The first tab in the PicMonkey Editor is Basic Edits. These are useful tools for getting started, whether you’re editing a photo or making a design. This article will explain what each tool in Basic Edits does and show you how the tools are used.

Auto adjust

To get started really quickly, you can click the Auto adjust button at the top of the Basic Edits panel to have PicMonkey automatically adjust your image’s exposure, color, and clarity. Be aware that auto-adjust works better on some images than on others.

  • If you don’t like how PicMonkey auto-adjusted your image, you can click the Undo button in the bottom toolbar to go back to how your image was before.

Crop

Crop is an easy way to change the focus of your photo or just alter its dimensions. To crop a photo, click Crop.

  • If you have no proportions that you’re trying to stick to, select “No fixed proportions” from the drop-down menu and drag the corner handles of the lighted crop area to change the size of your crop.
  • Click and drag the crop area to reposition it.
  • You can select numerous other crop shapes and sizes from the drop-down menu, including the image’s original proportions, a square shape, print sizes in inches, and sizes that will fit specific digital displays.
  • If you have a pixel dimension in mind, you can type those numbers into the text boxes in the tool.
  • If your crop area is in landscape and you want it to be portrait (or vice versa) click the Rotate crop button.
  • If you click the Scale photo box, it will keep the pixel dimensions the same, regardless of the size of your crop area.
  • To lock in your crop, click Apply.

Canvas Color

Canvas Color allows you to change the color of your background when you are creating a design. Use the color picker to find a color that you like, or if you already have a color in mind, you can type the Hex Code into the box above the color picker. Keep in mind that if you have a photo open in the Editor and you click Canvas Color, it will replace the entire photo with the colored canvas.

Rotate

In the Rotate tool, you can:

  • Rotate your photo 90 degrees to the left by clicking the Rotate left button.
  • Rotate your photo 90 degrees to the right by clicking the Rotate right button.
  • Flip your photo along its horizontal axis by clicking the Horizontal flip button.
  • Flip your photo along its vertical axis by clicking the Vertical flip button.
  • You can also drag the Straighten slider to turn your photo by tenths of degrees.
  • If you drag a straight line across your image with your mouse, the tool will rotate the image with that line as its baseline.
  • To lock in your changes, click Apply.

Exposure

Exposure is how light or dark an image appears. If an image is too dark, it’s underexposed. If it’s too light, it’s overexposed.

  • You can select Auto adjust in the exposure tool and PicMonkey will automatically adjust your photo’s brightness, highlights, shadows, and contrast.
  • If you don’t like how the auto-adjustment looks you can fine tune the Brightness, Highlights, Shadows, and Contrast sliders until it looks right to you.
  • To save your changes, click Apply.

Colors

The Colors tool helps you control how the colors appear in your image.The tool has two main features:

  • The Neutral Picker removes unnatural color casts from your image.
  • The Saturation and Temperature sliders control the intensity of the colors in your image and the warmth or coolness of the colors, respectively.
  • You can also click the Auto adjust button and have PicMonkey automatically adjust the colors.

Sharpen

The Sharpen tool helps you show off more details in your image.

  • Adjust the Sharpness and Clarity sliders until your image is as sharp as you want it to be.
  • You can also use Unsharp Mask to apply sharpness to a certain area of your photo.

Resize

To change the size of your image, enter the new pixel dimensions into the text boxes.

  • The box on the left controls width and the box on the right controls height.
  • Checking the Keep proportions box will keep the aspect ratio of your canvas the same, to ensure that your image won’t become stretched out. If you’ve resized a blank canvas, there’s no need to keep the proportions.
  • To set a canvas to a specific size in inches, check out our inches to pixels conversion chart.

More resources:

Video Tutorial: How to Make Basic Photo Edits
Tutorial: 4 Edits Your Should Make to (Almost) Every Photo
Tutorial: Photo Editing Tutorial for Cool Newbies