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⚙️ Fast, free image tools

⚙️ Fast, free image tools
By Dan Mason • Issue #15 • View online
📸 A cut above: Online tools that take the pain out of editing
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You don’t need a surgeon’s skills to edit images. Here’s a selection of go-to online image tools that I promise won’t try your patience …
For general editing
Pixlr comes in two flavours: Pixlr X is the basic editor. I often use it for enhancing images because the adjustment sliders sit together in a neat sidebar. Then there’s Pixlr E, which has more of an older Photoshop feel. Good for working with layers, masks, and cutouts (like the picture above, composed of three images, and below).
For quick crops
ResizeMyPhotos is a Chrome extension that does what it says on the tin. The icon sits in the toolbar at the top of Chrome, waiting for you to tap, add image, crop, and download.
Pixlr E: Plenty of power in a simple, free package
Pixlr E: Plenty of power in a simple, free package
For cutouts
Pixlr as mentioned above. But among the free ‘magic’ cutout tools, FocoClipping shines. More on cutouts in this issue of Useful Stuff for Storytellers.
For screenshot annotation
The Nimbus Screenshot extension for Chrome is a stalwart. Forget the screen recording function (there are better tools, I think), but the annotation tools deliver. A hidden gem is the ‘blank screen’ option for uploading and annotating images from your computer.
For bulk resizing
Ever faced the tedious task of cropping a dozen or more images to the same size for a gallery or ‘in pictures’ story? BIRME (Bulk Image resizing Made Easy) is a trusted timesaver.
BIRME: Fast and simple bulk image resizing
BIRME: Fast and simple bulk image resizing
For batch photo renaming
The task: To rename a bundle of images with a consistent filenaming convention (like turning img1234.jpg into red-carpet-event-1.jpg). The tool: Batch Photo Espresso.
For image compression
In general, I try to keep website images under 100KB, which is where image compressors come in. If you want to manually squash a single image, there’s Squoosh. To compress a batch: Optimizilla.
For word clouds
WordArt turns poems, speeches, lyrics - anything with words - into, as it says, art. You will find taking a screenshot of the finished cloud is higher quality than the free version download.
WordArt: Just add words
WordArt: Just add words
For Design
It just has to be Canva, doesn’t it?
For icon colours
You’ve just downloaded a black icon from the incomparable Noun Project, but you want it blue. Yes, you could use an editor … or go to Colorize Images, drag in the image, choose a colour, select ‘Screen’, and download. Obviously works on images too.
For vectors
Not used daily, but good to know you have a simple tool like Method Draw handy for editing vector (.svg) illustrations.
For upscaling
Reduce that jagged blur that spoils a 600px picture you use at 800px with ImgUpscaler.
For profile pictures
Profile Pic Maker. You could just crop-and-go with an editor, but this profile picture generator is much more fun, with AI cut-outs and a funky selection of backgrounds.
In case you missed it
From a recent newsletter, here’s a round-up of good sources for free stock images.
Thanks for reading 👏
🌍 I’ve been fortunate to work with amazing creatives and causes around the world as a trainer and educator. I get lots of ‘how do I …’ questions, so I started this newsletter to share the answers.
If you enjoy it, please share it! And if you have a question, suggestion or useful stuff you’d like to share, get in touch: 🔗
⭐️ Main image: iMac: Georgie Cobbs/Unsplash, Surgeon: Scotth23/Pixabay
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Dan Mason

Practical tips and fast, free tools for journalists, content creators and communicators in a hurry

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