Pixelmator 2.0 is finally here. Photoshop, watch out.

If you’re a designer or photographer, you know the struggle of finding a great alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop. If you’re someone who just needs a quick retouch to an image or some added text, you also may have had this experience. Thankfully, there’s a $29 Mac App that goes by the name Pixelmator. It’s said to be capable of doing 70%+ of what Photoshop does. I believe that its v2.0, codenamed Chameleon, will finally close the remaining gap. And by the way, it’s finally here.

Announced back in July, Pixelmator has definitely made its mark in the app world. It’s a blend between simplicity and power. It has features that the average user will need such as text input, cropping, and rotation. However, it also brings in dynamic effects like gradients, paintbrush, eyedropper, and the famous marquee tool.

So what makes this image editing app so amazing? What sets it apart from other $5 wannabes? For one, the team behind the product found the perfect balance between functionality and design. This app, along with others in its field, are loosening Adobe’s grip on the design market. Coda and Espresso broke the chains on web development, and now Pixelmator is doing the same for photo editing and illustration.

Now, they’re doing it all over again, with v2.0 introducing many new features.

A big feature is auto-save and versions. Taking advantage of OS X Lion, Pixelmator will now auto-save your documents and you’ll be able to browse through all your changes. Sounds sweet, right? There’s much more.

Autosave and Versions

Look and Feel

Handcrafted to the very last detail specifically for working with images, the new user interface of the app is as beautiful to look at as it is easy-to-use.

Drawing Tools

Enjoy perfectly precise, full-featured drawing tools that allow you to easily create and edit any vector shapes, whether simple or advanced.


Use the Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon, Star, Line or Custom Shape tools to quickly add shape layers to your compositions.

Healing Tool

Paint with the new Healing Tool on objects or any other details in an image to magically remove them, as if they never existed. Watch the video….

Content-Aware Fill

Take advantage of a breakthrough technology that helps magically get rid of unwanted elements in images.

Smudge Tool

Use the new Smudge Tool to smear paint, or to rub out blemishes or any other details in your images, as realistically as if you were using your fingers.

Sponge Tool

Paint using any brush tip either to add more color to or to take color away from objects, details or any other areas of an image.

Burn Tool

Use the Burn Tool to naturally darken specific areas of an image—whether in the highlights, midtones or shadows range for a given area.

Dodge Tool

Use the Dodge Tool to naturally lighten specific areas of an image—whether in the highlights, midtones or shadows range for a given area.

Red Eye Tool

Use the Red Eye Tool to easily—either automatically or manually—get rid of the red-eye effect in your images.

Pixel Tool

Enjoy editing images at the pixel level by taking advantage of the hard-edged, pixel-precise, pixel art-type Pixel Tool.

New Eyedropper Tool

Use the new magnifying Eyedropper Tool to efficiently snap colors from an image to use as needed.

Info Bar

The new Info Bar provides you with the most useful information required at a specific moment, depending on the tool in use.

Tools Customization

Make the app truly personal by adding, removing, arranging, even grouping tools in the fully customizable Tools palette.

Tool Options Bar

Enjoy the new contextual Tool Options bar, which shows the exact set of tool settings needed at the moment, depending on the tool in use.

New Type Tool

In addition to easily placing and formatting text on your images, now also enjoy advanced typography features.

Users who bought Pixelmator before today will be upgraded for free. So go check your updates in the App Store. For those of you who have been waiting for more features, here it is.

Jared is a web designer with a passion for writing. Co-founded, The Industry & Evomail. Editor at teamtreehouse.com.