Pixlr.com: The Best Free Photo-Editing Software On The Internet

Screen shot 2011-11-01 at 12.13.17 PM
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Several months ago I wrote an article regarding the best free photo-editing software for bloggers. It’s recently come to my attention that I missed one of the very best free photo-editing programs, Pixlr.com. Pixlr is an in-browser editing program based largely on Adobe Photoshop: it has many of the same tools, it’s user interface is very similar, and it can even accept .psd files (with all the layers too!).


Why You’re Going to Like It


First and foremost, Pixlr.com is totally free to use. Yes, so too are Gimp and Piknik and Picasa, but it’s difficult to overstate just how much more powerful Pixlr.com is than these other free programs.


It has almost every single feature that Photoshop has, with only a few exceptions from Photoshop’s most recent version, CS5.5. In addition to all of the usual Photoshop tools it also has all of the familiar Photoshop Filters, such as the “Unsharp Mask” filter and the “Tilt Shift” filter. Pixlr also automatically creates layers on a tool-by-tool basis and adding text to, say, a collage, has never been easier. In addition, Pixlr has a very active blog that contains info about relevant updates and some tips and tricks about how to get the most of the software.



But that’s not all. Pixlr isn’t just a robust photo-editing tool, the company has a whole suite of small programs and plug-ins to flesh out the experience. Pixlr is also available as an app for your phone (both iOS5 and Android), known as Pixlr-o-Matic that can apply some pretty neat vintage and retro effects to your images. They have Pixlr Express, an even more simplified version of the Pixlr program for quick and easy photo editing. They have Pixlr imm.io, an image uploading service akin to yfrog or imgur. They also have a plug-in for Firefox and Google Chrome called Pixlr Grabber, which allows you to easily grab screenshots of web pages you find (the screenshot at the top of this post was grabbed with this tool). My point is that Pixlr has really done an excellent job of providing you with any and all image editing and sharing tools that you might need as a blogger.


A Few Reasons Why You Might Not Like It


But I don’t know what they are just yet. For free software there is very, very little to complain about here. It can’t accept RAW files, which for me is a bit of an issue as I really don’t much like to process JPEGs because of the speed at which the image begins to degrade.


The other big issue a blogger might face is that there is zero integration with Twitter or Facebook. With the Pixlr imm.io program it is easy enough to share your photos to both of the social networks (no G+ integration at all though), but there’s no direct integration as we’ve now all gotten used to with our Tumblrs and our iPhones. It would be nice to be able to save a photo on Pixlr.com and have it go straight to Twitter or FB, but who knows if they’ll ever implement that feature.


All told, Pixlr.com is an incredible free app. It’s easy, fast, clean, and robust. Its editing tools, in conjunction with its photosharing capabilities and various plug-ins, make Pixlr a pretty much do-everything platform.



  1. Courtney says:

    I love love love the Pixlr retro feature!

  2. WendyB says:

    Gonna check this out now.

  3. Sandra says:

    I agree! Pixlr is such a great tool if you don’t have Photoshop!

  4. Dane says:

    Thank you so much for the heads up about Pixlr. This is going to help me out immensely. You’re the best!


  5. Eliza says:

    Nice! going to check it out! :D
    I don’t have photoshop anymore, so this is nice! :D

  6. Ooooh thanks for featuring this! One of my dilemmas is my photo quality as I’m not a professional photographer but I want high quality shots. I’ve been using Piknik but Pixlr seems infinitely better. Bookmarked!

  7. Felicia says:

    I downloaded and used the iOS version first and now I’m trying to learn the online version. I don’t have any experience with photo editors beyond iPhoto, but the tutorials are a huge help. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Danah says:

    I LOVE pixlr! I’ve been using it for about a year now and it’s seriously better to use (for me, at least) than expensive photoshop programs like Adobe and whatnot. It’s very fast, extremely easy to get use to, and the results are perfect.


  9. Thefatandskinny says:

    I didn’t know they had phone apps. Loved this post. I am about to download it right now.

  10. thank you SO much! Was just looking into getting the Adobe Creative Suite, having never used Photoshop at all. This will allow me to get my learning curve over with before I invest $ into the program. all the best, Monica

  11. Karen Ussene says:

    uuuhhh I did not know that program. I’ve been using Picnik for a while now. I’m gonna check Pixlr

  12. Amber says:

    I’ve used this program before, and one major reason why I don’t like it is because it takes up SO much space! As soon as I open the program online, I literally have about 20-45 seconds before my entire computer freezes, and I have to force close my internet. I have a brand new computer, and this computer is solely used for blogging, meaning all files, photos and backup data are stored online – so essentially, there is nothing else that could be slowing it down.

    I love the idea and the tools that this program has, I just wish it didn’t freeze my computer up every time I try to use it.

  13. I use Picnik for all my photo editing, and have been feeling as though I need to upgrade to something better. I’m going to spend some time playing around with Pixlr!

    Thanks so much for writing about this!

  14. Kasia says:

    It’s okay, but i still believe that nothing will ever beat photoshop!

  15. Jen says:

    I love this app. Its amazing! I used to use piknik but not am obsessed with this!


  16. The Style PA says:

    I’ve been using this for a while now and definitely think it’s the best free tool close to Photoshop. I also tried Sumo Paint but the shortcuts and naming of tools etc. was a little more difficult to get to grips with.

  17. Maggie says:

    I would have never guessed ….and I thought gimp was the greatest thing that happened since photoshop lol

  18. kelly says:

    I will check this now I hope I love it better than photobucket:)

  19. Ami says:

    love it…way more efficient than photoshop (which also takes forever to load!)

    Thank you for the find! xx

  20. Mika says:

    I Tried to used the online editing last night I find it very difficult but again I’m really not experience when it comes to photo editing, can someone please help :)

  21. I’ve been looking for some thing like this for a long time! Thanks so much for sharing!

  22. Vanessa says:

    This a really good tool. I have used it many times.But I have a question does anyone know how to create a mannequin ghost effect with clothes such as dresses, tops and pants

  23. Harlequin says:

    I’ll have to check this out, I’m always interested in new programs that offer perhaps different features than the last. I have photoshop and the mac picture editor does a decent job, but I like to keep my options open :)

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