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Pixelmator tutorial: How to use the Pen Tool to draw shapes

Follow our quick, step-by-step tutorial to lean how to use Pixelmator's Pen Tool on your Mac to create and edit your own vector shapes in a matter of minutes.

Pixelmator - Pen Tool - Featured

Working on a project in Pixelmator, but can’t find the perfect shape from the preset options? That’s no problem – here we show how you can use the Pen tool to trace any shape you want and then edit and work with them however you like. It’s perfect whether you want straight lines or curves, and it offers plenty of control. There are two options for the Pen tool – the standard option, and the Freeform option. In this tutorial we’ve used the standard Pen tool, as it allows for easier drawing with a mouse or trackpad. However, the Freeform tool is more adaptable when using a graphics tablet, for example.

Pixelmator - Pen Tool - Step 1

Step 1: Click or drag

The key feature of the Pen is its adaptability. Click once to add a single point and create an angle to the next, or alternatively click, hold and drag to create a curve.

Pixelmator - Pen Tool - Step 2

Step 2: Back a step

If you make a mistake at any point, going back a single point is as simple as hitting the Backspace key. You can go back as far as you want, so don’t panic.

Pixelmator - Pen Tool - Step 3

Step 3: Shifting

Hold the Shift key and your line will be snapped to an invisible grid, letting you only draw horizontal and vertical lines, or lines at 45-degree angles.

Pixelmator - Pen Tool - Step 4

Step 4: Editing

Every point is completely editable after you’ve finished the shape, and you can add new points if you want to add an extra curve into the shape.