Talking Tech Friday-Pixlr

I’ve had a very text-heavy week, and it’s been a while since I reviewed a photo editing website, so buckle up and get ready for some fun with photos!

What is it?

Pixlr is a free,  Flash-based photo editing program that includes image layering, filters, effects, and other features.  What’s more, you don’t have to log in or register to use it!

How does it work?

You can start with a blank image, upload a file from your computer, or grab an image from a URL.  As an additional feature, there’s the Pixlr Grabber, which is an extension for Firefox or Internet Explorer that allows you to right click on any image on a website and load it into Pixlr for editing.

Once you’ve chosen the image, you’re presented with a very slick interface and tons of options.  Some of the reviews linked below say that you can’t crop images, but Pixlr must have added that feature.  I cropped an image very easily.  They also added a History box, so you can see your prior versions.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m no expert on image editing – I think I know what layering means, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge.  I uploaded a screenshot from World of Warcraft to play with.  Here’s the original:

I decide to crop the image, add some text, and possible play around with some layering (whatever that means).  It’s actually really easy to figure out what all the features do – Pixlr has many preview options (I particularly like the way that you can choose fonts).  Some of the menu options across the top are a little inexplicable to me, but that may be explained by the fact I’m editing a screenshot instead of a photo.  Here’s my quick edit:

(In hindsight, I should have done a Valentine’s Day theme, but the doffing of the hat just screamed green snowman to me.)

You can save pictures to your computer, or save them to the Pixlr online photo sharing site,

Pixlr also has a Pixlr Express site which lets you do some basic photo editing such as crops & resize, red-eye and teeth whitening fixes, fun filters (black and white, invert, etc.), and some other fun effects.  Here’s a quick example:

With the Pixlr Express, you only have the option to save to your computer.

Possible Library Uses

As with most of the image editors I’ve reviewed, Pixlr is great for producing marketing materials, as well as editing photos for your social networking sites (both personally and for library use).  I’m pretty impressed with how easy it is to use, especially without having to create an account of any kind.  I like knowing that when I’m done editing a photo, it only continues to exist where I specifically saved it.  I think I’ll be adding Pixlr to my (limited) photo editing arsenal.



~ by Anali on February 12, 2010.