Pixelmator Tip #37 – How To Create Custom Shortcuts For Pixelmator

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In this tutorial, we will show you how to create your own custom shortcuts for Pixelmator, and this applies to any app for MAC OSX.

We have also created a dedicated site called Pixelmator Shortcuts.

Pixelmator has a fantastic list of default shortcuts to give you quick access to its functions. However, not all shortcuts maybe useful to you or even exist, so why not create your own. Of course Pixelmator doesn’t give you the option to change keyboard shortcuts within the app (like most apps in OSX), so follow the steps below to make your own custom shortcuts.

We are going to work on setting up the following two shortcuts, which we use to supercharge our Pixelmator workflow everyday:

  • CMD+8 to show and hide the Shapes panel in any mode (it is only available in Vectormator mode and not the default mode).
  • CMD+Ctrl+E to export images (originally set to open the Eraser, but we decided exporting images was more important.

Step 1:

Open up Pixelmator and get the exact name of the menu command you wish to add a keyboard shortcut.

In our case, Show Shapes is under View in the menu bar.


And Export (or the exact command Export…) is under File in the menu bar.2

Step 2:

Next close any instance of Pixelmator you have open, so that any new shortcuts we have setup will take effect once we restart the application.

Open the System gastrointestinal Preferences menu, and then select Keyboard.3

Under the Keyboard panel, click on Shortcuts.4

and then App Shortcuts in the bottom of the left menu.5

Step 3:

Next hit the + sign to open the add shortcut dialog.

Set the application to Pixelmator.app.

Set the Menu Title to the exact command from the Pixelmator menu, and enter the relevant Keyboard Shortcut you want to change to.

In our case, for opening the shapes panel, we set the Menu Title to Show Shapes, and the Keyboard Shortcut to CMD+8.

Bonus Tip: At this stage you should also setup the shortcut for closing the shapes panel (or the exact command Hide Shapes) with the same shortcut. In this way the same shortcut will open and close the Shapes panel.

And for opening the export menu, we set the Menu Title to Export… and the Keyboard Shortcut to CMD+Ctrl+E. 7

Once  you hit Add, you should see them on the Keyboard menu.8

Step 4:

Close the Keyboard panel and restart Pixelmator.

Now if everything worked correctly, you should see the shortcut keys set within Pixelmator.

Our Export command is set correctly in the File menu.


And our Show Shapes shortcut has also been set. 10Awesome, now you can set your own custom shortcuts and really supercharge your Pixelmator workflow.

We’ve shared two of our favourite custom shortcuts, but we’d love see what you guys have come up with. Please comment on this post with your creations and share with the community.



  • This is not working for me on v3.5..

    dudeshaggydudeAugust 18, 2016
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