Pixelmator 3.3 for OS X (app icon, full size)

One of the most under-the-radar new features to hit OS X Yosemite was the addition of extensions. Action extensions are particularly nice, because they allow apps to interface with other apps directly.

Some app developers, such as Pixelmator ($29.99 on the Mac App Store), have brought third-party extensions to the Mac, which demonstrates how beneficial extensions can be. Watch our video that showcases Pixelmator’s Repair Tool extension to see what I mean.

As of now, using the extension is limited to certain apps like Preview and TextEdit. You’ll obviously need to have Pixelmator installed to be able to use this extension, but once it’s installed, setting up the extension for use is a breeze.

To enable the Pixelmator Repair Tool action extension, open System preferences → Extensions → Actions and check the Repair Tool option. Once the extension is enabled, open a supporting app like the Mail app, and insert an image into the body of a new email.

You should see a drop-down arrow in the upper right-hand corner of the image. Click that arrow, and select the Repair Tool. You may need to click the More option to enable the extension if it’s not already.

Once you invoke the extension, the image will lift from the body of the document, and you’ll see a simple new interface for using the Repair Tool. The awesome thing about doing this is that Pixelmator doesn’t need to be running.

There are downsides to using extensions. The most obvious downside is that extensions are a bit more limited than what you’ll find in the full fledged app. For example, with the Repair Tool, you don’t get as many of the options as you’d get if running the same tool inside of the actual Pixelmator app.

Using the Repair Tool makes it super easy to quickly clean up an image that you’re going to send via an email or that you have embedded into a TextEdit document. It’s a simple way to have cross-app communication in an easy to use and digestible manner.

What do you think about Pixelmator’s Repair Tool extension? Pixelmator is available on the Mac App Store for $29.99.

  • philip Mills

    Nice tip

  • James G

    When is this coming to Photos app, I wonder? Is it up to Apple to enable this, or Pixelmator?