No more black interface in Pixelmator

What features would you like to see in Pixelmator?
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2011-12-19 21:18:11

Since Pixelmator 2.0, I have a hard time seeing what I’m doing in the GUI. The black interface completely kills the user experience for two reasons :
- It is very, I mean VERY aggressive to the eye. I’ve had a few ergonomics classes recently, and specialists would agree together that the new interface is a visual disaster.
- The surroundings of artwork influences it a lot. This is why Photoshop, and even Mac OS X, chose to adopt some very light shades of gray all around.

Please bring back the old interface, and even add some tweaks to it because it was already a little too dark. or let us choose our background color.

Note : The luminosity on my iMac is usually on the third bar from the left because otherwise it’s too luminous for my eyes. It’s the very first Mac app that causes me this kind of problem. Even AutoCAD 2011 or 2012 for Mac is better.

Note #2 : I don’t wear and I don’t need to wear glasses, as my eyes are in very good condition according to optometrists.
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2011-12-22 10:54:58

I agree! Also the website is impossible to read !, All interface is TOO black, in impossible to see windows one on top of others, palette icons are too small and dark !
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2011-12-31 19:29:35

I say they can easily bring back the interface from Pixelmator 1, this would be a good start to lighten the interface just a bit and make it more clear.

Pixelmator 2 is great and everything but the black interface is a total turn off. I’ve never seen an application THAT black in my entire Mac experience so far.
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2012-01-01 16:59:41

The black interface of this part of your site is terrible too! VERY HARD TO READ DARK GRAY ON BLACK!
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2012-01-02 19:16:38

I agree!!
Please get rid of the black background with light gray print.
It might have a novel look and be very trendy, but it is very hard on the eyes of anyone over 25 or those of us that do not have 20/20 vision. Human minds are trained - very early - to read black on white, not white on black.
The program is great, however, for me it is difficult to use due to the black backgrounds on everything.
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2012-01-03 00:28:15

I wholeheartedly agree.
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2012-01-03 04:39:23

@ KAB1939 : Trust me, I’m 23 years-old and my vision is perfect. Pixelmator app AND their website are both unbearable.

Join the contrast rebellion with me :
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2012-01-03 18:40:01

Thanks for that link @PsykX. Let's hope some people wake up reading it.
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2012-08-14 10:39:23

Yes, please make Pixelmator UI lighter, like the darkest level of customisation in Photoshop CS6
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2012-08-27 18:12:44

I registered just for this! Please change the UI to something like Photoshop or any other graphics software. Grey background with black icons etc. They truly are a strain for the eye. Customizable or selectable UI theme would be nice. The black UI might look cooler for a second and might sell more due to it's eye candyness, but those who really use the software for what it is do seem to like a lighter and more clearer UI.
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2012-08-27 20:00:16

I have been using Pixelmator everyday for years and never had an issue with the dark UI. I actually love it.
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2012-08-31 05:45:59

...and if you add the option so that the user can apply the color and style of the theme (light grey,dark grey,black)
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2012-08-31 15:39:14

I've got 20/20 vision, 35 year old with a 27'' iMac and the ONLY reason I keep going back to photoshop after just 30 seconds with Pixelmator is the black interface. The contrast is so bad it gives me headaches. PLEASE allow us to use a light grey!
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2012-08-31 15:43:49

I just read that you can right click on the canvas and change the UI background color. Its still not a perfect solution for me - but perhaps it will let me go forward.
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2012-09-05 21:59:55

I would like as well to vote for this.

Please give us a theme more in line with the Mac OSX user interface guidelines.
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2012-09-06 03:21:06

Yeah, want this too. Choose between a "black" and "white" version.
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2012-09-06 15:55:04

Yep, it would be extremely cool to make an option for white interface.

Quite good project, but unfortunately this too-way-contrasty interface lowers the usability by considerable amount.
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2012-09-07 14:39:15

I was just about to post the same thing. The black interface on this forum is really hard to read. Please change it!
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2012-09-14 10:34:20

In the recent weeks I find myself preferring Gimp (which now has native interface and much better look than before on OS X) over Pixelmator just because it has white interface.
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2012-09-18 15:03:18

I purchased Pixelmator when V1.64 in January 2011 as I wanted an alternative the Photoshop, which is getting bloated. It's sad to say I've only used it once, for 5 minutes, because of the interface. Not only is the black background hard on the eyes, but having a grey colour picker and text/font tool is distracting and frustrating.

I'm sure the Pixelmator devs are hard at work implementing new features and tools, fixing bugs, etc., but please fix your UI or at least give us the option to make it grey like the system colours.

I hate to say it, but I won't be upgrading to any future paid releases unless the UI is fixed. Sorry guys, I just can't use your product.
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2012-09-18 17:37:11

I'm going to get burned at the stake here, but I really like the black interface. It sets Pixelmator apart and looks good from an aesthetic standpoint. Everything is perfectly clear and visible to my eyes, except at the lowest brightness setting. Then it's only 80% readable, which is still plenty for me. I personally do not want an option to change the main interface color.
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2012-09-26 15:02:04

I love the black. couldn't disagree more.
so instead, how about we change the request to be more like:
give us the option to change the color scheme of the app (like all adobe products, and even blender have the option for)
so that some people can have white, others black, some red, blue, dark, light, etc.
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2012-09-27 18:37:01

Please, Please Please! Do something with the black interface. Just downloaded it and love the program but can't deal with the BLACK! Will not purchase. I thought my search was over but I can't deal with the black. Here is a great color pallet. Easy on the eyes.

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2012-10-02 20:39:22

I am a legally blind guy and I have used and tested many, many pixel and vector apps for 30 yrs. I really struggle with your UI. I want to buy and enjoy using your app but my eyes and brain have to work harder to deal with your UI. Please, please, please allow us the option to change the black to some range of grey, thank you! Have compassion for us who don't have perfect vision but who know art well.
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2012-10-10 01:58:39

Meh. Don't listen to this one please. While I might go for a more 80-85% dark instead of black, I really dig the dark interface. Just like Photoshop CS6 came out with and Lightroom has always been - dark. Better to view an image with darker surroundings than light ones.

Great UI. It's ok to not listen to Apple all the time. ;)
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2012-11-23 22:19:42

Right-click on the black window background area that you are referring to and you will get the option to change it to white or grey. The website is indeed hard to read with the small grey text on a black background. For a splashy website for some retail shop with large text, yes. For a website with lots of text, such as a forum, NO. :-)
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2012-11-30 20:13:25

And it's impossible to tell where the boundaries of the palettes are since there's no contrasting border color. That makes it very difiicult to notice if apaletteis partially hidden by another. Either a lighter background or the ability to choose a color is sorely needed.

Being able to right click in the image window to change the background is nice--that should be available for all of the different palettes also. The menu bars should be changeable too since the text is hard to read.
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2012-12-01 12:26:06

Aperture is black...
After Effects is black, Motion is black, Premiere, Avid, FCP X are black, and there's a good reason for this.
KEEP the black look, or at least keep is as an option :D
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2012-12-10 22:57:46

I LOVE the black. Please do not listen ... :)
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2012-12-17 04:53:29

Having worked with professional ergonomists for more than a decade, I agree wholeheartedly with users who think Pixelmator's main drawback is the white/grey on black interface. I realise some people like it, but from an objective and research-based viewpoint, it's not a good idea. Since some people do like it, why not just make two (or more) colour schemes that the user can choose from. That ought to make everybody happy.
It's a great piece of software, so I feel it's a shame that some usershave to feel excluded by a fairly extreme interface. I'm in my early 50s and I've worn glasses since second grade, and I get a headache within 10 minutes of using Pixelmator. Then it's back to Acorn or Photoshop.. I'd love to use Pixelmator a lot more, but, let's put it this way; I won't pay for the next upgrade unless there's an option for a black/grey on white interface..
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2012-12-30 10:14:30

I completely agree with ohrobot and Jon Lovell. The reason for black is a function of contrast. If it was white (or a light colored interface), it'd cause a migraine flare up for me.

That said... dagklingstedt seems to have a fair resolution. I don't care if 50 other color schemes exist for the interface, as long as the current one is available. Do what you will, just DO NOT take away what exists, PLEASE!
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2013-02-25 07:46:15

The reason Aperture,After Effects, Motion , Premiere, Avid and FCP are black is that you use them in a studio environment, where the lighting is reduced. I can see a reason for a dark interface in this situation. The problem is some of us work in an open work environment with far brighter lighting, and it's a strain to see the dim details in a normal office environment. Then there are those of us who are older or have reduced eyesight, or those of us who prefer brighter UIs (maybe we came from DTP instead of video production) - either way, the UI should be able to accommodate these users as well. It's not hard to do - but it will damage their hipster cred. ;)
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2013-02-25 07:59:40

I think the black interface is great, but the option to switch to white wouldn't hurt, I guess. As long as I don't have to use it ;-)
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2013-02-27 00:11:57

Oh, absolutely. I don't really mind it in the app so much, but I'vebasicallylost the ability to read withe text on black. I can't even look at this forum for more than a few seconds without goingcross-eyed.
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2013-03-13 12:58:49

i love dark UI's (the first time i saw a discreet logic flame in a dark post room, i was in awe). but, too much is too much. there are practical limits to monitor gamma (even LCDs) that in most cases, cannot discern between black and super dark gray. i had to stand up over my monitor to see that there are tabs on the top of the website pages!

even "black" UI's mentioned above are not black - they are mostly dark gray. even that would be better. and, maybe its just my faulty memory, but i believe previous versions of pixelmator itself were not so dark.

here is another vote for dark gray. but, black - too much.
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2013-03-27 10:26:30

Just speaking up for the anti-anti-darkUI: I think it looks fantastic and don't want it changed! (though I do understand that not EVERYONE has top-o-the-line retina macbook-grade monitors ;)
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2013-03-27 12:57:01

@mrspeaker: It's not my retina Macbook that isn't top of the line - it's my retinas! I'm not complaining because I don't like the look, I'm complaining because this aesthetic choice has a strong negative effect on my vision.

This forums are barely usable to me. Reading the text here LITERALLY makes me giddy.

If I could fix my eyes with the click of a button, I would. Until then, I rather hope software developers would take these concerns a little more seriously.
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2013-04-01 06:58:37

I'm afraid i have to agree that Pixelmator's black GUI is simply too black (same for the website, by the way. Have you ever heard of the term contrast?). I believe the theory is that colours are represented better against a dark background. Well dark isn't the same as black. Maybe there's some inspiration in the Final Cut X GUI, which also has a dark theme.
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2013-04-02 13:32:33

I ended up paying for an upgrade to the competition simply because Pixelmator's interface was killing my eyes. Love the program, but the dark- on-dark interface combined with the small icons—on a 27-inch iMac they are tiny—make it usable for me.

Obviously, the interface must not be hurting sales, or it would've been changed by now. But count one more voice among the chorus of the disappointed.
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2013-04-04 19:52:02

I totally agree. WAY too tiny UI elements. Can hardly see the text without leaning into the screen. On the toolbars, the UI text is unreadable. And the tools are too tiny also.
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2013-04-05 10:31:32

If the UI icons and texts are too small, why not simply decrease your screen's resolution? I for one like it just the way it is on a retina screen set to the second highest resolution.
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2013-04-05 14:27:26

"here is another vote for dark gray. but, black - too much."

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2013-04-18 02:44:53

I haven'tactually read the thread so sorry if I miss something. I would like to see two simple options for the interface. A "light" (greys and that sort) and "dark" (being the current interface). The light interface wouldn't necessarily be white, but just a lighter grey version of our current dark-only interface. As for the website - it gives me headaches. I feel it should be "greyed up"permanently.
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2013-04-18 13:21:28

I second making the black interface just a bit lighter. If you have multiple windows over each other it is near impossible to distinguish the window boundaries. I have to angle my Macbook monitor forward just to figure out where one window ends and another begins. This is not good interface design. If you squint a little (for testing purposes, people) or your monitor is angled back a bit and not perfectly 90°, you should be able to make out the window boundaries. Easy to prove, look at the image below squint or angle your monitor back a tad, the near black background just merges.

Still love Pixelmator.

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2013-04-28 07:18:05

Please keep the current interface.
Just if you should chose to make another color scheme, make this one an option.

i have low vision, but never use my glasses and have no problem with the interface at all. I really like that I can turn the light up and down anyway I want on my screen to compliment the picture I'm working on, without it interfering with the interface. Plus it keeps my focus where it should be: on the canvas. Not the interface...
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2013-05-07 23:09:03

I'd like to request that the black remain an option, but a lighter grey option be available as well (similar to those of Photoshop and Acorn).

I'd greatly appreciate it as the black gets hard on the eyes after a while. Some lighter optional interfaces would be really helpful.
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2013-05-09 07:56:31

Please create an option for a lighter interface. On a 27" iMac the interface is an absolute pain to use.
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2013-05-09 16:44:44

I love the black UI but agree that people have the right to not like it. i just don't want to see the option for the black to go away with this "rebellion".
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2013-06-09 13:13:16

Guys, I just realized, since the Pixelmator Team is not listening to us, we could make our own interface if we updated all the black images found in that folder to a gray-ish tone :

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2013-06-11 14:13:29

Bump. Hard to read.