While professional and serious amateur photographers are going to have an established workflow in which they process their photos. A lot of us though don’t always need the top tools to simply fix a photo, add some style or put words with an image. Below, I’ve highlighted seven free online photo editors that will work right in your browser with nothing to download or install.
Pixlr is available from Autodesk, which makes some pretty powerful software tools across several professions.
Pixlr is actually available in four different versions as web apps:
- Pixlr Express
- Pixlr Editor
- Pixlr O-Matic
- Pixlr Touch Up
Each has a different focus and toolset. For example, Pixlr Editor gives you the full power of layer-based editing (like Photoshop), while Pixlr O-Matic provides instant filters and adjustments for a vintage look (like Instagram). They all have their place and for many, what Autodesk offers in its Pixlr suite will be enough for any online image editing you need.
While I mentioned simplicity in online editors at the start, Polarr is probably the one that is closest to a professional toolset. The controls look and work like the Adobe’s professional Lightroom app, which runs $150. You can use Polarr in your browser or install it as a Chrome app. It’s also available on iOS.
Stepping way back to the basic photo editing is Canva, which is actually more of a design tool. There are tons of great, free design templates and backgrounds that you can add your images to. But there are also some premium ones that you’ll have to pay for.
If you’ve got a small business or some other effort that you are trying to promote, Canva will probably help you do that job better than you can on your own if you don’t possess the skills for creating your own designs.
Fotor is a more basic flash editor with a very simple an easy-to-use toolset. You won’t get the power and finesse that you get out of Pixlr Editor or Polarr but the learning curve is basic.
It’s easy to make basic adjustments or pick from presets. You can add frames and text as you move through the editing tabs as well.
PicMonkey is a lot like Fotor in terms of the layout and ease of use. One cool feature I noticed immediately in PicMonkey is the ability to edit a photo with the appropriate dimensions for a Facebook cover photo, which is currently 851 x 315. In the crop too, just select the Facebook Timeline preset and it will give the right proportions.
You have to live with a constant ad to the right of your edit space, but again, this is free.
Photobucket has a fairly rudimentary editor compared to some of these other tools but it has the basics covered and it has a decent selection of filters. While I would probably choose Fotor or PicMonkey as a simple editor over Photobucket, there are tons of printing and products you can order direct from the Photobucket interface.
The Photoshop Express editor proves loads of editing tools and those familiar with Photoshop may be more comfortable here. It actually has local adjustment tools like dodge and burn as well.
Clicking Auto Correct will give you a series of images that Photoshop thinks will work the best of your photo. You can mouse over each preview to see it apply to your larger image. When you find one you like, just click to apply the effect. The other effects work the same way but the popular retro presets we find in other editors aren’t present in Photoshop Express. You can also add text, along with stickers and speech bubbles in the “Decorate” tab.
So these are some of the best online photo editing applications around in my opinion. Did I miss something? Do you have a go to online editing app that belongs on this list? If so, add it in the comments below.