As 2023 unfolds, Mac users are on the lookout for the best photo editing software to transform their images. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur photographer, finding the right photo editing app for Mac can significantly enhance your photo editing experience. This guide aims to introduce the best photo editing software available for Mac in 2023, tailored to meet various editing needs, from simple tweaks to advanced manipulations.

2023’s Leading Photo Editing Software for Mac Users

Adobe Photoshop: A Timeless Choice

Adobe Photoshop remains a top contender in the realm of photo editing software, particularly for Mac users in 2023. Revered for its comprehensive features, Photoshop is ideal for both intricate image manipulation and straightforward adjustments. However, its price tag might be a deterrent for those on a budget.

GIMP: A Cost-Effective Alternative

For those seeking a free photo editing software, GIMP stands out as an excellent alternative to Photoshop. Offering many similar features, GIMP caters well to beginners in photography, although it might fall short for more seasoned users due to its limited advanced features.

Apple’s Photos App: Simplicity Meets Efficiency

Mac users have the added advantage of the built-in Apple Photos app, which provides basic photo editing capabilities. While it may not match the prowess of Photoshop or GIMP, it’s an easy-to-use option for quick edits.

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What Makes a Good Photo Editor for Mac in 2023?

Before diving into our top picks, let’s consider what makes a great photo editor. Key aspects include user-friendly interfaces, a range of editing tools, and compatibility with the latest Mac systems. From beginner-friendly apps to professional-grade software, the best photo editing programs offer a balance of features and ease of use.

The Rise of Photo Editing Apps for Mac

2023 sees a surge in photo editing apps tailored for Mac users. These apps offer the convenience of editing on-the-go, with many featuring touch-up tools, filters, and easy sharing options. They’re perfect for quick edits and social media-ready photos.

Best Free Photo Editing Software for Mac in 2023

Free photo editing software can be a great starting point for beginners or those on a budget. Here are some top choices:

  • GIMP: A powerful open-source photo editor, GIMP offers a range of tools comparable to premium software.
  • Adobe Photoshop Express: A simplified version of the renowned Photoshop, it provides essential editing tools for quick edits.
  • BeFunky: Known for its user-friendly interface, BeFunky is perfect for adding creative effects to your photos.
  • PhotoScape X: This is a versatile editor that also offers photo management capabilities.
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Best Paid Photo Editing Software for Mac

Investing in paid photo editing software can unlock advanced features and professional-grade tools. Here are some of the best options in 2023:

  • Adobe Photoshop: The industry standard, Photoshop offers unparalleled editing capabilities.
  • Affinity Photo: A strong contender to Photoshop, Affinity Photo is known for its powerful tools and lower price point.
  • Pixelmator Pro: A Mac-exclusive editor that offers advanced image editing tools in a user-friendly package.

Optimal Photo Editing Software for Mac Users

Mac users seeking the best photo editing experience in 2023 should consider:

  • Adobe Photoshop: A popular choice known for its user-friendliness and extensive features.
  • Lightroom: Offers a simpler interface, suitable for beginners.
  • Aperture: Combines power with user-friendliness.
  • Affinity Photo: Provides unlimited layers, groups, and comprehensive tools.
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Adobe Photoshop: A Closer Look

Adobe Photoshop stands out as the go-to software for many professionals. Its extensive toolset, from basic editing to complex image manipulation, makes it a top choice for Mac users in 2023. Features like layer editing, 3D modeling, and an extensive plugin library make it a versatile choice for all kinds of photo editing tasks.

Alternatives to Photoshop for Mac Users

While Photoshop leads the pack, several alternatives offer impressive features:

  • Affinity Photo: Ideal for professional photo processing without the subscription model of Photoshop.
  • GIMP: A completely free alternative, offering a range of editing tools suitable for various tasks.
  • Pixelmator Pro: A budget-friendly option with a robust set of tools, offering a great balance of functionality and ease of use.

Specialized Photo Editing Apps for Specific Needs

In addition to general photo editing software, some apps cater to specific needs:

  • Lightroom: Best for photo management and batch editing, particularly useful for photographers with large photo libraries.
  • Photoshop Elements: A simplified version of Photoshop, suitable for hobbyists or beginners looking for a user-friendly experience.
  • ON1 Photo RAW: A great option for those looking to edit RAW images with a non-destructive workflow.

Best Photo Editing Software for Professional and Amateur Photographers

Professional Photographers

For professionals, Adobe Photoshop stands unmatched with features like Content-Aware Fill and the Blur Gallery.

Amateur Photographers

Amateurs have several user-friendly options:

  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC: Offers a range of features, ideal for beginners.
  • Apple Aperture: Packed with powerful tools, easy to use.
  • CyberLink PhotoDirector 9: Extensive features with a user-friendly interface.
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Pros and Cons of Top Photo Editing Software for Mac

Adobe Photoshop

Pros: Versatile, comprehensive features.
Cons: Complex for beginners.


Pros: User-friendly, great for photo organization.
Cons: Limited in effect types.


Pros: Wide range of features, easy to

Cons: Fewer features than Photoshop or Lightroom, can be pricey.

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2023’s Top Photo Editing Software for Mac

Our top picks for Mac in 2023 include:

  1. Adobe Photoshop CC
  2. Lightroom CC
  3. Aperture
  4. Pixelmator
  5. Photolemur 3
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Finding the Best Photo Editing Software for Mac

When it comes to choosing between Adobe Photoshop and Apple Photos, your choice depends on your specific needs. Photoshop excels in comprehensive features, while Apple Photos offers simplicity and ease of use.

For more insights and assistance in selecting the best photo editing software for your Mac in 2023, contact us today!

By Ash

Ash has worked in the software industry for over 25 years. In this time he's learned what to look for in a great product, and all the things to watch out for. It's become his life's mission to help others so they can be more productive with their time. You can reach out to him via the contact us page. I love hearing from readers, so if you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. You can contact me through the contact us page.