Pixelmator Pro update adds clipping masks, streamlined layer adjustments and filtering

The Pixelmator team is pretty relentless when it comes to updates. One month after the last update, there’s another Pixelmator Pro update hitting the Mac App Store now with another round of new features and improvements.

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This release adds clipping masks which apply to normal layers, groups and shapes. The mask defines the visible region of everything else, enabling complex designs to be created much more quickly. To add a clipping mask, just option-click in the layers sidebar or use the Format menu.

Version 1.3 also includes the ability to tag layers in your document with color markers, analogous to Finder tags. If you are opening a Photoshop PSD file, the color tags will come across too. This helps organize the project visually and enables some filtering commands.

With a quick click on the new filter button, users can show just the layers with a specific tag, as well as drill-down by kind; like image, text, shape or group. You can even search by label, including the machine learning labels Pixelmator Pro automatically generates on your behalf.

To change blend mode or opacity of a layer up to now, you would have to select the layer using the sidebar on the left side of the window, and then go all the way over to the right-hand tools, and select the Style menu to reveal the alpha and blend mode options. This very common adjustment has now been sped up significantly in Pixelmator Pro 1.3. At the bottom of the layers list, there’s an always-visible blend mode button and opacity slider.

Rounding out the new release, Color Adjustments can now be applied to shape layers and Convert into Pixels feature has been beefed up into a true rasterize button that can be applied to any layer, including layers with adjustments and effects.

Get Pixelmator Pro exclusively from the Mac App Store.

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Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.