Pixlr is a site that gives us access to several photo editing tools, online and free. We explain what it’s worth, and if this famous platform can replace Photoshop or not.
3 tools for 3 different audiences
Pixlr is a website founded in 2008, which gives access to three different photo editing tools, all free and 100% online:
- Photomash Studio, presented as a professional photo studio that caters to influencers and e-commerce site owners.
- Pixlr E, a simple tool very, VERY easy to use, perfect for beginners or for people who want to make small projects.
- Pixlr X, a tool that is similar to Photoshop, with more advanced features than Pixlr E. According to the description on the official website, Pixlr X would be ” the easiest photo editor to use” , while Pixlr E would be “ the powerful photo editor for pros “.
We will focus here on the Pixlr X tool, which is often presented as “ the tool that could replace Photoshop” .
Pixlr X, a complete and free tool
X is a feature-rich online photo editor. It is in active development, so although some features are still in beta, it should only get better with time. If you’re looking for a quick way to edit your photos, or a more advanced tool for complex compositions, for free, it will do the trick.
Moreover, unlike some software, it has the advantage of being quite easy to use. Its clear, icon-based interface means you’re never overwhelmed by too many options at once.
To use Pixlr X, simply select an image on your desktop or enter a URL, and you’re ready to begin. The interface is based on a toolbar of icons on the left. Most of them are easily recognizable, but if there are some that don’t tell you anything, you can hover over them with your mouse which will reveal their functions.
Most online photo editors offer tools for cropping and resizing images, but Pixlr X also includes a selection of clipping tools – shape, lasso, drag and magic – that allow you to move or delete a selected part of the image, or move it to a different layer. This allows you to create complex compositions from multiple images.
If you’ve used an online photo editor before, you’ll be familiar with the slider system for adjusting contrast, brightness and saturation, but Pixlr X goes way beyond the basics, allowing you to tweak vibrance, highlights and shadows.
Pixlr X’s drawing tools (which can only be used on a drawing layer) are fairly simple at first glance, seeming to offer only three brush styles and a limited color palette to choose from. But by clicking on “Advanced”, you will be presented with a whole range of options to create your own custom brushes. Pixlr X lacks some presets to simulate the effects of different media (pencils, paint and pastels, for example), but this could come with a future update.
It is a rather complete tool, and especially fast, but it still lacks some features. One example is the missing curve tool. In addition, the software does not support BMP and Tiff formats, and requires an automatic photo extension conversion tool. An even more important feature, which is unfortunately missing, is an online storage space to save your projects.
Can Pixlr X replace Photoshop?
On the whole, yes. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a software, and you don’t have very complex projects to do, Pixlr X will do the trick ! If not, you will certainly have to combine it with one or more other programs, free or not.
On the other hand, it is still an option worth considering if you are looking for a free photo editor without having to download anything. Moreover, the software has the advantage of being very fast, which is particularly convenient when you need to modify a photo without having a PC Gaming at hand.