Pixelmator Pro Vs. Adobe Photoshop ....?

I do web development, so I need a good image editor. With Adobe’s current compatibility issues and pricing structure, now that Pixelmator Pro has a few versions out (i.e. should be reasonably reliable :slight_smile: ), I’m contemplating a switch.

Anybody have experience with both? Is there any area where one absolutely outshines the other?

I don’t do anything with plugins, so that’s not necessary. Mostly looking at the actual editing capabilities native to the software.


Photoshop has outstanding industry support and a huge ecosystem of actions, plugins, brushes, templates etc. It also supports a LOT of operations you will likely never use. For general editing for the web and the occational print, I am sure Pixelmator Pro will be just fine.

There is also Affinity Photo to consider, but if you are already familiar with Pixelmator, the learning curve would be much easier.

1 Like

I’m not super-familiar with Pixelmator, but I’ve used it before. Of the three (Photoshop, Pixelmator, Affinity) I’m most familiar with Photoshop, but I’m willing to consider either of the options.

I mostly do graphic editing rather than photo editing, so things like layers, overlays, etc. are the more important things - not photo retouching features.

Is Affinity Pro a good third option in this space? If you’ve used it, are there any things you think it particularly shines at?

I would say Affinity Photo is a more direct Photoshop replacement, and much of your Photoshop knowledge will translate more easily to the way Affinity works. Pixelmator Pro is a bit different, a bit more opinionated, a bit different in its focus.

Depending on how deep you go with “image editing” and what specifically you mean by that (processing raw photos, compositing, manipulation, etc.), you can most likely get the job done with either of them, but Affinity would be my first port of call for a straight-up Photoshop replacement.


I mostly do web graphics. Very little in the way of actual photos - lots of stuff for logos, pieces of website designs, Facebook graphics for organizations, etc. I do a lot of overlaying stuff on top of photos, but I don’t actually edit the photos themselves hardly at all.

So outright photo editing is a very secondary workflow.

Is that sounding like Affinity to you? :slight_smile:

I used Photoshop as a web developer for about five years and switched to Affinity Photo. I also own Pixelmator for home and trialed Pixelmator Pro. I found Affinity Photo to be a more natural successor as far as far it “thinks” and I haven’t run into any limits (as a web developer with teammates who complement me, I’m not doing the complex design work, though.) I’ve also tried some vector work in Affinity Designer and thought it just fine, but haven’t needed to buy it yet. That said, Pixelmator Pro is in a way better place than when I evaluated it and feels more Apple-y, and I’ve been thinking about upgrading from Pixelmator for home, so this opinion is ending ambivalently. :slight_smile:


The thoughts, ambivalent though they are, are much appreciated. :slight_smile: It sounds like Affinity Designer is on my “to try” list as of now. :smiley:

Yes, another vote for Affinity Photo. Fantastic. I’m doing graphic and web design and the Affinity Apps are my standard at this point. As mentioned above, Affinity Designer is excellent for vector work. Nice thing about both those apps is that they cross-over very easily. Which is to say, Designer can work pretty well with images and Photo does pretty well with vectors. Another note, the Affinity file format is completely interchangeable between the two (and also with their Publisher app which is their new app to replace InDesign). There is no different between the files. If you start a project in Photo and decide you need features from Designer you just open the file in Designer and do it. Then you go back to Photo if you need to. No importing, no export, no changing of the file format at all. It’s fantastic.


That actually sounds like my absolute favorite Affinity software: Affinity Designer. It has a very competent pixel mode, and also good features for UI and web design. The vector drawing side is the main selling point, as an Illustrator competitor. Very easy to overlay text, add graphic elements and design to exact pixel measurements.

All Affinity products come with a trial period on Mac and Windows, so do check them both out before deciding.

1 Like

Based on your description, Affinity Designer is coming to mind for me as well, as others have said. I spend a lot of time in Designer working on layouts and logo stuff and find that it’s a perfect environment for it. Not only because it’s individually competent but because the shared file format makes it effortless for me to shuttle components around to/from Affinity Photo and Publisher.

That being said…one of the things Pixelmator Pro is especially good at is layout design, so in fact you’ve put both contenders back on the table in a sense :stuck_out_tongue: I think you’re stuck trying both to see which workflow you prefer.

As a Photoshop person, I suspect you’ll find Affinity Photo more immediately accessible, but Pixelmator has a lot of smart features and a truly beautiful design.

I’m curious to hear your impressions if you do try both, just to see what kind of first impression they both make these days.

1 Like