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Pixlr's Free Online Photo Editor Has All the Image Editing Tools You Could Ever Need

written by: J.C. Wilkinson•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 6/12/2010

Photo editing and creating your own images is simple using Pixlr's amazing free and easy photo software. Learn about the great photo editing tools Pixlr offers to users in this helpful Bright Hub article.

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    Have You Tried Pixlr?

    If you are looking for an easy free photo editor, then look no further. The simple layout and ease of use of Pixlr is perfect for those who have no photo editing experience.

    Pixlr's editor is available in 13 languages, whose flags show on the home page. Upon choosing a language, you have three options: Create a New Image, Open Image from Computer, or Open Image from URL..

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    Pixlr Basic Photo Editing Components

    On the main screen, you will see most of the tools you are familiar with in stand alone photo editors.

    At the top, you will see a normal photo editing software navigation bar, with File, Edit, Image, Layer, Adjustment, Filter, View, Language, and Help. Each of these has its own drop down menu with its functions. There are some very simple functions available for the less proficient, and some that will be welcomed by those familiar with more advanced editing.

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    Pixlr Online Photo Editor Toolbars and Palettes

    Underneath the Navigation bar, is the Tool Bar, which shows you which tool you are using, and the options available for this tool. The default tool is the paintbrush.

    On the left side, you have your tools palette, which has all the basic tools available in photo editing software such as Marquee, Move, Lasso, Crop, Wand, Clone, Pencil, Eraser, Brush, Gradient, Paint Bucket, Text, Hand, Zoom, and Foreground/Background Colors. There are also some handy tools that are usually part of another tool or function in some standalone image editing software such as Blur, Sharpen, Smudge, Sponge, Dodge, Burn, Red Eye Reduction, Drawing, Bloat, Pinch, and Colorpicker.

    Since you are using an internet connection and mouse, some of the photo editing tools may not operate as smoothly as expected. The Smudge tool, for example, is a little difficult to control on older computers and those with slower internet connections.

    On the right side, you have the Navigator, which sets the viewing size of your photo; the Layers palette; and the History box, which will show you each action you take while editing your photo.

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    Current Issues with Pixlr Online Photo Editor

    Concerns have been expressed as to privacy, but as explained in the FAQ's, if you have Flash 10 installed on your computer, there is no issue with privacy, because the image is opened directly into your browser. If you have Flash 9 or earlier, the image must first be uploaded to their servers and then to the application, but is deleted from the servers after 5 minutes.

    The Layer functions are not all active at this time, but are under development. While you can create layers, it seems you cannot rearrange them, so be careful to create them in the order you want them, as they cannot be moved up and down, or rotated any way except to be flipped horizontally or vertically. Some of the Layer Styles, such as Drop Shadow do not work, and you cannot make individual layers transparent.

    You can report found issues to the developer at

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    Is Pixlr Right for You?

    If you use a lot of free stock photos, and simply need to resize them for websites or as avatars, there is no need to purchase a photo editor, or even download free photo software. Simply upload the images to Pixlr and use the Image Size feature to edit your free stock photos quickly and simply.

    Overall, the Pixlr online image and photo editor is a far step above some of the other online image editing tools, and is as close to an out-of-the-box program as you're going to get. If you can't afford a commercial photo editor or don't want to put another program onto your computer, this is the way to go.