A Free Online Photo Editor | PicMonkey
Should I download software or use an online program?
It is a tough economy. I cannot afford Photoshop, nor would I know how to use it once I got it. For most of us, we just want a simple photo editing software that can crop, resize, and add some effects to our pictures.
Using an online photo editor is the way to go because you do not have to download any software! Wherever you are online, you can easily upload photos, edit them, and use them on your blogs and articles.
If you think your photos are fine just the way they are, think again. Engaging and dramatic photos drive traffic to your articles faster than almost any other medium. If the idea of learning a photo editor makes your cringe, keep reading. This article will take you through the basics of the easiest online photo editor there is- PicMonkey.
Whoever designed this website was a genius. The best part? You do not even need to register! Just go to the website and begin. It is free as well.
Open another Internet window with this article. Keep both open and follow along with the tutorial. By the end, you will have a basic understanding of how to work PicMonkey. First things first. Copy and paste this link into a new window:
Find a photo
On the front page of PicMonkey, there are three square buttons on the left side. We are going to use the second button which says, "edit a photo". This means you need a photo first. If you have one in your arsenal, great. If you do not, go to Microsoft Images or Wikimedia Commons and download a photo that you have legal rights to use. Once you are ready with your picture, click on the button, and find the photo file on your hard drive. This is what your screen should look like when you have uploaded your photo.
Let's go through all the tools on the lefthand side
As you can see, your photo is in the center and your menu bar on the left side contains all your tools. Let's go one by one through each tool. Do you see the symbols that are in gray? Those open up a different menu when you click on them. Here's what they stand for:
1. This is your basic edit tool. It will allow you to crop the photo, resize it, spin it around, and adjust the brightness and the colors.
2. The next tool is your effects tool. This allows you to change the photo to black and white, vintage, and a host of other variations. You can add frosty edges or blur the image to make it look ethereal.
3. The next tool is your touch up tool. If you have photos that include people, you can fix eyes, lips, mouths, and other blemishes.
4. This tool is for adding text. You can choose from a host of fonts, colors, and sizes to add quirky captions or phrases.
5. This tool is for overlays. In simpler terms, it gives you the option to add shapes, arrows, flowers, and other funny objects to dress up your photos.
6. Next, you have your frames tool. This will add a border or matte around your photo. You can round the edges or add a drop shadow too.
7. The last tool is called the texture tool. This will alter your photo to look like a cartoon, a drawing, a painting, and other artistic variations.
Now we can start playing around with the individual tools. You have your picture up on the screen. Let's do some basic editing first.
1. Click on the basic edits button. You will see a menu.
2. Click on crop. A toolbar will open up. Here is where you have some options. If you want to make the photo a certain size, you can adjust the proportions in the box. However, most of us like to "eye" it.
3. Notice the grid on the photo? All you have to do is click and drag the edges around until it looks good to you. Hit apply on the toolbar and your crop is done.
Once you learn how one tool works, they all start to make sense. Most have a menu bar that opens up, giving you various options. You can apply the changes or discard if you decide you do not like them. Once you are comfortable with the basic edits, let's move on.
Examples of Effects
You want to be careful with this tool. As much as we all love to look perfect, it just isn't reality. Often times, an attempt at touching up doesn't go well. I took a headshot of me and touched it up using the eye color changer, hair highlighter, lip touch up, spray tan, and weight loss. Scary huh?
Adding text to a picture can really add style. If you are trying to highlight a point, choose text that doesn't detract from the photo. Here is an article about the importance of using text to create an image that is ready for Pinterest.
- How to Generate Traffic Using Made For Pinterest (MFP) Images
A guide to creating MFP (made for pinterest) images to increase your site and article traffic.
A couple of things to keep in mind when adding text:
- You have to add the spaces and alignment in the text box in order to see the changes on the photo.
- Choose a color that makes the text easy to see. No crazy color combinations!
- Adjust the size manually (by clicking and dragging) or by using the sliding bar on the text toolbar.
- If you want to turn the text on its side, just hover over the little circular object that extends from the photo. It will turn all the way upside down!
- If you want multiple text boxes, just make sure you click away from one before adding another.
- If you want to copy and paste text that is identical, right click on the text and choose 'duplicate overlay'.
- Do you want your text in front of an object? Right click and choose send to front or send backward.
These fun objects can look silly or professional. Here are two examples:
How to make a post it
1. First, choose the "paper scraps" option in the overlays menu.
2. Adjust the colors and angle.
3. Create a text and put it over the paper scrap. Make sure you have the "send forward" option on.
4. Add a pin in the overlays menu. Adjust the color and size to match your post it and make sure the "send forward" option is on.
These tools make your photo look more professional. By adding a matte background, border, rounded edges, torn edges, or drop shadow, you can make the photo look like it is popping off the page.
I do not use this very often, but if you are wanting to make a photo look artsy, go ahead and try out a few options. Remember, you always have the option to discard the changes that you do not like.
How do you make collages?
As you can see from this tutorial, PicMonkey also gives you the option to make a collage. Once you have individually edited your photos and saved them, start back at the home screen of PicMonkey and choose, 'Create a Collage'.
You will then have to upload all the photos you want to use. Arrange them in virtually any order and style, and then save it. In order to add further effects and text, you will then have to upload the collage file in the traditional format (like we just did) and you continue adding effects.
Was this tutorial helpful?
I hope you enjoyed this introduction to PicMonkey! If you need a tutorial on how to create video montages, check out my hub called One True Media- A Free Site for Video Montages.