No more black interface in Pixelmator

What features would you like to see in Pixelmator?
User avatar

2013-06-11 17:24:26

I tried editing the resources on a copy of Pixelmator. Check out the image below. I don't think it's worth neither the risk of voiding your warranty nor the effort that goes into it. It just doesn't improve a thing.

User avatar

2013-06-12 03:36:19

Indeed, it isn't much of an improvement because the icons are still hard to distinguish (too small), but I still do prefer it a lot. Easier on the eye. Maybe a shade somewhere between black and the one you used would make it. I remember Pixelmator 1 was pretty dark and was still easier on the eyes. Final Cut Pro X is very dark and still easy on the eyes too. There's something to do with that.

However, there's no warranty voided on a digital software. Changing a few PNGs isn't dangerous and if your copy is broken, you delete it and download it again.
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2013-07-08 17:50:54

Hi Guys,
First of all, I'm a user of pixelmator myself and like it very much, today I was reading a article on the that compare pixelmator to the Acorn, it was interesting, reading the comments I've noted that people are complaining about the dark UI of pixelmator, so to improve the software I've though of aware you guys about so you coud have some feedback from the people about the UI.

In this case my feature request are be able to change tha background color of the UI (today black), but be cool, I don't wanna a color picker to do that, just some predefined shades of gray, about 2 or 3 to be exacly, just so people can make more light GUI when they cant use the dark one.

I believe that if the GUI background is programmed (other than a simple image) this can be easyly implemented, if is a image i too believe that cant be that hard to change.

The comments can be found at:
I looked on the foruns but the close topic to subject was kind of unsolved with no definitive awser and can be found here:
User avatar

2013-07-08 22:28:32

I like the black interface
User avatar

2013-07-10 19:12:45

I totally agree with the subject: having the option to switch back and forth different brightnesses of the user interface is crucial. It helps those with some difficulties (aka "getting older"), as well as help one use the software both in daylight, daytime and night time.

On my day job I'm a part of a 50+ team of people who use Adobe After Effects CS6 and we super appreciate the feature that allows us to adjust the UI custom to our working needs.

It's probably a small improvements, but it's a giant leap for your daily operations.

Please do integrate it as soon as possible.

User avatar

2013-07-26 09:32:14

i think the black looks sexy. maybe dark grey would be better so we can see the boundaries - but leave it dark...
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2013-08-05 11:29:24

Just look at Photoshop. They use positive (black on light gray) for a reason. One does not have to reinvent everything just for the sake of being "different". It is confirmed in studies that negative text does not work as well, and I hereby subscribe to the request 100%. At least give us a choice. The black interface seriously hurts productivity in my book.
User avatar

2013-09-01 20:06:22

I second the vote for lighter interface! It's way too dark. Perhaps, there could be a setting to adjust the lightness / darkness of the interface. The way it is now is really making it difficult to work with multiple windows or read the light grey text on dark background.

Thank you for considerations!
User avatar

2013-09-01 22:28:32

+1 have a alt theme for the interface that isn't eye fatiguing stark black. Funny; I'd already used Stylebot to adjust the Pixelmator support pages for easier reading.
Tried 2 different ones:

User avatar

2013-09-03 20:00:22

The problem isn't the black UI, the problem is we have NO CHOICE but to use the black UI. Other software developers give us a choice.

For some reason black UIs (and parallax scrolling) are quite trendy right now, so I don't want to tell you not to be hip...

But PLEASE consider doing what JetBrains does with their IDEs: they let you CHOOSE "Darcula" as a UI theme or not.

Not all of us get to work in a predictable work environment with great lighting. Some of us have a MacBook Pro Retina for a reason, and we often find ourselves in situations where trying to read this site or use Pixelmator is a total NIGHTMARE.

For instance, right now I can look at my computer screen and see my own hands typing more easily than I can see my mouse cursor when I move it over this text.

Please, give us a choice! Give choice a chance!

Thanks for listening.
User avatar

2013-09-06 02:25:47

I'm going to chime in here.

I live in Aperture as a pro photographer. I spend a reasonable amount of time in Photoshop, too.

In aperture, your workspace is black, but your interface elements are all dark grey to provide separation, and... more importantly in my mind, the elements within those palettes are all monochrome. This separation, and the monochrome tools, are there for a very good reason.

It is these elements in PXM that I think are causing the jarring sensation to the interface for so many users - indistinguishable palettes, and gaudy cartoon tool icons that distract from the image within the canvas for no reason - the tool icons, shapes and layer/brush highlights should be there to use when needed, not to compete for attention with the image you're working on.

I'm trying to switch for all my image editing needs outside of Aperture, but (and sorry to be blunt) the interface currently looks like a kids paint package, or maybe it *was* fine, but a unicorn strayed into your office and shat a rainbow on it all?

Maybe your target isn't people who need to get serious work done - maybe you are aiming more at the 'kids paint package' market, but a flatter, subtler interface with subdued tools, highlights etc would set you firmly in the "we're a serious app for everyone" camp.

I've attached a screenshot showing Aperture's interface for reference - it's *incredibly* unobtrusive while remaining incredibly powerful.

Give us the option to have a monochrome interface with separation between the canvas and palettes (i.e. grey!) and I think you'd make a huge chunk of your userbase happy.

User avatar

2013-09-06 17:04:43

I like the existing colorful icons and find them much easier to identify than all the horrible tiny monotone icons throughout Mountain Lion.
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2013-09-20 07:14:23

The black interface of Pixelmator is very hard to read is unbearable!!!
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2013-09-25 12:33:05

Please do something about the black UI. I want to like and use Pixelmator, but the black interface is just plain user-hostile. Kind of goes with your website, in which much of the type is close to illegible, thanks to your color scheme. BTW my eyesight is fine and I have a good, calibrated monitor.
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2013-09-28 08:41:49

I can see why some people want a lighter interface yet in a studioenvironmentits perfect! And if you work 8+ hours in images a bright interface is the oposite as you all seem to believe; damages and tires your eyes 10x. So an option for different shades as photoshop has, is the best option.
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2013-09-28 15:12:43

I agree with edlo, I don't mind the black UI and do find lighter screens more tiring on the eyes and a bigger, eye-watering adjustment.
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2013-09-30 00:29:14

A grey option would be great. No need to remove the black color scheme - just add another option!

Please :)
User avatar

2013-10-03 08:44:28

Black is extremely tiring. Could you please add an option to select 'background colour, as in Lightroom - ie Black, Dark, Medium. Light Grey etc ...
User avatar

2013-10-07 07:33:32

Hello Pixelmator staff,
I hope will solve the problem of the black interface.
Pixelmator interface it's really user-hostile.

We would like you quickly provide for a better alternative to black
Thanks a lot.
User avatar

2013-10-14 15:26:51

An alternative to black backgrounds for palettes:

+ Readability is lower with iconography and text on black (researched fact)
+ Eyestrain is greater with white on black (researched fact)
+ Laptop usability in marginal light is lower, especially on glossy screens (subjective opinion)

Please offer the alternative of palettes with light backgrounds. The excessive use of black for everything looks cool on a nice desk monitor in optimal lighting, but in the field or in less perfect conditions, it's crap. It's why I no longer use Pixelmator; the black palettes are unreadable on a glossy MacBook screen.
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2013-10-20 16:44:43

I bought Pixelmator and must say the interface is VERY HARD to see, my eyes HURTS
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2013-10-23 06:51:56

Unfortunately v3.0 didn't help out either.. Still stuck with a half-assed user interface that is horrible on the eyes. :(
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2013-10-23 16:04:37

@David... Thanks for the info. Yet another version of Pixelmator that is of absolutely no use to me. Why in the world does Team Pixelmator insist on sticking with this one idiotic color scheme?
User avatar

2013-10-25 16:33:58

Please, just as an option.I have no idea how great Pixelmator is becauseit is virtually unusable for me.
User avatar

2013-10-30 13:52:29

There are several threads asking for this feature (and have been since version 1, I'm afraid). Looks like Pixelmator couldn't care less about your eyes, I'm afraid.
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2013-10-30 17:48:52

Indeed, Pixelmator 3 is still a true challenge for me to use. Same for the website. may help Pixelmator's developers understand our concern better.

To the developers : is it possible to get my hands on the latest version of Pixelmator 1, the only useable version ? Any word on changing the interface ?
User avatar

2013-10-30 19:58:44

Dark, but not black. I suggest taking a look a the iDraw for Mac interface.
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2013-11-03 19:13:18

Too many black backgrounds. Not enough differentiation between different Tool panels. Feels like you are working in a dark room....(excuse the pun).
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2013-11-05 07:59:29

I agree. Unless I have the brightness setting on my Mac set to maximum I find the pallets very hard to read and even then on my Macbook I still have problems with the small white on black text. Using my Mac at full brightness is not always possible as if there's low ambient lighting having a high brightness setting gives me headaches.

Even if we must keep the black interface I feel it could be made much more readable by removing the gradients and transparency in pallets.
User avatar

2013-11-10 05:00:32

I hate the black interface. I'm giving up using Pixelmator because I can't see what I'm trying to do. It's crazy having to squint close-up at the screen to figure out what option I'm choosing. This is a great image editor with, to me, an unusable interface.
Why not offer a choice of backgrounds -- the black or a light grey.
User avatar

2013-11-11 16:58:39

As one who is older the black makes it difficult to see and work. Also the tool icons are to small for older eyes so if there was an option to enlarge them, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for a great App.
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2013-11-13 06:52:52

The one thing, for me, that spoils this app is the black theme. I find it tiring on thee eyes. Are their any plans to allow users to change the theme?
User avatar

2014-01-25 12:07:05

Same requests everyone heir....

Interface some gray and icons bigger if we wont

Pease cmd++ to bigger and cmd +- to small sizes

User avatar

2014-02-06 03:20:55

I don't have the best eyesight, and I am light sensitive and I find the black perfect for me. Perhaps, as already stated you can have a choice of black, white or grey etc.
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2014-02-06 07:00:35

I really don't understand the Pixelmator team's thinking on this subject. Regardless of how cool you think the colour on black is, if allowing the users to change the colour scheme to suit their eyes and their work environment would make more users happy with your product and make them use it more, why not implement it! It's a work tool, and tools should be ergonomic and not cause undue discomfort. It's clear that the colour scheme you use does just that. So why this stubborn refusal to listen to these voices?

I own both Pixelmator and Acorn licenses, and I'm definitely using Acorn more, and the reason is only one: the user interface doesn't give me headaches (I'm beginning to get a headache just typing this in white on black on your site support page!).

Please, oh please give us the option of other colour schemes in the interface! Also please consider the choice of colours and the sizing of your tools! I promise you that you will sell even more copies with these few changes.
User avatar

2014-02-07 18:36:09

can we get an option for a light interface...very hard to see with the current interface
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2014-02-12 10:12:23

+1 for light interface! Thanks!
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2014-02-12 10:15:21

+1 for a choice of black, white or grey etc.
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2014-02-16 01:48:57

The 3 UI color choices in Photoshop CS6 are very good. I'd love to see them in Pixelmator. Pitch black is a no-go for me.
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2014-02-16 15:24:41

I actually disagree. I prefer the dark interface, especially since I do a lot of my artwork at night. I like making Pixelmator full screen so I can drown out all the bright parts of the Mac UI.

I can see the point though of others. Maybe adding a UI Color option in the preferences would be a good idea, to cater to both sides of the issue.
User avatar

2014-02-26 22:40:27

Dear Pixelmator, Please please please give us the ability to change the interface color!

I agree with most of you here. A half hour into working with Pixelmator I realized I was squinting and moving closer to the screen. I'm sure that Adobe, Google, and Apple tried a black interface at some point and decided a white or grey background is much more accessible. Anybody with eyesight challenges will have a very difficult time with this black background.
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2014-03-02 18:39:39

Completely agree with Benjamieson’s post:
"It is these elements in PXM that I think are causing the jarring sensation to the interface for so many users - indistinguishable palettes, and gaudy cartoon tool icons that distract from the image within the canvas for no reason - the tool icons, shapes and layer/brush highlights should be there to use when needed, not to compete for attention with the image you're working on."

Also the fact that the selected tool breaks the window frame borders outside and inside the frame in 4 different spots.
Please figure out some other way of showing that the tool is selected. Also hotkeys for all the tools?

User avatar

2014-03-25 17:34:38

User avatar

2014-04-09 16:00:11

I have delayed my purchase of pixelmator because the UI is just too dark for me. Some of the UI elements are annoyingly small on a retina display. Example being, there are (what seem to be) three dots next to the "Shadow" checkbox at the top of the window. I had no clue if that is something clickable, like opening a file requestor box to select something.

I am torn between Acorn and Pixelmator. I LOVE the UI on Acorn. It's really pleasant for the eye. Feature-wise Pixelmator have a few extras that I prefer, but the dark UI is just hurting my eyes in the long run.

Please offer an alternative, lighter UI. I get that the icons in the toolbar are little cutesies, but a well designed, "plain" icon set (such as Acorn's) makes it much easier to recognize what I am looking at.
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2014-04-11 08:32:34

Please, improved the interface. So it is unusable.
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2014-04-19 19:03:53

Dear Developers,
Please, stop pulling our balls.
Many of your existing customers waiting for a proper UI FOR YEARS!
We don't need all those new super-puper features.
But give us UI customisation options, so that it could be at least usable.
Pixelmator at it's current state is a crapware, packed with a bunch of beautiful features.
Please, understand, that it's just UNUSABLE!
We bought it and we want to use it on a daily basis, but we can't.
Cause or eyes are bleeding while we try to do something.
Please DO something about it.
User avatar

2014-04-22 02:56:57

It would be great to have the choice of the intensity of the interface color dark versus light . Black is difficult especial if you select black as a color , you don't even see the color in the top left corner. +1 for me on this
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2014-04-22 15:23:18

Please keep the black interface and colorful tool icons! I have weak vision and the darker interface works great, I love it.
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2014-04-22 20:48:26

I'll add my voice and vote for user selectable interface color/shade.

It's been a century since Henry Ford claimed ... "you can have you Model A in any color you want ... as long as it is black." Limiting such options is sooooo 20th century.

For myself, when working in full screen mode, the palettes blend in so much, it is difficult to distinguish them from the background ...

You have done such a good job on most everything else ... it seems this could be and should be a priority because offering a choice in UI color scheme would please EVERYONE. All your users would get what they want.

Businesses who can offer individual options that really shouldn't impose too much hardship on the provider have always been successful.
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2014-04-23 08:52:38

Just bought Pixelmator and find it hard to use! as much as i like the power of the program th buttons are far too small to guess please give as themes to adjust it to personal preferences!!!!!

Thank you!
bthw. why doesn't anybody from the developer team join the discussion and tell us the reason of their design decisions or at least give some feedback?!