In my last article I revealed my top three favorite Paint programs for Mac and I received a lot of positive feedback about it.
In this article I want to do a more in-depth Pixelmator review because it seems that this was by far the most popular Paint programs for Mac and the one that most people appear most keen to find out more about.
A quick note before I start: I love this app, so while I’m going to do my best to give a proper “warts and all” analysis – I have to warn you that after testing out several other graphics editing programs, I am ever-so slightly biased towards Pixelmator
To start with, it is a superb alternative to other much more expensive programs that cost hundreds of dollars, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, yet it has almost the same features without being ‘overkill’ and it is much more intuitive, easier to use and easier on the eye.
You have your tools on the left, layers top right, tool options bottom left and brush settings / swatches on the lower right. And of course, the image editing magic all happens right in the middle.
The icons are great, very self explanatory, and everything is linked to shortcut keys, so navigating around is very easy.
Despite having a very sleek interface Pixelmator’s secret is that is has an open-source ‘engine’. It’s built on ImageMagick, which is a cross-platform array of image manipulation tools – so the feature set is rich and pretty extensive.
It can process over a hundred image formats and has all the common transform tools, layers, masks, drawing and effects features you’d expect from a premium priced graphics editing suite. Pixelmator also provides specific tools for editing bitmap images.
It looks the part too. In fact, I am happy to say right here in this Pixelmator review that it’s the best looking app I’ve ever used – and much better looking than it’s much costlier counterpart, Photoshop! Yet it offers the exact same layer, color and photo tools, but with sleek black palettes.
Importantly for Mac users, Pixelmator has been built by Mac users specifically for the Mac – unlike Photoshop which was originally built for the PC. Integration with your iSight camera and iLife Media Browser is already included and it offers Core Image support, which enables Pixelmator to make full use of the built-in range of image filters and tools in OS X.
Of course, no app is perfect. Pixelmator does tend to cater more towards screen imaging than print, and it lacks the high-end CMYK support that a lot of designers require as standard. What’s more, there are no quick optimization tools for web images.
However, I am being picky for picky’s sake, Pixelmator’s is the perfect image editor app for both heavy and light users. Once you use Pixelmator, you’ll never want to use another graphics editor again. I’m serious. I really do love this app because it’s fast, easy to use and great value.
What more could you possibly want?
The price alone – a mere $59 (£29) – makes it a must-have app for any Mac user who needs a clean application to work with images.
Let me tell you, if my mother ever drags herself into the 21st century and gets a Mac, and needs to edit her photo’s, Pixelmator would be ideal for her, it’s that easy and intuitive to pick-up and use!
If you’re interested in a stunning, easy-to-use, full-featured, inexpensive image editor then this is the application you’re looking for at a price you simply will not be able to beat. It’s a great investment in a product that gets better with every release and you won’t regret it.
Best of all, you can buy Pixelmator right now on the Mac App Store by simply clicking on the image below. I hope you’ve found this review helpful.