Picnik

Picnik is an easy to use online image editor. When you're inserting images on your website, it's really important to make them look like they 'belong' on the website, rather than just being placed. Picnik makes this exceptionally easy. With a few clicks, you can crop and rotate your images, select a frame or a rounded corner, or give your image a shadow border. You can add shapes, graphics, or text with a variety of fonts, and if you feel so inclined, you can even do what the pros do and adjust exposure levels. There's no need to purchase photoshop, or even download any software. The best part is it integrates seamlessly with Shift, so you never have to leave your website.

Once you've uploaded your image, in the file manager, click edit. If you don't know how to upload your images, just watch our 'file manager' tutorial. This brings up Picnik. You can do lots with Picnik, but if you're just wanting to use this for your website, just stay on the 'edit' tab.

Along the top you've got your categories, and then on the left you've got your contextual menu, showing features available within that category. There are dozens of features. We won't get into all of them here, we'll just go over some of the basics. Essentially, just select your feature, tweak it, and apply your changes. When you're done, click the 'save' button on the top right, and your changes will be pushed through to Shift.

Picnik is a company in the States, that provides this online service. You'll notice that the bulk of the features are freely available - some of the features are labelled 'premium', which are paid features. If you'd like to use these features, simply follow the prompts, and sign up with Picnic. You'll also notice that you have other tabs, home, library, and save and share. These tabs are to do with other services Picnik provides, but they have nothing to do with your website. Feel feel free to check them out. You can use most of their services for a low monthly fee. 123 Online doesn't have any official relationship between Picnik, so please direct all your support or accounting questions regarding Picnik to Picnik themselves.

Your 'basic edits' category is where you'd do things like crop your images, rotate, or resize them. Your 'frames' category will be one that you'll use all the time. We recommend using frames on all your images. You don't have to go all out, but using a frame as subtle as 'rounded edges' or a 'drop shadow' will make an enormous amount of difference as to how your images look on your site.

There's one important thing to note about rounded edges - a great effect is combining rounded edges with dropshadow. In order to do this, first select 'rounded edges', and tick the 'transparent edges' box, and click apply. You can then select 'drop shadow' and the shadows will appear in the appropriate places. A 'polaroid' frame are great frames to have for your team member shots for your about us pages.

With 'text', you can add in text to your photo - just type the message, choose your font, and click add. You can then choose your text colour, or size on the right hand side. You can move your text by dragging it, or rotate it by clicking and dragging the rotation icon in the middle.

You can insert stickers or shapes in the same way. Just click and drag. With any element, if you right click on it, you'll have the option of rotating it, bringing it forward or backward, flipping it, or deleting it.

With 'effects', you can make your images black and white, make them look arty, or even look like your photo was taken in the 1960s.

You may want to have a look through the other categories too. For instance, in touch up, you can whiten teeth, get rid of red eye, or even get rid of blemishes. Have an explore around, and have some fun.

To save your changes, and push it through to your website, just click 'save'. Don't worry if your thumbnail still shows your old image, when you refresh your browser, your new image will appear.

Don't worry if you've made some changes, and later down the track, you decided to revert to your original image. Even if you've lost the original file from your computer, your image won't be lost. To revert back to an original image, just go back to your file manager, click 'properties', click 'versions', and select your original image, and click close. Your original file will now be available to edit.