The problem is you need a subscription to use Photoshop, which can be expensive. Until now. Adobe is putting a free version of its fantastic photo editor online. Read on to see what you can and can’t do with the free version of Photoshop.

Here’s the backstory

Before the global pandemic shifted people’s focus from in-office work to conducting business from home, Photoshop was on the backfoot. Competitors like GIMP and Canva gave users a free creative outlet to quickly design flyers, banners or social media posts. Adobe has about 26 million paying Creative Cloud subscribers, adding around 4 million subscribers yearly. This is a lot fewer than the 75 million monthly Canva users. Sensing a shift in the marketplace, Adobe rolled out a web-based, free version called Creative Cloud Express. The company is taking things a step further. It’s now making a web-based version of Photoshop available for free to bring in more users. The idea is to get people to use the free version and upgrade to the complete offline edition when they are comfortable.

What you can do about it

Photoshop on the web is currently in beta form, so not everything will go as smoothly as the finished product that will be available later. Nevertheless, it lets you share, review and do “light editing” of Photoshop cloud documents. A rather significant caveat is you must have an Adobe account. That’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, but it can be challenging to cancel or unsubscribe from the platform. The web version was previously made available to users with an active Creative Cloud subscription that includes Photoshop. Currently, only Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers are supported, but Adobe will add support for others soon.

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