We used to have Photoshop Elements and the entire Macromedia suite (Flash, Fireworks, Freehand) on our school computers, but not now. Budget cuts mean that our new computers come with Microsoft Office and nothing else. I really need to come up with some affordable options that are relatively kid-friendly but still cheaper than anything that comes from Adobe.

Today, I played with Pixelmator. It’s pretty much a replacement for Photoshop. It has some pretty fun features, including this filter that turned a picture of a ball of rubberbands into a very pretty kaleidoscope.


Overall, I like Pixelmator. It appears that there will be a new version that adds even more Photoshop-like features to the package. I look forward to seeing how those work.

On the down-side, it was rather slow on my MacBook Pro. Granted, my computer is no longer the speediest horse out of the gate, but Photoshop Elements still performs admirably. I think the difference is that Photoshop Elements uses disk caching to kind of fool the computer into behaving as if it has more memory than it does. Pixelmator doesn’t have that capability, and the performance suffers because of it.

Still, for the cost difference ($29 instead of Photoshop Elements’ $79), it still does a great job. ($900 is MUCH more affordable than $2400!)

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