I was driven to Pixlr by two nudges. The first was when a teacher asked if I knew of a free alternative to Photoshop that she could use in her classroom with her students. Almost at the same time I had to replace the hard drive on my personal laptop and during the process I lost access to my Photoshop installation and Adobe was asking me for $10 a month to use Photoshop. A colleague had told me about some free alternatives and after a quick review Pixlr looked the most promising for features and ease of use.
What I found was that Pixlr has a similar layout to Photoshop and the tools in the free version do most of the things I adjust photos/images in a hurry. These commonly used features include cropping, basic light adjustments, adding text, and applying filters. The free version doesn’t include many advanced Photoshop features such as layers, masks, etc, but you can purchase the Pro version of Pixlr to add these and other features if you wish. The other limitations to the free version that you should be aware of are that 1. You can only open one image at a time and 2. The only export (save as) options are bmp, jpg, png and tiff. I can live with these limitations for the free price.
If you choose to use Pixlr, know that you have several options. First, you can use the solely online version, or you can download the app to your mobile device or desktop computer. You can also choose to use the free version or subscribe to their Pro version for just $15 a year (much more affordable than Photoshop).
Here’s a screenshot of some of the tools with one of my photos open. For more info and to download, visit their site Pixlr.