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Pixelmator vs Gimp: which photo editor is right for you?

GIMP is a powerful open-source image editor, while Pixelmator is easy to use.

Photo makers are essential tools for both amateurs and professionals because they make it easy to change, improve, and express yourself creatively through images. In today’s digital world, which is very visual, photo editing is a key part of making images look better and have more effect. Users can use these editors to fix mistakes, change colors, add filters, and show their talent through graphic design. They are important for photographers, graphic designers, social media managers, and anyone else who wants to make material that looks good for business or personal use.

Pixelmator and GIMP are two good pieces of software for changing photos. Pixelmator is known for having a simple interface and a lot of tools that both new and experienced users can use. It has a lot of tools for editing images, combining images, and making graphics. On the other hand, GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a powerful open-source tool that is liked for being flexible and offering a lot of ways to customize it.

It has advanced features like those found in industry-standard software, and people who want a free, flexible editing option like it. In the next section, we’ll look at Pixelmator and GIMP’s different features and abilities to help you decide which one is best for your picture editing needs.

Pixelmator vs Gimp Comparison Table

Pixelmator has an easy-to-use interface that works well with macOS, as well as complicated tools and editing that doesn’t change the image. It costs money, but there is a free sample. GIMP, on the other hand, is free, open-source, and works on multiple platforms. It has a steeper learning curve, but its layout can be changed. Which one you choose will rely on your editing needs, platform, and budget.

FeaturePixelmatorGIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)
Platform CompatibilitymacOSWindows, macOS, Linux
User InterfaceIntuitive and macOS-native designCustomizable, but may have a steeper learning curve
CostPaid (with a free trial)Free and open-source
Layer SupportYesYes
Image Editing ToolsComprehensive set of tools for image editingExtensive array of tools for image manipulation
Advanced FeaturesMachine learning-enhanced featuresExtensible with plugins and scripts
Non-Destructive EditingYesYes (with some limitations)
RAW Image SupportYesYes
Text and Typography ToolsYesLimited, but functional
Brushes and FiltersExtensive collection of brushes and filtersWide range of brushes and customizable filters
Vector EditingLimited vector support (Pixelmator Pro)Yes
File Format CompatibilitySupports various formats including PSDSupports various formats including PSD
PerformanceOptimized for macOS, generally fastMay vary based on system resources and usage
Community and SupportSmaller community, dedicated supportLarger open-source community, extensive documentation
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Pixelmator vs Gimp: User Interface and Ease of use

Pixelmator and GIMP are both strong programs for editing images, but their user interfaces and how easy they are to use are different. Pixelmator’s layout is more polished and up-to-date than GIMP’s. It is also easy for beginners to learn and use. Pixelmator’s design is well-organized and easy to use, making it easy to find and use all of the most important tools and features.

GIMP’s user interface is more complicated and can be changed in more ways than Pixelmator’s. This can be confusing for new users, but it can be very useful for people who have used it before. GIMP has more tools and features than Pixelmator as well, but many of them are harder to use.

User interfaceStreamlined and user-friendlyComplex and customizable
Ease of useEasy to use for beginners and experienced users alikeDifficult to learn and use, especially for beginners
FeaturesNon-destructive editing workflow, pre-made effects and filters, tutorial modeWide range of tools and options, support for multiple layers and masks, advanced features such as scripting and batch processing
Best forBeginners and experienced usersExperienced users who need a wide range of tools and options

I’ve spent a lot of time with both Pixelmator and GIMP, and Pixelmator is much easier to use. The tools and functions are easier to find and use, and the interface is easier to understand and use. Pixelmator is also quicker and easier to use than GIMP. The layout of GIMP is more complicated and can be changed, but I find it less easy to use. I also think Pixelmator is faster and more quick than GIMP. I like Pixelmator’s user design and how easy it is to use more than GIMP’s. Pixelmator is much easier to learn and use, even for people who are just starting out.

Pixelmator vs Gimp: Performance and Speed

I’ve been using Pixelmator and GIMP for a few years now, and I’ve found that Pixelmator is usually faster and more responsive. This is especially true when working with big pictures or projects that are hard to understand. Pixelmator takes a few seconds to load a big PSD file, for example, when you open it. In GIMP, it can take up to a minute for the same file to load.

Pixelmator is also much faster than GIMP when doing complicated tasks like resizing, cropping, or adding filters. For example, it takes Pixelmator about a second to change the size of a big image to 50% of its original size. In GIMP, it takes about five seconds to do the same thing. Obviously, performance will rely on the hardware of your computer and the tasks you’re doing. But overall, I’ve found that Pixelmator is faster and easier to use.

Overall performanceBetterGood
CodebaseMore modern and efficientOlder and less efficient
Hardware optimizationOptimized for Mac hardwareNot optimized for Mac hardware

Here are some specific ways that Pixelmator and GIMP have helped me:

  • Opening large files: Pixelmator opens big PSD files much faster than GIMP. For example, Pixelmator can open a 100MB PSD file in a few seconds, while GIMP can take up to a minute.
  • Resizing images: Pixelmator is also much faster than GIMP when it comes to resizing pictures. For example, in Pixelmator it takes about a second to reduce the size of a big image to 50% of its original size, while in GIMP it takes about five seconds.
  • Applying filters: Pixelmator is also faster than GIMP when it comes to adding filters to pictures. For example, in Pixelmator it takes about two seconds to add a Gaussian blur filter to a large picture, but in GIMP it takes about ten seconds.

Pixelmator vs Gimp: Platform Compatibility

One of the most important things to think about when deciding between Pixelmator and GIMP is whether or not they work on the same platforms. Pixelmator is only for Mac users right now, but GIMP is for Mac, Windows, and Linux users. This means that GIMP is your only choice if you need an image editor that works on more than one computer.

Pixelmator is usually thought to be easier to use than GIMP, especially for Mac users. Pixelmator is easier to learn how to use because its design is more modern and easy to understand. On the other hand, GIMP has a more complicated layout that can be hard for new users to figure out.

Platform compatibilityMac onlyMac, Windows, and Linux
User experienceMore user-friendlyMore complex
FeaturesFewer featuresMore features
Community supportLess community supportMore community support

Pixelmator, on the other hand, doesn’t have as many tools as GIMP and can’t be changed as much. GIMP also has a bigger community of users and developers, which means there are more resources to help you learn how to use the software and solve problems.

Pixelmator vs Gimp: Image Editing Tools

Pixelmator vs Gimp

I’ve been using Pixelmator and GIMP for a few years now, and I’ve found that each tool has its own pros and cons. Pixelmator is paid software for changing photos that works on Mac and iOS devices. It is known for being easy to use and having a wide range of features, such as:

  • Basic picture editing tools include cropping, resizing, and adjusting brightness and contrast.
  • There are different layers and effects.
  • The ability to use vector drawings
  • Tools for making and editing images for the web
  • Apps for Mac and iOS can work with each other.

GIMP is free, open-source software that can be used to edit images on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is known for having powerful features and being able to handle complex editing jobs. Some of the things that GIMP can do are:

  • All of the basic and advanced features that are found in Pixelmator
  • A bigger range of tools to choose from
  • More strong ways to work with images
  • Scripting and plug-ins are supported.
  • A more flexible user interface

When I first got a Mac, I started using Pixelmator. Right away, I was impressed by how easy it was to use and how many tools it had. I learned how to use the software fast so I could edit my photos and make graphics for my website.

After a while, I chose to try GIMP because I was interested in seeing how its more advanced features would work. I found that GIMP was harder to learn than Pixelmator, but in the end it was worth it. GIMP has let me do some really advanced editing jobs, like making composites that look like real photos and fixing up portraits.

Pixelmator vs Gimp: Plugins and Extensions

While both Pixelmator and GIMP are powerful image editing tools, they differ in how they handle plugins and extensions. Although Pixelmator has a smaller selection of plugins, those that are included are all well-integrated and function well with the program. On the other hand, GIMP has a huge library of plugins and extensions, but their quality can vary and some may need to be set up in a different way.

Pixelmator Plugins

Pixelmator has a number of tools already built in, such as:

  • Adjustment plugins let you make simple changes to your pictures, like changing the brightness, contrast, and hue.
  • Effect plugins: With these plugins, you can add creative effects like blurs, glitches, and filters to your photos.
  • Utility plugins: These plugins add extra features, such as the ability to resize, crop, and convert images.

In addition to many third-party plugins, Pixelmator comes with a number of built-in plugins. You can find these plugins on the Pixelmator website and in different places where plugins are kept.

Number of pluginsSmallerLarger
Plugin qualityHighVaried
Plugin integrationTightLoose
Ease of useEasyMore difficult

GIMP Plugins

There are many plugins and extensions for GIMP. You can find them on the GIMP website and in different plugin sources. These apps can give GIMP new features and functions, like:

  • New tools: New tools, like paints, filters, and selection tools, can be added to GIMP.
  • New file formats: GIMP can be changed to accept new file formats, like RAW image formats and vector graphics formats.
  • New processes: GIMP can be changed to support new workflows, like processing images in batches or automating them.

In general, I like the way Pixelmator handles tools and extensions better. I find that the smaller number of apps I can choose from is still enough for my needs, and I like how well they all work together. But GIMP’s large collection of plugins and extensions can help users who need more specific features.

Pixelmator vs Gimp: File Format Support

Pixelmator Pro supports more file types than GIMP, including PSD and Sketch files, which are not available in GIMP. Because of this, it’s a good choice for artists who need to work with files from other programs. Pixelmator Pro also works with a number of RAW picture formats, which is important for photographers.

File formatPixelmator ProGIMP
HEIFYesNo (plugin required)
PSDYesYes (plugin recommended)
EPSYesYes (plugin recommended)
PDFYesYes (plugin recommended)

GIMP, on the other hand, works better with older file types like GIF and BMP. It also works better with formats like SVG and EPS that use vector images. Because of this, it’s a good option for artists who need to work with old files or make vector graphics.

I’ve found that Pixelmator Pro is better than GIMP at dealing with PSD files that are complicated. But GIMP supports vector graphics files like SVG and EPS better than Photoshop. I also like how GIMP handles big image files better.

Pixelmator: Pros and Cons


  • User-friendly, native macOS design.
  • Non-destructive editing.
  • Extensive image editing tools.
  • Machine learning-enhanced features.


  • macOS exclusive.
  • Smaller community compared to GIMP.

GIMP: Pros and Cons


  • Free and open-source.
  • Cross-platform compatibility.
  • Extensive array of tools.
  • Large open-source community.


  • Steeper learning curve.
  • Less intuitive interface.

Which one should you consider?

Pixelmator and GIMP are both good photo editors, but which one you choose will rely on your needs and preferences. Pixelmator’s sleek and easy-to-use design makes it a great choice for Mac users who want to edit images in a straightforward way. It has a lot of strong tools and filters for creative work and is good for people who like things to be simple and elegant.

On the other hand, GIMP is open source and works on many different platforms, so it can reach a wider audience. It’s a good choice for people who use different operating systems and want advanced customization and features that don’t cost a lot. Because it has a large community and plugins, GIMP is a good choice for people who want freedom and control. In the end, your choice should be based on your platform, level of skill, and specific needs for changing images.


Is GIMP as powerful as Photoshop?

Both programs have great tools that make it easy to edit pictures in the right way. But Photoshop’s tools are much stronger than their GIMP counterparts. Adjustments like Curves, Levels, and Masks can be made in both apps. But Photoshop is better for working with pixels in a real way.

Is Pixelmator worth it?

Pixelmator Pro’s powerful editing tools are a great value for the price, and the new video editing tools that came out at the start of 2023 make this app even easier to suggest.

James Hogan
James Hogan
James Hogan is a notable content writer recognized for his contributions to Bollyinside, where he excels in crafting informative comparison-based articles on topics like laptops, phones, and software. When he's not writing, James enjoys immersing himself in football matches and exploring the digital realm. His curiosity about the ever-evolving tech landscape drives his continuous quest for knowledge, ensuring his content remains fresh and relevant.


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