2Pixels Help

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What's New?

2Pixels is an innovative, beautiful and powerful Pixel art image editor for Mac.


What's 2Pixels?

2Pixels is a professional pixel art editor designed for working with low-resolution raster image art, such as those 8-bit graphics found in old-style computer games. With features including a unique color palette system, layers, and different grid-guide support, 2Pixels packs all the tools pixel artists need in an intuitive, native Mac interface. 2Pixels includes many more incredible features.

Interface Overview

The 2Pixels interface is designed to make image-editing fun, creative, and enjoyable. This is what it looks like.

Canvas Window

The canvas window displays the file that you are working on.

Menu bar

The Menu bar organizes commands in menus that are carefully arranged by topic.

Tools palette

The Tools palette is the most important palette from which tools used to create and edit graphics are selected.

Layers palette

The Layers palette helps you select layers, create new layers, remove layers, show and hide layers, arrange layers and apply blending modes.

Color palette

The Color Palette shows and allows you to draw with quick selection from the list.

About the 2Pixels file format

When you create pixel artwork images in 2Pixels, most of the changes you make are adjustable. For example, you can adjust the colors in an image, add effects or blend modes, then go back to adjust individual changes whenever you like. The 2Pixels — 2pixels — file format was designed so you could save those changes together with your file and adjust or reset them after closing and reopening your images.

Create a new image art

To start working on a new, empty canvas in 2Pixels, you first choose a size for the artwork. You can either choose from one of the presets in the template chooser, create an empty image with a custom size, or create an image from the Clipboard.

Open and image art

You can open images in a variety of different image formats saved on your Mac, in iCloud Drive. The following file formats are supported in 2Pixels:

  • 2pixels
  • JPEG
  • PNG
  • TIFF
  • GIF
  • BMP
  • JPG-2000

Save and Export an image art

The first time you save an image, you name it and choose where to save it—on your desktop or in a folder, for example. Thereafter, 2Pixels automatically saves your image as you work. You can rename an image at any time or create a duplicate of it with a different name.

Use the Export command from File menu to export images to other file formats supported by 2Pixels.

The following file formats are supported in 2Pixels for Export:

  • JPEG
  • PNG
  • TIFF
  • GIF
  • BMP


About Layers

2Pixels is a layer-based image editor. You can add images, photos as new layers or create an empty layer.

A new image in 2Pixels contains one Main layer — either the image you opened, or an empty transparent layer if you created an empty image.

Create Layers

A new image artwork has a single layer. In addition to creating simple layers in 2Pixels, you can create layers by clicking + button on the Layers Palette, by duplicating currently existing layers, or by converting a selection into a new layer.

Select Layers

When working in an image with multiple layers, you need to make sure to select the one you’d like to edit. For example, when applying effects, adjustments, or doing just about anything else, most of the time, the tools will affect just your active layer.

When using certain tools, such as the Magic Wand, Move Tool, Rectangle Selection, Freehand Selection and Color Picker Tools, changes will effect according to your target: if your Selection (check Selection Menu) Target is “Active Layer”, your changes will affect only to the selected layer, if Selection Target is “All Visible Layers”, your changes will effect to all visible layers.

Blending Modes

A layer Blending Mode is an additional adjustment you can place over it. Layer Blending Modes are nondestructive because even though the parts they hide are no longer shown, the original layer is fully preserved and if you turn off or remove the Blending Mode, the full layer will reappear. You can also go back to make adjustments to layer masks after adding them.

Available Blending Modes:

Multiply, Screen, Overlay, Darken, Light, Color Dodge, Color Burn, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, Exclusion, Hue, Saturation, Color, Luminosity.


About Tools in 2Pixels

The most important palette in 2Pixels is the Tools palette. This palette allows you to choose tools to select, paint, draw, move, fill, zoom and choose color.

Magic Wand

The magic wand selection tool will select areas of the same color that you clicked on. 


Shortcut key: w

Move Tool

This is your go-to tool to start moving things around in 2Pixels.  You can use the move tool to click on a layer or a selection, and then drag to reposition the layer or selection in the canvas. 


Shortcut key: v

Rectangle Selection

The rectangle selection allows you to make rectangular selections.


Shortcut key: s

Freehand Selection

The freehand selection tool allows you to make freehand selections.


Shortcut key: a

Pencil tool

Use the Pencil tool to draw dot, free-form lines or straight lines. Hold shift key when dragging the left mouse, to draw a vertical line or horizontal line.


Shortcut key: p

Eraser Tool

Use the Eraser tool to erase areas of selected layer or a selection.


Shortcut key: e


Fill Tool

The Fill tool works similarly to the magic wand.  Instead of selecting an area, the fill tool replaces the color you clicked on with the color currently chosen in the color well.


Shortcut key: f

Line Tool

Use the Line tool to draw straight lines. Hold shift key when dragging the left mouse, to draw a vertical line or horizontal line.


Shortcut key: l

Rectangle Tool

The Rectangle shape tool is how you create rectangles and squares.  To create a perfect square, hold down the shift key while you are creating the shape.  Press the command key while creating the shape to fill the rectangle with selected color.


Shortcut key: r

Oval Tool

Creating an ellipse is similar to creating a rectangle.  You can create oval shapes simply by dragging out the shape. You can create a perfect circle by holding down the shift key while dragging. Press the command key while creating the shape to fill the oval with selected color.


Shortcut key: o

Zoom Tool

The zoom tool is used for magnifying your image so you can see those pixels up close and personal. To zoom in with the tool, simply click, or to be more specific, drag a box around the area you want to zoom in on.


Shortcut key: z

Color Picker

Use the Color picker tool to set drawing tool’s color. Effected tools: pencil, line, fill, rectangle shape, oval shape.


Shortcut key: d


Selection Tools in 2Pixels

Selections are used in image editing when you want to focus all your edits on specific areas of an image without altering any of the areas around it. Every selection tool has its own method for selecting image areas. There are two selection tools in 2Pixels: Rectangular Selection and Free Hand Selection. Other advanced selection tool is Magic Wand tool, allows you to select areas of an image according to it’s color.

Selection Target

2Pixels has two different Selection Targets.

Active Layer: Any change will effect only to the selected layer.

All Visible Layers: Any change will effect to all visible layers.

Keyboard Shortcuts

You can use your keyboard to quickly accomplish numerous tasks in 2Pixels. In order to find the shortcuts for common commands, look in the menus. Tool keyboard shortcuts are listed below.


Tool Shortcuts

Magic Wand w
Move Tool v
Rectangle Select s
Freehand Select a
Pencil p
Eraser e
Fill f
Line l
Rectangular Shape r
Oval Shape o
Zoom z
Color Picker d