Pixelmator for Mac gains Touch Bar and P3 color support, tabs, full Sierra compatibility & more

Pixelmator 3.6 for Mac Touch Bar teaser

Popular Photoshop alternative Pixelmator for Mac was updated in the Mac App Store today with a bunch of new features, including support for tabbed image editing on Sierra and custom shortcuts on the new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, universal clipboard for effortless pasting of content between devices and other Sierra-specific features. Plus, you get more than a dozen improvements like the new content-aware Smart Refine and Refine Selection tools, support for wide color images and displays and more.

In case you didn’t catch it, Pixelmator for Mac was one of the apps Apple’s marketing boss Phil Schiller highlighted on stage at last month’s “Hello again” Mac event, showing off full support for the new Touch Bar feature.

Here are Touch Bar shortcuts in Pixelmator.

And this is how Sierra’s Tabs Everywhere feature works in Pixelmator.

Check out everything new in the new Pixelmator 3.6 “Cordillera” update:

macOS Sierra support:

  • Pixelmator is now fully compatible with macOS Sierra.
  • The Touch Bar keeps your favorite Pixelmator tools and the most useful options always at hand.
  • Use Tabs to easily manage your Pixelmator windows.
  • The new Smart Refine feature lets you instantly improve selections with stunning accuracy and speed.
  • Support for Deep Images makes colors in 16-bit images more vibrant and true-to-life on Wide Color displays.

Touch Bar support:

  • Set the most useful tool options for your selected tool right in the Touch Bar.
  • The Touch Bar is customizable, so you can choose exactly which tools you’d like to keep in it.
  • Use the Touch Bar to change color, alignment, and other text properties.
  • When previewing effects or adjustments, a Show Original button lets you take a peek at the original image.
  • Use Rotate and Scale sliders to transform layers.
  • And do a lot more!


  • Quickly drag and drop layers between documents in different tabs.
  • Merge all your Pixelmator windows into a single one by choosing Window > Merge All Windows.
  • Close all tabs except the current one by Option-clicking the Close button of the tab you’re in.
  • New images open in a new tab according to your preferences in System Preferences > Dock – either Always, In Full Screen Only, or Manually.
  • If your tab preferences are set to In Full Screen Only or Manually, hold down the Option key when opening or creating new documents to open them in a new tab.

New features and other gems in macOS Sierra:

  • With support for the Universal Clipboard, you can now seamlessly copy images and text between Pixelmator on your Mac and iOS devices.
  • Precisely align windows and palettes by moving them close to each other.
  • Double-click the edge of a window to automatically expand that edge.

Smart Refine and Refine Selection:

  • Using an advanced edge-detection algorithm, Smart Refine precisely snaps your existing selection to object edges in your image.
  • Customize just how edge-sensitive Smart Refine is using the Edge Detection slider in the Refine Selection dialog.
  • You can now edit your selection while the Refine Selection dialog is open – paint to subtract from your selection, hold down the Option key and paint to add to your selection.
  • Use the [ and ] keys to change the size of the selection brush.

Deep Images:

  • With support for P3 color and Wide Color displays, all 16-bit images on the new MacBook Pro, iMac with Retina 4K display, and iMac with Retina 5K display look more vibrant and true to life.
  • 16-bit images also look better on standard displays, as dithering is applied to subtly smooth gradients and remove visible banding.
  • Dithering is also applied when reducing the color depth of an image from 16 bits to 8 bits.

Quick Selection improvements:

  • The Quick Selection Tool now has a live preview.
  • It’s also much faster, thanks to a faster algorithm.
  • And it’s more accurate, too – especially with black and white images.

Pixelmator 3.6 is a free update for existing users of the app.

Pixelmator for macOS is a $29.99 download from the Mac App Store.