July 16, 2020

Pixelmator Pro 1.7 major update adds text on a path (and more!)

We’ve been very busy over the last few months and we’re finally ready to share with you another great major update to Pixelmator Pro. Pixelmator Pro 1.7 Sequoia brings text on a path, canvas rotation, a new welcome screen, and version 3 of ML Super Resolution. Let’s dive right into each of those features!

Type text on a path, in a circle, or any other shape

This long-awaited and much-requested feature is now available in Pixelmator Pro! And we spent a long time refining every detail to make it the simplest and most intuitive tool of its kind.

In Pixelmator Pro 1.7 Sequoia, you’ll find three new tools grouped together with the regular type tool. There’s the Circular Type, Path Type, and the Freeform Type tools. You can use those to quickly and easily create text layers on paths. And you can also create your own shapes or paths and then click them with any of the type tools to add text on a path. Here are a few neat facts about our new type tools:

  • We use the native macOS text system, so things like SVG fonts and emoji are fully supported!
  • The ShiftT keyboard shortcut will now cycle through the currently selected type tool

  • We’ve also added support for the standard Shift and Option modifier keys when resizing text boxes on paths

Freely rotate the image canvas to any angle

Canvas rotation might be one of the most important features for digital painters and illustrators and it’s something we’ve wanted to add for a long time. We also spent a long time making sure it’s easy to find, and almost as importantly, easy to reset!

To rotate the canvas, you can use the standard rotate Multi-Touch gesture. Or, if you’re using a graphics tablet or mouse, you can also press and hold the SpacebarR keyboard shortcut and drag your canvas to rotate it. You’ll notice that, when the canvas is rotated, some very handy canvas rotation controls automatically appear, disappearing once the canvas goes rotation is set back to 0°.

A friendly new welcome screen

The first thing you see when you open an app makes a big impression. And we wanted to make it easier for new users to open and create images. That’s what this new welcome screen is all about! You’ll find quick ways to create an empty new document, open images from your Photos library, and browse images saved on your Mac.

If you’d rather see the native Open dialog, that hasn’t gone anywhere — simply turn off the “Show this window when Pixelmator Pro launches” option in the welcome screen.

Improvements to ML Super Resolution and RAW support

ML Super Resolution has been improved once more, this time, we’ve worked on the quality, added a progress bar, and added support for upscaling RAW photos while preserving all their RAW data!

The update is available today from the Mac App Store and is free to all existing Pixelmator Pro users. Visit the App Store to make sure you’re all up to date and let us know what you make of the additions and improvements!

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June 19, 2020

Major Pixelmator Photo update now available

Pixelmator Photo 1.3 is out today bringing a whole bunch of great new features and improvements. We’ve added all-new shortcut menus all around the app, the ability to choose an accent color for buttons and other elements, preset management, and improved batch editing. Read on for the details!

Shortcut Menus

New shortcut menus make all kinds of actions much faster and easier.

Accent Color

Customize the color of buttons in Pixelmator Photo.

Preset Management

Create and customize color adjustment preset collections.

Improved Batch Editing

Quick actions, improved workflow editing, and more.

Shortcut menus to speed up your workflows

Shortcut menus (also known as context menus) are the menus that appear when you touch and hold an app on the home screen, for example. And in iOS 13, it’s now possible to put these menus in new places, like our Photos library browser. With that, we were able to add all kinds of handy functions that make the browser even more powerful. For example, when you touch and hold a photo, you can quickly share, favorite, duplicate, revert, or delete it. What’s more, you can even copy and paste adjustments or apply your favorite batch workflows to it, too! And that’s not the only place you’ll find these great new menus — they’re also available in the Files browser and in various places when editing photos.

Add a touch of color

Giving your apps a personal touch is always fun and we really like the accent color feature on macOS. As Pixelmator Pro shows! So while this feature isn’t available on iOS, we thought we could at least add it ourselves to Pixelmator Photo. In Pixelmator Photo 1.3, you can now change the color of buttons and other elements in the app by choosing an accent color.

All-new preset management

Pixelmator Photo has a great set of color adjustment presets for a range of different photography styles, which are organized into thematic collections. And it also lets you create custom presets, which is pretty awesome. But wouldn’t it be great to be able to create your own collections or delete some you don’t need? With today’s update, you can do just that! The collections you create are fully customizable, so you can even write your own descriptions and color-code custom collections!

You can also rearrange the order of preset collections and the order of the presets inside them. You’ll notice that all these great new actions are in those shiny new shortcut menus.

Even better batch editing

It’s probably fair to say that Pixelmator Photo might have the best and most full-featured batch photo editing experience on iPad. But there’s always room for improvement and we think we’ve made that experience even better! We’ve added quick actions for batch editing — these are your favorite batch workflows — and these appear when you select multiple photos and tap Edit. This will save you at least a few taps when batch editing. We’ve also made improvements to how batch workflows are edited and you’ll find handy shortcut menus here, too.

The update is now available and is free for all existing Pixelmator Photo users. Visit the App Store to make sure you’re all up to date and enjoy the awesome new features!

Download Now

June 18, 2020

Automation with AppleScript and Pixelmator Pro 1.8 public beta

What what what, Pixelmator Pro 1.8?! Oh yes, we’re feeling extra generous after the recent sneak peek at Pixelmator Pro 1.7 and we have some more great news about another great feature coming to Pixelmator Pro. That great feature is incredibly extensive support for AppleScript, the powerful and easy to use English-like scripting language for macOS.

Using AppleScript, you can control most of the tools and features in Pixelmator Pro and speed up repetitive tasks or even write scripts to create special effects. And because AppleScript is based on English, you don’t even need much programming experience to get started with it!

Here’s a quick example of something you can do with AppleScript.

Or, remember the tutorial for the Groovy text effect we released not too long ago? You can use AppleScript to automate that too! If you’d like to test this out, you can download both that sample script and the “Hello, world!” script below.

Download SCRIPTs

And to help us polish off AppleScript support, we’re going to need your help. So, starting today, we’re releasing the 1.8 update as a public beta. You can sign up for the beta by emailing us at beta@pixelmator.com. And we’ll be waiting for your feedback at the same address!

Email Us

June 16, 2020

Sneak peek at Pixelmator Pro 1.7

Believe it or not, we’re finally doing it. We’re adding one of our most requested features of all time in the next major Pixelmator Pro update. And today we’re bringing you an ultra-exclusive sneak peek at what that feature will look like

Yes, Pixelmator Pro 1.7 will add text on a path! This, of course, also means curved text, circular text, and text on any kind of path you can draw or imagine. We’re using native Mac text rendering, so emoji and SVG fonts are also fully supported. And we wouldn’t be the Pixelmator Team if we didn’t approach this with the goal of making it simpler, easier, and more intuitive than in any other app. Needless to say, you’ll be the final judges but we’re pretty darn happy with how things look to have turned out!

Oh, and that’s just one of three major new features coming in 1.7 We’ll keep the others under wraps for now, but the update should be out in just a few weeks time! To be the first to know about it and the other awesome things we’re working on right now, you can sign up for our very cool (and very occasional) newsletter.

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June 4, 2020

Pixelmator Pro adds WebP support

Pixelmator Pro 1.6.4 is out today, adding support for the WebP image format. And since this format is pretty interesting and unique, we wanted to share the news about today’s update here on our blog!

WebP support in Pixelmator Pro

First, a little about WebP support in Pixelmator Pro itself. It’s pretty extensive and we’ve added a few different things:

  • Support for both opening and exporting WebP images
  • Lossless compression and lossy compression with adjustable quality
  • Transparency (for both lossless and lossy compressed images)
  • A Quick Look plug-in so you can preview WebP images in the Finder

Awesome! If you’re not too familiar with it, you might be wondering — what is WebP and why is it such an interesting format? Well, it’s one of the candidates to be the next-gen format for displaying images on the web thanks to some improvements over the two main existing formats, JPEG and PNG.

Lossless and lossy compression

One reason for WebP’s promise is that it offers both lossless and lossy compression. What’s that? Well, compression refers to reducing the size of an image. Lossless compression is when you reduce the size of an image with no data (i.e. quality) loss, hence the term lossless. Lossy compression reduces the size of an image with some potentially “unnecessary” data being discarded or lost, hence the term lossy.

Compression methods

Lossless compression
Lossy compression
Used by the PNG format
Used by the JPEG format
All image data preserved
Some image data lost
Larger file sizes
Smaller file sizes

Even though it offers lossy compression and, theoretically, loses some data, JPEG is a great format for the web as it reduces the size of images dramatically and there’s no perceptible drop in quality when saving with a high enough quality setting.

However, as JPEG offers only lossy compression, if you’re looking to ensure you get no data loss at all, you have to use a different format: PNG. The trade-off with this is that you get a much bigger file size, at least several times larger than the equivalent JPEGs.

WebP combines both compression methods in one format and Pixelmator Pro supports them both. At 100% quality, you get lossless compression, like with PNG, and at 99% quality or lower, you get lossy compression, like with JPEG.

WebP compression

100% quality
99% quality or lower
Lossless compression
Lossy compression

Transparency support

Another great thing about WebP is that it supports transparency. Right now, if you’d like to save with transparency, you have to use PNG as JPEG doesn’t support it. So once again, WebP combines the benefits of both primary web image formats into one. What’s more, unique to WebP, it supports both transparency and lossy compression at the same time, something that neither JPEG nor PNG can do.

File size improvements

Finally, both lossless and lossy compressed WebP images are around 25% smaller than comparable PNGs and JPEGs of the same quality.* Pretty great for speeding up loading times!

Although not all major web browsers support WebP just yet (Safari support is missing), most of them do and thanks to WebP support in Pixelmator Pro, you’re free to experiment and see for yourself whether you’d like to switch to WebP for certain images.

Today’s update is now available on the Mac App Store and is free for all existing Pixelmator Pro users.

Download Now

We’ll be back soon with some more news about a very exciting major update, which will add a certain highly-requested feature to Pixelmator Pro. Stay tuned!

* Actually, there’s a little disagreement whether, in terms of the quality of compressed images, the format might be slightly better in certain cases and slightly worse in others.

April 21, 2020

Pixelmator for iOS major update out today

You heard that right, Pixelmator for iOS just got an awesome major update! in Pixelmator 2.5, we’ve added a brand new, Files-based document browser, a new photo browser that makes it easier to browse and open images from your Photos library, and new image size presets along with a new browser.

Native Document Browser

Use the new Files-based document browser to open and manage your documents.

New Photo Browser

Use the new Files-based document browser to open and manage your documents.

Image Size Presets

Quickly create new images with common sizes.

A big step for Pixelmator for iOS

This update is a really big deal for Pixelmator for iOS. These new features might not be amazingly flashy but they’re incredibly important to the future of Pixelmator for iOS. And the headline feature is the awesome Files-based document browser, bringing a much-improved file browsing and opening experience along with great features like file search, tagging, and more.

Ever since the Files app was introduced, it was obvious it would be absolutely perfect for Pixelmator and we’ve been waiting for the right moment to replace our gallery with it. As we start working to refresh and update Pixelmator for iOS, this always had to be the they key first step in that process. And while it may seem relatively simple, this update actually took us around 6 months to design, develop, and test — a lot of work!

Today, we couldn’t be happier to be able to share this with you. The update is a free for all existing Pixelmator users and is available to download from the App Store right now.

Download now

That’s it for this round of major updates (we also recently updated Pixelmator Pro and Pixelmator Photo), next stop — more great updates and new features (of course!) and some new tutorials and other user materials over the coming weeks. Until next time!

April 7, 2020

Pixelmator Photo 1.2 out now

The fantastic updates just keep on coming and now it’s time for Pixelmator Photo 1.2! The latest major update — months in the making — brings Magic Keyboard, trackpad, and mouse support, Split View support, the machine-learning powered ML Match Colors, and more. Let’s take a closer look.

Trackpad Support

Enjoy full support for the new, click-anywhere trackpad.

Split View

Use Pixelmator Photo and any other app side by side.

ML Match Colors

Match the look and feel of one photo to another.

Adjustment Intensity

Easily fine-tune the intensity of color adjustments and presets.

Magic Keyboard, trackpad, and mouse support

The new cursor in iPadOS brings a whole new way to work in Pixelmator Photo and we’re incredibly excited to be adding support for editing with a Magic Keyboard, trackpad, or mouse to Pixelmator Photo. If you’re all about using a cursor with iPad, we hope you’ll love the added precision.

Edit in Pixelmator Photo and any other app side by side

Thanks to Split View support, you can now edit in Pixelmator Photo and any other app side by side! Of course, Pixelmator Photo works with Slide Over, too.

Match the look and feel of one photo to another

The machine learning-powered ML Match Colors, first debuted in Pixelmator Pro, is now available in Pixelmator Photo. It lets you match the look and feel of completely different photos using our cutting-edge machine learning algorithm trained on 20 million professional photos. And it works with Split View, so you can simply drag and drop photos from other apps to use this new feature!

Adjustment intensity, quicker ways to copy adjustments, and more

This update turned out to be bigger than even we expected and we’ve got quite a few other great new features and improvements.


You can now control the intensity of adjustments using a handy new slider you’ll find at the bottom of the color adjustments pane. We’ve also added a new Recents collection of presets, which contains 5 automatically-generated adjustment presets with the settings from your most recently edited photos. And we’ve made it much easier to copy and paste adjustments between photos.

Head down to the App Store to make sure you’re all up to date and we’ll have some more great update news for you not too long from now. Stay tuned!

Download Now

March 30, 2020

Pixelmator Pro 1.6 Magenta now available

Fresh from the Pixelmator oven, we’ve just released Pixelmator Pro 1.6 Magenta, a major update you’re sure to love.

The all-new color picker

Pixelmator Pro now has a brand new color picker, designed to be incredibly powerful and full-featured, yet amazingly easy to use.

We love the Colors window, so why did we decide to make our own color picker? Well, for an app like Pixelmator Pro, it falls a little short in a few small ways. And those small things often make a big difference.

We wanted to give you an easy way to pick colors using the classic hue, saturation, and brightness control, hex and and RGB color codes, and good old color swatches. And we wanted everything to be in one place so it’s all super easy to find. We also wanted to have a beautiful and informative eyedropper for when you’re picking colors from your image. And this is the result:

We’ve also added a dedicated Color Picker tool, where the eyedropper is always active so you can quickly pick a series of colors from an image. You can also customize how the eyedropper works everywhere else in Pixelmator Pro. For example, you can change its sample size (so it picks an average color, rather than an exact sample), change which color code is displayed, or turn off displaying color names. We hope you’re as excited about this new picker as we are!

An easier way to select multiple objects

This is another great improvement to make Pixelmator Pro even easier to use — you can now drag over multiple objects to select them. Hint: to make this easier to use with illustrations and other images, lock the background layer.

Identify and replace missing fonts

Whenever you open an image with fonts that you don’t have installed on your Mac, you’ll see a handy notification letting you know. And, using the Replace Fonts feature, you’ll be able to replace those missing fonts in a snap!

Performance improvements and other goodies

Along with all this, we’ve also included some performance improvements. The image overlay — which includes things like guides, selection outlines, layer handles, and others — has been rewritten to use Metal, bringing obvious speed improvements. What’s more, you can now press the Shift  – Command  – h keyboard shortcut to hide or show it!

We’ve also improved the speed of layer strokes, added the ability to apply inside and outside strokes to text layers, and made a range of improvements the the shape tools, making it easier to create illustrations and drawings. All in all, it’s a pretty awesome update, even if we do say so ourselves.

Download Now

If you want to know every detail about the update, head down to our What’s New page, where you’ll find the release notes and more. Otherwise, visit the Mac App Store to make sure you’re all up to date. And don’t hesitate to let us know what you think!

March 12, 2020

Get ready for a flood of Pixelmator updates (sneak peek!)

We’ve been working on all our apps recently and it just so happens that Pixelmator Pro, Pixelmator Photo, and Pixelmator for iOS are all going to get major updates in the next month. So we wanted to tell you a little bit more about each update and maybe even give you a chance to get your hands on them. Here goes.

Pixelmator Pro 1.6 Magenta

Our focus for Pixelmator Pro this year is on making the app even more user-friendly and enjoyable to use. And one thing that we’ve wanted to improve for a while now is the color picker. So we decided to make a color picker of our very own! Just look at how awesome it is:

This is a major update, so there are other big additions, but we’ll let you know more about them once the update is available. However, if you want to see what the other major additions are ahead of everyone else, you can jump onto the Pixelmator Pro beta and help us put this update through its paces. To join our team of beta testers, please shoot us a quick email.

Email Us

Pixelmator Photo 1.2

Pixelmator Photo, our super powerful and advanced photo-editing app for iPad, is getting a major update too. One of the highlight features is Split View support so you can work in Pixelmator Photo and any other app side by side. You can also take a guess at what Split View might mean for the future of Pixelmator Photo…

There are other major new features but we’ll keep those details under wraps for now. Unless, of course, you want to check out the beta and help us make sure the update is as polished as possible. We’ve opened up a few hundred testing spots and you can join using the link below.

Join Beta

Pixelmator for iOS 2.5

It liiiiives! After a brief hiatus of two and a half years or so (we kid, we kid), Pixelmator for iOS is getting a major update. The biggest addition is the new Files-based document browser as well as the new image size presets and photo browser.

You might be wondering what this means for Pixelmator and that’s a good question. The answer is that, little by little, we plan to refresh and improve the app and, eventually, make it compatible with Pixelmator Pro. This is one very fundamental step towards that goal. We don’t have a timeline just yet for full compatibility and this will take a while but we’re very excited to get started on it! If you’d like to take this beta for a spin, you can sign up via TestFlight below. We have a few hundred spots available.

Join Beta

If you don’t manage to grab one of the available beta spots, you can also try to email us at beta@pixelmator.com and we might be able to help out. Who knows, we might be feeling generous.

That’s it for now but keep your eyes peeled for more news!

February 11, 2020

Pixelmator Pro update improves ML Super Resolution and ML Denoise

Howdy! Pixelmator Pro 1.5.5 has just been released and it brings some significant improvements to ML Super Resolution and ML Denoise as well as two new Automator actions for those two features. Because seeing is believing, we thought we’d whip up a blog post with some examples to highlight the changes. Let’s start with ML Super Resolution.

ML Super Resolution

Even though we released it just about two months ago, we’ve made some pretty big improvements to ML Super Resolution in that time. In this update to it (a version 2.0, if you will) we’ve focused on four things in particular:

1. Removing compression blocks in heavily compressed images

2. Improving how portrait photos are upscaled

3. Preserving sharp edges and details in illustrations

4. Making the new, smarter algorithm faster and more efficient

Compression block removal

The previous algorithm already did a great job at removing the small compression artifactsCompression Artifacts Compression artifacts often look like small dots and appear at edge areas — where contrasting colors meet in images. that usually appear around object edges in compressed JPEG images. But JPEGs, especially ones that have been compressed quite a lot, will also feature visible compression blocksCompression Blocks JPEG compression blocks appear when the compression algorithm reduces subtly differently colored pixels (for example, in gradients) to one color. They’re most visible in photos that include the sky or other gradients.. This new version of ML Super Resolution does an even better job with the small artifacts and it takes care of the blocks!

Original Image

ML Super Resolution(Old Algorithm)

ML Super Resolution(New Algorithm)

ML Super Resolution (Old Algorithm)

ML Super Resolution (New Algorithm)

200%

Download Image

We had actually been working on this since before the original release and wanted to include it when ML Super Resolution first came out. However, adding the block removal code would cause some pretty crazy blurring issues and, honestly, we couldn’t work out why. After some digging, it became clear that certain sizes of text in our training dataset were being interpreted as compression blocks! Once we addressed that, we were good to go.

Upscaling portrait photos

How ML Super Resolution upscales extremely pixelated faces is kind of magical. We made some improvements to make sure facial features are recreated in as natural a way as possible, even from a few pixels.

Original Image

ML Super Resolution

Improved quality around edges and small details

Another thing we focused on is edge areas — especially between colors that have different hues and levels of saturation but the same lightness. These can appear in any image but are especially common in illustrations. Edges such as this weren’t quite as sharp as we would have liked and there was some slight ringing that we really wanted to get rid of, too.

Original Image

ML Super Resolution(Old Algorithm)

ML Super Resolution(New Algorithm)


Smarter and more efficient

In order to make these improvements, we retrained our algorithm and slightly increased the size of the Core ML model included in Pixelmator Pro — from 5 MB to around 7 MB. Despite being a little bigger, this version of the model is actually faster than the previous one thanks to some additional optimizations. This is also a good place for a reminder that when you use any of our machine learning features, everything is processed securely on your device by a trained model integrated using Core ML.

Algorithm improvements

50%

more intelligent1

20%

more efficient2

1. Trainable neural network parameters (more is better): 1,692,928 (new algorithm) vs. 1,185,408 (old algorithm).

2. Floating point operations per pixel (fewer is better): 903,870 (new algorithm) vs. 1,128,062 (old algorithm).

ML Denoise

It’s probably fair to say that ML Denoise, our machine learning-powered noise removal feature, has been in a kind of beta stage until today. When we create any automatic feature, one of the main goals is for it to never make any image worse. With noise removal, that’s very difficult. So we took a conservative approach and tried to avoid this. This meant that the algorithm would sometimes do nothing at all, which is a pretty frustrating experience. What’s more, sometimes some loss of quality or sharpness is worth it because there are ways to recover it. With today’s update, ML Denoise is much better at removing heavy camera noise and is a little more confident in general.

ML Denoise in action

You can see ML Denoise in action with a few example images below. Your feedback about this feature over the last few months was a great help, by the way!

Original Image

ML Denoise

200%

Original Image

ML Denoise

200%

Original Image

ML Denoise

200%

Seeing as this is a machine learning-based algorithm and requires lots of processing power, for now, this will continue to be a one-click action. Adding a slider is potentially possible but getting real-time feedback and good performance requires us to do some more research. It is still in our plans for the future, though.

Download All Sample Images

Automator actions for ML Denoise and ML Super Resolution

And to round off the update, we’ve added two new Automator actions: Increase Resolution of Images and Denoise Images, bringing the total number of Pixelmator Pro actions to 9.

  • Increase Resolution of Images

  • Denoise Images

To learn more about using Automator, check out our tutorial on the topic. Thanks to these new actions, doing awesome things like this will now be much faster and easier.

As usual, this update also includes a number of smaller improvements and fixes. It’s free to download for every existing Pixelmator Pro user and you’ve probably already received it automatically. But, just in case you haven’t, head down to the Mac App Store to make sure you’re all up to date.

Download Now

We’ll be back soon with some more news about upcoming Pixelmator Pro updates — we’ve got some new tools in the works (not ML-based this time) and some great improvements to the color picking UX that we just cannot wait to share with you. Until next time!