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Picasa – Google’s free picture and image editing and management tool

by Kelly Walsh on October 13, 2010


Following up on Sunday’s post about free image and picture editing tools …

My feature post this week examined 5 free picture and image editing tools that I had read about in this article in Campus Technology magazine this month. One of them was Picasa from Google, and unlike the other applications which were purely online tools, Picasa had to be downloaded and installed. I’ve done that now and wanted to share my experience with this app.

The download and installation was quick and simple, and Picasa searched my hard drive for picture and image files for me to work with. It was then easy to try out some of the image editing tools. [One slightly odd artifact of the installation was that it found an old Desktop copy and images in it, and placed those images (about 10 of them) on my current desktop. I had never seen these pictures. That was weird.]

The picture editing functionality included a variety of picture correcting and enhancing tools, grouped into three tab sections: “Basic” functions like cropping, redeye reduction, color and contrast adjustments, etc.; a “Tuning” tab with sliders on it for Fill Light, Highlights, Shadows, and Color Temperature; and an “Effects” tab with options like Tint, Glow, Saturation, Sepia, Sharpen, and more. There is also a built in button to access the web based ‘Picnik’ applet, which provides more effects and functionality (I’ll be checking this one out more in the upcoming weekend’s post).

There’s a lot of functionality geared towards working over the Internet – uploading to create “web albums”, emailing, printing, shopping, etc. There is also a nice collage function that creates an instant collage from pictures you select, and a similar Movie function.

It looks like Picasa is a pretty useful free tool if you work with photos a lot. If you’re a user, please feel free to weigh in and share your experiences, likes, tips, etc.

Stop back again this weekend when we learn about some more free photo and image editing apps, and wrap up this brief series of posts with recommendations on which of the ten or so apps we’ll have looked at seem to be the most useful. 

By the way, thanks to readers … who commented on Sunday’s post and provided names of other free tools for image editing – I’ll be checking those out this coming weekend!

Also, thanks to Kristina Campbell for this article in the Vancouver Observer, about last year’s popular post, “5 Reasons Why Educators Need To Embrace Internet Technologies“!

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
A closer look at 5 free picture and image editing tools
Video blog post, “A closer look at 5 free picture and image editing tools”
30 Posts About Free Education Technology Tools & Resources


Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer at The College of Westchester, in White Plains, NY, where he also teaches. In 2009, Walsh founded He frequently delivers presentations and training on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. His eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book is available here. Walsh became the Community Administrator for the Flipped Learning Network in June of 2016. In his "spare time" he also writes, records, and performs original music ... stop by and have a listen!

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, or those of other writers, and not those of my employer. - K. Walsh]

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