Pixlr is a free flash based online image editor that is simple and easy to use for the beginner and has enough hooks to keep the advanced user entertained.
If you’ve ever used a desktop image editing software, like Gimp or Photoshop, you’d be right at home with Pixlr. While it doesn’t have all the features of Photoshop yet, it is definitely a better alternative to using MS Paint. The website doesn’t even require a signup. To use the editor, click on the appropriately named button, “Jump In”, and well….jump right in!
The main window resembles a desktop image editing solution and reminded me of the excellent open source image editor, Gimp.
To start using Pixlr, use the File menu (or use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+O) to open an image file and let Pixlr load the image. Cut, copy and paste your way around the application and if you make a mistake, don’t worry, Pixlr has multiple levels of “Undo”. Just click on the Edit->Undo menu item or press the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl + Z.
Talking about keyboard shortcuts, the good thing about Pixlr is that it uses all regular keyboard shortcuts and so the learning curve is minimum. For example, the shortcut to copy a part of an image is Ctrl + c, the shortcup to paste is Ctrl + v and so on.
The files created using Pixlr can be saved in either the JPEG or PNG format. Excellent for images that are to be used online.
What really makes Pixlr shine over other similar web applications is its support for filters and layers.
Anyone familiar with desktop image editing solutions would know how important and useful the concept of layers is and from what I’ve seen, Pixlr is the only online image editing solution which offers this feature.
Pixlr also supports a number of image filters and while the number of filters available right now is limited, I’m sure the Pixlr team is working on a number of useful filters and will be adding them to the application as they’re ready, making life easier for us non pros.
Pixlr is an awesome application with a feature set that should appeal to the non pros among us. While it is low on features right now, if the initial reaction is any indication, I’m sure we’ll be seeing great things from the Pixlr team in the future. It might not replace your favorite desktop application, but it should definitely find a place in your web toolbox.
Give it a go then let us know what you think about it in the comments.
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