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Remove The Background From A Photo In Pixlr Pro

Removing the background from a photo is one of the basic skills for a graphic designer. Today we show you how you can do it directly in your browser using Pixlr Pro.

Remove The Background From A Photo In Pixlr Pro

Here’s How to Remove the Background From a Photo in Pixlr Pro

Open Pixlr Pro and open your file either by dragging it directly to the work area or by going to File > Open. In this tutorial, I’ll be using this photo of a bald eagle.

Remove The Background From A Photo In Pixlr Pro

Press Control-1 to zoom the image to its original size. This will allow you to see all the details. Find the Lasso Select (L) and select one of the options. If you have a graphics tablet, you can use the classic Lasso Select. If you’re using a mouse, it will be easier for you to use the Magnetic Lasso Select. Here I’ll show you how to use the latter.

Remove The Background From A Photo In Pixlr Pro

Place the cursor over the spot where you want your selection to start and click.

Remove The Background From A Photo In Pixlr Pro

Drag your cursor along the intended selection outline. Pixlr Pro should automatically find the borders you’re outlining, but if you want to help it, “anchor” the selection from time to time by clicking—especially in the corners and around sharp turns.

Remove The Background From A Photo In Pixlr Pro

But some objects don’t have neat borders like this. In our case, the feathers have a blurry part that blends with the background. If you encounter an issue like this, try to outline only the edge that you’re sure about. We’ll take care of the rest later!

Remove The Background From A Photo In Pixlr Pro

Once you go around the whole object, simply click the first point to close the selection.

Remove The Background From A Photo In Pixlr Pro

Sometimes it’s necessary to remove a part from the selection. In such case select the third option on the upper bar…

Remove The Background From A Photo In Pixlr Pro

… and outline the parts you don’t want within your selection.

Remove The Background From A Photo In Pixlr Pro

If you’re happy with your initial selection, click Refine Edge.

A new window will open. Here you can adjust the edge of the selection to make it more natural. First, change the thickness of the automatic softening border so that it was just soft enough.

On the right, you can change the background of the preview to better see the effects of your adjustments. Feel free to switch the background color anytime you need.

The most important tool here is the brush. Pick something soft and comfortable that you can control easily with the mouse or the graphics tablet.

Use this brush to paint over the edges that you want to soften. The advanced algorithms of Pixlr Pro will add your strokes to the selection. Don’t worry if the final result is not as precise as you’d like—it can still be adjusted later!

If you think that your selection looks mostly as intended, select the output to Raster Mask and press OK.

Our selection may look nice with no background, but we need to test it yet. Create a New Layer under the object and fill it with white using the Paint Bucket Tool (G).

If you noticed any undesired artifacts, don’t worry—here’s the time to fix it! Click on the mask of the layer to edit it.

Select a soft brush. If you’re using a mouse, make sure that the Flow is set to less than 100% to give you more flexibility.

When painting on a mask, black strokes make the layer transparent, and white—opaque. This allows you to “paint-in” the parts that hadn’t been selected, and “paint-out” the parts that had been selected by mistake. Spend as much time in this step as necessary to create a perfect selection.

If you want to be 100% sure that your selection is perfect, repeat the same step with a black background…

… and a grey one. This will allow you to prepare your object for every background.

And we’re done! Now you know how to isolate an object from its background in Pixlr Pro in a clean, professional way.

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Announcement: Our New Release, Pixlr X

Announcement: Our New Release, Pixlr X

We’re proud to announce our latest product release, Pixlr X, into the market for both creatives and non-creatives alike. An innovative merge between our top editing tools, Express, and Editor, Pixlr CEO Sevandersson intends for X to be a next-gen photo-editing program. Available online, Pixlr X allows users to experience professional-grade photo-editing, all for free.

Now, all Dropbox users can access photos via their account, and seamlessly edit their images with Pixlr X on Dropbox extensions. With available preset effects to choose from, you can smoothly resize, crop and edit your photos to your heart’s content. Minimal tool options offer a clean, convenient layout for quick and fuss-free image editing. The best part is that you don’t have to go through the hassle of registering an account, downloading and installing any programs.

No more launching editing programs installed within your computer, just fast loading and smooth edits all the way. Pixlr X was built via WebGL as an intuitive, functional online tool with user experience and ease-of-use in mind.

All you need is a good Internet connection, your favorite browser, and you’re good to go. If you’re on Dropbox, all the better. Save your photo edits directly into your Dropbox account so you can come back edit them later, or post them on your social media.

Here’s what you can do with Pixlr X:

Add Smooth Adjustments to Your Photos

Announcement: Our New Release, Pixlr X

Play with RGB channels and separate specific colors to your liking. Enhance or de-grain your photos for a smoother effect. Add on some grain to provide more texture, or better blend your images for a sharper look. X allows you to adjust the contrast and exposure of your photos with a split focus on highlights or shadows. Slide the color adjustments around for better vibrance, more saturation, or add some tint to your images.

Enhance Your Images with Preset Effects

Announcement: Our New Release, Pixlr X

With Pixlr X, enhancing your images has never been quicker or easier. Explore our collection of twelve presets, and set the tone of your photos to give it your desired effect. Go from cool blues to warmer sepias like Mr Jaxon, or embrace the classic black and white effect with Ol’ Days.

Easily Add Text to Customize Your Photos

Announcement: Our New Release, Pixlr X

Sometimes your images need something for you to remember them by. Events like special occasions, life achievements, or a date you never want to forget. Slide some captions into your photos to give them that personalized feel. Choose from our list of available fonts within the text menu, and mix things up with the text color palette!

Quickly Crop or Resize Using Preset Dimensions

Announcement: Our New Release, Pixlr X

About to make a quick post for the daily ‘gram? Need to create a quick thumbnail for your latest Youtube upload? Cropping some unnecessary photobombs out of the picture? We’ve got you covered. Choose from X’s available preset sizes for some fast edits, or freely resize the dimensions to whatever you need for your images.

“Over the years, our users have relied on Pixlr to help them transform their photos and images to make every moment beautiful,” said Sevandersson. “And today, we’re excited to partner with Dropbox to extend Pixlr X’s powerful image editing capabilities to their vast network of content creators, creative individuals, and professionals at zero cost.”

Pixlr X supports all modern browsers on desktop and some popular tablets such as the iPad. Users can expect to experience a streamlined workflow through X’s convenient, functional image file-saving directly to their Dropbox account.

Rolling out worldwide on November 27th, 2018, be on the lookout for Pixlr X on Dropbox Extensions!

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Our Guide to CMYK and RGB

Nowadays, the CMYK and RGB color palette are among the most used color systems out there. They can be, in theory, mixed with any other color and are quite popular among designers and practically everyone using them online.

CMYK and RGB: Definition and Uses

While the CMYK palette stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black – the RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue, which makes the most sense for all of the artists.

CMYK & RGB: What Are They Used For And How To Use Them

However, in practice, RGB is the set that is used by electronic display on computer screens, while CMYK is used in the printing industry. The crucial factor that you need to understand is that there are two ways in which color is made – addictive and subtractive.

CMYK in the Printing Industry

CMYK & RGB: What Are They Used For And How To Use Them

RGB used by Electronic Displays

CMYK & RGB: What Are They Used For And How To Use Them

What’s The Purpose of Subtractive and Additive Colors?

There is a big difference between subtractive and additive colors. Whether you start with no light and add colors – or you start with saturated light and are taking away stuff to reveal the color that you want.

CMYK & RGB: What Are They Used For And How To Use Them

The thing about subtractive colors is that the more colors you mix, the darker the resulting one is. It’s because they use light reflective pigments and that the surface absorbs all the other light. So that’s why the black pigment gets hotter quickly since it absorbs (almost) all of the light energy and reflects (almost) none. Additive colors, on the other hand, require you to add more color for them to become brighter. This is mainly because they are emitting light. Therefore, if your computer screen starts by being quite black, as you add the RGB colors, the image is revealed and is getting brighter and brighter.

How To Choose Between CMYK and RGB

CMYK & RGB: What Are They Used For And How To Use Them

Now that you know how both of these systems work, you should also know that CMYK is generally favored by printers because it can be reproduced over and over with agreement about the exact colors that make up the mix. However, the print machines that are used nowadays are actually using 7, 8 or 12 colors – while artists use palettes of 20, 30 or even 40 colors when painting a picture. This is why the combination of two of the standard three additive primary colors in equal proportions produces an additive secondary color – cyan, magenta or yellow – which are the standard primary colors in subtractive color payments.

CMYK & RGB: What Are They Used For And How To Use Them

Therefore, it is safe to say that the subtractive system uses primaries that are actually secondaries of the additive system – only viewed as an alternative approach to reproducing a wide range of colors by controlling the amounts of red, green and blue light reaching our eyes.

In short, choose RGB for displays such as graphics for web design and online use. Go with CMYK if you plan to do any physical output such as printing business cards to billboard advertisements. Explore our blog for more resources! Check out how you can create a surreal infrared photo effect with Pixlr.

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Introducing Pixlr Deals

Have you ever wanted to learn how to code, but your line of work doesn’t call for it? You could just want to pick up where you slacked off the face of the programming universe. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try your hand at designing. Maybe you want to pull yourself out of that career rut that has a vice-like grip on you.

Introducing Pixlr Deals


Pixlr Deals our latest launch, features a collection of online courses for everyone of all working levels to learn at their own pace. With our variety of e-learning at your fingertips, you can choose from programming languages such as Python, HTML, Java and SQL. For business, get educational tips from our finance, management and marketing courses. Graphic and web design, including photography, are among our available creative courses. Merging convenience with learning at your own leisure, you can get your hands on everything Deals has to offer.

Introducing Pixlr Deals

We learn something new every single day of our lives. Our brains constantly absorb new information, and we’re immune to the learning processes so that we don’t even register it. The human brain is a magnificent muscle, and the capacity of our cognitive abilities are constantly evolving to reach higher levels. There’s a famous saying that knowledge is power, and career-wise, that can open a whole new set of doors for you.

With the new release of Deals, Pixlr wants you to take inventory of your strengths and boost your resume to a new level! Drive your learning abilities to polish up your current skill set, or better yet, develop an entirely new skill.

If online courses aren’t what you’re looking for, explore our gadgets that are a perfect accompaniment to your travels. Sweet tech-merged wearables are all the rage with people who are always on the move, and definitely puts the ease in convenience. Who doesn’t want functional, cool-looking devices that assist you on the daily — whether it’s on your work commute or gym workouts? Collectibles and novelty items are a great way to pump up your workspace or desk, as well as giving you some eye candy for those thinking moments. Who knows where your next inspiration will strike from? A fresh perspective is always welcome in the minds of inventors, creatives, and even marketers.

Discover Pixlr Deals today.

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Design Your Own Social Media Cover With Pixlr Pro

We’re starting out with a blank art space which is Pixlr Pro’s default on open. As always, click on the image to zoom in if you’re unsure. Click on the top right where the “Browse Templates” tab is located. You’ll be led to a new tab where you can choose a pre-made template of your preference. Alternatively, you can choose to browse templates on the main page of Pixlr Pro, where you’ll also be able to load the pre-made choices for your creations.

Because we’re about to design a quick social media post, we went with the one below; a bright, floral-themed design that’s perfect for the fall season.

Click “Choose” and you’ll end up back on Pixlr Pro’s editing interface. Let it load and you’ll be able to see the fully editable template on display within the art space.

So the first section that we’re going to be editing would be the text. As you can see, if you click on the “eye” icon in the Layers toolbar, you’ll be able to remove all of the text with their shadows and replace them with your own if it’s necessary. Or you could retain a couple of them and add your own font to give the design your very own twist.

Expand the text layers to check out which text layer goes where. There are duplicate text layers grouped together for the shadow effect, and every layer is completely editable.

We’re going to use a font of our own, Blessing Script, a product by Great Studio from TheHungryJPEG. You can do this with a font of your own, too. After you’ve downloaded and located the font file (OTF or TTF), simply drag and drop it anywhere into Pixlr Pro’s art space. It’ll automatically appear in the font library. To begin using it, click the font option on the toolbar in the top left while you have the text layer that you want to edit selected. Look for the font you’ve just placed into Pixlr Pro by typing in the search bar. Click it after you’ve located it.

You’ll probably get something like this. That means your font has been loaded and you’re free to edit away! Note that the font settings will follow the one previously created with pre-made template.

No fear – everything is editable. Click on the sizing option on the text toolbar. You’ll be able to adjust the size of your chosen font with the help of the slider. We went with 95px for this one! Of course, you can always rearrange the text as you see fit. For example, if you find the other words a little distracting while you’re making edits to the template, you can opt to hide or delete the text layers that you don’t want to see, too.

After you’re done with editing the main text, you’ll see the leftover shadow text effect (which is really just a duplicate text layer with a lowered opacity). It’s time to edit that to suit the text that you’ve just made with your own font.

On your white text layer, you’re going to want to right click with your mouse and select “Duplicate Layer” from the drop-down menu. “But it’s still white text!” You say, grinding your teeth. Yep. It’s going to be alright. We’ll be tweaking the color to make the shadow effect in the next step.

If the original top white text layer is too distracting to the eye, click on the eye icon to hide it for the time being. Next, select your duplicated text layer and double-click the color picker. Now, go wild. Choose the hue that appeals to you the most for your shadow effect, and jives with your chosen template. We went with good old plain black.

Of course, the black hue at full opacity will look very stark in contrast to the background. Adjust the opacity to 20% in the Layers toolbar on the right.

Sweet, you’ve just created your first shadow text effect. Adjust it to fit beneath your original text layer so that it looks like an actual shadow. Next, start working on the rest of the text if it’s necessary for your social media cover design.

Feel like you want to change the color of the template’s background? If it’s in an editable layer, select the layers that will be affected.

We adjusted the background’s color to a more teal-toned hue so that the fonts stand out more.

To allow the fonts a more outstanding effect, lower the opacity of the flower pattern a little. We went with 80% opacity. Adjust that slider to suit your tastes.

You can always adjust the sizing of the flower pattern if it’s necessary.

Don’t forget to save your file! We exported our social media cover design as a JPG.

And here we have the finished result down below. Use Pixlr Pro to experiment with color, font sizes, patterns and many more to create that perfect social media cover for your website or brand.

Create A Surreal Infrared Photo Effect with Pixlr

Imagine going from this…

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

…to this!

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

It’s really easy. Basically, all you’re going to be doing is adjusting the hue and saturation of the image and a little tweaking to get the desired surreal effect. When you inject various different colors into your photography, you can achieve a pretty dream-like appearance.

Here’s how to achieve the infrared effect:

You’ll need a creative program. Check out Pixlr Editor, it’s free to use and you don’t need to sign up for an account to try it out. All you need is an Internet connection and your browser of choice.

In the Pixlr editor menu, choose “Open Image From Computer”. Grab the image of your preference.

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

We went with this stunning landscape shot of the Fagarasan Winding Road in the Fagaras Mountains of Romania. Once the image is loaded in Pixlr’s Editor, right click on the background layer in the layers interface and select “Duplicate Layer” from the drop-down menu.

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

Hit “W” or select the Wand tool and choose the area of sky above the greenery. Right-click and select “Invert selection” on the copy of your background layer.

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

Now the area with the grass and winding road will be selected. Right-click anywhere on that and select “Add layer mask” from the menu that appears.

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

Now that you have your layer mask, choose the “Adjustment” category from Pixlr’s toolbar on the top of the editor in your browser. Select “Hue & Saturation” from the drop-down menu.

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

Here’s the fun part! Start adjusting the level of hue, saturation, and lightness to your liking. Make sure to leave the Colorize box unchecked.

Hue: -140  |  Saturation: 15  |  Lightness: -3

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

Once you’re done playing around with the adjustments, right click on the layer copy with the layer mask, and select “Apply layer mask”.

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

Don’t forget to save your image.

Photo Manipulation: Create A Surreal Infrared Effect with Pixlr

And voila! You’ve just given your photo a surreal-looking infrared effect! Instead of the usual rolling green valley, what you have right now is a dream-like purple landscape. Looks like it’s straight up from another dimension 😉

Check out these shots of infrared landscape photography on the 123RF library to get a better idea of what you can play around with.

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Pixlr has a new logo

We’re excited to announce that we’re releasing Pixlr’s new brand identity!

Our new logo has undergone a rebranding, including a fresh take on the colors and font.

Pixlr’s rebranding meets all of the original direction in a modern, user-oriented manner. Since Pixlr’s initial launch in Sweden in the year 2008, we’ve retained our previous look for the love of the original logo design and the values it stands for.

After a successful 10 years showing off our previous logo, the team decided that Pixlr needed a breath of new life. To match the flow of ever-shifting technology, we made extra effort to create an exclusive look that fits our identity. Pixlr’s new logo retains the message that shows our strong user-oriented values, which stands in line with our brand’s vision of creative empowerment for everyone, regardless of profession.

Our new logo was designed around Pixlr’s core value, which is to prioritize every user’s experience and needs because you are our greatest asset. Pixlr’s tools were built to be accessible and to enable everyone – non-professionals and professionals alike – to create, edit, and design visuals for various creative works.

For Pixlr’s brand image, our team decided on a clean, contemporary outlook to match the constantly evolving era of technology we are currently immersed in. Our crisp, new font was also carefully chosen to correspond with our inspiring nature and creative culture.

With immediate effect, we’re rolling out our new brand identity across all of our social media accounts, website, web apps and newly launched editor. Wherever you might be on Pixlr, look out for our updated logo.

We’d like to add that without you, there would be no Pixlr. Thank you for all of your support in our creative journey together.



Team Pixlr




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Here are our favourite shots of June 2017!

In the blink of an eye, half of 2017 has come to pass. To usher in the new month, we want to feature some photos we’ve had on #madewithpixlr.

Here’s the top 5 crowd favorites!

Photo credits: @thunderflow


Photo credit: @ray____.__


Photo credit: @aeymar_goku


Photo credit: @riddhikt


Photo credit: @anfasinam_


So there you have it — the highlights of June’s #madewithpixlr. Share your photos with us and hashtag #madewithpixlr and you might just be one of top 5 for July!

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Here’s the latest update on the toolbar

We recently had an aesthetic makeover for Pixlr Editor‘s toolbar. Some liked it, some preferred the old colored scheme.

So we debated over keeping the new monochromatic look vs reverting it to the old colored scheme. Afterall, we wanted to keep everyone happy.

Here’s what we decided on.

The solution to the dilemma: A toolbar toggle!

Now your favorite toolbar scheme is just click (or two) away. So go ahead and pick the one that works best for you!

Pro tip:

Did you know keyboard shortcuts work on Pixlr Editor? Check out all the keyboard shortcuts on our FAQ here or hover your mouse cursor over the tool to see the shortcut key!