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22 Image Editing Tools to Make Your Pictures Pop!

by Sharon Hurley Hall

Point. Click. Now what?

It’s now easier than ever for digital marketers and content creators to take photos and find images, but what can you do if the image isn’t quite right? From resizing tools to full-fledged Photoshop replacement, here’s a round up of tools to make you bend images to your will.

Most of these online image editing tools allow you to crop, rotate, adjust brightness, contrast and color, touch up and add filters to photos – it’s just a question of how they do it.

Picture Resizing Tools

One common task for marketers is resizing images to fit a blog post or another medium. While practically all of the image editors in our list let you do this, if all you need to do is change the size of the image, a simpler tool might be enough. Here are three to choose from.

Windows Image Resizer

Image Resizer for Windows

Description: Back in the days of Windows XP, there was a PowerToy that resized images. This Windows Image Resizer allows Windows 7 users to fix the image size with a couple of clicks. Choose from a selection of presets (or set your own) and work with the original image or make a copy. It only takes a couple of seconds and the tool allows batch processing too.

Use this software if: you want to change the image size but don’t need to crop.

Cost: Free

Type: Windows

ResizeIt

ResizeIt

Description: ResizeIt is an image resizer for Macs which includes batch resizing functionality. You can save preset sizes and choose to keep or discard the aspect ratio.

Use this software if: you need a simple image resizer and you’re using a Mac.

Cost: Free

Type: Mac

Pic Resize

PicResize

Description: Pic Resize is not just a resizer. It also lets you crop, rotate, flip, add special effects and choose the image format. It’s a quick, effective tool, though the resizing options are limited.

Use this software if: you need access to picture resizing functionality when your desktop isn’t handy.

Cost: Free

Type: Cloud

Image Editors for Your Phone

Taken a photo with your smartphone but not happy with the lighting or the look? Then consider installing one of these photo editing apps:

Photoshop Express Editor

Photoshop express

Description:

Made by Adobe, Photoshop Express Editor provides a suite of free photo editing functions. If you normally use Photoshop you might find it limiting but for most other people it provides an easy way to make simple corrections to your photos. The best feature is the range of filters, and you can create an account for file storage and sharing functionality.

Use this software if: you want an application from a trusted brand without the hefty price tag of the real Photoshop.

Cost: Free

Type: Android/iOs/Cloud

Snapseed

Snapseed

Description:

One of the great things about Snapseed is that you can edit a photo taken on your phone, make the image pop and share it easily to social media. The fine tuning features are awesome, with the best part being the ‘details’ adjustment with the sharpen and structure tools. It’s got some great filters and overlays too.

Use this software if: you need to brighten and sharpen portraits and landscapes.

Cost: Free trial (Windows/Mac); free (Android/iOs)

Type: Windows/Mac/Android

Pixlr

Pixlr Express

Description: I have to admit to some bias here, because I LOVE Pixlr. Not only is it available on the phone, but it’s got three different web versions depending on the type of image editing you want to do. The Playful version has some fun filters while the Express version has a huge range of adjustments and effects, including seasonal ones like Valentine’s. And the Advanced version is more like Photoshop. This has rapidly become my favorite online image editor, because it’s so easy to use and has a ton of editing options.

Use this software if: You need to jazz up your photos fast and want a tool you can use anywhere.

Cost: Free

Type: Android/iOs/Cloud

Sumopaint

SumoPaint

Description: SumoPaint works like other tools in this roundup. One key difference is the option to start from scratch with a blank canvas, which could be useful if you just want to create simple background. The interface is similar to Photoshop but it has a few additional filters.

Use this software if: You need to create your own image online.

Cost: Free; Pro version $19

Type: iOS/Cloud

Cloud/Desktop Photo Editing Tools

Need a tool you can use on your computer? Try these options for desktop or cloud.

gimp

Gimp

Description: The GNU Image Manipulation Program (gimp) is full featured,. In fact, it’s just like Photoshop, but it’s free. Gimp will do anything you want to do with a photo but it’s got a steep learning curve and may be too complex for someone wanting a quick photo fix.

Use this software if: you’re a photo perfectionist without a Photoshop budget.

Cost: Free

Type: Windows/Mac/Linux

PicMonkey

Picmonkey

Description: PicMonkey offers a wide range of photo-editing tools via an easy to understand interface. Its strong point is an excellent selection of filters, overlays, frames, texture and themes which you can apply with one click and then customize to taste.

Use this software if: you are bored with the usual filters.

Cost: Free (ad supported); with a premium version at $33 a year

Type: Cloud

Quick Picture Tools

Quick Picture Tools

Description: Quick Picture Tools is a suite of 12 online image editing tools. While the interface is a bit old-fashioned and the functions are limited it’s a simple program if you are trying to add any of the effects in the image above.  One neat feature is the ability to use your own image to create a wallpaper calendar for your desktop.

Use this software if: You just need to add any of the simple effects in the image above such as combining images or creating a rounded corner effect.

Cost: Free

Type: Cloud

More Image Editing Tools

The ten tools above are just a few of the options available. Here are some more alternatives.

  • Aviary – once a beloved photo editing app, these days it’s available for developers to plugin to their apps. It works in the cloud, and on iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7.
  • BeFunky is a free web tool which is also available for iOS and Android. It includes a wide range of photo filters, but you will have to upgrade to a paid monthly package to get more.
  • Citrify is a Flash app that works on Windows, Mac and Linux. It has the standard tools and some unusual filters (including one that makes you look like the Incredible Hulk!)
  • Dr Pic is a free web app with an old-fashioned interface.
  • Editor Pho.to is a free web app that has some fun effects, including the ability to turn photos into caricatures.
  • Fotor – available for iPhone, Android and Windows 8, this tool makes it easy to create a photo collage online.
  • Gickr lets you create animated GIFs from uploaded photos.
  • Glitterboo is a free web app that lets you add some sparkle to your uploaded photos.
  • Lunapic – this web app supports a wide range of image formats and allows upload from and download to popular photo sharing sites. The array of photo customizations is pretty impressive.
  • Picfull is a web app that keeps things simple with a limited array of photo effects.
  • Pixenate is a web app with a standard range of photo editing tools.
  • Splashup – available in the cloud and for Windows, this app integrates with photo sharing services and has a light version available for download.

Which image editing tools did we forget?  Have you got any more to add to the list?

29 Comments

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Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional freelance writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 20 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer, university lecturer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website.

29 COMMENTS

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  1. joseman says:
    March 23, 2016 at 1:25 am

    Hey great editor list, the one i like the most is pixlr one.

  2. samuel morse says:
    November 20, 2015 at 1:51 am

    Great tools. very much Thanks for sharing, Simpson.

  3. Cecilia says:
    November 12, 2015 at 2:37 am

    very helpful. would you please add FotoJet? It is a free photo editing tool.

  4. Sun Joe says:
    July 23, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Great tools, thanks for sharing Kathryn.
    I alway use Default Previewer on my Mac. i also using PS when i need more function.

    • July 24, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Glad you liked it. Most of the credit goes to Sharon, who compiled this list for us. 🙂

  5. Simpson says:
    April 25, 2015 at 2:32 am

    i use Quick Pickture Tools photojoiner all the time. It is great. I also use pixlr which is great for adding text and layers to your images. I’ve never used the other ones but ill try them out in the future. Thanks for the great list. I love the internet!

    • April 25, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Great tools. Thanks for sharing, Simpson.

  6. kishore says:
    January 2, 2015 at 1:50 am

    you can also use online tool: Compressor.io.

    • January 2, 2015 at 11:37 am

      Thanks, Kishore. It looks like a great tool.

  7. ishan says:
    November 22, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Richbrush is free image editor, it has many features to edit/retouch photo and it’s very powerful but very simple to use.
    richbrush.com

    • November 22, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      Thanks, Ishan. We appreciate the tip.

  8. May 7, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks for the tip, Mike.

  9. Chris says:
    February 15, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Hi.. nice article.. good to read .. I want to suggest outsource image editing company over here. They are providing all kinds of image editing services like image processing, color correction, HDR enhancement services, 360 panorama stitching services, real estate image editing services etc.
    Image Processing Services

  10. Ben Stephen says:
    January 4, 2014 at 4:10 am

    Good one but i want to know how to reduce the image size from MB to KB without reduce their image quality.

    • January 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Many of these editing tools let you resize a photo. I typically do it in Photoshop by selecting: Image > Image size, then typing in the pixel size I want.

  11. Pol says:
    October 31, 2013 at 12:38 am

    The best online tool for resizing is easyimageresizer.com

  12. ishan says:
    September 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Snapstouch is free online tool to convert photo to sketch, photo to painting, photo to drawing, photo to outline, photo to B&W etc. This tool adds theses effect with maintaining actual size and that is totally free of cost even you don’t need to create account to add the effects.
    http://www.snapstouch.com

  13. cziv says:
    June 26, 2013 at 6:22 am

    http://www.image-resizer.eu is what we use. simple and fast, does the work and more.

  14. March 12, 2013 at 12:16 am

    I really like GIMP! The environment for me is somewhat related to Adobe Photoshop but the difference is the software is an open source compared to the latter image editing tool.

    • March 12, 2013 at 8:40 am

      Another vote for GIMP! Thanks, Tin. You can’t beat the price tag of open source and when it’s got a bunch of committed developers, that’s great too!

  15. March 7, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Great resource. I didn’t know about the windows resizer. I would always open it in Paint and re-size. That’s probably the #1 thing I do too!

    Also, need to mention how awesome GIMP is. I have experience with Photoshp and found it to be easy to learn, but GIMP is powerful when you get the basics down and learn the fundementals of it.

    -Amir

    • March 8, 2013 at 6:58 am

      I use that tool several times each week, Amir. It’s the main thing I need to do with images. 🙂 Thanks for weighing in on GIMP – like anything, I guess you just have to invest some time to be able to use it successfully.

  16. Henneke | Enchanting Marketing says:
    March 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    iPiccy.com is great, too!

  17. March 4, 2013 at 7:00 am

    A lot of resources!! That is great. I’ve been using PicMonkey and it is awesome. One of the things I like the most about it is the online platform. You don’t need to install the software to edit your photos. Really great tool!!
    Thanks for the article!

    • March 5, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      That’s part of the reason I rate Pixlr, Felipe – and the fact that I can also use it on my phone is a bonus.

  18. March 2, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Hi Sharon, good to see you here with such a great post. I’ve only just started experimenting with custom graphics on my blog ( photoshop phobia). Discovered it’s not as hard as you think if you’re ok with something basic ( though even they take some time to learn), and, there are great tools out there which make it easier. I like picmonkey, but the service is seriously let down b y the pixel quality of the graphics. Going to try Gimp and see how that works out.

    • March 4, 2013 at 5:59 am

      Thanks for weighing in, Stacey. Quality is important. If yu have Photoshop phobia, then Gimp won’t help the condition, but it is a much-beloved tool for many ex-Photoshop users. 🙂

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