Any image editor has to endure comparison with Photoshop - it is par for the course. Few live up to expectation, and to some extent it is unfair comparison to make. That said, Pixelmator can be thought of as Photoshop for the masses. This is not as powerful or as feature packed as Adobe's landmark app, but it is available at a fraction of the costs and includes more well designed features than most people will have need for.

The app comes at a bargain basement price, but this does not mean that it is bargain basement software. There are more than 130 special filters to choose from, and if this isn't enough the plugin support means that Quartz Composer compositions can also be used.

App such as Pixelmator are most commonly used for editing digital photographs, and to this end the software includes options such as a range of selection tools, blending modes, gradient fills, Aperture support, a wide range of transformation tools, layer grouping and much, much more.

If you are working on a batch of images that all need much the same processes applied to them, Pixelmator can be used in conjunction with Automator to avoid repetitive work. Pixelmator can also be used to create images from scratch thanks to the inclusion of a wide selection of drawing tools - these are particularly useful if you are working with a graphics tablet. And if you find that you are sharing work with Photoshop users, Pixelmator is capable of opening and saving the Photoshop format complete with layers.

What's new in 3.8.6 (see the release notes for more)?

- The photo browser has been rebuilt from the ground up using Apple’s MediaLibrary framework. This ensures a smoother and more stable photo browsing experience.
- Fixed a range of color management-related issues including color shifts, use of incorrect color spaces, slight shifts in color values in the Colors palette, and more.
- Colors in the Touch Bar are now synced to use the document’s color space.
- If a document is saved after changing its color space, the QuickLook preview and document thumbnails would have an incorrect color space. Fixed.
- The document would show incorrect colors if the screen color space was changed while the document was open. Fixed.
- Changing the color space for a document with grouped layers would shift the layer colors. Fixed.
- The colors of text and shape layers would shift after changing the document color space. Fixed.
- When exporting images using Export for Web, the background color would have an incorrect color space. Fixed.
- The RGB value of a color selected in the Colors palette would shift when switching between the Brush, Pencil, Pixel, and Paint Bucket tools, or between sessions. Fixed.
-  Colors in Colors window will now work strictly in the document’s color space (disabled the ability to change the color space for the Colors Sliders and Color Wheel pickers). • Colors in the Gradients palette will work correctly in any color space.
- If a PXD document with grouped layers is exported from Pixelmator Pro as a PSD file, opening that PSD in Pixelmator would result in flattening everything to just one layer. Fixed.
- Pixelmator would sometimes quit unexpectedly when opening or closing windows. Fixed.

Verdict

Pixelmator is a triumph of an app that is a pleasure to work with - both in terms of intuitive ease of use and a wonderful selection of powerful image editing tools.