A while ago

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.]

A while ago

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.

A while ago

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!

A while ago

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.

A while ago

Development Update

Two short months have passed since the amazing Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus was released. It was truly an unexpected hit here; download stats as well as sales remain huge, and your feedback is great. We couldn’t be happier about how the latest major update of Pixelmator is doing. A good example of what I mean is the latest Pixelmator reviews—a bunch of 5-star ratings and crazy-nice comments on the MacUpdate website.

We are extremely happy that you like what we do, and this only helps us to keep doing it better.

I also wanted to let you know that we just came back from our summer vacation and we’ve got some really great stuff coming. First of all, we are starting with a minor Pixelmator update. The soon-to-be-released version 1.6.1 will include some bug fixes, a few minor improvements, and a very important remake of the Stroke feature, which we know everyone uses a lot (I’ll tell you about that once 1.6.1 is out).

Also, we finally took some time to work on things that are invisible and challenging mainly from a technological (not UI) standpoint. We fixed things that were old and unsuitable for the future. In other words, we have almost completely established an absolutely modern foundation for Pixelmator. Just a few tiny things left.

There are some other minor, but very important, updates coming to Pixelmator in October and November. If you have followed our development carefully, you will definitely notice that these updates mean something huge is coming.

Stay tuned.

P.S. If there are any problems that bother you in 1.6, there is still time to send a report to bugs@pixelmator.com. There is a good possibility that we will add that fix into 1.6.1.

A while ago

Pixelmator Team Releases Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus

Adds Major Performance Improvements, 64-Bit Support, Layer Groups, and More

The Pixelmator Team released Pixelmator 1.6 today, an update of the revolutionary GPU-powered image editing tool that provides everything needed to create, edit, and enhance still images. Available as a free software update, Pixelmator 1.6, codenamed Nucleus, adds major performance improvements, 64-bit support, layer groups, an Import feature, Flickr, Facebook and Picasa support, redesigned transform tools, and more.

“Pixelmator makes it incredibly easy and fun for anyone to enjoy the best of image editing,” said Saulius Dailide of the Pixelmator Team. “Now, with Pixelmator 1.6?s Nucleus foundation, which takes advantage of the latest Mac OS X technologies, Pixelmator delivers the greatest-possible image editing performance ever.”

In addition to 64-bit support, which makes use of large amounts of RAM and increases performance, Pixelmator team engineers have polished almost every part of the Pixelmator foundation in order to allow users to take full advantage of the incredible power of graphics processing that is available in the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Thanks to these improvements, the overall performance of Pixelmator increased up to 40%; the launch time is now twice as fast and the ability to paint with Pixelmator is four times faster than it was in the previous version. Users will notice the overall performance improvements in nearly every function of the application.

The new Layer Groups feature allows users to easily organize and manage layers in a Pixelmator composition. They can use groups to arrange their layers in a logical order and to reduce clutter in the Layers palette. Users can also use Layer Groups to apply blending modes, opacity, masks, or even transformations to multiple layers simultaneously.

The new additions to Pixelmator’s Send To feature makes it easy to quickly publish images to online photo sharing sites such as Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa right from the application.

The new Import feature allows quick and easy importing of images directly to Pixelmator from cameras, scanners, and multifunction devices such as camera/phones, printer/ scanners, and such as iPhones and iPads.

Other new features in Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus include redesigned transforming tools which are more precise and easier-to-use, Automator Actions for trimming and watermarking images, improved printing, minor user interface changes, compatibility improvements, and several bug fixes.

Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus is a free update for current Pixelmator users.

A while ago

Sneak peek at Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus


The Pixelmator crew has been hard at work for the last six months on a major update to their namesake image editor. Pixelmator 1.6 “Nucleus” will arrive next week, but Macworld got an early peek at what’s in store.

David Chartier, Macworld

Read more…

The Loop

Pixelmator will release a major new version of its image editing software on July 13, adding new features and improving on many of the existing features that have made it such a popular application.

Jim Darlymple, The Loop

Read more…

A while ago

A Little Goodie

The other day I was testing Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus by playing with the famous Bokeh tutorial (brought to Pixelmator users by the famous graphics designer Fabio Sasso), and I created a desktop picture for my Mac, iPhone, and new iPad (yay, I do have that one and highly recommend it to everyone!). And boy, this Bokeh desktop picture came out so amazing on all three – Mac, iPhone and iPad.

Even though you can do one yourself easily in Pixelmator, I could not resist doing a good thing and sharing it with you, so download it now (package includes Bokeh backgrounds for your Mac, iPad, and iPhone).

Also, you can sort of personalize it quickly by opening the downloaded images in Pixelmator and, for example, changing the color hue and/or saturation (Choose Image > Hue and Saturation).


Update: The package now also includes standard-size (1024 x 1024) version of Bokeh picture for your iPad (Thanks to Dave M. for letting me know about it – I am not that experienced iPader yet 🙂 )

A while ago

Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus to go Snow Leopard only

Yup, that’s right: we are moving our whole code to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. In fact, we already moved it a few months ago. And, boy, are we happy about that! But most important, yours truly, Mr. P., is the happiest of all.

Moving 100% to Snow Leopard not only makes the development easier and faster for us, but also it makes your favorite image editor a much better app and also an environmentally cleaner app (considering that the environment is the Mac OS X). Other reasons for the move are obvious: new technologies that we can take advantage of, old show-stopping technologies that we can get rid of, an extremely fast growing number of Snow Leopard users (our web stats are our intel), happier developers (us), and so on and on and on.

In other words, we just love developing for Mac and wish to take advantage of the best that Mac can give.

For those of you who are still running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, I can say that even though it is a good OS, I really hope that Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus will encourage you to upgrade to an even better OS – Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Or if you can’t or don’t want to move to Snow Leopard, Pixelmator 1.5.1 Spider (still one of the best apps) will be there for you for awhile.

I just wanted to let you know about this move (which is very big, especially considering the huge number of Pixelmator users out there) so that you could prepare yourself if necessary.

P.S. Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus development is going very well. Still a few bug fixes and minor refinements left. I sometimes tweet on Twitter about what we do and how it goes.

A while ago


Everyone on the Pixelmator Team agrees that creating new features is the most fun part of work. When developing Pixelmator, we experiment with lots of things (new technologies, code-level tricks, user interface stuff, etc.), and we create lots of mockups, sketches and prototypes…

However, we adopt only a few features that we come up with.

For various reasons, we remove numerous features from our products one or two weeks before they are released to the public. For example, some Mac GPUs do not have some specific features that a feature uses, perhaps the code or UI was complete nonsense or the user interface looks or feels terrible or appears cluttered. In addition, there might be usability issues. We have created hundreds of bad features that are discarded.

We try to ship only those features that are useful and complete. In our opinion, learning from our mistakes only makes us a stronger company.

Some features that we removed the last minute include Shadows and Highlights (in Pixelmator 1.5 codenamed Spider), reflection filter (1.4 Sprinkle), indexed color for GIF and PNG Indexed in save for Web (1.5 Spider), precise numbers (1.3 Tempo), black and white (1.4 Sprinkle), page bounds (1.3 Tempo), gradient map (1.4 Sprinkle), document presets in cover flow, and send to Mobile Me (1.5 Spider).

We removed the aforementioned features for the following reasons:

  • Shadows and Highlights was too slow.
  • Reflection filter was too heavy and had too many controls.
  • Color indexing in save for Web had no future (Web no longer requires it) and added too much clutter to our easy-to-use save for Web feature
  • Precise numbers looked cheap.
  • Black and White adjustment had the wrong user interface that nobody liked.
  • Page bounds was not useful.
  • Gradient map was too simple and useless; it was better suited for Microsoft Paint.
  • Document presets in cover flow looked wrong.
  • Send to Mobile Me had some quality issues.

The removal of indexed color for GIF and PNG resulted in the biggest loss due to the fact that it took us nearly two weeks to develop the quantization engine. Although the indexing looked and worked great, we removed it following the last Pixelmator Spider 1.5 inside pre-release review. We thought that indexing had no future; we still think this. I assure you that I am completely confident that we did the right thing.

There were many more canceled features like those mentioned in Pixelmator. Unfortunately, I am not able to discuss them or show you how they look because some include secret UI objects or will appear in upcoming Pixelmator releases. I hope that you have an idea of how difficult and interesting it is to develop a single feature in any software application. I am sure that Pixelmator is not the only app built in this way. It is also likely that we will cancel some features of the Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus; we have already canceled the new Crop Tool. It is a good thing, as I am sure that it will be much better in the 1.7 version.

P.S. A day or two ago, we created a fast version of Shadows and Highlights, which we might add to Pixelmator Nucleus 1.6. Further, you can try the slower experimental Shadows and Highlights adjustment now at your own risk by taking the following steps: Press Control + Option + Command + H when in Pixelmator.