Adobe has launched a free web-based picture-editing service called Photoshop Express. Adobe describes the free tool as a web-based version of its professional Photoshop photo editor. UPDATE: click here for a full review of Adobe Photoshop Express online photo editor.

Photoshop Express is similar to Google's Picasa and has been designed for consumers who want a ‘one-stop shop’ where they can store, re-touch and edit their digital images as well as sharing them with friends or publishing them to social networking sites such as Facebook.

According to Adobe, the web-based software, which is currently in beta version, is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux platforms and all web browsers.

Users simply upload their images to their My Library personal online storage space, then edit the images with up to 17 tools available in Photoshop Express .

Photoshop Express tools range from basic functions such as red-eye correction and cropping through to white balance, sharpening and more ‘fun’ tools such as distortion or 'pop colour'. Pop colour allows you to choose one highlight colour while converting the rest of the image to black and white.

Some of the functions in Photoshop Express such as auto correct and exposure come with previews so you can get an idea of the effect of your edits before committing yourself to them.

According to Adobe the technology in Photoshop Express is non-destructive and the changes are always saved to a new image ensuring the original is always available. In this respect, the software is very similar to Picasa.

Once edited, images can either be saved back into your library, put into a slideshow which you share with friends visa email or URL or save to your public gallery which can be viewed by the other Photoshop Express users.

Photoshop Express is also compatible with Facebook, Picasa and Photobucket.

Using the toolbar on the lefthand side of Photoshop Express, users can log in to any of these sites and gain access to their image galleries. Photos can be duly manipulated and saved back to the online gallery without the user leaving Photoshop Express.

Adobe has also highlighted that plans for the software in future include different language versions and more online storage. Photoshop Express is initially only available in English.

Photoshop Express beta

Photoshop Express beta

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