Blog Jan 3, 2013

Pixlrpixlr.com What we liked:Pixlr is so good it’ll make you wonder whether you need to spend money on paid-for photo software.


What we liked:
Pixlr is so good it’ll make you wonder whether you need to spend money on paid-for photo software. There are four versions: Advanced, Express, Pixlr-o-matic and a mobile app, with the latter two offering only basic effects and edits.

Pixlr Express contains a wide variety of popular editing features, including crop, rotate, colour enhancements and touch-up tools such as red-eye fixer and teeth whitener. It was easier to use than the other services we tested, because all the main edits are presented in a single strip, rather than spread over separate tabs. Each one is clearly labelled with a name and an example of how it will make your image look when it’s applied.
Our favourite version of the service is Pixlr Advanced (pictured). The other sites, including Pixlr Express, offer basic sliders to control individual edit options, but Pixlr Advanced has precise controls.  For example, you can type your desired brightness level, or use the lasso and wand tools to perform accurate cut-outs. Advanced also lets you edit multiple photos at once.
Pixlr is one of the only online editors that mimics the interface of popular photo software, such as Paint.net. Its tools panel and windows for Layers and History make it feel instantly familiar. Pixlr also recognises many Windows shortcuts, including Ctrl+Z for Undo, which makes it quick and easy to use.
Because some features are tucked away in menus, Pixlr Advanced was harder to master than our Silver and Bronze Award winners, but the edits are more sophisticated, which makes it worth the extra effort to find them.  
Pixlr Advanced lets you save pictures to your PC, Facebook, Flickr and Picasa, while Express and Pixlr-o-matic only let you save to your PC.

How can it be improved?
Having a choice of editors is great, but we’d like the option to easily switch between them. At the moment, you have to upload your image each time you open a different version. We’d also like more guidance for using the Advanced tools.

Pixlr won our Gold Award because it offers much more than the other sites we tested, in a simple interface. Edits were made quickly, without any delay, and our finished photo looked great. It’s the only site with a mobile app, too.

EASE OF USE ★★★★★   FEATURES ★★★★★   QUALITY ★★★★★   PERFORMANCE ★★★★★