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Powerful, free and easy to use digital photo editing program

Powerful, free and easy to use digital photo editing program
© Andrey Popov | Dreamstime.com

In this age of social media and photo sharing, stylistic individuality is almost a must. Filters, effects, borders and stickers can push an average photograph into a spectacular work of art if done right.

Yes, there's always Photoshop or GIMP for serious photo editing but for those quick spontaneous artistic inspirations, we recommend Pixlr.

Brought to you by the fine folks from Autodesk, Pixlr is a free but powerful photo editing software that's easy to use and it comes with all the editing tools you'll need for your next masterpiece.

Fast and Refine

Pixlr tools

There's the "Fast" radio button for quick formatting edits and retouches. Here you'll find your usual crop, straighten, resize and automatic tools like auto-contrast, auto-fix, heal and red eye. For artistic flourishes, "Fast" also includes focal point bokeh-like blurring and color splashing for creative effects.

For more dialed-in adjustments, the "Refine" radio button provides granular sliders for color, contrast, blur, sharpen, smooth and even double exposure effects with another image.

Filters, Stickers and other Special Effects

Pixlr Blur

The real fun in Pixlr starts with its library of special filters and effects. Try out interesting effects and filters like creative, unicolor, vintage, or watercolor with the "effect" and "stylize" buttons.

Pepper your photo with graphical extras like overlays, borders and stickers. You can even add in your own text.

There's a slight catch: to use the effects, overlays, borders and stickers, a Pixlr account is required. Don't worry, it's free.

Pixlr Web Apps

For an even easier photo editing experience, try Pixlr's web apps. They're all browser-based so you don't need to download nor install extra software. (It does require the Flash plugin to run, though.)

Pixlr Express is the web-based brother of Pixlr desktop with almost the same set of tools, effects and filters. Since it's web-based, it can be a bit slow, depending on your image resolution.

Pixlr web

Pixlr Editor is an advanced photo editor with layering support and a complete set of tools similar to other software like GIMP. For experienced photo editors, Pixlr Editor is a great web-based alternative.

Try out the other Pixlr web-based apps Pixlr-o-matic, a "retro" styled editor, and the Chrome extension, Pixlr Touch Up.

For mobile gadgets and quick edits on a phone or tablet, download Mobile Pixlr for iOS and Android.

Download and install instructions

To download Pixlr Desktop for Mac or Windows, just click on the blue download link below. This will take you straight to the main Pixlr desktop download page.

Need help using Pixlr? Check out these tutorials at ICT Live.

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