pixel art and animation editor for macOS

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.

Layers and Filters

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.

Pixen Layers


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.

Color Palettes

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.

Pixen Color Palettes


Pixen Animations

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.

Pixen Animations

Grid and Alignment Crosshair

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

Pixen Grid


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.

Pixen Patterns


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.

Pixen Prevew

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.

Pixen Backgrounds

And a lot more...

iCloud Sync

Sync documents with Pixen for iOS over iCloud and resume your work right where you left off, regardless of device.

Sidecar Support

Pixen works great with Sidecar and Apple Pencil. You can even customize the double-tap gesture.

Pixel Perfect

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.

Dark Mode

Focus on your content with Dark Mode in Pixen.

Full Screen

Work with all your favorite tools in full screen mode.


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

Wide Format Support

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!

15+ Year History

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.

Native Mac App

Pixen is carefully designed for the Mac and built with native technologies such as Core Animation, Core Image, AppKit, Auto Save, and Versions.


Pixen + Playdate

Pixen is a great tool for creating graphics for Panic's Playdate console. Read this article to learn more about the latest features in Pixen specifically optimized for Playdate.


Pixen Beta on TestFlight

Provide feedback on the future of Pixen by signing up for our beta releases on TestFlight. Simply download TestFlight from the Mac App Store and sign up for our preview releases to get started.

Amazing for a new artist, deserves your attention

I just recently got into pixel art. As a software developer I've always wanted to make games but felt lost when it came to creating assets. Pixen takes that fear away. It provides a great workflow when switching between the mobile and desktop versions, and all of the tools you need are just right there.

- App Store review

We hope you enjoy using Pixen on the Mac! Be sure to also check out Pixen for iOS.