Little Things

In a geek world, little things matter. For us—we are Mac geeks, right?!—things matter especially if they come from (or at least are somehow related to) Apple.

Little things that were delivered to the Pixelmator Team Factory this week:

Love all that cheerful stuff.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010.


The Mac App Store

You’ve surely heard of that new Mac App Store coming very soon to Macs near you. It’s a new way for us (developers) to distribute and for you (users) to discover, install, and update all those great Mac OS X apps we create.

All the crew at the Pixelmator Team is very excited about the new Mac App Store, as users and, especially, as developers. I believe (and it’s not just me) that the Mac App Store is going to be an absolute hit.

Specifically for us, the good thing is that once we are in the Store, we will finally be able to focus completely on Pixelmator improvements, quality, and new features instead of worrying about how to reach our customers (we need as many customers as possible to continue or even boost our innovation march), build the best website, or manage a Web store. We would be very happy to be able to simply focus on creating the best image editor for the Mac.

Other benefits of being in the Mac App Store include the fact that we won’t need to spend time and energy developing our own update systems (though I really do like our software update), Web store shelves, licensing systems, anti-piracy measures, and other things like that. We are good at creating the best Mac apps – and should do only that.

So, I just wanted to clearly state that the Pixelmator Team is very excited about and will totally support the new Mac App Store. Pixelmator will definitely be there.

Monday, 25 October 2010.


Pixelmator in Steve Jobs Keynote

I am sure you watched Steve Jobs’s “Back to the Mac” keynote yesterday. It was very nice, wasn’t it? Each of them—iLife ’11, FaceTime, the Mac App Store, Mac OS X Lion (where is the version number, anyone?), and MacBook Air—are all just so awesome.

However, there was one tiny detail that directly relates to us. I am not sure if you noticed, but Pixelmator was one of the few apps that made it into the Steve Jobs keynote! Yay!

Actually it was visible multiple times in the keynote: a few times in the Mac OS X Lion screenshots when Steve spoke about the Launchpad as well as in the Craig Federighi (the guy who presented the demo of the Mac OS X Lion features) slides.

Having the Pixelmator icon in Steve Jobs’s keynote is something we dreamed of for years (see how fragile we are?). And once it finally made it there, it feels so great … so inspiring; it’s definitely a huge bonus reward for our hard work.

Also, kudos to the developers of Coda, Delicious Library, Tweetie, OmniGraffle and OmniOutliner, NetNewsWire, and, of course, Courier for also making it into the keynote. Everyone aforementioned is so worth it.

Thursday, 21 October 2010.


Save for Web Goodness in Pixelmator

Nearly everyone is aware of the fact that Pixelmator has a built-in Save for Web feature. But few know that Pixelmator’s Save for Web tools are actually the best in their class.

Almost every website contains some sort of image, and there is a good chance that the image has been touched-up by image editing software. The reason why we prepare (or optimize) images for the web is so our browsers can open websites as fast as possible.

Save for Web is a process of preparing images for use in websites. Usually, Save for Web workflows look like this:

1. Slice images (if required);
2. Optimize images;
3. And then save (optimized) images.

For this post, I’ve decided to remind you about Pixelmator’s Save for Web tools, since those truly deserve your notice.

The easiest-to-use Save for Web. Ever.

The whole Pixelmator Save for Web experience consists of a single consistent palette which you use to optimize your images. Once you decide to prepare an image for the Web, even without knowing how to use Pixelmator, simply choose File > Export for Web.

And—surprise—the Export for Web palette that pops up is the only thing you will ever need to completely prepare any of your images for Web sites!

The palette has everything—a preview mode option, optimized image file size options, a file format pop-up menu where you choose between standard web file formats (JPEG, PNG, PNG Indexed, and GIF, or even the new WebP, if you wish), and optimization settings for the currently selected file format.

As you can see, anyone can easily take advantage of the pro-grade image optimization tools in Pixelmator. That’s the whole of Save for Web. Simple, isn’t it?

Yep. But there is more goodness…

Fast and Powerful (and Slice Tool)

Pixelmator’s Save for Web feature is extremely fast. When you experiment with different optimization settings (using the Export for Web palette, as mentioned above) Pixelmator instantly shows you the preview of the image or image slice you are optimizing.

Yup—image slicing is right there as one of the choices. Just use the Slice tool in Pixelmator to divide an image into smaller images and to optimize each part of an image with its own optimization settings. Slicing is particularly useful for web page layouts that feature different elements such as buttons, logos, layouts with different backgrounds, and other objects.

Pixelmator’s powerful Slice tool allows you to easily do just that. It works hand in hand with the Export for Web palette and shows an optimization preview for each slice in real-time.


But again, there is more.

In addition to a beautiful Slice tool and extremely easy-to-use Export for Web palette, Pixelmator’s Save for Web works just the way you would like it to work. It has all that OS X goodness built-in. For example, once your image or slice is optimized, you don’t have to go through an entire Save As process. Instead, you can simply drag and drop the thumbnail of an image or image slice with some optimization settings onto your desktop to instantly save the optimized image. Now, that’s handy! You won’t find any other apps that can do that.

But again, there is much more.

Save for Web Accessories

There are many more features built into Pixelmator that are useful for you as a web developer. (Yep, you’re already a web developer if you use Pixelmator.)

Trim and Reveal All

I know many web designers use these. Even I find that I use these two features a lot. Trim allows cropping of an image by trimming the surrounding transparency or background pixels in a specified color. Reveal All does exactly the opposite of the Trim feature: it reveals images that are hidden somewhere under the canvas area. Try them—these two are real time savers.

Web Colors

Web Colors is a plug-in for the Apple Colors palette that allows you to select and copy hexadecimal colors quickly to the HTML or CSS apps.

If you use Pixelmator, Web Colors will automatically be there for you—no need to do any additional installation.

Image Size

You know what Image Size does, right? You use it a lot to change image dimensions (Image > Image Size). The good thing for web devs is the Fit Into feature, which allows you to quickly fit the image into desired dimensions by choosing the size from a presets pop-up.

Everything Else

And Pixelmator has almost everything else you might ever need, not only to create, edit and enhance your images, but also to quickly and easily prepare your images for the web.

For more specific information about using Save for Web or other tools in Pixelmator, please see the Pixelmator User Manual or in-app Help.

Have fun creating your next great web site!

Monday, 18 October 2010.


Pixelmator on Canvas

One day a UPS delivery agent arrived at our office with a huge package that nobody at the office had ordered. The package included a tiny leaflet and a gorgeous Pixelmator 1.0 screenshot printed on canvas. It appeared to be a gift from the Netherlands-based company HelloCanvas.

We liked the picture so much that we decided to order a full collection of Pixelmator screenshots (Firestarter, Kitten, Draftsman, Tempo, Sprinkle, Spider, and Nucleus) for our office. It became a tradition to order the screenshot on canvas with each major Pixelmator update.

These screenshots look wonderful. I hope you can get an idea just how nice the prints are from these photos:

I am definitely ordering some for my house, and if you want one, you can download our high-resolution Pixelmator screenshots from our website and then have them printed on canvas at HelloCanvas. I assure you that the quality is excellent.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010.


Pixelmator 1.6.2 Adds WebP Support

We simply can’t stop! Ten short days have passed since Pixelmator 1.6.1 was released, and what do you know? Today we are hitting your Macs with another great update of Pixelmator. Even more, this one might be huge.

You have probably already heard of that image format Google is working on called WebP (pronounced “weppy”, /(wĕpˈē)/ ). This format achieves over 40% more compression than JPEG and JPEG 2000, without loss of image quality. This means that your images look good while being much smaller in size. It also means a faster experience on your site, smaller hosting costs, and a better Web—and, of course, happier people.

I am very excited to announce that Pixelmator 1.6.2 is the world’s first app to bring WebP support (of any kind). What’s more, it’s not just some microscopic experimental support; it’s complete, full, total, absolute WebP support!

So you can use Pixelmator 1.6.2 to easily open and edit WebP images as well as save or export images or image slices to the WebP format to create smaller, better looking images. You can even use Pixelmator’s Export for Web feature to adjust the degree of compression and see the adjustment preview instantly (the glorious Pixelmator’s Save for Web, ha!).

To enable WebP in Pixelmator’s Export for Web feature, simply type this into your Terminal app:

defaults write com.pixelmatorteam.pixelmator enableWebP YES

Please note: you don’t have to enable WebP for the Export sheet (File > Export > Other > WebP). It’s on there by default.

In addition to WebP support, Pixelmator 1.6.2 also includes some bug fixes. You can Download the update immediately and enjoy being one the first ones to play with, test, or even use the new WebP format.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010.


Feature on a Drawing Board

This is what Pixelmator’s Send to Flickr feature looks like on a drawing board. And imagine, this was a relatively simple feature to develop:

The feature has already been out for two months. You can try it in Pixelmator by choosing File > Send To > Flickr. Such features as Send to Facebook or Picasa are also available – these look even more complicated. In fact, certain features in Pixelmator (such as Save-for-Web) cannot even be drawn on a drawing board.

[I realize that I already posted this picture on my Twitter account months ago (during the time in which we were working on Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus), but I thought it might be of interest for readers of the blog as well.]

Saturday, 2 October 2010.


A Quick Bug Fix

Thanks to our kind forum members and Twitter followers, we just discovered that one annoying bug slipped into 1.6.1— undo stops working when you use your keyboard to move a layer around. Damn it, you say (I also said so)!

But not to worry—we already fixed it (in 15 minutes!), and you can get the update by simply re-downloading Pixelmator 1.6.1.

The bug fix is not a new release, but rather a new build. A build number is usually available in the app’s About Box: Pixelmator > About Pixelmator > Version 1.6.1 Nucleus (5447). Nucleus is a code name we made up for fun and the number in brackets is a build number. So the new build number is 5452. We didn’t do a full release version—let’s leave that nice 1.6.2 number for some cool stuff other than a tiny single bug fix.

Thanks again for your bug reports! And don’t stop there—continue to identify those pesky issues and we promise to fix them as soon as possible.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010.


Pixelmator 1.6.1 is Out

Good news, everyone! Pixelmator 1.6.1 is out. Available as a free update (as always), version 1.6.1 adds improvements to the Photo Browser palette, Aperture support (via the same Photo Browser), a revamped Stroke feature, and, of course, some bug fixes as well as some minor improvements.

Photo Browser

You can use the Photo Browser palette in Pixelmator to quickly access your iPhoto library photos as well as images in your Pictures folder (show or hide Photo Browser by choosing View > Show/Hide Photo Browser).

Here is a list of improvements for the Photo Browser in Pixelmator 1.6.1:

  • Aperture support – access your Aperture library, projects, albums, smart albums, and folders
  • PhotoBooth support – access your PhotoBooth-taken images (not very useful, but fun)
  • Support for custom folders – browse your own folders in Photo Browser
  • List View – this is a feature for those of you who like list views (Control or right mouse button click in an image view to switch between list and icon view)
  • Performance improvements – means loading your iPhoto library images (or images from whatever source) very fast
  • Modern foundation – basically means that the newer your Mac is, the better Photo Browser will work
  • User interface details – looks a bit cleaner and feels better


Stroke command is used to outline selections or layers using color. It is located under the Edit > Stroke menu.

We spent a full month refining Stroke (cracking its algorithm). Though Stroke looks easy to create, it is one of the hardest tasks in image editing development. One might think that it is a small feature unworthy of attention, but this is not so. Stroke is used a lot. In fact, it is one of the most basic features in image editing and I am very excited to announce that Stroke has finally been perfected in Pixelmator.

The new Stroke is very fast and bug free. It works flawlessly and, most importantly, delivers the highest quality result possible. Try it for yourself.

Though Pixelmator 1.6.1 is not a revolutionary release, I am as proud of it as any other major update. It shows how much we care about details and the quality of what we do. Such updates are part of the reason that Pixelmator is dearly loved by so many.

If you haven’t downloaded version 1.6.1 yet, go ahead and do it. Any feedback you can provide once you use it would be greatly appreciated. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010.


Happy Birthday, Pixelmator!

Three years ago today (September 25th, 2007) the glorious but, of course, a bit buggy Pixelmator 1.0 was released. Can you believe that it’s been three (3!, drei!, tres!, trois!, tre!) years? I can’t. It feels like a lot less.

The release of Pixelmator 1.0 was one of the most exciting application launches in the history of third-party Mac software. Even after three years, I can state that without a doubt Pixelmator is an absolute success. It exceeded our wildest expectations back then (the app made $60,000 the first day!) and is doing even better now (much better!). Imagine what will happen when we ship that bitchin’ 2.0 we’ve been preparing!

Anyway, to celebrate Pixelmator’s third birthday, we decided to not only post this article, sing songs, dance, eat a bunch of cake, and have some fun talks about ours truly, but also to do a little something for those of you who haven’t yet joined the list of happy Pixelmator users: give you a birthday coupon code! Yay!

Use the “HAPPYBIRTHDAY” code at our web store to purchase Pixelmator at a huge 30% discount. Hurry up, since the coupon code will work for only three days.


P.S. Good to know that Pixelmator is not getting older but is getting better, and its best years are still ahead.

Saturday, 25 September 2010.