Whether you’re a beginner and just want to retouch a photo before posting to Facebook, or an advanced user familiar with programs like Photoshop, online photo editors can be a quick and simple way to create the images you want. While many have paid options, the majority have great free features that can rival paid downloadable software in their simplicity and ease of use.
If you’re hoping to edit a photo quickly and simply then take a look below at the most brilliant online photo editors for your needs.
PicMonkey Free or $4.99 per month
This is one of the most well known online photo editors due to its usability and simplicity. Unfortunately PicMonkey doesn’t have the option of creating layers but you can undo effects if needed. There are a good host of free features such as cropping, adding text, effects and filters, plus free overlays, frames and textures. Portrait editing tools such as clone and airbrush, however, are only available in the premium version.
PicMonkey can be incredibly helpful for creating graphics with the collage and design options, which let you start from scratch to create exactly the design you have in mind. This puts this free software way ahead many simple editors you already own in place of Photoshop or Illustrator. Creating graphics for presentations or blogs is simple with PicMonkey and, although the premium version has an increased library of options, the main features are still available for all to use for free.
This great online photo editor saves your creations without watermarks and in JPG or PNG formats with a choice of three file sizes which is helpful to save memory space.
BeFunky Free or $4.95 per month
The BeFunky in-browser photo editor runs alongside the BeFunky apps for iOS and Android, and the large majority of its features are available online for free. There’s no option to use layers with BeFunky with is a shame, but it does have a large library of features such as effects, fonts, filters and stickers along with the essential tools like crop, exposure and sharpen.
BeFunky’s portrait editing tools are a little lacking, but the clone tool is available for free and this is a useful feature for a great many types of photos. One of this cool online photo editor’s best features is the textures menu which can add effects to photos such as light trails, light leaks, bokeh and paint, all with customisable intensity and blending options.
The Collage Maker feature is easy to use and provides more customisations than some editors although quite a few of the grid templates are only available to premium users.
A handy feature of BeFunky is the option to share your newly edited image on social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest at the same time as downloading to your computer. You can save in JPG or PNG formats with a choice of one of ten different file sizes.
Fotor’s initial menu gives you a choice of either making a collage, editing a photo or designing a card, which separates its options helpfully. The card designing feature is a nice touch that has easy to edit templates, but you will have to register for a free account to use the majority of them.
This great browser image editor has good basic options that include a curves tool and specific highlight and shadow sliders. The filter effects are a little lacking but portrait editing tools such as blemish fix, clone and teeth whitening are very reasonable for a free editor. There are many more frame options than in other software but the majority of these seem to be aimed toward younger users, they may have their uses for particular projects however.
One of the features that Fotor doesn’t boast about on its homepage is the Cover menu which lets you create a perfectly sized profile cover for sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube using a collage of images plus text and stickers.
Fotor allows three file size options when saving and can also save directly to Dropbox which is handy, as is the Print button which allows you to print the image directly from your browser.
Pixlr Free for online version
Pixlr’s online photo editing tool isn’t as attractive as some but has a feel similar to Photoshop with tools to the left and layers and history boxes to the right. The layers option is one that’s lacking in a lot of the other free editors and if you’re used to more high end software then this will be a welcome feature. The adjustment and filter menus have a host of options and Pixlr is full of tools you may already be familiar with such as dodge, burn, clone stamp, colour replace and bloat. The text tool has a good number of font options however they aren’t the trendiest which is a shame.
Pixlr is not the simplest online image editing software so wouldn’t be helpful for beginners with its complicated terminology and lack of one click effects. However for intermediate and advanced users used to professional programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, this is a great free online alternative.
Canva Free or $1-$4 per premium image or template
Canva is great for creating designs and collages, and the initial options include blank canvas dimensions for Facebook posts, presentations, blog graphics, email headers and Kindle covers. Canva forces you to sign up for a free account before you’re allowed to start using the software, which is a bit of an inconvenience especially as quite a few of the best template layouts are for premium users only.
With Canva you can add text and backgrounds to your designs as well as uploading your own images, but there is a large range of free useable graphics such as shapes, banners, web wireframe tools and stickers for infographics.
This free online design tool also gives you the option to search through their library of one million images which is a nice feature but each image costs $1 to use, so this may only be an option for small or one off projects.
You can download your images as PNG files or high quality PDFs and you also have the option to download just individual pages of your project as well as adding crop marks and bleed.