Resize or Crop an Image with Pixlr

editing images
In the summer I will be giving a workshop on Images and Blogs at the Highland Park Public Library in New Jersey. As I develop the workshop over the next few weeks, I will write a post here on Websites for Small Biz on the details. Today you get to learn how to Crop an Image with Pixlr and how to Resize an Image with Pixlr. Pixlr is a free online photo editing tool. All you need is a computer and access to the internet.

Load an Image into Pixlr

Go to http://pixlr.com/. You will see a screen with Pixlr Editor on the left. Pick the Editor.

Then pick Open Image from Computer. I chose an image of spring flowers that I had taken with my digital camera. The original was quite large: 3888px wide by 2592px wide. How did I know the size of the image? One way of determining the size (within Pixlr) is open up Image, then Image Size.

image size

If you want, you can resize the image using Image Size. But I will save that step in this post for after we crop the image.

If you want to determine the size of an image within Windows, right click on the image. At the bottom, you will see Properties. Click on Properties, then on Details – scroll down a bit, and under Image you will see the dimensions of your image.

Crop Image Pixlr Method

Next step – we decide we don’t want the entire image. So select the Crop Tool on the left. Run your mouse over the part of the image you do want to save, and you will see a dotted box appear in that area. When you let go of the mouse, you will get this set of nine boxes on your image, as appears on my columbines photo below:
columbines crop tool pixlr
Do you like what you see in the box? Are you ready to crop? Click outside the nine framed boxes and you will get a dialogue box asking you if you are ready to crop (“Do you want to apply the changes?”. If you are not, simply pick cancel. If you pick no, the nine framed boxes disappear.
pixlr crop tool apply changes dialogue box

Resize Image with Pixlr

So we cropped our image, but it is still too large. How do we know what size to make it for the web? You really have to get used to sizes for your particular blog or website. On this blog, I make my images about 600px – 660px wide. On my other blog, Sketching Out, I make them 520px wide. Usually 1000px is too wide. You may have to experiment at first to get a size you like.

columbines pixlr image size

Open Image Size for your photo, and change the dialogue box to the size that you want for width and height. I recommend just changing width and let the photo editor adjust the height proportionally. In Pixlr, you can either use the slider to adjust the width or you can type into the width box.

Here is my cropped and resized image:
columbines cropped and resized

Save Image to Hard Drive

Under File, pick Save. You get a dialogue box like this:
pixlr save photo to hard drive
You can rename the photo before saving, change the format to something other than jpg (for example, you might use png if you need transparency in part of the image), or change the quality of the image so it is a bigger or smaller image. When you click OK, you can then navigate around your computer for a place to save your newly edited image.

Your Turn, Please

Have you ever used Pixlr before? What was your experience? If you do photo editing already, what programs have you used? Do you recommend any of them? Finally, if you have questions on what was covered in this post, please feel free to ask.

46 Responses to “Resize or Crop an Image with Pixlr”

  1. Leora isn’t this a Google product? I seem to remember finding it and discovering it was another Google tool. I bookmarked it for later use but did not go back to it to use. I usually use resizeyourimage or photosize. I’ll use this Pixlr next time.

    Thanks.

  2. Paul Graham says:

    Hi Leora, I have not used Pixlr though it looks like a good tool and both the illustrations and text explanations are very clear. Good luck with your workshop. I am sure it will be useful and well received

  3. I’ve never used Pixir but it looks like a good program. Thank you for the detailed instructions on cropping and re-sizing a photograph. I wish you the best with your workshop.

  4. Christina says:

    I’ll have to check it out. I’m always on the look-out for good and affordable editing software. I’ve also used “Paint” that came with my Microsoft programs for quick resizing. I personally like to use Adobe Lightroom for more in depth editing, but it is a little pricey.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Christina, I’ve thought about writing a tutorial that makes use of Paint, as it is so accessible to many.

      I use Photoshop a lot – I actually used it to finish up the top image in this post, and the rest were created completely with Pixlr.

  5. I like blogs like this. I have had some issues trimming and adjusting images and every little bit of information helps. Thanks for sharing this, and I hope to see more informative blogs like this again.

  6. Catarina says:

    That information comes in handly, Leora. Bookmarked Pixlr because it seems to be more sophisticated that Picture Monkey that I use at the moment.

  7. I’ve never used this before but it looks like a wonderful tool! I don’t use photos often but seems like when I do, I struggle with the edits. Wish I could attend your workshop! I’m sure it will be terrific!

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Jacqueline, you should use more images! It helps those of us that are visual get interested in reading posts and articles. I hope my workshop is helpful – I have to guess the level of the attendees in advance.

  8. Mina Joshi says:

    This is very helpful Post. I tend to use Picasa for editing photos but will checkout PixlR as it looks quite easy to use.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Mina, Picasa is a great program. I just downloaded the newest after reading your comment. I can use it in my demo at the library – the internet at the library is slow, so a program like Picasa that works on Windows would be a plus for my workshop. Thanks for the reminder.

      I think when Pat said, isn’t it owned by Google? she was thinking of Picasa.

  9. Tim says:

    It is good to know about Pixlr even though I use another product but the big difference is that yours is free. The one thing I have found when editing and cropping pictures is that there is often an amazing image inside of another image. Crop it down and you have a whole new look. Re-sizing it and you get to retain way more storage space on your blog. Thanks, Tim

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Tim, I use Photoshop … that costs a LOT more than Pixlr. Many of my clients want quick and easy. This is a task that I repeat over and over again when making images ready for blog posts.

  10. Bindu says:

    I never used Pixlr before. I was looking for a free website to make transparent background. Think, it can be done with Pixlr. Thanks for the detailed tutorial. Very helpful.

  11. Lenie says:

    Hi Leora
    Thanks for this post – this information is really something I need to know so I am bookmarking this site and look forward to your next posts. I’ll be practicing the information when you present it.
    Lenie

  12. Welli says:

    Hey Leora. I had not used pixlr prior but I have definitely enjoyed your lesson and this new product. I will be exploring it further. Thanks for the post.

  13. Great idea sharing such practical tips Leora. I have noticed that I tend to do most of my cropping of photos on my phone, but doing it with Pixlr would remind me to resize them too, as sometimes I end up with different sized images in my posts.

    I use Photoshop and Aviary for editing, but I really want to start using Lightroom.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Christine, you sound so versatile, doing photo edits on your phone! I’ve never even heard of Aviary. I see it’s an app – will have to give it a try sometime. My main photo editor is Photoshop, but I’m working on teaching clients who want free photo editors. And they want it simple and easy.

  14. Arleen says:

    Leora- I use Photoshop and Illustrator as they are programs that can manipulate images more which I need for my business. However, my daughter-in-law wants to start blogging and I really do not have the time to work on her site so I think Pixlr is a good program for her. Thanks for sharing.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Arleen,

      You are multi-talented! Of the various free programs, I’ve liked Pixlr. But I might take a little time to try out Picasa as well. That one works on the hard drive, so you don’t have to have internet access to use it.

  15. Jeri says:

    I use PicMonkey or good ol’ Paint when I need to do a quick crop or re-size. Of course, the teacher in my last photography class would just go on and on about rule-of-thirds and how a properly taken picture shouldn’t need to be cropped ;)

  16. Carl says:

    Very handy indeed. I am currently on a Mac and generally use iPhoto to enhance photos and Skitch when cropping or something minimal is required. Will definitely give this app a look, though. Thanks for sharing.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      I love how many here have photo editors to suggest! Yes, on a Mac one gets some very good tools. My post wasn’t so much to recommend Pixlr as to use it as an example to teach resizing and cropping. I wanted a good tool which anyone could access.

  17. I love Pixlr, although I usually use Pixlr Express for most of what I need to do. I don’t have any photoshop experience, so I find the express version a little more user friendly (read: less intimidating). I should probably take a workshop like yours! Thanks for sharing some of your topics with us, I’ll definitely want to see the rest of them.

  18. Heidi Lane says:

    This looks very handy and seems simple to use. I will bookmark this! Thank you for sharing!

  19. Jason B says:

    Great tip. Another wonderful article that I can use.

  20. Susan Cooper says:

    You know I love this post Leora. I have yet to use Pixir but I know many can and will use it. I will need to mosey on over to check this tool out. :-)

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Susan, I’m glad you enjoy it, although I am sure you could teach others how to do crop and resize as well.

      Pixlr is quick and easy – I’ve been referred to other tools, but they took a while to set up or (like MS Paint) were downright awful and frustrating!

  21. Leora – thanks for introducing me to Pixir. I didn’t know about it. I use http://www.picresize.com/ which works along the same principles. Also, with the newest version of WordPress you can click on an image in Visual mode and then drag the recrop tool to resize the image. I’ve been doing that a lot lately and it works very well.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Jeannette, thanks for giving folks two more great suggestions! Sometimes it is not so much the tool one uses as learning how to use what is available to do the task.

  22. This is a great tutorial Leora. I’ll keep it in mind for anyone who is looking for a photo editor.

    I use Photoshop. If I’m working on a computer without access to Photoshop, I use PicMonkey. It works well for simple stuff but if I’m creating layers and trying to be creative, I stick with what I know. :)

    Having said that, Photoshop is expensive and there’s a fairly steep learning curve. Options like this are great to have.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Sherryl, I explore all these options because as you say: 1) Photoshop is expensive 2) not everyone wants to learn it 3) there are some great tools out there that do the basics (and most people need just basics).

      Thanks for commenting!

  23. A.K.Andrew says:

    This is a great learning post Leora. I’m not familiar with Pixlr, and tend to just use iPhoto, which obviously has it’s drawbacks. I’ll have to check it out.
    Good luck with the workshop & I look forward to the upcoming posts. Thanks!

    • Leora Wenger says:

      A.K., no photo editor is perfect. For example, Photoshop is expensive, takes a while to learn and does not load quickly. But it’s my favorite. Pixlr limits you to having internet access; what if the internet gets flaky at my workshop (which has happened) … so I’m doing some work in Picasa to show that one as well.

      I would be curious to know what you like and dislike about iPhoto.

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