Online Image Editors – Why To Use Them And 5 Amazing Ones For Designers

Image Editor IconsOnline image editors have evolved so much in the last few years & became very mature + functional for designers at every level.

They generally offer a similar interface with the popular image editing softwares which lowers the learning curve so much.

Almost all of them are Flash-based (no extra installations -like plugins- are required) & load/work very fast.

Why To Use Them?

You may be asking yourself why to use a web-based one when there is a powerful image editing software installed on your computer like Photoshop, Fireworks, GIMP, etc.?


There is no need to have a software other than a browser to run such applications. Also designs created with them can be saved instantly online.

This function is specially handy for anyone working at different locations/computers.

The Price Factor

Most popular image editing softwares, except GIMP, are generally not cheap & every new version requires a new license.

Online image editing platforms are free or come with cheap subscription plans.

Lower System Resources

System IconAs such applications would run on browsers & files are remotely hosted, they will be consuming much less system resources.

This makes them a good fit for older & non-strong (like netbooks) computers.


Every designer/developer, generally, experiences data losses because of hardware failures & no backups.

All the content created can be saved in these platforms which are mostly hosted in the cloud with daily backups. So, this is taken care of.

They have cons too:

As expected, they are not perfect:

  • you may not add your custom fonts, brushes, shapes, etc.
  • not being able to export designs to formats of popular applications (generally, only PNG, JPG, GIF & TIFF)
  • lack of some features
  • some of them don't have keyboard shortcuts

Here are 5 amazing applications which offer a similar functionality with your favorite image editing software & have support for creating new images (not editing-only):

Sumo Paint

Sumo Paint

Sumo Paint is an amazing application which Photoshop users will find it very friendly as the interface & functionality is very similar.

It offers most things Photoshop offers, supports layers, filters & has some awesome geometric shape tools.

There is also a huge community behind the application where you can get inspired.

Aviary Phoenix

Aviary Phoenix

Phoenix is the image editor part of the powerful other Aviary applications.

The editor works with layers, has various filters & can be exported to popular file formats or saved online for future editing.

Official online Photoshop service of Adobe.

The application has a very different interface compared to Photoshop itself & offers fewer functions. It is mostly focused on editing & optimizing images.



Pixlr is a feature rich online image editor that has several versions to make things easier:

  • Editor – all-functions included editor
  • Express – more basic version
  • Grabber – to right click any image and start editing from Firefox browser + Windows desktop



A very Photoshop-like application that can run multiple images.

It integrates well with photo sharing services like Picasa & Flickr.

There is also a light version for simpler functions.

There are also other great applications like:

which are totally focused on editing images & don't offer creating a new one from scratch.

Which one do you prefer? Any great ones missing? Share them in the comments.