A while ago

2013 Roundup

2014 is just around the corner, so I think it’s time for the annual development update on what we’ve done so far and what we are up to. And, believe me, we have lots of stuff going on here.

But let me start with 2013. It was truly one of the most exciting and best years in Pixelmator history.

We had three awesomely successful releases. First, it was Pixelmator 2.2 Blueberry with easy and fun to play with Shape tools, a Paint Selection Tool, and a gorgeous Light Leak effect. Then, the Pixelmator 2.2.1 update with a new Pixelmator file format that can open and save Pixelmator documents two times faster than before. And, our most recent release, the Pixelmator 3.0 FX major upgrade with Layer Styles, Liquify Tools, and a new image editing engine.

Each release was more successful than the other. The number of downloads increased with every update. We even reached one million for the latest Pixelmator 3.0 FX update. We are
very happy about this astonishing milestone.

What excites us even more is that your feedback is always incredibly great. Pixelmator has an average rating of 4.5 stars on the Mac App Store. I even checked how others are doing, thinking maybe it’s nothing unusual to have 4.5 stars. It turns out that Pixelmator is one of those (extremely) few apps.

In the meantime, we’ve redesigned the entire Pixelmator web site, updated our tutorials page, and introduced the Get Started with Pixelmator guide. All of this, while working on Pixelmator updates.

What’s next

We receive tons of feature requests from you, including a single window mode, SVG, EPS file formats support, CMYK support, Multi-touch support, a white balance feature, adjustment layers, a scrollable shapes palette, 16-bit support, and many more (keep them coming!).

Some of the requests we receive might require another huge update, some I doubt fit the nature of Pixelmator, and some of them, I’m delighted to announce, are already in the works, like 16-bit support. Yup, it’s coming next year.

We have some more incredible stuff going on here that I can’t tell you about yet, though I’m absolutely itching to do so. I hope we’ll be ready to show you some sneaky peeks early next year.

So, to sum up everything, the year of 2013 has been absolutely incredible. We’ve finally released long-anticipated features and improved the Pixelmator performance. We even dared to call Pixelmator “a full-featured image editing app for the Macs,” because we think it can now stand up to this statement. And I know the year of 2014 is going to be just as exciting to all of us Pixelmator fans, starting with the new and awesome Pixelmator 3.1 update, codenamed Marble.


  • Alexander

    When are you going to integrate a proper color palette? The Apple color selector is really horrible. It’s a shame such a feature is holding such a great product back.

  • Joe

    Great year and really looking forward to the upcoming changes. Yes, also looking forward to improvements to color handling. Nothing else matters if colors are not correct.

  • Ausra


    To be honest, we have no near future plans to change the current palette, but thanks for the feedback. We’ll definitely re-consider it later.


    Would be great if you could shoot us an email at support@pixelmator.com telling us the problems you have with color handling. Thanks!

  • Rob

    +1 for single window mode and dockable tool windows.

    Just as important: the windows that contain the actual images should NOT ‘resize to fit’ when you zoom in, but they should keep their current dimensions and get scrollbars.

    I always have to move windows around and re-resize them, after I zoomed in and Pixelmator resized them for me, hiding most of the editable image data behind tool windows.

    That’s a time-waster and pretty annoying, so please invest some time there.

    Other than that, I’m pretty in love with Pixelmator, always have been, and I’m sure nothing about that will change in 2014! Keep up the good work!

  • Ausra

    Thanks, Rob, for the feedback!

  • Daniel

    Congrats on the great year, guys! Well deserved.

    My #1 feature request at this point, which would solve the biggest pain point for me in using Pixelmator as a Photoshop replacement, is nondestructive editing. Other than the recently added layer styles, which I really like, the Pixelmator workflow tends to be baked in at every step, which is a huge disadvantage vs. working with a program like Photoshop that allows almost everything to be switched on and off dynamically, in different combinations, etc. I would really really appreciate adjustment layers, nondestructive filters (either add them as a separate layer, or as part of a layer style) and more layer style options, similar to what Photoshop offers.

    It would also be fun to get additional filters, again to approach the excellent selection that Photoshop has both natively and through plugins.

    Really really looking forward to what your team creates in 2014!

  • Ausra

    @Daniel, thanks for the support!

  • Pavel

    All the best in the next year and thanks for Pixelmator.

    For the new features I second the opinion of Daniel, non-desctructive editing would be great, being able to use the huge collection of PS plug-ins would be even better (love the Andromeda plugins).
    But perhaps starting with a simple feature, such as ability to save, rather export to original format if the file was opened from that format (e.g. if I open PNG file, do some changes, save would update the original file, with option to save native Pixelmator at the same time)..this would be tremendous time saver.

    Looking forward to see new updates soon.

  • Daniel

    @Pavel Good news regarding your simple feature request: I believe what you would like is already part of the latest version of Pixelmator. If you open Pixelmator -> Preferences… and go to the “General” tab, there is a checked option that says “Open documents in Pixelmator file format”. If you uncheck that option, a PNG will be opened as a PNG and saved as the same PNG! Hope that’s what you were looking for 🙂

  • Jimmy

    Hi,PixelMator Team
    I recently bought an DSLR, so I am considering to buy an image editing app. Personally I don’t like Adobe’s every product so PS won’t be my choice. I’ve heard Pixelmator for quite a long time from like daringfireball or various tech podcast. And from your gorgeous website and the other sources, Pixelmator looks great! I am gonna buy it. But since the Christmas is coming, I am wondering will there be a Christmas discount? If the answer is no, then I don’t have to wait.

  • ikir

    Thanks for everything, Pixelmator is really awesome. Happy Xmas to all at Pixelmator!

  • Carlo Fattorini

    When are you going to integrate a navigator panel for the image canvas? It’s very hard to work with big image.
    And a flag to block layer in the layers panel?
    best regards,

  • Stefano

    Single window mode would be a BIG feature, if implemented.
    I know many people that don’t like “no single window” capable graphic apps.

    Have a Happy 2014!

  • Ausra

    Thanks a lot to all of you for the feedback and suggestions!

  • PsykX

    For the 100th time in the last 2 years… I’ll start using Pixelmator when it has :

    – Single-window mode
    – A lighter interface

    Until then, my Mac will continue to install these free updates that, in all seriousness, I cannot use.

  • Rob

    Great product. Would also like to add my support to the idea of improving the colour picker. Using Apple’s own does look out of place.

  • David

    “…SVG, EPS file formats support… Some of the requests we receive might require another huge update, some I doubt fit the nature of Pixelmator,…”

    Vectormator Maybe?- To compliment the greatest Photo editing app in the world!

  • Steven John

    Can you integrate text wrap into Pixelmator? I mean seriously, I can’t do many things without it. I’ve to use other apps such as, Inkscape or Illustrator or the actual Photoshop for it.

  • Kenneth

    Pixelmator version 3.0 is absolutely wonderful. This version is what I need! And i have been playing around with it for the past days!

    Hope there will be more video tutorials to show off more its capability. 😉

    Thanks for the great job and have a very Merry Christmas! 😉

  • Zaphodz

    Yes, it has been a great year for Pixelmator! I am looking forward to what 2014 holds, Adjustment Layers would improve workflow greatly and maybe some features to make frequency separation simpler :). Also, a cheeky ask, maybe you guys could have a word with Apple about Aperture 4 being released sometime soon 😉 Aperture and Pixelmator make a great workflow combination (and eliminates Adobe from the equation), but Aperture is starting to get left behind in certain areas. Anyway, great work guys, have a good break!

  • David

    Thanks a lot for your updates and constant improvements! I’m really looking forward to 16-bit support!
    And I also would prefer a single-window mode.

    Merry christmas!

  • switchgrass

    Trying Pixelmator for the first time, three things jumped out at me: no multi-touch, no non-destructive editing, and slow performance with large canvas sizes. The lack of non-destructive editing is something understandable for a newer image editor and it’s presumably in the works, but the slow performance and lack of multi-touch? If you’re going to brag about being Mac optimized, those are issues that must be fixed.

  • Joachim Smith


    I’m including Pixelmator 3.0 in a guide to alternatives to PS CC that I’m writing for a premium Swedish photo magazine.

    The one feature that I’d have loved to promise readers for the next update is ADJUSTMENT LAYERS.

    Please conjure them up at the earliest possible moment!

    Happy New Photo Year!

  • Adam

    Having SVG, EPS (both import and export, kind of like fireworks) and CMYK will make this the killer app for me and make it easy to get away from Adobe for good.

    I look forward to this, and can recommend Pixelmator with a clear conscience then 😉

  • Diego

    – A single window would be so damn awesome. It’s annoying to work with panels blocking your view.
    – Another feature would be a “limitless” scrolling, like the feature Photoshop was lacking for decades. What do I mean? To let the user to move the picture even further the limits of the window, like allowing to work in the top, bottom, left or right edges of the picture more comfortably.
    – Multi-touch support. Totally! For zoom in and out and move the picture around.
    – A way to move objects to a specific position, like a panel to move a circle shape to x=20 and y=25 and change the width and height like that too either constrained or free. That’d be extremely useful.

  • Benjamin Tolputt

    Well, in the way of suggestions, being able to lock a layer (i.e. prevent it from being edited) would be pretty useful. It’s a popular suggestion that’s been requested for at least two years now, as evidenced in the link at the bottom. Shouldn’t require major updates either.

    I’d add “single window” to the request list too. Looking forward to 16 bit support but, given my focus on non-photographic artwork, this isn’t as big a deal for me 🙂


  • David Rochaix

    Thanks for this great app, I use it almost everyday for professionnal purposes.

    +1 : improve the colorpicker and integrate tools for a real color management, incl CMYK… it’s fundamental for all the rest and it is still as poor as v.1, with the ugly OSX default dialog.

    The ability to zoom-out further than the window size would also be great, letting borders around the image, but still in the app. It’s actually impossible to select parts of image along the edges with lasso or polygonal selection tool.

    Again, thank you for the nice work you provide and happy new year !

  • Zed

    Thank you for making the best alternative to the old (in every way), bloated and slow Photoshop. My wishes for 2014 are 1. full support for SVG/EPS/PDF with import/edit/export, who needs Illustrator? 2. CMYK. As for single window or ui color…I really don’t care! Happy new year!

  • Colin O'Donoghue

    I’m a big fan of Pixelmator and it’s great that you now include vectors but what I really miss from Freehand is the ability to turn type into vectors and then pull the individual vectors around to create unique logos. Please don’t overload just stick to making the vector drawing as good as it can be, I only need vectors for templates for 3D or bitmaps.

  • john

    I really enjoy using the latest version of Pixelmater, great user interface! Are you folks considering
    developing a document app like InDesign? As I find myself using your app more often, it would be amazing
    to see a multi-page document app from you guys that would allow me to publish to print, web, and mobile!

    Just a thought! I would never have to use Adobe again!

  • Doug T

    Please include me on the list for: Single window mode option, SVG, EPS file formats support, CMYK support, Multi-touch support, a white balance feature, adjustment layers, a scrollable shapes palette, text wrap, and palette color options (other than black). Thanks!

  • Danny

    The 16-bit announcement is great news and a big step forward.

  • Heath Ballard

    Amazing application!! 3.0 FX rocks!

    +1 on everything you mentioned, but I’m specifically focused on adjustment styles, vector SVG/EPS file import /export, and single-window mode (really needed for 13′ screen). I’m not sure what other poster’s problems are with the default OSX color picker…there are more pressing features to focus on. It’s functional. Additional CMYK support would be nice, but OSX already supplies some built in tools for converting between RGB / CMYK and Indesign will do the conversation for you at the end of your print work flow (you only need CMYK for print anyway). Again, these would be nice, but I don’t see them at a priority.

  • Percy

    Hi Pixelcrew. Great news about the future updates. Looking forward.

    I would like to add another thingy. I am really missing TAB. In PS if you hit tab, all the menu’s disappear. Its in my fingers and i cannot get it out. It was before in pixelmator, i hope you can add it back!

    And as another user said above.. “limitless” scrolling, Thats soooo damn nice!

    Please try to consider to add it in future updates. For now, thanks for everything!
    Greetings from the Netherlands.

  • Brian

    Of all the things you mentioned, Multi Touch support is by far the most important to me. There’s work arounds for everything, except for having to slow down and use the trackpad like I’m still on Windows XP.

    Looking forward to the future updates to your awesome app.

  • Holger

    Thanks for an awsome application. I’m trying to do all my work now with Pixelmator instead of PS and hope to get away completely with it one day.
    I hope you’ll incorprate some of the nice ideas mentioned above. But I wonder only one user here mentioned layer locking. This should be an easy addition and an absolute must. I can’t tell you how many times I drag the wrong layer…

    Keep up the good work!

  • Uli Zappe

    Though I’m late to the party, I’d like to comment on a few requests in this discussion.

    1. COLOR SELECTOR The first comment says “The Apple color selector is really horrible” and a few others seem to agree, but nobody says what exactly they find “horrible”. I have no idea since I find it perfect. But what is REALLY important from my POV is that Apple’s color selector fits into the basic OS X concept of interoperability between apps. I.e. if I store specific color swatches, or create named color palettes of my own, they are accessible from every well behaved Mac app (i.e. every app that uses the Apple color panel). This is comparable to the Apple font selector (with user specific font collections that can be used in every app) and is a huge advantage of the OS X architecture. So whatever you do, PLEASE don’t sacrifice this! Maybe those who find the color selector “horrible” should first tell us what they mean at all?

    2. COLOR MANAGEMENT 1 – CMYK: I don’t understand why anyone would want to use CMYK when working on a computer with an RGB screen. CMYK is used by printers only, and it’s the task of the printer’s ICC profile to properly convert RGB to CMYK. If the factory printer profile isn’t good enough, get a profiling package and create your own, optimized ICC printer profile. But the idea to work in CMYK in an image app stems from the pre-color management days and is completely outdated in the age of proper color management.

    3. COLOR MANAGEMENT 2 – color space conversion: The second comment says: “improvements to color handling”. It’s not really more specific than the first comment, so I don’t know if I properly reflect Joe’s thoughts, but there is indeed one remaining problem: In some cases when a color space conversion is required, it can make a big difference which rendering intent you use. I understand that this is confusing for beginners, but for more professional users, an optional “pro” mode that lets you choose the rendering intent would be great. This would affect three places: the print dialog (cf. Color Sync Utility’s print dialog), the manual color space conversion dialog (Cmd-Shift-K) and the automatic conversion when you paste an image into an image with a different color space. The latter situation is currently completely automatic (= invisible to the user), but in this “pro” mode would require a dialog to come up and ask for the desired rendering intent, which would have the additional benefit of making the (pro) user aware that a conversion is about to take place.

  • hamsta

    Hey Pixelmatorians! thanks for the update and all your hard work.

  • Olaf Ludwig

    I payed in Apple App-Store for this hot software few days ago and now i can’t install it without Mac OS 10.8.5! My old Mac mini 2007 only supported 10.7.5!!! What I can do now?


  • Patrick

    Please for all that is right in the world tell me when EPS file export will return???? I need this ASAP!!!