October 15, 2015

OS X El Capitan Support and a New Photos Extension

It’s here! Our latest and greatest version of Pixelmator has just hit the shelves of the Mac App Store. It brings some very exciting updates, including full support for OS X El Capitan, the new Split View feature, and a powerful, Metal-based Photos Extension together with a range of other improvements and fixes. This update really did take a great deal of effort on our part and the things we’ve done under the hood with the Photos Extension are seriously awesome.

OS X El Capitan

With the release of El Capitan, Apple introduced a unified OS X and iOS Core Image technology. And OS X Core Image is the foundation on which Pixelmator is built. As you can imagine, once the foundation is modified, things might get really messy. And they did.

We started to work on El Capitan support since its Beta was introduced back in June, during the WWDC. And today, after more than four months of work, we’re extremely proud to announce that Pixelmator is ready and works great on OS X El Capitan!

Together with that, we’re bringing a bunch of other neat enhancements, such as an enhanced Force Touch support, which makes painting with Force Touch trackpad way smoother, San Francisco as the new user interface font, and the cool new Split View feature, which lets you work with Pixelmator and any other app side-by-side, in full screen.

And there’s more.

Pixelmator Photos Extension

OS X El Capitan has introduced the ability for third-party developers to create Photo Editing extensions. And with Pixelmator 3.4 Twist, just two weeks after the official El Capitan release, we’re adding some amazing, incredibly fast Distort tools to your Photos app.

With the Pixelmator Photos Extension, you can reshape areas of your images to retouch photos, create artistic effects or simply have fun with your photos without having to leave the Photos app. Its really fun to use, and the quality and speed are incredible. All thanks to a few groundbreaking Apple technologies.

One of them is Metal, which allows the Photos Extension to be as good as it can possibly be. It gives the Extension a direct access to the GPU of your Mac, cutting down compute times and making graphics processing lightning quick. It also allowed us to boost the quality of all Distort tools to the very extremes. That’s just something you need to see for yourself.

To be honest, creating the Photos Extension with Metal was a lot of fun so we’re very excited about what the future holds for image editing with this and other amazing Apple technologies.

And there’s a whole lot more to the Pixelmator Photos Extension. You can learn about the details on the Pixelmator Photos Extension page.

So there it is. Go ahead and update to our latest version and enjoy Pixelmator on OS X El Capitan, together with Split View and other great features, as well as the incredible Pixelmator Photos Extension.

This is just the beginning of things to come. We hope you’ll love the new features and we hope you’ll continue inspiring us to improve.

If you have a MacBook released in 2011 with an Intel HD Graphics 3000 graphics card, you may continue experiencing some issues. We’re really doing our best to find a fix. In fact, we’ve even asked Apple for help on this and they’ve always been great in the past, so we hope to find a solution as soon as possible. If your MacBook has this graphics card, leave us your contacts at support@pixelmator.com and we’ll get in touch with you personally as soon as we have any news about this.


  • Terry

    I have to say I am remarkably uninterested and unimpressed by the paltry offering the Pixelmator team is calling extension support. Expectations crushed.

  • Tobias

    That was my first thought too but i hope we will see more soon!

  • Tim

    It would have been nice if you would have put a note in the update about the graphics card. Now i’m stuck with a useless version. 3.3 quit sometimes but at least when it was open i could perform more than one task a minute.

  • Ben Balser

    As for the GPU issue, that is Apple, not Pixelmator. Lots of things in El Capitan need to be seriously fixed. Lots of third party products are having issues or not working. Logic Pro X has major issue, and that is an Apple product. So don’t blame Pixelmator, ask Apple to release more solid updates. As for Twister, loving it.

  • David

    I just wish you’d fix the interface issues so that it’s a pleasure to enjoy the updates. Text and icons remain microscopic on a large screen, and the jet-black glossy background, with floating palettes remains headache-inducing.

    Also second the wish that the update notes had mentioned the 2011 graphics card issue **before** we updated to uselessness.

  • Lief

    it’s a shame there is not a batch process plugin for photo (like lift and stamp tool in aperture).

  • Pixelmator Team

    As for the Extension. First off, we really wanted to bring a tool that Photos didn’t already have. Secondly, we wanted to do it with the most advanced Apple technologies out there. And we chose to add Distort tools. The best part is that in addition to bringing amazing quality tools to the Photos app, now we have an awesome foundation to build on.


    Congratulations with this new version!
    I wasn’t sure about the utility of the Photo extension, but after having played with it a little bit i do see its value for actually enhancing images.

  • Paul

    This looks like a good beginning, but I hope you’re planning more extensions — while the Distort effects are fine, I can’t think of many times I’d actually use them on one of my Photos, and Pixelmator provides so many more useful tools. Specifically, I’d really like to see you guys come out with a Repair extension. Your Repair tool is much better than Apple’s Retouch, and that’s something I’d actually want to do to Photos in my library frequently, without having to export and import.

  • Bill

    Ultimately I want a replacement for Adobe Lightroom, and Apple Photos with toy-like distortion tools just doesn’t do it for me. I want real controls and adjustments like lens correction,and radial and gradient adjustments.

  • 3ark

    Would love to see repair tools added to this extension, but the most attractive thing you could do for photographers would be to make a ‘Pixelmator Colour’ tool that includes curves and hue tools. Keep up the good work, I’ve used PS for a decade and so far I’m loving the speed and simplicity of Pixelmator.

  • Johannes

    Kai’s Power Goo is back! Thanks! 😀

  • Heffe

    I am not really impressed by this maintenance update. It’s great to see it work with the current OS X, as anyone would expect really, but I just don’t care about Photos and the other new features are mostly negligible. Let’s see user-programmable keyboard shortcuts, CMYK support – changes that really matter. Pixelmator is ‘off the back’ now that Affinity Photo is here to compete with Photoshop. You have a great core product; let’s see some flesh added to the bones.

  • Michaël

    Now that you have Photos Extensions foundation in place, I really hope there will be more extensions in the future too!
    The Repair tool would be amazing in Photos.

  • Pixelmator Team

    It’s just unbelievable how many times we heard yesterday that you’d like to see the Pixelmator Repair tool in Photos. No dates set, but you will. And it will be great.

  • Andrei

    You guys are awesome!

  • Amanda

    I was really hoping to be able to open pictures through Photos, edit them with Pixelmator, and save a modified version over the original (like was possible with iPhoto through “edit with an external application”). I hate using Pixelmator’s photo browser to open a picture and then having to share>add to Photos to get it there. Photo browser is slow and the process is time-consuming, as I have to manually get the shared photo from imports and find/replace the original in my album. I will probably only be using Photos and the Distort extension until the workflow is simplified.

  • alex

    Could you please add dodge & burn in the next version of the extension? This is sorely lacking in Apple Photos and I don’t want to buy Affinity…

  • Rachel Senhurst

    Could you not waste time and effort making supplements for the pathetically useless Photos app and concentrate on the task at hand? I understand your software is meant to be a serious image editing product and no one who needs such a product would allow the Photos app to run on their computer other than by mischance. Your competitors are Adobe Lightroom / Photoshop and Gimp. Apple Photos / iPhoto are little freebie toy programs for people to play with. Most users are capable of organising their images without the need for the awful Photos library feature.
    Please advise when you expect the release with the bug fixes to be available.

  • Simon Zehnder

    Why is there no “Save to Photos” option as you have recently introduced in the iOS version? This would be a huge benefit…

  • scott

    ugh still no fix 🙁 Pixelmator has been unusable for a few weeks now!

  • tag

    I like what you guys are up also. Such clever work and reporting!
    Carry on the excellent works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll.
    I think it’ll improve the value of my site :).

  • Premakumar

    Just updated to El captain – and now Pixalmator is not working at all!! It crashes each time I try to open a file. Any fix?

  • Joseph

    jesus christ. iPhoto was great and easy to work with but this new “photos” app is horrible. can someone tell me how to locate the “most recent” photos that I just downloaded from my camera? iPhoto had a “most recent” tab but photos does not. i have spent way too much time on what should be an easy issue. thanks in advance, and glad i do not have apple stock

  • Mazhar Bagasrawala

    Hello Pixelmator Team!

    Really glad that you are making these extensions for Photos. I request you to create an extensions for adjustment brushes within Photos like Dodge, Burn, Contrast etc. just like in Pixelmator. It’s something that would come very handy.

    Thank you! 🙂

  • tom

    pixelmator team,

    Opening pixelmator 3.4 is impossible on my MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2011) with Intel HD Graphics 3000 384 MB.

    CPU temp immediately rises and I need to turn it off with Force Quit before it burns my board.

    PS:i read your note above for 2011 macs with 3000 GCards. still desperately waiting for the fix. are you able to forecast how long it will take for the new update???

  • Fernando

    Tired of waiting, I need to work!
    Looking now for a competitor that works for more than a minute without freezing.

  • Andrius (Pixelmator Team)

    Hi guys, it’s been a really tough couple of weeks (thanks a lot for your patience) but we have now managed to improve performance quite a lot on Macs with Intel HD 3000 graphics cards. Please email support@pixelmator.com so we can send you a custom version of Pixelmator and get back to you once we have more info.

    In terms of opening images from Photos in an external image editor – Photos for OS X doesn’t have that option at the moment but, if it does get added, we’ll make sure Pixelmator supports it.

    Alex and Mazhar, the Dodge and Burn tools will be included in the new Pixelmator Retouch Extension for Photos, which is already in the works.

  • Bruno Horta

    Hi from Portugal!

    Mac Air 2011/12 with Intel 3000 video board… Need a link to install the version that makes my Pixelmator just a complete lost of time and disk space and personal frustration with work to do before buying competition product. Also sent email to support please be fast.

  • Bruno Horta

    *** Link of fix that DOES NOT MAKE ***

  • Roger

    I just purchased Pixelmator on MAS. Frankly speaking, I’m on my way to refund my purchase already. It is just painful for someone who wants to use Pixelmator to edit, and Photos.app to manage, the entire photo library.

    I trusted the brand and purchased the app without a careful scrutiny. Boy is it such a disappointment.

  • Fred

    I just downloaded pixelmator and it does not bring up any pictures from my photo’s. How or what do I need to do ignorer to fix this issue? I have a Macbook laptop.

  • Charles Crammond

    Opening an image from Photos.app in Pixelmator is not possible.
    OS X gets less useable every day.
    What is the point of the Distort tool? It’s useless.
    At least add a “Share to Pixelmator”.
    Pixelmator mainly seems to be about massively hard to organize windows.
    I regret buying Pixelmator.

  • Vectorz Media

    Pixelmator is a wonderful software for creating unique & appealing photos. I want to use this software for me 5 members team. Please tell what cost would you charge?