If you’re seeing a blank white space (or negative space) next to Pixlr Editor or Pixlr Express for the web, you are probably using ad-blocking software or extensions in your browser. While we’ve always provided free apps (desktop, mobile, web), we sometimes need to run ads in some locations. We don’t currently offer a way to remove those ads as part of a Pixlr Pro subscription, but it’s something we may offer in the future.
If you’re a Safari user who has installed OS X 10.11 El Capitan, you may run into a troubling issue when saving images in both Pixlr Editor and Pixlr Express: Your browser may freeze. Over time, Apple has restricted how Flash apps work in Safari, in some cases restricting Flash apps from saving to a local directory. This is an issue we are pursuing with Apple, but for now it’s a known issue that is outstanding.
Luckily, there is a workaround. You can, of course, switch to using Chrome or Firefox to edit images in Pixlr Editor and Pixlr Express. But you can also set Safari to allow Pixlr apps to complete saves. Here’s how:
First, open a tab to Pixlr Editor or Pixlr Express or simply visit pixlr.com.
Head to Safari > Preferences and choose the Security tab. Click on Plug-in Settings.
Adobe Flash Player should be automatically selected if you have visited pixlr.com. Change the settings for pixlr.com to “Run in Unsafe Mode” and click the Done button.
That will allow you to run these Flash-based apps in Safari. Of course, we completely understand if the phrase “Run in Unsafe Mode” scares you into using Chrome or Firefox instead!
One handy integration for Pixlr Editor and Pixlr Express is the ability to open images directly from Google Drive. However, if you tried to open an image from Google Drive and ended up on this page, it is because you clicked “Deny” when given the option to connect your Google Drive to Pixlr Editor or Pixlr Express.
Not to worry. This is easy to fix. Simply open Google Drive, choose “Open with” and select the Pixlr app you want to use. When confronted with the choice to enable this integration, choose “Allow”.
Need help? Check out this article which walks you through it step by step.
If you open up Pixlr Editor or Pixlr Express and see a grey or blank screen, you’ll want to reinstall Flash.
Pixlr Editor and Pixlr Express are Flash-based apps, and from time to time Adobe updates Flash.
If your computer is running an older version of Flash and you see only a grey screen, a quick update or reinstallation of Flash should get you back up and running.
Visit this page on Adobe’s site, which will show you which version of Flash you’re running. You may be prompted to update Flash on your computer.
Note: You will need to restart your browser before launching Pixlr Editor or Pixlr Express.
Note for Chromebook users: You may not be able to reinstall Flash manually. Flash may be tied to an automatic Chrome update for Chromebook users.
Of the many options in Pixlr Express that let you add all kinds of neat effects to your photos, the space overlays are some of the most popular. You can lay on the cosmic feeling thick or dial it down to give just a hint of stars and constellations. One of our favorite ways to use the space overlays are in conjunction with a silhouette or near silhouette to make what looks like a work of art. It’s easy to do, and we’re going to show you how to whip this up in Pixlr Express.
Step 1: Take a good silhouette photo
You can do this by taking a photo of something that’s strongly backlit. If you use a camera, you can play with your exposure settings. If you’re using an iPhone, you can press on one area of the screen, and your iPhone will set the exposure based on where you placed your finger. Hold down for two seconds, and the exposure will lock. Very useful. Other devices may have similar options, but the basic rule here: The more of a contrast you can get between your whitest white and your blackest black, the better. We started with a photo we took at a wedding on the beach of a wedding-goer watching the sun set.
Step 2: Edit the contrast, hue, vibrance, saturation
If you don’t have a strong silhouette, you may want to bump up the contrast of your photo with the contrast tool. We did 100%. Your photo inevitably has some color in it, and you might want to play with this color. For example, you’ll probably want to bump up the vibrance and saturation. We definitely recommend that. Then, you might even want to change the hue to give this photo an even more otherworldly look. A purple sky looks pretty cool, so consider changing the hue.
Another thing to think about here is what’s in the background of your image. If the white or positive space is just plain white, some texture will make your space effects stand out better. Consider adding a bokeh effect. These work great in conjunction with space overlays, and you can control the amount of bokeh by dialing it down if you only want to suggest these lens-flare-like effects. Here, we chose a strong bokeh effect, “”citrus.””
Step 3: Add your space effects
Then, start adding your space overlays. There are 40 different space overlays in the app, with a balance of light and dark options that will work better with different types of backgrounds. You can add multiple space overlays, although too many may darken your image too much. Not sure which space overlays are the best for your image? Use the randomizer. It will quickly cycle through the options and save you time. Some of the “”stars”” won’t show up in your black zone with some of the overlays, some will. Experiment to get the ones you like.
Also, you can rotate the overlays and control the intensity, which is very handy in placing constellations of stars in the perfect location. We added three or four in different intensity, including “”Ascella”” and the very pretty “”Enif”” overlay.
Finish with a good frame or texture
Those are the basics of space silhouettes, but we like to finish up with a canvas effect to make our image look even more like a work of art. Some of our favorite canvas effects are “”weave”” and “”paper.”” We added a 31% weave overlay, lightened the image a tiny bit, and then topped it off with a black-and-white border that works well with the silhouette of the image.
Pixlr Express for the web and Pixlr Express on mobile devices both have a handy collage feature, which lets you take up to 25 images and turn them into a collage. The easiest way to use this feature is to head to Pixlr Express for the web, upload some photos, and play around with the settings.
- A few things to note about this collage tool:
You can edit each photo individually in Pixlr Express if you like by clicking on the paintbrush editing icon.
- Drag your images from collage box to collage box to rearrange.
- The final size of your collage image will depend on the ratio of the final image (height and width ratio). The longest side will be 1200 pixels. A square image (1:1 ratio) will end up being 1200×1200 pixels.
- The collage feature isn’t available in Pixlr Desktop at this time, so your best bet may be to use the web version.