October 22, 2013

Pixelmator Team Unveils Pixelmator 3.0 FX

Adds OS X Mavericks support, new Layer Styles, Liquify Tools, and the new Pixelmator Image Editing Engine

The Pixelmator Team today announced Pixelmator 3.0 FX, the most advanced version of Pixelmator to date, featuring Layer Styles, Liquify Tools, and support for new features in OS X Mavericks, delivering blazing fast performance with its new, state-of-the-art image editing engine. Pixelmator 3.0 FX is available today as a free upgrade from the Mac App Store.

“This is the day we’ve been working for since the initial Pixelmator launch and we are absolutely thrilled to bring this massive upgrade to Pixelmator fans,” said Saulius Dailide, of the Pixelmator Team. “Now with Layer Styles, Liquify Tools, and an incredibly faster performance delivered by the new Pixelmator’s state-of-the-art image editing engine, Pixelmator becomes a top-quality, full-featured image editing app for the Mac.”

Pixelmator 3.0 FX introduces Layer Styles. Now creating advanced and polished compositions is so much simpler, faster, and more enjoyable. Quickly apply shadows and inner shadows, beautiful gradients, create outlines, or reflections. Or apply a combination of effects with any of the great-looking Layer Styles presets. The best part is that all of this is done non-destructively.

The new Liquify Tools bring even more ways to shape up and play with your images. Slightly twist an element, add an artistic detail, or even completely distort the entire image. The new Warp, Bump, Pinch, and Twirl Liquify Tools are incredibly fun to play with, whether you want to subtly improve your photos or artistically distort them.

Pixelmator 3.0 FX became dramatically faster and more powerful. Pixelmator’s development team took an extra step to build a truly modern and innovative image editing engine that takes advantage of the full power of OS X, by combining technologies like Core Image, OpenCL, OpenGL, 64-bit architecture, and Grand Central Dispatch, giving you the speed you need to keep pace with your creativity.

With new features in OS X Mavericks, like App Nap and Compressed Memory, Pixelmator is even more responsive and power efficient. Tags in OS X Mavericks helps you organize and find Pixelmator documents quickly, and with enhanced multi-display support, you’ll have more flexibility than ever to open Pixelmator windows the way you want and on the display you want.


  • Mark Rushton

    Duuuuuudes!!!! You’ve made my day. This is the update so many of us has been waiting to get our hands on. Congratulations – and THANKS!!!

  • mav

    Well, that was unexpected. Fired up Software Update to check if I can download Mavericks and what do I see? Pixelmator 3.0. With layer styles! First free iWork & iLife updates, then free Mavericks, and then this. It has to be the best day for the Mac ever!

  • Daryn

    Thanks for this! I can finally get rid of that _other_ editor!

  • Joe

    Well this just kills it! This is fantastic. Thank you Pixelmator Team!

  • WebTread

    What a FANtastic day indeed for us Mac users. We know the Pixelmator Team has been working on this for a long time and you picked the perfect day to release it. You guys deserve the Awards you have received and I couldn’t be happier with this fantastic product.

    Now just out of curiosity what do you guys have planned next. While I really love the look of Pixelmator it would be great if you provide an option to change the color scheme so we don’t have to hear any more complaining from those that find it hard on their eyes. Any how look forward to whatever you have cooking next and thanks again for such a great software product at an unbelievably generous price.

    Keep up the great work… You’ve got a fan for life.

  • sexymacman

    Thank you for the new update,

    Is there any way to import an existing photoshop layer style. I have purchased quite a few of them over the years

  • Zaphodz

    Well firstly, congratulations on another great update! But this is so painful as I was expecting “Layer Styles” to be “Adjustment Layers”, i.e. non-destructive effects such as levels and curves (not shadows and reflections etc.) pretty much the last thing I need to ditch PS. These new features are both welcome and useful but not as fundamentally important as adjustment layers in image manipulation workflow, pleeeeease can we have this soon 🙂
    Please don’t get me wrong, Pixelmator is one of my favourite apps and a joy to use, what you have done and continue to do is amazing, thank you!

  • SexyCommando

    Adobe Photoshop die today.

  • Cesar Sacconi Falcao

    WOW Pixelmator 3 and OSX 10.9, both free at the same day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Congrats on this 3rd version, it’s amazing! Pixelmator definitely is one of the greatest apps of all times, I just cant understand why it’s cheap!!!!!!!!!!!

  • eric

    but I’m waiting for the day it allows pattern overlays….and maybe even css3 output based on layer styles! (ok thats luxury…even photoshop doesn’t have that unless you use 3rd party plugins)
    as a web developer its a major need. I use subtlepatterns.com, and with color overlays the sky is the limit.
    im waiting for this app to become web developer friendly….

  • Jacob Johnston

    Wow, this felt like it came quickly out of nowhere (though I’m sure there was tons of crazy-hard work put into it). I’m in love. Layer styles were the last big missing feature for me! Woohoo!!!

  • Bernd Meitzner

    *Very* thanx for this fantastic update.

  • Will

    Also excited and surprised to have this update, though to be honest mostly excited that there’s no more low-hanging-fruit to distract from incorporating adjustment layers.

    Lack of adjustment layers is the reason I almost never run pixelmator, despite otherwise preferring it in most ways. I use adjustment layers for pretty much everything I do, so it has been a real block for me. Hopefully in the next update!

    Seriously, I know everyone has their own essential features, but pixelmator does everything I need save for adjustment layers and panorama auto stitching, and that I can handle with other software.

  • t

    Congratulations. I watched Pixelmator from the very first prerelease announcement in 2007. I remember thinking at the time that the only critical elements missing to replace my Photoshop workflow were vector shapes and layer styles. I guess it has been a long time (six years, can’t be…) but this release finally fills in the missing pieces. In the mean time Pixelmator has really gone and become something special.
    I know this comment reads like a plant but believe me I’ve been equally critical on this blog in the past (App Store transition anyone?), but all I have to say now is “congratulations!”

  • Coen

    I still like Pixelmator, but I dislike that every single change is hailed as a innovative revolution. It’s evolution at best. Calling this a 3.0 version is just too much praise for a big panel that only adds a shadow, stroke and a fill. Liquify tools are just an other implementation of effects that were already there. No innovation there whatsoever. I think the new file format and the speed improvements are the best stuff in here. I’m still an enthusiast, but this ‘patting yourselves on the back’-stuff is getting pretty annoying.

  • Pawe? Kata

    Thank you for the amazing update 🙂 Layer styles are awesome!

  • James

    That’s great, all I need now is a smart object equivalent and I can start using Pixelmator for real work.

  • Vladimir Belohradsky

    This is totally amazing!!! Pixelmator has been my favorite editor since public reveal and this version is complete game changer. Thank you so much for this! Let’s begin “after Photoshop era … A.P.”. 🙂

  • Marco

    Thank you, guys! This is awesome.
    As other users have already suggested, I would like to see “Non-Destructive” adjustment layers and filers in the next updates. Only then could I *really* replace Photoshop for good. Also, I love the new layer styles but I would prefer a Sketch-like implementation (multiple strokes, shadows, fills, gradients, patterns, etc).
    But again, thank you for the new free update. I love it!

  • Redjam

    Congrats! It looks like an awesome update 🙂 Thanks guys

  • Mike


    I think you missed the plot here. Implementing Layer styles in not a small feat to do. Also, it has a completely re-written engine, so it’s optimised for Maverick. I work in Photoshop on a daily basis, and yes it has everything your heart desire, but for most people you don’t need 50% of the features it has. Also, Adobe products are painfully slow!. Doing a simple task as dragging a folder with elements in it, is a complete joke in Photoshop.

    What Pixelmator has achieved in such a small time, is nothing but amazing. It is blazingly fast, and puts Photoshop and Adobe to shame.

  • Anthony

    Good update but a BIG +1 for adjustment layers. This is the thing I most miss from PS. Being able to go back and tweak a level is so useful. At the moment I’m having to duplicate layers and hide the original.

  • Joonas

    Congratulations and thank you for an excellent update. New engine and features took Pixelmator (once again) a huge leap forward.

    I’ve said this before and don’t want to complain but the only thing Pixelmator needs now is adjustment layers. I’m pretty sure that most, if not all, of the professional photographers use adjustment layers in their workflow, so please include it next and let us get rid of “that other software” finally 🙂

  • Joonas

    Forgot to say that I really appreciate you giving this update free. I can’t even imagine how hard you must have worked to bring Pixelmator this far and it’s been exciting to follow the development.

  • Vadim

    Best thing about the Apple Event was the Pixelmator 3.0 FX launch ! Excelent Stuff Guys !

  • Noemi

    This is super exciting — great job, guys! The one remaining feature before Pixelmator replaces Photoshop for me for design work is nested layer sets. Add that (and make it possible to leave Adobe behind) and I’d pay double or triple the current price for Pixelmator without a second thought.

  • Will

    I should have mentioned that I’d pay again for adjustment layers and pay more than the current $30 asking price… probably up to $60 if a 15-day trial were available in order to verify that it works as expected.

    I know that you guys work hard to implement every feature, and that getting them all for free isn’t entirely fair to you and more than generous to us. Still, I really can’t use the software for much without that feature, so I hope it comes (for me, and I hope that you charge us for it (for you). It would really replace PS for me.

    One more thing I realized in working with the software this morning… when working with shapes, you can only (to my discovery) adjust them numerically with percents. I’d like to be able to adjust them with pixels as well. I know they are vectors, so they can scale differently, but being able to adjust them by pixels, relative to the current canvas, would really be a great help.

  • John

    Considering this is a free upgrade, how can I complain? It adds layers styles (though not not all the different ones I’d been hoping for). I’m really hoping, though, that the next paid upgrade includes Adjustment Layers. I just can’t do any work in Pixelmator until it has adjustment layers. I’d be willing to pay more for the app, too.

  • Thomas Lieser

    As I see no mention: Does it support 16bit images?

    That’s what I’m waiting for….

  • sexymacman

    I am not sure what people mean they cant go back and adjust or tweak a layer style they added, if you look on the layer panel there is a FX on the left of each object, clicking that loads the current style for that object into the style palette so you can “tweak or adjust” it

  • everett

    The big thing for me… wasn’t layer styles. I like them, I’m happy they’re there. What really put me in orbit…

    Round tripping through Aperture. I just want to know one thing. I have it set to send 16 bit Tiff’s to Pixelmator. Does PM REALLY work with 16 bit Tiff’s now, or are they being down sampled? Your work with photoshop files leads me to believe you are good with higher value color now. Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes….

  • Andre

    I’m very curious about how Pixelmator works with 16 bit TIFF files too!! It’s critical to me. 16 bit support and opening .NEF/.CR2 files are the only thing holding me back from jumping to Pixelmator full time…

  • Freelancelot

    I’ve gotta say thanks and congrats to Pixelmator for a major achievement with 3.0. However, I was really hoping for a complete set of layer styles (i.e. outer glow & inner glow, pattern overlay, emboss, etc.) + adjustment layers in this release. Liquify tools are a very nice surprise, although I have not fully checked them out yet. Keep up the good work and I’ll be looking forward to the next update. You guys are soooo close to taking down that ‘other’ editor and have an opportunity to soar much higher.

  • Jempy

    Thanks for this great update. I am just a Pixelmator user for a week, and was afraid i have to buy a new update but i was very happy to see the upgrade was for free. Great service guys, now i have to find out the new features, but i am sure this update will work fantastic.

  • Rytis

    Greatest update ever. Thank you guys!!!

  • R0b

    Congratulations Pixelmator on another great release. While I do share Coen’s point of view, it is nice, nevertheless, to see things moving forward. Hopefully adjustment layers will be added soon (like Acorn, Photoshop, Gimp have had for ages…) because then Pixelmator will really start to see a larger professional audience take interest. Until then, unfortunately, that ugly blue PS icon will remain active in our docks.

  • Pete

    Great update, but it crashes every time I drag an image inside of a document 🙁 And if it doesn’t crash, the image I dropped gets distorted…UPDATE PLEASE!

  • Ausra

    Pete, it would be super great if you could email us the crash report at bugs@pixelmator.com. Thanks a lot!

  • senf36

    Amazing application, fantastic price!

  • Daniel Petre

    Thanks for the free update in the app store, Pixelmator works awesome !

  • Stefano

    Snow Leopard support is gone 🙁
    Except for this, it’s a great release.

  • erik venhues

    well, the update to version 3 is very good 🙂 finally layer options. Now i just miss CMYK edit/export support and it would be awesome to allow transform text areas without fix aspect ratio.

  • Montychristo86

    Adobe Photoshop was already dying. It was just on life support until Pixelmator 3.0 here came and gave it a long awaited lethal injection.

  • TiredEyes

    Any chance 3.1 will include fancy new options to allow tired eyes to finally use it? I know it seems trifling to those with eagle vision, but I swear the too-dark UI of both Pixelmator and its Web site actually DOES give me a headache in very little time. It also makes me cranky and in the mood to post negative comments about it.

  • Jon

    Pleased that Pixelmator is still getting regular updates but like others, after the continual promises that layer styles were coming, I had expected something more.

    While being able to save drop shadows etc as a preset is nice, I also expected (as the fx in the name implies) being able to use effects in the layer styles.

    Layer styles are a nice start but for me to be able to use them I really need a list view and to be able to give them a name. If I have several similar styles which I’m using across a variety of images. I have no idea which to apply as they all look pretty similar in the previews.

    Keep the updates coming and yes please to adjustment layers!

  • Hugh

    Also looking for a RAW image processor. Are you working on that? I suppose it will come.

  • Tex

    With this new version, I’m finally switching from Fireworks (CS4!) to Pixelmator. It’s great.. very promising overall. But oh my.. no layer locking yet? I figured that was a gimme by now. I also really miss having multiple Pages within one file.. great for wireframes and mockups. I suppose i could do each as a Group, but that’s pretty messy – pages should be mutually exclusive from each other, so when one is selected, all others are deselected. Oh well, can’t have it all, i guess.

  • Marin

    I love the new Pixelmator 3. Now I can use it for everything I need. I draw comic and fantasy characters. I have put a video on Youtube, how to draw a dragon in Pixelmator: http://youtu.be/N5kE9uaXucc

  • B?a?ej Wdowikowski

    You’r the best! I work with trial an now new version!… Thanks 😀

  • Marko

    If only there’d be GNU-Linux version of it…

  • marc

    Bought it. It’s nice, bravo, but no adjustment layers, means no work.

  • Bela Ujvary

    Dear Pixelmator Team,

    Pixelmator is a beautiful and perfectly engineered product, and I have been waiting for layer styles to finally complete it’s feature set.

    I have to say: This thing you added is actually a layer styles parody. I’m sorry, but that is the case. It gives much less than what Photoshop has to offer and we (I at least) were waiting for (much) more than that. Something along the lines of Sketch’s functionality. Frankly, I’m shocked that after so much time and with your tendency to over polish everything in your app, you could come out with this as your ‘Layes Styles’ solution.

    Now I can I can only hope for 4.0 to add serious Layer Styles. Until then… I still can’t use this for everyday work. 🙁

    Other than that: Great work!

  • Jonas Lindeberg

    Love the way Pixelmator evolves.

    I’m still using Adobe’s offerings (bought CS3 and it feels awkward not using the expensive license, even now that I need to install Java 6 just for that) but as I recently picked up pixel art again I’m launching Pixelmator every day to draw dots while my daughter is asleep (for example to: http://mawnstr.com ). It’s been a while since I tried retouching in Pixelmator, but I believe most kinks I experienced back then have been ironed out… and the post about Vectormator? If you make it more full fletched, so I can continue my typeface work there instead of in Illustrator, I’d be sold. A standalone app of that mode is an insta-buy from me.

    Wish you all the best, and here’s a request of function I’ve used a lot since I first started moving around from workstation to workstation with laptop: Toolset profiles. For example when I’m creating graphics on the road my toolset is kind of limited, to unclutter the screen estate, but when I plug into a bigger, better screen I tend to maximize it all bringing up histograms and compositions – so I switch to another toolset I’ve composed. With Vectormator you proved you had even better tech (I love how I can remove unwanted tools from the toolbar, but as of now Pixelmator is just a pixel art tool for me), now take it a step further and let me set up toolbars & sets for pixel drawing / retouching / sketching. Pretty please. 😉

  • sexymacman

    Since Pixelmator 3.0 FX lots of my custom effects from quarz composer have disappeared, which directory is pixelmator reading to read the .qtz files for effects. I have always used ~/library/Compositions now all my custom ones in there no longer are seen by effects.

  • Josue Molina

    If you guys happen to find a nice integration or workflow with FCPX and Motion 5. This app will boom. A big sum of ppl want to leave Adobe.

  • Steven

    Does the 3.0 version supportt 16-bit greyscale?

  • Ausra

    @Steven: No, Pixelmator 3.0 doesn’t support 16-bit greyscale.

  • Air

    I ?? all the continuing improvements you are making to Pixelmator.
    I wanted to ask if & what compatibility Pixelmator has with iPad Air or Wacom for control
    within the desktop?

    I understand you are a small team but you are doing great things for many.

  • Ausra

    @Air, Thanks! All Wacom tablets supported by OS X are supported in Pixelmator as well. iPad Air is different, I imagine to control what’s on your screen with iPad Air requires a dedicated app. We haven’t developed such app, if that’s what you are asking.

  • John Penney

    Congratulations on Pixelmator 3, an amazing wonderful value for money professional piece of software. Now retired with my editor wife we finally put out to grass are PPC Macs and out of date CS2 suite. I was looking for a pensioner friendly editor, look no further this almost has it all. Wish I could still zoom in and out with opt, cmd and space bar though, (nit picking). A Big Thanks, Spot On!

  • jonty kilpatrick

    Fantastic! Beats photoshop at everything that’s essential with no silly add ons. Please can you design a sibling web site creation and manipulation app too!

  • melodie

    uhh. I want this for my google chrome! is this possible???

  • Films.Gb Photography

    We can’t recommend Pixelmator highly enough – we’re turning to it with more frequency than ever before for a range of photographic jobs – from colour work to retouching – and via automator batch resizing and watermarking.
    A truly remarkable bit of software that runs cleanly and doesn’t infiltrate your computer with bloatware and constant licensing checks. Fantastic work guys – can’t wait for the next update!