Photo editing can be daunting if you can’t afford a professional program like Photoshop, but it doesn’t have to be complicated! With the right tools on your side, you can be making beautiful photos and collages in no time! Check out my Top 5 free online tools for photo editing below!
Lunapic is a free online Photo Editor. You use it from your browser, and I have tested it with success in both Firefox and Chrome. Lunapic has tons of different editing effects, from simple things like cropping and color changes to advanced skills like creating animated gifs and collages. Lunapic is probably the closest thing to a Photoshop feel that you can get in a browser-based photo editor.
In my experience, the Lunapic interface is a little clunky and confusing to use at first. The one feature I use on Lunapic on a frequent basis is the transparency tool. This is useful for changing a JPEG or other photo file with a white background into a transparent PNG image.
To make an image transparent with Lunapic, first upload the photo by going to www.lunapic.com, then scrolling down on the splash page. You will see a browse button that will allow you to select your file and upload it. Then, pull down the Edit menu and click Transparent. You can then click on the color in the photo that you would like to be transparent.
This works best with clip art type photos, or anything with a perfectly uniform colored background. You may move the toggle above the photo to adjust the transparency threshold. Once you’re happy with it, click apply threshold. If you see any specks of the background that did not become transparent, you can clean it up with the Eraser tool (There is an eraser image in the toolbar on the left, or you can go to Draw > Drawing Tools).
Overall, Lunapic is not my favorite editor, but it has a few tools that are unique and make this an important site to bookmark for your photo editing needs.
Freepik is a good resource for finding Vectors, PSD, Icons and Photos for use in your image editing. The images are available for both personal and commercial use. If you use the images commercially, they require you to attribute them to Freepik. This basically refers to giving credit to the creator, and Freepik has instructions on how to do this.
Freepik uses a Freemium business model, which means they are happy to provide the images free as long as you credit the author. If you wish to use the images without crediting the author, they also offer a subscription service. For $9.99 a month you can use as many images as you like from Freepik without accreditation. If you do a lot of image editing, this is a great investment, considering the cost of other image sites and the fact that Freepik has so much content available.
My favorite use for Freepik is finding unique social media icons to use in my branding and ads. The great thing about the icons available on Freepik is that you can download them in whatever color you may need. I prefer to download in black, so I can edit the colors as needed in my image editing software, but this could save time if you already have a color in mind.
With a large catalog of images, vectors and icons, Freepik is definitely a good tool to have in your belt when it comes to creating images.
Canva is a very popular browser based image editing program. The most exciting thing that Canva offers is its templates. Templates make it very easy to create a professional looking photo or collage in minutes. I like using templates to make ads, social media posts and timeline photos for Facebook.
To use a template, simply create a free Canva account. The account will allow you to return and continue editing photos later. This makes it super easy to keep all your images in one place. Then, you can either use a preset Canva template, or create one with the size you require. Scan through the list, and you will see options for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy and more. Once you pick your template, you can use the preset image layouts Canva offers, or create your own. The preset image layouts and images on Canva are a mix of free and for purchase. Be sure to look at the corner of each element to see if it is free.
Once you are happy with your photo, you can download it. If you have used any Premium elements, this will be the point at which you make your purchase. Images with Premium elements will be available for edit for 24 hours after purchase. I personally only use Canva for the free elements, but there are some beautiful photographs, icons and illustrations contributed by artists the world over.
Canva is great if you feel you are lacking creativity or direction with your image, and it is a great tool for beginners.
Pixabay is the best kept secret on the internet. Pixabay has a library of images available for free, including photographs, clipart and vectors. It is my go to website when I need stock photos or elements for my designs. It has an easy search layout, and allows you to filter by image type, color and more.
You can use Pixabay without creating an account, but I suggest you do create one. Accounts are free, and I’ve never gotten any spam email from Pixabay. If you are logged into your account, you will be able to download images at their original size, which means higher quality photos for you to edit. If you choose not to create an account, you can still download images in smaller sizes.
All in all, Pixabay is my favorite resource for stock photos, vectors and clipart. It is my go-to site when I need to add a little something extra to my design.
Picmonkey is my #1 image editing tool, and for good reason. It is easy to navigate, visually pleasing and simple enough for even the most beginner editor to work with. It offers an array of tools for photo editing, including collages, and now templates. Picmonkey has a lot of free features, but it also has a paid service called Royale. Royale is only $33 per year (or $4.99 a month if you pay monthly), and it is well worth the cost. I’ll go more in depth into Picmonkey in another blog post (or maybe a few, it’s just that great).
If you simply need to do some simple editing like cropping, rotating, and color, then you don’t need to stray beyond the first tab, but I encourage you to play around and see what Picmonkey has to offer. Any items you see marked with a Crown are for Royale customers only. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of great features and effects for you to use.
Picmonkey has a bunch of fonts available for adding text to your photos, and you can even use all the fonts on your computer as well. Overlays are basically what Picmonkey calls Clipart. There are lots of options to add a little pop to your image, and you can easily change the size, color and orientation of your overlays as well as open files from your computer to add as an overlay. I like to add my logo to a photo as an overlay, then fade it out to create an instant watermark.
If you want to make a cool post for Pinterest or Facebook, try the Collage feature. You can create a collage of any number of photos, then move them around and resize them. You can add rounded edges, change the background color and more. Then, when you’re done with your collage, you can immediately open it in the regular editor to add Text, overlays and other effects.
These are my Top 5 free online tools for photo editing, but I’m sure you know of some I’ve missed! Share your suggestions in the comments, and feel free to ask any questions! I plan to do some in depth Picmonkey tutorials, but if you’d like tutorials for any of the other pages I’ve mentioned, let me know!
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About the Authors
We are Jessica and Jennifer, and we're the sisters behind Sister Style! We will fill this blog with news about our brands and our lives, as well as DIY tutorials and projects. Enjoy!