Pixen 4+

Pixel art and animation editor

Furnace Creek Software LLC

    • 4.9 • 62 Ratings
    • Free
    • Offers In-App Purchases



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. Pixen packs all the tools pixel artists need in an intuitive, native interface including support for high zoom levels, animation editing, color palettes, and a lot more.


Take advantage of the flexibility layers provide when working with complex pixel art. Change opacities, blend modes, and more to compose creative effects.

Use filters to adjust colors and post-process your artwork. Invert colors, convert to grayscale, dither, apply sepia tone, remove alpha components, palettize, pixellate, adjust hue, exposure, brightness, contrast, and more.


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. You can even assign a different tool to the left and right mouse button. For example: pencil on the left; eraser on the right.


With Pixen, you can add and organize commonly-used colors into palettes. Pixen can also import and export color palettes in the Adobe Color Table, Microsoft Palette, JASC Palette, and GIMP Palette formats. You can even perform palette operations such as sorting colors, removing duplicate colors, and more, directly in the app.


Create and arrange image frames in the filmstrip view to piece together animations. Pixen can import animations from animated GIFs, animated PNGs, and even sprite sheets! It can also export animations as animated GIFs, animated PNGs, movies, and sprite sheets.


Take advantage of Pixen's grid tools to guide you in placing pixels just where you want them.


Define custom patterns to use while drawing with the Pencil, Line, or Eraser tool (instead of a single pixel). You can even import patterns from 1-bit images.


While editing at high zoom levels, use the Preview feature to view the canvas scaled out. You can even play back animations and tile small images when working on patterns.


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


- Sync documents with Pixen for iOS over iCloud and resume your work right where you left off, regardless of device.
- Pixen works great with Sidecar and Apple Pencil. You can even customize the double tap gesture.
- Pixel Perfect mode removes extra pixels while drawing such that any drawn paths are at most 1 pixel in width. In other words, it removes the middle pixel of an L shape.
- The Welcome window makes it easy to start a new image or animation project, open recent documents, browse the documentation, and more.
- Focus on your content with Dark Mode in Pixen.
- Work with all your favorite tools in full screen mode.
- Customize tool hotkeys to ease the transition from other image editors.
- Export your artwork in PNG, JPEG, GIF, ICO, BMP, TIFF, SVG, and PSD file formats.
- Share your creations quickly and easily via AirDrop, Messages, email, and more!
- Pixen has been around for over 15 years as a native Mac app and we'd like to keep it that way.
- Pixen is compatible with both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs and takes full advantage of what macOS has to offer.

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

What’s New

Version 5.4.6

Pixen 5.4 includes new and improved features that help with graphics creation for the Playdate game console:

- Added a preset for the Playdate's screen size in the Create New Image / Animation window
- Added different algorithms as options to the Filter -> Convert to 1-bit command, with thresholding and dithering settings included
- Added different algorithms as options to the Filter -> Convert to Grayscale command
- Added a 1-bit color palette to the default set of color palettes, which can be docked in the sidebar
- Added a button for inverting colors to the Pattern Editor window
- Added an option for creating patterns from 1-bit images in the Pattern Editor

Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
62 Ratings

62 Ratings

ThisTimothy ,

Used for Years, Still the Best

I've used Pixen for several years now and I've yet to find an app that makes it easier or more convenient to animate, test, and export sprites. Honestly this app is one of the big reasons I stick with MacOS. I won't lie, there are occasionally bugs here and there, but it's nothing dire and frankly it's still significantly better than other software I've used.

squidster75 ,

Best. Pixel. Art. Editing. Tool. I. Have. Ever. Used.

.... and I haven't even started animating, nor used a *single* plugin yet... or... read the docs....

( o _ o )

rchrd_grace ,

Hot garbage

I've used at least half a dozen different bitmap editing programs over the years, including Photoshop. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone at present. Where this really falls down is text handling. Its font rendering is terrible and makes Pixen a waste of time for technical image editing. Avoid.

App Privacy

The developer, Furnace Creek Software LLC, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

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