Working with Pixelmator Pro on Mac and Pixelmator iOS on iPad Pro

Talk about Pixelmator Pro, share tips & tricks, tutorials, and other resources.
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2018-01-23 01:52:53

Before purchasing Pixelmator Pro, I searched for information regarding the interoperability between the application and Pixelmator for iOS; I found nothing. I'm a longtime user of Pixelmator for MacOS and iOS and my workflow has me bouncing back and forth between the two. Specifically, I use a 12.9" iPad Pro and Apple Pencil for detailed work and a 27" iMac for broader work. I switch between the two devices multiple times for one image, but using iCloud Drive to access the PXM file is seamless. Not finding any information on the topic at and not seeing any complaints, concerns, or cautions within the glowing reviews, I purchased Pixelmator Pro.

I now know that Pixelmator Pro saves PXD files and that Pixelmator for iOS will not open PXD files. I can work on a PXM file from the iPad and then access and convert the file within Pixelmator Pro on the iMac, but I cannot figure out how to return to the iPad to continue the work.

Can anyone show me how to work using both devices? Please, keep in mind that I'm wanting to use both devices, separately, multiple times throughout the editing process.

For now, I've deleted Pixelmator Pro and reverted back to Pixelmator. I wanted to shelve Pro until a iOS compatible Pixelmator Pro is available but MacOS shows Pixelmator Pro 1.0.5 as the default app for all PXM files and will not permanently change the default app back to Pixelmator 3.7 (via "open with", I can force Pixelmator 3.7 to open a single file but the "use this application to open all documents like this one" option within the Get Info menu does not change the default).
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2018-01-23 19:12:46

If changing the default app for PXM files via Get Info isn't sticking, you might need to rebuild your LaunchServices database.

Here's an article that describes the cause of this issue, and what you can do to solve it: ... ebuilding/

I don't think this is something that Pixelmator could have caused. It's just one type of data corruption that can naturally occur on Macs. I had this happen once about a decade ago, and I occasionally hear even famous Apple-sphere podcasters like John Siracusa complaining about having trouble with LaunchServices.

As for your other issue... did you try using PSD files as an intermediate format? *shrug*

I think it's a safe bet that the Pixelmator team will eventually come up with a way to move files between Pro, regular, and iOS. But right now, I bet there are some pretty big differences between the internal data model of Pixelmator Pro and the other versions, which means it might be lossy when moving files between them, which is probably why they don't support that yet. Maybe the upcoming 1.1 release will straighten this out. Here's hoping!
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2018-01-23 22:32:23

I use PSD files to save Pixelmator work between iMac and iPad Pro. I have the same setup as JB Smith (27” iMac and iPad Pro 12.9”). I expect the Pixelmator team will eventually address this.