5 Best Free Online Image Editing Tools
There are plenty of online image editing web-based applications on internet, ranging from full-fledged Photoshop-like tools to basic resizing and cropping applications. Some of them are rich in features, for advanced users while others give basic users an easy to navigate and single click access to many styling and special effects. Here we present you with our 5 best handpicked tools which are free, powerful and feature-rich.
Adobe Photoshop Express no where resembles it’s desktop counterpart Adobe Photoshop. There are no menus, layers, brushes or such advanced tools. Photoshop Express is designed in a completely different way, giving single click access to most often used editing functions like red eye removal, touch up, sharpening etc for basic as well as advanced users.
This free online trimmed down and redesigned version of Adobe Photoshop lets you upload up to 2GB of images, organize them in albums with visual tags and a very easy to use interface with basic as well as advanced image editing tools. You can edit photos from your Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket and Picasa accounts and save directly to these photo-sharing sites . In order to give Photoshop access to these sites, you should first log in from the right side panel( you may need to allow pop-ups in your browser).
You can take a test drive on Photoshop right away to get a look at the interface before you register with it. You cannot upload or edit images in the test drive. Registering gives you a personal URL in the form of username.photoshop.com. Isn’t that cool? Any images uploaded can be placed in albums in either My Library or My Gallery. Images stored in My Gallery are publicly visible to any one.
You can post albums as slideshows to Facebook, Blogger, iGoogle and other sites by clicking ‘Publish‘ icon found at the bottom of the Apart from basic editing tools and adjustments Photoshop gives some advanced tools like Hue, Tint, Sketch, Pop Color. Applying image effects is easy for even a basic user due to the easy to use and intuitive user interface.
A film strip view of preview thumbnails of the image for different gradients of the effect makes it easy to choose the correct amount of effect. For more fine tuning of the effect, the slider can be used. Also one of these preview thumbnails, with an undo icon on it gives a quick and easy access to go back to the original image. There is also a ‘Decorate’ tool which is still in beta. You can quickly add bubbles, expressions on your photos to make them look funny and live.
For easy and bulk uploading of images from desktop, you can install and use Adobe Photoshop Uploader, a small Adobe AIR application, which can be found under New Stuff on the Home screen of Photoshop Express. A drawback of Photoshop Express is that it does not support uploading from any other sites other than the four supported photo sharing sites.
This free and powerful Image editor is part of Aviary’s suite of Creative Applications built to be used from your browser. Aviary Phoenix gives most of the advanced and professional editing features that can be found in expensive desktop software like Adobe Photoshop for free.
Opening an image in Aviary Phoenix takes you to a browser window with full-fledged menus and toolbars. Apart from basic image editing functionalities like cropping, resizing, hue, saturation, you can also work with layers, groups, layer masks, blending, magic wand, brushes, smudging and other advanced tools.
The interface is very easy to use for an advanced user of image editing software like Photoshop, being similar in design. Keyboard short cuts for undo, redo and zooming, horizontal and vertical rulers for easy selection, right click menu to get back to the original image, all make Aviary Phoenix easy to work with. You can view history in the form of thumbnails, quickly collapse the layers and history sidebars and a color picker with an intuitive design.
Apart from these editing tools, Aviary also gives access to Peacock, an effects editor and Raven, a vector editor from within Phoenix. Effects and vectors created in Peacock and Raven can be used as layers in Phoenix. These complementary tools is what makes Aviary Phoenix the best choice for professional artists to create images with unbelievable special effects like the unzipped kitty in the screenshot above.
Aviary is definitely not for beginners. Advanced users will love all those hi-tech editing tools at no cost. A free registration is required to save your creations. You can also save to online photo-sharing sites like Flickr, Facebook and Picasa. Aviary gives a platform for artists to collaborate and share their work, without losing any of their rights. Users can work on any of the existing creations from Aviary’s library instead of starting from scratch. The image is saved as a derivate from the original artist, thus giving credit where it’s due. There are also tons of tutorials for beginners and advanced users alike.
3. Sumo Paint
This free online image editing tool does not require any registration to create and save images. However if you register for free, you would get to store images online in your account. Registration also connects you with a community of other artists, lets you put your creative talent for public viewing to get ranked and tagged as favorite.
You can upload images in JPG, PNG or GIF format to Sumo Paint with a file size limit of 15 MB. Paint.NET users will find much familiarity in the user interface of Sumo Paint. This browser based Flash application has all the menus, toolbars, zoom and other side panels available in powerful desktop image editing tools.
Apart from layers with advanced blending options like drop shadow, outer/inner glow, bevel and gradient effects, Sumo Paint has an easy to use navigation pane with smooth zooming of the image , color swatches, filters like Blur, Emboss, Noise and many more powerful editing features. Right-clicking on layers gives easy access to all editing and blending options.
Sumo Paint has a wide selection of shape tools like bulky and rounded stars, polygon, pie and custom shape tools, all giving quick and easy way to draw unique shapes. The shape options bar includes sliders for changing line opacity, line diameter and fill opacity. The symmetry tool with a variable number of symmetry points is a very good feature, not found in many other image editors, to quickly create beautiful symmetrical designs.
Other tools like the magic wand, text box, smudge, Blur, Line and Curve tools are also present. Upon selecting a tool, all options for that tool are quickly accessible from the Options bar, which appears below the Menu bar.
Strangely red eye removal is one of the missing features in this powerful image editor. Also, there is no ruler tool for measurement of image dimensions, when using the selection tools. All in all Sumo Paint is very feature rich image editor for unleashing your raw drawing talent.
Splashup, formerly called Fauxto, is another Paint-like web based image editor which is rich in features. It supports layers with some basic blending options, filters, drawing tools and color picker. It is very similar in user-interface to Sumo Paint, with a Menu bar, tool bar to the left and Info, Color Picker and Layer panels to the right. However it lacks many of the powerful and advanced layer blending and filtering options, tools like magic wand, custom shapes, color swatches, zooming, and keyboard support for undo/redo functions.
Splashup has a black interface, like Adobe Photoshop Express, enhancing image viewing. The sidebar panels can be positioned anywhere on the screen by dragging. Splashup requires free registration to start using it.
Yet another Flash based web application, FlauntR is a collection of free online image editing tools which give single click effects to photos. It’s seven applications provide an array of editing, stylizing options, all easy to use with intuitive thumbnail preview of effects. FlauntR lets you upload from your PC, Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, Bebo and also from any web URL. You can also save and retrieve your images to albums in FlauntR.
FlauntR has a black interface similar to Splashup and Adobe Photoshop Express.
It has all the applications available as tabs on a single page. A drop down menu with icons for undo/redo, reset, share, Full screen etc. is available on all tabs. The History option lets you quickly view all your actions. However there is no keyboard support for the undo/redo actions.
Apply any of the available hundreds of ready-to-use templates to your photos in the stylR tab. You can choose from categories like Birthday, Engagement, Invitations, Magazine Covers etc. from the right side panel and create a stylized invitation or greeting in seconds. You can apply multiple styles to your photos, with one style applied on top of the other. You can either apply some quick styles from the Showcase tab or find the one that you are exactly looking for from QuickSearch.
The picasR makes images resemble classical paintings in color tone and feel. You can choose from one of the several available paintings to apply the same vintage aura to your photo.
The editR tab gives you single click effects for many basic and advanced effects. Some of the basic effects include Blur, Emboss, Grayscale, Sharpen, Soften etc. You can even apply a few advanced effects like mosaic, curves, Posterize, Sketch and Tint. The textR tab lets you place not only formatted text on top of the image, but also small colorful pictures which can be chosen from hundreds of available shapes. With profileR, you can crop the picture as required for one of the 30 social networking sites.
MobileR lets you create wallpaper for your mobile, with support for more than 200 phone models, giving the exact dimensions of the mobile screen to the image. Finally you can print your edited photos as Posters, canvas, etc on printR.
Unleash your creativity on these free image editing tools.