The Best Photoshop Alternative for Mac OS X is Pixelmator
Pixelmator for Mac has long been a killer photo editing app. But I’ll cut straight to the point, Pixelmator is the single best Photoshop alternative for the Mac platform at it’s price point, and at just $29.99 (App Store link) it’s much more affordable for the average joe than Adobe Photoshops whopping $500 tag.
The fact is Pixelmator has all the standard photo editing and drawing tools, and new versions include tons of new features like content-aware fill, healing, smudge tools, and full Mac OS X feature support for Full Screen Mode, Auto Save, and Versions. No, it doesn’t include every option from the competition, but at a fraction of the price it’s more than competent for the majority of users needs.
But don’t take my word for it, you should try it yourself. Fortunately the creators of Pixelmator have enough confidence in their app that they offer a full working trial version before you buy it, you can download the free 30 day trial here to make sure it fits your photo editing and design needs before you buy. If you’re in the market for an image editor, check it out. With a free download and trial period, you can’t really go wrong.
Now I admit I am no image editing pro, but I adjust photos and have to make graphics for the web fairly often, and it more than does the job for all of my needs. My only two complaints with Pixelmator are; selecting elements within a layer can be challenging as the click often passes through the layers below that have larger elements, and text effects are nonexistent for things like gradients, shadows, etc, they have to be applied manually the old fashion way. Now that is obviously nothing that can’t be worked with, it’s just a little different to adjust to for those coming from a Photoshop background. I cut my editing chops on Photoshop long ago, back when it was more affordable and frequently found in school computer labs, but these days all of my image editing and web graphic creation is done with Pixelmator.
You can even get creative with Pixelmator too, I have just about zero artistic ability but my hideous 10 minute creation in the process of checking out the updated version looks like this:
Not quite a Picasso, but you get the point. It’s a full fledged image editor with a lot of creative options.
By the way, the app has been on sale at $29.99, but the apps price is expected to jump to $60 sometime in the future. Once it’s $60 the competition heats up a bit because Acorn is another great image editor for the Mac and costs $49.99. Ultimately you should try both and decide which you like best, but for me Pixelmator is the obvious choice and what I recommend to 95% of Mac users who are looking for an affordable powerful image editing app on Mac OS X.