I tried out several image editors mentioned on this site but some of them (like Pixen and Seashore) were very disappointing. These apps were too simple and low level.

What do you suggest for a (preferably free) image editor on OS X?

P.S: I was using GIMP on Linux and also know that it was released for OS X too, but I want to find new good applications.

  • 2
    I think this is too subjective as it stands.
    – Chealion
    Aug 18, 2010 at 0:50
  • 1
    @Chealion I don't think so because I really want some good app, when I was use XP I can do my job only with paint but I can't find such a simple app in os x. it's really strange for me that there is good & free & simple application for editing image in os x!
    – Am1rr3zA
    Aug 18, 2010 at 0:58
  • 1
    @Am1rr: Ug, can't edit to rephrase the question. Try asking for an alternative to GIMP for OS X or a native port of GIMP.
    – Josh K
    Aug 18, 2010 at 1:45
  • @Josh it better change to ALternative to paint. because GIMP was not so simple
    – Am1rr3zA
    Aug 18, 2010 at 1:51
  • 2
    Lots of alternatives: alternativeto.net/software/microsoft-paint/?platform=mac
    – cregox
    Jan 11, 2011 at 1:16

9 Answers 9


You could try Paintbrush (free). As quoted from its website :

Paintbrush is a simple paint program for Mac OS X, reminiscent of Microsoft Paint and Apple’s own now-defunct MacPaint. It provides users with a means to make simple images quickly, something which has been noticeably absent from the Mac for years.


  • I said in my question I use Seashore but it's was so bad.
    – Am1rr3zA
    Aug 18, 2010 at 8:35

Acorn ($49 or free with reduced features)

Acorn is what you want.

  • I like this one, but it's better if it's also free :P
    – Am1rr3zA
    Aug 19, 2010 at 23:44
  • 4
    Free version info: flyingmeat.com/acorn/acornfree.html "You can use Acorn 2 without paying a single cent. How awesome is that? Here's how it works: when you first download Acorn, it runs in "trial mode" for a couple of weeks. If you decide not to purchase it after 14 days, the trial will end and Acorn will disable some advanced features, but will continue working for your image editing needs. You can still open images and crop, filter, rotate, add layers, add text, touchup and just have fun with your images. All without paying a single cent, and completely guilt free."
    – Drarok
    Aug 24, 2010 at 13:00
  • url for free version is dead Jun 27, 2015 at 18:49
  • The link for the free/trial version is now the same as in the answer. There you can find "download trial" to donwload a zip file with the app.
    – iled
    Dec 27, 2020 at 20:38

Pixelmator is a great alternative to Photoshop and similar to paint.net on windows

  • 3
    the Pixelmator problem is that it's not free, it's cost about 50$ i need free one.
    – Am1rr3zA
    Aug 18, 2010 at 2:00
  • 2
    Perhaps you should clarify the Free part in your question. it’s not mentioned. Aug 18, 2010 at 21:23

I think it’s too subjective. Anyway, probably the two candidates are:

1) You don’t have Photoshop experience (or want to get far from it): Acorn is for you.

2) You know Photoshop and have some experience with it: Pixelmator will make you feel more at home.


You said that you already know Gimp. I use that at times on my Ubuntu box and my Macbook. Also, Seashore on the Mac for really simple stuff.

Here are a couple of links to open source options.


I use Pixen for the lightweight jobs.

Update 2018: Since I recommended it 8 years ago, Pixen is now a paid app. Apparently I'm not the only one who thought they were doing something right. I wish them well with it. In the intervening time, I've gravitated to using Preview for basic photo editing and markup.

  • This image appears to have gone dead; would you possibly be able to replace it?
    – Mithical
    Jun 4, 2018 at 11:11
  • Sorry, I no longer have the image either.
    – JRobert
    Jun 4, 2018 at 17:18

I don't know why nobody talks about Krita. It is free and powerful with a lot of options. I was a real user of Paint.NET and I got sad when I migrated to Mac and didn't get my Paint.NET. Now I am using Krita and this is perfect.


What about the PowerPoint? You can edit images and then take a screenshot.

  • 1
    This is a terrible idea. PowerPoint is neither an image editor nor a drawing/painting package, and taking screenshots will only create images at screen resolution.
    – benwiggy
    Feb 25, 2019 at 17:34

Yes, macOS comes with a built-in image editor called "Preview," which has basic editing capabilities similar to Windows' Paint. While Preview is primarily used for viewing images and PDFs, it also includes basic image editing features. Here's how you can use Preview for basic image editing on macOS:

Open Image with Preview:

Right-click on the image file. Choose "Open With" and select "Preview." Basic Editing Functions:

Crop: Select the Crop icon from the toolbar, and then drag to select the area you want to keep. Resize: Navigate to the "Tools" menu, select "Adjust Size," and enter new dimensions. Rotate: Use the Rotate icon in the toolbar to rotate the image left or right. Annotations:

Add Text: Select the Text icon in the toolbar to add text to the image. Draw Shapes: Choose the Shapes icon to draw lines, arrows, rectangles, or ovals. Color Adjustments:

Navigate to the "Tools" menu, select "Adjust Color," and make adjustments to brightness, contrast, saturation, and more. Export/Save As:

After making edits, go to "File" > "Export" or "File" > "Export as PDF" to save your changes.

While Preview is suitable for basic image editing, if you need more advanced features, you might want to consider third-party image editing software like Adobe Photoshop, Pixelmator, or GIMP, which provide a broader range of tools and capabilities.


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