One of the online image editors that you can use is imgur. In its early days, the service focused more on simple ways to share images and only had two editing features (crop and rotate). But now imgur has integrated Aviary’s Feather to boost its image editing power.
Two Image Sources
If you look at the web interface, you can see that imgur really holds to its motto: “the simple image sharer“. There are only two buttons visible under “Upload images” – Computer and Web. The buttons tell us that aside from the images on your computer, you can also upload images from the web.
To use images from your hard drive, press the “Computer” button and several other options will appear. You can upload several images and have them grouped into an album while choosing the album layout. If you want to, you can also edit the images before inserting them into the album.
If you choose to upload the images from the web, copy and paste the URLs into the text field, one URL per line. You can acquire the images from your own web album, or from other image hosting services like Flickr or Picasa.
Then the upload progress bar will appear. While the uploading speed from your hard drive will depend on your Internet connection, I found that the process of uploading web images is very fast.
After the uploading process is done, and you choose to edit your images, they will appear under the editing window one image at a time. While the original editing tools are instantly available, you have to click the “Advanced” button to access Feather.
Feather in imgur can handle images up to 1024 pixels wide. So if your images are wider, they will be scaled down to 1024 pixels.
There are many tools that you can use in the advanced editing mode, such as Text, Saturation, and Stickers.
For those who want to apply quick photo effects, you can use one or more of four Instagram-ish quick effects: Instant, Toy Camera, Old Photo, and Retro. Here’s an example of an edited photo using the Old Photo effect.
To Share Or Not To Share
Never forget to click “Save” after editing a photo. Saving the picture will also bring you to the next picture in the editing queue. After you are done with all of them, the image gallery will be opened.
Under the album, you’ll find the sharing option with buttons for many social sites. There are also other options – sharing the images via email, downloading them to your hard drive, or embedding the images on your website.
Click the “Get embed codes” link and you’ll get several codes that you can use either in emails, IMs, websites, blogs, or message boards.
Tools Of The Trade
Adding advanced image editing tools to its existing image sharing features will surely give imgur an edge over other similar services. But I think one big advantage that imgur has is the availability of supporting tools, both online and offline.
You can find those tools under the “Tools” link at the top left of the page. Scroll down the page to see the complete list.
Among them are Firefox and Chrome extensions. These tools will allow you to upload web images while you are browsing without the need to go to imgur first.
There are also several desktop applications both for Windows and Mac. There’s one app that you can use on any platform – an Adobe Air application called “imgur Uploader“.
If you’ve ever needed a quick online image sharing and editing tool, you should try imgur. I found the service to be very useful, especially times when I had to deal with online images for my blogs.
What do you think of the imgur free image editor? Have you tried it? Or do you use other similar online service? Share your thoughts and opinion using the comments below.