Best Free Image Editing Tools

There are lots of online image editors available, but I find most of the free ones difficult to use as they’re peppered with ads and most have limited features or the advanced features are “pay to use”. Meanwhile, the high-end items are just too expensive for me. I was digging deep into Google’s search results and found a lot of free services that have a clean and professional interface.

For moderate users, try LunaPicDoneSmart, SuperTools and BeFunky. PineTools has a lot of image editing tools too. Resizing and cropping are accessible to the public, but more advanced features require a login, which is free. If crop in bulk use, Bulk Image Crop.

To change background use Remove.BG, Retoucher.Online and Media.IO. InPixio has a background remover. No account needed to download. PhotoRoom automatically adds a white background, you can blur the background or add/replace an AI generated background. It can also remove the background.

For desktop image editors, GIMP, InkScape, Paint, and Pixia are highly recommended. For batch editing, renaming, resizing, converting, and watermarking, I’m using XnConvert.

VistaCreate is a super-easy graphics and animation design tool. It has ready-to-use templates, so you can play around. The free account provides access to 75K+ templates and more than 1M+ photos. Canva and Adobe’s Spark are other services in the same mold. Use both for social media-specific graphics. InstaSize is the desktop option.

Shopify is a free logo maker, no registration is required.

SproutSocial’s Landscape resizes the picture based on the chosen social network or custom size. Collages and cards? ImResizer can resize to standard ID sizes like 2×2 inches. To scale an image use A Sharper Scaling.

If you’re looking to convert a PSD (Photoshop Document) file to JPEG, use Zamar’s PSD to JPG. Then there’s Easy2Convert’s PSD to JPG, very useful when dealing with large files.

For PhotoShop brushes and PSDs, search at Brusheezy.

If you’re looking for the most accurate online thumbnail generator, look no further than Site-Shot. It is a paid service, but I can capture screenshots without an account. To capture a snapshot of the browser, the easiest to use is SnipBoard. All you need is a series of keyboard shortcuts. FireShot is another useful alternative, it is a Google Chrome extension.

To extract a YouTube or Vimeo video thumbnail, use this. ThumbnailMe is a desktop app. VLC has a Take a Snapshot feature under the Video menu. Here’s a detailed instruction on different options to extract thumbnails from videos. Add a play button to a video or audio thumbnail using FBUTube‘s free tool or this, if you don’t mind ads. For DIY, follow the instructions here.

Create graphics from text using WordArt. It is easy to use, and the standard quality is free. To extract text from an image, Project Naptha has a Google Chrome extension. It’s not 100%, but it does most of the job. Did you know Google Keep is also capable of extracting text from images? Now you do, haha.

In some of my web development projects, the site uses so many large-sized images. This can affect the site’s loading speed and eat up the server’s bandwidth. To prevent this, I optimize the images before using them. Compressor as the name suggests, compresses JPEG, PNG, GIF, and SVG types. It supports lossless and lossy compression with a sufficient 10 MB upload limit. My test shows it effectively reduced an 8.20 KB JPEG file to only 0.410 KB with no visible quality degradation. That’s a whopping 95% improvement. The page shows both the original and the compressed version, so you can instantly see the difference. Also, good alternatives are Squoosh and ImageRecycle. ShortPixel has a free account that allows processing of 200 images per month. For desktop use, use Pingo.

FotoForensics detects an altered photo or image. Useful in confirming ID and document submissions. However, it takes skills to know, so they prepared a tutorial to help you become a photo forensics expert.

TinyEye is special, it is a reverse image search engine. What it does is search for similar images online. It is very useful if you need a smaller or larger version of the picture. I also use it to confirm if a person’s photo is really theirs.

If you need to create a word art, WordClouds and Tagxedo are free to use. ABCya have a word clouds generator for kids.

What is a QR code? According to Wikipedia, it is “a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones.”  QR is short for Quick Response. Unlike standard bar codes, it can store more information about an item like the manufacturer’s website, product description, the company’s address and contact information, etc.

GOQR.ME is a free online service you can use to generate a QR code and download it as an image in PNG format. I mainly use it as a profile picture, but with some useful information embedded that’s only machine-readable. Other notable options are QRStuff, QR Code Generator and QRCode Monkey.

For BarCode generators, use BarCode-Generator and ScandIt.

If using WordPress and you encounter this error: “Post-processing of the image failed, likely because the server is busy or does not have enough resources. Uploaded a smaller image may help. Suggest maximum size is 2500 pixels.”

A solution that fixed it, in my case, is to use GD Library instead of ImageMagick for image processing. Add the following to your theme’s function.php file:

add_filter('wp_image_editors', function($editors){
return ['WP_Image_Editor_GD', 'WP_Image_Editor_Imagick'];

That should solve it. Find all solutions here.

If working with Elementor Page Builder, you can achieve parallax effect by following the tutorial here.

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