Bummer! Picasa’s Creative Kit is Gone

If you click on the button in Picasa to ‘Edit in Creative Kit’, today this is what you’ll see:

creative-kit

What was Creative Kit?

If you don’t know what Creative Kit was, here are some articles I wrote about the useful tools in Creative Kit that do not exist in Picasa3 proper.  Now they don’t exist for Picasa/Google+ users at all!

What is the Replacement?

If you have joined Google+, there is a new Edit button when you’re looking at a single photo.  When you click it you get several photo improvement tools.  Other than the ‘Selective Adjust’ which allows you to change exposure for selected areas of the picture, I don’t see anything that you can’t otherwise accomplish using Picasa3 on your computer.  And, you must be using the Chrome browser for this new edit tool to work.

google edit

Are there other Options?

The Creative Kit button began as a plugin to the Picnik photo editing website that Google bought a few years ago.  Some of the Picnik folks have gone on to create the websites PicMonkey.com, and Ribbet.com.  Check ‘em out!  The Ribbet.com website looks a lot like the old Picnik / Creative Kit with effects, stickers, text, and many more features.  The basic tools are free, then there is a Premium version for more.  The Premium version currently is free for a limited time.  Ribbet can connect directly to your Picasa Web Albums / Google+ Photos, so it is almost like having the Creative Kit back – only better!  The only drawback is that it’s not accessible with a button from within Picasa3 on your computer – like the old Creative Kit was.

Picmonkey.com has it’s own look and feel, but seems to include all the features you could possibly want for editing, enhancing, and embellishing your pictures.  I also notice that it is integrated with Dropbox!  Hmm, could this be a complete alternative to Picasa Web Albums / Google+ Photos.  I know a lot of people who would love to have all the capabilities of online photo storage and editing without the need to be a part of Google+!  If that is you, then PicMonkey and Dropbox are worth investigating.

Why did Google Make this Change?

We REALLY don’t know!  The new Editing button is completely different … not an upgrade of what was there.  The Google/Picasa folks don’t maintain any communication with us like they used to back in 2009 when they had us do a joint webinar with them.  I think the team is all new people, and we don’t have a clue what their plans are.  It’s been clear for quite a while that Google’s priority is bringing everything together under the umbrella of Google+.  In fact, Creative Kit was getting so good, I was almost ready to say they planned to do away with the Picasa3-on-your-computer program and insist that you do all your editing online.  But, the new online Editing doesn’t have anywhere near the features that Picasa3 has!  We’re at a loss.

All comments are welcome!

p.s. Thanks to Ribbet’s facebook page, I did find a little more information on this article: Google’s Bet On Native Client Brings Chrome And Google+ Photos Closer Together.  So now I understand that the change is because of a technology choice – my hope is that they will start enhancing these tools and add things like text and stickers and facepaint back in.

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geeksontour

Chris is a teacher. Although she comes as close to an expert as possible in many areas of computer usage, she can still remember what it's like not to know these things! That means she can communicate with students in a way that teaches and doesn't demean. She really enjoys teaching one-on-one and for groups of people, but she reaches a worldwide audience with her tutorial videos on the GeeksOnTour.com website. She currently travels the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. As Geeks on Tour, they present computer seminars at RV rallies, computer clubs, and Senior Centers all over the US.

25 thoughts on “Bummer! Picasa’s Creative Kit is Gone”

  1. I have enjoyed and appreciated Google of the past. Their corporate culture seems to have changed and not in a good way. I am sick of them attempting to force G+ down my throat.

    While I enjoy working with computers I have little or no need of social media and don’t need one more.

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  2. I found quite a few cute editing programs on my ipad that allow conversation balloons of all shapes, cartoon characters, assorted clip art, etc. that can EASILY be added to a photograph. The problem is that I have to first get the photo into the ipad, do the editing there, and send it back to my computer so I can upload it to my blog. Can’t seem to upload a photo to my blog from the ipad. Any hints for that??

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    1. I totally agree about Google taking over our lives, or trying to if we let them. I will not use Google Chrome anymore. I am tired of being tracked and my info sold. There are private sites out there that I am learning to use.

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  3. Google bought Snapseed last summer, and Snapseed has now been integrated into Google+. It looks as if Snapseed won instead of Picnik for integration into the overall Google strategy; Google continuously acquires similar technologies, and then chooses the best fit. And, there is are Android and iOS versions of Snapseed. Read more here: http://goo.gl/LuOEKC

    I believe Snapseed won because it is available on several platforms. You can read more about the acquisition of Nik Software, creators of Snapseed, here: http://goo.gl/cZRf29

    Thanks much for the tip on the free Ribbiit pro.

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    1. Jim, Aha! I see – you’re absolutely right. I have snapseed on my Droid Razr – but I don’t use it. I just looked and it looks just like the new Google+ editing tools! Good catch. I still don’t like it. And, why oh why did they do this so suddenly with no notice? They’ve given us over a year to adjust to the idea of life without iGoogle. And, at least a few months for losing Reader.
      The article you link to gives me a little bit of hope that Google will add some of the missing features (text, clipart, facepaint, etc) back into the Edit button that is now occupied solely by snapseed features.
      Thanks!

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  4. I worry that Google is going to abandon picasa3 without giving notice. Think we should start backing up everything as Saved to keep our edits? I have hundreds of hours invested in editing and organizing and have loved using picasa. Maybe they will let us pay for the program. I’d be willing.

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  5. I’ve stumbled across a few blogs or online comments lately that make me think that quite a few people are thinking that Google is getting too big for it’s britches and they are moving to other services. I’m not a big enough user to be too bothered by all the changes and I do love the convenience of buying a new item and signing in with the Google account and there everything is; a great improvement from the old way BUT I don’t like being forced to use a service, smacks of bullying to me. I use Dropbox now because my photos just automatically go there from my phone and I love that feature so I may look into PicMonkey for the editing features. I would be happier if ALL companies would quit changing their web pages for what seems like no reason other than change for change sake. Seems when I finally get familiar with a site they change it and I spend time looking for what was easier the day before.

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  6. Seems to me that Google could not care a toss about anybody else. It looks like Picasa will end up being discontinued one day? Perhaps, Chris, you should look for another program to teach. You may end up out of a job before long.

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  7. Typical big shots; don’t care about us users. All the leading companies like Apple, Microsoft and of course Google are only after market share so buy up competitors, incorporate into Google software and then make them disappear. Picasa is still the best free photo-editing software so let’s hope it doesn’t disappear. Noel

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  8. A few thoughts: 1) You have a lot vested in Picasa so reach out to Google HQ; Talk to them about their plans and your many followers. You may find a friendly ear.. Beware the Eyore sentiments.
    2) There are many photo editing programs available for little or no cost.. Dare I say “Google it!” ?
    3) Think positive.
    Thanx for your past help and good luck.
    Charlie Hedenstad

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  9. THIS SUX. I am so sick of having to download apps etc to do photo editing. I relied on creative kit to fix up all my pics add text, airbrush etc. Looks like I am going to have to pay for a new app. SHAME ON YOU GOOGLE

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  10. What was the reason for getting rid of the ‘Creative Kit’ anyway? I found it really useful when making Calendar’s for my mum’s business at bit more fun at the end of the year.. oh well, I guess they’re going to have to be boring for 2014…
    Please bring back ‘Creative Kit’ real soon 😉

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    1. I don’t work for Google, so I don’t know. But it appears that it was a technology choice. Creative Kit used some kind of web coding technology that is different from the overall direction that Google chose.

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