Pixlr is the absolute closest thing to Photoshop that I’ve ever found, and its free.
I recently had a hard drive crash and had to begin resurrecting my apps. While hunting down my full Photoshop installation, I’ve been working with an online image editing program called pixlr.
Pixlr is an online image editor that works in all browsers, including Chrome and Firefox. Its a robust photo editing software that you can use without having to download software to your computer.
I have to tell you about it (its completely free so no affiliate pitch here) because…
And it works in a web browser!
As you can see from the image above, Pixlr fully supports photoshop style layers and transparency. Pretty much anything you can do in photoshop layers, you can do with Pixlr (with the exception of folders).
I’ve been working extensively with pixlr while designing the header images for the new Holiday Templates I’ve just launched to users of ClickBump Engine. After just a few weeks, and many image edits, I’ve only just scratched the surface of what Pixlr can do. There’s even photoshop-like layer styles with support for drop shadows, bevels and glows, with control over positioning, opacity, distance, size and color.
If you are familiar with Photoshop, you will be instantly at home with Pixlr.
The menus, commands and tools are nearly identical. It actually “feels” like Photoshop, which is pretty incredible considering its all done in Flash.
I’ve been blown away with the app the more I’ve worked with it. If you need to do quick Photoshop-like image editing tasks for web graphics, I highly recommend you check it out.
A Few Small Glitches…
I did have a bit of trouble with using the fill command, particularly since there isn’t one (you must use the fill bucket). I like to use the photoshop shortcut for fill which is shift+backspace, but no such shortcut for pixlr…yet.
I also have to create a new layer to fill a selection on an existing layer, but these are minor annoyances for now. I’m sure the folks behind pixlr will be updating the interface often to fill in the gaps.
You can open images from your hard drive or copy/paste from the web, edit them in pixlr, then save them as either layered .pxd files (Pixlr’s native editing format) OR jpg or png files which are web ready. The PNG file exporter supports transparency effects and is super slick and fast.
The entire team that has developed Pixlr is to be congratulated. It’s one truly amazing example of the new breed of apps that are making browser based applications a true reality.
Watch out Photoshop, the folks at Pixlr are up to something big!