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 4.1.1

- Compatibility fixes

Ratings and Reviews

3.9 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

mfessenden ,

Great little app

There are certainly more fully-featured alternatives out there, but the simplicity and usefulness of Pixen's tools keep me using it on a regular basis for quck work.

TheWildDeadHero ,

It's okay, just not for me.

This program has a large amount of nifty features, but quite a few things bog it down for me, unfortunately.

For one, I'm generally not a fan of the multi-window design pattern that Mac OS applications have, but I can deal with it. The problem with the multi-window design here is none of the windows snap/lock on to each other. Either getting the windows to snap together or creating a single window mode would greatly improve this aspect of the application.

Two, the right-click tool can be pretty nifty for certain things, like setting the eraser tool while the left-click tool is the pencil. But in others, such as when the left-click tool is the selection tool, I would much rather have a right-click menu . Additionally, it eliminates one of my favorite hidden features of Microsoft Paint, the recolor tool.

Three, it's pretty buggy. I've attempted to use the selection tool to copy a few bits of graphics to modify, and it would only copy the first row of pixels. Everything else was blank. There have been a few spritesheets I've also been unable to open for whatever reason.

Four, they are selling dark mode for $5. I already paid $10 for this application, I'm not shelling out another $5 just so I can darken my screen.

Basically, the workflow doesn't work for me, it's buggy, and they are trying to charge for dark mode. Would not recommend.

Inertia186 ,

Great App

I use it to create 32x32 icons of people's faces. But I'd love to be able to use this app on a mobile device. Hopefully the dev will add this ability. But I can't knock off a star just for that.


Matt Rajca
6.7 MB

OS X 10.11 or later, 64-bit processor



Age Rating
In-App Purchases
  1. Dark Appearance $4.99


  • Family Sharing

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

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