Fotor Review: A Swiss Army Online Tool to Create Visual Content

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Fotor Review: A Swiss Army Online Tool to Create Visual Content

The need for visual content has grown rapidly in the social media era like today. People create visual content for Instagram Story, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and so on. Be it for a professional need or a casual need. However, not everyone has the adequate skills to create decent visual content. Just like the content consumption itself, the process of visual content creation is also not that hard if you know the right tool. Speaking of this, Fotor is an online you can give a try.

What is Fotor?

Fotor is an online tool that you can use to create visual content. Be it for social media, website, or other publishing mediums. There are three visual content types you can create with Fotor: design, photo, and photo collage. That being said, you can think of Fotor is a combination of Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Spark. Fotor is a web-based tool so that you can instantly use it without needing to make the installation first. You can simply create a Fotor account and the rest, you can unleash your creativity.

Fotor Main Features

Fotor is a design tool, photo editor, and a collage maker combined. All you need to use it is an account. You can use Fotor for free with an option to upgrade to the pro version to unlock more features. Here are the details about the main features offered by Fotor:

Online Design Tool

The first tool offered by Fotor is a design tool, which can be a great solution if you need to create designs on a regular basis, yet have no adequate design skills. There is no need to understand any design theory to use Fotor’s design tool. All you need is a little sense of design. The editor interface of Fotor is pretty easy to learn and use. If you have no idea about the design concept you want to create, you can even start from a premade template. You can then tailor the content according to your needs. To use a premade template, you can simply select the premade template you like on the template panel.

If you like a certain template and want to use it over and over, you can save to May Favorites to streamline your flow. This way, you can find the template more quickly by simply clicking the My Favorites tab on the template panel.

In general there are three components you can add to your design:

  • Element
  • Photo
  • Text

Element is still divided into some categories. From emoji, clip art, or anything you call it. You can simply click the respective menu tab on the left panel to add an element, photo, or text.

Fotor also offers a great editing experience, especially for design rookies. When you click a certain component on the canvas area, the editing bar will appear above the canvas area. You can use the editing bar to change the typography for the text component, color, and so on. To set the placement of a certain component, you can simply drag the associated element and drop it to an area you like.

The design tool of Fotor itself is designed specifically for the creation of internet content. When creating a new design, you can select a size specifically designed for a certain platform. Or, if you want to create a design for another need, you can create a design from a custom size.

Once you are done editing the design, you can download it by clicking the Export menu on the top bar. You can download the design either in a PNG, PDF or JPG format.

Foto Editing Tool

Fotor can also be an alternative if you are looking for an online photo editor. Same as its design tool, the photo editor of Fotor has also been simplified to make it easy for you to edit a photo. You can instantly apply a certain effect to a photo, remove a blemish, crop, set the saturation, remove the background, and so on. Fotor’s photo editor itself only supports JPG and PNG formats. It has no capability to edit a RAW format like Adobe Lightroom. To open a photo, you can simply click the Open menu on the top bar. You can select a photo from your local storage, Dropbox, or Fotor Cloud. If you upload a photo from local storage, it will automatically be added to Fotor Cloud.

Applying a photo effect

There over 100 photo effects offered by Fotor, which are grouped into 37 categories. You can access them by clicking the Effects menu on the left panel. Open a category and select an effect you like and it will be added to your photo right away. Simply click the Apply button to apply the effect.

Making the editing

There are several editing options offered by Fotor’s photo editing tool. From cropping, removing the background, adjusting the brightness, adjusting the saturation, setting the color balance, and so on. To access the editing tools, you can click the Adjust menu on the left panel.

Retouching a portrait

The Fotor’s photo editing tool offers retouching tools to make it easier for you to correct a flawed photo. This feature is especially useful if you often edit a portrait photo such as removing a blemish, smoothen the skin face, and so on. To use Fotor’s retouching tool, you can click the Beauty menu on the left panel. Clicking this menu will open lots of retouching options.

Adding a frame to a photo

Another editing you can do to your photo is adding a frame. You can use this feature to add decorative elements to your photo to make it looks cute. To access this editing feature, you can simply click the Frames menu on the left panel.

In addition to the editing features above, you can also add text and clipart to your photo. You can simply click the Elements and Text on the left panel to do so.

Collage Maker

Another feature offered by Fotor other than the design tool and photo editor is a collage maker. You can use this feature to create a photo collage for a social media need or other needs. There are four collage types offered by Fotor’s collage maker: classic, artistic, funky, and stitching. Each collage type offers several style options you can choose from. You can simply select a collage style from the menus on the left panel. While to add the photos to the tiles, you can import the photos from the right panel. Or, you can load ones from Fotor Cloud if you already have some collections. You can then export the collage in a JPG, PNG or, PDF format.

Additional Features:

In addition to the main features above, Fotor also offers the following features:

File Manager

When you sign up for Fotor, you will get free storage space on Fotor Cloud (50 MB for a Free account and 500 MB for a Pro account). The space is used to store your files, be it designs or images. When you create a new design, it will be automatically saved to the Fotor Cloud. You can re-access the design files you have created as well as organize them from the file manager feature offered by Fotor. From the front page of Fotor’s design tool, you can click the All My Work link to access the file manager. From here, you can create folders, rename the existing designs, delete the existing designs, and so on. Unfortunately, file manager is not available on the free version of Fotor.

Free Stock Photos

When creating a design with Fotor’s design tool, you can add an image element. You can search for a photo by clicking the Photos menu on the left panel. Clicking a photo will take the associated photo to the canvas area. You can then edit the photo (e.g. resize, rotate, and so on) to make it match your design. Fotor itself offers 1,000 stock photos for the Pro users and 1,000,000 stock photos for Pro+ users. What about free users? Unfortunately, free users have no privilege to use Fotor’s stock photos.

Desktop and Mobile App

We said that Fotor is a web-based tool. Actually, it’s a cross-platform tool as there is also a desktop version (available for macOS and Windows) as well as a mobile version (available for Android and iOS). The desktop version has exactly the same functionality as the web version while the mobile version only offers a photo editor and a collage maker.

Fotor interface on Windows 10
The interface of Fotor desktop on Windows 10

Fotor Free vs Fotor

While you can use Fotor for free, there are a bunch of advantages you will get by using the pro version. The most prominent one is that you can enjoy an add-free editing experience. The paid version of Fotor is available in two plans: Pro and Pro+. You can take a look at the following table to see the detailed features offered by Fotor Free, Fotor Pro, and Fotor Pro+.

FeaturesFotor FreeFotor ProFotor Pro+
Stock photosNoYes (1,000 photos)Yes (1,000,000 photos)
Additional templatesNoYes (100,000+)Yes (100,000+)
File managerNoYesYes
Additional fontsNoYes (300+)Yes (300+)
Download formatJPG, PNG (SD files)JPG, PNG, PDF (HD files)JPG, PNG, PDF (HD files)

The verdict

Visual content is the normal thing in today’s age. Not everyone has adequate design skills, though. Even to create a very simple design for Instagram Story, for instance. However, being able to create a decent design is not that fancy if you know the right tool. Fotor is the tool you can rely on to create a professional-looking design. You can use it to create social media content, visual content for a blog post, brochure, and even logo. Also, Fotor has a photo editing tool that you can use to edit or retouch your photo. Want to create a collage maker? Fotor can also handle it.

Overall, Fotor is a great tool, with lots of useful features. However, there are some things that need to be noticed by the Fotor developer. First, it would be great if you could collaborate with your team members on design. This feature is necessary especially for professional needs (e.g. agencies). Second, the features available on the free version are too limited. You can’t even add a photo to a design unless using your own photo.

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