A PicMonkey Guide: The Layout

So here's the deal. Photoshop is expensive, like really, really expensive. It's nice and fancy, and everyone who's a big deal blogger obviously uses it for photo editing, and it makes things look super nice. However, the money I'd spend on Photoshop is money I'd prefer to put towards other purchases at the moment (though buying it is on my 101 list). In the meantime what have I been using?

Greatest invention ever. Do you remember when everyone was using Picnik and making all those cheesy texts on pictures? Well, it closed down and directed traffic towards PicMonkey, and I've been using it since to edit my pictures. Unless I'm posting things on my phone (in which case, that's a whole other article), PicMonkey is my main squeeze. It's great for basic editing, design, and more. Pretty much every picture on here has been through PicMonkey, including my header, my sidebar picture, my about page picture and more. I'll be going through a series on how to use PicMonkey and some of my tricks. 

Firstly, you should know you don't need an account, and you don't need to pay for using PicMonkey. However there are some pretty cool options under Royale, and I believe the monthly is fee is pretty cheap.

Here is a pic I'm working on for a post picture.
The Sidebar- Along the left hand side you'll see a line of symbols. These will take you to the different sections of PicMonkey. Right now it's on the crop symbol, meaning it's on the Basic Edits page. This is the page you'll most likely use the most as it has all the general editing tools like saturation, brightness, resizing, and cropping.
  • Wand Symbol (Effects)- This will take you to the pre-made filters page. You can play with the fading effects of these filters, but I overall don't recommend it. They tend to look very obvious if not done right.
  • Lipstick Symbol (Touch-Up)- As the lipstick symbol suggests, this is for any touching up. Again, you probably won't be using this as much. I use it if I have a particularly nasty pimple on a close-up of my face or lighting made me my teeth look a little less than white. Otherwise I don't use it. Also, a lot of the effects are under Royale.
  • Tt Symbol (Text)- The text symbol is leads to a whole bevy of fonts to choose from. While it doesn't have my favorite (Century Gothic), it has a huge selection. Any picture you see with text on it, I probably used PicMonkey. My header is made with the "Great Vibes" font.
  • Butterfly Symbol (Overlays)- This is great for adding icons and such into your pictures. I use it a lot for the square, rectangle, and circle overlays. You can play with the colors and fading, so it's nice for adding text to pictures where it's hard to make it appear.
  • Frame Symbol (Frames)- Awesome if you want a frame effect. I never want a frame effect for blogging (notice how I got rid of the premade border from Blogger), so I never use this. It is fun for Polaroid looks though!
  • Patch Symbol (Textures)- These are really cool if you want to add a sort of texture to your picture (like it was printed on or under something else). Again not an area I use much because I like my pictures to be as simple as possible.
  • Snowflake Symbol (Themes)- This is a lot of fun to explore if you're searching for something particular. PicMonkey doesn't spread these out into the other categories, so often you can find Christmas, Halloween, etc themed overlays and texts that might work even better than what you first saw. Also, side note, if you want to make a circle cutout, use School U and under frames select the circle. Just change the background from green to transparent and save your file as a .png!
Top Bar- Along the top you'll see a floating bar. This will let you save, undo, redo, etc. A nice addition is the symbol that looks like two pieces of paper and a down bar. This allows you to flatten your image so if you're working with multiple overlays and texts, you don't have to worry about accidentally move everything around.

Bottom Left Corner- Zoom bar, obviously ;).

There's a few options on the main page for collaging and design, but I'll get to those in later tutorials!

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