Photoshop Express Editor is a free online image editor that is suitable for all levels of users to produce impressive results. With Photoshop becoming a verb, there must be very few people who haven't heard of Adobe Photoshop, but the cost of the application can be off putting for many. However, by offering Photoshop Express Editor as a free tool, Adobe have a way of introducing new users to the world of Photoshop.
Free online image editors generally fall into two camps. There are more basic applications that apply global adjustments to photos and more advanced applications that replicate much of the functionality found in full blown image editing applications, allowing for more precise editing of specific areas of a photo. Photoshop Express Editor falls into the first camp, but offers plenty of power to allow the production of impressive results.
Highlights of Photoshop Express Editor
As you'd expect from Adobe, Photoshop Express Editor is a very well presented online image editor with a good range of features.
- Clear and well presented user interface
- No registration required to edit photos
- Many tools offer selectable thumbnails with different strengths of effects applied
- Simple Red Eye tool
- White Balance adjustment with presets for common light sources
- Turn effects off to remove earlier adjustments without affecting later edits
- Touchup tool presents a clone stamp tool in a very user friendly way
- Decorate photos with text and a range of stock graphics
- Easy to toggle in and out of full screen mode
Why Use Photoshop Express Editor
The word express in Photoshop Express Editor's name gives a clear indication of the intended use of this free online image editor. It's not trying to replace a full blown desktop photo editing application, but is instead offered for users not needing that kind of power or for advanced users wanting to make quick, but high quality adjustments to a photo when away from their main computer.
If you've used Variations within Photoshop, you'll be familiar with the way that many tools in Photoshop Express Editor offer a number of thumbnail images with varying settings applied. You then just click on the thumbnail that most closely matches the effect you want and it is automatically applied to your image.
I find this a really intuitive and user friendly way to encourage inexperienced users to edit their photos in ways that they wouldn't normally. As users are working on an image online, they don't risk damaging the original photo and the interface makes it easy to remove any adjustments before downloading and saving the final photo.
The Decorate screen offers a variety of fun tools to allow users to produce more creative results. Text can be applied and edited, and the addition of speech bubbles and graphics should keep many users amused for quite some time.
Some Limitations of Photoshop Express Editor
As with all online image editors, Photo Express Editor's greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. While it can be used on any computer without installing software, it is reliant on a reasonable internet connection.
It should be noted that the developers have produced relatively powerful and accessible tools and so more advanced users may miss some of the greater degree of control that they're used to. For example, the Touchup tool is basically a clone stamp, but it has been designed to allow users to experiment by moving both the source and target areas. While this will surely encourage inexperienced users to clone and remove parts of their photos, for a more advanced user using the tool for a quick edit, it may be a little frustrating.
Photoshop Express Editor is limited to working JPEG images only and while this should be fine for most users, it does limit the usefulness a little.
Help and Support
This is an image editor designed to be as user friendly as possible and when many of the tools are selected, the interface displays information and tips on their use. This in context help means that in many cases, even inexperienced users can quickly start to experiment with unfamiliar tools.
There is also a Help sub-menu in the settings menu, with links to FAQs and the Forums, which should offer a sufficient range of advice for most situations. There is also a menu item for offering feedback on Photoshop Express Editor, which offers an easily accessible way to share your thoughts with the developers, though it should be noted that it is in a multi-page format of questions, so you can't send a single line comment.
You can give Photoshop Express Editor a try at the Photoshop Express site.