In the world of photo editing, Pixlr and Photoshop are two software solutions that are often compared and contrasted. While they both offer a range of tools and features for retouching images, the truth is that they are quite different in terms of pricing, design, and functionality.

Are you wondering which software is right for you? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll delve into the key features of each software and explore their strengths and weaknesses, so you can make an informed decision.

Whether you’re a professional photographer or a hobbyist, we’ll help you navigate the complex world of photo editing software and choose the one that’s perfect for your needs. So, buckle up and get ready to explore the fascinating world of Pixlr and Photoshop.

Key Takeaways

  • Adobe Photoshop is a comprehensive suite of image editing tools aimed at professionals and comes with a substantial price tag, with a subscription-based payment scheme.
  • Pixlr is a free web-based photo editor with a number of premium features, offering granular editing options, graphical templates and elements, and simple photo tweaks. It is geared towards everyone and promises to always be free to use, with subscription options available for unlocking deeper features and removing ads altogether.
  • Canva is a no-nonsense, easy-to-use graphics editor that’s free to use and comes with a premium option for teams and businesses, offering access to thousands of stock elements and graphics.
  • GIMP is a free alternative to Adobe options that comes with a more professional set of tools than Pixlr, making it well worth a try for those working in a professional context but needing to save money.
  • The main advantage of Photoshop over Pixlr is its extensive editing capabilities and advanced tools for professional illustrators and designers.
  • Pixlr’s biggest strength is its accessibility to everyone, making it a great option for quick and simple edits, while alternatives like Canva and GIMP offer additional options for specific needs.

Adobe Photoshop Overview

The thing to note about adobe photoshop is that it’s a comprehensive image editing solution. The depth of control and volume of editing tools on offer here are included to justify adobe’s far from insubstantial price tag.

If you’re a professional in need of in-depth image editing, adobe photoshop is the way to go. Pixlr isn’t able to come close to the control of Photoshop, but it’s not trying to either!

Adobe Photoshop Features

Adobe Photoshop comes with a suite of pro-grade image editing features that make it a firm favorite of photographers and editors everywhere. The list of tools available with Photoshop is huge. We outline some of the most noteworthy below.


There are multiple ways to retouch and “lift” images in Photoshop. Blemishes, unwanted details and dull colors can be corrected very easily. Photoshop has years of development behind it and retouch photo editing has been a core part of its offering since the beginning.

As a result, the accuracy and ease of use for these features in particular stand out in a way that other editing software struggles to match.

Transforming and Remixing

Masking and layering are another element of Adobe Photoshop that have years of development behind them. Elements from multiple images can be cropped, masked and layered seamlessly.

The “intelligence” of these features has come a long way over the past few years; the level of detail and control possible with Photoshop is remarkable.


Adobe Photoshop is packed full of illustration features and brush types that cater directly to digital illustrators. Digital illustration just feels right on Photoshop, especially if you’re using an iPad with an Apple pencil.

Neural Filters

The professional price tag that comes with Adobe Photoshop funds the development of groundbreaking new features like their neural filters. With machine learning and AI, Photoshop lets users tweak photos and illustrations in a way that can sometimes feel uncanny.

Add new layers, completely change someone’s expression or eradicate blemishes with the click of a button.

Adobe Photoshop Pricing

Pro-grade photo editing comes with a substantial price tag. In recent years Adobe products have pivoted to a subscription-based payment scheme. Adobe Photoshop is priced differently if you’re an individual, business or teacher.

  • Individuals pay $20.99 a month for the standard version of Photoshop
  • For $79.99 a month, businesses can access the entire suite of Adobe products, including Photoshop
  • The Adobe products plan above can be accessed by students and teachers for $19.99 a month

Pixlr Overview

When exploring the Pixlr vs Photoshop question, it’s important to give credit where it’s due. The Pixlr editor is free to use while offering an impressive number of premium features. Pixlr is a web-based photo editor, meaning you do your work right within your browser.

Users can use Pixlr for free and encounter the occasional ad, or they can subscribe to unlock deeper features and remove ads altogether.

Pixlr Features

pixlr screenshot

While Adobe wins the Pixlr vs Photoshop debate when it comes to the number of features, the Pixlr photo editor is no slouch.

Background Remover

One of the most common image editing tools that people need for posts on social media is an image background remover. Pixlr uses intelligent AI tools to make this process astonishingly simple. The newly cropped image is nearly always flawless.


Granular Editing Options

Pixlr is fantastic for quickly adding new effects and filters on the fly. A surprisingly long list of edits can be seamlessly applied and tweaked using draggable sliders and toggle buttons.

Graphical Templates and Elements

Pixlr makes it simple to create new content with minimal effort. A number of tools are included that significantly reduce the amount of expertise needed to produce impressive graphics and design projects.

Pixlr comes stocked with a huge catalogue of pre-made elements that can be quickly added and tweaked for your work.

Photo Editing Software

Simple photo tweaks are refreshingly easy to accomplish with Pixlr. All the usual software features you’d expect are ready and waiting.

Pixlr Pricing

The developers of Pixlr promise that their software will always be free to use. For users who want to work without ads, deepen their available features and access extra materials, two subscriptions are available:

  • $7.99 a month gains access to Pixlr premium
  • $14.99 a month unlocks the Pixlr “creative pack” with tonnes of extra overlays, stock content and AI extras.

Photoshop Advantages

Adobe isn’t necessarily competing directly with Pixlr. One is a free piece of editing software that can achieve some of the same things as Photoshop. The other is a comprehensive suite of editing tools aimed at professionals.

For this reason, the main advantage of Photoshop vs Pixlr is how extensively you’re able to edit your photos and design your projects. For professional illustrators, for example, the comparison just isn’t there. If you’re working in a professional environment with advanced demands, you’ll need Photoshop.

Pixlr Advantages

Pixlr is geared towards everyone and this is definitely its biggest strength. A direct comparison of Pixlr and Photoshop isn’t entirely fair. It’s worth mentioning though, that if you just need to quickly remove a background, spruce up an image or throw a graphic together, Pixlr is phenomenal and won’t cost you a penny.

If your requirements are light or infrequent, Pixlr is the way to go.


Pixlr and Adobe aren’t the only two options out there. Competitors exist that might be worth considering.


is a no-nonsense, easy-to-use graphics editor that’s fantastic for preparing quick posts for social media. It’s free to use and comes with a premium option for teams and businesses. Premium users gain access to thousands of stock elements and graphics.


is a free alternative to options from Adobe that comes with a more professional set of tools than Pixlr. If you’re working in a professional context but need to save some money, GIMP is well worth a try.



As we come to the end of our discussion on Adobe and other graphic design tools, it’s important to remember that more isn’t always better. While Adobe undoubtedly offers an extensive range of tools, it may not be necessary to invest in them all, particularly if you’re not a professional designer. Instead, it’s worth exploring the many free tools available, such as Canva or Pixlr, to see if they meet your needs.

But the real question is, what makes a good graphic design tool? Is it the number of features, the ease of use, or the price? These are all important factors to consider when choosing a tool, but ultimately, it comes down to what works best for you and your unique creative process.

So whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, take some time to explore the many graphic design tools available, and find the one that allows you to unleash your creativity in the most effective way possible.

Remember, great design isn’t about the tools you use, but the passion and creativity you bring to the process. So go forth and create something amazing!