The plug gets pulled tomorrow on popular Web image editor PicNik, but do not despair. An intrepid band of PicNik engineers started up a new Web image editor, PicMonkey, which is free and easy to use. It doesn't require you to register -- just drag an image into PicMonkey to start using its wide array of image-editing tools.
After you drag a photo into PicMonkey.com, the image editor opens with your image on the right and the tools on the right. There are seven groups of tools: Basic Edits, Effects, Touch Up, Text, Overlays, Frames, and Textures.
In Basic Edits, you'll find crop, rotate, and resize tools, along with tools to tweak the exposure and color. There is also an Auto Adjust button at the top for a quick, one-click tweak. The Effects features a number of filters like you'd find with Instagram and the like. There are an impressive number of Touch Up tools to fix blemishes, remove wrinkles, reduce shine, whiten teeth, and even spray on a tan. The remaining tools let you add text; overlays such as stars, hearts, and arrows, frames, and textures.
PicMonkey can open and save JPEG and PNG images; no RAW support here. Edits take effect almost immediately, though there is some lag when resizing an image before saving it (but, hey, compression takes a few seconds, so this is not a complaint). PicMonkey can edit and save photos up to 16 megapixels.
Lastly, some of the editing tools are dubbed "Royale effects." When you use such an effect, a monkey logo shows up on the image you're editing. It doesn't stay on your image when you save it, but just shows up in the editor to remind you that you ventured out of the free tools. Royale effects are free to use at the moment, but a subscription service is forthcoming. Collages and other tools are also forthcoming.