Pixelmator Revisited


Pixelmator's text tool is now fairly useful
Pixelmator's text tool is now fairly useful

I’ve just played around with the latest version (1.3.2) of Pixelmator, a $59 Photoshop-for-the-rest-of-us-wannabe that I’ve greatly maligned in the past. I’m very happy to say that it has reached the tipping point and is now a seriously useful application.

First of all, the text tool is now actually useful. It supports a rectangular region, drop shadows, and you don’t need to use the system Font floater for the most common operations. A huge improvement which doesn’t come close to Photoshop’s or Photolines styling capabilities, but is plenty useful for adding captions to images or simple user interface elements.

Next, the annoying selection issues appear to be addressed. Rectangular (“marquee”) selections work as you’d expect if you’re a MacPaint veteran, and simple things (like command-J converting a selection into a new layer, as in Photoshop) now work.

Simple usability issues, such as not easily being able to tell what the currently selected tool is have been fixed.

With these improvements, Pixelmator is leaving the previously superior Acorn in the dust (thanks in large part to Acorn receiving little love from its developer) and is now the cream of the crop of Photoshop-for-the-rest-of-us-wannabes, if you ignore Photoline for being too ugly and not Mac only. It’s certainly the nicest half-assed-Photoshop-clone-with-core-image-filters. I’m happy with Photoline as my Photoshop backup, but Pixelmator is at least a credible option now.