The filters are the heart of Pixelitor: The current 4.2 version offers 110 filters. Pixelitor actively distinguishes between filters and tools: Although only one tool is active at any given time, you can call filters at any time from the Filter menu, which includes 10 groups of filters (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Similar to Gimp, Pixelitor comes with many filters – more than 100 in the current version.

According to the project, the developers invested a good deal of time in building filters, and this is also quite noticeable: Many filters offer quite interesting results and a good preview (Figure 7).

Figure 7: Many of Pixelitor's filters offer very good quality and produce results worth seeing.


In one application area, Pixelitor's capabilities even go beyond those of Gimp: Whereas Gimp requires you to set up a plugin (either BIMP or DBP) to process many images in batch mode with the same functions, Pixelitor provides functions to accomplish the same thing under File | Automate as Batch Resize to resize or Batch Filter to apply filters. First configure the filters (Figure 8), specifying a source folder and a destination folder, and then start the function.

Figure 8: Two functions support automatic editing of many images.


Pixelitor left me with a mixed impression. In terms of practical suitability and performance, the program clearly lags behind Gimp. You can only customize it to a very limited extent (e.g., there is no way to configure the key bindings). Numerous modal dialogs interrupt the workflow: You cannot create new layers as long as a (filter) dialog is open. The settings in a dialog are always lost as soon as you close it.

On the other hand, Pixelitor is a platform-independent program – which is certainly interesting for many users. The program supports selections and has at least moderately useful support for levels. The filters are a highlight, offering a good preview, although not all of them work as expected. If you are an experienced user looking for a tool that reduces feature bloat and streamlines the photo editing process, Pixelitor might be an option worth considering.

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