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Top 9 best photo editing software programs for Macs

Photo editing is an integral part of the photographer’s work. Certainly, finding the right light and the right camera settings go a long way towards capturing quality images. However, these steps alone are not enough. For this reason, many professionals use photo editing software to improve their shots.

These digital tools tend to maximize the lighting, remove the grain or erase the elements that interfere with the photograph (passers-by, road signs, etc.). When it comes to visual processing, these computer programs can truly work miracles and make it possible to edit photos well. Let’s take a closer look at the top 9 photo editing software programs for Mac.

Table of contents

1. PhotoDirector Essential, a comprehensive and easy-to-use software program

PhotoDirector Essential is a free, easy-to-use photo editing software program. This tool, available on Mac and Windows, offers some must-have features:

  • replacement of the sky;
  • cropping of objects;
  • merging of panoramic photos;
  • editing layers;
  • advanced color replacement;
  • addition of a glitch effect, etc.


It is also possible to correct the tone of the images or to modify the white balance. Usable by amateur photographers, as well as professional photographers, PhotoDirector Essential has an intuitive interface that facilitates image processing.

2. Pixelmator and Pixelmator Pro for editing top-quality images

Pixelmator is a popular photo editor. This system provides various photo editing features such as layers, vector creation, artificial intelligence assistance, etc.

The software offers a wide variety of possibilities to improve photos accurately. Easy to use, Pixelmator offers a customizable interface and is suitable for beginners. The tool also includes effects and filters that give another dimension to the images. 

Pixelmator integrates directly with macOS. The software has all the default Mac menus and shortcuts. It is therefore very easy to extract photos from applications such as iMessage, AirDrop, FaceTime or Mail. Pixelmator also supports all macOS tools (Magic Mouse, Apple Pencil, Apple Fonts, etc.). 

However, the free version has a time limit. To access the full functionality of the tool, it is necessary to install its paid version, Pixelmator Pro, which costs €39.99 in 2022.

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3. Capture One, the free photo editing software program for processing series of photos

Capture One is a photo editing software program that allows you to edit and process a series of photos. The system has powerful tools that allow you to improve your pictures, whether by changing their colors, adding filters or modifying their brightness.

Capture One offers different features:

  • image editing, to change the style of photos, colors, contrasts, etc.
  • layers and masks to create color gradients, remove elements, manage progressive contours, etc.;
  • photo correction (perspective, distortion, chromatic aberrations, etc.) ;
  • improving details on RAW files, etc.


In addition to these features, the Capture One interface is very pleasant. The software is compatible with the vast majority of professional cameras. It also offers the ability to edit photos in real time by connecting the camera to the software. 

4. Adobe Photoshop Elements 2022 and its latest accurate features

Adobe Photoshop Elements 2022 is a paid photo editing software program available on Mac that is suitable for both professionals and individuals. The system combines advanced editing tools with easier-to-use features. With Adobe Photoshop Elements 2022, photographers can achieve truly impressive results. 

Since the last update, the tool integrates fun and practical features through Sensei. Sensei brings together artificial intelligence techniques that allow you to perfect photos and videos through new creative modules. Other artistic effects have been added, such as cubism or post-impressionism, and it is also possible to modify the sky or the background of a landscape in one click for more spectacular effects.

5. Photoscape X and its unique features

Photoscape X offers an interesting advantage. The tool offers batch processing. In other words, it is possible to apply quick modifications (resizing, name change, format change, etc.) to several images at once, saving the photographer a lot of time.

A free photo editing software program, Photoscape X provides various tools to crop, merge, combine or resize photos while adding effects or stickers. 

The program, however, does not support HDR information and EXIF data. The quality of the image when saving files can also be reduced. To avoid these pitfalls and to be able to use all the proposed features with complete peace of mind, it is possible to buy the paid version of Photoscape X for €39.99 in 2022.

6. Skylum's Luminar Neo, a publishing platform powered by artificial intelligence

Skylum’s Luminar Neo is a photo editing tool powered entirely by artificial intelligence. The software works independently or as a plug-in and allows you to:
  • correct skin imperfections;
  • create an artistic blur ideally blended in the background on portrait photos (bokeh effect);
  • remove the background of the shots in no time;
  • optimize the details and clarity of the images to make them more vibrant;
  • generate object masks and layers for collages and overlays, etc.
In short, this tool is very comprehensive and also benefits from a very attractive interface.

7. Photos, a free photo-editing software program

Photos, which replaces iPhoto, is a free photo-editing software program developed by Apple. The tool is perfectly suited to the size of Mac screens and also supports Retina screens of the latest MacBook Pro versions. 

Photos offers professional photographers and beginners the opportunity to maximize the quality of their images thanks to an ergonomic interface and suitable tools. Nevertheless, it is important to note that this software does not offer any photomontage functionality. Photographers fond of this technique can therefore quickly feel restricted. 

8. Affinity Photo and its custom workspaces

Affinity Photo is a paid photo-editing software program that is suitable for both professional photographers and slightly less experienced users. The system allows you to develop five different personas, each with its own features. Each persona provides a personalized workspace and focuses on a set of specific applications:

  • Photo Persona, for photo editing (cropping, selection, eraser, vector tools, etc.) ;
  • Liquify Persona, for photo editing and special distortion effects;
  • Develop Persona, for the development of RAW images with control over the color and tone of the image;
  • Tone Mapping Persona, dedicated to image tone mapping;
  • Export Persona, for exporting and then downloading the photos.


Affinity Photo is a very comprehensive software program that allows you to produce extremely high-quality photographs.

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9. Adobe Lightroom, the multi-functional photo editing app

Lightroom is a paid photo editing app with multiple features. The tool is available on computers, mobile devices or online.

By relying on this computer system, it is possible to improve the brightness, contrast or tone of the shots to maximize the overall effect of the image. Photographers, both professional and amateur, can also edit specific parts of their photos using advanced features such as the brush tool, for example, or the application of gradients (linear, radial gradients, etc.). In short, with Lightroom, a powerful photo-editing tool, you can let your creativity run wild.  

Thanks to the various photo-editing software programs presented, editing images and improving them becomes a breeze! Of course, each of them offers a different interface and functionalities. It is therefore best to try them out before choosing in order to find the most suitable tool for your work and art.

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