Pixelmator Updated for Mac Image Editing

There is no shortage of inexpensive Mac image editing applications but let's be honest and say up front that most of them are pretty limited. In fact, there's only two that can be considered as Photoshop challengers and that's Affinity Photo and Pixelmator. Built from scratch as a Mac application, Pixelmator has progressed steadily since its debut and the recently-released version 3.6 is a significant step forward. We won't run through the laundry list of Pixelmator's features here but in essence it does a good job of meeting the needs of many of those currently using Photoshop.

The previous version tackled the perennial task of quickly making accurate selections. Apparently machine learning was harnessed to analyze hundreds of images, with the result being used to adjust more than 100 parameters of a new Quick Selection tool. Related was a Magnetic Selection tool, which was said to create accurate selections by finding the object edges that you're trying to trace and then automatically snapping a selection around them. A Retouch Extension was designed to "bring a full set of Pixelmator retouching tools" to the Photos app and since this included the handy Repair tool, Photos users were pleased.

Version 3.6 begins by adding full support for macOS Sierra and the Touch Bar found on the new MacBook Pro, which is fully customizable for the desired Pixelmator tools and automatically changes to reflect the current task. A long-awaited new ability is that of opening and editing multiple documents in a single Pixelmator window, which is now possible thanks to the use of tabs. Smart Refine has been added to let users improve selections by tapping the power of an edge-detection algorithm that locates any objects in the image and precisely snaps the edges of an existing selection to any edge in the image. It's also worth noting the support for Deep Images, which includes support for DCI-P3 color, which Apple has chosen for its wide gamut colorspace, instead of the more common Adobe RGB. Deep Image support helps 16-bit images look their best on the new MacBook Pro, iMac with Retina 4K display and iMac with Retina 5K display, as well as improving 16-bit image quality on more modest displays.

And of course there are numerous other enhancements and fixes. Pixelmator 3.6 can be purchased for $29.99. More information is available on the Pixelmator site. A trial version is available for download