Are you one of those people who don’t need the full-blown power (and cost) of an application like Photoshop, but would still like to have access to photo and image editing tools without all of the fuss? Well, you’ve come to the right blog post. Here are five editors that will help you make enhancements to existing photos, allow you to create unique images, and let you have fun all in an online environment without the need to download anything. All of the tools listed below are free as of this writing. Some offer premium editions to enable enhanced features, but general access and the basic features are free!
I’ve also rated the following online programs on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. The ratings are based on overall impression, ease of use, and available features.
1) Sumo Paint
I have to say, after trying all of these tools out, this was my favorite. It was quick to load after I clicked on “Get the App” and selected the “Use For Free” option. Sumo offers some upgraded options all at a very low price. Their Pro version at $9 offers some added filters and tools with no advertisements. Their ProPlus version at $19 offers an offline desktop option in addition to the Pro features. I only tried out the free version and was impressed right away. It has basic drawing tools and a decent range of photo editing options, filters and effects. If you are familiar with Photoshop, then the user interface will be easy for you to understand and work with. You can create a masterpiece from scratch (as you can see in my lovely abstract above), and enhance it with layers of text, shapes, brush effects and loads of other fun stuff. You can also upload and enhance an existing photo file and save the final product as a png, jpg or a layered sumo file so you can edit it later.
Overall Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
Pixlr is also a great tool. As soon as you hit the page, you’re able to get right to work. The program prompts you to create an image or open an existing image from your own computer or from somewhere online. Pixlr also offers a mobile version available for free to use on phones and tablets! The layout of this tool is very similar to Sumo Paint, except perhaps that it has more enhancements available right out of the gate and for free. Once you have edited your photo or created your original artwork you can save it as a jpg, png, bmp, tiff or pxj (layered pixlr) file. Even though I liked Sumo Paint a bit better than this one, this one received a higher overall score because it had more features and more ways to save your final artwork.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
What can I say? PicMonkey is just plain cute! It is geared toward photo editing, but you can also create original artwork here as well. It offers some really neat doodles, geometric options, textures, frames and effects. Though many of the options require the Royal Upgrade, (for as low as $2.75/mo) allowing you an ads-free experience along with all of the primo effects, the basic editor gives you enough options and flexibility to get some creative work done. I would not say this is as advanced as Pixlr or Sumo Paint, but it does offer some built-in options that are just too much fun to pass up!
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0
Even though this post is about getting away from the costly Photoshop option, Adobe does offer a free basic online editor. If you don’t currently have an Adobe login account, you’ll have to create one to access this online tool. The editor is very basic and only allows for jpg file imports. You can access the online editor from within your account by going to Tools > Online Express Editor. Once you’ve uploaded your picture you can do some basic modifications to your photo like crop, rotate and auto-enhance. There are some other enhancements and effects available, and when you are done editing you can save your work back to your own computer. If you are looking for a simple online photo editor, this will do the job. I gave this online tool the lowest rating of the five because of the limited options and need to login to use the tool.
Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0
Ribbet is another pretty nifty option. Currently, they’re offering an upgrade to the premium version for free. You’ll have to read the fine print to see if it’s right for you, but some of their premium features are nice. With Ribbet you can either enhance one of your own photos, use one of their images, or start off with a blank slate. The blank slate option seemed limited in the free version, but at least it was available. You can add some text and basic stickers, but I didn’t see much else to do with that part. If you upload a photo, however, a variety of effects and enhancements await. You can save your updated photo or original image in either jpg or png. The one thing I really liked about Ribbet is that the interface is bright and easy to read.
Overall rating: 3.0 out of 5.0
Do you have a favorite, or another that wasn’t mentioned here? Let me know what works for you. I’d love to hear from you!