Photo editing on a Chromebook


In this article we will explore the image editing app that comes embedded into any Chrome OS installation while also showcasing some of the most useful apps that will allow you to tinker with your pictures. But first, let’s take a look at the built-in image editing tools available in Chrome OS…

Chromebook photo editingBy default, any Chromebook will have a minimum set of photo editing tools embedded – that allow you to rotate and to change different aspects of any given photograph. To access these tools you will need to follow the following steps:

1. Select your Apps list – click the icon and then select Files. This will open the Files application

2. Select the image you want to edit

3. Select and click open from the bottom menu. Now the options available for editing will be made available to you, which indeed are not many and are quite basic. You can:

  • Rename a file
  • View as a mosaic
  • View as a slide
  • Delete
  • Edit, which is very primitive, allowing you to draw, with your mouse or any other compatible input devices, while the color of the “pencil tip” is one of your choice. To Save press enter, to leave the picture as it was previously, click esc
    Very important: To make sure that the image you’re currently editing is also kept in its original/unedited version make sure you deselect the Overwrite original from the menu in your lower left.
  • Share. This allow you to send the picture selected to any of the compatible applications that are emended (installed). Most of the times these will be image sharing websites as well as social network websites.

So this pretty much sums up what you can do to an image by default; but let’s not forget that there is a world of applications designed to be compatible with Chrome OS that you might want to look into. Here are but a few of the ones we found to be most useful:

Pixlr Editor

Pixlr will meet the requirements of anyone looking for some professional looking editing, without requiring you to meet the complexity standards and the rather tedious learning curve of such editing suites as Adobe Photoshop. (As a side note – Photoshop is not (yet!) compatible with Chrome OS).

Within Pixlr you can also manage all the alternations/editing of your photos directly in-browser, no need to download the application locally, although this option is included, if you want to work offline.

Pixlr is basically a Gimp suite for your Chrome OS, and it is developed by the same team.

If you are enthusiastic about uploading photos to photo sharing sites then you will also be happy to know that the app is the number one in terms of users, not only in the Chrome OS environment but also on PCs and Macs.

In terms of features the app offers you:

Red eye reduction, spot heal, drawing and cloning tools (for those face swap shenanigans!) sharpen and blurring tools and a lot more basic but very precise tools. Also, if you like to apply filters to your pictures, you have that options as well, Within the presets you’ll find: HDR gradients, glow, tilt shifting, Gauss blur, vignette, noise and more.

In terms of features that are specific to the app, you will find that most adjustments/gradients can be used based on properties that govern them such as – leveling, curvature, cross, saturation and desaturation, etc. You also get presets for most of the picture editing tools, so that you can learn to use each one having a central point to fall onto, when you’re at a loss of what to do. So, without a doubt, for Chrome OS users Pixlr can very well be a very strong replacement for Photoshop, with results that could very well be regarded as professional.

Other Photo editing tools

There are other photo editing tools that you might want to give a try such as DeviantART Muro, more focused on digital painting and drawing, Sketchpad, which can be great as an editing suite as well as a creating of simple sketches.

If however you want just photo editing suites, more or less convenient for Facebook or other online environments – iPiccy, Photon and Pixlr Grabber (for those who want to download pictures and get them ready for a Pixlr editing job) will prove just as elegant and useful.

But, for the most part, Pixlr is considerably one of the most popular, easy to use as well as widely used, which means that you will find lots of tutorials about it and a lot of how-to materials, giving it the winning position if you want to continue to explore its potential. And, just as well, if you want to use it for very simple editing, red eye reduction or some other fine tuning of a photo, it will get the job done hassle free, so we do recommend it without hesitation.

And, as always, let us know if you have used any other image editing suites on your Chrome OS device and if you have any comment, questions or contributions…


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