Tutorial: Use Edit-in-Cell Features with Your Photo Collage

If you’re a collage maker, please commence the tap dancing, confetti toss, and t-shirt cannon blasts! In support of your wild and spontaneous creativity, you can now edit photos while you’re making your collage, instead of making sure they’re picture-perfect before you start.

G’head and open a new Collage to play with while we walk through the features.

Basic Edits right in Collage cells

screen shot of the Edit buttonWhen you hover your cursor over an image that has been placed in a collage cell, you’ll see an “Edit” button. Click it, and an editing palette appears, with a white outline around the image you’ve selected.
screen shot of the edit paletteThe Basic tab of that palette lets you resize, rotate, flip, and adjust the exposure of an individual image.
screen shot of the size slider
The “Size” slider is a major win. Once you’ve adjusted the size, you can click on the image and drag it around in the cell until you find the perfect placement.

Shortcut to the Editor for text and overlays

screen shot of the new Edit button

The new “Edit” button in the top toolbar brings your entire collage to the Editor for text, overlays, and any edits you want applied over the whole collage. No need to save and name it first.

Once you’ve taken your collage to the Editor, you can’t come back to Collage and make more changes. So choose this only when you consider the design (layout, background, individual image edits, and swatch cells) final.

One-Click effects for Royale members

screen shot of the Effects tabThe Effects tab of the editing palette, marked with a crown, lets you Royale subscribers have at it with six of everyone’s favorite one-click effects. Click the effect to apply it to an individual image, and you’ll see a check mark over the effect letting you know which one you are currently using. If you decide not to keep it, click “Original” and the image will go back to its original state. All images keep the edits you’ve made to them, even when you move them from cell to cell.

 “Open Image in Editor” and back again for Royale members

screen shot of "open image in Editor" button

If these six effects aren’t enough for ya, click “Open image in Editor” and the image will be magically transported to the Editor — no saving and naming — where you have the entire caboodle of PicMonkey editing options up for grabs. The image will appear in the Editor in its original, non-cropped size, but no worries; PicMonkey will remember the cropped size when you’ve brought it back into Collage again.

screen shot of "Back to Collage" button

While you’re editing a collage image in the Editor, you’ll see an orange “Back to Collage” button on top of the panel, which brings your newly edited image right back into your collage, with everything right where you left it. Perfecto!

Try it out now.

Read more:

  • Ronee

    this is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.letitshineblog.com Michelle

    This is an awesome improvement!

  • Joan

    I was so hoping you would do this at some point!!! Thank you!

  • http://gravatar.com/tjstatler Tracy

    Whoo Hoo! You guys are awesome. Thanks for making this awesome change!

  • http://mytaleswithtwo.com Heather

    SO thankful that you added these new functions! You have no idea how often I found myself frustrated going back and forth. Way to listen to your users!

  • http://cottageatthecrossroads.com Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/kellythom747 kelly thompson (@kellythom747)

    so thankful- I have not tried it yet but I know you are saving my gigs on my computer from not having to go back and forth anymore!

  • Nurrie

    Thank you!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/patriciafurstinparis Patricia Furst

    I absolutely love it! Well, really, I just love EVERYTHING about your site!

  • http://www.raisiebay.com Anne

    Can’t wait to try it out :)

  • http://pressfordesign.wordpress.com Press for Design

    PicMonkey, you guys are fantastic! Love this, and especially the extra Royale features too. Cheers!

  • Laurie

    Thanks monkey! Back and forth was getting to be a royale paine! Love you guys!

  • http://thenutritionguruandthechef.wordpress.com thenutritionguruandthechef

    Perfect! Just what we needed thank you Pic Monkey!

  • http://www.girlwithblog.com anna {girlwithblog.com}

    YAY!! This is awesome!! No more creating each picture, saving them, and then grouping in a collage. Y’all just saved me a ton of time and work. Thank you!!

  • http://gravatar.com/cowgirlzspaandbodyintegrity cowgirlzspaandbodyintegrity

    You are an amazing group of monkeys! Please feed yourself some bananas for this latest improvement. I adore this Picture editor times 10! Hey, Hey with the Monkeys! Thanks for monkeying around with the collage editor. You rock, really.

  • https://www.facebook.com/sacramento.amatemartinez Sacramento Amate

    Brilliant. Thankssssssssss

  • http://gravatar.com/sakop2 Laura

    In love!

  • Chris R

    fantastic, this is my fave program, thank you so much :)

  • http://www.facebookvalerie'sVisionsPhotography. val stein

    Your your program use it constantly, beats Photo shop and Lightroom, and so easy to use and understand, keep them coming..Need more clouds applications..

  • Johanne Fortier

    Wow,this is amazing! :))))))

  • Jennifer aka nana

    Monkey Magic!!

  • http://gravatar.com/mazabee mazabee

    LoveIt! Love you darned little Monkeys!

  • http://www.beadsanddangles.com Marji

    So happy to have just become a Royale member! Exciting changes!

  • FranklinOliver N’Diane Gorham — Diane Gorham

    That was wonderful to discover yesterday!! However, I wish you had not changed-up removing furball eyes – it no longer removes those yellow eyes, whereas before it did when it was a dropper. I work in dog rescue/fosteringre-homing and I relied enough on PicMonkey for that, that I paid to become a member. Diane

    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

      Thanks Diane for the feedback on the Red Eye tool. We’re trying to make improvements and will continue to tweak and tinker to make it better.

    • Debbie Daniel

      I agree with Diane. most all my photos are dogs and I always need that extra help on the eyes.

    • Kat

      Agree with Diane, I help out local dog rescues and it is important that we are able to show the pups in their best form…..along with the millions of pix I take of my own furballs. Other than that FANTASTIC new features with melding collage and edit features. Thanks for listening to your picmonkey fans, I hope you listen to this feedback as well =)

      • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

        Hi folks with furballs! We love furballs! Why don’t you tell us more about the problem here: http://help.picmonkey.com/customer/portal/emails/new — and you can attach one of your animal photos that’s not getting good red-eye removal. Anthony says that it might be a problem with Pugs and other breeds that have eyes with not much of a distinction between the pupil and the iris color (as opposed to Huskies). But hopefully he can help figure out a workaround.

  • http://thebeautifulgeek.com Katie

    Yayyyy!!!! I do a lot of collages with overlays, so it’ll save me tons of time on editing my images! :) This really made my day. Thanks PicMonkey!!! <3

  • Katie

    Yes! Thank you!

  • Evgenia Panopoulou

    Thank you !!! I wanted this so much !!! Now the whole work will be done in half the time !!!

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformationblog missinformationblog

    Jumping for joy right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pingback: Edita tus fotos desde el collage de PickMonkey | INutil/E()

  • http://www.wonderbaby.org Amber Bobnar

    Perfect! This is great – thank you!

  • http://smaverickphotography.com S.E. Maverick Photography

    This is awesome! Great Job guys ! I would like to see more clouds editing options that would be awesome – from the person above !

    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

      What sorts of cloud editing options are you thinking about? Would love to hear more details.

      • jo

        The Goofy option was handy. Love what you are doing- many thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/renewingyourlife Jody

    Such an amazing improvement! Just found you a few days ago and already the workflow is so much more streamlined! Whoo-hoo!

  • http://seasonsofserenity.blogspot.com/ serenity65

    Thank goodness! I was truly distraught over the continuous breakups! Now, I can stalk…eh…love my collage from start to finish! hehe

  • http://www.snapperone.blogspot.com MadSnapper

    thank you thank you thank you love love love it

  • http://fernanda-e-filhos.blogspot.pt/ Fernanda

    This is so much appreciated! Thank you, guys!

  • https://www.facebook.com/Bellavioletta Kimmy

    Brilliant <3

  • http://www.danielledonaldson.com danielle

    so exciting. just the updates i was wishing for when i used it just a few days ago!

  • Monworks

    Now if we can have some type of overlays that would add to the greatness of Picmonkey as well!!! Scroll work, painted edge, words, etc………just a few more ideas!! I love :Picmonkey and it is my only editor!!

    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

      Thanks for the love! You can use the Edit button at the top of Collage to open your finished collage in the Editor and then go to the Overlays tab to choose from loads of overlays. Look at the bottom of the Scrapbooky section for scrolls- Corners, Garnishes and Flourishes. We’re always cooking up new stuff so stay tuned for more overlay goodies…

  • Debbie Daniel

    I love the new overlays. I really wished you had one for grass. I do alot of animal pics and grass is a great background. but I also love love love the clouds…keep up the great work. You guys are amazing. I use picmonkey nearly every day. its so awesome and easy.

    • http://twitter.com/amrith777 amrith obsidian (@amrith777)

      Hi Debbie!I don’t know if you’ll see this,but when I want a certain background,I use Google image to search whatever I may want (like “grass”) and I make sure that it’s a resolution that will be big enough as far as definition.Then I overlay my subject and erase out what I don’t want in the image.You can also use it as a texture and just save it in “My Textures” and either paint it around your subject or overlay it and erase over your subject.You can accomplish this by toggling the “Reverse Effect” option.I find the setting that works best for this in the “Blend Mode” menu is “Normal”.When using texture,it will default to “Multiply”,so you have to change it to “Normal” and then you can adjust the fade and saturation to your satisfaction.

  • http://twitter.com/outoftheattic2u outoftheattic2u (@outoftheattic2u)

    awesome and thank you

    • ANA

      WOV THANK YOU 😛 😛 😛 😛

  • http://SomethingToRemindMePhotography.blogspot.com Deb~Something To Remind Me Photography

    Wonderful upgrade, thank you so much! PicMonkey rocks!

  • shari lynne @ Faith Filled Food for Moms

    What more can a person say..except WOOOOHOOOO YOU ROCK PICMONKEY! Sorry didn’t mean to shout so loud :)

  • Mel

    Thank you!!!!!!

  • http://cricketsknits.com Crickets

    You read my mind!! 😀

  • https://www.facebook.com/janice.croze Janice Croze

    THIS has made PicMonkey darn near perfect! SO thrilled with this update!

  • elizawyck

    Thanks! You wonderful people are insanely good!

  • Karen

    thank you picmonkey, you are the BEST!!!!

  • Ella

    Thank you for the improvement! Been waiting for this :) one thing I’d like to see though, is a storage where we can temporarily store photos for future editing or for unfinished ones that we can just come back and edit at a later time. A feature which picnic had before :)

  • Bob

    You ever find something so great, you want the world to know but at the same time you don’t want want to give away your simple secret so everyone will just think you’re really that good.

  • http://www.theycomealong.com Roxanne

    Woohoo! Love it! I had ask about this and they said it was in the works. It’s even better than I thought it would be. Thank you. :)

  • rachelle


  • ekaterine

    great :) tnx to help me to change my pics:)I love picmonkey :*

  • http://www.partylandutah.com/blog *LyndiLou*

    Thanks for the new editing options and all the other great updates! It always fun to pull up the fonts or others options and see that you’ve added something new. You guys are the best! <3

  • http://kayawilson.wordpress.com Kay Wilson

    Wow, You guys are amazing!

  • Danuta

    Love the new features

  • http://www.rosedaleswingcompany.com Myka

    YES!! so excited to see all these added features!! My quicker and easier :) love the monkeys at pic monkey for giving us more choices.

  • http://cindywimmer.com Cindy

    SOOO cool. This is a fantastic improvement and addition to PicMonkey’s great line-up of features. Thank you!

  • Chloe C

    Sweeet! Fantastic! Thank you!

  • bethpittman

    This is the GREATEST!!! Thank you!

  • mona

    awesome change thank you!! :)
    but please could you change some premium features to normal!!?? PLEASE!! am a student and as well as photographer, so cant afford few features!! :)
    thank you :)

  • tom stølan

    It’s nice you develop Picmonkey .. I’m a photographer and for me is probably not the new upgrade to the particular benefit, but others have the great advantage ..

    I want rather better resolution since .. I Zooms to 50% sees pixel so I can not determine the amount of sharpness .. And to do this in another program ..
    Hope this problem you can fix later .. best Tom From Norway.o)

    • Bob


      Did the Save as Transparency option go away???


      • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

        Hi Bob. No it didn’t. Think you’re talking about “Transparent background” which is an option you click in the Background tab in Collage.

  • http://everythinghappens-blog.blogspot.com Alyssa B

    Awesome! This is great!

  • http://twitter.com/amrith777 amrith obsidian (@amrith777)

    Just wanted to leave some love and say not only thanks for the new features,but also for PicMonkey in general.I have used it for many things,but my primary use is to make custom Backgrounds and Fanart for XBMC.My Music and Video/TV/Movie library looks fabulous and is highly customized thanks to PicMonkey and I cannot thank you enough!

  • hakouprince

    Thank you for this wonderful site like this helps everyone

  • http://www.estila.blogspot.com.ar MARIA EUGENIA

    esperaba con ansias este cambio, era muy incómodo guardar y volver a editar! gracias!!

  • http://a2zmommy.blogspot.com Tracy B

    You guys totally rock!!!! Can’t wait to try it on my next collage!

  • http://ashinyplace@hotmail.com Stella

    Thank you!
    I really needed this!!!!!!

  • Joy

    I love the new editing features in collage, but have a question – is there a way to reduce the picture further. I know the scale is 0-100%, but can I reduce the picture to less than 0 with 0 being the original image size?? thanks.

    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

      Hi Joy. Collage sets the image so that either the width or height fits in the cell 100% and sometimes, true, that cuts off part of the image. If you want to get the whole image in there, you can crop the image first in the Editor (or if you’re a Royale member, click Edit in the corner of the cell, then “Effects” tab, then “Open image in Editor”), and be sure to add a large Simple Edge (in the Frames tab). This edge will show up in the cell, so you might want to match the background color.

  • Vicki Wilcox

    Great job!! What will they come up with next~~~great new features. I love them.

  • susie

    Is it possible when editing a photo in collage to start the “Scale” slider at 100% in the middle of the scale so that we can make a photo smaller or larger within collage? It seems like you can only make a photo larger.

    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

      Hi Susie. Collage is programmed to make the photo fill the cell. If the cell size is larger than the photo in any one dimension, you can move the photo left or right within the cell. But if you were to make it smaller, Collage would have to figure out what the do with the extra space in the cell.

      • susie

        To start, it would be great if Collage just kept the white background for the extra space when scaling image down.

      • http://www.StacyEricksonPhotography.blogspot.com Stacy

        PicMonkey, Can I use one of My images for the background? I had a really stellar image that looked like an old book…and wanted to then add my pics/collage Over ,so it looked like an old album.Please help? :) Thanks! Glad I found your website!

        • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

          That’s not a feature of Collage, per se, but you can hack it! When you’ve got your photos placed into the layout exactly the way you like them, click on the Background tab in the left column. Click “transparent background” and save your collage as a .png NOT .jpg. NOW, open your book photo in the Editor, and old book picture behind it yet). Click the Overlays tab in the left column. Click the “Your Own” button atop the overlays menu, and open the collage you just made, and it will appear over the book image. Move it around and adjust it til you like it. You’ll have to pay attention and make sure your collage size is the same aspect ratio as your book image, although the exact pixel dimensions don’t need to match. Sounds like a cool image!

  • http://www.perpetualpageturner.com Jamie

    Love this! But I’d really love to have a feature that saves your work as you go. Sometimes the plugin or whatever craps out and I lose my work or sometimes I’m working on a design and I want to save where I am but still be able to work on it later. Or be able to save templates that I use often easily in Picmonkey since I have a login account. Picnik used to have that feature.

    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

      Thx for commenting Jamie. Good to know what you’d like us to add in.

  • http://fotki.yandex.ru/users/a6123/album/145273/ Lena

    Ребята , вы такие молодцы!! Спасибо вам за вашу работу!!!
    А анимацию не собираетесь сделать ? Было бы супер !!

  • http://patandkel.wordpress.com kelleyinphx

    THANK GOODNESS!! Thanks so much!

  • Vicki Wilcox

    You can’t have too much praise, so here’s one more!!!! It came around just in time for my business~~~PERFECT!!! Thanks Monkey :)

  • Rajat

    This very gud….

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001258330604 samar gamal

    I like this

  • Vicki Wilcox

    This couldn’t be a better tool for what I do!!!! Smooth and easy to understand! Thanks

  • Pam Minkel

    Collage will no longer let me add more than one picture at a time.

  • Dawn

    I love the new Edit feature in Collage, however, I’m still having an issue with sizing my photos. I know that you can resize your images in Collage to make them larger but you can’t resize them to make them smaller so they fit within the border of the collage. I’m trying to put two photos side by side but when I place the images into the collage they don’t fit. I’m not exactly the most computer savvy person so I’m not sure if there’s something I should be doing to the images prior to uploading them into the collage maker. Is there a specific size that the images have to be so they will fit into the collage without getting cut off? If so, what would that size be? Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    • http://www.picmonkey.com PicMonkey

      Unfortunately, there is no way to size images down in Collage. This has to do with the aspect ratio of the original file and the aspect ratio of the cell you’re adding it to. If you’d like more of your image to fit into the cell, you can try adjusting the height or width of the cell. You can also bring the photo into the editor and changing the aspect ratio of the photo there.

  • kinkaya

    quien me puede aclarar si las fotos personales editadas en st program puedn ser vistas x otras personas

  • http://gravatar.com/susanjanewilliamson SueBadu

    Loving the collage and using it loads.. but a quick question.. when using a preset template (such as jigsaw), how do I subdivide a box, i.e. make one box into two? I know it does this because I did it by mistake.. but do you think I can work out how I did it when I want to do it intentionally… nah… driving me (monkey) nuts…

    • http://www.theycomealong.com Roxanne

      Melanie. Add your pictures and leave the cell blank that you want to add the text to. Click on edit on top to bring your collage into the editor and then add the text. Hope this helps.

  • Melanie

    Just found this great site. How do you leave a cell blank in your collage. I want to have a blank cell for text.

  • http://vworkssocali.wordpress.com vworkssocali

    Reblogged this on LIFE—Taking It All In, One Day At A Time and commented:
    If you have not checked out this site to edit any of your photos, that’s fine. If you have checked out other apps from your server or bought any photo editing programs, that’s fine.
    I want to share this with you for no other reason than the look on your face once you see what this site can help you accomplish. If you can imagine only being able to repair or touch up any type of photo, this site can help you. Not only can it help you, but your imagination is going to start going wild with the things you are going to want to try and do. Check it out, tell me what you thought of it.
    Have fun

  • http://picmonkey.com trey cater


  • Melode

    Its great….except I cant seem to reduce the image sizes in the collage edit function, it is only to increase size. HELP please anyone!

    • Stefanie

      Love PIcMonkey, but would love to see diagonal collages added in, like with Instagram!

  • Sandi Kiser

    I have several collages I have made and am now ready to send to print. What is the typical size these collages are made to be printed?

  • Amanda Chartier

    question…im making a collage the square deal one… for a teachers gift and I cant get the sizing right…when I go and save it to snapfish half of the picture is cut off….just getting frustrated….can someone please help me lol…. or if there is another place to print pictures..i I just use snapfish just because I can print at walmart or Walgreen and get them the smame day..thank you

  • Eileen

    I absolutely love this program. It is so easy to use and makes any picture look amazing. I am always discovering something new to use and make a picture look unique. Also I am very happy with the very reasonable price to be a royal member. This is my second year using picmonkey and I am hoping for many more years. Thank you,

  • Vicki

    I’ve never done a collage, so can you direct me to the tutorial. Also, can I use the same image and clone areas since one is a drawing, and one of course is the original image.


  • Beth Y

    Love PicMonkey! Two things that would help tremendously – 1) to save work and still be editable later. 2) save as I go. My Chrome crashed and I lost over an hour’s worth of work. I know I should have been saving as I go – but got lost in the work. Argh.

  • Mita

    Newbie question – When a new cell is added, it divides the area horizontally. Is there a way to add a cell hat divides the area vertically?

    • http://www.picmonkey.com PicMonkey

      If you drag-and-drop your image, you can pick either a horizontal or vertical space to add to the image. Dropping an image on a horizontal border within the collage will divide the area horizontally, just as a vertical border will divide the area vertically.

      Hope that helps, Mita!

  • Rhiannon Koch

    I wish you had an option to use your own photo for the background of your collage instead of just solid colors. I often help my friends with their wedding or graduation pictures and I like using other photos as the backdrop.

  • Jamie J

    I love this website. <3

  • Vicki Wilcox

    Thanks!!! I love it.