Pixlrs Chrome extension is little more than a shortcut to the Web service (like the Google Drive extension), but this free Flash-based editor from Autodesk is both powerful and friendly. You can quickly load images from your computer, create new layers, adjust levels, apply effects, and use traditional tools such as dodge, burn, blur, and more. Pixlr even has a wand selection tool, as well as a history panel with a log of operations you can undo, just as in Photoshop. For all of its sophistication, however, you must remember that Pixlr is still Flash-basedin other words, save often, because it may occasionally freeze or crash. While using Pixlr with a stable version of Chrome and its built-in Flash plug-in, I encountered one crash that erased all of my work.
For better or for worse, Pixlr feels like a traditional image editor. If you're looking for something more along the lines of what you can do with Instagram on your phone, you should check out PicMonkey. This image editor couldn't be simpler to use: Just load your image, and start selecting edits from the sidebar. The sidebar is divided into groups, beginning with basic functions such as cropping and exposure, and then moving on to creative color effects similar to those in Picasa (Focal B&W, Lomo). It includes a text tool with lots of fonts (ideal for creating meme-style images), as well as several framing options and different textures you can apply to your photo.
Another fun and simple photo editor is BeFunky. It's not all that different from PicMonkey: You get a sidebar with tools subdivided into "Effects," which can be subtle, and "Artsy," which are more heavy-handed, transforming your photo into a watercolor image or something out of a comic. BeFunky's layout feels a bit haphazard at times, and it lacks PicMonkey's polished fit and finish, but it is certainly usable. What's nice about combining both tools is that if you can't find the exact tool you need on PicMonkey, you might find it on BeFunky. If you just want to have some fun with a picture without learning to use Photoshop (or something like Photoshop), PicMonkey and BeFunky are both great options.
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