Thoughts on Pixelmator 1.0

If you are a Mac user that is into design or editing images on your Mac, you may have heard of Pixelmator. Pixelmator is a layers-based image editor that uses Apple’s Core Image. It is even compatible with Photoshop in that it can open and save PSD files.

Here are my main likes and dislikes about the product so far.


  • Frequent updates
  • Blog
  • Mailing list
  • Mac OS X look and feel
  • Low price
  • Free 30 day demo
  • Manual PDF
  • Open Source


  • No history panel
  • Demo leaves watermark
  • Export options weak
  • No view/zoom indicators
  • No info panel for tools
  • No rulers


One of the things I like about it is their marketing. They have a blog and an e-mail list for communicating with customers. They have already updated the product since I downloaded it, and through the blog, they are promising updates and additional features.

I also like that it integrates so well with the Mac OS X, including the beautiful look and feel. It also open source, being based on the Image Magick image libraries.


I have a lot of dislikes as well, and I am hoping they add these features soon. The main thing I find lacking is the several features that Photoshop has, that I use often, that Pixelmator lacks. There is no history panel, no info panel, no rulers and the export dialog is really weak. There is also no zoom indicator that shows you how far in or out you are when you are viewing a document. It is due to these problems that I am not able to currently use this as a Photoshop replacement.

I need a good image editor on my Mac without paying bucketloads of money. Since the 30 day demo will eventually expire and the demo leaves watermarks, I went ahead and bought the full version of Pixelmator, in spite of it’s short comings compared to Photoshop.

I believe that the creators have good things in store for it and will continue to improve. They are also taking suggestions, so if it lacks a feature, tell them what you want to see. Since I am paying, I am going to do that and hopefully they will add the features I want.