Pictures on Instagram can consist of multiple frames combined in unique patterns, juxtaposing seemingly unrelated images to tell a story or convey a mood. Instagram only supports uploading pictures from a mobile device, so transferring them to a computer for editing can be inconvenient. Instead, use a free photo editor for Android or iOS to choose a four-panel frame, border style and image filter for the pictures on your device, then upload the composition directly to Instagram or save it in your photo gallery or camera roll.

PhotoGrid

Step 1

Open the software store on your device, and then download PhotoGrid (link in Resources). This program is available for Android, iOS and Windows devices.

Step 2

Select “Templates” from the main menu to view a selection of layout presets. Browse the selection until you find a four-panel layout you like, and then tap to select it.

Step 3

Choose a picture folder from your phone to browse your device for images. As you select photos, they line up along the bottom of the screen in the order in which you select them.

Step 4

Tap “Next” to combine the images in the four-panel frame. The program places the photos in clockwise order, starting with the first picture in the upper left corner.

Step 5

Touch a picture panel to display an option menu in the toolbar. Edit the picture using the available options, which include filters, cropping and rotating functions. Apply a filter by selecting “Filters,” and then choosing a filter from the menu. Crop the image by selecting “Crop,” and then dragging the selection rectangle over the area you want to keep.

Step 6

Tap “Share” in the menu bar, and then select “Instagram” from the drop-down list. Sign in to your account, when prompted, to upload the image to your account.

Pic Stitch

Step 1

Download Pic Stitch for Android, iOS or Windows devices (link in Resources). This program offers many of the same features as PhotoGrid, but works in a slightly different way.

Step 2

Select a four-panel layout from the main menu, and then double-tap a panel to add a picture to it. Select a photo album from your device, when prompted, and browse the folder for a photo.

Step 3

Tap an option from the menu bar to enhance, crop, rotate or add effects to the image. The Enhance option uses an algorithm to sharpen the picture or remove red-eye, if necessary. Repeat this process for each picture in the layout.

Step 4

Tap “Share,” and then choose “Instagram” to upload the image to your account.

InstaCollage

Step 1

Download InstaCollage for Android or iOS devices (link in Resources). This program works in a similar way as Pic Stitch, but depending on your platform, the options can vary.

Step 2

Choose a layout from the main menu, and then tap a panel to choose a photo from your device. Alternatively, double-tap the panel to take a picture using your camera.

Step 3

Crop, rotate or add effects to the image by tapping an option in the menu bar, and then upload it to Instagram by tapping “Share,” and then selecting “Instagram.”