Pixelmator, the definitive graphic editor for the Mac

When it comes to graphic and design, it’s a challenge if you don’t know where to start. Though one app, and I say one, wins against every other ones on OS X. It’s called Pixelmator. It features all the tools you need to create professional compositions and work with photos, along with a very slick interface, oriented to a black and windowed one. The screenshot below is taken in full screen mode; as you see, the UI is very curated and relaxing to see and work on, but in this review we are also going to compare its major features against Photoshop Elements 10.

The view is fully customizable, and says everything about how it can beat PSE: Pixelmator features seven differents kind of palette: tools, brushes, layers, effect browser, colors, gradients and fonts, which can be dragged around fitting your needs. The brush one features several kinds of them, grouped in categories such as Natural, Grunge, Sparkles and edited by double clicking on the thumbnail.

As you might expect, Pixelmator shares a lot of features with Photoshop Elements 10, with the same capabilities speaking of brushes, tools (there are even more than PS), levels and effects, which are now grouped and no longer in the menu bar. These effects can be applied easily with a drag-and-drop both on the level palette or directly on the composition and then set parameters to get the desired result.

Shortcuts and features are also almost the same as Photoshop, making the use of Pixelmator more friendly if you’re planning about switching to it. Moreover it features some basic vector tools, which can create any type of shape and place it on it’s own level, something that PSE 10 can’t do.

Finally, when you’re done, you can easily share your composition with the world using Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, AirDrop, and iPhoto (these includes also Aperture). Photoshop supports them, but only if you get the Online Adobe Store version. If you have the Mac App Store one, don’t expect to find them.

Beyond all of the features, Pixelmator has a number of tutorials available both on the official website and on the web, so new users can do easily a fresh start as I did.

Though there is something where Photoshop Elements wins, and these are the Create and Guided editing, making more complex editing within seconds.

Interested? Pixelmator is available on the Mac App Store, and can be downloaded from here.

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