Pixlr: Simple Filters to Advanced Editing

Last month on Web.Appstorm, I looked at PhotoRaster, an advanced online photo editor which really impressed us. Today, we have another web app called Pixlr, which is another twist on online photo editing.

While PhotoRaster, like most image editing apps, is a sole app that gives you tons of options, Pixlr is a photo editor split into three different apps. Each of these is built for a specific purpose, and you’ll likely find yourself only using one of the 3 Pixlr apps. In this article I’m going to cover each one so you can see which one is for you!

3 Ways to Enjoy Pixlr

When you need to edit a picture, you’ll usually have to pick from either very simple apps or very complex apps. You could use an app like Instagram on your smartphone to add a filter to your pictures, or you could use Photoshop on your computer to tweak every detail imaginable in the pictures to your liking. Pixlr, the 4 year old image editor web app backed by Autodesk, has tried to help you keep from having to make that decision. Instead of building one app, they’ve built three apps from the same engine, and put them together at the same site. Now, all you have to do is pick the one best suited for your photo editing needs.

Opening page of Pixlr.

Pixlr Editor

This is the part of the app which mimics PhotoRaster and other native photo editing apps like Photoshop. The structure of this technical editor will allow you to seriously edit pictures.

Open the app, and you’ll be greeted with the regular interface of any editor. With toolbars along the left hand side and top, everything seems professional enough. Along the right hand side you have a Navigator, Layer Controller, and History, all helping you keep in control of everything you’ve done. The top bar is well equipped too, with layers, adjustments and a huge amount of filter options.

The Pixlr Editor!

One extra feature which I do like is the range of places you can save your edited photo. Going to File then Save makes a popup interface appear, much as you’d assume from a traditional app. Here you have the choice to save to six different places: Computer, imm.io (Pixlr’s photo sharing program), Pixlr Libary, Facebook, Flickr or Picasa. This is the biggest range of saving options I’ve ever seen on a web app, and it really impressed me. You can also choose, Name, Format and Quality of image here.

Overall, I do like this editor. The interface is sleek and everything is ready for you to push to the limits. The range of features is pretty big and makes this app a capable editor for anyone.

Pixlr Express

Pixlr Express is the middle point between the three, giving you an uncomplicated service with some nice features. Firstly, you have a choice of four places to begin: Browse (Taking a picture from your library), Open URL, Webcam, or Collage. Once you’ve took your choice, you’ll be taken to an interface much simpler to that of the editor.

Editing a picture in Pixlr Express.

Basically, you have six different editing tools which can change your picture: Adjustment, Effect, Overlay, Border, Sticker and Text. Adjustments are my favourite abilities and I often find myself playing around with this basic tool. My two favourite tools for editing portraits are Airbrush and Teeth White. These two features can quickly fix a bad photo and make it look much more professional. Turning anyone into a modern day model.


Pixlr-O-Matic is the final and simplest version of the application. This is a version which has the least amount of features, but, is probably the most fun. You start by selecting your image. After that you’re faced with an interface which allows you to change the effect/distortion of the picture. There is a massive range of types here so have a play around with a few before you pick your favourite.

Pixlr-O-Matic first choices.

Moving the cursor along to the blue section brings up another range of changes. These change the camera effects and add little shapes such as stars to the picture. The last part of the editing phase allows you to change the border, these can change the whole feeling of the picture, painting it in a different light. And you’re done, from that point on you can save your file and finish.

This editor, as you can tell, is relatively small, and takes no longer than five minutes to edit and complete. This is really for people who don’t want to go too much into editing, or feel that this way is more fun and suited for them.

Editing in Pixlr-O-Matic.

As well as the online application for Pixlr-O-Matic there is also a free app available for Android and iOS. These apps are well detailed and really replicate the exact features of the web application. I would highly recommend these if you would like Pixlr on the move!

Pixlr Grabber

Pixlr Grabber isn’t exactly an editor, but an add-on for those of us who would like to extend the experience. Selecting Pixlr Grabber by the top of the main page will take you to a place where you can download either a Firefox or Chrome add-on. These extensions will fit nicely into your browsing experience and allow you to right click on any image and automatically load it into the editor.

A quicker way to start editing as fast as possible!

My Thoughts

All three parts of these applications are well developed and have a specific purpose. Whether you’re wanting to edit your next masterpiece or even make a great cover photo, Pixlr can help you do that. At the end of the day, these are all web apps and that makes them very accessible. You’ll be able to access these on every computer/device and won’t have any problems with installing multiple programs.


Personally, I love how functional web photo editors actually are. They solve a simple problem, are normally free and make hard tasks effortless. After looking at both Photo Raster and Pixlr I’ve become accustomed to how easy they are to use. Pixlr is a perfect example of an app which hits all of my success criteria.

Are you currently looking for a new online photo editor? Could Pixlr be your perfect app? Let us know below.


Pixlr is a online photo editor which splits into three helpful packages for you to use.