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No Photoshop? Try free LunaPic instead

I work with a good number of smaller libraries that don’t have professional graphic artists on staff and also rarely have the money or expertise to use high-level design software, such as Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro.  Oftentimes, our clients simply need a way to resize or crop images for their websites. Maybe do some scaling or add borders, but usually nothing too heavy-duty.  Tools like Canva and Crello are great for creating new graphics, but not really designed for editing existing ones.  There’s a niche here for a light duty editing service that I didn’t think was being filled…until I ran across LunaPic.

Right off the bat, the user interface for LunaPic is kind of clunky, especially if you’re accustomed to the arrangements of more robust editing software. It’s apparently ad-supported, so a significant part of the viewport is taken up by ads. It’s not clear about what the differences are between “Filters,” “Effects” and “Art.” But there’s sure a lot to choose from if you’re inclined to experiment. There are also options for animations that can be applied to images, and a fairly large selection of adjustments (e.g., motion blur, red eye reduction).

One area where LunaPic excels is its ability to import and export to third-party services. Your finished images can be shared directly to Twitter, Imgur, Google Photos, Facebook or Pinterest. Interestingly, it appears that images can be imported directly from Instagram, but not exported to that platform. LunaPic can also import images from a URL.

There’s a lot to explore in LunaPic–probably more than most people need for minor editing. It would be easy to go overboard with all of the available options. In short, it has a lot of choices and will also manage those everyday editing tasks that many libraries have, without staff having to deal with the intense learning curves of professional-level software. Oh, and it’s free, which is something Photoshop will never be.

Play with it and let me know what you think!