Pixelmator Pro 1.3 Prism brings a big update to layers handling

Software company Pixelmator has release an update to its award-winning Pixelmator Pro application. Pixelmator Pro 1.3 Prism concentrates on its layers features and will be most relevant to designers and illustrators.

Pixelmator is an interesting and powerful photo editor for the Mac OS that offers a wide range of photo-editing effects, enhancement and adjustment tools and Photoshop-style layers and masks.

But it also offers vector-based shape and text tools which mean it’s just as likely to be used by artists and designers for whom digital images are only one of the resources they use.

Artworks created in this way use large numbers of layers, and this is where the Pixelmator Pro 1.3 updates are focused. The new version allows users to add colour tags to layers, filter layers accord to tag or type, and to search for layers in complicated illustrations. While photographers rarely use more than a handful of layers even in complex montages, designers working with vector shapes and text may create dozens of layers, grouped and stacked in all sorts of ways, so that finding a specific layer and shape will become a whole lot easier with the new tools.

Other new features in this version include clipping masks, so that the contents of one layer can be clipped to the outline of another, whether it’s a text layer, a shape layer or an image layer.

Photographers won’t find much that’s new here, though the layer opacity and blending controls have been made more accessible and there’s improved support for exporting Photoshop documents.

Pixelmator is especially interesting as a crossover product that blends photo editing with illustration and design. It’s not unlike Photoshop in this respect, though PIxelmator acmes to make professional tools accessible to everyday users, both experienced pros and first time users It’s also very cheap, given the power available, and the 1.3 update is free to existing users.

Available: Now (via the Apple Store)
Price: $39.99 (free update for existing users)
More information: www.pixelmator.com/pro/

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