30 Tools in 30 Days: Day 29 Pixlr

Day 29: Pixlr

Everyone is a photographer nowadays. We all walk around with little cameras in our pockets. Sometimes I even use mine to call or text my family. Personally, I take hundreds of pictures a year. I love to capture the world around me and share what I see on my media channels. I have even more fun with creative post-processing and editing. Back when I did it for a living, my tool of choice was (and still is) Adobe Photoshop. You just can’t beat this powerhouse. However, for those who dabble, the price tag may be a bit too steep to justify. Even for me, I have a license for my personal use but I do not have one at work. So, where do you go when you need the editing capability of Photoshop without the price? Pixlr is my choice every time.

Pixlr is a suite of free photo editing tools that you can use as web-based or mobile apps. The web apps are great for anyone who is using a work or school computer because you do not need to download anything. Just open one of the apps and edit away.

Pixlr has three different apps designed to meet the needs of the beginner, the dabbler, and the more serious photo editor. Each one can be found as both a web app and a mobile app.

Add filters, Frames, and Effects with Pixlr-omatic.
Add filters, frames, and effects with Pixlr-omatic.


Pixlr-omatic is a fun way to add retro filters, frames, and effects to your images. The screen looks like an old camera. There are tons of effects and filters to choose from to create a unique image. The interface is very easy to use. Final images can be saved to your computer or device and shared on social meida. Because really, why else would you over filter your image?

Pixlr Express

Pixlr Express is the photo editing app for everyone. Easy to use for the beginner but also has lots of editing options for those who want to do more with their photos. With Pixlr Express, you can still add the filters, effects, and frames that you used with Omatic, however, you can also do some advanced image correction, editing, and manipulation. You can even add text and stickers and create photo collages. Again, the controls are easy to use so it does not take long to learn and start editing your images. For most of you, Pixlr Express will meet your photo editing needs.

Edit and correct or images with Pixlr Express.
Edit and correct or images with Pixlr Express.

Pixlr Editor

Pixlr Editor is a robust photo editing tool. If you are a Photoshop user, Pixlr Editor will not disappoint. With Pixlr Editor, you have many of the same tools you would find in Photoshop, including layers, filters, and selection tools. When I need to do some heavy duty editing at work (where I don’t have Photoshop) Pixlr is the tool I always turn to.

Edit your images like a pro with Pixlr Editor.
Edit your images like a pro with Pixlr Editor.

In the Classroom

The Pixlr family of apps are great for classroom use. Pixlr-omatic and Express are easy to use even for your youngest students. Pixlr Editor gives you the power of a robust editing tool as well as the ability to create digital works of art.

The best part of all three of the apps is that they are free, web-based (for those working on a desktop or laptop), and require no sign-in. One thing to note – since they are free apps, you will have to deal with embedded adds. They need to pay the bills, right? For the most part, the adds are not intrusive. I’ve noticed that the adds are tailored to me and are usually for products I buy or sites I visit. (Thank you creepy internet and big data!)

If you are doing any type of photography or digital media production with your students (and you should be) the Pixlr suite of apps are tools you must check out.

It looks like they also have a vector editing tool called Vectr. I have not used it yet myself but I am excited to give it a try.

Happy editing!

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