Pixlr Image Editor – Photoshop for Chromebooks?

There’s been a lot of talk about the cloud as of late.  Nowadays it seems that everybody’s getting in the game of cloud computing.  Even Adobe has cloud offerings of its own and they’re going more towards software as a service as opposed to selling a pricey license every few years.

Even then, the price of a subscription is out of reach, and for most users, Photoshop is too powerful for their needs.  Furthermore, it’s a pain to get working on Linux-based systems.  One option is to use a cross platform program for image editing and creation.

Then there’s Pixlr.

Pixlr is an online image editing tool that can be run from any web browser on any platform, including Chrome OS.  The utility was started by Ola Sevandersson in 2008 and was aimed at non-professionals. AutoDesk bought it out in 2011.  So what does it look like?

In addition to touching up photos, there’s also some painting tools. Layers are supported for more advanced options.


Like most image editing tools that have some power to them, touching up tools are available, such as red eye removal.  There’s also the painting tools as well.  Layers are also supported.

Since Pixlr is designed to work in the cloud, images can be saved and obtained from the cloud.  This convenience makes it easy to edit and share changes quickly.  Want to edit an image from a specific URL?

Pixlr can import it.

[epiclink link = ‘https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/pixlr-editor/icmaknaampgiegkcjlimdiidlhopknpk’ color = ‘btn btn-info’ target = ‘_blank’ shorticon = ‘left’ itype = ‘ icon-download-alt’ icol = ‘black’ ]Get Pixlr Image Eitor[/epiclink]
opening dialog
Images can be opened from a computer, social networking/photo sharing site, or a separate URL.

In order to load images from a library, one must have an account with Pixlr.  It’s simple to connect your Google account.  From there, connecting your Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa web albums allows access to images that can be saved directly to those services.

Pixlr Library Options
Images can be obtained from Facebook and image sharing sites such as Flickr.

File format support includes PNG, JPEG, BMP, TIFF, and PXD (Pixlr’s native format).  For Chromebooks, Pixlr is a huge plus, because the save to computer option can access Google Drive directly.  As an image editor, it’s excellent, but there are a couple of caveats.

For starters, it relies on Adobe Flash, which is cross platform but a resource hog.  Avoid having too many tabs open.

The other issue is that GIF support is lacking, so creating animations is currently not possible.

Thomas drinking coffee
Some blurring and old photo effect was applied to this image.

Still, it is an excellent image editing and creation tool that’s easy to use and powerful enough for cool effects.

About Thomas Holbrook II

Thomas first encountered FOSS while visiting the University of Central Missouri (then known as Central Missouri State University) during high school. Mandrake was the first distribution he ever attempted to run. He has had experience with SuSE, Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu, and other distros. He currently does a podcast each week and publishes a monthly digital magazine covering Unix and Overlooked Pop Culture at www.thenixedreport.com.

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