Pixlr for Windows and Mac by Autodesk Review – Best Freeware Photo Editor for desktop


If you have ever sought recommendations for an effective photo editing solution, you need no sort of introduction to Pixlr — one of the most popular photo editing solution for Smartphones and other devices through its online version, which had even ensured its presence in top-50 sites of 2013 list by Time. Now, however, to satisfy those who needed these photo editing features in desktop devices as well, Pixlr has brought dedicated apps for both Windows and Mac. In this post, to understand this desktop tool and understand how easier it is to edit photographs using Pixlr, we’ll be doing an in-detail review of Pixlr for Windows and Mac. First, we shall have an introduction to the tool as well as one glance on minimum system requirements of Pixlr for Desktop.

Pixlr by Autodesk – A detailed Review!

As you might know, Pixlr is a solution that lets users edit images from variety of devices, including Android, Windows and Mac. Currently, Pixlr is owned by Autodesk, one of the most popular software corporations in the world. Using this tool, you can edit images and apply certain effects to them, regardless your technical knowledge about editing photos. Talking about Pixlr for Desktops, both Windows and Mac versions have decent minimum requirements that almost everyone will be able to use the tool. And, despite having paid membership plans [we’ll talk about them later in the review], Pixlr for Desktop is a free to use.

Minimum System Requirements

  • For Windows devices: Windows 7, 1.0 GHz Intel/AMD Processor, 1 GB RAM, 1024-by-768 pixels display & 450MB storage space. It also requires OpenGL 2.0 compatible Video card with 128 MB of VRAM.
  • For Macintosh devices: Mac OS X v10.9 or higher, 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM and free space of 400MB. It also requires the same OpenGL 2.0 compatible Video card with 128 MB of VRAM for Mac also.

Now, we will move on to our experience with Pixlr for Desktop, exploring various aspects of this tool. First, we’ll have a glance on installation of Pixlr for Windows.

Downloading & Installing Pixlr for Desktop

Pixlr for Desktop, is a free photo editing solution and can be downloaded from official site of Pixlr. Installation setup of Pixlr for Desktop weighs 34 MB and the installation process will not take more than a few minutes. During process of installation, you will have to accept its License agreement and confirm location of installation. In any case, you can complete Pixlr installation in no time.

Pixlr Review Install

Getting Started

As soon as you finish the installation, you can see the shortcut icon of Pixlr on your desktop and clicking it will launch dashboard of Pixlr for Desktop. And the best part is Pixlr takes only a few seconds to load, unlike Photoshop and a lot of other ‘lightweight’ editors. Now, to open an image in Autodesk Pixlr, you can go to File à Open à select image. It is possible to adjust the zooming level using mouse, by the way.

Pixlr File Opened

[quote_right]It has to be noted that Pixlr can also show details such as metadata of images along with integrated options to share photo online.[/quote_right]

Now, you can start editing the photograph — add effects, adjust levels, insert stickers and text, set up borders and a lot more. Doesn’t the process sound simple? Well, we will now move on to effects section of Pixlr for Desktop. It has to be noted that Pixlr can also show details such as metadata of images along with integrated options to share photo online.

Talking of toolbars, team behind Pixlr has set up that section very well. Along with traditional toolbar in top section, you have access to a graphic-based toolbox in left side of window. Each box denotes a particular category of effects & tools and you can choose according to your convenience.

Effects Toolbar

For instance, when you click on ‘Stylize’, it will open another section that features a thumbnail-based view of effects. In this way, user interface of Pixlr desktop is something great.

Effects to Suite your Convenience

We have already mentioned that effects and tools have been categorized in the most convenient way through use of an intuitive toolbox. We can say nothing but ‘awesome’ while commenting on collection of effects from Pixlr library. It has to be noted that, except the case of a few effects, you have to download effects from Pixlr servers in order to apply them on an image. To do that, you just have to click on the cloud button. Depending upon the effect, Pixlr may take a few minutes or seconds to complete the download process. As soon as it has been completed, you can click to apply that particular effect — simple as that!


Take a look at this video where guys at Autodesk has shared an instant tutorial on how to create awesome Holiday Cards using Pixlr.

Membership & Features

[pull_quote_right]On the other hand, if you have purchased Pro version of Pixlr by paying $14.99 per year, you will be having access to a number of features such as Masking tools, Blend Modes, Enhanced colour controls and lots more.[/pull_quote_right]

Capability of Pixlr for Desktop depends upon whether you have connected your Pixlr account with the app. If you’ve not connected your account, you can have essential features such as refine tools, cropping tools and stylize tools etc. However, if you connect your free Pixlr account with app, you can have access to more effects, enhanced control in double exposure tools, etc. On the other hand, if you have purchased Pro version of Pixlr by paying $14.99 per year, you will be having access to a number of features such as Masking tools, Blend Modes, Enhanced colour controls and lots more.

Pixlr for Mac – Installation and App screenshots

What We Loved Most

Despite the fact that we were really impressed by almost every aspect of Pixlr as a photo editor, we loved a few of its features very much. Some of them are:

  • Although popular among experienced photographers, Double Exposure effect has been set up in Pixlr in an effective way that requires no sorts of previous experience.
  • Pixlr has brought a huge number of photo effects and those effects in Overlay section of Pixlr grabbed our attention quite quickly.
  • In addition, Pixlr lets you turn off EXIF information of output image while saving image along with an option to adjust image quality. By turning of EXIF information, you will be able to reduce file size!


Our Verdict

Recalling what we have mentioned above, Pixlr for Desktop is indeed a great choice as far as you’re concerned about images that are visually beautiful. Despite having an easy-to-understand user interface, we cannot degrade editing features of Pixlr because some features such as Masking and double exposure tools etc. are on advanced category. But the only thing we disliked about the app is that the effects, border, and other filters are required to be downloaded separately after the installation. They should have been bundled with the app setup file and made ready to use on the first run.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top