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Have you ever had to resize or crop an image for such a simple little thing? Either way, you still had to open up Photoshop, didn’t you? Or worse still, you go to a friend’s house and they want you to e-mail pictures of their Christmas tree to their aunt. The only thing though is that her digital camera pictures are 2 MB each and she doesn’t have Photoshop installed! What do you do then?

I suggest checking out Snipshot for starters. Snipshot.com is an online service meant exactly for such situations. In plain simple English, think of it as a browser based mini version of Photoshop. You don’t need to install any software or any plug-ins. You just simply visit the Web site and start editing your photos. Let’s take a look at it step by step.

The interface of the Web site is pretty simple. There are two ways you can edit the images. You can either upload it from your computer or you can import it from any Web site. It’s especially useful if you use an online photo storage service like Flickr. Not only can you import your images directly from Flickr, you can also export the edited images back to Flickr. Alternatively, you can save the image as a GIF, JPG, PNG, TIFF or even in a PDF format.

To start with, open an image from your computer or import it from another Web site. In the example here, I am importing a picture from Flickr. I simply paste the URL of the Flickr image into the “Open from URL” box on the main page. It doesn’t take Snipshot long to open the image. However, this depends entirely on your Internet connection. If you are one of the precious few users still on dial-up, it might take a little bit longer for you. All the basic functions that you can perform with Snipshot are listed at the top of the page.

Most of the functions, like Resize and Rotate, are self-explanatory. The most complex of these functions is Adjust, as it lets you tweak a few vital image properties in one go. Clicking on Adjust will present you with a new dialogue box.

As you can see, it packs a lot of functions in a little dialogue box interface. Feel free to play around with the sliders, as Snipshot offers you an unlimited number of undos and redos. (Ctrl + Z for an undo and Ctrl + Y for a redo). In the event that you have absolutely spoiled the image by going overboard with the sliders, you can simply click on Reset Sliders and you are back to the original image.

If you click on Open, it takes you to the main page where you can open another image. Also, clicking on Save gives you a few options to save the image as.

Sound simple enough? Well, it is simple indeed. As far as privacy is concerned, Snipshot stores every image you edit for up to 24 hours and only the person who edited it in the first place can see the image. Even if you chose to save your edited image to your Flickr account, Snipshot won’t have access to your password. It simply requests you for read and write access to your Flickr account, which you can revoke anytime you want. Sounds fair, right?

To make matters easier, you can install the Snipshot bookmarklet in your Web browser. Image editing is only a click away with this bookmarklet, which works like a charm. All you need to access the Snipshot editor is to go to a page that has pictures on it, click on the Snipshot import bookmarklet and bingo! The image you selected will open in the Snipshot editor.

Snipshot is in no way a replacement for Photoshop, but it’s one of those services that can come in handy when you are not working from your own well configured computer. Go give it a spin!

Again, Snipshot can be found here.

~ Yogesh Bakshi