Pixelmator Review (Mac)

Making my rounds in the Mac AppStore, I decided I should check out the newest release of Pixelmator. For those of you who have never heard of Pixelmator, it’s a Photoshop alternative made just for the Mac. I’ve done my best to play with it over the past two weeks, and found it to be quite useful. Adobe Photoshop may rule as king now, but watch out for Pixelmator to be taking over the Mac anytime soon now. With Mac styling, and a Mac feel to its’ GUI, Pixelmator, as they say on their website, is the ‘image editor for the rest of us’.

With a sleek and sexy black/grey interface, Pixelmator is easy to use, and has some wonderful options that I’m sure most of us would love other Apps to have. One such feature/touch is the fact that the tool you’re using is easy to find because it enlarges the icon of the active tool. Not only is this handy for fast tool switching, but it also helps me when I go to get my coffee and forget what I was doing. It also just feels right that way. What took so long before anybody thought that one up? Another nice feature/touch is how a translucent black/grey box appears when you use keyboard short cuts, such as CTRL+Z to undo. This gives me a very confident feeling when I’m working with small pixels, or subtle changes that are hard to see the difference between the mess up version and the fixed version. I am also in love with the free floating tools windows. This is great for working on multiple monitors. While you can technically do the same thing with Photoshop, It doesn’t work as well or as seamlessly.

I do miss a few things, and maybe I’ve just not yet found them, but I would like to be able to do some masking techniques by way of being able to control channels in each layer. I also miss the ‘pen’ tool from Photoshop that allows me to draw lines using the mouse. These are minor complaints, and truthfully they are only things I’ve been using as crutches because, well, I’m lazy.

For those of you who are lucky enough to have a wacom tablet there are great things in store for you in Pixelmator as well. Using the tablet with Pixelmator is a dream. The pen is fully supported, so left and right clicking with the pen buttons work nicely, and flipping the pen automatically switches to the eraser, again, it’s nice to see that big visual confirmation here as well. The buttons on the pad work nicely too.

There are other nice features added in as well. Easy sharing for FaceBook, flickr, and Picasa. You can also use a feature called Save for the Web. Pixelmator also supports 64 bit for snowleopard. There are many more features that you can check out for yourself, but do yourself a favor and pick up Pixelmator today. Right now the makers of Pixelmator are selling it for $29 in the MacAppStore, and if you buy now, thanks to the AppStore, you will get Pixelmator 2.0 for free when it’s released. That’s a good deal. I give Pixalmator a 9 out of 10. Good work guys, keep it coming.

App Receives a 9 out of 10 possible points.

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