September 24, 2013

Pixelmator 2.2.1 Out Now

Today we are happy to release the first Pixelmator 2.2.1 update. That may sound minor in numbers, but in our little Pixelmator world, it’s a major one. We’ve done some radical improvements behind the scenes. One of them is a new Pixelmator file format. It’s still the same file format you are used to, yet it now has a completely new architecture that takes advantage of the modern OS X technologies making your image editing even faster and more enjoyable.

Here’re just a few highlights:

  • 2x faster: It can open and save your Pixelmator documents twice as fast compared to the previous Pixelmator file format.
  • Saves in background: This means that Pixelmator automatically saves the edits in the background while you play with images.
  • Faster saving to iCloud: The first image file format to save only the edits you make to iCloud instead of saving the whole picture each time. So it takes less time to save and you have more time to enjoy image editing.
  • Progress bar: The new file format allows us to show a progress bar with accurate status while opening and saving documents.
  • Quick Look support: A better Quick Look support that lets you preview your Pixelmator document without even opening it.

And yet, if you like working with non-Pixelmator images better, we have good news for you, too. Now you can open, edit, and save images in their original file format. For example, you can open a JPG image, edit and save it back as a JPG without taking any extra steps. To turn this feature on, go to Pixelmator > Preferences.

One more feature that we took an extra care of is Pixelmator effects. The Effects Browser improvements let you search, preview, and apply effects more quickly while effects’ enhancements give you more flexibility in previewing effects and faster, smoother performance.

Check out every improvement we’ve made with Pixelmator 2.2.1 update here in detail.


P.S. Next up, Layer Styles.


  • Theo

    Speaking of the “Pixelmator file format”: Why do you force it upon us? Why can’t I open and save a TIFF file as a TIFF file without a prompt to choose a name for the “Pixelmator file format” file? This is so arrogant, this is so useless given the fact that the “Pixelmator file format” has no support elsewhere and isn’t needed at all.

  • Theo

    (so make it a standard please)

  • Esquevin

    Theo, It seems this problem has been specifically been addressed in this release, there is a new preference for it.

    But the most important point for me is the P.S. =)

  • Pixelmator Team


    In fact, we’ve done just what you’ve asked with Pixelmator 2.2.1. You now do have an option to choose how you like to open images. To open and save as a TIFF file, got to Pixelmator > Preferences and deselect the Open documents in Pixelmator file format checkbox.

  • Matthias

    Just thought the same. Maybe he’s frickin’ troll! :-O

    And yeah, that P.S. makes one drool …

  • Jeroen

    I would be great if you could make the file format a standard or provide a library for reading (and writing).

  • Theo

    Sorry, I did not read the complete release notes and was upset when everything was focussed on the Pixelmator file format, a format I neither use nor would recommend to others given it’s nature. I would have deleted my first post soon afterwards, but this wasn’t possible anymore.

    Sorry again.

  • Theo

    it’s -> its

  • Theo

    “So make it a standard please” meant that this saving behavior should not be an option but, well, the standard behavior.

  • Steve

    Thanks for your cost-effective editing tool. My wish list of features to add: 1) CMYK support 2) When laboriously lassoing an object and reaching the edge of the window, it doesn’t scroll to show more of the image… please give us the functionality of being able to nudge at the edge of the screen and reveal more image!

  • Pixelmator Team

    Hey Steve, thanks for the feedback. When you make the lasso selection, do you use the Lasso Tool, or the Polygonal Lasso Tool? Also, do you select in Full Screen, or in a standard view?

  • Guntis

    “P.S. Next up, Layer Styles.”
    This is most important news for me 🙂

  • Stefano Cecere

    thanks for the new features.. but i hate the autosave.
    i love to play with images.. but i usually want to choose if to save them or not
    now everything is saved automatically!
    i could be dangerous! and or i remember to create a pre-copy before any new experiments, or i have to “revert to last opened” before quitting Pixelmator

    i think i could never open Pixelmator again if you don’t make the autosave an option!

  • Pixelmator Team

    Stefano Cecere,

    In System Preferences > General dialog select “Ask to keep changes when closing documents” checkbox. This way you’ll be always asked whether you want to keep changes or not.

  • Stefano Cecere

    ahhhh.. thank you! you saved my (your) Pixelmator love! 🙂

    i’m using ML since a lot and i never had to check that so needed preferences thank you!

  • Mark Rushton

    Stefano: don’t be afraid of those autosaves 🙂 You can always use OS X’s built-in Time Machine to go back to earlier versions of your image (seriously – not enough people area aware of or make use of this super feature).

    Pixelmator team: Sending you much love and respect. The save as original file format saves us a huge amount of bother.

    And layer styles “up next’? WhoooooooHoooooooo!!!!!!!!!

    (…and off I go to trumpet this update to my Mac friends who’ve been on the fence about buying Pixelmator…)

  • sexymacman

    I hope the layer styles support allows us to import existing ASL files I use for photoshop as well as make our own. It would be great to finally be able to design fully with pixelmator for web design.


    Isn’t the Pixelmator .pxm proprietary file format a little bit like the Photoshop .psd proprietary file format?

  • Mrs. Classroom

    v2.2.1 on MacOSX 10.6.8 (required at school/classroom due to AppleWorks Database and Word processing documents from…well forever and since there is NO simple database for OS X that will convert AppleWorks Databases then we will stay at Max OS X 10.6.8 for a very long time!

    To the point – Pixelmator 2.2.1 fails at launch stating Mac OS X 10.7.x is required!

    I have been using this in the classroom since the beta and will continue but let’s fix this oops, please! 🙂

  • Ivan

    First of all, thank you very much Pixelmator Team for all the work you are doing. In my opinion the most users are very happy with each update.

    “Other annoying bug and crash fixes (issues with the quality of resized images, disappearing fonts, language mix ups on Spanish and French localizations, and others).
    I expected much this correction (language mix ups on Spanish and French localizations), however the problem persists;

    Also take the opportunity to suggest full support for fill patterns.

    Best Regards!

  • Alejandro González

    Hi. Thanks for this update! I thank you for allowing files to be edited on their native format! In that regard, could this also be the case for PSD files? It’s still the case that when one opens a PSD file, the Pixelmator format is enforced (or at least it seems to be the case).


  • Hank

    My old documents are somewhat broken, they are saved in .pxm format. But important arrow shape I hand draw are gone.

    How can this happen?

  • Miss Bloom

    Thank you for the update! I thought it would fix my crash problem. 🙁

    Since an update to OS 10.7 pixelmator causes bad crashes on my computer. I suppose that the autosave could be a reason for the problem. Usually I am working with large files, including many layers and styles. While working on it, my screen becomes black without a notice. There’s the same result when I am using less layers and play with effects.

    Unfortunately it’s not possible for me to work seriously with the program anymore.

    Are there other users having the problems? Or do you know about this heavy bug at all?

  • Pixelmator Team

    Hey Miss Bloom, have you contacted us for help via email yet? If you haven’t, please, email us at We’ll take it from there.

  • Noemi

    I cannot tell you how much I’m looking forward to Pixelmator supporting layer styles. Any word on how soon?

  • Charilaos

    I bought Pixelmator 1.x quite some time ago, and I use it almost every day for UI design, annotating images and sometimes even photo editing. It means a lot to me, and my mac knows no CS. It feels like stealing software with all those great updates over time. You should allow donations as IAPs or something. I’m serious.

  • Peter

    Layer Styles, im waiting…

    …because then I can finally delete Photoshop 😀

  • Rubens Lopes

    You guys rock. Seriously. Great update. Expecting that PS

  • Lessy

    First Shape Styles, now Layer Styles! That’s all I wanted.

  • Nikolay Kolev

    “P.S. Next up, layer styles” -> Oh Yeah! Finally! Most important statement from the entire blog post!

  • Trace

    One question I have is: If we choose to open documents in say, a .TIFF format, with layers intact (hopefully), will the “Browse All Versions” feature still work on those, or only on .pxm files?

  • Ausra

    Hey Trace,

    Yes, the Browser All Version feature will work with TIFFs, but without layers. Layered TIFF images aren’t supported in Pixelmator.

  • Zaphodz

    Thanks for this update, it all sounds good except for the auto save, I’ve never liked this as I like to play with images and then decide whether to save or not, I see there is a workaround in the System Preferences but would like to be able to turn this off in the App preferences. Layer Styles will be very welcome indeed 🙂 Also, PLEASE can we have “make selection from path”? This is the most accurate way to make detailed selections and is the last thing needed for me to ditch PS.

    Thanks again for all your work, overall Pixelmator is a joy to use.

  • Ausra

    Zaphodz, you can make a selection out of a shape by holding a Command key while clicking on the shape layer thumbnail. It’ll load selection on it.

  • Zaphodz

    Thank you Ausra, you have made my day, I tried this with a grouped set of complex paths and it worked beautifully, Pixelmator rocks!!

  • hamsta

    Nice tip Ausra!

    And I am glad to see that Layer Styles are coming. Now I won’t have to read all the whining about it in the blog comments. ^_^

  • RIcardo Novak

    Exciting and inspiring to see someone out there beginning to build a great alternative image editing app. With the Adobe Cloud, and Adobe continuing to march down the path to Photoshop mediocrity we in the (non-corporate) design community are in dire need of a new professional level image creation/editing app. PxM isn’t there yet – but a noble, and very promising start. Kudos to you’re development so far.
    Some UI feedback:
    – Allow keyboard input for values (e.g. pixel radius etc)
    – Provide keyboard shortcuts for:
    • zoom • reset (option-click cancel to undo)
    – Rethink Hue/Sat adjustment alogorythm to ignore gray values (had trouble increasing Sat w/o amping up grays)
    – Add “convert to color space” command, with preview

    Great job so far.


  • Freelancelot

    Nice update! Layer Styles = game changer. Please oh please bring that soon. Will be great if it will honor existing layer styles in my current psd files, too (there are many). My wish list in order of importance:

    1) Layer Styles
    2) Non-destructive Editing
    3) CMYK mode
    4) Liquify brush
    5) Content Aware Editing/background removal tools

  • Richberg


    I would like to tweak my Effects after I apply them as I develop a picture. Sometimes I like to go back and readjust. as it stands now. I can only adjust in preview before i apply. after i apply the effect, I can no longer go back to it. Unless im not doing or have done something. please make that a function. You use to be able to that in your first version of pixelmator.

  • Glenn Frazier

    Is there a version of Pixelmator that can be downloaded and successfully used on an older MAC like the G4 that runs on the OS X 10.4.11????? If so, please let me know so that I can test and it and purchase it.