Stencil App Review Reveals Best Image Editor

You may agree with me that Photoshop is a problematic graphics tool to learn and that buying stock images can get expensive quickly. We don't have time to learn how to use Photoshop or a budget to purchase stock images continually.

Now, anyone can be a designer creating social media and website images and graphics quickly.

In today's post, I am going to show you ​my "go to" online application for creating excellent visual content for my website or posting to social media directly.


Note: Affiliate Disclosure

This post may contain affiliate links. The vendor compensates me for recommending products that people ultimately buy at no additional cost to the purchasers. I only recommend products I use or have used personally, products that help people succeed.

Stencil App Review Summary

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    Easy to select a background image or upload one, create a custom graphic, and resize it to meet user needs. 
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    Millions of stock photos and Icons available via keyword search.
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    No templates or standard sizes for printed material such as letters, postcards, T-shirt graphics, etc. Use custom size feature to create your own.
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    Except for Buffer, lacks a scheduling tool for social media posts.
Stencil app review

What Is the Stencil App?

Stencil is an easy-to-use image creation tool for social media marketers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs who do not want to learn or hire graphic designers.

I just finished renewing my annual Stencil Pro subscription because I am a highly satisfied user. 

Over the last year, I found creating images faster and easier than other applications. With Stencil, I pick a background, add some text, and post to social media or download for other uses like email or as visual content on this site.

Before using Stencil, I used Canva, which in its own right is an excellent visual content tool. However, I found it frustrating that it required a paid upgrade to create images with a transparent background or to resize created images.

The ​Home Business for Veterans logo at the top of the page uses a transparent background, so the ​tan color shows through. Otherwise, the logo background would be white, which would make the white lettering invisible. Or I could make the logo background match​. But then, I would have to create different logos depending on the document background.

Get Stencil App Review

I used Stencil to create the feature image for this blog post.

The following 90-second video shows how easy it is to create your social media visual content. For demonstration purposes, the video speed is fast. I don't create images anywhere near the rate shown. 

Why Use Stencil?

Studies show that social media networks are visual platforms. So it is crucial to include an image with your post, tweet, or pin. The following graphic shows how much more engagement there is when visual content is added.

Stencil app infographic showing social engagement improvements.

Stencil App Features

The following chart shows some of the features of the Stencil app. The Stencil app developers add new photos, templates, and other images continually. Visit the Stencil website to see the full list features.

One item not shown is the new Stencil WordPress plug-in. WordPress users can now create and add images from within their WordPress Content Management System.

Stencil App features

This chart shows some of the Stencil app features.

What I Like About Stencil

As a blogger and affiliate marketer, the Get Stencil app is my most used tool. I use it almost daily to create visual content for my blog posts and social media marketing.

  • Simple to use and the Stencil staff continues to improve the app. The new browser extensions and WordPress plugin additions make Stencil easier and faster to use. That's a big time saver for me. 
  • The app is designed for speed making images faster and easier. The Stencil app is lightweight compared to a massive program like Photoshop. But then the applications serve different purposes. Stencil is intended for digital images.
  • Safe to use images from Pixabay and Pexels. No attribution required. This makes using images worry-free from concern about copyright infringement.  
  • Create custom sizes if the 37 preset sizes don't meet your needs. If you ever need the correct image sizes for social media, SproutSocial maintains an always up-to-date-guide to social media image sizes.
  • Simple preview and share images on social media networks quickly (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Buffer, Pinterest as well as Bitly). Instagram prohibits direct posting.
  • No hidden fees. If there are any, I have not found them. 🙂 Unlike Canva, Stencil does not charge for premium images, templates or icons.

What I Don't Like About Stencil

There is not much to not like about Stencil. 

I was hard-pressed to come up with this list of features I don't like about Stencil.

  • No mobile phone app. Stencil does not have either an IOS or Android app to use on a mobile phone. I have and use the last small iPhone, the iPhone SE. It has a four-inch screen so I would not think of trying to create or edit an image on my mobile phone.
  • No templates or standard image sizes for non-digital applications. This makes sense since it is intended for digital images. But the custom size feature can be used.
  • Small gallery image size. The image below shows an arrow pointing to the image gallery. It would help if the images displayed were larger. However, the same issue applies to Canva as well.
Stencil app work area

The Stencil work area while I was creating the blog post feature image.

Stencil Support

The image above shows the Stencil onscreen support button in the lower left corner. Clicking on the button opens a list of common support questions as well as a link to a message support.

Stencil also has a Help page with a search box, list of the most popular articles as well as a library of articles organized by topic. The image below shows the  

Stencil app help resources

As easy as Stencil is to use, they still have helpful articles available.

What Does Stencil Cost?

Get Stencil has a free version and two paid upgrade versions. The following chart shows the 3 plans available.

Stencil pricing plans

All paid plans include a 7-day money back guarantee.

Why I Chose Stencil Rather Than Canva

I used Canva for several years before I found and started using Stencil. At the time, I needed an image (png format) with a transparent background. To create a png image in Canva required upgrading to the paid version of $12.95 per month.

Not willing to pay for one image, I looked for other visual content tools that would do what I wanted. I tried the free, open-source GIMP graphics application. Similar to Photoshop, GIMP turned out to be too much for me. I eventually found Stencil and signed up for the free version. I recently upgraded to the Unlimited version.

The thing about Canva that annoyed me the most was the $1 cost for premium images and icons and the fact that the Canva image gallery does not group the free pictures together. It takes a lot of scrolling through the gallery to find free images unless you are willing to pay.

Stencil Graphic App Summary

Stencil is one of my most used tools and best value image editors. I recommend it to anyone who is a blogger, marketer, or entrepreneur who posts, tweets, or pins to social media networks.

Stencil may not have all the features of Photoshop, but then Stencil is designed for quickly creating social media and website images. 

I hope my Stencil App Review has provided useful information. If you have questions or comments, please fill out and submit the form below. 

I am looking forward to responding.

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