We have a nice collection of graphic editing software which includes expensive suites like Photoshop and Paintshop Pro, as well as free tools like Gimp and Paint.net. Regardless of price, these software applications have a distinct disadvantage: They are not accessible from everywhere, but rather only on the computer where they are installed.
For times when you need to edit photos on a computer that is not yours, the best idea is to use a Web application that can edit photos. One of our new favorites is PicMonkey.
Drag a photo from your computer into the blue box on the PicMonkey homepage.
The Basic Edits menu opens and your photo displays on the right of the screen. Our favorite basic feature in PicMonkey is the Auto Adjust. Click the Auto Adjust button at the top of the Basic Edits menu and magically, the color and exposure in the photo are corrected.
The other tools in the Basic Edits menu work just as easily. You can crop, sharpen, resize, adjust the color and the exposure of photos in just a few simple clicks. These tools are much easier to use in PicMonkey than in our fancy graphic editing software, so photo editing novices should not be intimidated. Just click the picture for the tool you need, then follow the short directions for using it (most tools are self explanatory).
Besides the basic tools, PicMonkey offers more advanced features. Click the beaker icon on the far left of the menu, and a completely new menu opens. This menu allows you to add special effects, like sepia tone and dark edges, to your photos. The number of effects options in this menu rivals some of our more expensive graphic editing software.
The lipstick icon opens a menu full of touch-up fixes for your photos, including a blemish fix, spray tan, tooth whitener and wrinkle remover.
The P icon allows you to add text, in a wide variety of fonts, to your photo.
The heart/chat bubble icon opens a variety of clip art and symbols you can add to your photo.
Finally, you can polish your photo with a frame or border, like a drop shadow or rounded edges.
PicMonkey has more features in just its basic editing menu than most Web apps that allow photo editing have at all. The app is full featured, works quickly with little lag, and is laid out well enough for even a complete graphic editing novice to understand. This app is definitely worth a bookmark.