Are there any photoshop alternatives that have some sort of layer-style system? (Like photoshop?)

5 Answers 5



You will need to download this collection of scripts and put it in your Scripts folder.

Here's a quick tutorial. Here's a YouTube video.

  • 2
    I don't think the Gimp's Layer Effects are the same conceptually as Photoshop's. Photoshop attached non-destructive effects to the layer itself that can be later modified. I believe the GIMP is actually running a script that renders a new raster image on a new layer and/or merges it with the current layer.
    – DA01
    Commented Apr 20, 2011 at 20:14

There is nothing greater than Photoshop according to me.

But you can check these Open Source/Free Alternatives to Photoshop with layer system.

  1. GIMP
  2. Krita
  3. Paint.NET
  4. ChocoFlop
  5. Cinepaint
  6. Splashup

I've been using Pixelmator with great success. It has many of the features that most users will need, sans some Photoshop filters. In many respects it is an improvement over Photoshop in regards to UX.

  • Very true. I worked professionally with InDesign every day for years and worked periodically with Photoshop as well; I got Pixelmator for personal use when it first came out and was very impressed. Very clean UI, very similar to Photoshop, very easy to use for excellent results. (MUCH easier to use than GIMP, at least for PS users.)
    – Wildcard
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 21:53

Fireworks has layer styles. Granted, that still means you are giving money to Adobe.


Acorn has layer styles, but it's not as "fluid" to work with as Photoshop. (Granted, I'm on a laptop, and perhaps a mouse will make it easier to use...)

  • Nothing is going to compare to Photoshop in terms of general UI. Even though PS is getting bloated, it's been in development for over 20 years now. I haven't tried Acorn yet (though have been meaning to). I've been using Pixelmator for a while. It's a very nice UI, though does lack the layer styles.
    – DA01
    Commented Apr 18, 2011 at 3:34

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