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5 Alternatives to Picnik

Picnik, the popular online photo editor, will be closing in April.  I’ve been using Picnik and singing its praises since I launched my blog last June.  It was a platform that allowed novice users, amateur photographers and bloggers like myself quick and easy access to create collages or to make photo enhancements for my post photos.

Eager to find an alternative,  I tested the following online photo editors: Splashup, Pixlr, Pixenate, Picture2Life, LunaPic, FotoFlexer, Aviary, Phixr and SumoPaint.  All of the editors are FREE and allow you to open files from your computer and/or download from popular photo sharing sites.  All of the editors also allow you to do basic photo editing such as: cropping, re-sizing and rotating photos.   Some of the editors have advanced features such as layers found in in PhotoShop or its FREE cousin, GIMP.   Based on ease of use, functionality and relevance to my needs as a style blogger, the following 5 made my list.

1.      Pixlr

  • Flash based editor.
  • No limit to file size.
  • Works with layers.
  • Has screen capture add on, Pixlr Grabber 2.0.3 available for FireFox and Pixlr Grabber 0.5 available for Chrome.
  • Allows you to add effects to photographs.

If you don’t want to do anything wild and crazy with your photos but you like the effects seen in instagram photos, then this is your best option.  I uploaded a 6KB and a 6MB photo and the upload for the larger file was pretty quick.  It doesn’t have a lot of fancy effects, but there is enough options to allow you to spice up your photographs if you choose to do so.  The photo above was edited using the retro effect Sophia filter.

2.      Picture2Life

  • HTML based editor.
  • Allows you to upload photographs that are up to 5MB.
  • Works with layers.
  • Allows you to create collages and animated photos.

This  is the best option for creating collages  like the one above or like the ones that were created in Picnik (see sample here).  I didn’t like the social networking aspect of the site where you are “encouraged” to invite and/or add friends with whom you can share your photos.  I also didn’t like the fact that I had to click through layers of advertising before I got to the actual tool.  However, I got over those little hassles quickly after realizing how much could be done on the site.

3.      LunaPic

  • HTML based editor.
  • Allows you to upload photographs that are up to 4MB.
  • Allows you to add wicked cool effects to your photos.
  • Allows you to animate your photographs.

At first glance, the site looks kind of cheesy, however, this site is the best option if you want to get really wild with the photo effects.  There is a number of one click, cool things that you can do with your photographs including this Obama style poster.

4.      FotoFlexer

  • Flash based editor.
  • No limit to file size.
  • Allows you to edit files using layers.
  • Allows you to add cool photo effects and animation.

This site is well organized, user friendly and is probably the best option for Picnik users.  I also liked that the animation works after the file is downloaded from the site,  unlike the other sites that I tested.  I made this photo by selecting stars from the Animation tab, using the text tool found on the Decorate tab and selecting heat map from the Effects tab.

5.       Phixr.com

  • HTML based editor
  • No limit to file size
  • Allows you to edit photos, add borders and text, etc.
  • Allows you create collages

There is a number of things that you can do with your photos on this site including adding borders or frames like I did here.

Other Considerations To Determine Which Editor Is Best For You?

Apple users should consider using one of the HTML based programs. It’s my understanding that Apple products does not support Flash. If you use a DSLR, you might want to consider using one of the sites that allows you to upload images that are 10MB or higher. The images from DSLR’s tend to be higher in resolution and therefore larger in size.  Please note that the larger your photos are, the longer it will take for your site to load.


XoXo, Natasha

About Natasha Samuels

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  1. Great post. I have been using PicMonkey (http://www.picmonkey.com) since the demise of Picnik – it was made by Picnik employees and does all the same (though the auto adjust of a photo rarely works and you can’t load more than one photo at a time). I know I need to check out other tools… will be test running FotoFlexer!

  2. Thanks so much for taking all of these for a test run! I had just found Picnik and was frustrated that it was already going away.

  3. Looking good in green dress

  4. EEEEEE! OMG! Just checked out FotoFlexer! You are a goddess for sharing this! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Like Picnik, but with layers. Sweet!

  5. Great post! I’m so sad about Picnik, but have begun using Pixlr and it’s pretty good for using layers, but as you know, the effects are kind of limited. Totally checking out FotoFlexer though. I NEED A PICNIK REPLACEMENT…before it’s too late!