Back to Acorn 6 page
Acorn 6 free download for Mac

Acorn 6 Reviews

6.5
13 July 2019

Bitmap image editor.

dwp-1
18 October 2009

Most helpful

I upgraded to Acorn 2.1 for$19.95 from a bundle. I can't believe people are whining over $19.95, at $19.95 it is a real bargain considering I paid about 4 bucks for version one. The developer has expense's, $19.95 is cheap! Acorn 2.1 is light years ahead of Acorn 1 with numerous new features. The developer did a superb job of laying out the tools and the new features. I have been using Pixelmator for the past year and have now switched to Acorn 2.1. Please, do yourself a favor and give Acorn 2 a try!
Like (14)
Version 2.1

Read 71 Acorn 6 User Reviews

Rate this app:

JohnB7119
07 March 2019
For $30 I don't see how anyone can go wrong with Acorn. It may not do "everything" but it does way more than the price page reflects. Good stuff.
Like (1)
Version 6.3.2
piquadratpi2
07 January 2019
One of my favourite graphic programs. It is fast, small and has many features (more than I could ever use). I use it since years, never have had any problems and it runs on El Capitan, Sierra, high Sierra and Mojave. And the price is really good, compared with other apps like Adobe PS. The support is great, always get an answer after a few hours and they help me really. In short: a real good and cheap program. Thank you.
Like (1)
Version 6.3
brightonpete
06 January 2019
Great graphics app. I've been using this since it first came out.

Support is excellent, even when I ask dumb questions. They answer back right away, probably cursing me for asking such dumb questions. Gotta like that!
Like (2)
Version 6.3
Kris-nx
09 October 2018
Acorn was part of a bundle I purchased about 5 years ago. I didn't think I'd use it but installed it to try it out - all these years later it has become my goto image editor. I own Affinity Photo, Pixelmator, and Photoshop (CS6) but I still find myself launching Acorn for quick edits as it has all the tools I need. Its quick, rarely crashes (on me), and just does the job I need done. I rarely reach out to support but the few times I have the turn around was fast and friendly. This, of course, is just my experience with Acorn. I've recommended it to friends - some love it and others have moved on to something else. I highly recommend giving it a try.
Like (2)
Version 6.2.2
Jayaii
13 June 2018
Version 6.1.2 was released back in March, yet it's appearing here again with a June release date.
Like
Version 6.1.2
Wonderwarthog
16 March 2018
This must be the most underappreciated app for the Mac ever. Acorn doesn't look like much, but when you use it you'll notice how quickly and easily you just get stuff done. All the layer filters for non destructive editing are super handy. The layered screenshot is super cool.
And the developers. Dude. Fling them a bug report and they'll be back to you in no time. I've been put on beta versions just for that so I could test the fixed bug. Flying Meat deserve your money.
Like (2)
Version 6.1.1
RogerKatz
05 December 2017
The current version is 6.0.4
Like
Version 6.0.3
fiery12
27 July 2017
I tried the new Acorn 6 and for me these features immediately stand out:
- Layered screenshots - great feature where you can make a screenshot of your Desktop and hide any window layer you don't like (including Dock, system clock, etc.)
- Anti-aliasing Text
- The new Path Text Tool

These features are missing from Affinity Photo, so Acorn performs better with text. Of course, it misses a lot of Affinity features (i.e. action history), but for its price tag it does a lot.
Like (1)
Version 6.0
1 answer(s)
fiery12
fiery12
30 July 2017
After several days of use I have to revise my review. These are my concerns:
- Acorn connects to the Internet every time I open it. The auto check for updates option is off.
- There is a scary Registration Certificate with a flying deer head above my name (looks like a trophy of some ghost). One may wonder why developer wastes his time in such repulsive certificate. Acorn prefs have a registration tab panel with my data, which is enough.
- App crashed exactly when I entered my registration info.
- PSD support is very limited.

After all, I regret the purchase. My idea was to work in Affinity Photo and add anti-aliasing text (or text on a path) in Acorn, but this seems no so easy. I will need a common file format (i.e. PSD) that preserves all layers and effects. However, PSD is not well supported in Acorn, so I'm back to Affinity Photo. Affinity Designer has a text-on-a-path feature and if a need arises I will go for it.
I searched developer's site if refunds are possible. I found only this statement in their Terms of Service:
"Flying Meat will have no obligation to provide a refund of any amounts previously paid."
Like
Masterminter
26 July 2017
Tried this new version and it still isn't my cup of tea. It doesn't look great and things are confusing. Pixelmator is way more easy to use imo.
Like
Version 6.0
ggt667
17 September 2016
This app is amazing for on screen graphics; especially in combination with Apple's Pixie( There is also https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/14390/pygmy ) Acorn does everything I ever did in Photoshop but better. However when I'm to work with larger images for print I do use Affinity Photo.
Like (2)
Version 5.5.2
Bart-Pans
06 September 2015
Tried this several times. It far too basic and has an awkward workflow. It just doesn't work like I want it to. Pixelmator is much better imo
Like (1)
Version 5.0.1
2 answer(s)
Memphisbird
Memphisbird
24 February 2016
@Bart_Pans I think Acorn LOOKS basic, and that's what appeals to me, but it is far from that. And any new app has an awkward workflow until you get used to it, right? I went through version 1 and 2, using Acorn sporadically, while continuing to use one of the myriad other apps I had that could do similar things. It wasn't until some of them went to abandonware that I finally applied myself to using all the features in Acorn. Who am I kidding? I STILL don't use all the features in Acorn! It's chock full. I guess it doesn't have the pretty UI of Pixelmator (which I own) or the overkill of features of Photoshop (which I also own), but for the incredible price of $30, not to mention the support, online tutorials, and the longevity of this developer, it all adds up to one helluva bargain — in my opinion, of course.
Like (5)
Mcr
Mcr
01 June 2016
There are many excellent graphics programs, GraphicConverter, GIMP, Acorn, Pixelmator, etc. One can debate here and there about features and functionality, but I believe, IMO, most of the time people end up deciding based on the UI, which ultimately is about a matter of taste, or level of comfort.

As is, I could never use Pixelmator, because the UI with the tiny icons, white letters on grey menus, are an eye strain to me, but that's me. This is not a criticism of the functional power of Pixelmator, I just physically can't use it because the UI gives me a headache.

LIkewise, GraphicConverter, to new users, is often crticized for having an old fashion UI. But I've been using it for close to fifteen years, so to me it is very comfortable.

GIMP is super powerful, arguably almost as good as PhotoShop, but for many not intuitive. I still have trouble remembering how to apply a stroke to a selection, if I haven't used it in awhile, I have to refresh my memory. I use it because I sometimes exchange work with people who use the Windows version of GIMP. If you have a need for mixed platform, GIMP is an option versus Windows/Mac version of Photoshop, and you can't beat the price (FREE!).

From trying out Acorn, it has a good balance power and 'modern' UI. the price is slightly less than GraphicConverter, and equal to Pixelmator. If you are like me and can't manage the tiny white on dark UI of Pixelmator, then Acorn should be considered. GC, unless you've grown up using for a long time, the UI is a little long in the tooth.

GIMP is a whole 'nother world, but very powerful, if you need cross platform, ability to us PS plugins, try GIMP and the price is unbeatable.
Like (7)
Cortig
20 August 2015
Fantastic new version. The version 5 is extremely reactive on my Mac and the shape operations work great for me :-)
Like (4)
Version 5.0
zumrywahid
20 April 2015
I love this tool .Someone Please provide me a Reg key.
Like (1)
Version 4.5.4
3 answer(s)
anonymous-heron-1581
anonymous-heron-1581
20 August 2015
The developer will be very happy to provide you with a key for the measly sum of $24.99. If you're asking us here to give you a pirate copy, then I think you need to go away and come back when you grow up.
Like (19)
Fariborz
Fariborz
21 August 2015
@Fatfreddyscat, you gave him a proper answer, thank you very much.
Like (3)
dwp-1
dwp-1
14 March 2016
Fatfreddyscat, I believe you chased zumrywahid away. I checked his profile and he hasn't been back for almost a year which was when you replied to his comment. Great job!
Like (1)
Psychiatry
29 July 2014
Acorn is fantastic for those who want a graphics editor modeled after Photoshop which does 90% of what a person needs without all the heavy duty features and price that Photoshop gives you. I HATE Pixelmator because Pixelmator has too dark of an interface that makes it harder to use and unappealing to start. I would rather use Photoshop any time than Pixelmator. Sure Pixelmator's interface is "cool" but it isn't as useful nor as easy to use as Acorn's interface. Pixelmator also has some arcane ways of doing things. Acorn is much more straight forward to use. For heavy lifting, I love Photoshop. There simply is no other substitute - particularly with the 3rd party plug-ins that GIMP will never have. But for quick rides around town - like on a sports car - Acorn wins. And its price is about the same or less expensive than Pixelmator's price.
Like (9)
Version 4.5
SoaponaRope
18 July 2014
Acorn is on sale only 29.99 right now. I just bought it and am so happy I've solved my Photoshop problem with this simple intuitive software. This is exactly what I've needed for like.....5 yrs
Like
Version 4.4
Tom-Fulery
21 June 2014
For complex creative work I use Gimp (2.8 Partha build), the free open-source powerhouse image editor that rivals Photoshop. But although I also have Pixelmator & Elements, for most routine jobs I rely on Acorn. Acorn, Pixelmator & Elements have slightly different features, but they all perform similar non-destructive image editing functions, with many tools, layers, effects, blending & opacity controls, editable brushes & file support. Elements is the oldest of the three, as its features show. Pixelmator has a trendy black interface, but Acorn's is simpler & more functional. They both use Apple's Core Image plugins, while Elements uses photoshop filters. Functionally, I find Acorn to have the most useful tools & effects, including Quartz FX, plus the ability to combine them in uniquely different ways to produce an almost infinite variety of different results. Acorn can also use 3rd-party plugins like Java & Python scripts. Acorn's creator, Gus Meuller, often creates new Acorn plugins, and you can even make your own. But a major factor is how they compare in terms of simplicity & speed. Acorn's simpler architecture not only makes it easier to use, it also makes it faster & more efficient; key features in any serious image editor, since imaging operations can involve many steps. While Pixelmator isn't hard to use, Acorn often requires fewer steps. But it's not only faster, it's also more precise, since I've noticed that Pixelmator can blur edges slightly, often requiring extra work to fix. Also, I find Pixelmator's filter palette full of jiggling, animated tools to be silly & amateurish; appealing to children perhaps, but not useful in a serious image editor. Of the three, Elements is the least efficient, hampered mainly by a clunky, antiquated color system, requiring multiple steps to choose colors. Acorn & Pixelmator both use Apple's great Color Picker, which is way simpler & more versatile than the Adobe system. As you might expect, Pixelmator is the cheapest, at $29, making the aging Elements seem rather spendy at $99. But as the simplest, fastest, most useful & professional of the three, Acorn is easily the best deal at $49.
Like (6)
Version 4.4
5 answer(s)
Tim27
Tim27
22 August 2015
"For complex creative work I use Gimp"
I am struggling with this statement. I've been doing graphics work since 1993 and have tried Gimp several times since then. It sucks. No way around it. It sucks. Yeah it can do the work, but the interface and the way to get it to do the work is convoluted, at best.
Like
Tim27
Tim27
22 August 2015
Also, both Pixelmator and Acorn are great tools. Acorn is better for image editing, in my opinion. Pixelmator has better tools for artists, like painting. Acorn's brushes are not quite as nicely designed. They both have their uses. BUT, they are both better than Gimp, that's for sure.
Like
Tim27
Tim27
22 August 2015
I would also bring up Affinity Photo here, except that you don't like dark interfaces, although you have a more control of how dark it is than Pixelmator. Affinity Photo is, in my opinion, better than and of the software you mentioned. You should try it out.
Like
Odysseus
Odysseus
30 August 2015
What about GraphicConverter's image editing tools? Also, since Acorn 5 is currently $25, doesn't that make it the best value of all?
Like
Wonderwarthog
Wonderwarthog
16 March 2018
Gimp is feature wise still somewhere at the level of Photoshop 4 or so. It doesn't even do non destructive editing. In this time and age. I can't understand for the life of me how you can be productive with it on a Mac? That and the non-existing support for drag & drop and copy & paste is mostly broken, too. And let's not start with the UI. Ferchrissake. If you're a pro, paying a few hours worth of work for using an application that'll save you time and make you money, is a no-brainer. If the price is the problem, I think you're not a pro.
Like
Mikael-B
19 June 2014
Does Acorn do LAB colorspace?
Like
Version 4.4
4 answer(s)
Mikael-B
Mikael-B
10 August 2014
No-one knows wether Acorn supports LAB colorspace?
Like
Krystof-Vasa
Krystof-Vasa
21 August 2015
How about downloading the trial and seeing for yourself? Or asking the dev himself? Developers mostly do not check the comments here - it's not a support forum for their software. (Note that I'm not Acorn's developer.)
Like
Mikael-B
Mikael-B
21 August 2015
Well, good idea and thanks for the suggestion.
When I ask questions here it's directed to the users of the software. Thing is that I tried v.4 and wasn't overly impressed by the app for myself. If v5 supports LAB I'd still propose it for clients and other people as a real alternative and if it does everyone should know about this.

However, a search at http://flyingmeat.com/acorn/docs/ indicate no other color modes nor any LAB-like controls. If you've worked with LAB you know that you're bound to need it quite often if you do a lot of photos and need them to look stunning. Not that Acorn hasn't got a place and can be useful for many people. I seem to not be one of them sadly.
Like
Odysseus
Odysseus
31 August 2015
Infinity Poto does LAB colorspace
Like
Rpmurray
10 April 2014
Flying Meat is putting Acorn on sale for $14.99 for a limited time. http://flyingmeat.com/newsletter/archive/2014.4.html
Like (1)
Version 4.3.1
RogerKatz
25 February 2014
The download is actually version 4.3.1, not 4.3
Like (2)
Version 4.3
Waveman
05 January 2014
Acorn will now default to whatever you have set in your preferences for a default color space (by default it's sRGB). Well that's poor judgment on the developers part—sRGB is a very limiting color space—why not Wide Gamut RGB or Adobe 1998 RGB? At least if you open an sRGB image you won't lose anything, can't say the same for the current approach. Leave sRGB in the waste bin of history, it's just a bad idea all around.
Like
Version 4.2.3
3 answer(s)
Neutralzone
Neutralzone
25 February 2014
The sRGB default is best for the average user. While sRGB is very limiting, it is also a lower common denominator, and most people aren't limited by it because their consumer level or uncalibrated monitor or printer can't really do much better. I use larger gamuts myself, so I get what you are wanting. But if you work in a larger gamut and simply hand off that image to an average person, there is a pretty high likelihood the colors will look totally wrong on their system, unless they are in an application that is color-managed correctly. But a lot of apps are not and most people don't even know what that means. Even Safari has a faulty implementation that would rear its ugly head if you set Acorn to a wide gamut and did not embed a profile. Since Acorn is aimed at average users and low budgets, sRGB is a sensible default because things are least likely to go wrong for the average Acorn user. The advanced user can simply change the setting.
Like (5)
Psychiatry
Psychiatry
28 May 2014
1. The average user does not have an expensive monitor calibrator. As a result, they cannot use color spaces other than the standard sRGB. If they use Adobe RGB or another color space, the photos will look bland on an uncalibrated monitor. And any correction they do will end up being wrong in color when printed, 2. The average printer - such as the photo printers at Costco - are calibrated to sRBG. So if you do your work in Adobe RGB you still have to remember to convert the resulting work to sRGB before you print it out. The average consumer will not know how to do this. 3. To use other color spaces, the consumer will need a very expensive monitor calibrator and printer calibrator. And they will need to know how to calibrate both to the alternative color space. That introduces a lot of complexity. It is like asking the consumer to use Photoshop. 4. Acorn is just $14.99. What do you expect? Photoshop??
Like (1)
Mikael-B
Mikael-B
19 June 2014
"To use other color spaces, the consumer will need a very expensive monitor calibrator " I disagree. There are low-priced well functioning display calibrators that are way better than not having one. Commonly you don't print material that color proofing yourself, but rather use the color settings you get from your print house.
Like
Parkerbennett
07 December 2013
One thing Acorn has over many other graphics programs is screen color accuracy. If you specify a color in Photoshop then use a tool like xScope to sample the color off the screen it's not exact. Same goes for Pixelmator, Sketch, GraphicConverter. Acorn gets it right.
Like (5)
Version 4.2
-=someone=-
19 July 2013
Acorn appeals to me because the interface is essentially modeled after Photoshop 7. I do very basic tasks with it and have grown to prefer this app over others. It does bother me that the newest version is now 10.8+ only. Apple continues to create serious segmentation amongst their installed user base. I have some machines that need to be 10.6 for compatibility reasons, others are fine with 10.8. Pixelmator is probably the best value for the money, but their developers refuse to even talk to those of us who don't like the darker UI elements. Acorn could get more users on that count by lowering their price quite a bit.
Like (6)
Version 4.0.5
1 answer(s)
Psychiatry
Psychiatry
28 May 2014
I hate Pixelmator's dark UI. It makes it more difficult to see their tool options. I wish it had a lighter UI option for those who don't have as good a vision as their developer. Otherwise, Acorn is simply much easier to use and easy on the eyes. Highly recommended.
Like
MaxWilders
14 May 2013
I am probably the only one disliking this. Tried it for editing a small banner for our site. The undo did some weird things when using the layers and the transparency settings in the layers are buggy. They sometimes lost the value I set it to. I never had this with Pixelmator. At this level I cannot recommend Acorn at all. Its just too buggy.
Like (4)
Version 4.0.3
1 answer(s)
star-affinity
star-affinity
21 May 2013
Many bugs fixed in 4.0.4. Better now?
Like (3)
Stef-Vandenabele
09 May 2013
I never liked Acorn but the current buzz for v2 did trigger me to try it out again. But .. it is still a dead wrong image editor. It just doesn't feel right. All the GUI windows are a mess and you get lost pretty soon. The layering system is better compared to the previous versions though. Sorry, Pixelmator is still way better.
Like (8)
Version 4.0.3
1 answer(s)
Albertkinng
Albertkinng
10 May 2013
at least they tried. I mean, just with the non-destructive layers feature is an app of it's own. Even in PS if you quit your app you will never going to use Undo the next day to see what you were doing. this is a plus in my book. but Pixelmator is my fav.
Like (1)
Id-Ego-SuperEgo
09 May 2013
Now, that Adobe has decided to put an end to its Creative Suite (never mind its Cloud-based brethren), I'd like to know the following; - Will Acorn (v.4) be any use to serious photographers & retouchers? Namely, are Frequency Separation techniques, Calculations & Apply Image commands, a Liquify filter, advanced selections (such as Content-Aware and Colour Range), Layer Styles, actions, etc., possible in the current version of Acorn. If not, does the developer plan to incorporate these into any of the more or less imminent (sub-)versions of the app? I certainly do like the new interface, but at this point, to me, the question is rather, how powerful is the app? Thank you.
Like (1)
Version 4.0.3
ylluminate
07 May 2013
I sure would like to see the developers take on Adobe Fireworks head on. It's about time for Adobe to get a run for it's money with a tool that is purely Obj-C and offers the integrated vector + bitmap functionality that make Fireworks such an amazing UI/UX design and development tool.
Like (2)
Version 4.0.2
BearTracks
03 May 2013
I think I like Acorn 4 very much. I might use it over Pixelmator now.
Like (1)
Version 4.0.2
5 answer(s)
mpiekielnik
mpiekielnik
03 May 2013
Yeah, especially because Pixelmator UI is just too dark...
Like (2)
Gary30
Gary30
04 May 2013
Acorn is on sale right now so I have been playing with a trial copy. The apparent lack of healing tools is a showstopper for me. Cannot find reference to them in docs, reviews etc. That is a shame.
Like (2)
dwp-1
dwp-1
08 May 2013
I agree the Pixelmator Black UI is horrible and Acorn is a great replacement.
Like (1)
D9
D9
08 May 2013
Well get ready because the new Adobe "CC" apps are moving to the dark charcoal gray UI as well. May not be black, but that "dark" UI theme is taking hold in a lot of software. Apple already has it most of its Pro Apps like Appeture and Final Cut Pro X...I'm sure the next iWork will use it too.
Like
sjk
sjk
08 May 2013
"May not be black, but that "dark" UI theme is taking hold in a lot of software. Apple already has it most of its Pro Apps like Appeture and Final Cut Pro X" The contrast between UI elements generally matters more to me than whether it's a light or dark UI theme. Some increasingly common low contrast combinations of gray text on light or dark backgrounds, e.g. overly light-on-light text in App Store and iTunes Store within iTunes, impair comfortable readability.
Like (3)
Rpmurray
02 May 2013
I'd love to try it but unfortunately it requires iOS X 10.8 or later. I'm not interested in downgrading from OS X 10.6.
Like (5)
Version 4.0.2
3 answer(s)
dwp-1
dwp-1
02 May 2013
Why would you need to downgrade? I think an upgrade would help.
Like (3)
Canadianpj
Canadianpj
02 May 2013
This will be the trend with new releases. I've been on 10.8 since release and in no way find it a downgrade. Enjoy the past is I guess all that can be said for sticking with 10.6.
Like (3)
Blloyd
Blloyd
02 May 2013
Likely because Acorn uses APIs that only exist in 10.8 and make a better app with a ton less code. I suspect you'll find more and more applications that will do this, especially with Apple saying they want to show the next version at WWDC. Few if any apps will support 4 different operating systems.
Like (3)
Jazzyguy
22 January 2013
I have both Acorn and Graphic Converter. I like both of them as they both display and edit my photos the way I choose to display them. I prefer Graphic Converter for many of its tools. But Acorn is used by me when I am in a rush.
Like (4)
Version 3.5.1
CFrag
25 July 2012
Nice, quite capable pixel-based image editor. I especially like the fact that you can work in layers. I've seen people compare this app to Graphic Converter. I own both and have to say that comparing these two helps neither. Acorn is much nicer when you draw pixel images. GCon is *the* file conversion standard that just happens to also allow you to edit some pixels. When you compare GCon's pixel editing interface to Acorn, the latter wins hands down. I mainly use Acorn when I need to do some minor image touch up and don't want to break out PS (which I hate due to it's cumbersomeness).
Like (4)
Version 3.3
Mcr
15 July 2012
This is not a negative review of Acorn, which is a worthy program, but for anyone evaluating products, note GraphicConverter is only $39.99 ($10 less) and would seem to have many more features. Acorn is slightly better if you do a lot of pixel by pixel level editing though. At a higher level, the brush options in GraphicConverter are very good. Also, the new GIMP 2.8 for OSX (free) is superb.
Like
Version 3.3
4 answer(s)
lemon-kun
lemon-kun
10 August 2012
So Graphic Converter can do layers finally?
Like
Mcr
Mcr
12 August 2012
@lemon-kun GC does not do layers. When I have need of layer support, I use GIMP, mainly because I work in a multi platform environment (Win and Mac); GIMP runs on both and allows for a common app that everyone can use. Again, I was not being negative on Acorn, just wanted to point out alternatives. End of the day, for most of us, it's what we are use to that we stick with.
Like
Cgc
Cgc
02 May 2013
Both Gimp and Pixelmator can do layers.
Like
Mcr
Mcr
02 May 2013
Just a note that GraphicConverter as of version 8.6 just introduced layer support. IMO that is a significant enhancement, worthy of a '9.0' version upgrade, but the developers of GC just kind of snuck in there with very little fan fare
Like (1)
Macs007
18 April 2012
Why is a image editor named at a well known computer? :)
Like
Version 3.2.1
zuluwarrior
27 January 2012
I like many parts of this app but I really hate that oversized toolbox. I'm constantly fiddling with this damn toolbox. Moving it to the other side, opening it, closing it, half hiding it on the side etc. I think on the small screens of MacBooks this is quite a serious flaw.
Like (5)
Version 3.2
freiheit
03 December 2011
As a basic image editor or paint program, Acorn is quick and easy and gets the job done well. It's just missing some features like rotating shapes to arbitrary angles. I use Acorn mainly for cropping and resizing photos. I like the real-time preview of filters.
Like (1)
Version 3.2
lemon-kun
17 November 2011
I'm a Pixelmator guy, but I like Acorn very much. People who write it isn't as powerful as Pixelmator just haven't played around with it enough. There are some things Pixelmator does better, and some where Acorn has the edge. I think it depends how you use the app. For me, Pixelmator is great because I usually work on a 13" screen, so I don't have much screen estate. With Acorn, I am less flexible because of the big main tool palette, and every time I want to use a filter, another Window pops up showing me a preview of the effect, so I can't see the picture behind it (which changes in real time too). However, I have tried Acorn on an iMac, and wow, that is so cool. The other special thing about Acorn is the very clean, tidy interface where all the tools are like in one toolbox, everything on its place. Some like that, some don't. I'm more of a chaotic guy when it comes to creativity, so I prefer the sometimes messy, cluttered but fluid interface of Pixelmator, but I have friends who like Acorns interface better. Same with the effects. Unlike Pixelmator, Acorn has layer effects, so you can tweak the effects during your work, and adjust them at any time, non-destructive. There is also the nice (above mentioned) filter window, where you can combine as many filters as you like until you decide how you want it. You can also save that as layer styles. Cool stuff, but depends what kind of guy you are; for me, that ends in a never ending series of tweaking so I never settle on a solution – for me, the limited functionality in Pixelmator is better suited, where I have to decide for a filter and boom! it's there and I can't really change it later. I also like to merge layers and forget about it. This way I put more effort in working precisely, taking decisions. Well, everyone is different, and there is lots of great functionality in Acorn. Don't believe those "Pixelmator is much better"-comments, that is non-sense. Before you decide for one or the other app, give both a fair chance, do some work with those, so you can find what app covers your workflow the best, what features you really need. Sorry, it's a long review, but one more thing I have to mention: the developer is very, very responsive, and really nice and understanding, it's like a dream. If you have a good feature request, it will be heard and implemented as soon as possible. You won't see that with Pixelmator (which has albeit the larger community, more tutorials and stuff). Anyway, have fun testing those apps!
Like (11)
Version 3.1.2
5 answer(s)
sjk
sjk
22 November 2011
Nice review, lemon-kun. Surely no reason to apologize for it being long. :) I also liked this relatively recent review at Ars Technica: The seed of something great: Acorn 3.1 reviewed http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2011/10/the-seed-of-something-great-ars-reviews-acorn-31.ars
Like (4)
lemon-kun
lemon-kun
23 November 2011
Yes, the arstechnica review is very useful. I think it's great we have two such good (and beautifully designed) image-editors for the mac now. Makes it interesting to try and to find what fits you best. Exciting to follow how these two apps developed the last few years. For this price, one feels tempted to buy both to support the developers, just to see what comes next... Also check out this blog, some very interesting stuff about Acorn, Pixelmator and Photoline: http://loewald.com/blog/?tag=pixelmator
Like (2)
sjk
sjk
27 November 2011
Thanks for the blog link. That was informative.
Like (2)
lemon-kun
lemon-kun
29 November 2011
yes the blog offers some great information. A pity one cannot comment on it, since not everything is correct; Pixelmator 2.0 does do text kerning, for example. (it's a bit clumsy to find, agreed) But overall I really like reading it…
Like (2)
Max-Roach
Max-Roach
01 January 2012
I don't think you're review is too long. Because it's full of accurate things. Thanks for it.
Like (2)
Regular-Warren
04 November 2011
This is an incredibly handy little app!
Like (1)
Version 3.1.2
Michaelthegeek
23 September 2011
I hope that this update works.
Like
Version 3.1.1
D9
16 July 2011
One of the bigger complaints about Pixelmator is that it doesn't support the CMYK color mode. Yet no where here or even within the software documentation/web site do I see it noted that Acorn also does not support CMYK. (Had to find it within the Acorn user forum.) Now I know a good portion of today's graphics are going to be portrayed and consumed on the internet, an RGB mode, but still a great bit of 4-color items are created everyday, including photo prints on the home inkjet printer. Why is it such an obstacle for these programs to incorporate the CMYK mode?
Like (5)
Version 3.0.3
6 answer(s)
ccgus
ccgus
15 August 2011
CMYK is quite a different beast than RGB, and it's honestly not asked for a lot to justify the work it would take to add it. Since Acorn is written by a single programmer, I've really got to look hard at what things to include, because for each feature that I add means I push off another potential feature to some future date. And CMYK would take a LOT of work to do right, delaying the addition of other features that are asked for more frequently. -gus
Like (9)
Tekl
Tekl
20 September 2011
You don't need to work with CMYK for print production if you use Color Management. It's the same if the layout software converts the colors to CMYK when writing output files or doing it manually in the image editor. Using CMYK with inkjet printers is not a good idea as most oft them have a wider color range than CMYK.
Like (4)
Beige
Beige
12 October 2011
the worst thing you could do with an inkjet printer is send it CMYK data, since none use a four-colour process anymore so you are just throwing away bits and making the image harder to work with. Honestly, unless you are tuning an illustration for specific values of Pantone CMYK on a press, you are best leaving an image RGB with as wide a gamut as the printer's conversion supports. This is how I work on my Epson R1900 and 7890, even in Photoshop. And I use an RGB workflow in Indesign for press - so my CMYK conversion is done only at PDF creation time. CMYK is not as relevant as people think it is and it's definitely not something needed in a program like this.
Like (5)
Rubaiyat
Rubaiyat
14 November 2011
There is one necessary reason to be able to convert to cmyk, that is to change the image to strictly black ink grey scale. There are still many occasions where it is a very expensive mistake to have color in an image that appears to be black and white. It is also necessary to be able to tint an image. It is sad to see such ignorance now widespread. We are really dumbing down everything because the vast majority of users just simply can't tell the difference.
Like (1)
Waveman
Waveman
03 December 2011
Printers (the device) actually work in the L*A*B color space, the color space of postscript. RGB and L*A*B both have vastly wider color ranges than CMYK (except sRGB, which is actually a smaller color space, go figure). Your professional printer should be able to color match most of your creative although you might have to run an extra plate to get "pop" out of certain colors. So RGB only is not a reason to knock this app.
Like (3)
D9
D9
03 December 2011
Wow...lots of comments about not needing CMYK for your inkjet printing. I guess that's where this program serves, the home market. That's fine but it's not everyone's need and it should recognized as such. In dealing with 30-40 packaging print vendors all over the world, I can tell you it is critical to get your CMYK values properly set. I'm not about to send RGB files that are not properly SWOP adjusted or using color mgt profiles for printer setups...the consequence would be variant packaging tones which is unacceptable.
Like (1)
Gannet
01 June 2011
• Fixed a problem with certain blend modes and shape layers. • Layer styles are now scaled when you resize your image. Thank you! :-) I'm still finding the layer styles a little difficult to work with. I think if there was an easier way to enable/disable the layer style (maybe add more buttons to the bottom of the palette) and to delete an effect from the styles window (say, with the delete key or maybe cmd+delete) then it would be a great improvement.
Like
Version 3.0.2
Filipp
06 May 2011
Insanely great.
Like
Version 3.0.1
BearTracks
12 April 2011
Acorn 3 doesn't look different compared to Acorn 2, but it has a lot more under the hood. My favorite new feature is the layered screen capture; I see lots of use for that in the future. Great work Flying Meat, keep up the awesome work! Only suggestion I wish for would be the option to resize a selection, but I'm sure that can come in an update.
Like (7)
Version 3.0
5 answer(s)
Gannet
Gannet
13 April 2011
Layered screen capture was in v2. The new layer styles in v3 are very cool though :-)
Like (3)
Sigil
Sigil
15 April 2011
How easy is it to use? Is it for the avg user?
Like
Gannet
Gannet
15 April 2011
Absolutely, it has perhaps the best user interface of all graphics programs I've looked at. Download it and check it out, it's free for 14 days (and then continues to operate in a more limited free mode after that).
Like (1)
sjk
sjk
16 April 2011
Disclaimer: I haven't tried Pixelmator; mostly experienced with Photoshop Elements. My impression after brief Acorn usage during the trial period: The interface makes it easier for me (novice) to discover/use features that I've struggled with or overlooked in other interfaces. Seems to have a more gentle, encouraging learning curve than others. It's the most capable graphics editor "for the rest of us" (excuse the Apple-ish cliché) I've used. Comments for it on the Mac App Store are some of the most helpful I've read there compared with the all-too-common blabber.
Like
Ebatalha
Ebatalha
05 May 2011
We can't compare these little yet powerful softwares to Photoshop! Acorn is good so it is Pixelmator! I don't know how you use Acorn, or for what kind of but when you have to use brushes to paint Spacing at 1% doesn't work very well when comparing with Pixelmator, it stills showing spaces in the paint!
Like
dwp-1
12 April 2011
Acorn 3 gives Pixelmator a run for it's money. I now prefer Acorn 3 over Pixelmator. The interface in Acorn is much more intuitive and appears to have most every feature that Pixelmator does. Pixelmator users should definitely give Acorn 3 a try.
Like (7)
Version 3.0
1 answer(s)
Cgc
Cgc
12 April 2011
Doubtful. Acorn is Pixelmator's little cousin. Good for a lot of little tasks but end the day with a wedgie.
Like (2)
mpiekielnik
10 March 2011
I must say that Acorn is a little gem constantly omitted when someone makes a "image editors" list. That's so wrong! Acorn is a compact but powerful graphics processor taking much of its power from the same source as over hyped Pixelmator does: Mac OS X Quartz Extreme. It features user interface not seen in any other app which takes some time to familiarize with, but is instantly easy to operate (but takes too much screen space in my opinion). What I experienced using Acorn is that it seems far more stable and polished compared to Pixelmator. It may be true (but I am not 100% sure) that Acorn doesn't have all Pixelmator's fancy tools, but what I know for sure is that Acorn's implementation ALWAYS work as expected. It is far more important. If you ask me what you should choose: Pixelmator or Acorn - I would say that the best "do all" image manipulation package is Adobe Photoshop Elements, but if you already got it and want to buy something smart and quick to do all those everyday little image editing for your web designs - you do better by choosing Acorn.
Like (4)
Version 2.6.4
1 answer(s)
Donmontalvo
Donmontalvo
12 April 2011
We had pilot groups test Acorn and Pixelmator at several high profile graphics/multimedia shops. Users consistently chose Pixelmator over Acorn. I own both, and I recommend both...heck the combined cost of 10 of each is less than 1 Adobe Photoshop! Don
Like (7)
dwp-1
04 February 2011
Was using for simple editing & nice interface. However, lacks so many features that Pixelmator provides and Pixelmator is currently $10 cheaper. Also Pixelmator 2 is free when you purchase from the Mac App Store.
Like (1)
Version 2.6.4
1 answer(s)
Cgc
Cgc
14 April 2011
Funny that whenever someone posts a message that doesn't promote an application it gets netagive smilies. Acorn is good but Pixelmator is much more refined and powerful; the price difference isn't enough to justify Acorn over Pixelmator unless Acorn is all you'll ever need.
Like (3)
Shooters
16 January 2011
It offers too little features for what you are paying. Try Pixelmator instead. It looks and works much better.
Like (2)
Version 2.6.3
Peterpan23
29 October 2010
Any chance to get Acorn working with Photoshop-plugins? On PCs even freeware viewer (e.g. Irfanview) are able to do so!
Like (1)
Version 2.6.2
Jazzyguy
28 September 2010
PPC comprises a great number of Mac Users. I for one although I have a Macbook Pro and MacBook Air will never give up my G5 with dual 2.0 Processors and my 2 Terabyte drives as well as 6GB of Ram. I will keep it until it has no hope of life at all. I have updated the hard drives as well as the Graphic Processor and I love it. I have a license for Acorn and I must remind the developers that it is bad business to forsake the registered users that have PPC machines. They won't forget or forgive this oversight. It is sheer folly to do what they did.
Like (11)
Version 2.5.1
6 answer(s)
Ilgaz
Ilgaz
10 October 2010
Another Developer switching to Intel only without prior announcement and rejecting to post bugfixes for the PPC version? You know, someone should sue them or report to their banks as CC fraudsters.
Like (2)
Version 2.5.1
Jazzyguy
Jazzyguy
10 October 2010
Ilgasz@ That is a stupid and snide remark. I really don't understand people like you.I have come up against them time and time again in my life and the only way to deal with them is to stand up to them.Unfortunately they will never know the stupidity of their remarks.
Like (11)
Version 2.5.1
Blloyd
Blloyd
21 October 2010
The app leverages new APIs that are in Mac OS X 10.6. To add that functionality on 10.5 would be a SIGNIFICANTLY increased amount of work. This, to appease a small number of tech laggards who are running machines that are at least 4 years old, and which are incapable of running the latest OS. You can continue to run your G5, but just be aware that fewer and fewer applications will run on it. None of Apple's new iLife apps will run there, none of Apple's new Pro Apps will run there, none of Adobe's latest CS5 applications will run there, Acorn won't run there, and the list will continue to grow.
Like (13)
Version 2.6
Jazzyguy
Jazzyguy
21 October 2010
Acorn is now supplying updated versions for PPC users. I am gratified that they are not leaving PPC users behind. The developers are obviously reading the comments on this board.As for my G5 I treasure it and have steadily improved it over the years. It runs great and as I have said I won't give up on it until it is totally dead which is a long time in the future. By then we will be up to OS10 (The GORILLA)
Like (8)
Version 2.6
bowlerboy-jmb
bowlerboy-jmb
27 December 2010
@Blloyd and others: I'm a "technical laggard" and proud of it! I run a PowerMac G4 with mirrored doors; a non-Intel iMac G5; and an Intel-based MacBook Pro G5. For consistency and cost effectiveness, I run Leopard Mac OX 10.5.8 on all of them, along with partitioned volumes that run Tiger and Panther and that can boot up my PowerMac G4 in OS 9 on those rare occasions when I still need to. Hence, I take issue with the narrow-minded point of view that just because something is new, it is better, or that there is something backwards about those of us who elect to use older PowerPC-based machines. I am not opposed to the march of progress. Far from it. I just can't afford to be manipulated by every twist and turn in the Mac OS that could cause older applications to break and to compel me to invest in a much more expensive upgrade than the mere cost of the OS software. Anyone who has gone through a complete upgrade cycle knows that spending $29 or $129 for a software system upgrade is rarely the complete cost of the upgrade process. Only the completely naive buyer fails to recognize that fact. When Apple made Snow Leopard an Intel-only upgrade, they left people like me behind, because to upgrade to Snow Leopard and beyond, I would need to buy new computers simply to run the Mac OS software. Then, I would have to invest several more thousand dollars to upgrade the perfectly functioning older versions of key software packages I have to be compatible with Snow Leopard and the next breed of cats arriving in the forthcoming litters. By the time I got done installing and troubleshooting the new set of applications, it would be time again to upgrade, and nothing would get done in-between. I will have become the servant of my computer hardware and software, stuck on a Mobius Strip designed by Apple Computer and software developers to serve their needs, but not mine. That's not a business model to which I want to be a slave. Besides all that, I don't have that kind of money to spend just to keep up with the latest high-tech fashions and support the planned obsolescence marketing ploys of high-tech companies. So, Blloyd, if you want to send me about $20,000 to elevate me out of the "tech laggard" class, I'll be glad to give you my PayPal account number and accept your donation. If not, then I suggest you keep to yourself your pejorative remarks about those of us who prefer to keep our solidly running PowerPC machines in as good a reliable shape that we can for as long as we can. So, I'm with JazzyGuy on this issue of asking developers to have a careful consideration to us PPC users. Shame to all the insensitive, elite, big-spenders out there whose wallets are apparently so much bigger than their empathy with Mac users, who, whether due to economic circumstances or technical considerations, do not elect to follow the bleating crowd. Good for you if you have the money and/or you elect to buy new machines and new software. But that is no good reason to turn offend those who don't want to go along with you. And, if developers wish to leave us behind, too, that's their prerogative based on their available resources and the economic realities. We can no more judge them for deciding to move on than they can condemn us for not supporting them anymore. It cuts both ways.
Like (3)
Jazzyguy
Jazzyguy
27 December 2010
@Bowlerboy You have said it far better than I could have possibly summarized it! An excellent observation!
Like (5)
Tjdyo
03 August 2010
This version is not ppc, what happened to PPC support? I have downloaded it and in the get info it is only Intel, and has a crossout on the icon. I want PPC support, thats the only reason why i bought it.
Like (2)
Version 2.3.2
Javaman
01 May 2010
Version 2.3 runs super sloooooooow on my computer. So slow, in fact, that is unusable (eg. it takes several seconds for a brush stroke to draw itself on the screen, then several seconds for the cursor to change to an arrow when over the tools palette, etc.). Could be that v. 2.3 requires a better graphics card than my laptop possesses (Late 2007 13" MacBook 2.2 Ghz. core 2 duo), but down-grading to v. 2.2.1 brings the program back to normal operation.
Like
Version 2.3
2 answer(s)
Walruscp
Walruscp
01 May 2010
Funny, Acorn 2.3 seems to running just fine for me and I have the same MacBook as you. You may want to delete your preferences and reinstall Acorn from scratch to see if that helps. How much RAM do you have in your MacBook? I maxed mine out to the full 4GB - if you haven't it might be a memory issue, although I have to admit it's a stretch given Acorn is not much of a memory hog. All I can say is that I have the same machine, and the poor old GMA X3100 seems to be holding up alright.
Like (2)
Version 2.3
Javaman
Javaman
01 May 2010
@WALRUSCP Took your advice, and used AppZapper to delete all of Acorn's associated files other than the program itself. That seems to have solved the problem. Thanks for the feedback! :)
Like (2)
Version 2.3
Sartorius
17 February 2010
The 'Platform' requirements line is misleading: an application requiring OS X 10.6 can not run on a PPC. Please correct that indication.
Like (3)
Version 2.2.1