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What is Pixlr Editor?

Introduction to the Free Online Image Editor Pixlr Editor

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Pixlr Editor is a very accomplished and powerful free online image editor.

Updated October 12, 2010

Pixlr Editor is a relatively advanced and powerful free online image editor. There are quite a few different free online image editors available and this can make it difficult for users to decide which is right for them. To an extent, most of these web applications fall into two broad groups.

The first group are for casual users looking for a straightforward way to improve their digital photos before sharing them and Pixlr Express is an example of such an application. Pixlr Editor, however, falls into the second group and these look like fully fledged pixel based image editors that run in a web browser. Anyone who has ever used Adobe Photoshop will feel very comfortable using Pixlr Editor, though there are some idiosyncrasies that can disrupt the flow a little.

Highlights of Pixlr Editor

Pixlr Editor is a good looking free online image editor with a number of attractive features.

  • Clear and logical user interface
  • Layers support with blending modes, masks and layer styles
  • All the tools you'd expect from a fully fledged pixel based image editor
  • Quick and responsive in use
  • Powerful adjustment tools including Curves and Levels
  • Full screen mode maximizes work space and makes it feel like a desktop application
  • Extensive range of filters for creative effects
  • Save and share images online using the built in save to www.imm.io option

Why Use Pixlr Editor

Pixlr Editor really would be an excellent choice for experienced users who haven't got access to a computer with a pixel-based image editor already installed. Rather than downloading software, Pixlr Editor allows users to access a host of powerful image editing features from any computer with an internet connection. While a professional wouldn't want to rely on such a service full time, in some circumstances, it could be an invaluable fallback.

While less experienced users might be better off with Pixlr Express or Picnik, this would offer a natural progression for users of those less powerful free online image editors who wish to develop further. It also has an advantage over Pixlr Express in that it can save files online which makes it a much more flexible tool when working on other people's computers. When saved online, users are given a URL for the image at the imm.io website, which they can share with friends or even clients.

Some Limitations of Pixlr Editor

Obviously, being a web application, you do need a reliable internet connection to use this free online image editor and slow connections may be problematic if you need to work on relatively large photos.

Though Pixlr Editor does save images online, it doesn't allow images to be saved directly to any of the popular photo sharing and social networking websites. While it isn't a complex job to copy the file from imm.io and add it manually to whichever site a user wants, it would just make life easier if this could all be done from within Pixlr Editor.

I also discovered that Layer Masks didn't work quite as I'd expect. Rather than painting with black and white to edit a mask, you paint and erase. It's a minor point, but you should perhaps expect to occasionally encounter features that work slightly differently to your norm. However if you use this free online image editor regularly, you'll become familiar with such aspects and appreciate the overall power of the application.

Help and Support

Just as you'd expect in a pixel based image editor, in the Menu bar of Pixlr Editor is a Help menu which gives one click access to the full help documentation and FAQs. At the time of writing, there are a few topics that haven't been completed, but these are the minority and the information that is available should help users to conquer any difficulties that they encounter. There are also a couple of tutorials available, though hopefully this section will also be expanded with time.

If you'd like to have a go yourself, then just click here to go to Pixlr Editor.

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