April 30, 2008

Flight Plan for Summer

Now that the Pixelmator Team crew (that includes me, too!) is putting final touches to the release of a grand Pixelmator 1.2 Draftsman, I couldn’t keep myself from scribbling an oh-so-traditional article about what’s going on with our favorite image editor.

And, boy, is there lots of stuff to tell!

First of all, I hope it won’t be considered bad manners if I say a good word about the whole Pixelmator Team crew (that includes me again!) for working hard, as they did all last year and at the beginning of this year. Though just four months have passed this year, the team has fixed many bugs and made many improvements to Pixelmator. And the improvement goes on….

More good news for Pixelmator—we don’t have any plans for a holiday this summer. We will be working seriously on Pixelmator improvements, bug fixes, and (attention!) performance issues. 

Yup, this summer is the summer of performance for Pixelmator, which is probably why the next major update of Pixelmator is codenamed Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo.

Our task with Tempo is to stun every single user of Pixelmator by speed (think large images) of the app as much as we did with the UI and other never-before-seen things.

Tempo does not mean that we will leave other stuff behind, not at all—we will continue those huge maintenance updates we’ve been doing. And you can rest assured that every single feature and tool in Pixelmator will see major improvements with every Pixelmator release. You can get an idea of what I am talking about if you look at recently released updates where we worked on Move, Eyedropper, Selection and Navigation tools.

By the way, just for fun, I thought you might be interested to know that we use the Lighthouse application (as its developer says, and we agree, it is “beautifully simple issue tracking”) for Pixelmator issues management, and we have over 200 tickets open. Tickets include bugs, features, and improvements that you guys submit and we work on. About 30% of those are bug fixes that should be done ASAP and 50% minor improvements required for working faster and better. All the other tickets are features submitted by our users and considered by us. Of course, there would be a lot more features if we added all of them—but are you sure you want your image editor to play music from your iTunes Library?

To sum up everything I have babbled about: this summer is going to be the Summer of Pixelmator Speed and because not many bugs are left in Pixelmator, we hope to be completely bug-free by summer’s end.

For now, so that you won’t feel like you’re departing with empty hands, I leave you with the Pixelmator 1.2 Draftsman screenshot (see next post).

P.S. One of our new members in the Pixelmator Team (who was the major forums orator for a long time)— Sebastiaan van der Velden—is working on a very cool and informative Pixelmator tutorials for those of you who are completely new or even those who already know something about image editing. I hope Pixelmator Podcast will be available in a few weeks.

P.P.S. Also, you might want to know that not only is Pixelmator’s already-huge user base expanding exponentially, but also the Pixelmator Team is growing too! There are 6 people working here for you! I think everyone will feel the benefits of the bigger team soon.


  • Lucky

    Adobe was probably small one day too. I wish you guys luck and I can’t wait for Draftsman!

  • Adrian

    Best “feature” IMHO – tutorials 🙂

  • Gero

    That´s fantastic! Expanding the team has been a major request from within the
    forum and like on the feature and bug side, the Pix-Brothers did the right thing.

    On thing about this blog, though: there used to be an indication as to who wrote
    the blog entry. Have I turned blind or is this really missing?

  • Wooster


    The author is on the main blog page. Ya don’t get to see it, oddly, by reading the post.

  • Jonathan

    I have said this before, but I will keep saying it. I hope that one of the features that gets updated is the export feature. It is completely unusable as it is, and Pixelmator won’t become a serious image editor until this is fixed, in my opinion. I paid for the full version of it, but I can no longer use it because of that.

  • Gero

    @ Wooster

    Right! There it is. So no sick day because of sudden blindness for me…

    @ Jonathan

    That´s true, the “export for web”-feature is still missing and is the only thing that I have to start up my old PS elements 3 for… which interestingly enough still starts most of the times. Good ol´Rosetta.

    But the rulers, a very important feature, as well as curves, has me excited nonetheless. I just love my toys.

  • Mikes_corner

    Hi pixteam

    I must say that i am very impressed with you guys. In the beginning i was not sure if you were here to stay. But Pixelmator is maturing, and with 1.2 you have come a LONG way. I think you have a great chance of hijacking a lot of PS users as many are getting really tired of their apps which seems to getting slower and slower. Keep up rocking guys.

  • Anthony

    I agree. Been a Pixelmator user since the beginning, tried Photoshop Elements 6 a couple of days ago (I was curious) and got rid of it today. Pixelmator is here to stay. PSE 6 is too damn slow, sluggish and keeps on crashing even when you try to do a simple thing like browsing through photo’s.

    I’m very impressed with Pixelmator and I’m, like you’re saying, “one of the rest” 😉

    Keep on the good work!


  • Jahfer

    This looks great guys! Keep up the great work…can’t wait for 1.2 and 1.3.:D

    P.S. Thank you for implementing the polygonal lasso – very helpful feature.

  • Dietmar

    Anyweay we can see GUI enhancements to have those hundrets of paletts sticking together?

    I like pixelmator, but gui wise iris from nolobe is much more innovative, since its workflow is much better.

    Maybe i could help improvin the workflow for the gui?:)

  • Matthias

    Seems to be a great jump. I only took a look at the picture on your blog (because my MacBook is damaged) and it seems to be a really good job!
    Especially the grid lines (I hope it is the right name for it?!?) are a very important feature for me!
    Looking forward to get my MacBook back from Apple Care and try out the new version!!!

  • Scott

    I still use Photoshop for making film titles and stills because of the presets and title safe guides. Does anyone know how to accomplish this with pixelmator? If it’s not possible, is there any chance that these features are on the future list? TIA for your help.

  • //jonathan

    my greatest problem with pixelmator is the lack of typographic control. imo this is needed before web export (as without it, pixelmator is impractical for creating web graphics…). this can be implemented in degrees, we don’t necesarily need to shrink and widen type at first, but definately need to be able to control leading and (in second place) kerning.

    the other things that bug me are interface based…

    the palettes really need to be tightened up and take less space, they also need docking together and magnetism (this is especially annoying currenly in that some have ridiculous width differences like 3 pixels, and just come out ugly – eird when there has been so much obvious care has been taken on other visual aspects in the app).

    the final thing is shortcuts: you will have to admit that PS is the 8,000 lb gorilla, and that if people switch and find pixelmator productive, PS shortcuts have been wired into our muscle memory for year now…

    keep up the good work.

  • Comspy

    Hoorah! I am loving Draftsman, and am really, really, REALLY looking forward to Tempo! I hope it has some basic vector tools such as stars, etc. Keep up the good work!


  • Shanx

    Almost everything I wanted to say has been said by Jonathan in comment 16 above. Love this little app after trying a few upcoming ones like Acorn and whatnot. Pixelmator shows the most promise, but I’d love to see these in Tempo:

    1. Docked interface elements.

    2. Option to have flat edges on everything instead of beveled borders, and to make them a lighter gray (this dark almost-black gray is distracting and much too bright for people who want to do color stuff, gray is neutral)

    3. Fonts should not be in the usual annoying Mac OSX manner of undocked “Show Fonts” window. They should be docked in the interface and come up automatically the moment I introduce a Text element. Like Fireworks perhaps. (Kerning etc would be super)

    Some great progress here otherwise!

  • Stephanie

    I dont usually comment, but after reading through so much info I had to say thanks