Pixlr Editor: Advanced Photoshop-Replacing App

Bringing the type of advanced image-editing capabilities found in programs like Photoshop, GIMP, and Paint Shop Pro to your Chrome-book, Pixlr Editor is a sophisticated, full-featured, multi-layer photo editor.

If you’re used to working with any of the aforementioned programs, you’ll pick Pixlr Editor up instantly. It looks, acts, and feels exactly like the popular desktop image-editing applications. The developer, Pixlr, creates online cloud-based image tools that work perfectly on the new Chrome notebooks. There’s no cost to use the editor, and you don’t even have to register.

Loading Pixlr Editor in Chrome takes only 2 seconds from the moment you click the app icon. A menu presents you with a number of options: Create a new image, load a saved image, open an image from a URL, or import pictures from libraries such as Picasa and Facebook.

Pixlr Editor walks and talks like Photoshop

If you’ve used a desktop photo editor like GIMP or Photoshop before, you’ll immediately recognize the layout of Pixlr Editor. There’s a menu bar at the top, a floating tool palette on the left, and various panels to the right. Various tools also spring up their own individual boxes just as in other image editors.

Something I really, really like about this app that I haven’t found in some other web-based image apps is complete integration with the keyboard and shortcuts — so hitting the hotkeys you’re used to, like CTRL +A to select the whole image, work seamlessly with the app. When I use Pixlr Editor, I completely forget that it’s an online app.

Photoshop image effects on a Chromebook

Because Pixlr Editor is so close to Photoshop, it’s probably not necessary to introduce every one of the program’s features, since they will all be familiar to most people. However, a short list of some of the tools in the app includes spot heal, clone brush, an assortment of drawing tools, sharpening and blurring, and more photo-specific features such as red-eye reduction. Available filters include tilt-shift, vignette, noise, gaussian blur, and dozens more you’d expect from a sophisticated image editor.

Working with image layers

Pixlr handles multiple layer editing, and even reads .PSD files.

Just like in Photoshop, you have  sophisticated image adjustment tools: Curves, Levels, Cross Process, and more; as well as basic adjustments: Desaturate, Hue/Saturation and Brightness/Contrast. Magic wand, free transform and distortion tools are all available. I became so comfortable using the app that I kept forgetting it was new to me — something I noticed when I needed a magic wand tool and, before I realized it, had selected the correct icon from the toolbox and already performed the operation. It feels like the perfect hybrid of GIMP, Photoshop, and Paint Shop Pro — with the functionality of all three.

Recommended: Yes

Long story short: Pixlr is an advanced image editing cloud app (compatible with Chrome) that provides all the tools available in Photoshop, in an interface we actually like better.. It runs lightning fast, and seems like it would work especially well for Chrome users who manage blogs and need to be able to edit all kinds of images quickly and easily. For the graphic artist who needs the ultimate in power and flexibility on their Chromebook, we recommend Pixlr Editor first.

Related articles:

About Persephone

I write the Chrome OS App Reviews for Chromebook Ratings. I also do a lot of other things.