Pixlr Review: The Ultimate Guide in 2021

This is a complete guide on Pixlr Review in 2020. 

Whether you are a newbie or a pro photo editor, you can find every tool, from effects & overlays to retouching tools. 

The best part is you can use this online photo editor as an alternative to Photoshop. Even you can try it out as an alternative to Picmonkey, one of its competitors. 

Indeed, this online photo editor offers every feature you need to take your photo to the next level. Therefore, the intuitive interface and easy to use retouching tools make retouching a breeze. 

Now, let’s get into this guide to see whether it can beat Ps or its counterpart (Picmonkey). 

Here we go. 

What is Pixlr? 

Pixlr is an online-based photo editing app that you can use to edit photos directly from your browser for free. It has two branches of free photo retouching tools including Pixlr X and Pixlr E (Express). Both of them are almost similar and free to edit images. 

Pixlr X

Key Features

  • Basic editing tools
  • Adjustment tools
  • Filters and effects
  • Retouching tools
  • Drawing tools
  • Text tool

Pixlr X is one of the best intuitive photo editing software on the web. It has included everything from basic to advanced retouching tools. 

Basic Editing Tools

For basic editing workflows, this free image editor includes the following tools: 

  • Properties
  • Arrange
  • Crop 
  • Cutout 

Now, let’s see how these basic retouching tools work. 



You can find this tool at the top-left side of the Window. Pressing the keyboard shortcut P, you can also get it. 

Using the Properties tool, changing the canvas size, or resizing the image is a breeze. Therefore, the Rotate & Flip option allows you to rotate the pictures from left to right, horizontally or vertically. 


Arrange- Pixlr X tool

The Arrange tool allows you to move, transform, and change layer settings. Indeed, it performs the same way like the Ps move tool does. The best part is- you can change the blend mode of a layer or even duplicate or delete it from the arrange tool settings. 


The cropping tool will help you to crop the image at the right proportionate. From the left toolbar menu, when you click on the crop tool, it shows you a dialogue like this: 

Crop Tool-Pixlr X

Using the Width & Height option, cropping the image according to your specific need is a breeze. 

The best part I discovered is its Select aspect option. When you enable this, it will look like the below screenshot:

Crop tool 2- Pixlr X

From there, click on the None option and you will be surprised to see that- it lets you crop the image according to different social media post sizes.

Crop tool 3- Pixlr X

It will be a huge time saver both for marketers and social media content creators. 


Cutout Tool in pixlr x

The cutout tool of this online photo editing app is excellent for background removal. Its AI Cutout allows you to remove background from photos without doing anything. 

Based on your photo, it detects the background and removes the unwanted objects. The Ai tool is great for simple pictures to edit. But for complex ones, it can’t perform accurately. 

Its cutout tool has four sections, including Tool, Mode, Shape, and Softness. 

Among them, the Mode option is crucial. It has two editing options, one Keep, and another is Remove. 

If you want to keep any specific parts of an image, first, make sure you choose the Keep option. Also, you need to make sure you select other settings, like Lasso from the Tool option. 

adjust the cutout settings to keep background in pixlr

Then, create a selection around the photo to retain the area you want. For example, I want to keep only the lions in the picture. And here what I get: 

Result I get after adjusting the cutout tool-Pixlr X

It only keeps the area I want to preserve. And anything outside of the selection is removed. 

On the other hand, if you select the Remove as editing mode, it will delete the area you want. 

Indeed, it works the opposite of Keep mode. Here what the result I get after choosing the Remove option:

result I get after the adjustment for removing

Adjustment tools

Adjust Tool

The Adjust option in this online image editor is the best tool for photographers. Using them, you can improve the photo by adjusting the colors, light, and tone of an image. 

And the best part is- all of the adjustment tools are easy-to-use as they are slider-based. So, from the sense of raw development and ease of use, you can use this pic editor as an alternative to lightroom. 

Adjust Tool of the online photo editing software includes the following adjustment options:

  • Color
  • Light
  • Toning
  • Fill 
  • Curves


Color tools

This section allows you to enhance the color of an image to make them enticing. To do that, it features vibrance, saturation, temperature, tint, and hue. As they are slider-based, you can develop the photo color by moving the sliders from left to right. 


For bringing back life to your dull image, the Light option includes a lot of tools, including:

  • Brightness
  • Exposure
  • Contrast
  • Black
  • White
  • Highlight
  • Shadow

Using these tools, you can make your dull image bright and vivid. 


The toning tool helps you improve the tone of an image by adjusting the highlight and shadows of any specific colors. 


Fill tool also helps to enhance the picture by improving the color of an image. The Fill tool also has another option- Blend Mode. Different blending modes like overlay, multiply, and vivid light help bring your picture to the next level. 


The Curves tool of this photo editor app works similar to Photoshop Curves. To use this tool, you need to double click to add or remove a control point. This tool also enhances the photo by adjusting the color. 

Filters & Effects

Featuring with a bunch of filters, you can now change the look of an image precisely. 

To improve the detail, it includes effects like sharpen, clarity, smooth, and grain. 

You can use the filter like dehaze, fringe, and bloom to enhance an image.  And the surprising fact is- all of the effects are slider-based. So, using and applying them to a photo is effortless. 

Moreover, it also includes photo effects to develop an image with a single click. Effects like Friends, Too-old, Instage, Colors, Retro, Portrait, and so on help to change the look of a picture. 

Retouching Tools

For retouching photos, this online image editor includes tools like Heal, Clone Stamp, Sharpen/Blur, and Dodge & Burn.

Using the Heal and Clone Stamp tool, you can remove blemishes, acne, and other skin defects. 

On the other hand, the Dodge & Burn tool lets you adjust the contrast of an image. 

Drawing Tools

For a painter or to change an image into a painting, Pixlr includes a lot of painting tools. 

Brush Tool, Eraser Tool, Pen Tool, and Shape tool are the drawing tools in this online photo editor. 

Each of the tools has specific adjustment options like size, softness, and sharpness. Adjusting them, you can create a master art picture like a professional. 

Other Tools

Other tools like Liquify and Text tool are also available in this photo editing software. 

Using the Liquify tool, you can grow, shrink, and push parts of a picture. Indeed, using this tool, you can make subtle changes in portraits or other photos. 

On the other hand, its text tool allows you to add & curve text in Pixlr


  • User-friendly interface
  • Easy to use and edit
  • Convenient to retouch a photo
  • Quicken editing workflows by offering effects


  • Not powerful and efficient like Ps
  • The free version shows annoying ads
  • Only supports JPEG

Difference between Pixlr X and Photoshop

Pixlr X is an online-based image retouching software. It offers tools, overlays & effects, drawing tools, and others to edit photos. On the other hand, Photoshop is a robust photo editing software used by professionals around the world. 

From this chapter, you learn about the differences between Pixlr and Ps. So, let’s dive in. 


First off, Pixlr is completely free to edit photos. You don’t need to spend a single buck to retouch an image in this picture editor. However, the free version of it shows ads and offers limited overlay and effects. 

When it comes to Photoshop cost, you need to spend $9.99 per month if you choose the Photography Plan. And the best part is you can also use Lightroom. Indeed paying for one, you will get two robust apps. 

Editing Capability

Undeniably, PS is 100 times better and efficient than Pixlr when it comes to photo editing. 

Also, the editing precision of Ps is superior to Pixlr. You can compose photos, retouch portraits, create collages, and what’s not. 

Pixlr also features enough editing tools for you to enhance your photos. It will be enough for a photographer to make an image enticing with this online editor. 

In comparison, Photoshop will be your best bait to pick for ultimate editing efficiency. 

Ease of use

The interface of Pixlr is intuitive and not intimidated by a bunch of tools. So, you can understand it quickly and become a master of it after using it for a few minutes. 

In contrast, Ps has a steep learning curve. For newbies, it will be challenging to understand Ps as thousands of tools available out there. However, on the web, you can find a million tutorials to learn it. 

Pixlr Express

Key Features: 

  • Adjustment tools
  • Advanced selection tools
  • Pen tool
  • Color Picker tool
  • Retouching tools
  • Gradient tool

The interface of Pixlr Express is similar to Ps and GIMP. In other words, it mimics the interface of Ps and GIMP. 

For simple editing workflows like cropping & erasing, you can use the crop tool and eraser tool. 

On the other hand, you can use the heal tool, clone tool, and dodge & burn tool to retouch a photo. 

For decorating your photos with text, it also has an advanced text tool. Indeed, you can perform the same workflow as you do with Pixlr X. 

The only difference is- it is more organized than its brother. 


  • Well-organized interface
  • Convenient to use and edit
  • Free


  • Annoying ads


In this guide on Pixlr Review, we described everything you need to know about this online photo editing app. 

It’s user-friendly, easy-to-edit, free, and includes all the necessary tools you need for retouching photos.

The downside of it is- it offers limited editing options compared to Ps. Also, the free version of it shows ads while editing. Therefore, it can’t support other file formats, except JPEG. 

Considering all, it will be a great choice for newbies to enhance photos. Also, it has social sharing options to share your work with friends. Above all, you can also find the android mobile version of this app on Google play store and Apple App Store. 

If you have any questions about Pixlr, feel free to leave a comment below. 

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