Pixelmator 3.1 Marble

Fine, Inexpensive Image Editor for the Mac

Pixelmator is perhaps not as feature-rich as Photoshop, but it's fine for anything from photo retouching to image effects to compositing and painting. In some areas it beats Photoshop CS6. For example, I found its Magic Wand tool more accurate than the Photoshop tool.

Pixelmator 3.1 has four major new features: layer styles and effects, liquify tools, a share option with which you can order prints, and 16-bit color per channel support on a new Mac Pro.

The app has a nice interface with many hidden features. A multilevel Undo is built in, but you'll only find out by repeatedly hitting the Command-Z (PC: Ctrl-Z) shortcut. Coming from Photoshop, it will take you a few days to get used to the interface as many things are misplaced from a Photoshop point of view. Most of the filters found in Photoshop are listed in the Effects palette in Pixelmator, including Sharpen, Blur, and Color Adjustments. Some of these, such as the color wheel in Hue, which also manages Saturation, work like the controls in Capture One.

On the other hand, the liquify effects are tools in Pixelmator. They lack the advanced options of their Photoshop counterparts but do the job just fine. Some tools are also less customizable. The Healing tool, for example, has only two to three parameters, depending on how you use it.

However, there was one thing I really missed in Pixelmator: a continuously visible histogram. Downright frustrating was the list of FxFactory effects that get dumped in the Effects browser.

Company: Pixelmator Team
Price: $29.99
Rating: 4
Hot: Inexpensive; 48-bit image support on Mac Pros
Not: No omnipresent histogram; hidden features; effects are modal windows