I don't know about you, but I'm not a graphic designer. Don't get me wrong, if I had all the time in the world, I'd love to learn all the ins and outs of programs like Photoshop. Alas, my time is instead spent learning the tricks of SEO and how to get more Facebook likes. Instead, I use each of these free online image editors to help me with my graphic design needs.
I love Pixlr because it has something for every level of designer.
Pixlr Editor is the closest free option you'll get to Photoshop. It has layers, advanced options, moveable menus, and even the same keyboard shortcuts as Photoshop. You can save your work within the program for more editing later or you can save it on your computer.
Pixlr Express is the level of this program I find myself using the most. It's basic editing functions allow you to adjust the brightness, crop, color, vibrance, sharpness, etc. You can also add frames, images, overlays, text, and more using the other editing options.
Pixlr-O-Matic is the very basic of the three editing levels available in Pixlr. This version simply adds an Instagram like filter to any image.
Pixlr has also recently introduced their new desktop experience, which is much like the online application. Of course, if you upgrade to the “pro” version, you'll receive more editing options such as masking, advanced blending, and other Photoshop-esque image editing techniques.
My new favorite of free online image editors, Canva makes creating awesome images incredibly easy for you. The best part is the pre-set image canvas sizes. Say you want to make a new cover photo for your Facebook Fan Page? Canva has that already pre-sized for you. Not just that, you can also add images from their library of free or $1 stock photos.
Other features include the ability to save your designs on your profile, share them with friends, and learn more about how to use the program through the in-house design school.
Occasionally, I have found this app to freeze my desktop computer to the point that I am forced to restart it. Typically, anything that I was working on at the time during this process is lost. While I truly love this program, I suggest you approach it with caution. I'm confident that once the bugs have been worked out, this will definitely be a great program to use.
The last free online image editing program that I'd like to share is PicMonkey. Offering photo filters, blemish fixing tools, and sticker overlays, PicMonkey is very similar to the Express version of Pixlr. This program also carries similarities with Canva in that it freatures pre-set canvas sizing and stock images. Upgrade to the Royale version to unlock more font and design options.
Andréa Jones is a social media strategist who works with lifestyle brands to build their online presence through targeted social media and content marketing solutions. She's also the founder of SavvySocialSchool.com – a membership community with everything you need to achieve visibility, growth, and engagement on social media.