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BLOG: Pixelmator costs $15 and does 95% of the stuff we use Photoshop for

Mark Gibbs | May 24, 2013
Gibbs corrects his comments about the availability of Adobe's CS6, recommends Pixelmator to replace most of what you want Photoshop for, and suggests the Button TrackR to help you find your keys

UPDATE: When I wrote last week's Gearhead, "No more Adobe Dreamweaver, so how about Xara Web Designer?" I had looked at Adobe's online shop to make sure that CS6 wasn't available. Clicking on the dropdown showed:

Adobe Dreamweaver

And choosing Dreamweaver displayed only one option:

Dreamweaver

Well, foolish me because the nice folks at Adobe wrote to me to point out that they actually still do make CS6 available for purchase. It turns out that should you want to put your qwan down on Dreamweaver CS6 you have to find CS6 via the Adobe Products page wherein you can find a purchase link. This seems oddly manipulative to me in that, going to the "Buy" option in the main menu bar for the Adobe site and selecting Dreamweaver only displays the Creative Cloud version, but there's marketing for you ... and by now Adobe may well have "fixed" this.

So, last week I mentioned Pixelmator, an OS X app that looked very promising as an alternative to Photoshop.

Now, let's be clear, Pixelmator is not a replacement for Photoshop because Photoshop is the kitchen sink, the alpha and omega, the Über Götterdämmerung of graphics tools and it's overwhelming in its scope and depth of features.

On the other hand, the majority of users only use a subset of Photoshop's features. And Photoshop is also spendy (the CS6 version lists at $699). Enter Pixelmator 2.2 which costs $14.99.  You read that right; one cent under $15!

As one user commented on the Pixelmator forum: "Pixelmator contains probably 95%+ of everything people use Photoshop for (who aren't professionals). It also has a better interface, doesn't install a bunch of Adobe garbage, and matches/is optimized for Mac OS more than Photoshop."


Pixelmator, not all of Photoshop but probably everything you need.

This app is, without doubt, awesome. It is beautifully designed and fits the OS X user interface perfectly. It's robust, slick, and very fast (it's a 64-bit app that uses the OS X Core Image technology which provides GPU enhanced image processing that makes it as fast as something nasty off a shiny shovel).

Pixelmator supports layers, effects, color adjustments, typography, painting, and retouching and includes a photo browser that is integrated with iPhoto and Aperture and the built-in Mac cameras. It also integrates with OS X's Automator for workflow automation andApple's Colorsync for color management.

I'm not just slightly impressed by Pixelmator; I'm in love with this app! At run time it's  smaller than Photoshop, simpler to use and, unless I want to do something really complex, has become my "go to" for just about all image processing tasks. Pixelmator gets a Gearhead rating of 5 out of 5.

 

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