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The Best Digital Photo Software for Editing and Sharing Images

To really fine-tune the look of your photos, use image-editing software.

Apps in this Guide

The photo-editing tools on your mobile phone can help you quickly polish your snaps before sharing them with friends. The best help you easily adjust lighting, contrast, and color and add filters tomore

The photo-editing tools on your mobile phone can help you quickly polish your snaps before sharing them with friends. The best help you easily adjust lighting, contrast, and color and add filters to change the look of your photos.

But to really polish your images, you'll want to use digital photo-editing software for Windows or MacOS, which offer industrial-strength editing tools to create the image you want.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with image-editing tools?
Digital photo software can put powerful image-editing tools in your hands. With a photo-editing app, you can enhance, rotate, and crop an image, tweak its perspective, and adjust its brightness and colors. Many come with filters that help you apply a specific look and feel to your images. Some, like Apple's Photos for MacOS, let you add extensions to expand the range of editing tools you can use.
Can I sync and backup to the cloud?
It's easy to edit images right from your Mac or PC, but many services back up your photos to the cloud in case something locally goes wrong. On the consumer side, Google's Photos Backup app for Mac and PC automatically syncs photos from your computer to the cloud. Apple's Photos app also handles backup and syncing with iCloud. Apple offers 5GB of free cloud-based photo storage and Google, 15GB, with the option of purchasing more space. Most cloud services will help you organize your images by date, or you can sort photos into folders or assign tags. A few use machine learning to identify faces, places, and things in an image to collect similar images together.
How can I share photos?
Most apps let you send your images with friends and family or share via a social app. Snapchat and Instagram, for example, are perfect for sharing moments with your group. To show off your best work to the public, look to a photo website. Flickr and 500px, for example, are designed to help you display your work to the public. Flickr also tags your images through image recognition, and you can tag your own images. Either way, you can search through Flickr images based on tags.

Best digital photography apps

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

If you need industrial-strength tools, Adobe's image-editing apps set the standard. For $9.99 a month, you can subscribe to Adobe's Photography bundle, which includes Photoshop and Lightroom. Between the two, you'll have just about everything you need to create, edit, organize, and share images.

Paint.NET

Paint.NET

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Paint.NET is a packed photo-editing app, offering tons of tools for improving your photos. If you want just touch-up your photos before sharing them or want to turn your photos into high-quality images, Paint.NET is worth a look for Windows users.

Photos for macOS

Photos for macOS

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Apple's Photos app is a deceptively powerful editing and cataloging MacOS tool. If you are still suffering from PTSD over iPhoto, its replacement, Photos, is worth a look. Photos provides a deep collection of editing tools and stands out with its ability to organize images using facial, object, and scene recognition.