Autodesk has taken the step of launching a dedicated desktop app version of its hitherto web browser-based photo editing tool, Pixlr.
The tool has always been notable for offering a powerful, funkily designed image editing experience in a web browser window. Now it really is turning up the heat on Photoshop Elements by offering a dedicated desktop app for Windows and Mac.
Of course, as Autodesk points out in a blog post on the subject, the advantage of having a desktop version here is that you can use more of the native platform's processing power. So it proves here, with support for high resolution images and no compression.
You also get to use your own fonts when adding text overlays onto your images - something that wasn't possible in the web version.
There are multiple stages of the Pixlr set-up. Upon initial download, you'll get the free starter edition. This gives you many of the core features of the Pixlr Express service.
Sign up and you'll get Pixlr Express, also free, which adds new effects, overlays, and tools like double exposure.
Finally, if you subscribe to a Pro account, which is $1.99 a month or $14.99 a year, you get advanced masking tools. Pro members get the Influence Panel, which allows you to isolate areas or objects and apply effects very specifically.
Naturally, advanced photo editors won't want to give up their Photoshop (or equivalent tool) in a hurry, but for many users Pixlr will offer precisely the quick and intuitive editing options they need - and all ranging from free to inexpensive.
Pixlr is available to download for Windows and Mac now.
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