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3 free Microsoft Office Photo Editor alternatives

About Microsoft Photo Editor

Microsoft Photo Editor is the now-defunct image-editing app once bundled with Microsoft Office (97 through XP) for Windows. With Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Photo Editor was replaced by Microsoft Office Picture Manager, a lackluster image-management tool with only minor image-correction and editing features. Microsoft Office Picture Manager was dropped with the release of Microsoft Office 2013, and Office no longer incorporates an image editor. Windows users should download a standalone image editor or do what they can with Word's limited image-editing capabilities.

Microsoft Photo Editor

Microsoft Photo Editor Alternatives

Microsoft no longer offers an integrated photo editor in its Office suite. But if you're in the market for a Microsoft Photo Editor alternative, we recommend these three free apps.


Paint.Net is a full-featured image-editing app with an intuitive, streamlined interface. Whether you want to touch up photos before sharing them with friends or you need high-quality images for professional projects, Paint.Net provides plenty of tools for adding layers, introducing text, or applying filters and effects.


GIMP is a powerful photo retoucher, complete with sophisticated features like layers, filters, and effects. Use it for batch-processing and conversion, or to paint and draw. GIMP is open source and is supported by an ever-expanding collection of third-party plug-ins and tools.


With Fotor's robust tool set, edit your photos singly or in batches and create collages. Whether you frequently edit photos or are new to the process, this app gives you everything you need to enhance your images.

Photo editing in Word

If you own Microsoft Office for Windows (32-bit, 64-bit) or are an Office 365 subscriber, then you have Microsoft Word -- and therefore a built-in image editor -- in your tool box.

Just click the Insert tab up top, then Pictures, and select an image to embed in your document. After you insert the picture, click it, and then click the Picture Tools Format tab. From there, you can crop, select color variations, compress at different levels, and apply special effects.

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Joshua Rotter is a copy editor for and covers iOS.