30 Of The Best Free Web-based Image Editing Apps

The digital camera has made it possible for everyone to be a photographer but it is the proliferation of image editing software that has truly made it possible for the average Joe to produce pictures that are of professional quality. For a long time, the only program that anyone used to achieve this status level was Adobe’s Photoshop but those days are long gone. Today it’s possible to use free, web-based image editing applications to change your photos into works of art. You don’t have to pay a dime; you usually don’t even have to download anything to your computer. You simply sign in, upload the photos that you want to play with to the image-editing app of your choice and make magic.

For the budding photographer who wants to step up his game (or the individual who wants to increase his chances of getting a date by doing some basic editing to the photos he’s putting on online dating sites), these are the best image-editing applications available online for free.

  1. Splashup: This free, web-based image-editing application (formerly called Fauxto) is the one which is most similar to Photoshop. It’s one of the few applications out there that uses the layering process of editing that Photoshop uses. For those people who are familiar with Photoshop but don’t actually have a copy (including people who know Photoshop from work or people who want to be able to use Photoshop features from any computer that can get on the Internet instead of just their home computer), this is the best application out there. If you’re looking for something simpler to learn than Photoshop, this probably isn’t your best bet.
  2. Phoenix by Aviary: This is another layer-based, complex image-editing application specifically geared towards artists who want to be able to use the advanced features of a product like Photoshop. It is one application out of a suite that the company is developing. It is currently in beta and free to use but may eventually cost some money once it’s gotten going; getting in on the ground floor could get you hooked up with a good image-editing program.
  3. Adobe Photoshop Express: Of course, if you like Photoshop then you might want to go with a Photoshop program. This is the free web-based version of their software. It obviously doesn’t have all of the perks but it does have quality. It also has a social networking / sharing aspect to the site which might interest people who want to not only edit their photos but also meet others who are editing and sharing their work.
  4. Picnik: People who are looking for a program that is compatible with all of their online photo storage and photo sharing sites (such as Flickr, Picasa Web, and Photobucket) will find that Picnik is a good web-based imaging application to go with. You can import photos from these locations (or upload them from your computer), edit them and then send them directly back to these sites (or to social networking sites like Facebook). It’s image-editing for the Web 2.0 obsessed individual.
  5. FotoFlexer: This application claims to be ‘the world’s most advanced online image editor’. It has many of the same features as Picnik, particularly the ability to share photos with all of your other major photo websites, but it also has some additional features that make it preferable to people who want an image-editing application that can do it all. For example, it lets you edit a live image from your webcam which can certainly make things interesting.
  6. Picture2Life: This website takes the features of sites like Pincik and FotoFlexer and turns them up a notch by making the site itself a social networking site. You can make friends and join groups like you would on any networking site, sharing the images that you’ve edited directly through the site itself. It also lets you share through other sites if you’d prefer and has some neat collage and animation effects that might interest some users.
  7. Flauntr: This is one of the newer image-editing sites out there and one that incorporates the same features as many of the other sites but takes things a step further. In addition to interacting well with your other social networking sites, Flauntr makes it easy to export edited images to your blog. Additionally, it has features to let you easily print photos, create slideshows and do other advanced imaging projects.
  8. 72 Photos: This is another website that serves as not only a place to edit photos but also a place to store your photos. All basic editing tools are available (resizing, rotating, etc.) and can be shared within the community on the site or through other Web 2.0 sites.
  9. Preloadr: If the only site that you want to export to is Flickr then you should use this web-based imaging application which is designed specifically for use in conjunction with the Flickr website. It’s got all of the basic editing features of other sites but export is limited to the Flickr platform.
  10. MyImager.com: This is another web-based photo imaging application that makes it easy to share your images with people on other Web 2.0 sites. The interface on this one differs a lot from sites like Picnik which are geared towards the social networking guru; it’s got a more professional office-like appearance to it. There are some limitations on file sizes and there isn’t any photo storage allowed on the site itself so it’s not preferred by everyone but it’s a good tool for the working professional who needs to edit images and share them around the web.
  11. VicImager: An image-editing application that looks a lot like MyImager but has more features to it is VicImager. It lets you do everything from cartoon effects to vintage effects along with more professional features like adding text and logos to your images.
  12. Wiredness: This image-editing application is similar in interface design to MyImager and VicImager. It’s user-friendly but it’s really simple in appearance and is more likely to appeal to the professional in a cubicle than the graphic designer or Web 2.0 aficionado.
  13. Phixr: Many people who don’t want to use Photoshop tend to use programs like Paint that come with their computer. This application is intended to be the web-based version of a program like Paint which may have a few less features than Photoshop but will get the job done for most editing jobs. They’ve recently added Facebook support and increased their speeds in order to be able to compete with newer image-editing applications like Picnik and FotoFlexer.
  14. Snipshot: This is one of the web-based image-editing tools which has been around the longest (you might know it from its previous name: Pixoh). It’s got an easy-to-use interface and a lot of the basic features that you’d want from your image-editing program. The big benefit here is that the pro version (an ad-free version which most of these programs offer) is less than $10 / month so upgrades are possible without costing a pretty penny.
  15. Online Photo Tool: This website lets you do all the basics (sharpening, changing contrast, rotating) along with a few more advanced features (changing edges, etc.) It’s not the best application out there but there’s not much wrong with it either.
  16. Online Image Editor: This is a good web-based image-editing application that lets you easily manipulate your photos using a bunch of different features. The drawback is that this is an ad-heavy site in comparison with the others that are available.
  17. LookWow: Maybe the reason that you’re looking for image-editing software is a really simple one: you want to improve the way that you look in your photos before they go online. People in this position tend to like the way that Photoshop can make their photos look a little bit more airbrushed but they don’t want to pay for the program. LookWow is a web-based tool designed specifically to let you manipulate photo features such as removing zits from your skin and making your lips look fuller and more kissable.
  18. MyPictr: This is another website that is specifically designed to let you improve your face pics although it’s geared towards those people who are seeking to improve their social networking profile photos as opposed to those people who are using their pictures just to supplement their dating.
  19. Perception Lab’s Face Transformer: On the other hand, maybe you have a bunch of photos of an ex and you want to destroy the way that they look. This web-based image-editing application lets you upload a face photo and to change the age, gender and even species of the individual. It’s the kind of application that you won’t use often but it sure is fun to play around with now and then.
  20. Face Filter: A web-based image editing application that does some of the same things as Face Transformer but takes a friendlier approach is FaceFilter. It lets you upload a face picture and change it to make it thinner or to express different emotions like confidence or sadness. If you want to play around with how people look, this is a fun site to visit.
  21. PikiPimp: Another image-editing tool that’s fun to use even though it won’t be your primary application is PikiPimp which lets you ‘pimp out’ your photos with bling and glitter. It’s intended for a youth audience, obviously, but might appeal to adults who have had a little bit too much to drink.
  22. DVD Smiles: Not everyone is looking for a complex program that will let them do a zillion different things with their photos. Some people are just looking for a really simple converter program that will allow them to upload photos and easily change their size and format. If that sounds like you then this is a great web-based application that lets you easily alter the format, quality and size of the image in a really simple three-step process.
  23. PhotoMajig: This is another simple online converter that lets you easily resize and reformat your photos without cluttering things up with a bunch of other features that you aren’t going to use.
  24. PiccyFix: Maybe the idea of a simple converter sounds good but you think that you’d also like to try out some other editing techniques. PiccyFix is a good application because you can choose to do just resizing or just reformatting but you can also choose to use the program’s photo-editing wizard to improve the appearance and effects of your photos. The person who wants edited images but doesn’t want to do the work will find this to be the best application.
  25. FixPicture: With a name that’s strikingly similar to PiccyFix, it’s of little surprise that this image-editing application has the same basic premise. It’s primarily intended for resizing and reformatting photos but lets you do some basic editing. The difference here is that PiccyFix uses a wizard and FixPicture lets you do it yourself.
  26. Annotate: This is a niche image-editing application designed specifically for people who are creating scientific or academic presentations that include images which need to be edited and/or annotated.
  27. Fluxify: This is a really unique image-editing program that has only one purpose – to resize your photos and then email them for you straight from your browser. If you’re having trouble getting images to send through traditional email and you don’t want to take the time to figure out the problem, this simple size-editing tool could be useful for you.
  28. Instantizer: This is another image-editing program that has a single purpose but in this case that’s to take your traditional photos and to frame them so they look like Polaroid photos. This isn’t going to be your primary photo-editing tool but it’s a fun one to bookmark for use alongside your preferred image-editing applications.
  29. Pic2Color: One of the more interesting single-purpose image-editing programs out there is Pic2Color which is based around the idea that you can manipulate the color scheme of your pictures to create truly stunning art-quality images. If you’re interested in digital photography as an art form, this is a great tool to get you started learning about color.
  30. Improve Your Images: This is another image-editing program that’s based around color but it’s a lot simpler in concept than Pic2Color is. It lets you easily restore original lighting, change color temperatures and adjust for poor lighting using one-click features.

About the author:

Tom is a huge tech and gadget geek with a broad range of interests including travel, art and design. Much of his time is spent blogging on CreativeCloud but he also enjoys writing for other blogs in the design niche.

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