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Photo Editing Software Roundup

Photo Editing Software Roundup

After I had posted a recent overview/tutorial of Snappa, a friend asked me how it compared to Canva and PicMonkey. That was such a good question and as I thought about it, I realized it wasn’t something I could answer in a quick email and that the answer would be useful to many of you.

I like all three programs and use them all, but they are different in what they do best. Below I did a video review of all three. It is short and subjective and far from an exhaustive overview of any of them, but I trust it will help you see the differences. Below the video is a summary of the cost of each and a few additional comments.

Remember: my ministry, Effective Church Communications, does not take any advertising or participate in any affiliate programs. (You can CLICK HERE if you want to read more of our concerns about affiliate programs.) On Pic Monkey (the only one I bothered to look up) they give affiliates 30 percent of what you pay. I would much rather they had a lower rate than participating in a system that can distort reviews of the product. But regardless of what others do, we will not be part of the affiliate kudzu that infects the web. You can read our reviews knowing they have no secondary agenda.

Overviews of the programs, pricing, and comments:

Pic Monkey

Pic Monkey is $5.99 a month when bought annually, but if billed monthly it’s $7.99. It’s good, basic, most everything is available, downloadable in jpg or png formats. The $9.99 a month version (billed annually, no monthly price) adds downloads in PDF format — but you could do that on your own after downloading jpg or png). There’s nothing free for students or nonprofits

Summary view: the best of the three for modifications and for facial photo editing. [The] facial photo editing can soften, whiten teeth, erase wrinkles, even skin tone — all sorts of fun things. The modifications include numerous filters that change the colors and looks of any image, extensive, quality selection. Can add text and flat art images, frames, etc. Large typeface collection especially for holidays.

A great program to modify an image in and then export and use in all kinds of other ways in both print and online media.

Picky comment: the cute monkeys [that] were funny years ago have worn a bit thin since then. Caution to all communicators: be careful about tying your identity to something like this.


Snappa is $10 a month for 1 person and $20 a month for 5 people, which seems to [b]e overpriced for individuals but is a great deal for a team. You can also try it for free, but can only download 5 images a month.

Summary view: By far THE BEST for simple online, social media graphics that you can make in minutes. Great resource of free photos, super easy to search and add to your graphic image. Super simple way to do an overlay with text on top. [There is] no way to modify them like PicMonkey.

Resize works better than Canva’s — quicker, faster, seems to space elements much better.

Templates not terribly exciting, but quick and useful.


Picky comment: Save button, [is] small and easy to miss. You edit and name on one side of the screen and then save on the other, [it’s] really easy to miss the save button. No autosave, so you can create a great image, even download it, and if you close the program before saving — it’s gone. I use the program all the time and I’ve lost a lot — need to be careful.


There’s free, limited access to the program; and also a version called “Canva for Work” at $9.95 a month (paid annually, otherwise $12.95)  provides templates, free photos, many additional resources

Best yet: They do have a FREE Canva for Work for non-profits: https://support.canva.com/account-basics/nonprofit-program/apply-for-nonprofit/

Summary view: Can’t do any image editing, (though it does have a few filters for photographs) primarily an online publication creation, layout program. One of the first of its kind and it is more complicated to use than others, things seem to go much slower, [and is a] more complicated process in Canva. Having said that, you can also do many things in Canva [that] you can’t in other programs in layout.

It is probably the BEST for complex PRINT layouts (don’t even try these with Snappa). Some fantastic templates for things like magazine covers and their business card templates are topnotch. They’ve added an immediate PRINT order option with pricing comparable to other online printers ($16.00 for 100 business cards; $14.39 for VistaPrint) and Canva has free shipping for 3-7 day.

They are in the midst of a major upgrade (currently in Beta stage) and we’ll see how it ends up. I really hate the extra charge for various images and templates, even though you’re paying a monthly fee.


I use and like all the programs — [there is] no way any one program is overall “better” than any other, it simply depends on what you want to do with it.

PicMonkey stands alone in its ability to do wonderful, complex image manipulation easily.

Snappa the easiest and my go-to program for quick online and social media graphics.

Canva [has] great print templates and I plan on ordering some of the business cards. I’ll let you know how that goes.

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Yvon Prehn is the primary content creator www.effectivechurchcom.com, a website that serves and equips church communicators to help them be successful in the incredible work they do in introducing people to Jesus and helping their churches grow in numbers and their people as disciples. The site does this by providing strategy to give them a biblical foundation and motivation and practical skills training to make them more effective church communicators.