Images draw people in. They tell a story. They add to the aesthetic of your blog and blog posts. And, they automatically attach to social media updates, catching the readers’ eye as they scroll through their feeds.
However, blogging takes up enough time without going on a hunting expedition for that perfect image for every blog post. Luckily, there are many great online image editing tools out there to help you quickly create and edit your own images. And, you don’t have to get a degree in the complicated, expensive Photoshop. Here are a few top, free image editing tools.
Screen capture browser extensions
Macs and PCs let you print any screen you’re viewing to an image file, then open it up in an image editor and go to work. Broswer extensions do away with the extra step and provide a range of additional functionality without ever leaving the screen. A standout is the Chrome Awesome Screenshot extension. Capture the screen or an entire web page (below the fold), resize and crop, annotate it with diagrams and text, blur sensitive information, and save to your desktop. Quick and easy.
The ability to add layers to an image – text or another image – separates basic image editing tools from the more advanced applications like Photoshop. Pixlr is like Photoshop in your browser. It’s truly amazing what this free online tool can do, including adding layers of images and text, replace color, transform objects, and so on.
This no-frills, lightweight photo editing software is a terrific little tool for PC users. Fotographix feels like a stripped down version of Photoshop with only the features and tools that you need. At under one megabyte it won’t hog your memory or hinder performance. Features include resizing, color correction, cropping, brightness and contrasts adjustment, special effects like night vision, blur and sharpening, and so much more. And of course, layering.
The default Preview application for editing images on a Mac is not as robust but performs basic editing functions sufficiently. I use this tool just about every day. You can crop, adjust the color and size, rotate and a few other basic functions. You can also annotate an image with text and shapes. Most of the time, this is all you’ll need. Bonus: It has a useful “Signature” feature that allows you to record and attach your signature to documents.
These tools will help you to up your blog post image game without too much fuss. There’s almost no learning curve and won’t cost you a dime.