No Photoshop? Free image editing tools to the rescue!

Online editing example

Many people think that you need Photoshop to create great-looking photos. But Photoshop is expensive software to purchase if you only need it to edit something now and then. Instagram is another great option to use if you want the option to add filters and effects to your photos but there are only so many to choose from and not everyone wants to create an account just to do that. Luckily, the Internet offers a wide variety of quality photo editing tools that are free of charge and have lots of features to play around with. Here are 3 of those you can check out now for free:

Picmonkey (http://www.picmonkey.com/)

This is certainly one of the best free photo editing sites on the market. It is very easy to use – simply open the site and off you go (no account creation needed). You can edit images uploaded from your PC or photos saved to your Dropbox, Facebook or Flickr accounts. You can touch up photos of people to fix blemishes, whiten teeth, remove wrinkles or even add makeup. Design an entirely new image from scratch by choosing a blank canvas or make interesting collages.

Picmonkey has overlay options where you can add characters or patterns to your images. This online editing tool has over 100 fonts available – everything from the old favourites to scary to tattoo ink types. You can create images with Vampire, Winterland, School, Day of the Dead and Sweethearts themes. Frames can be added to images as well as textures like clouds and water. All of these features also come with the classic effects we all know like Sepia and Polaroid.

Converse sneakers polaroid

There is a Royale option that allows you to access certain exclusive functions if you are prepared to pay for them. The pricing ranges from $4.99 per month to a yearly subscription that costs $33 (that’s about $2.75 a month). If you are a dedicated blogger or simply love playing around with editing on a daily basis, Picmonkey and its affordable Royale features is the option for you.

Canva (https://www.canva.com/)

Do you want to create posters and flyers or promote your blog? Do you want an awesome Facebook cover photo or do you want to create a cover for your future novel? Then Canva is the place to go. This site focuses on creating professional-looking designs for business cards, social media site covers, invitations, presentations, flyers and posters. The word “professional” makes it seems like serious business but it is a very fun site to explore.

You will need to create a free account, but it is hassle-free and you can start designing immediately. You can choose from a variety of “canvasses” that are already sized to fit certain dimensions. For example, if you want to create a Google+ cover photo, the correct dimensions to make the photo perfect to use on Google+ is already preset for you. There is the option to use custom dimensions too if you want to create something original. The account you create with Canva saves every design you make with the option to delete designs whenever you please.

When you open a new canvas you will be surprised by the vast array of options you can choose from. Canva boasts a library of more 1 million stock photo images that are free of charge to use in your designs. The steps you follow are extremely easy. You can either search for an image to place on your canvas or choose from a variety of pre-designed layouts. When you’re done, you add text and/or a background. You can also upload your own images from your PC or use Facebook photos.

Pair fonts like a professional

Not sure where to get started? Canva offers free design tutorials to help you out should you need some inspiration. When your creation is complete and you want to showcase it to the world you simply “Link and Publish” where your design will be automatically downloaded to your PC as either an image (good for Web publication) or a PDF (the option to choose if you plan to print your design). You also have the option to share a link to the image with others where they can view it or even edit it (if you select that option). This is great if you are busy with a collaborative project.

Most options on Canva are free but if you end up using their premium features, they will cost you only $1 a piece. Many of the stock photos come with this $1 price tag but it is really cheap if you want to make your images the best they can be.

Fotor (http://www.fotor.com/) (also available as an app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone)

If you’re a fan of Picmonkey (the first photo editing tool mentioned), you will immediately see the resemblance Fotor’s layout has to Picmonkey. We don’t know if they are somehow related or if this resemblance was done purposefully but the features they offer are very similar.

dubstep cat birthday card - fotor

Some of the basic features include cropping, one-tap enhance, rotation, resizing and adding frames. You can also place stickers (of which there are many) and text on your images. Fotor has many fonts available, including all of the ones you will find on normal word processing software. As is the case with PicMonkey, you can also “beautify” your images by editing eye colour or adding makeup, changing weight or whitening teeth. Of course, you can also add the usual effects such as Lomo, Black-and-White and Vintage.

Two features that are exclusive to Fotor are HDR and Cards. With HDR you can choose three images (all three must have the same dimensions) with differing exposures to combine and overlap in order to form one single image. With the Cards feature you can create your own celebratory cards for birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day or Mother’s Day events. You simply choose from one of the preset layouts, add photos (where possible) and adjust the text to your liking.

Some features on the site are part of their premium offering so you will have to sign up for an account to use them. However, signing up is free of charge so no worries about taking out your credit card. It is still in Beta so it may not be free for much longer so utilize this opportunity while you can. If you have an account you will be able to edit photos that are in a much higher resolution (it goes up to 4000 x 4000) than you would be able to otherwise, as well as gain access to premium Cards layouts, effects, collages, fonts and stickers.