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Photo editing software

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 2017

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
DxO OpticsPro 10
Corel PhotoImpact X3
Movavi Photo Editor
ArcSoft PhotoStudio 6
NCH PhotoPad
Pixelmator
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
Serif PhotoPlus X8 has been awarded best buy Product image of serif photoplus x8 Product image of corel paintshop pro x9 Product image of adobe photoshop elements 15 Product image of photo explosion deluxe 5 Product image of dxo opticspro 10 Product image of corel photoimpact x3 Product image of movavi photo editor Product image of arcsoft photostudio 6 Product image of nch photopad Product image of pixelmator

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Ratings
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Overall
serif photoplus x8 has a rating of five  overall corel paintshop pro x9 has a rating of five  overall adobe photoshop elements 15 has a rating of five  overall photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four  overall dxo opticspro 10 has a rating of four  overall corel photoimpact x3 has a rating of four  overall movavi photo editor has a rating of four  overall arcsoft photostudio 6 has a rating of three  overall nch photopad has a rating of three  overall pixelmator has a rating of four  overall
Setup
serif photoplus x8 has a rating of five for setup corel paintshop pro x9 has a rating of five for setup adobe photoshop elements 15 has a rating of five for setup photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for setup dxo opticspro 10 has a rating of four for setup corel photoimpact x3 has a rating of four for setup movavi photo editor has a rating of three for setup arcsoft photostudio 6 has a rating of three for setup nch photopad has a rating of three for setup pixelmator has a rating of four for setup
Importing
serif photoplus x8 has a rating of five for importing corel paintshop pro x9 has a rating of five for importing adobe photoshop elements 15 has a rating of five for importing photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for importing dxo opticspro 10 has a rating of four for importing corel photoimpact x3 has a rating of three for importing movavi photo editor has a rating of three for importing arcsoft photostudio 6 has a rating of three for importing nch photopad has a rating of three for importing pixelmator has a rating of four for importing
Photo editing
serif photoplus x8 has a rating of five for photo editing corel paintshop pro x9 has a rating of five for photo editing adobe photoshop elements 15 has a rating of five for photo editing photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for photo editing dxo opticspro 10 has a rating of five for photo editing corel photoimpact x3 has a rating of four for photo editing movavi photo editor has a rating of three for photo editing arcsoft photostudio 6 has a rating of three for photo editing nch photopad has a rating of three for photo editing pixelmator has a rating of five for photo editing
Features
serif photoplus x8 has a rating of four for features corel paintshop pro x9 has a rating of five for features adobe photoshop elements 15 has a rating of five for features photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for features dxo opticspro 10 has a rating of five for features corel photoimpact x3 has a rating of three for features movavi photo editor has a rating of three for features arcsoft photostudio 6 has a rating of three for features nch photopad has a rating of three for features pixelmator has a rating of four for features
Organizing
serif photoplus x8 has a rating of five for organizing corel paintshop pro x9 has a rating of five for organizing adobe photoshop elements 15 has a rating of five for organizing photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for organizing dxo opticspro 10 has a rating of four for organizing corel photoimpact x3 has a rating of three for organizing movavi photo editor has a rating of three for organizing arcsoft photostudio 6 has a rating of three for organizing nch photopad has a rating of three for organizing pixelmator has a rating of four for organizing
Sharing
serif photoplus x8 has a rating of five for sharing corel paintshop pro x9 has a rating of five for sharing adobe photoshop elements 15 has a rating of five for sharing photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for sharing dxo opticspro 10 has a rating of four for sharing corel photoimpact x3 has a rating of three for sharing movavi photo editor has a rating of three for sharing arcsoft photostudio 6 has a rating of three for sharing nch photopad has a rating of three for sharing pixelmator has a rating of four for sharing
Ease of use
serif photoplus x8 has a rating of five for ease of use corel paintshop pro x9 has a rating of five for ease of use adobe photoshop elements 15 has a rating of five for ease of use photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for ease of use dxo opticspro 10 has a rating of four for ease of use corel photoimpact x3 has a rating of three for ease of use movavi photo editor has a rating of three for ease of use arcsoft photostudio 6 has a rating of three for ease of use nch photopad has a rating of two for ease of use pixelmator has a rating of five for ease of use
Help & support
serif photoplus x8 has a rating of five for help & support corel paintshop pro x9 has a rating of five for help & support adobe photoshop elements 15 has a rating of five for help & support photo explosion deluxe 5 has a rating of four for help & support dxo opticspro 10 has a rating of five for help & support corel photoimpact x3 has a rating of three for help & support movavi photo editor has a rating of three for help & support arcsoft photostudio 6 has a rating of three for help & support nch photopad has a rating of three for help & support pixelmator has a rating of four for help & support
Photo editing tools
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Auto straightening
serif photoplus x8 includes auto straightening corel paintshop pro x9 includes auto straightening adobe photoshop elements 15 includes auto straightening photo explosion deluxe 5 includes auto straightening dxo opticspro 10 includes auto straightening corel photoimpact x3 includes auto straightening movavi photo editor does not include auto straightening arcsoft photostudio 6 does not include auto straightening nch photopad does not include auto straightening pixelmator includes auto straightening
Cloning tool
serif photoplus x8 includes cloning tool corel paintshop pro x9 includes cloning tool adobe photoshop elements 15 includes cloning tool photo explosion deluxe 5 includes cloning tool dxo opticspro 10 includes cloning tool corel photoimpact x3 includes cloning tool movavi photo editor includes cloning tool arcsoft photostudio 6 includes cloning tool nch photopad includes cloning tool pixelmator includes cloning tool
Convert to grayscale
serif photoplus x8 includes convert to grayscale corel paintshop pro x9 includes convert to grayscale adobe photoshop elements 15 includes convert to grayscale photo explosion deluxe 5 does not include convert to grayscale dxo opticspro 10 includes convert to grayscale corel photoimpact x3 includes convert to grayscale movavi photo editor includes convert to grayscale arcsoft photostudio 6 includes convert to grayscale nch photopad includes convert to grayscale pixelmator includes convert to grayscale
Layers
serif photoplus x8 includes layers corel paintshop pro x9 includes layers adobe photoshop elements 15 includes layers photo explosion deluxe 5 includes layers dxo opticspro 10 includes layers corel photoimpact x3 includes layers movavi photo editor includes layers arcsoft photostudio 6 includes layers nch photopad includes layers pixelmator includes layers
Layer opacity
serif photoplus x8 includes layer opacity corel paintshop pro x9 includes layer opacity adobe photoshop elements 15 includes layer opacity photo explosion deluxe 5 does not include layer opacity dxo opticspro 10 includes layer opacity corel photoimpact x3 includes layer opacity movavi photo editor includes layer opacity arcsoft photostudio 6 does not include layer opacity nch photopad includes layer opacity pixelmator includes layer opacity
Layer masks
serif photoplus x8 includes layer masks corel paintshop pro x9 includes layer masks adobe photoshop elements 15 includes layer masks photo explosion deluxe 5 does not include layer masks dxo opticspro 10 includes layer masks corel photoimpact x3 includes layer masks movavi photo editor includes layer masks arcsoft photostudio 6 does not include layer masks nch photopad includes layer masks pixelmator includes layer masks
Lens distortion correction
serif photoplus x8 does not include lens distortion correction corel paintshop pro x9 includes lens distortion correction adobe photoshop elements 15 includes lens distortion correction photo explosion deluxe 5 includes lens distortion correction dxo opticspro 10 includes lens distortion correction corel photoimpact x3 does not include lens distortion correction movavi photo editor includes lens distortion correction arcsoft photostudio 6 does not include lens distortion correction nch photopad includes lens distortion correction pixelmator includes lens distortion correction
Photo fix wizard
serif photoplus x8 includes photo fix wizard corel paintshop pro x9 includes photo fix wizard adobe photoshop elements 15 includes photo fix wizard photo explosion deluxe 5 includes photo fix wizard dxo opticspro 10 includes photo fix wizard corel photoimpact x3 includes photo fix wizard movavi photo editor includes photo fix wizard arcsoft photostudio 6 includes photo fix wizard nch photopad includes photo fix wizard pixelmator includes photo fix wizard
Red eye removal
serif photoplus x8 includes red eye removal corel paintshop pro x9 includes red eye removal adobe photoshop elements 15 includes red eye removal photo explosion deluxe 5 includes red eye removal dxo opticspro 10 includes red eye removal corel photoimpact x3 includes red eye removal movavi photo editor includes red eye removal arcsoft photostudio 6 does not include red eye removal nch photopad includes red eye removal pixelmator includes red eye removal
Rotate, resize, flip & crop
serif photoplus x8 includes rotate, resize, flip & crop corel paintshop pro x9 includes rotate, resize, flip & crop adobe photoshop elements 15 includes rotate, resize, flip & crop photo explosion deluxe 5 includes rotate, resize, flip & crop dxo opticspro 10 includes rotate, resize, flip & crop corel photoimpact x3 includes rotate, resize, flip & crop movavi photo editor includes rotate, resize, flip & crop arcsoft photostudio 6 includes rotate, resize, flip & crop nch photopad includes rotate, resize, flip & crop pixelmator includes rotate, resize, flip & crop
Scratch removal
serif photoplus x8 includes scratch removal corel paintshop pro x9 includes scratch removal adobe photoshop elements 15 includes scratch removal photo explosion deluxe 5 includes scratch removal dxo opticspro 10 includes scratch removal corel photoimpact x3 includes scratch removal movavi photo editor includes scratch removal arcsoft photostudio 6 includes scratch removal nch photopad includes scratch removal pixelmator includes scratch removal
Shadow adjustment
serif photoplus x8 includes shadow adjustment corel paintshop pro x9 includes shadow adjustment adobe photoshop elements 15 includes shadow adjustment photo explosion deluxe 5 does not include shadow adjustment dxo opticspro 10 includes shadow adjustment corel photoimpact x3 includes shadow adjustment movavi photo editor includes shadow adjustment arcsoft photostudio 6 does not include shadow adjustment nch photopad includes shadow adjustment pixelmator includes shadow adjustment
Text effects
serif photoplus x8 does not include text effects corel paintshop pro x9 includes text effects adobe photoshop elements 15 includes text effects photo explosion deluxe 5 includes text effects dxo opticspro 10 includes text effects corel photoimpact x3 includes text effects movavi photo editor does not include text effects arcsoft photostudio 6 includes text effects nch photopad includes text effects pixelmator includes text effects
Features
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Importing
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Exporting
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JPG, GIFs
serif photoplus x8 exports jpg, gifs corel paintshop pro x9 exports jpg, gifs adobe photoshop elements 15 exports jpg, gifs photo explosion deluxe 5 exports jpg, gifs dxo opticspro 10 exports jpg, gifs corel photoimpact x3 exports jpg, gifs movavi photo editor exports jpg, gifs arcsoft photostudio 6 does not export jpg, gifs nch photopad exports jpg, gifs pixelmator exports jpg, gifs
Animated GIFs
serif photoplus x8 exports animated gifs corel paintshop pro x9 exports animated gifs adobe photoshop elements 15 exports animated gifs photo explosion deluxe 5 exports animated gifs dxo opticspro 10 exports animated gifs corel photoimpact x3 exports animated gifs movavi photo editor exports animated gifs arcsoft photostudio 6 does not export animated gifs nch photopad exports animated gifs pixelmator does not export animated gifs
HTML
serif photoplus x8 exports html corel paintshop pro x9 exports html adobe photoshop elements 15 exports html photo explosion deluxe 5 does not export html dxo opticspro 10 exports html corel photoimpact x3 exports html movavi photo editor exports html arcsoft photostudio 6 does not export html nch photopad exports html pixelmator exports html
PDF
serif photoplus x8 exports pdf corel paintshop pro x9 does not export pdf adobe photoshop elements 15 exports pdf photo explosion deluxe 5 does not export pdf dxo opticspro 10 exports pdf corel photoimpact x3 does not export pdf movavi photo editor exports pdf arcsoft photostudio 6 does not export pdf nch photopad exports pdf pixelmator exports pdf
Sharing
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Organizing
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Help & support
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Telephone support
serif photoplus x8 offers telephone support corel paintshop pro x9 offers telephone support adobe photoshop elements 15 offers telephone support photo explosion deluxe 5 offers telephone support dxo opticspro 10 offers telephone support corel photoimpact x3 offers telephone support movavi photo editor offers telephone support arcsoft photostudio 6 does not offer telephone support nch photopad offers telephone support pixelmator does not offer telephone support
Email support
serif photoplus x8 offers email support corel paintshop pro x9 offers email support adobe photoshop elements 15 does not offer email support photo explosion deluxe 5 offers email support dxo opticspro 10 offers email support corel photoimpact x3 offers email support movavi photo editor offers email support arcsoft photostudio 6 does not offer email support nch photopad offers email support pixelmator offers email support
*Live chat
serif photoplus x8 does not offer *live chat corel paintshop pro x9 does not offer *live chat adobe photoshop elements 15 does not offer *live chat photo explosion deluxe 5 does not offer *live chat dxo opticspro 10 does not offer *live chat corel photoimpact x3 does not offer *live chat movavi photo editor does not offer *live chat arcsoft photostudio 6 does not offer *live chat nch photopad does not offer *live chat pixelmator does not offer *live chat
Manual
serif photoplus x8 offers manual corel paintshop pro x9 offers manual adobe photoshop elements 15 offers manual photo explosion deluxe 5 offers manual dxo opticspro 10 offers manual corel photoimpact x3 offers manual movavi photo editor offers manual arcsoft photostudio 6 offers manual nch photopad offers manual pixelmator offers manual
Knowledge base
serif photoplus x8 offers knowledge base corel paintshop pro x9 offers knowledge base adobe photoshop elements 15 offers knowledge base photo explosion deluxe 5 offers knowledge base dxo opticspro 10 offers knowledge base corel photoimpact x3 does not offer knowledge base movavi photo editor offers knowledge base arcsoft photostudio 6 offers knowledge base nch photopad offers knowledge base pixelmator offers knowledge base
Forums
serif photoplus x8 offers forums corel paintshop pro x9 offers forums adobe photoshop elements 15 offers forums photo explosion deluxe 5 does not offer forums dxo opticspro 10 offers forums corel photoimpact x3 offers forums movavi photo editor offers forums arcsoft photostudio 6 does not offer forums nch photopad offers forums pixelmator offers forums
Tutorials
serif photoplus x8 offers tutorials corel paintshop pro x9 offers tutorials adobe photoshop elements 15 offers tutorials photo explosion deluxe 5 offers tutorials dxo opticspro 10 offers tutorials corel photoimpact x3 offers tutorials movavi photo editor offers tutorials arcsoft photostudio 6 does not offer tutorials nch photopad offers tutorials pixelmator offers tutorials
FAQs
serif photoplus x8 offers faqs corel paintshop pro x9 offers faqs adobe photoshop elements 15 offers faqs photo explosion deluxe 5 offers faqs dxo opticspro 10 offers faqs corel photoimpact x3 offers faqs movavi photo editor offers faqs arcsoft photostudio 6 does not offer faqs nch photopad offers faqs pixelmator offers faqs
Operating systems
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Windows 10
serif photoplus x8  windows 10 corel paintshop pro x9  windows 10 adobe photoshop elements 15  windows 10 photo explosion deluxe 5  windows 10 dxo opticspro 10  windows 10 corel photoimpact x3  windows 10 movavi photo editor  windows 10 arcsoft photostudio 6  windows 10 nch photopad  windows 10 pixelmator  windows 10
Windows 8
serif photoplus x8  windows 8 corel paintshop pro x9  windows 8 adobe photoshop elements 15  windows 8 photo explosion deluxe 5  windows 8 dxo opticspro 10  windows 8 corel photoimpact x3  windows 8 movavi photo editor  windows 8 arcsoft photostudio 6  windows 8 nch photopad  windows 8 pixelmator  windows 8
Windows 7
serif photoplus x8 is compatible with windows 7 corel paintshop pro x9 is compatible with windows 7 adobe photoshop elements 15 is compatible with windows 7 photo explosion deluxe 5 is compatible with windows 7 dxo opticspro 10 is compatible with windows 7 corel photoimpact x3 is not compatible with windows 7 movavi photo editor is not compatible with windows 7 arcsoft photostudio 6 is compatible with windows 7 nch photopad is not compatible with windows 7 pixelmator is not compatible with windows 7
Windows Vista
serif photoplus x8 is compatible with windows vista corel paintshop pro x9 is compatible with windows vista adobe photoshop elements 15 is compatible with windows vista photo explosion deluxe 5 is compatible with windows vista dxo opticspro 10 is compatible with windows vista corel photoimpact x3 is compatible with windows vista movavi photo editor is not compatible with windows vista arcsoft photostudio 6 is compatible with windows vista nch photopad is compatible with windows vista pixelmator is not compatible with windows vista
Windows XP
serif photoplus x8 is compatible with windows xp corel paintshop pro x9 is compatible with windows xp adobe photoshop elements 15 is compatible with windows xp photo explosion deluxe 5 is compatible with windows xp dxo opticspro 10 is compatible with windows xp corel photoimpact x3 is compatible with windows xp movavi photo editor is not compatible with windows xp arcsoft photostudio 6 is compatible with windows xp nch photopad is compatible with windows xp pixelmator is not compatible with windows xp
Mac OS X
serif photoplus x8 is compatible with mac os x corel paintshop pro x9 is compatible with mac os x adobe photoshop elements 15 is compatible with mac os x photo explosion deluxe 5 is compatible with mac os x dxo opticspro 10 is compatible with mac os x corel photoimpact x3 is compatible with mac os x movavi photo editor is compatible with mac os x arcsoft photostudio 6 is not compatible with mac os x nch photopad is compatible with mac os x pixelmator 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
Serif PhotoPlus X8
Corel PaintShop Pro X9
Adobe Photoshop Elements 15
Photo Explosion Deluxe 5
DxO OpticsPro 10
Corel PhotoImpact X3
Movavi Photo Editor
ArcSoft PhotoStudio 6
NCH PhotoPad
Pixelmator