What is photo-editing software?

Photo-editing software is a tool which you can use to manipulate and enhance images. Because photos have an increasing number of uses — spanning from display ads to social media and print catalogs to posters — more businesses are finding ways to repurpose photos and use them on multiple channels.

To make this easier, editors use photo-editing software programs. There are many kinds of photo-editing software, each with its own costs, features and pros/cons.

Popular photo-editing software and programs include:

Popular photo-editing mobile apps include:

A photo editor can be one of two things: a tool which edits images, or a person who edits images. Let’s start with the more straightforward one, the tool.

There are many tools that can automate different photo-editing tasks. Many photo-editing companies, for example, are actually tools that automate things such as clipping paths. This is great when you want to save time and use an automated tool on your own, but if you’re paying to outsource your image-editing needs, you’ll want to look for a company that does this by hand.

On that note, the person who edits images can either be freelance, employed by an outsourced company or agency, or someone who works in-house. There are many possible job titles for a photo editor, including digital photo editor, graphic designer or art director, among others.

A photo editor’s typical duties will vary depending on the company and industry. Photo editors who work in-house at a major ecommerce brand, for example, may be spending most of their time prepping product photos to list on their site and manipulating lifestyle shots for use throughout the website. If they work at a photo-editing agency, then they may edit a range of photos from a diverse group of customers.

Generally, photo editing programs are software packages that allow users to manipulate an image’s brightness, color levels, contrast, and several other factors. Oftentimes these programs also have built-in filters that can add special effects such as a watercolor painting or film strip effect. Professionals in the field usually use packages with more advanced features including tools for masking and cloning areas of an image; it is not uncommon for professionals who use them frequently to purchase the entire suite of specific tools designed for certain kinds of workflows.