You have surely noticed we now live in a time when technology has allowed web apps to evolve a lot, and let you do a lot of things you were unable to do only a few years ago. Very recently, I told you about an online video editing application, and now I am going to tell you about Pixlr X, a very powerful online photo application. I should mention that Pixlr X is completely free to use (no subscriptions, paywalls for extra features).
You may have noticed that Barbara Din had told us a little bit about Pixlr X a few months ago. Now, I would like to give you a more elaborate overview of this application.
To start using Pixlr X, you just need to upload an image, or load an image from an external URL. Then, you are sent to the main window where you do all your work. There, you can add new layers, for text, shapes, or other images, add effects, etc. When you add a new layer, you are asked what type of layer you want to add, and this important because you can only do certain things to certain layer types. For example, you can only use the brush on a draw layer.
If you select an image layer, you are prompted to load another image from your computer (in this case, you can’t load an image from an external website). When you load the image, you can resize it, rotate it, or move it around your canvas. You can also apply filters (like vignette, bloom, mosaic) to your image, and also perform some advanced color correction.
Changing the order of layers is very easy. You simply drag and drop a layer in the Layers pane to move it above or below other layers. Also, you can modify the blending options of your layers, which is an extremely nice feature and lets you create some really interesting composites. On top of that, you also have selection tools that you can use to mask parts of a layer, remove them, or create new layers from your selection masks.
I have noticed that “Instagram-like filters” have become pretty common now, and Pixlr X also includes pre-made filters that drastically change the look of your image. I think these can e useful if you want a quick stylization. These can be good, either for a quick edit, or a starting point for something else.
A small, but nice feature, is the pop-up tips. If you hover over one of the buttons on the left tool bar, a pop-up appears, explaining what the tools contained in that category do. For example, the image below shows the pop-up explaining the preset filters described above.
The application is very responsive, and performs really well. When I was making changes and adjustments (for example, color adjustments, or adding filters) they worked extremely fast, except when I was using the Liquify tool. I found that the Liquify tool was very slow and sometimes it didn’t work at all (I tried on both Firefox and Chrome on my Windows desktop).
As I said before, the application is completely free to use. This also means you can download the processed images free of charge, at any size, in JPG or PNG format.
One thing I noticed, and I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about it, is the fact that you can use Pixlr X without having to sign up for an account. On one side, I like it because you don’t need to add yet another entry to your password database, or your “brain password database.” However, I do think an account is useful when you plan to move to another computer.
All your information is stored on cookies, and since you don’t open a session, if you try a different browser it’s like you are visiting the site as a completely different person, and you can’t open your previous project in a new computer or browser.
Pixlr X is a simple, yet extremely cool photo editing web application. If you need to do photo editing, you should really try it out. On top of that, the application is free, which makes it even better.
Try Pixlr X: https://pixlr.com/x/