Photo editors use to be downloadable software with occasional subscription updates. While online image editors haven’t replaced downloadable software, they do provide some very useful features and are easy to use irregardless of the web browser and operating system of the user. With all the choices of online editors, it can be confusing to decide what to use. Price plays a role in the choice of what editing tools get used to create graphics and visual content for your website, social media or print projects. However, selecting the best graphic design tools to add, edit and modify isn’t rocket science. The best online visual content editors provide useful features for image manipulation and modification as well as text graphics. While the 800 pound leaders of professional grade editors are fairly pricey, think to the tune of $20 to $80/month depending on features, there are quite a few free graphic design tools that work well editing images and photos. The “big name” editors are feature rich and fantastic, but the list of image and photo editors below are some of the easiest for beginners. Even the more serious designers will find these useful for quick edits. The list of some of the best online visual content editors presented is not in any preferred order. The image editors listed included pro’s and con’s. You’ll notice many of these have very similar features; a few have some unique capabilities.
Pros: Canva , favorite of the the blogging community, offers both a free and paid version ($12/mon). This feature rich online image editor offers a huge variety of pre-sized templates for graphics, standard print sizes and social media content. Canva is one of the best free image editors available for many visual content needs. Canva for work, the paid version, also offers hundreds of graphic elements including standard shapes, lines, frames and icons. Simply type in the search box what is desired and Canva will list dozens of elements that can be parsed and selected. Drag n drop onto the work space, resize, color and overlay graphics in seconds. Canva like most online editors has a fairly lengthly list of fonts to select from.
Another really nice feature besides overlays is Canva ‘s filters. Filters are a subtle way of manipulating and editing an image to look unique by changing brightness, contrast, and saturation etc. Need tinted images for branding? Like Photoshop, Coreldraw or the free GIMP, the fine tuning of Canva filters is a nice feature for image edits and added tints.
Con’s: Canva ‘s free version is somewhat limited in what it offers for free downloadable images and graphics. So if you’re looking for that, you’ll have to ante up the small monthly fee for the subscription service. Like most online editors, Canva doesn’t have the full set of Photoshop or Illustrator effects (if you want that for free you’ll need to look at GIMP which runs on Windows, Linux and Mac). However, Canva offers a lot with a very low learning curve. That’s makes Canva appealing to many.
Pros: Pilxr Editor is an amazing free online editor. It’s paid cousin Pilxr Pro ($5/mon) is offers tons of templates for just about any online or printed need (business cards, book covers, brochures to social media, presentations, packaging). The templates of Pro are extensive, with some selections not seen in other online editors. However if your needs are mostly for online web graphics and social media, the free version of Pilxr Editor is a solid choice. Unlike the previous mentioned photo editors the free version of Pilxr Editor doesn’t offer free graphic elements to incorporate into you image or photo other than adding text. Of course you can upload as many graphics to add as you want but you just won’t see any offered in the free version.
Where Pilxr Editor shines is when re-coloring images, distorting or changing image dimensions and aspect ratios, removing white or colored backgrounds. Thats a really nice feature not available in some online editors. Pilxr Editor‘s best feature is on manipulating and edit images and it does that really well.
Cons: As mentioned Pilxr Editor shines with image manipulation and editing, but if you’re looking for additional graphic elements to incorporate, you need the Pro version.
Pros: This great online editor is free; BeFunky offers many of the image editing techniques beyond the simple crop, size and rotation that most content creators typically use. Add tint, soften or sharpen the image, change brightness contrast or shadows to modify the style and tone of the picture. Add “lens effects” or touch up parts of an image for red eye, spots or blemishes to clean up how the image looks. BeFunky image editing is easy and intuitive. Add frames or other overlays or text to the image to complete the look of the final product. BeFunky is a nice tool to clean up images to make them look the best possible.
Cons: The biggest issue you might face is the very limited choice of text fonts that can be used with BeFunky. However if you want to quick clean up a great looking image, BeFunky is the ticket. You can always download your graphic and add text overlays in a number of ways separately.
Pros: Fotor like many image makers online offers a free and paid ($3.99/mon) version. The paid version creates png, jpg, and pdf formats, provides cloud storage of images, and shares to social media. Fotor offers the standard templates sized for facebook, pinterest, twitter and other social media in addition to standard printed materials like resumes, presentations and certificates to name a few. Selecting from pre-sized templates makes creating useful visual content that much faster and easier. Like most online editors, if you don’t need a pre-sized template, input custom dimensions of your graphic, upload your image and start editing. Fotor‘s “stickers” are basically their large and wide offering of graphic elements; shapes and icons. A large selection of text fonts and sizes plus a sampling of backgrounds are easy to add. Online help and tutorials make Foto super easy to navigate.
Fotor has a nice feature for creating a collage quickly and painlessly. Pick the collage template from the lengthly list of choices, then simply upload to drag n drop images into each area. In minutes, a beautiful professional looking collage is created. Fotor is a nice easy online editor.
Cons: The free version of Fotor has ads placed in the right and bottom of the work area which can be a distracting.
Pros: Adobe Spark is Adobe’s watered down version of their high priced Creative Cloud. If you’re a beginner to graphics design then Spark might be an option, especially if you plan to move onto Creative Cloud. Create graphics, web pages or even video with Spark.
Con’s: Even this free version is limited. Adobe wants paid customers; even simple things like selecting color and font requires a $9.99/mon plan. I’d recommend just going to Creative Cloud if you like Adobe Spark and plan to use it anyway.
Pros: iPiccy is very like Fotor, Pilxr Editor or Befunky, although iPiccy doesn’t offer cloud storage like Fotor does. iPiccy does ask to access your local photos although you can decline and manually upload. Like many of the online editors, iPiccy offers several starting points; upload an image, add text, add a “sticky” vector graphic or make you own vector graphic. As you add, edit and modify elements in you graphic design, iPiccy shows each in a layer that you can change or just delete if its not what you want. View, hide or lock layers to prevent modification. Online help is a click away. Redo or undo changes, save or export your visual content when complete. Image edits are similar to other online photo editors with features like contrast and brightness.
iPiccy also support text from either iPiccy‘s font library or your own locally installed fonts. Add “stickers” from a variety of graphic elements and icons iPiccy offers. Stickers are simply like graphic vector elements like geometric shapes, icons, doodles and small designs. iPiccy has a great feature in that you can create your own vector elements or “stickers” that you can add to your design.
Con’s: iPiccy like many free online editors is going to show ads while you work.
Pro’s: PhotoJoiner is simply that. Add, modify and manipulate your photos. Easily add filter effects to image edits. Need to quickly resize, adjust brightness or contrast, flip or crop than PhotoJoiner does that. No online account, no ads; simply make edits to your photo and save. When you’re in a hurry and need a quick modification to clean up an image, PhotoJoiner is simple and straightforward to use. PhotoJoiner has a easy to use collage feature to merge multiple images in a variety of styles and formats.
Con’s; Not too many features but if you’re in a rush and need to make quick changes then PhotoJoiner could be the perfect tool.
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Pro’s No login required. ImageEditor looks and works like Pilxr Editor but has the look and feel of Windows installed software. It’s not the prettiest tool but it does the job. Use the menu to open a file, edit with cut, copy and paste commands, modify image effects, work with layers and edit image effects like brightness. Images effects in ImageEditor are just like any image manipulation program allowing colorization, desaturation, greyscale and more. The toolbox allows selection and modification of areas of the image. This isn’t a fancy tool but like other photo editors, it does the job.
Con’s: Like Pilxr Editor, there are no additional graphic elements available for use other then basic shapes, text and whatever is manually uploaded
No login or account required to access Free Online Photo Editor. It looks and works very similar to Pilxr Editor and is super intuitive to use. While ads are a part of this online editor, they are politely placed outside of the work space. Free Online Photo Editor has easy to understand drop down menu’s to choose from. Browse to add and upload an image to edit, then crop, resize, rotate, flip simplying by selecting the appropriate dropdown choice. Like most image editors, brightness, contrast, sharpen or blur the photo according to your needs. This really easy online photo editor quick and efficient. Remove red eye, fix image underexposure, add borders and effects.
Free Online Photo Editor is does just what it says; image edits in all the important ways you might need. Free Online Photo Editor is a simple but very easy to understand and effective way to edit your image. It’s a super easy and useful free picture editor thats available online.
Con’s: Like other purely image or picture only editors, there are no additional graphic elements available for use other then basic shapes, text and whatever is manually uploaded, but as a free image editor that’s not a show stopper.
Other Online Editors
Pro’s FotoJet and PiZap are addition choices similar to iPiccy . However both offers a free 7 day trial and then become subscription services. While fairly cheap subscriptions, by not offering a free version that wasn’t on a timer or requiring a credit card just to see the free limited time features, I didn’t evaluate it any further. And with so many good choices, why bother if the free is on a timer.
In most cases, I have 1 to 3 “go to” online editors for quick jobs and immediate needs. For more complex graphics, I use free downloadable graphic editors like GIMP, Inkscape or Pixelmator. These downloadable editors have many special effect features that aren’t available online with the exception of the more expensive Adobe Creative Cloud platform. If you’d like to know more about great downloadable editors and how to use them, please check out my other articles or subscribe to get weekly tips on cool techniques these editors provide.
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