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Create layers

In Pixelmator Pro, you can create different kinds of layers in a variety of ways. For example, you can create new, completely empty layers, add your images or photos as layers, create layers from selections, add text, shapes, and more.

Create a new empty layer

Do one of the following:

  • Click at the top of the Layers sidebar and choose Empty Layer.
  • Choose Insert > Layer (from the Insert menu at the top of your screen).
  • Click in the Pixelmator Pro toolbar and choose Empty Layer.
  • Press Shift ⇧ + Command ⌘ + N on your keyboard.

Note: New empty layers are completely transparent and have no content yet. This means they don't show up on the canvas and can only be selected from the Layers sidebar. If you don't see the Layers sidebar, choose View > Layers > Show Layers (from the View menu at the top of your screen).

Add an image from Photos or Photo Booth as a layer
  1. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Insert > Photos (from the Insert menu at the top of your screen).
    • Click in the Pixelmator Pro toolbar and choose Photos.
  2. Navigate to the image in your Photos or Photo Booth library and choose Insert.

Tip: If a photo you add happens to be larger than the canvas, some of its content may be hidden beyond the edges of the canvas. Zoom out of the image until you see the layer handles, then resize it to fit the canvas. If you don't mind changing the canvas size, you can also choose Image > Reveal Canvas (from the Image menu at the top of your screen) to show the entire image.

Add an image saved on your Mac as a layer
  1. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Insert > Choose (from the Insert menu at the top of your screen).
    • Click in the Pixelmator Pro toolbar and click Choose.
    • Press Shift ⇧ + Command ⌘ + V on your keyboard.
  2. Navigate to the image on your Mac and choose Insert.

You can import regular images, multilayered PXD, PXM, PSD documents, and SVGs.

Capture an image with the FaceTime camera to add as a layer
  1. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Insert > FaceTime (from the Insert menu at the top of your screen).
    • Click in the Pixelmator Pro toolbar and choose FaceTime.
  2. Strike a pose, click the camera button, then click OK.

Create a new layer from a selection
  1. Make a selection.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Edit > Copy, then Edit > Paste (from the Edit menu at the top of your screen).
    • Control ⌃-click the selection and choose Copy and Paste as Layer.

Once you copy the selection, you can deselect it by pressing Command ⌘ + D on your keyboard or continue working within the boundaries of the selection.

Create a new text layer

Do one of the following:

  • Choose Insert > Text (from the Insert menu at the top of your screen).

  • Click in the Pixelmator Pro toolbar and choose Text.

  • Click in the Tools sidebar and click the canvas to add text.

    To edit and customize the text, choose Tools > Type (from the Tools menu at the top of your screen) or press the T key, then click the text layer you’ve added.

Create a new shape layer

Do one of the following:

  • Choose Insert > Shape (from the Insert menu at the top of your screen) and click one of the basic shapes or draw using the Pen tool.

  • Click in the Pixelmator Pro toolbar, go down to Shape and choose one of the basic shapes or draw with Pen. You can then customize the shape in the Tool Options pane.

Capture an image with iPhone or iPad camera to add as a layer

The Continuity Camera lets you insert the photos you capture on your iPhone or iPad directly to Pixelmator Pro.

To insert a photo:

  1. Choose Insert > Import from iPhone or iPad (from the Insert menu at the top of your screen), and click Take Photo.

  2. Use your device's camera to take a photo and tap Use Photo. To retake a photo, tap Retake.

Note: If the Take Photo option is grayed out, make sure you’re signed in to your iPhone, iPad, and Mac with the same Apple ID. Also, check if both your devices have Bluetooth and network connections turned on.

Pixelmator Pro User Guide