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A picture is worth 1,000 words. So how many words is a four-image collage worth? Sometimes, a nice collage is the best way to share an experience quickly. It takes minutes to make, it’s easy to share, and rather than bombarding your friends with several photos, you can only send one that tells the whole story.
The tools below will help you create beautiful collages from your images, no matter which platform you’re on. And if none of these fit what you’re looking for, check out these other online picture collage makers.
Picisto is a feature-rich collage maker that employs an interesting business model. It’s not completely free to use (although all basic features are), but you can choose which features you want to unlock, and do this using “Picisto coins”. You get 10 of these just for signing up, which is enough to get a nice feature or two. Extra coins come in different packages, and you can get them from $1 for 10 coins to $8.5 for 100 coins. Onto collage making!
Without paying a dime (not even your free coins), you can choose from 15 small collage layouts, 4 large collage layouts, 7 Facebook cover layouts, and 16 blank canvases for freestyle collages. After choosing a layout, upload photos from your computer, Facebook, or Instagram. You can also copy a photo from a URL, snap a photo using your webcam, or search for the right image from within Picisto’s interface.
You can upload many photos at once, and create a depository for many collages. Inside a collage, you can control each photo’s zoom, position, and size if applicable. You can add text and shapes, change the background color, and more.
Your collages will include watermarks and will be public. You will also see ads while creating them. You can change all this using coins, as well as unlock further layout packs.
Collagerator [Windows & Mac]
Not everyone’s keen about uploading private photos to the Web, especially when most free Web services don’t really protect the privacy of your stuff. A good solution for this is to use a desktop application, which keeps the collage-making process local.
Collagerator is completely free to use, and helps you create different kinds of customized collages. The developers say that the software is in the beta stage and will be free to use during this period. To get started, choose the page size you’re aiming at, and the collage’s orientation. You can then choose from 5 different kinds of collages.
What’s the difference between all these layouts? Good question, it takes some exploring to figure it out, but it mostly comes down to the flexibility of photo positioning. Backgrounds, borders, and shadows can all be changed and controlled after adding photos to your canvas, so you don’t really have to worry about it now.
All that’s left to do is upload your images, move them around as you wish, and play with the theme options to get the perfect result. When you’re done, you can save your collage in the program, or export it as an image you can share.
Collagerator manages to be really simple and intuitive at times, and pretty confusing at others, but all in all it’s a great tool for creating collages.
Phototastic [Windows 8 & Windows Phone]
Who said Windows 8 apps suck? If you’re looking for a truly beautiful, easy to use, slick and flexible collage app, Phototastic is it. Free to use with all the basic features, you can also get the full version for $2.99 to unlock many more layouts and editing options (in-app purchase).
Using the free version, you can choose from various 2, 3 and 4-picture layouts, and populate them with images from your computer, Flickr, or your webcam, or just with simple colors. When that’s done, you can start customizing your collage with different borders, photo shapes, backgrounds, and shadows. You can also change the layout again, pick a size for the layout, and move images to different spots within the same layout.
Each of these features comes with many “for starters” options you can use for free, and dozens more locked features available only in the full version. You can save the results in low or medium quality (HD is is a premium version), and either save it locally or publish it to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Flickr.
Even if you think you hate Modern apps, you really should give this one a try.
PicsArt [Android & iOS]
Available for both Android and iOS, PicsArt is a cute little app that does much more than collages. With that said, it cannot go up against excellent photo editors such as Snapseed and Handy Photo, so I wouldn’t use PicsArt for any day to day photo editing. It is, however, a nice app for collages.
The interface gets a bit cluttered at times, especially with ever-changing ads at the bottom, but the app iss easy to use despite that. In the iOS version, you can go in for an in-app purchase to remove the ads. All you have to do is choose a layout from the dozens of available one, add your photos from the gallery, from other online sources, or by snapping them right then and there, and start editing your collage.
Everything is pretty straightforward: move photos around to change their position, use the bottom buttons to add backgrounds and frames, the top buttons to edit your images, and drag each photo to position it just right within its frame. When you’re done, you can save or export your collage using almost any app you have installed.
While PicsArt is available for iOS as well as Android, if you’re using an iPhone or iPad, you would want to try out Moldiv. This slick app makes it super easy to create collages from your camera roll or camera, and offers a large number of original layouts for free.
Once you’ve added your photos, you can move them around, add backgrounds and shadows, control the photos’ shape, and more. You can also add stamps and text to the collage for some additional fun, and save it in three different qualities.
As expected, some features are not free. You can get the full upgrade package for $5.99, but if that’s too much, you can also opt for premium backgrounds for $0.99, premium frames for $1.99, and other in-app purchases.
If these choices haven’t hit your fancy, here are more diptych and collage making tools for Web, iOS or Mac. Is there a great app we’ve missed? Do you even like collages, or are they too tacky? Tell us in the comments.