Pixelmator vs Photoshop: 4 Important Differences Every Graphic Designer Should Know

Not sure which tool to choose? There are some people who prefer one over the other, but depending on what you will be using the application for, there is definitely one that is better. If you are someone who likes to design as a hobby, Pixelmator might be a cheap alternative to consider. If you are a professional designer, Photoshop might be best for  you. When deciding which app to use, you really should go off of what you are using it for.

Pixelmator has a lot of built-in effects

With these effects, Pixelmator is a great alternative to Photoshop if you want to produce something quickly and easily. If you don’t have a lot of experience with Photoshop, Pixelmator is the best tool to use because it’s very simple to learn. Adding filters and making color changes is a piece of cake with Pixelmator.

Some people say that Photoshop produces a better quality

Shadowing and clarity may be different between images made with Pixelmator and Photoshop. Because of the different features that each program includes, the quality of the image will be different.

Nathan Greenstein from apple.blogoverflow.com came up with a few tests to compare Photoshop and Pixelmator. Take notice to how the photos look differently when using Photoshop or Pixelmator.


To view the full comparison, click here.

In conclusion, Photoshop scored the highest overall. Photoshop is better for recreating images and RAW image editing. However, Pixelmator is preferred for retouching older images. As far as putting your head on someone else’s body, Pixelmator and Photoshop are ranked equally.

Greenstein concludes:

[blockquote source=”Nathan Greenstein”]General users, amateur designers, and amateur photographers should get Pixelmator. It has lots of great standard-level features; a decent selection of pro-level features; and is a beautiful, fast app.[/blockquote]

[blockquote source=”Nathan Greenstein”]Professional designers and photographers should get Photoshop. It has all the professional features that Pixelmator lacks, and the user experience is entirely acceptable.[/blockquote] 

Pixelmator may be limiting

If you are a professional designer, Pixelmator may not be best for you. We have heard from many people that Pixelmator is generally great for basically editing an image, but as a designer, if you are looking to go into great depth you might want to use an application such as Photoshop, or one similar to it.

Pixelmator is only for Mac

If you do not have a Mac, Pixelmator will not work with your operating system. Pixelmator is an app available on the Mac App Store. If you have anything other than a Mac, go with Photoshop or any other alternative.

Yet Another Alternative: GIMP

GIMP seems to be a hit or miss. Some people might swear by it and others don’t like it at all. I think that for the basic beginner photographer or designer it might be worth it. In order to produce images to the best of your ability when using GIMP, you need to know the program inside and out. It’s very obvious in some cases that GIMP will produce the lowest quality images, but for beginners if you aren’t looking to spend any money, it works. But in many different people’s opinions, try Pixelmator or Photoshop first.


With all of this information you should have a better understanding of which program is best for you. So keep in mind these top 4 important differences between Photoshop and Pixelmator before choosing which one to utilize.

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