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Tools: Give your pics some love:7 image editors anyone can use

Email marketing lets you have awesome images and pictures peppered in your campaigns for added interest and to reinforce the point you’re trying to make. Keep in mind, though, that the gist of the message should be understood without the images.

Sometimes, though, an image needs to be cropped a bit, or you want to play around with effects, and while CakeMail allows for basic image manipulation (shrinking and cropping), if you want more control, here are a few of my favourite apps:

PixelMator

Exclusively made for Macs, this is a gem of an app. Flexible and fast, it has a slew of tutorials and resources for you if you want to learn how to get the most of it, and plenty of easy to use tools with a beautiful interface. Mostly though, at $30 to buy, it’s affordable for businesses of all sizes.

Bonus: it’s made by a small company that’s super friendly, so they get a lot of love from me for that.

Gimp

I have a love/hate relationship with Gimp. I love the fact that it’s free, that’s a community program (i.e.: open source) and that, if you know how to create splices, writes the HTML code for you. I don’t use the code per se, but it’s a nice touch. That being said typography isn’t easy with Gimp, which as a wordy person, is my biggest pain point.

Bonus: it’s PC and Mac compatible.

Quick hint: to resize images, you’re looking for the Transform tool, and make sure you lock your proportions.

Pixlr

A web based, free service with a strong community that helps each other out, Pixlr Editor lets you edit and resize images quickly and easily, while Pixlr express (for desktop and mobile) lets you create collages, montages, add effects, borders and stickers in a flash. The team also has an inspiring blog that highlights the work of its users, it lets you save your images on your computer, Flickr, Facebook and Picasa.

Quick hint: Make sure you have a solid internet connection, especially when you’re saving…

Photoshop

It’s impossible to talk about image editing and not reference Photoshop – it’s practically a verb. Tutorials (by Adobe as well as others) abound, and there’s no shortage of love for the program online. You can become a member of the Adobe Creative cloud – a single app subscription will set you back $30 if you subscribe monthly.

MS Paint

If ALL you’re looking to do is quickly crop and resize, you can use Paint, included for free on Windows PCs (Go into your Accessories to find it).

Sketch

If you want to do more than crop or edit an image and you know what you’re doing (read, they have fewer tutorials than the average bear), Sketch is a good option. It’s a tool used to create vector images, so it goes beyond the scope of email marketing. It’s layout is interesting: your different items (layers) are off to one side and your tools at the top. Working on a new image is as simple as creating a new “Page”. They make it easy to group, scale, transform and have a nifty mobile app that lets you see what your design looks like on your phone or tablet. It comes with a price tag of $80, plus $5 for the mobile app (Sketch Mirror).

Color

If you’re looking for a color (but you’re not sure which color) you can try Color over at HailPixel (Devin Hunt). Move your cursor around, click to save a hex and move on.

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Author Mireille Tessier

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