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5 Best Free Photo Editors Without Watermark in 2022

Last Updated on Jun. 17, 2022 – by David Morgan
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5 Best Free Photo Editors Without Watermark in 2022

If you’ve ever used a free photo editing program, you’ve probably encountered the classic watermark problem. 

Many photo editing programs allow you to use their tools for free, only to slap your finished image with a watermark of the program’s logo.

Watermarks can take away from the beautiful edits you added to your image. However, several free editing programs exist that do not require you to include a watermark. You just need to know where to find them. 

We’ve compiled a list of the five best photo editing programs that do not include watermarks on your finished photos. Read on to learn the top free photo editor software with no watermarks.


Top 3 Free Photo Editors Snapshot

PowerDirector Logo

1. PhotoDirector - Best Overall Free Photo Editor

PhotoDirector’s professional-level editing tools and beginner-friendly interface make it ideal for anyone. With a more robust set of tools than any other editor in this article, there isn’t a photo editing task you won’t be able to achieve with this software. It’s the perfect combination of Photoshop-style editing and Lightroom-like management and corrections. Detailed Review >


Note! Only when you subscribe to PhotoDirector can you export photos without a watermark.

GIMP Logo

2. GIMP - Best For Advanced Editing

GIMP packs an impressive selection of beginner and professional editing tools into an open-source, versatile interface. Detailed Review >

RawTherapee Logo

3. RawTherapee - Best Free Lightroom Alternative

RawTherapee’s impressive photo management tools, color correction features, and RAW photo correction effects make it a suitable alternative to Lightroom. Detailed Review >

Best Overall Free Photo Editor - PhotoDirector

PhotoDirector Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 10 / 10

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 10 / 10

Key Features:

  1. Breathtaking visual effects
  2. AI object removal and sky replacement
  3. Express layer templates
  4. LUTs color palette packs

PhotoDirector is a professional-level editing program with dozens of high-quality tools, features, and effects. This program packs its comprehensive editing suite into a beginner-friendly interface, allowing even amateur editors to create stunning finished products. 

PhotoDirector includes many effects you won’t see in other editing programs. For example, you use artificial-intelligence editing tools to create time-consuming enhancements within minutes. The Object Removal tool can automatically eliminate unwanted objects and people from your photos. Meanwhile, the sky replacement effect can add a beautiful sunset or Northern Lights sky to your image in seconds. 

Professional photographers appreciate PhotoDirector’s impressive design packs tailored just to their needs. For example, you can use the LUTs color presets to apply color correction and color grading to your images easily. 

Best of all, the premium version of PhotoDirector does not include any watermarks or logos on edited images. As a result, you can add natural-looking effects and edits to your photos without worrying that a watermark will take away from your hard work. 

Reasons to Recommend

  1. Professional-level editing tools
  2. User-friendly interface
  3. Affordable price and no watermarks on the premium version

Download PhotoDirector today to try out this top-level editing program for yourself.

5 Best Free Photo Editors Without Watermark

1. GIMP - Best For Advanced Editing

GIMP Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Overall Rating: 9 / 10

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 6 / 10

GIMP, short for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free photo editor with a wide range of editing tools and features. The program includes essential features for beginners, such as cropping tools, color adjustment effects, filters, and customizable brushes. It also features professional effects for more advanced editors, such as layer masks, animation effects, Bezier curves, and more. 

GIMP is completely free and does not include any watermarks on its edited images. However, this program may be a little confusing for beginners. The interface isn’t intuitive, and new users may have trouble locating the needed features. 

Pros
  • Open-source program with continual updates
  • Wide range of tools and features
  • Professional editing effects
Cons
  • Cluttered, non-intuitive interface
  • Challenging for beginners to navigate

2. RawTherapee - Best Free Lightroom Alternative

RawTherapee Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 8 / 10

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 7 / 10

RawTherapee is a free, open-source photo editor and management program that offers an affordable alternative to Lightroom. This program allows you to edit images non-destructively, which means you can reverse any edits without issue. It also includes advanced color correction tools and RAW file corrections that allow for professional-level enhancements.

While RawTherapee consists of a wide range of features, it lacks some of the photo editing tools you’ll see in advanced programs like PhotoDirector. It focuses more on photo processing than editing. 

Additionally, the program’s interface requires a bit of a learning curve to master. Nevertheless, if you’re in the market for a free Lightroom alternative, RawTherapee should fit the bill.

Pros
  • Advanced photo management and processing
  • Non-destructive photo edits
  • Impressive color correction tools
Cons
  • Few advanced photo editing tools
  • Learning curve for beginners

3. digiKam - Best Photo Organizer

digiKam Interface

Image from Open Source.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Overall Rating: 7 / 10

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 7 / 10

digiKam is an open-source photo organizer that can help you manage and batch-edit an entire photography session in one go. If you’re a professional photographer or just diving into the world of photography, you may find this organizer tool helpful to keep in your arsenal.

digiKam includes essential editing tools, such as photo effects, color balance features, sharpen tools, blur effects, and more. However, this program is more valuable as a photo organization tool than a professional editor. Its effects can be a bit buggy, and it lacks the more advanced AI tools and color grading effects you’ll see in programs like PhotoDirector.

Pros
  • Basic photo editing tools
  • Batch edits and raw processing
  • Free, open-source platform
Cons
  • No advanced effects
  • Slow, buggy interface

4. Paint.Net - Best For Beginners

Paint.Net Interface

Image from Paint.net.

Compatibility: Windows

Overall Rating: 7 / 10

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 7 / 10

If you’ve ever used the built-in Paint tool on an old computer, you may be familiar with Paint.net’s interface. This tool goes a step above the built-in Paint program by providing photo editing tools suitable for beginners and more serious editors.

Paint.net offers layer editing, special effects, and powerful editing tools. Its interface is easy to navigate and unintimidating, and beginners can feel confident using more advanced tools like Magic Wand, a simple text editor, a recoloring tool, and a Clone Stamp. 

However, Paint.net is more suitable for quick photo retouches than professional edits. If you want to enhance your photo significantly, you’ll want a more robust program like PhotoDirector.  

Pros
  • Beginner-friendly interface
  • A wide range of basic and more advanced tools
  • Unlimited history
Cons
  • Lacks some advanced tools
  • No Mac compatibility

5. Inkscape - Best for Graphic Designers

Inkscape Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Overall Rating: 6 / 10

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 8 / 10

Inkscape is an illustration and graphics editor ideal for graphic designers. This free tool features an impressive selection of design tools, allowing you to create and manipulate objects, fill images with gradients, group objects in layers, and more. You can also use Inkscape as a photo collage maker or for removing backgrounds from images. 

One of Inkscape’s best features for photo editors is its text tools. You can add text to your pictures in a wide range of fonts and styles and even fill shapes with text. However, aside from this tool, Inkscape isn’t much of a photo editor. If you’re looking for a professional photo enhancer, you’ll need a program like PhotoDirector.

Pros
  • Powerful graphic design and illustration tools
  • Impressive text tools
  • Beginner-friendly interface
Cons
  • Lacking many photo editing effects
  • Slow processing

Best Free Photo Editors Comparison Chart

Software PhotoDirector GIMP RawTherapee digiKam Paint.Net Inkscape
OS Windows, Mac Windows, Mac, and Linux Windows, Mac Windows, Mac, and Linux Windows Windows, Mac, and Linux
Beginner-friendly Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
Photo Management Yes No Yes Yes No No
Templates Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
AI Tools Yes Yes No No No No
Layer Editing Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Free Download
Free Download
Secure Download
Download Download Download Download Download

PhotoDirector vs

OS

Windows, Mac

-

Beginner-friendly

Yes

-

Photo Management

Yes

-

Templates

Yes

-

AI Tools

Yes

-

Layer Editing

Yes

-


How To Edit Photos for Free With PhotoDirector

PhotoDirector is the best overall photo editor. This program is easy to learn and navigate, making it suitable for beginners. However, its advanced editing tools and powerful AI effects also make it ideal for professional photo editors and photographers. 

You can download PhotoDirector for free today to try these editing tools for yourself. Here are a few quick tutorials on how to edit photos with PhotoDirector to get you started. 

Getting Started with PhotoDirector

  1. Open PhotoDirector on your desktop or laptop computer. 
  2. Click the File tab in the top-left corner, then select Import.
  3. PhotoDirector - Import

    You can either select each photo individually or import an entire folder of pictures at a time. Once you upload photos, they will appear in your PhotoDirector library. You can then edit them individually or apply batch edits.

  4. Select the image in your library that you would like to edit in this session. It will appear in the preview window. 

Now you’re ready to begin editing your image. 

How to Add Filters to a Photo

PhotoDirector’s filters can change the colors and tones in your photos to create a more aesthetically pleasing look. Here’s how you can add filters with PhotoDirector: 

  1. Navigate to the Adjustments tab at the top of the window. 
  2. Select Presets, then click the Default Presets dropdown. 
  3. PhotoDirector - Preset

    You will see a list of preset filter categories, including 

    • Black & White
    • Color Creative
    • HDR
    • HDR (Effect)
    • Portrait
    • Scenery
    • Split Toning
  4. Choose the filter you would like to apply to your photo, then preview it in the Preview window. 
  5. We recommend testing out various filters until you find the perfect fit. 

How to Apply Effects

PhotoDirector also includes numerous photo effects that you can use to distort or alter your photos. These effects can add visual appeal to your images and increase engagement on social media. Even better, they take only a few seconds to apply to your photos. 

  1. Navigate to the Guided tab at the top of the window. 
  2. Select the Photo Effects dropdown. 
  3. PhotoDirector - Photo Effects

    You will see a list of photo effects that you can apply to your images, including:

    • AI Style Transfer
    • Sky Replacement
    • Blur Tools
    • Focus
    • Color
    • Glitch
    • Grain
    • Style
  4. Click the photo effect you would like to apply to your image. 
  5. You’ll see the change appear in the Preview window. 

How to Crop Your Photo

You can crop your photo with PhotoDirector in a few easy steps:

  1. Navigate to the Adjustments tab. 
  2. PhotoDirector - Adjustments
  3. Select the Manual button. 
  4. Click the first icon under Regional Adjustment Tools. This is the Crop icon. 
  5. PhotoDirector - Regional Adjustment Tools

    An adjustable box will appear over your photo.

  6. Drag the edges of the box to cover only the portion of the photo you would like to keep. 
  7. You can also adjust the aspect ratio and crop angle under the Crop tool. 

  8. Click Done to save your changes.

How to Add Text 

Adding text over your photos is easy with PhotoDirector. Just follow these steps: 

  1. Click the Layers tab at the top of the page. 
  2. Select the Text tool from the toolbar on the right-hand side of the page. 
  3. PhotoDirector - Add Text
  4. Click on your photo to create a text box in that area. 
  5. Type your desired text into the text box. 
  6. Use the settings on the right-hand side of the screen to adjust the font, size, style, and color of the text.

How to Export Your Photo

The tutorials above only cover a handful of the numerous features available in PhotoDirector. We recommend taking some time to explore all of the program’s unique features. Once you’re ready to save and export your photo, you can follow these steps:

  1. Click the Export button under the preview window. 
  2. PhotoDirector - Export

    The Photo Export Menu will appear. 

  3. Click Basic, then type in the file name and choose the format and size you’d like to export it in. 
  4. Select the export destination. 
  5. Click Export. 

Download the Best Photo Editor for Free

If you’re in the market for a free photo editor, you’ll want to choose one that doesn’t leave a watermark on your photo creation. Thankfully, several free photo editing programs offer an impressive selection of features and do not include watermarks. 

The programs on our list include various features suitable for photographers, graphic designers, professional photo editors, and casual social media posters. However, our top choice overall is PhotoDirector. This program is straightforward to use and contains a wide range of basic and advanced effects for professional editing. 

The premium version of PhotoDirector does not include watermarks on finished photos. This program is affordable, accessible, and comprehensive, making it an excellent choice all around. 

Download PhotoDirector today to try out the tutorials above and begin creating professional-level edits. 

Free Photo Editor With No Watermark FAQ

1. What is the Best Free Photo Editor for Beginners?

Some photo editing programs are a little too complicated for brand-new editors. As a result, if you’re a beginner, you’ll want to look for a program with a user-friendly interface and easy-to-use tools. 

PhotoDirector is the best free photo editor for beginners. This program includes an intuitive interface, making it easy to navigate even without prior experience. Its tools are also easy to use, and you’ll find helpful tips and descriptions throughout the program to guide your experience. 

If you’re looking to achieve advanced photo effects with PhotoDirector, you can check out one of the programs' numerous tutorials. You can find a tutorial for just about any effect, ranging from how to resize images to how to remove unwanted objects. 

Altogether, if you’re a beginner photo editor, you’ll be incredibly satisfied using PhotoDirector. 

2. What Features Should I Look For in a Free Photo Editor?

The free photo editing programs on our list contain diverse sets of features. Some of these programs focus more on photo management, others include features suitable for graphic designers, and some offer powerful photo editing interfaces. 

Generally, the best free photo editors have the following features:

  • Crop, resize, and adjustment tools
  • Filters and color enhancements
  • Advanced photo effects
  • Artificial intelligence tools
  • Built-in stock images and audio tracks
  • Layer templates
  • Text tools and gorgeous fonts

If you’re looking for a program that checks all of these boxes, we recommend PhotoDirector

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