Phixr Online Photo Editor
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Phixr is a free online photo editor - a complete imaging solution that works within your web browser.

You don't have to install any software on your computer or mobile device in order to use Phixr. It doesn't even need any browser plugins, like java or flash. In essence, it works like this: You grab a photo from somewhere, for instance your phone, your computer or one of the many supported other sources, edit it to your liking, and save it, send it to a friend, or upload it to one of the many supported social networks or photo sites. Phixr works - among others - with the following third-party sites:

Facebook Dropbox WordPress.com Photobucket
Picasa Web Albums flickr Twitter ... and more!
Tutorials for some of Phixr's features can be found on our blog.
... in three simple steps.
1
Upload a photo to Phixr
   

Uploading photos to Phixr

The first step is, of course, to get one or more photos into Phixr. The options to do this are

  • uploading photos directly from your computer  ... More»
    To upload a photo file from your computer to Phixr, either drag a photo file into the (then appearing) marked area, or select the "Upload" tab and click on "Select photos from your computer" ("Choose files" on older browsers). On tablets and mobile devices, only the latter option is available. You will be presented a file selection box, allowing you to choose a file from your computer. After selecting a file, click on "Upload to Phixr". Users of modern web browsers can select and upload up to six files at a time.  «Less
  • transferring a photo directly from Facebook, flickr, Photobucket, Google+/Picasa Web Albums or Dropbox to Phixr  ... More»

    To transfer a photo from your account at Facebook, flickr, Google+/Picasa Web Albums or Dropbox to Phixr, go to the Settings page and follow the instructions to integrate your respective account with Phixr. This step has to be performed only once for each of these sites. Later, on the Phixr main page, just select the respective tab, choose an album/gallery and a photo and click on "Edit this photo in Phixr".

    To transfer a photo from your account at Photobucket to Phixr, select the photobucket tab, login to photobucket and grant Phixr permission to access your photos (the latter needs to be done only once). Later, simply select an album and photo from your Photobucket account and click on "Edit this photo in Phixr".

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  • e-mailing a photo to Phixr  ... More»
    To e-mail a photo to Phixr, go to the Settings page, check (or choose) your "e-mail upload PIN" (a 5-digit number) and e-mail your photo to USERNAME.PIN@phixr.com, where USERNAME is your Phixr username and PIN is that 5-digit number just mentioned. This feature is not available for guest accounts.  «Less
  • transferring a photo from other internet sites using the Phixr Instant-Editing-Tool (a so-called "bookmarklet")
     
  • transferring a photo from some other internet site by entering a link  ... More»
    To transfer a photo from the internet, enter or paste a link to the photo into the text box preset with "http://" in the "Upload" tab. Afterwards, click on "Upload the chosen photo to Phixr".  «Less


After uploading has finished, you will see a thumbnail image of your photo(s), and, when you move the mouse pointer over this thumbnail, close to it the following three tool icons:

  • Revert
    This tool restores the photo to its initially uploaded version. All your modifications are undone.

  • Duplicate photo
    This tool duplicates the photo. In other words, an identical copy of the photo is created, just as if the photo was uploaded to Phixr twice.

  • Remove photo
    This tool removes your photo from the Phixr servers. This operation cannot be un-done. Note that this remove operation does not affect your original photo file in any way, be it on your computer, be it anywhere else. It is only removed from the Phixr servers.
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2
Edit your photo
 
Working with your photo

Here is where all the fun stuff happens. At the left edge of your preview photo, you see a number of small icons. This is your toolbox.

What you see in the editing area is a low-quality preview copy of your photo. Do not try to download or save this; if you want to download or save your photo after modifying it, select one of the download options(see step 3). This will give you the high-quality version Phixr works with internally.

The selection

Some of the tools require or allow you to "select" a part of the photo. This selection is done by moving the mouse cursor over the preview photo, clicking and holding down the left mouse button, again moving the mouse cursor over the image and releasing the mouse button in the end. The area you covered - and thereby selected - will be highlighted.

If you press the SHIFT key while selecting, the selected area will be a square.

If you press the CTRL key while selecting, the selection's edges will not automatically "snap" to the edges of the photo.

If you press the ALT key, the selection will be created taking the point where you clicked as its center, and when resized, it will be resized in all directions while keeping its center unchanged.

Pressing ALT and SHIFT while resize an existing selection will resize the selection while keeping its original aspect ratio (the one it had immediately after creation).

The Lock aspect button locks the current selection's aspect ratio. You can then drag it around or resize it without losing the selection's aspect ratio.

To make a selection on devices with touch input such as iOS and Android devices, touch the image with one finger (at any position), and then - while holding down the first finger - touch it with a second finger. The second finger will start the selection.

Undo
This tool is for un-doing up to five previous editing operations. Phixr remembers what you do with your photo, and allows you to return to previous steps in case you did something you didn't really like.
Redo
This tool does the opposite to undo: It re-does the last un-done operation.
Rotate in 90 degrees steps
This tool rotates your photo in steps of 90 degrees.
Rotate by any angle
This one rotates your photo by any angle between -45 and +45 degrees. By default, the photo will be cropped in a way that no "empty" corners are produced. For smaller images, this cropping is optional and you can choose a color for the "empty" corners.
Flip
Flips (ie mirrors) your photo horizontally or vertically.
Resize
This tool allows resizing your photo in three different ways:
  • Pixel: Just enter a specific desired width and/or height in pixels. If you keep the little check box named "Keep proportion" checked, Phixr will automatically adapt the dimensions in order to keep the photo's proportions as they are.
  • Percentage: Here you can choose from a list of percentages, like 90%, 80% and so on. The percentage refers to the photo's width and height, not its area.
  • Standard sizes: Simply choose from a list of approximated standard sizes. These sizes are for example 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480. However, if your photo is of a different proportion, these standard sizes will be adapted, so that either the width or the height deviates from the "standard". Therefore, you might eventually be offered a "standard" size of 1024x650.

Crop
This tool is for cropping your photo, i.e. cutting off unneeded parts.

The crop tool offers a number of presets. Selecting a preset resets the selection to a specific aspect ratio. The aspect ratio will then be locked so that you can change its size and drag it around without losing the chosen aspect ratio. Some of the presets also propose resizing the cropped image to a specific pixel size. This is especially useful if you want to use your photo as a buddy icon or avatar.

The tool also allows you to enter specific coordinates of the part to keep. Just enter the x and y coordinates of the upper left corner and the lower right corner of the part to keep. Remember: If you change the selection, the coordinates will be updated automatically.
Enlarge canvas
This tool enlarges the canvas; it makes the photo bigger, but not by scaling. Instead, it adds "space" around the photo. The various methods for selecting the final size match the ones discussed in the "Resize" section above. The "space" is filled with the color you specify; The position field (the widget with the arrows) determines the position of the original image on the new, larger canvas.
Color effects
These tools all deal with the photo's colors. Phixr offers more than 70 effects here. Among others, there are:
  • Normalize: Corrects the color balance of the photo by optimizing/maximizing its usage of the available color spectrum.
  • Auto white balance: White balancing is the process of removing unrealistic color casts, so that objects which appear white in reality are rendered white in your photo. This tool tries to optimize the photo's white balance.
  • Color enhance: Increases the saturation range of the photo's colors without altering brightness or hue.
  • Auto contrast: Enhances the photo's contrast. Best suited for low-contrast images. Photos with normal contrast won't show much difference.
  • Cross process: Fakes a cross-processed photo by simulating the procedure of deliberately processing photographic film in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film.
  • Make love, not war: Shifts the photo's colors in a way known from photo's of the early 1970's.
  • Equalize: Performs an automatic contrast enhancement. The tool adjusts the brightness of an image so that each possible brightness value appears at about the same number of pixels as every other value. The results very much depend on your photo.
  • Sepia: Makes your photo look old by changing its colors to a so-called "sepia" tone. The result looks like a photograph taken in the early days of photography.
  • Black & White: This one turns the photo into a black & white (grayscale) photo.
  • Selective Black & White: This one turns the photo into a black & white (grayscale) photo, but leaves one selectable color out. Commonly used to keep lips red while grayscaling the rest of the picture.
  • Warholize: Creates an effect invented by Andy Warhol. The photo will be shrunk, placed inside itself four times, each time toned in a different color.
  • Two colors: Reduces the photo to two colors, black and white. Unlike "black & white", there will be no gray tones. Colors lighter than the selectable threshold are converted to white, darker colors will be black.
  • Mono tone, duo tone, tri tone: Select one, two or three color(s), and the photo will be toned using only these very colors. However, the tool uses gradients to avoid harsh color edges.
  • Poster: Makes the photo look like a poster. The tool reduces the amount of colors per color channel (red, green, blue) to a selectable number.
  • Invert: This one simply inverts the photo's colors.
  • Invert brightness: Inverts the colors' brightness. Creates a spooky look with people.
  • Heatmap: Creates a pseudo-heatmap, showing dark colors as "cold", and light colors as "hot".
  • Neon: Shows the image's edges as neon-glowing lights. You can select the light color.
  • Blueprint: Shows the image's edges as sketches on a blue canvas.
  • Sobel: Applies the Sobel operator, reducing the image to its edges.
  • Infrared film: Simulates the effect of using infrared film when shooting the photo.

Here are examples for Avalon, an effect collage and "make love, not war":
Camera & lens effects
These tools deal mainly with (emulated) camera and lens related characteristics, hence the name. There are more than 60 effects to choose from. Among others, there are:
  • Center focus: Highlights the point of interest in a photo by making the rest blurred and darker, both of which are adjustable. This simple explanation does not do the effect justice, it can make photos look really interesting.
  • Tilt-shift: In digital photography, this means simulating a shallow depth of field by defocusing an image apart from a stripe in the middle in order to make it look like shot using a macro lens. This effect is best when the photo contains for instance roads leading away from the photographer, or landscapes shot from an elevated position.
  • Lomography: Lomography is said to emphasize casual snapshot photography. Characteristics such as over-saturated colors, off-kilter exposure, blurring, 'happy accidents', and alternative film processing are often considered part of the 'Lomographic Technique'. This tool over-saturates colors and creates a shiny focus in the middle of the image, while covering the corners with a shadow. The amount of shadow is selectable by adjusting the "intensity". You can choose whether or not to increase saturation and/or brightness.
  • Lens flare: This one renders a lens flare into the photo. Lens flare is unintended light scattered in lens systems, such as internal reflections. Usually this is unwanted, but nevertheless can give your photo a special touch. You can select the center of the flare.
  • Vignette: Vignetting means a reduction of an image's brightness (or saturation) at the periphery compared to the image center. In Phixr, vignetting can be done using different color tints, not neccessarily dark ones. The coverage determines how much of the corner space is tinted, how far the tint reaches into the photo. Sharpness means how sharp the edge of the tinted area will be. The inner blur selects the softness of the tinted area towards the image center.
  • Two-colored vignette: Same as above, but can choose two colors which then form a gradient.
  • B&w vignette: Same as above, but the vignette effect is produced by fading out the image's colors towards the edges.
  • Blurred vignette: Same as above, but the vignette effect is produced by blurring the photo towards its edges.
  • Holga: The "Holga" is an inexpensive, medium format 120 film toy camera, made in China, known for its low-fidelity aesthetic. This tool tries to simulate it by turning your photo into a slightly darker, grainy black & white photo. You can select the amount of grain, and to what extent the corners of your image are reduced in brightness.
  • Night vision: Simulates a night vision device. Everything is green and grainy. The amount of grain and the brightness of the green light are adjustable. The intensity determines to what extent the corners of your image are reduced in brightness.
  • Spotlight: This tool renders a very bright spotlight into the photo. You can select the light tint and the center of the spotlight.
  • Pattern maker: A photo treated with this tool can be tiled seamlessly. This means that the photo can be placed in repeated horizontal and vertical series without any visible hard breaks between them. You can then use the image as patterns in other graphics or as repeating backgrounds on web sites. (Phixr's "mix photos / collage" tool uses the pattern maker for its "repeat (smooth)" mode.)
  • Kaleidoscope: This tool distorts the image in a way similar to kaleidoscopes.
  • Masks: Puts the image behind a mask of various shapes. You can select the mask's tint, and whether it should blurred and darkened. Furthermore, you can rotate the mask, resize it and select its center.

Here are examples for Lomography, Center focus and the "Heart"-mask with a lens flare:
Fun effects
Phixr features a number of special effects for your photos, like for example converting it to an oil-painting or a charcoal drawing, making it look like a dot matrix print-out, shading it, embossing it and many, many more. Just select the desired effect, select a preset and click on "Execute".
Decorate photo
This tool allows mixing stock objects (hearts, hats, arrows, etc etc etc), borders (slowflakes, flowers, frost, etc) or textures (raindrops, patterns, etc) into your photos. Phixr has hundreds of stock objects, borders and textures to offer. This adds a special touch to your photos or can be useful for designing greeting cards or the like.
Add text
This tool is for inserting text into your photo. You can select the font, color, style, opacity, rotation angle and the position of the text inside the image (or the selected photo area). Furthermore, Phixr can add a shadow, whose color, opacity and distance are as well selectable.
Greeting cards / Face-through-the-hole
This tool serves two purposes: On the one hand, you can put your photo (or a part of it) into a greeting card template. Phixr offers cards for various occasions. On the other hand, you can put a face (which you are supposed to select before activating the tool) into a stock photo. You can put your face into the Mona Lisa, Mount Rushmore, the center of an eye and others. For more demos, see here.
Quick text
This tool creates so-called Memes. The term "Internet meme" refers to a concept that spreads rapidly from person to person via the Internet, largely through Internet-based email, blogs, forums, Imageboards, social networking sites, instant messaging and video streaming sites. Here's an example:
Speech bubble
Phixr makes it easy to add speech bubbles to your photos. The bubble will be inside the selected area, and you can choose its shape, color, opacity, etc. Together with the "Add text"-tool (see below), you can create your own comics!
Color gradients & geometric shapes
This tool can create gradients of various shapes and colors. See the example below. The middle preview image contains a yellow line, which determines the direction and length of the gradient, like illustrated in the following image. You can draw a line of your own, just click into the middle preview at your start point, hold the button down and release the button at your desired end-point.


The gradient can be between 2 colors, one color and transparency or chosen from a number of stock gradients. Here is an example for a vertical (stock) gradient (the yellow line went from top to bottom):


Furthermore, you can draw rectangular, triangular or elliptical shapes of a certain color and a certain opacity. You may want to select the target area first. The middle preview has no function in this case.
Frames
Phixr can add picture frames around your photo. You may choose among a number of different frame styles, select a width/height of the frame and, for some frame types, a color, a shadow, etc.

Here are examples for "hand-drawn", "reflection" and "Blurred":
Brightness, contrast, ...
This tool is for changing various color and brightness related characteristics.

Most properties are specified in percent (%) and range from 1% to 200%. 100% means that the value isn't changed. The hue can be specified in an angle from -180 to 180 degrees. 0 degrees means that the hue isn't changed.

Temperature makes the photo either warmer (yellowish) or colder (blueish).

Vibrance saturates bleak colors, while leaving already saturated colors unchanged.
Color balance / levels / channel / curves
Color balance is the global adjustment of the intensities of the colors (typically red, green, and blue primary colors). An important goal of this adjustment is to render specific colors – particularly neutral colors – correctly. The three sliders allow an increase or decrease of the respective color tone. Furthermore, you can select if the operation should affect shadows (dark tones), mid-tones or highlights (light tones).

Levels is a tool which can move and stretch the brightness levels of an image histogram. It has the power to adjust brightness, contrast, and tonal range by specifying the location of complete black, complete white, and midtones in a histogram. The image colors are then "stretched" so that the photo uses the entire available color range. For more information, please use the help button in the tool window's title bar.

Channel allows modifying the hue, saturation and lightness of each color channel. For instance, with this tool, you can replace all reds in a photo by green. To do this, select the "red" color channel and change the hue value so that the reds appear as green. In the following example image, the saturation of the green and yellow channels have been set to zero:
Curves: In the Curves adjustment, you adjust points throughout an image’s tonal range. Initially, the image’s tonality is represented as a straight diagonal line on a graph. When adjusting an image, the upper-right area of the graph represents the highlights and the lower-left area represents the shadows. The horizontal axis of the graph represents the input levels (original image values) and the vertical axis represents the output levels (new adjusted values). The image is composed of three channels, red, green, blue. Additionally, for the Curves tool, there is a "composite channel" ("RGB") which applies to all individual channels. To make changes, first select the channel you want to change. Then click into the graph to add or move control points. As you add control points to the line and move them, the shape of the curve changes, reflecting your image adjustments. The steeper sections of the curve represent areas of higher contrast while flatter sections represent areas of lower contrast. To delete a control point, shift-click it or move it far to the left or right, and release the mouse button.
Sharpen
There are two sub-tools:
  • Clarity: This adds midtone contrast to the image, and it makes it look sharper, even though it doesn’t actually add sharpening.
  • Sharpen: This sharpens the edges in your photo.
  • Unsharp mask: This creates a high-contrast image. It emphasizes the edges in your photo by creating a blurred, or "unsharp," positive to create a "mask" of the original image. The unsharp mask is then combined with the negative, creating the illusion that the resulting image is sharper than the original. See the example image below.
Blur/soften tools
There are a bunch of sub-tools here, as well. Among others:
  • Soften: Applies a softening effect, essentially used for making people look younger.
  • Orton: This applies an effect developed by Michael Orton. It is a mixture of blurring and softening.
  • Blur: This blurs your photo, which means that it simply becomes less sharp.
  • Motion blur: Simulates what happens if you shake your camera while shooting.
  • Radial blur: Blurs the photo like when rotating the camera while shooting. You can choose a rotation center by clicking into the small preview image in the tool window.
  • Zoom blur: Blurs the photo like when zooming while shooting. You can specify a center location and radius, ie the radius of a not-to-be-blurred center area.
  • Pixelize: Increases the size of the image pixels and thereby reducing the photo's resolution. We all know this from the early days of computer games.
  • Glass tiles: Have a look at your photo through a wall of glass tiles.
  • Lego: Assembles your photo using Lego bricks. The brick size is adjustable.
Here are examples for Soften, Orton and zoom blur:
Noise tools
This tool is home for two sub-tools:
  • Despeckle = remove noise: This one cleans your photo by removing noise, i.e. small dots of different color which might be the result from bad lighting.
  • Film grain: This one is the opposite, as it is for adding dark and/or light noise into the photo, making it look grainy.
Collage / Mix photos
This tool is for mixing two photos (putting one photo into another). There are many options which are mostly self-explanatory. For demos, see here or here.

As a prerequisite you should upload at least two photos to Phixr. See step 1.
br> When you activate this tool, the current photo will be the background. Then, from inside the tool window, choose the photo to put into the first one. The second photo is put inside the selection. You can rotate and flip the second photo, add a shadow, and make a specific color transparent.
Red eye remover
Using the flash when shooting can result in people having red eyes on photos. This tool can remove such red eyes and repair the original eye color. Before activating it, please select the eye area in the photo. You don't have to be exact, an approximation does nicely. Doing one eye after the other usually works best, otherwise the skin between the eyes might become discolored.
Teeth whitener
Yellow-ish teeth are common, but nevertheless don't look good on photos. This tool helps to correct teeth color by applying a "whitening" filter. The three sliders work in most cases with their default values. However, skin tones and yellow teeth share much of the same color components. Therefore it is essential to select the mouth (teeth) area as exactly as possible to avoid skin discoloration.
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3
Save your photo

Saving your work

When you are finished working on your photo, you can

  • save it on your computer  ... More»

    At the bottom of the window, in the "Download/save" tab, there is a menu for selecting the file format for your downloaded photo.

    JPG pronounced [jay peg]
    This is the recommended file format for photo files. Photos are compressed at a selectable quality level, which has immediate influence on their file size. The lower the quality, the shorter the file. You can see a preview including the filesize right below the slider.
    PNG (portable network graphics)
    This is an alternative format, less suitable for photos. We don't recommend using this format. Files are much bigger in size.
    PDF (portable document format)
    This is a quite unusual file format for photos, but nevertheless... The quality selection works like in the case of JPG.
    GIF (graphics interchange format)
    That is the worst file format for photos, for two reasons: First, GIF files can only contain images with no more than 256 colors. This means that saving your photo in GIF format will cause visible quality reductions. Secondly, GIF files are quite big (we are talking megabytes here).
    PNG8 (portable network graphics)
    This format is a mixture of PNG and GIF. Like in the case of GIF, the files can only contain images with no more than 256 colors. Only use this if you specifically need it.

    After selecting a format, you can download the edited photo file from Phixr to your computer. As mentioned, this is the only proper way to get the high-quality version of the photo Phixr works with. What you see on the screen during work is only a low-quality copy of your image.

    On iOS devices (and possibly other tablets or hand-helds), the browser will show the picture in the window instead of initiating a download. To save the photo on iOS devices, tap on the image and hold your finger down. The browsers will then ask if you want to save the photo to your Photos application.

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  • print it on your local printer
     
  • upload it to your account at one of the supported third-party sites  ... More»
    By selecting the "Upload/Share" tab, you can upload the photo to your account at a few third-party sites.

    For Facebook, flickr, Picasa Web Albums or Dropbox, you must have completed the respective authorization process (as described in step 1). WordPress.com works in the same way; Phixr saves the photo to your WordPress media library.

    As regards photobucket, the procedure for login and granting Phixr permission to access your photobucket account is the same as described in step 1. Uploading to Twitter works similar; the autorization preocedure is done on-the-fly.

    You can also upload the photo to LiveJournal. You can either enter your login data for your account at these services beforehand (on the Settings page), or on-the-fly, ie just before the actual upload. In the latter case, Phixr will not store your login data.

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  • send it to you or others per e-mail  ... More»
    In order to use this feature, you need to enter and confirm your e-mail address on the Settings page. (We need to do this in order to lock out spammers.)

    After you have done this, you may select the e-mail tab, where you find text fields for the e-mail's recipients, subject and message body.

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more information
  • Login data for third party sites

    Facebook, flickr, Google+/Picasa Web Albums, Photobucket, Twitter, WordPress, Dropbox: Phixr never actually sees your login data for these sites. Instead, you need to actively authorize Phixr to access your data through a process performed on each of these sites themselves. This authorization can be revoked at any time. The revocation is done through the respective site itself. In order to grant Phixr access, please go to the Settings page and follow the instructions. For Photobucket and Twitter, no special procedure is required; authorization is done during the upload/download process.

    LiveJournal: You can choose to either have Phixr store your login data, or enter it before every upload. In the latter case, Phixr will not store your data. It will only use it once and then forget it.

    If you choose to have Phixr store your login data, we do our best to protect it. We will only store encrypted data and never reveal it to anybody, including you. On the Settings page you will only see a placeholder in password text fields, never your actual passwords.


  • Photo size

    Photos uploaded to Phixr can be of (nearly) any size. However, Phixr will - according to your choice - shrink or crop photos larger than 1.6 megapixels (which translates to approximately 1440x1080, or any other width/height within the limit of 1.6 megapixels).

  • Photo lifetime

    Phixr is no photo gallery application. People can't even see your photos. Phixr is strictly for editing photos. Therefore, there is no point in storing your photos forever. Instead, we remove them from our servers if they remain unchanged for a certain period of time (currently 12 hours).

  • Support forums: These are here.

  • Our blog is here.
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