Top 5 raster graphics editors to create stunning photo edits

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
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  • Are you a digital artist or a graphics designer?
  • Look no further, this article brings you some of the best raster graphics editors in the market starting with the industry's standard: Adobe Photoshop.
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best raster graphics editor

Are you a digital artist or a graphics designer? Do you need a reliable raster graphics editor to make your work easier? Look no further – this article brings you some of the best raster graphics editors in the market.

A raster graphics editor is an application that facilitates the creation and edition of photos or graphical illustrations and saving them in one of the standard raster image formats like JPEG, GIF, PNG, and others.

It is a creative tool commonly used by graphics designers and creative artists in their day-to-day endeavors, to create, edit and retouch images as they see fit.

There is a myriad of raster graphics editor software in the market, most of which are substandard or average at best. Hence, if you want a reliable raster graphics editor, follow through this article with keen attention.

In this piece, we’ll be listing and describing five of the most reliable raster graphics editor programs in the market.

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What’s the best raster graphics editor for PCs?

Adobe Photoshop

adobe photoshop best raster graphics editorAdobe Photoshop is probably the most popular raster graphics editor out there, with a huge global client-base. It is a product of Adobe Corporation, and it is supported on both Windows and Mac computer systems.

Adobe Photoshop, to many people, is the established standard in the world of photoshopping and raster image editing.

The software is equipped to edit raster image layers and color patterns, for all the major raster image formats including

BMP, JPEG, PICT, PNG, PSD and TIFF.

It hosts a highly customizable and extensible platform, which is made possible by plug-ins like Camera-Raw, filter plug-ins, color correction plug-ins, 3D effects, special effects, and so on.

Adobe Photoshop hosts a myriad of powerful features, some of which include: Paintbrush, 3D extrusion, Video editing, slicing and cropping tools, frame and shape tools, Symmetry mode, Clone Stamp, color management, comprehensive support & tutorials, and mobile integrations.

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Corel Painter

corel painter best raster graphics editorCorel Painter, from Corel Corporation, is one of the most widely used raster graphics editor applications out there. Painter is the ultimate photoshop tool of millions of graphic designers and creative artists across the globe.

This program is cross-compatible with both Windows and Mac computers, with support for all modern Windows versions. Corel Painter hosts a set of powerful tools allowing you to create impressive photos.

The software is like the digital version of a traditional paint toolbox, as it hosts features like felt pens, pattern pens, image hose, airbrush, pastel sticks, watercolor, floaters, thick paint, media library, and so on.

Essentially, it is designed to simplify the work of a creative artist, as all physical paintings can easily be created and edited with a computer system and a graphics tablet (or mouse) via Corel Painter.

Other noteworthy features of Corel Painter include a comprehensive user guide, intuitive UI, color workflow, Wacom tablet support, multi-format file support (PNG, JPEG, and so on), composition guidance, reliable client support and much more.

Corel Painter is offered in two models: Business and Education. The pricing of both models is available by-quote (custom pricing). There is also a free trial version for both versions.

Get now Corel Painter

Corel PaintShop Pro

Corel PaintShop Pro best raster graphics editorCorel PaintShop Pro, fondly tagged PSP, is a top-rated raster graphics editor, which is specially designed for Windows computers.

However, PaintShop Pro is not just a raster graphics editor, it is also a vector graphics editor. As such, it is an all-rounder, which makes it one of the leading options for millions of digital artists across the globe.

PaintShop Pro’s original build was not designed by Corel; it was instead acquired from a middle-class tech firm in 2004.

The software has gone through a series of development since then, and today, it is comfortably one of the best graphic design and photo editing tools in the market.


Looking for alternative image editing tools? Here are the best options for Windows 10.


PaintShop Pro hosts the latest in AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology, 360o editing, and much more.

Other key features include One-step photo fix, Paintbrush, 4K support, Auto-save, Swift image cropping, Vintage tools, Pic-to-Painting presets, Photo restoration, Layers, Masks, Image filters, Media sharing (via Social media integration), Customer support, Free trial and more.

Download Free Trial from the official website

GIMP

gimp best raster graphics editorGIMP – GNU Image Manipulation Program – is one the oldest raster graphics editor in the market, having been around for over 20 years now. It is supported on all major computer operating systems, specifically Linux, MacOS and Microsoft Windows.

GIMP is specially built to simplify the art of photo/image editing. It can be employed to retouch any type (format) of photos, and also change images from one format to another.

This makes it ideal for quick editing since virtually all image formats are supported.

Some of the main features/tools of GIMP include Watercolors selector, HSV color selector, Paintbrush, Airbrush, Bucket fill, Blend tool, Clone tool, Smudge tool, Dodge & burn tool, Multilayer support, 150+ image filters, Automation & Scripting languages (Script-Fu, Python-Fu and more).

More advanced features include Animation package (plug-in), Resynthesizer (plug-in), Unsharp mask tool, Multi-format support, Color management extensions (Inkscape & Scribus), and more.

GIMP is an open-source application, developed under GNU’s General Public License (GPL). As such, it is available to all at absolutely no cost.

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Want to create amazing graphics? Try one of these tools!

Artweaver

artweaver best raster graphics editorArtweaver rounds up our list of best raster graphics editors. It is similar to Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter in terms of functionality.

It also offers exclusive support for only Microsoft Windows computer systems, although it can also be used on Linux PC.

Artweaver, just like Corel Painter, is capable of simulating traditional paint works, with a set of color management and photo editing tools like airbrushes, paint brushes, oil paint effects, photo filters (mosaic, emboss & blur) and so on.

Furthermore, Artweaver houses support for virtually all image file formats, albeit with limited layer support.

Other notable features of this software include lasso, magic wand, multilingual support, pen tablet/eraser support, custom pallets, color themes, customizable presets, multiple CPU core support, plug-ins, mirrored painting, user-friendly UI, a dedicated helpline and more.

Artweaver is a freemium program; with a free version for personal use and an optimized commercial edition for business owners and professionals.

Buy Artweaver Plus

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This article has outlined five of the best raster graphics editors in the market. These programs have been selected and ranked based on factors like ease of usage, features, Windows compatibility, client-base, and affordability.

So, if you are a digital artist, graphics designer, or just an art lover, you can employ one of the above-listed raster graphics editors to simplify your workflow and improve productivity.

FAQ: Learn more about raster images

  • What is a raster image used for?

Raster graphics are commonly used for non-linear images like digital photographs, scanned images, 3D objects or detailed graphics. Raster images are bitmaps composed of individual pixels and are usually larger than vector-based graphics.

  • What is the difference between raster image and vector image?

Raster graphics are composed of pixels, while vector graphics are composed of paths. When scaling a raster graphic, the pixels on the edge will begin to have a grainy aspect, while scaled vector graphics preserve the same quality of the image.

  • Is PNG raster or vector?

A PNG is a raster file type that uses a certain number of pixels to compose the image. Other popular raster formats include BMP, JPEG, PICT, PSD, and TIFF.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.