Sure you can fire up Adobe Photoshop to do your image editing, but sometimes less is more and all you need is a quick tool to resize an image or take out some red eye. Or maybe you don’t have the extra $300 lying around to buy Photoshop software. Don’t fret, we looked at free online image editors available and compiled a list of the best!
1. Aviary – a powerful suite of design tools, including a full featured vector and image editor, as well as a color palette generator and custom filter and effects tool. All this horsepower runs from your browser. Laugh while you put the $300 you saved by not buying Photoshop in your pocket.
2. Pixlr – a basic image editor that allows you to quickly and easily edit images all from your browser window. Built on Flash, you will need a Flash plug in to get it to work. Pixlr is perfect for resizing and basic editing needs.
3. Photoshop Express – Adobe hits it out of the park with Photoshop Express. This web image editor is a lot of fun and has most of the tools you’ll need to get your photos ready for prime time. It has fun graphics to decorate your images, the tools to resize, crop, tweak colors and exposure, and correct red eye. It has a slick interface and is very intuitive touse. It gets the basics right and provides enough bells and whistles to make this a very solid choice for beginner and pro alike.
4. Picnik – easy online image editor with all the right tools to remove red eye, apply effects, and tweak color levels on photos. The site has tools to suit both the beginner and advanced user. You can also pull photos straight from any of several photo sharing sites including Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, Facebook, Photobucket, Webshots. For more advanced features, you can upgrade to the premium level which will set you back about $25.
5. FlauntR – creative suite with a bunch of tools allowing you to do image editing, add neat photo frames and embellishments, effects, color matching and cool mobile wallpaper creator for mobile phones. Profilr, a tool devoted to tweaking the correct size for your favorite social network sites profile photos, is bookmark worthy for its own sake. Requires registration to use.
6. FotoFlexer – decent online image editor with many tools including the ability to retouch photos, add text, shapes, and work in layers. The site is overrun with ads and has features you may think twice about using, including glitter text, animated shapes, and funky filters. Still, it is very easy to use and there are no registration hoops to go through to get started. Just upload a photo and start creating.
7. Splashup – with a sleek user interface, Splashup takes a professional approach to image editing. The tools are robust including a font leading tool (hint: l e a d i n g), layers, filters, brushes and integration with your web cam. If you’re familiar with using *cough* Photoshop, you’ll like Splashup. The ad placement is unobtrusive and the site has a more grown up feel. It also plays nice with the leading photosharing sites like Flickr, Picasa, and Facebook. No registration required to get started, Splashup lets you jump right in.
8. Pixer.us – great basic image editor with no ads and no fuss. The tools are super easy to use and feature sliders to help you manipulate your image changes. The site focuses on the basics such as resizing, color enhancement, rotating and flip and offers some special effects. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles but sometimes it’s just better that way. Pixer.us does the basics just right and there’s no registration requirement to play.
9. SumoPaint – a full featured editor that has all the right tools including layers, shapes, clone stamp, various brushes, magic wand, etc. The user interface is not intuitive but once you figure out how to upload a photo and then find it in your gallery, you’ll be good to go. The site is geared more for users who are adept with more sophisticated software editing suites.
10. Pixenate – nice basic image editor especially for the beginner. Has easy to use interface and includes tools to help you reduce red eye, crop, resize, rotate, adjust colors and add zany graphic decorations.
Bonus tool: Skitch – For Mac only, Skitch is a terrific image editor that is dead simple easy to use and will easily become one of your favorite apps. You can easily resize images, snap ascreenshot, annotate with circles and arrows and text, drag for easy saving on the desktop, and post images online with Skitch.com. Note: this image editor is a desktop app but it’s so addictive we wanted to include it in your arsenal of image editing tools.
Here’s our top ten of photo editors. Did we miss one? Let us know what your favorite is.
By Dolores Parker