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5 Free and Awesome Online Image Editing Tools

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5 Free and Awesome Online Image Editing Tools

Ever wished that you can have an effective image editing tool, without having to empty your pockets? There are many free image editing tools available online, but which is the best?

Here we've explored various tools and compiled 5 great online image editing tools that are user-friendly, comprehensive and intelligent to help meet your needs without having to spend a cent.

1. Splashup

If you are familiar with Photoshop’s user interface, Splashup could be your answer.

The strength of Splashup lies in its similarity to Photoshop. This is especially so if you’re used to working with layers when editing your images. On top of that, Splashup comes with an extensive paint palette complete with all the essential tools, as well as a wide variety of filters and effects for you to choose from.

Splashup is also the only application which allows you to edit several images at one time. And like many online image editing tools, it is well integrated with popular photo sharing and social networking sites like Facebook, flickr, Picasa and MySpace for you to easily share those images once you’ve edited them.

That said, Splashup consumes a high bandwidth and relies on flash-heavy programming, so be careful not to have too many windows opened when working on those images.

2. Pixlr

Pixlr is another free image editing programme that is very similar to Photoshop, from the support for layers, to capabilities it offers. It is also one of the programmes with the most comprehensive features.

Pixlr stands out from the others because over and above being cloud-based, it also provides API for developers to include the application on different platforms, thus enabling developers to leverage on this free online tool in their developments.

However, unlike the other image editing tools, Pixlr fails to incorporate the option to export and import images to and from websites directly. With it being heavy on flash, and because it is a large application, it could also take a long time to load if your computer is slower or you’re having a bad internet connection.

3. FotoFlexer

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FotoFlexer consumes the least bandwidth amongst all the image editing tools mentioned here. It allows great flexibility, letting you personalise and create pages with a wide selection of fonts and embellishments, with even scrap-booking effects available.

This image-editing tool also has direct integration with most popular photo sharing and social networking sites like Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket and others.

However, FotoFlexer is not without limitations. Although easy to use, it lacks support for its application. A “Help” section is absent and there are very little resources for users to get assistance for the application, so beginners may find it a challenge when trying to use the more advanced tools.

4. Picnik

Picnik is a winner with many because it has a unique interface and offers a vast number of tools that will encourage users to try experiment with the various capabilities, filters, effects, embellishments and other capabilities.

Like the others, Picnik offers seamless integration with most photo-sharing sites such as Flickr, Picasa and Photobucket, as well as social networking sites like Facebook and mySpace as well. Also, it is one of the few editors that lets you print photos.

If you’re new to image-editing, this is also one that you might want to consider starting with. Easy to use and extremely user-friendly because it is very responsive, changes made can be immediately previewed and brief explanations appear in the form of ‘pop-up’ when you’re using the programme to help you along.

However, Picnik isn’t as extensive or comprehensive as those mentioned earlier, its saving grace is this: although it doesn’t do much, what it does, it does really well. Well, it could do without the advertisements, but one can’t really complain since it’s free. The alternative, if you can afford it and really like the tool, would be to get the Premium version at an annual fee of US$25. 

5. FlauntR

FlauntR is only available for Windows PC users, leaving Mac users out, so if you’re a Mac user, you might want to skip this one and explore other options.

Back on the topic, FlauntR has similar editing tools to all the other applications mentioned here. However, some important elements in image editing tools, like history (re-do and un-do) are a challenge to find if one is unfamiliar with the programme.

Yet, what makes this application most user-friendly is the availability of a illustrative and elaborate ‘Help’ section. A very extensive guide highlighting the functions of various tools and its potential uses is excellent for users new to image editing tools, so that might more than make up for some of its flaws.

It also comes in a slick interface, is intuitive and makes for easy image importing to most popular social networking sets. Moreover, it also integrates with major blogging sites such as Blogger, WordPress and LiveJournal, which is great if you blog regularly and want to make minor edits to your images before uploading them.

Although as an image editing tool on a whole isn’t as proficient as some of the above-mentioned ones, it does boast of an impressive set of tools, effects and embellishments, so it’s good enough if you’re looking for a basic, simple-to-use tool with a professional interface and generally makes it easy for you to transfer those edited images to social networking sites or blogs.

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