Pixelmator 2.3 for iOS brings out Magnetic Selection, Quick Selection & more

Pixelmator 2.3 for iOS teaser

The popular Photoshop alternative, Pixelmator, on Tuesday refreshed its iPhone, iPad and iPod touch application on the App Store, bringing out two desktop-class tools—Magnetic Selection and Quick Selection—along with numerous selection improvements and a bunch of fixes for the Apple Pencil, the iPhone version of the app and more. The Smart Selection and Magnetic Selection tools first appeared in Pixelmator for Mac in May 2016.

“Pixelmator 2.3 for iOS brings an incredible Quick Selection Tool, a powerful and precise Magnetic Selection Tool, features many small, but awesome improvements to the selection experience on iOS, and more,” developers noted.

Magnetic Selection tool

With the new Magnetic Selection tool in Pixelmator 2.3 for iOS, you can easily select complex objects quickly and precisely. Simply trace the edges of any object in your image and watch the tool automatically snap an accurate selection around that object.

Quick Selection tool

With the all-new Quick Selection tool in Pixelmator 2.3 for iOS, you can make incredibly accurate selections by simply swiping over areas in your image. After choosing the Magnetic Selection tool, simply start your selection by swiping over the edge of an object you want to select. As you move your finger, the tool automatically snaps around the object, making precise object selection ridiculously easy.

Pixelmator 2.3 for iOS changelog

Here’s everything new, fixed and improved in Pixelmator 2.3 for iOS:


  • The advanced Quick Selection Tool lets you make incredibly accurate selections.
  • The smart Magnetic Selection Tool snaps precisely to the objects you trace.
  • Many small, but awesome changes improve the selection experience on iOS.

Selection improvements:

  • When making selections, you can now tap Invert to invert your selection.
  • The outline of selections made with the Color Selection Tool is more precise thanks to a content-aware smoothing algorithm.
  • The all-new marching ants design improves performance and has ants that actually march around your selections.
  • The Color Selection Tool is now faster (especially on older devices).
  • Added a Create New selection mode, which is now the default.
  • A live preview of your final selection is now shown when using the Add or Subtract selection modes.
  • You can now transform selections in the Arrange pane.
  • Selections now snap to layers and the canvas, just like layers do (but you can turn this off by turning off Guides).
  • Selections made with the Free Selection, Rectangle Selection, and Ellipse Selection tools now always snap to pixels, meaning there won’t be any unwanted, half-transparent pixels at the edges of a selection when you copy, delete, or transform it.
  • The selection paths of the Free Selection Tool are now made up of twice as many points, which makes them smoother.
  • When you open up Select with an already selected area, the selection tool that you were using previously will automatically become active.
  • When moving a selected area, dragging inside the selection will move it, and dragging outside the selection will now pan the image.
  • The selection outline that is added as you select with the Free Selection Tool now has a subtle animation.
  • When making selections with the Quick Selection or Color Selection tools, the selection preview now fades into the marching ants.
  • Tapping Undo after transforming a selected area sometimes used to make that area flicker. Fixed.
  • When using the Free Selection Tool, quickly tapping could sometimes make really small selections instead of adding points. Fixed.

Improvements and bug fixes:

  • Use a two finger double tap to zoom in or zoom to fit.
  • The 9:16 aspect ratio is now in the list of ratios in Crop.
  • The request to let Pixelmator access your Photos library wouldn’t appear if you tried to save to Photos before having opened an image from Photos – it does now.
  • If you use Copy to Photos to save a new image to your Photos library, you’ll now be able to use Save to Photos to save over that new image.
  • If you drag a layer that is not selected (the transform handles aren’t visible) and it does not fit in the screen, the layer will not be moved. To move it – first, tap to select it.
  • When you hold two fingers to rotate a layer but one or both fingers are outside the currently selected layer, other layers in your image will not be selected – first tap to select the layer you want to rotate, then hold two fingers inside it to start rotating.
  • Zoom animations are a little more smooth as they now have subtle ease-out transitions.

Apple Pencil improvements and bug fixes:

  • When using Apple Pencil, the brush size of the Quick Selection Tool is pressure-sensitive.
  • Selections made using Apple Pencil and the Free Selection Tool are now more accurate.
  • The transform handle area is now smaller, giving you more precision.

Pixelmator for iPhone improvements:

  • The Select and Distort tool choosers are now laid out more symmetrically.
  • The selection mode in the Select tool chooser is highlighted more clearly.
  • Tapping to choose a selection mode will now close the Select tool chooser.

This update is free for existing users of the app.

The full release notes can be found at pixelmator.com/ios/updates.

Grab Pixelmator for $4.99 from the App Store.

Pixelmator for Mac is $29.99 on the Mac App Store.