grayscale photo explosion deluxe 5 does not include convert to grayscale movavi photo editor includes convert to grayscale nch photopad includes convert to grayscale pixelmator pro includes convert to grayscale
Layers
cyberlink photodirector 12 includes layers corel paintshop pro 2021 includes layers adobe photoshop elements 2021 includes layers dxo photolab 4 includes layers photo explosion deluxe 5 includes layers movavi photo editor includes layers nch photopad includes layers pixelmator pro includes layers
Layer opacity
cyberlink photodirector 12 includes layer opacity corel paintshop pro 2021 includes layer opacity adobe photoshop elements 2021 includes layer opacity dxo photolab 4 includes layer opacity photo explosion deluxe 5 does not include layer opacity movavi photo editor includes layer opacity nch photopad includes layer opacity pixelmator pro includes layer opacity
Layer masks
cyberlink photodirector 12 includes layer masks corel paintshop pro 2021 includes layer masks adobe photoshop elements 2021 includes layer masks dxo photolab 4 includes layer masks photo explosion deluxe 5 does not include layer masks movavi photo editor includes layer masks nch photopad includes layer masks pixelmator pro includes layer masks
Lens distortion correction
cyberlink photodirector 12 includes lens distortion correction corel paintshop pro 2021 includes lens distortion correction adobe photoshop elements 2021 includes lens distortion correction dxo photolab 4 includes lens distortion correction photo explosion deluxe 5 includes lens distortion correction movavi photo editor includes lens distortion correction nch photopad includes lens distortion correction pixelmator pro includes lens distortion correction
Photo fix wizard
cyberlink photodirector 12 includes photo fix wizard corel paintshop pro 2021 includes photo fix wizard adobe photoshop elements 2021 includes photo fix wizard dxo photolab 4 includes photo fix wizard photo explosion deluxe 5 includes photo fix wizard movavi photo editor includes photo fix wizard nch photopad includes photo fix wizard pixelmator pro includes photo fix wizard
Red eye removal
cyberlink photodirector 12 includes red eye removal corel paintshop pro 2021 includes red eye removal adobe photoshop elements 2021 includes red eye removal dxo photolab 4 includes red eye removal photo explosion deluxe 5 includes red eye removal movavi photo editor includes red eye removal nch photopad includes red eye removal pixelmator pro includes red eye removal
Rotate, resize, flip & crop
cyberlink photodirector 12 includes rotate, resize, flip & crop corel paintshop pro 2021 includes rotate, resize, flip & crop adobe photoshop elements 2021 includes rotate, resize, flip & crop dxo photolab 4 includes rotate, resize, flip & crop photo explosion deluxe 5 includes rotate, resize, flip & crop movavi photo editor includes rotate, resize, flip & crop nch photopad includes rotate, resize, flip & crop pixelmator pro includes rotate, resize, flip & crop
Scratch removal
cyberlink photodirector 12 includes scratch removal corel paintshop pro 2021 includes scratch removal adobe photoshop elements 2021 includes scratch removal dxo photolab 4 includes scratch removal photo explosion deluxe 5 includes scratch removal movavi photo editor includes scratch removal nch photopad includes scratch removal pixelmator pro includes scratch removal
Shadow adjustment
cyberlink photodirector 12 includes shadow adjustment corel paintshop pro 2021 includes shadow adjustment adobe photoshop elements 2021 includes shadow adjustment dxo photolab 4 includes shadow adjustment photo explosion deluxe 5 does not include shadow adjustment movavi photo editor includes shadow adjustment nch photopad includes shadow adjustment pixelmator pro includes shadow adjustment
Text effects
cyberlink photodirector 12 includes text effects corel paintshop pro 2021 includes text effects adobe photoshop elements 2021 includes text effects dxo photolab 4 includes text effects photo explosion deluxe 5 includes text effects movavi photo editor does not include text effects nch photopad includes text effects pixelmator pro includes text effects
Features
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Importing
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Exporting
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JPG, GIFs
cyberlink photodirector 12 exports jpg, gifs corel paintshop pro 2021 exports jpg, gifs adobe photoshop elements 2021 exports jpg, gifs dxo photolab 4 exports jpg, gifs photo explosion deluxe 5 exports jpg, gifs movavi photo editor exports jpg, gifs nch photopad exports jpg, gifs pixelmator pro exports jpg, gifs
Animated GIFs
cyberlink photodirector 12 exports animated gifs corel paintshop pro 2021 exports animated gifs adobe photoshop elements 2021 exports animated gifs dxo photolab 4 exports animated gifs photo explosion deluxe 5 exports animated gifs movavi photo editor exports animated gifs nch photopad exports animated gifs pixelmator pro does not export animated gifs
HTML
cyberlink photodirector 12 exports html corel paintshop pro 2021 exports html adobe photoshop elements 2021 exports html dxo photolab 4 exports html photo explosion deluxe 5 does not export html movavi photo editor exports html nch photopad exports html pixelmator pro exports html
PDF
cyberlink photodirector 12 exports pdf corel paintshop pro 2021 does not export pdf adobe photoshop elements 2021 exports pdf dxo photolab 4 exports pdf photo explosion deluxe 5 does not export pdf movavi photo editor exports pdf nch photopad exports pdf pixelmator pro exports pdf
Sharing
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Organizing
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Help & support
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Telephone support
cyberlink photodirector 12 offers telephone support corel paintshop pro 2021 offers telephone support adobe photoshop elements 2021 offers telephone support dxo photolab 4 offers telephone support photo explosion deluxe 5 offers telephone support movavi photo editor offers telephone support nch photopad offers telephone support pixelmator pro does not offer telephone support
Email support
cyberlink photodirector 12 offers email support corel paintshop pro 2021 offers email support adobe photoshop elements 2021 does not offer email support dxo photolab 4 offers email support photo explosion deluxe 5 offers email support movavi photo editor offers email support nch photopad offers email support pixelmator pro offers email support
*Live chat
cyberlink photodirector 12 offers *live chat corel paintshop pro 2021 does not offer *live chat adobe photoshop elements 2021 does not offer *live chat dxo photolab 4 does not offer *live chat photo explosion deluxe 5 does not offer *live chat movavi photo editor does not offer *live chat nch photopad does not offer *live chat pixelmator pro does not offer *live chat
Manual
cyberlink photodirector 12 offers manual corel paintshop pro 2021 offers manual adobe photoshop elements 2021 offers manual dxo photolab 4 offers manual photo explosion deluxe 5 offers manual movavi photo editor offers manual nch photopad offers manual pixelmator pro offers manual
Knowledge base
cyberlink photodirector 12 offers knowledge base corel paintshop pro 2021 offers knowledge base adobe photoshop elements 2021 offers knowledge base dxo photolab 4 offers knowledge base photo explosion deluxe 5 offers knowledge base movavi photo editor offers knowledge base nch photopad offers knowledge base pixelmator pro offers knowledge base
Forums
cyberlink photodirector 12 offers forums corel paintshop pro 2021 offers forums adobe photoshop elements 2021 offers forums dxo photolab 4 offers forums photo explosion deluxe 5 does not offer forums movavi photo editor offers forums nch photopad offers forums pixelmator pro offers forums
Tutorials
cyberlink photodirector 12 offers tutorials corel paintshop pro 2021 offers tutorials adobe photoshop elements 2021 offers tutorials dxo photolab 4 offers tutorials photo explosion deluxe 5 offers tutorials movavi photo editor offers tutorials nch photopad offers tutorials pixelmator pro offers tutorials
FAQs
cyberlink photodirector 12 offers faqs corel paintshop pro 2021 offers faqs adobe photoshop elements 2021 offers faqs dxo photolab 4 offers faqs photo explosion deluxe 5 offers faqs movavi photo editor offers faqs nch photopad offers faqs pixelmator pro offers faqs
Operating systems
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Windows 10
cyberlink photodirector 12  windows 10 corel paintshop pro 2021  windows 10 adobe photoshop elements 2021  windows 10 dxo photolab 4  windows 10 photo explosion deluxe 5  windows 10 movavi photo editor  windows 10 nch photopad  windows 10 pixelmator pro  windows 10
Windows 8
cyberlink photodirector 12  windows 8 corel paintshop pro 2021  windows 8 adobe photoshop elements 2021  windows 8 dxo photolab 4  windows 8 photo explosion deluxe 5  windows 8 movavi photo editor  windows 8 nch photopad  windows 8 pixelmator pro  windows 8
Windows 7
cyberlink photodirector 12 is compatible with windows 7 corel paintshop pro 2021 is compatible with windows 7 adobe photoshop elements 2021 is compatible with windows 7 dxo photolab 4 is compatible with windows 7 photo explosion deluxe 5 is compatible with windows 7 movavi photo editor is not compatible with windows 7 nch photopad is not compatible with windows 7 pixelmator pro is not compatible with windows 7
Windows Vista
cyberlink photodirector 12 is compatible with windows vista corel paintshop pro 2021 is compatible with windows vista adobe photoshop elements 2021 is compatible with windows vista dxo photolab 4 is compatible with windows vista photo explosion deluxe 5 is compatible with windows vista movavi photo editor is not compatible with windows vista nch photopad is compatible with windows vista pixelmator pro is not compatible with windows vista
Windows XP
cyberlink photodirector 12 is compatible with windows xp corel paintshop pro 2021 is compatible with windows xp adobe photoshop elements 2021 is compatible with windows xp dxo photolab 4 is compatible with windows xp photo explosion deluxe 5 is compatible with windows xp movavi photo editor is not compatible with windows xp nch photopad is compatible with windows xp pixelmator pro is not compatible with windows xp
Mac OS X
cyberlink photodirector 12 is compatible with mac os x corel paintshop pro 2021 is compatible with mac os x adobe photoshop elements 2021 is compatible with mac os x dxo photolab 4 is compatible with mac os x photo explosion deluxe 5 is compatible with mac os x movavi photo editor is compatible with mac os x nch photopad is compatible with mac os x pixelmator pro is compatible with mac os x

Photo editing software explained

It’s hard to take perfect photos. Bad lighting, blurring and unwanted intrusions can all affect the pictures you snap. That’s why photo editing software is a great companion to your digital camera, enabling you to tweak your photos and fix many problems easily.

Although some advanced features may take time to master, most packages contain preset settings for common tasks. This makes improving your photos and performing simple edits quite straightforward.

Features are not everything

Most photo editing software packages are packed with features. But make sure you look beyond the length of the feature list. It’s more important to ensure that the particular features you need are included.

Additionally, if you have little experience with photo editing software, make sure your chosen package is easy to use. Look for tutorials and presets for tasks like removing red-eye from photos and reducing blur.

Saving and organizing photos

Digital photos can be saved as lots of different file types. The most common is JPEG (pronounced ‘jay-peg’). JPEGs are an efficient way to save photos because they dramatically cut the size of the file by slightly lowering the quality of the image.

This does mean there’s a trade-off between file size and image quality. Look for software that lets you preview the image at different file sizes, so you can check you’re happy before you save.

As well as JPEGs, your photo editing software should be able to handle BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF and RAW file formats. This will ensure you can open most images – no matter whether they’re from your own camera or elsewhere.

Finally, photo editing software can help you organize your photos, creating a logical filing system so you can easily locate particular pictures. It’s really useful if you have thousands of photos on your computer.

What to look for in photo editing software

Photo editing features

Look to see if the software can do the basics like crop, resize and rotate a photo. Photo editing software should provide tools that improve your images. Look to see whether they provide automatic correction tools such as red eye removal, teeth whitening and we more importantly we look to see whether they are actually any good.

File compatibility

Digital photos come in many different file formats. Quite often a photo cannot be viewed on a computer because of an incompatible format. Photo editing software allows you to open, import and export a wide range of file formats such as JPG, TIF, BMP and PDF. Image editing software should offer RAW file compatibility.

Photo sharing capabilities

There should be plenty of photo sharing options available for you to show off your photographs. Several companies allow you to upload your photos to an online gallery, where your friends and family can view your photographs. Some photo editors allow you to directly upload your photos to social networking websites (facebook) or photo sharing websites (delicious).

Help & support

It's unlikely that you will need telephone support, but you should really choose a package that provides a good solid user manual. Once you've mastered the basics of your photo editing software, you may want to progress to more advanced techniques and there should be plenty of help and advice to help you master these techniques.

Jargon explained

Cropping

To 'crop' an image means that you are removing part of it. This tool is often used to remove edges of a photo that you don't want.

RAW

RAW files are very similar to photo negatives, because they are unbale to be opened, but store all the data needed to create an image.

EXIF information

EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) is data stored by your digital camera that describes the settings and characteristics of an individual image. The EXIF standard is supported by the majority of camera manufacturers.

Batch processing

Batch processes save you the time and effort of having to open, edit and save each file individually. It allows you to make changes to a group of images in a few steps.

Rank
Cyberlink PhotoDirector 12
Corel PaintShop Pro 2021
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2021
DxO PhotoLab 4
Photo Explosion Deluxe 5
Movavi Photo Editor
NCH PhotoPad
Pixelmator Pro