Pixen is a professional pixel art editor designed for working with low-resolution raster art, such as those 8-bit sprites found in old-school video games. With features like a unique color palette system, patterns, layers, and high-zoom support, Pixen packs all the tools pixel artists need in an intuitive, Mac-native interface. Pixen also makes creating frame-by-frame animations fun and easy.

Animations – Create and arrange image frames in the filmstrip view to piece together animations. Pixen can import animated PNGs and GIFs, and it can export animations as animated GIFs, QuickTime Movies, or even spritesheets!

Tools – Leverage Pixen's wide array of tools when composing pixel art: Pencil, Eraser, Brightness, Text, Eyedropper, Zoom, Rectangular Selection, Magic Wand, Lasso, Move, Fill, Line, Rectangle, and Ellipse.

Layers – Take advantage of the flexibility layers provide when working with complex pixel art. Change opacity, blending modes, and more to compose creative effects.

Color Palettes – Add and organize commonly-used colors into palettes. Pixen can even import color palettes in the Adobe Color Table, Microsoft Palette, JASC Palette, and GIMP Palette formats.

Patterns – Define custom patterns to use while drawing with the Pencil, Line, or Eraser tool (instead of a single pixel).

Custom Backgrounds – Pick a flat, striped, or checkered background to be drawn beneath the canvas. You can even set a reference image as a background.

Filters - Use filters to adjust colors, create effects, and post-process your artwork.

Grid + Alignment Crosshair – Let the grid and the alignment crosshair guide you in placing pixels just where you want them.

Preview – While editing at high zoom levels, use the Preview window to view the canvas scaled out; play back animations in the Preview window. You can even mirror the Preview window to Pixen on Apple TV.

Left and Right Tools – Assign a different tool to the left and right mouse button. For example: pencil on the left; eraser on the right.

Pressure-sensitive Drawing – Pixen supports pressure-sensitive drawing tablets and Force Touch trackpads, mapping pressure to color opacity.

Hotkeys – Customize tool hotkeys to ease the transition from other image editors.

Wide Format Support - Export your artwork in PNG, JPEG, GIF, ICO, BMP, TIFF, RGF, and SVG file formats.

Sharing - Share your creations quickly and easily using Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, and more!

Full Screen – Work with all your favorite tools in full screen mode.

Pixen is also available for iPad and syncs documents over iCloud!

What's New

Version 4.1

- Added a new Dark appearance that can be unlocked via in-app purchase (and also help support the project)
- Some tools are now up to 10x faster when working with larger images
- Fixed an issue where the Text tool would stop working on animation documents

If you enjoy using Pixen, please consider leaving us a rating.

Ratings and Reviews

4 out of 5

10 Ratings

10 Ratings

It's Amazing, Except for One Specific Thing...

CJ Burkey

I must say, this is my goto image editing application for almost all the images I could possibly want to edit. It's quick, it's simple, and most important of all, it works! The thing is, now, the price seems insane! I know that I wouldn't pay $15 for this program, I'd make my own simpler version in something like JavaFX. The app is amazing, but I think its original price of FREE was much better(I got it back when it used to be free). But then, on top of this, if you want a cool little dark skin, you'll have to pay $5 more! I would be fine if the app were to cost $5 and the skin free, but the other way around, it just doesn't seem right. Anyway, if you really want a pixel art editor, or even a normal image editor, and you want it to be perfect, and you have some money laying around, Pixen is not a bad choice for that.

Keeps crashing, almost unusable


Not even 5 minutes go by before the program crashes. I can’t make art using this. Wasted money.

👾Dual Toolbars, Nearest Neighbor Algorithm Scalability, Layered Animations


Gain versatile control over drawing, coloring, erasing, selecting, moving, duplicating, and more with separate toolbars for each mouse button (or pen/tablet buttons). Paint two different colors at the same time. Draw and erase without changing tools. Combine any tools to greatly increase speed and flow.

Quickly remind yourself where the transparent parts of your image are with a handy tool that changes the background when mousing over. This is especially helpful when drawing with colors similar to the background you’re using.

Scale a teeny image to as big as you’d like using Nearest Neighbor, Scale2x, or Quartz. You can also easily scale (up or down) animated frames.

Powerful animation tools allow you to draw multiple layered frames and can show the previous frame’s overlay (also known as Onion Skinning — extremely useful for animators). You can import an animation from an image sequence, or take your finished animation and export it out as an Image Sequence (Pixen can auto name/number your frames), or export it as a Sprite Sheet, or even as a QuickTime movie.

Draw with the Pattern Tool (instead of single pixel pencil tool). Very helpful when creating art that contains repetitive strokes.

Customize Grid. Toggle Alignment Crosshairs. See a scalable Preview Window for still images and animations with control over individual frame time amounts. Flip and rotate canvas. Control opacity using pressure on tablets (I have a Wacom Intuos Pro Large Pen tablet and setting up custom pen button and tablet button keys for Pixen in the Wacom Preferences works great). Access system wide Color Chips and organize them into Color Palettes. Work in windowed or native fullscreen mode. Setup hotkeys. Filter your images to 1-bit color! Save in Pixen format or as SVG, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, ICO, RGF, & MOV.

Pixen is by far the best pixel art software I’ve found to date. All my new game assets will be created using this amazing tool. I highly recommend this to Pixel Artists and Animators alike. A+


Matt Rajca
5.2 MB
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2016 Pixen Project


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    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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