My favorite Photoshop alternative, Pixelmator, was updated this morning on the Mac App Store with some notable new features, bug fixes and enhancements. Pixelmator 3.5 for Mac, a free update for those who own the app, includes the new Smart Selection and Magnetic Selection tools, a new Retouch extension for Photos which provides a full set of powerful retouching tools, and more.
Quick Selection tool
The new Quick Selection tool is smart in that it lets you select even the most challenging areas with a few simple brushstrokes. You simply paint over an area you want to select and the advanced algorithm detects the object you want to select.
Magnetic Selection tool
The new Magnetic Selection tool lets you select objects precisely in just a few clicks. After choosing the Magnetic Selection tool in the tools palette, simply start your selection by clicking anywhere on the edge of an object you want to select.
As you move the pointer, the tool automatically snaps around the object, making precise object selection ridiculously easy.
Retouch extension for the Photos app
First, you must enable this extension.
Go to System Preferences → Extensions, then click Photos in the lefthand column and in the righthand column tick the box next to “Pixelmator Retouch”.
You can now edit the images within the context of the Photos app using Pixelmator’s retouching tools.
Simply select an image in Photos, then click Edit. Now choose Pixelmator Retouch from the Extensions menu and start editing the photo.
Here’s Pixelmator’s new Photos extension in action.
Pixelmator 3.5 for Mac highlights
Here’s what’s new and improved in Pixelmator 3.5 for Mac:
- The smart Quick Selection Tool lets you select even the most challenging areas with a single brushstroke.
- The new Magnetic Selection Tool snaps to the edges you trace, so that you can make detailed selections quickly and precisely.
- The new Pixelmator Retouch Extension for Photos adds a full set of powerful retouching tools to your Photos app.
Other improvements and fixes>:
- On OS X El Capitan, the totally redesigned Stroke effect is now up to 15 times faster and much smoother.
- Thanks to the redesigned Stroke effect, resizing a selection with the Refine Selection dialog is also up to 15 times faster (on OS X El Capitan).
- The outlines that you get when using the Color Selection Tool, Paint Bucket Tool and the Magic Eraser Tool are much smoother and more precise (on OS X El Capitan).
- In the Pixelmator Distort Extension, the brush size now auto-adjusts as you zoom in and out of your image, so it always stays the right size.
- When using the Repair Tool, double-clicking the canvas would resize the document window. Fixed.
- Choosing the Red Eye Tool when editing tiny images made the app quit unexpectedly. We fixed that, too.
- When using the Glass, Vintage, Noise, Rain, Snow, or Sketch effects on layers smaller than the canvas, some pixels at the edges of the layer would be stretched across the empty areas. We fixed this.
- The preview animation shown in the Bar Swipe effect thumbnail was shown at an angle. Fixed.
- While transforming a layer with a shadow, small, grey squares would sometimes appear on the canvas. Not anymore.
- The Column Marquee Tool would sometimes make selections that were 1 pixel wider than they were supposed to be. Now they are pixel-perfect.
- When refining a selection with the Clone Stamp Tool selected, parts of the red selection overlay that marks the non-selected area would sometimes disappear. We fixed this.
- When a text layer was used as an overlay for a clipping mask, converting it into a pixel layer would cause the text to disappear. Fixed.
- Sometimes, the coordinates of a shape layer could get lost and this would make it impossible to save or open the document. Fixed.
- Improved stability when opening PSD files with specific Photoshop text features.
- On OS X 10.9, the Add to iPhoto option was missing from the Share menu. It’s back.
- On OS X 10.10, when applying Blur effects to layers that don’t fill the entire canvas, some pixels at the edges of the layer would be stretched across the empty areas. Fixed.
- On Mac computers with a Retina Display, the effect preview, which is shown on your image while a Color Adjustment dialog is open, made the image look slightly blurred. Fixed.
- On iMac computers with 4K Retina Displays, when painting with a brush-based tool, moving the brush outside the document window made the screen flicker. We fixed this.
- In the Pixelmator Distort extension, clicking the image before choosing a tool would automatically select the Warp Tool. It now works as it should.
- Other stability improvements.
As mentioned, this is a free update for those who own the app.
Pricing and availability
Pixelmator for OS X requires an Intel-based Mac with a 64-bit processor and OS X 10.9.5 or later. It’s localized in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.
Pixelmator for Mac is $29.99 on the Mac App Store.
Pixelmator for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad will set you back $4.99.