Photo Editing Without Photoshop

I often have friends and clients ask me how to rotate and resize photos for Facebook.

Since most people either can’t afford a license for Photoshop, or find the program overwhelming, I started looking into an online photo editing alternative. Pixlr.com purports to be the most popular online photo editor in the world, so I decided to give it a shot and found it pleasantly easy to use. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you edit any photo so it will look professional on your Facebook wall.

The first thing I would do is gather the photo or photos to be edited into one folder on your desktop. Whether you are downloading them from your camera, phone or another source, make sure you put them all in a folder that is easy to find.

Then go to pixlr.com and open the Pixlr Editor Advanced.

Now select “open image from computer” and use the navigation window to select the photo you wish to edit. You should see the photo you wish to edit in front of you along with a toolbar on the side.

To rotate a sideways photo:

Select image from the menu at the top (just under the web address and bookmarks).  Now you can select from several rotate options, most of the time  rotate my photo 90 degrees in either the counter clockwise  or clockwise direction will do the trick. If you make a mistake, don’t panic! Just click “edit” and then “undo.”

To change size and shape of your photo:

Your Facebook wall likes a photo that is 403 pixels square. If the photo is not the right size and shape, Facebook will automatically cut off the areas outside of the 403 x 403 pixel square. You can select which parts are cut off once you post the photo, but if you can it’s better to make the photo square to begin with.

There are a lot of ways to accomplish this, but here is the most precise way. Click on the crop tool in your toolbar. Now you should see the crop tool icon beneath the “file” menu. To the right of the crop icon, you’ll see pixlr14

some options starting with “contraint” which should default to “no restrictions.”  Use the drop down menu to select “Aspect Ratio” and then in the width and length boxes, put in a value of 403.

Now using your mouse, draw a box over your photo. Because you’ve already told the crop tool what size you want the box, it will automatically draw a box that is 403 pixels wide by 403 pixels tall. Once you have a box, you can move this box around on the photo until you’re satisfied with the crop. Now just double click inside the photo to crop.

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Finally, click “file” and then save.

A box will open and ask you what to call the image. I usually add the letters FB after the original name. This prevents me from erasing my original and also helps me distinguish the difference between my original and the version for Facebook. Pixlr should default to a .jpeg format and it’s okay to keep that. I also moved the quality up to 100. Finally, make sure that on the left side of the pop up box, that “my computer” is selected.

Now click ok. Another window will open to let you navigate back to the correct folder.

This should default to the folder your original photo is saved in. If you’re satisfied with this, click Save.

Now you can upload the photo to your Facebook wall with no cropping!

To learn more about the ideal size for your Facebook profile or cover picture, check out this handy guide.