Sunset: Pixlr for Desktop

This week, we’re retiring our Mac- and PC-based photo editing app — otherwise known as Pixlr for Desktop. Our portfolio of apps has grown over the years and has become complex, so we’re making some changes to simplify the apps we offer while continuing to provide access to free, high-quality photo editing services on mobile and web. As of today, we are removing the Pixlr Pro subscription from the Mac App Store and Windows App Store and will no longer renew existing subscriptions. If you have a Pixlr Pro subscription, it will continue until your subscription runs out. We will offer support for Pixlr Pro subscribers, but we won’t be supporting the free installed version of Pixlr for Mac/PC going forward.

Still going strong: our other similar apps

Power users of our very popular Pixlr Express app will recognize that many of the same editing options found in Pixlr Desktop also exist in the web version of Pixlr Express, so we encourage desktop users to check out the web version of Pixlr Express. For true layers-based image and graphic design, please check out our Pixlr Editor web app. Our popular iOS and Android apps will continue to be offered as they always have.

Questions? We’ve created a FAQ on our support site for anyone who may have questions about the sunset of Pixlr Desktop.

Video: The Art of Evan Brown


Not too long ago, we interviewed Evan Brown to find out more about the amazing multiple exposure collages he makes using only his phone. He probably does more with Pixlr on an Android device than we’ve ever seen anyone do before. He takes images and builds them up again and again using the Double Exposure feature until his dozens of images turn into beautifully rich, detailed collages. We asked Evan to record his workflow so you can see exactly how he goes about creating these amazing images. We then turned that into a video with a bit of voice-over and tips so you can learn how to make something similar:

It’s all done without Blending Modes

It’s first and foremost impressive that phones have gotten to the point that you can build up and edit dozens upon dozens of images in one file. All apps have their limits, but thanks to the continued evolution of smartphones Pixlr can handle quite a bit. What’s even more impressive to us is how Evan seems to do all of this without even using Blending Modes. If you’re not familiar with Blending Modes, they are available to Pixlr Essentials and Pro members and let you blend two photos together more seamlessly (or just in different ways). We encourage you to try blending modes, but if you want to do it just like Evan did, you can skip blending modes. It’s really all about experimenting with images until you end up with something you like.

Can anyone make these kinds of collages? 

You bet they can. In fact, after making this video we were inspired to make a few of our own. Here’s one we made with a set of images we took on a recent vacation camping in Joshua Tree National Park:


As you can see, we took a few key photos and simply repeated them again and again. It’s really as simple as taking a handful of photos and working very patiently — as you would to create nearly any kind of art:


Want to make one of these? Please do and point it out to us! We’ll feature the best ones on our Twitter and Instagram feeds.

Holiday Effects in Pixlr Mobile


Each year around this time, we release a few sets of holiday effects for Pixlr fanatics. This time around, we’ve got a collection of borders, overlays, and stickers that will bring out the winter in your photos. We’re also bringing back some old favorites, so check out Icebaby borders, Frostlicious overlays, and Snowkiss stickers — and of course some 2017 New Year’s stickers to ring in the new year. As always, the Eraser is helpful if you’re interested in adding multiple layers of effects for an extra-rich look. Add a layer, paint out your subject, as we did to remove the border from the hands in the photo above.

New Pack of Pixlr Overlays: Prax’s Patterns

patterns to overlay on your photos

We’re big fans of Colourlovers, a site for making color swatches and all kinds of other neat things. Their community has been around for many years, and they joined Autodesk not too long ago with the team from Creative Market. We’re always using Colourlovers to grab ready-made color swatches for our graphic design projects, but you may not know that they also have some very neat pattern-making tools. What’s great about their Seamless Pattern Maker is that you can make a very colorful pattern and download a copy of it in multiple sizes. We use it sometimes to make Overlays to use in our Pixlr app.

You can make your own overlays?

That’s right, you can actually make your own custom Overlays by using the Double Exposure option to add a patterned image to your photo. Once you add your second image, adjust the strength of the overlay, use blending modes (when possible) to make the overlay work better with your image, or use the Eraser to erase parts of the overlay. Once you realize this, you no longer have to settle for the hundreds and hundreds of Overlays already in Pixlr apps. 😘

Prax: an expert pattern maker

Within the Colourlovers community, Praxicalidocious — Prax for short — is an incredibly prolific swatch and pattern maker. It may be hard to believe, but using Colourlovers’ online pattern making tools Prax has made a whopping 14,569 patterns! She’s very good at it. It follows that she would be the perfect person to make patterns for Pixlr, so we commissioned her to help make the new Patterns content pack that you’ll see debuting today. Each of the 14 patterns in this pack are named after patterns she made on Colourlovers. We made a few to show you how we use them.

Double up and rotate

We used the Potatostamp option once on the photo below, but then we applied it a second time and rotated this second overlay for a bit of an offset effect. It ultimately gave this photo a bokeh-like patterned background. We also used the Eraser to paint out some of the effect on her figure.


Double up and saturate

We doubled up on the Swirl pattern and increased the Saturation (+10) and Vibrance (+20) because these swirls look so pretty in this landscape that has a lovely mirrored vanishing point. 

Spotlight a subject

These patterns have radial masks in the very center, which means the effect lessens toward the center of your photo. It can give a clarity to something in the center of a photo, especially portraits. But it works in landscapes, too, like this bridge photo below.


Those are just a few ways to use the new Patterns Overlay pack. This pack will be sticking around for good, but we’ll be promoting it in the app for the next week or so. We’ll also be spotlighting some of our favorite community made images on the @pixlr Instagram feed, so please tag the images you make #pixlr so we can find and feature them.

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Top 5 Most Reliable Free Font Sites

top 5 free font sites

It can be difficult and frustrating digging around the web to find the perfect font for a project — only to realize it comes with a formidable price tag or isn’t applicable for commercial use. To help save you some time down the line, we’re sharing our five favorite font sites you can comfortably use without having to worry about cost or usage limitations. In our humble opinion, these are the most reliable places to find free fonts. There are lots of really cool smaller sites that offer amazing and unique fonts, but these sites are the places that serve up lots of downloads — maybe think of them as commodity font sites. They work fast and don’t require you to jump through a lot of hoops to download fonts.

Once you download a few or a few dozen free fonts, our free online Pixlr Editor app for graphic designers lets you use fonts you’ve installed on your computer. Our Pixlr for Mac/PC app, which some people use to add text to photos, also lets you use fonts you’ve installed on your computer.

Font Squirrel

font squirrel best free font site

Font Squirrel is the number one best place to find quality, free, commercial use fonts. Unlike some of the other websites on this list, all of the fonts provided on this website are available for commercial use. So you don’t have to worry about adjusting your search options on their site in any shape or form. But, if you do want to expand your options, they offer a small but quality list of “Almost Free” fonts. Font Squirrel likely has the smallest library of fonts from this list, but the quality of the chosen fonts are undeniable. And they are unique. If you have a specific category you’d like to search, choose your options on the right-hand side. The download process is also the most straightforward. Simply click the download button next to the font you’ve chosen, unzip it, and double click the .otf or .ttf file to install. You can probably see why this is our go-to favorite font site. They make it easy for you to find and download fonts. No strings attached. And as if that wasn’t already great enough, this website also has a font identifier where you can upload an image of a font you have that you are trying to match. You can create an account and save favorites if you want.

What we like best: Well-designed site. The most useful features of any site or service. They even have full lists of glyphs and a way for you to enter text to see how it will look in a particular font face.

1001 fonts

1001 fonts free site

1001 fonts has a very large collection of fonts. They also have a specific section of fonts that are for commercial use only. You can access the commercial fonts directly from this link. Don’t be fooled by the direct-marketing style name of the site or its appearance. It’s definitely not as pretty as Font Squirrel, but rest assured quality is still in there. They have a very large and impressive collection of commercial free fonts that are high quality and easy to install. Because of this site’s popularity and lite community features, there are comments on a majority of the fonts available so you can easily take a glance at what people are saying prior to downloading. If you want to look through fonts from the category options, remember to click “Only view fonts that are free for commercial use” before starting to look through the lists. The download process is also quite simple. Simple click download on the right end of the font you like, unzip it, and double click the .otf or .ttf file to install. One thing to note is that the character map on the font web pages do not always accurately represent the characters that come with the font. Some of them show the font as having very few characters but when installed have the full set. This site also has an account option if you plan on becoming a frequent user.

What we like best: Quantity. There are a lot of fonts on this site.

Google Fonts

google fonts free

Shocking, we know. Google comes through for us again. All of the fonts on the Google Fonts site are open source. You can modify them or use them for commercial use, and they are all free. The one downfall to this website is that the categories are not very specific, especially if you’re looking for something unique. The display fonts category contains everything that isn’t serif, sans serif, handwriting, or monospace. So if you want something decorative — for example, a Halloween font — you might end up scrolling through pages and pages of the display fonts category before you find something that works. You can definitely try the search function, but unfortunately many of the font names are not even related to the style of font they represent. The download process also has a few more steps than some of the other font websites on our list. The good thing is you can download a collection of fonts that you like as a group. Look through the fonts and simply click “add to collection” for anything you’d like to download. Once you’ve chosen all your fonts, click the download button on the top right. A download box will pop up, select “Download the font families in your Collection as a .zip file”. Unzip and double click the .otf or .ttf files to install. This customization takes a little longer but it’s very useful.

What we like best: Elegance. This being Google, it pays attention to developers. You can use the web versions of Google Fonts to place fonts directly onto your website. In fact, that is something that Pixlr does in its own Pixlr Express web app. Also, their fonts are rock-solid and elegant. We’re big fans. In fact, Pixlr uses Lobster for our own display headlines sometimes.


Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.34.23 PM

DaFont is a great website to get some free commercial use fonts, but you need to know how to properly navigate it. The site has been around for a long time, and its age and short-sighted site design really shows. Further, there are a lot of possible details to include with fonts, but this site doesn’t always include them. And the font you download might not have a comprehensive collection of glyphs. Then again, you’ll find all kinds of crazy dingbat and symbol font collections on here. If you’re going to search for free commercial use fonts on this site, it’s probably best to start with a category. Here are three steps to get you on the right path:

  • Search a category
  • Select more options (Note “More options” drop-down)
  • Check off both “free” and “public domain”

It’s very easy to download fonts from this site once you get the search functions right. Simply click download next to the font you’d like to use. Unzip and double click the .otf or .ttf file to install.

What we like best: Quirky. This is *the place* for oddball, niche fonts. Need some Elvish runes for your Middle Earth inspired party flyer? They’ve got you covered.

Font Space

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 2.01.38 PM

Font Space is quite similar to DaFont. It has a great selection with tons of categories to choose from, and there are tons of user-submitted fonts, but its design is a little friendlier. Be aware that although Font Space has a big collection of unique fonts, the website does have a bit of a cluttered look with a few too many ads. If that’s just not your cup of tea, the other sites on the list should provide more than enough options. To ensure you’re only looking through free commercial use fonts, follow the steps below:

  • Pick a category
  • Check off “only show commercial use fonts”
  • Click apply

Simply select the font you’d like to use and click download. Same as the other sites: unzip and double click the .otf or .ttf file to install.

What we like best: Independent. People who submit fonts on this site seem to be talented solo designers — the kind of people you see on Creative Market. If you are particular about licensing, this site is incredibly explicit about your many options.

The five websites listed are in ascending order: From best to less best based on ease of use and quality of fonts they’ve curated. The first three on the list are the best of the best when it comes to free commercial use fonts, but it never hurts to have more options!


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Pixlr Rewind: Bringing Back Fan Favorites

usa flag

Every once in awhile, we dig up an old content pack from the past and bring it back. We’re calling it Pixlr Rewind. Today, we’re bring back an old fan favorite — a pack of flag overlays.

We’ve been watching the 2016 Olympics in Rio this past week, and we can see the 2016 Paralympics on the horizon next month, and all of this Olympic fever reminded us of the pack of flag overlays we made for the last World Cup event a few years back. We thought this would be a great time to dig up that content pack and add it to Autodesk Pixlr. In fact, we thought it would be best to add it to the app permanently for anyone out there who likes flags — whether you’re a soccer fan or just a fan of a particular country. You’ll find it in the Overlays on Pixlr for Mac/PC, Pixlr for iOS/Android, and Pixlr Express on the web.

This content pack doesn’t contain every flag from every country out there, but we know that our users love content packs — especially packs from the past that only ran for a limited time. Do you have a fan favorite pack from the past that you’d like to see make a comeback? Shout out to us on Twitter.

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Formatting and Sizing Images for eBay: a Seller’s Guide

how to guide for eBay sellers

For any e-commerce retailer, the photography associated with your online store is an integral part of marketing your products. Consumers are looking to establish trust with a business, and pictures can be a key part of beginning that relationship. For eBay sellers, a picture literally can be worth a thousand words. Let’s take a look at some sure-fire ways to enhance your pictures and start converting sales today. At the end of the post, we have a downloadable ready-to-use eBay Photo Template you can use with Pixlr Editor, our free layers-based graphic design app to make your product images.

What does eBay have to say

The first place to start is always with the rules, as the last thing you want as a seller is to violate eBay’s terms of service and get your store removed from the site. eBay says listings with high-quality pictures are 5 percent more likely to sell. Here’s a quick summary of their photography rules:

  • Image required: All listings must have at least one picture. The site used to allow image-less listings, but this has since changed.
  • Minimum sizing: All pictures must have a minimum of 500 pixels, but 1600 pixels is recommended for high-quality images.
  • No borders: Borders are not permitted. There are some exceptions if your image has a natural border or your product creates one, but it’s best to stay on the safe side with this one.
  • Watermarks allowed: Watermarks are allowed to brand your business, but not to add additional information, and it must not obscure the picture of the item you’re selling.
  • No text: Text on pictures is no longer allowed.
  • Limited stock photos: Stock photos are no longer allowed as the primary image for your listing.
  • File formats: Upload pictures as a .jpeg file or.png file for best results.

While these requirements are the most up-to-date, eBay is constantly changing their requirements to create the best end result for the buyer, so make sure you stay up to date with any further changes.

Lighting matters

Now that we know the rules, let’s take a look at how you can enhance your photos:

  • The first thing that can make a difference in your pictures is the use of lighting. Typically, natural light is the best way to showcase your product. Finding a place in your home where natural light hits a white wall means you can feature your product in the best lighting and without any distracting backgrounds. It’s also good for smaller items where a flash can distort the image or cause unwanted blurriness.
  • Natural light is typically best in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid shooting around noon as this is when the sun is at its harshest and will cause your products to look unnatural.
  • There are some instances when a flash can be handy, but they also can cause shadows or reflections. Try to avoid using the flash whenever possible.

Focusing (and fixing out of focus images)

Focus is another technique that all sellers should try to master. Smaller items can prove a challenge, but you want to strike a balance between staying in focus and getting as close to the object as possible so you can showcase any details. Most cellphone cameras come with an auto-focus feature, but take a few additional shots so you can pick the best of the bunch. If you can’t get close enough without distorting the image, apps like our own Pixlr Editor can help you crop and edit your image to make sure it’s crystal clear. For example, you can use the Sharpen tool (Filter > Sharpen) to help with images that are slightly out of focus.

Showcasing your product

Think of your online listing like a virtual store. Humans are visual creatures, and when we shop in stores the look and feel of items can make or break the sale. Your pictures should showcase your item and make the buyer feel like they are in the room with it. There are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Color matters: Make sure the coloring in the picture matches the color of your item so there are no surprises when they receive their shipment.
  • Stability matters: Tripods and mannequins can be great investments to still shaky hands and show off items of clothing.
  • More photos are better: Taking multiple pictures of the item can be a great way to showcase it from many angles. Who doesn’t want to look at an item from every angle before spending hard earned money?
  • No patterns, please: Shooting with solid backgrounds can avoid confusion or distractions and highlight the item you want to sell.
  • Contextual clues: If your item is hard to scale, consider using a common object or ruler in the picture so buyers can get an idea of the size.
A good eBay photo example
If it’s really important that you show size in context, you can always just use an actual ruler. No doubts about size with that.

Lots of third-party tools to help you

The internet has made editing and showcasing pictures easier than ever, so you don’t have to be a Photoshop whiz to get the best results. Pixlr Editor can help you to edit your photos quickly and create beautiful images for your listings. You can rotate, resize, smooth, focus and apply other filters to your image. Any small blurs or blemishes in your pictures can easily be fixed without having to redo the whole shoot. You may not have considered it, but collages are a great way to showcase a product from different angles without having to upload multiple images. By piecing together multiple images, you can give the user a comprehensive look at your product and encourage them to make a purchase. You can even use our free online Pixlr Express app to make quick collages.

collage eBay photo
You can upload tons of photos or you can make one photo really great by making it a creative collage. It’s a good way to add some curb appeal to a special piece.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to spruce up your eBay listings and create amazing photos that will encourage a seller to buy. Buyers are used to seeing the same boring stock photos in their online shopping, so creating a unique combination of high resolution images will boost your listing and hopefully convert more business.

Download our eBay photo template

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make eBay product photos that look great, download our Pixlr eBay Photo Template. You can open this .pxd file in our online Pixlr Editor app and add your product photos as new layers by simply copying and pasting into this file. We put a watermark logo example in there so you can see how easy it is to keep your watermark available to show/hide whenever you want. (More info about watermarking photos on our blog here.) Never used an app like Pixlr Editor or Photoshop before? Check out our Working with Layers intro video that will get you up and running quick and easy.

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Design Basics Video: Cut It Out

A few weeks back, we let you know about our new Pixlr Editor Design Basics series. It’s a series of videos made just for people who are new to Pixlr Editor. We know that tons of people stumble across our online app looking for a free Photoshop alternative, and we know that not all of them actually have experience using an app like this. If you are a Photoshop expert, try to remember the first time you opened that app with a goal in mind but no way to figure out how to accomplish it.

This week, we’re adding another new video that deals with one of the most important tasks of all: cutting stuff out. Whether you need to cut out a logo and make a transparent PNG or remove a background from a portrait, this video will help you figure it out. We try to keep things basic, lighthearted, and focused on the task at hand so you don’t have to wade through a bunch of 20-minute tutorials. Short and to the point. Check out this video if you’ve always wanted to learn how the magic wand and lasso tool works.

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Mother’s Day Photo Card Ideas: Selfie to Sentimental to Serious

Mother’s Day is this Sunday. You still have time to get her something great or plan something special. You know what mothers really love? Photos — especially when they’re of you. We put together some ideas to help you make your own Mother’s Day card using Autodesk Pixlr.

The Selfie as Mother’s Day Card

Maybe you like to take selfies. If so, you and mom are both going to be very happy with the new Pixlr MOM sticker pack. Take a photo and add a flowery MOM sticker. Maybe include a nice crafty border. You have an instant Mother’s Day card. This is probably one of the easiest ways to surprise your mom. You can take as many selfies as you need until you get one that’s just right. Still don’t like the way you look in your selfie? Ask your mom to take a selfie with you by her side. Add your stickers and effects and surprise her with it. She’ll appreciate that you took the time to make something creative with her that’s also a snapshot of a moment in time — that time you and mom had fun taking selfies.

Selfie as Mother's Day Card

Inspirational Quotes, Sentimental Feelings

The typical printed Hallmark-style greeting card at your local drugstore (how much longer will those be around?) is syrupy sweet. Sometimes sickly sweet. I always ask myself, “Is this really the kind of cheesy sentiment my mom will respond to?” Turns out — yes. I think back to all of the cards my mom gave me on my birthday and other special occasions. When they weren’t designed to be funny their sentiments were all about deep seriousness, sincerity, and emotional well-being. They were flowery and full of cliches — but I recognized that my mom genuinely responded to the sentiment expressed. She might not have been able to say deeply serious things to me face to face, so she did it with sentimental cards. If you’re worried that you’re veering too far into sentimental territory, maybe you are. Then again, maybe you’re hitting the really sweet spot with something like this:

Inspirational Quote for Mother's Day

Straightforward and Simple

If you want to go the sincere and traditional route, dig into Pixlr and uncover all the other stickers and overlays that will complement these MOM stickers. Grab a word art quotation from the Inspiration stickers or maybe something lovable from the Amore sticker pack. (There’s even one about moms in the Amore pack.) If you really want to make your card have an interesting sheen, use the Stylize options to turn your photo into watercolor,  silk, or pencil art. You can control the amount of stylize effect you add, so even just softening up your photo with these effects can make your photo look more like traditional art. That kind of painting effect is something you see a lot of on traditional greeting cards. You can do it more strikingly like we did in the photo above, or just do it in a subtle way like we did here with pencil effect just on the bottom half of the photo:

make a mother's day card

The opposite side of the sentimental spectrum is outsized creativity. If your mom has her own tattoos or sneers at anything unoriginal or loves modern art then by all means get as creative as you can. Again, you can use the Stylize effects, but use some of the more radical ones like Halftone or Litho. If you need to add texture or interestingness to your photo, there are literally hundreds of overlays that will add strong or subtle effects to your photos.

Make Hilarity Ensue

Or, just make something fun or even silly. I would wager that most moms do not want a silly or comedic card with dumb puns on it. But some moms do. If your mom is one of those — congratulations! Super silly moms are the most fun kind of moms. So don’t hesitate to create your own message using the text options in Pixlr. You’ve got a ton of crazy fonts to use if you need them to make something like this:

Fun mother's day cards

Those are just a few ideas to get you started, but we always like seeing what Pixlr users make. If you make something you’re proud of and want to share, tag it #pixlrmom. We’ll feature a few of our favorites all week on the Pixlr Instagram account.


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Instagram Artist Spotlight: Priska Wettstein


We’ve been profiling some interesting Instagram artists lately, and this time around we want to introduce you to Priska Wettstein. “Hotel owner and part time picture taker” as she describes herself, she is a social media artist from frosty Dawson City in Yukon, Canada. Coveting ravens, arctic scenes, and wild nature held within a painted, dreamlike atmosphere, Priska’s work will not disappoint. In addition to her intriguing composition and artistically edited works, she sometimes includes thought provoking quotes, phrases, and poems as part of her work. Priska’s stunning use of color and texture will pique your imagination. It’s a feed full of considerable inspiration.

Priska is the owner of the Aurora Hotel (think Northern Lights). Referred to by Priska as the Land of the Midnight Sun & Aurora Borealis, Dawson City and its surrounding area have been featured in well known literary works by such writers as Jack London (some of his most famous works include The Call of the Wild and White Fang), Robert W. Service (known for poems from his book, Songs of a Sourdough) and Pierre Berton (writer of Canadian History). Pierre Berton’s childhood home in Dawson City is also a well-known writer’s retreat. Judging from her work, it seems fitting that Priska Wettstein, hotel owner, artist and writer, is part of this frostbitten landscape. She pulls unusual beauty from it regularly and shares it with the world.

You can follow Priska Wettstein on Instagram, check out her website,, and find her works available for purchase (mainly for fiction book covers) at Red Edge Images.