Saving Images

With Pixelmator, it’s easy to save your beautiful artwork in different file formats.

Tutorial Comments

  1. Emotor

    I’m confused by the way Pixelmator opens files. Does this mean I’m no longer able to open a tiff file, edit the tiff file, close the window and automatically save the tiff file as a new version? If that’s the case? Why is this a feature? Isn’t this a deletion of an exciting great way for saving files? I don’t work with pxm-files by default. My workflow is tiff. I also noticed that when I tried to save over the original file that it doesn’t save a new version but overwrites the file completely? Is this by design or a bug?

  2. Florian

    what happened to the other comments that were here?

  3. kevin

    why do you have to be so fast doing these videos i have to keep re watching them to see all the things you do

  4. Bapumba

    There should be an option to open an image as it is (not including it in an pxm file) cause this “feature” takes a lot of time. For example if i want to just resize an image i open the png, hit shift-cmd-i and enter the new size, then hit enter and cmd-s to save it.

    this workflow now doesnt work anymore which is really annoying, cause i want to edit images on a server. normally my ftp program would download a temp copy of the file and upload it after i saved the changes. now i have to edit the pic, then export it as png, then manually upload it again. thats like 2 minutes of extra time!!

  5. Derek Pearcy

    I have to second what other people are saying. It’s absurd that you can’t simply open a PNG, edit it quickly — selecting an area with a marquee tool and clicking Delete — and then hit save to have it save as a PNG with the same name it had before. It only wants to save as Pixelmator format files; you have to step through an Export workflow in order to save a PNG. Worse, it doesn’t preserve the original file names. It wants to call them “Untitled 2” and the like, which means that when I export the file, I also have to remember the file name of the file I was editing.

    I’ve gotten my Mac crew at work to switch over to Pixelmator, but it’s worth buying Photoshop if only for this feature. If this feature doesn’t appear in one of the next updates, we’ll all be uninstalling Pixelmator.

  6. Ausra

    @Ricardo, email us to the details. Thanks!

  7. Vero

    Hi! I enjoy Pixelmator very much. But when I try to change the name of an image that I just opened in Pixelmator to work on, by going in the name box on top of my image (clicking in the menu for this precise action), it lets me change the words but then when I go back to work on that image, it reverts back to the old name automatically every time, not saving the new name (above the pic or in my document containing this image). What am I doing wrong, or is it a bug in the program?

  8. Paul L

    I have found in playing around with it that you can directly export the file at anytime in the desired format and bypass the entire Pixelmator file format.
    This direct step also keeps the original file name intact and every version after can be exported without having to retype the name each time – just a “replace” option of the previous version.

  9. Bordes cathie


  10. Jeffrey Riel

    I have the same issue with every image I save being white! The only solution is a complete reboot of my MacBook Pro! Any ideas?

  11. Ausra

    @Jefferey Riel, not sure what’s going on. Could you email us at

  12. chloe

    so i already saved it..and then i tried to drag it to my iphoto and then it said it was an unknown format..i tried to resave it but it dosen t allow me to change format….these tutorials are shown on a mac i dont understand why it would not be compatible.

  13. Ausra

    @Chloe, to save image to iPhoto, choose Share > iPhoto.

  14. Rob

    What this program desperately needs is a “Save As” command so that you can be sure you are not overwriting anything and also so that you can see exactly where the file is being saved to. Sometimes when you do Command Save a save as box comes up but not always. Very hit and miss and it shouldn’t be. I’m an ex Photoshop man myself. Lost the use of my trusty old CS2 version when I moved over to Mountain Lion. I miss it bigtime, but Pixelmator seems to have most of what I need at a fraction of the PS cost. Just a few little tweaks such as this one would make it superb…oh, and stopping it crashing, as well!

  15. Ausra

    @Rob, thanks for the feedback! If you are editing a PXM file the Save As menu appears if you press the Option key while in the File menu. In other cases, the Save As dialog always appears if you choose File > Save.

  16. Heber

    Absolutely agree with others here. Not having an option to quickly overwrite the existing PNG file I just opened is extremely disruptive to my workflow. I believe GIMP solved this by adding an ‘Overwrite myFileHere.png’ as a file option. Please consider this. Thanks 🙂

  17. Adrian Ellis

    At the risk of repeating what other users have already said, PLEASE PLEASE CHANGE PIXELMATOR SO THAT ITS ‘FILE SAVE’ CAN DEFAULT TO A STANDARD FILE FORMAT! It drives me nuts when I open a png file, alter something and then have to go through a tedious process of choose an alternative file format option, then giving the file a new name, before I can save it! I’ve been very impressed with the app but this alone is driving me to use a different image editor.

  18. Adrian Ellis

    Ah Hah! Following on from my previous comment, if you open up a PNG (TIFF etc) file, alter it, then choose Alt-Shift-Cmd-S (which doesn’t appear in the Save menu unless you press the Alt key) you get a Save As… window with the file’s original name in the name field. You then simply press Return and it has saved the changes. Voila! My graphic novel work is probably going to proceed about 10% faster now…

  19. Ryan

    My least favorite thing about the whole program is the saving. No default selector. With no default selection I often have to save a new file which in my case adds up to way too much time.

  20. Ryan

    To my own comment, I should have read above me. Now I must grow another hand for such a command to just save as.

  21. Steve

    I can drag an iPhoto image into Pixelmator, edit, and save. When I click to enlarge the image back in iPhoto, the edits are present, but the thumbnail in iPhoto doesn’t update. And, once I go back to the album view, the edits are lost. Is my only option to “share” to iPhoto and manually replace the original?

  22. Keith

    Seems a little complicated to just “save as” and keep the original master copy. I only straighten, crop, and resize pics and it seems I’m having to go to pixelmator college.

  23. Joshua

    You can use this terminal command to remove the irritating save as .pxm dialog box everytime you hit cmd-s.

    defaults write com.pixelmatorteam.pixelmator alwaysUseNativeFormat -bool NO

    Just open the file, edit quickly, save and done.

  24. Mantahoe

    I HATE Adobe and their bloatware. I bought Pixelator a long time ago and I really want to support it. I re-installed it yesterday seeing that their have been updates. But this SAVE feature is really, really annoying. Why, Why, Why won’t you give us the option to just change it in preferences or something. When you’re constantly working on things and CMD+S has become a reflex action, Pixelmator gets very annoying. Re-installing Photoshop for now. Great application you have though. Don’t see why I need to go into terminal to save like every other regular application.

  25. 9brandon

    @Joshua — you rock! That is *so* useful. Dear Pixelmator team, you’ve really made a lovely image editor that’s replaced Photoshop for me … but the default-to-pxm/goofy-save-as behavior is really a detriment!

  26. Robache


    Just a question, how to save as PDF from Pixelmator ? (Ipad Pro)


  27. Andrius (Pixelmator Team)


    At the moment, it isn’t possible to export images in PDF in Pixelmator for iOS, although this is something we’ll consider adding to the app in the future.

  28. Erik

    I’d like to change default save folder. I don’t use iCloud much privatly and none at all work wise. It is just a hell of a detour and more than annoying to have to go through this procedure every time I have edited a new pic:
    click the file name
    -> click “where”
    -> click “other”
    -> manage my way to the correct folder (often deep) and save.

    It is just a really inefficient workflow for me. I don’t know what it is with software makers that always try to force users to do what they think is the best..

  29. JCB

    Is there a way to just drag and drop the photo back into Photos when done editing? Seems like a lot of steps to tweak a photo. – Drop it into Pixelmator, do the work, then save, then export it to save as JPEG, then save it to the desktop, then drag it in to Photos? What am I missing?

  30. Lanark

    A lot of the problems mentioned in the comments can be fixed by opening Pixelmator preferences and unticking ‘open documents in Pixelmator format’
    The only remaining annoyance is that choosing Save As still defaults to pixelmator format and it still stubbornly clings to the last directory saved in rather than the directory where the current document is saved.

    I think the latter bug is a conscious decision by Apple – they want to turn macOS into iOS and have everyone save into the cloud by default – with everything in one giant folder. Then they can sell you an expensive shiny device with no actual storage. Still theres always Linux/ubuntu if things get that bad..

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