November 4, 2008
New Goodies in 1.3 Tempo
Although Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo is not completely about adding new features, there are many exciting new things that fit perfectly with those major performance improvements on which we focused. I am just about to tell you about the new things that I am sure you will love using a lot because a) I promised to do that a few weeks ago, and b) Tempo is to reach your hands a few days from now. So let’s get started.
Feature #1: Magic Eraser (a.k.a. Instant Alpha, click-and-drag tool)
Magic Eraser does exactly the same things as Instant Alpha in Keynote. The feature is useful for removing an unwanted background or any other colors in an image. Many people asked for this, and we couldn’t help but include it. It looks and works great in Pixelmator.
To use Magic Eraser, you will have to select the Magic Eraser icon in the Eraser Tool Options palette or simply click the E shortcut twice.
We took the Instant Alpha idea even further with the Magic Wand tool. It works exactly like Magic Eraser, except that it doesn’t remove anything, but selects a portion of an image when you click and drag your mouse cursor. We believe it’s the only Magic Wand in the world that is so useful and fun and still keeps all the functionality of the classic Magic Wand. No one else has this. In addition to click-and-drag, the new Magic Wand also brings anti-aliasing and an ability to sample all layers.
Feature #3: Paint Bucket (click-and-drag)
This one is really fun and also very useful. The click-and-drag approach of Paint Bucket in Pixelmator makes it the coolest Paint Bucket tool in the world. When using Paint Bucket to fill areas, you see the results instantly by dragging your mouse, even when filling in any blending mode. The look and feel are amazing. Paint Bucket in Pixelmator also gained anti-aliasing.
Feature #4: Hue and Saturation
As you may have already noticed, we are adding or improving adjustment tools with every single major update—and it was time for Hue and Saturation, Colorize, and Replace Color to get some improvements in usability and fun. The main task was to make something really interesting and fun, and I believe we did it. The new Hue and Saturation tool is gorgeous. It now features a color wheel with color buttons nearby. When you spin the color buttons, you see what is changed as those buttons go with other colors in the wheel (e.g., red is replaced with green, green is replaced with blue, etc.) In addition, it is now possible in Hue and Saturation to adjust a specific color component in an image and to specify the range for it.
Feature #5: Colorize
Colorize now features a user interface similar to Hue and Saturation, and some other minor improvements have been made.
Feature #6: Replace Color
Replace Color has now gained the same Hue and Saturation interface. In addition, a new feature makes Replace Color much more fun and useful: the Radius preview slider, which makes an image dissolve to black and white when you click on it for radius preview purposes.
Feature #7: Smart Palette Hide
This one is a very important innovation for Pixelmator users. We have received feedback from people who say they have too many palettes open in Pixelmator, and when they use adjustments or filters, they would like to focus just on that filter or adjustment tool. That’s where Smart Palette Hide comes in. Whenever you launch any adjustment or filter, unnecessary palettes that you won’t be using now temporarily dissolve. Once you’re done with that adjustment or filter tool, palettes that were hidden come back. I’ve been using this feature for five months now, and I must say I can’t live without it anymore.
Oh, and there is a second reason for this feature: we don’t believe in a one-window user interface image editor.
Feature #8: Action Tooltips
This one is mostly for those one-click menu items that you choose sometimes but can’t see any changes—and then you wonder if you did really choose it. So now when you choose any tool that does not have a palette, it will show a nice action label just so you know you did choose something. It is very good for working using keyboard shortcuts (especially undo/redo ones).
Feature #9: Type Tool
Because the Type Tool was on our board of shame, we had to do something about it. Type Tool in Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo brings an ability to draw the text box, some new type features, and a bunch of bug fixes. Well, not exactly bug fixes—we have completely overwritten it.
In addition to mentioned features and improvements, Version 1.3 brings a bunch of bug fixes and other minor improvements. Stay tuned for the update to be released (as I told you, it will happen in the next few days—we just want our little image editor to be perfect).