Pixelmator Tip #7 – Create and share your own custom Pixelmator shapes

Ninja Share:

Update: We’ve create Pixelmator Tip #22 – How to create and edit shapes (the basics) in additional to the below tutorial.

With the release of Pixelmator 2.2, the new shapes tools are awesome.We especially love the new PXS format, so we created our freebie media device shapes, and our latest release of modern social icon shapes. Pixelmator has already provided good tutorials on how to makes custom shapes, including the new Vectormator mode.

In this tutorial, we wanted to show you just how easy it is to make your own custom shape. Of course we were inspired by you the pixelmator ninja, so here is a tribute shape for you.


Step 1

First, create a new document 640x480px.


Step 2

Next, enter the vectormator mode (cmd + shift + v), and you should see the toolbar changing and the following shapes toolbar appear.


Step 3

Select the rounded rectangle tool to create the ninja body, select it to have a white fill colour (not a gradient), and ensure there is no stroke selected at this point.


Step 4

Ensure the layer with the rounded rectangle is selected. Select a circle shape to create the ninja head, from the shapes window, and also the mode is set to the add shape setting as below:


Step 5

Now add your circle, and you should both shapes exist on the same layer.


Step 6

Now that we have the head and the body added. Using the same technique as the head, use the rounded rectangle tool to add some arms and legs. Use the free transform (cmd+f) to rotate them accordingly. Again ensure that you have selected the same layer as the head and body, and that the mode is set to add shapes. This will give you something like the below:


Step 7

Let us now create the eye mask. For this, select the rounded rectangle tool, select the layer with the existing ninja shape, and now change the shape mode to subtract shape as follows:


Step 8

The eye mask asthma should look like:


Step 9

Using the free transform tool, we played around with the handles and we manipulated it to get the below shape. This is completely up to you on how to customize your ninja.


Step 10

Now use the circle shape to add some eyes to the eye mask, and again ensure the layer with the ninja is selected, and the shapes mode to add shapes again.



Now we have something that resembles a ninja. The shape is looking good. We also now set the stroke on the shape to 10px with a black colour to get:


Step 11

Let’s add a rounded rectangle for the stomach using the same technique above to get:


Step 12

Now our ninja shape is ready. To add it to your existing shapes window, you need to ensure you select the shape layer, then click on the shapes window settings wheel at the bottom right corner, and select Add Shape.


Step 13

This will now add your ninja shape as a custom shape to your shapes window, so the you can reuse it anytime in any design you want (all you need to have is the vectormator mode or the custom shapes window open).


Step 14

Finally, we can play around with colour for some fun.


Or with some added texture, we get a ninja with some depth.


Additional Tip

In order to export the shape, all you need to do is select the shape from the shapes window, and drag and drop it onto your desktop or a finder window. This will create a PXS file, which you can share with other fellow ninjas on your blog or community sites like Pixelmator Shapes.

You can download the ninja PXS file from this tutorial here.

To import the file, you can either drag and drop the PXS file onto the shapes window, or you can use the Import Shape function.

If you haven’t already, check out our freebie media device shapes, and our collection of modern social icon shapes.


  • September 7, 2013

    […] get really creative with the colour, design, placement, and angles.We used the Ninja shape from our previous tutorial, gave them a bit of colour, and rotated it by 90 degrees. We selected the ninja shape layers, and […]

  • Hey, great tutorial! One problem though… I cannot change the shape mode, it is not click-able. Cheers, Matt!

    MattNovember 28, 2013
  • Hi Matt,
    Thanks. The tutorial was written before 3.0 FX was released. What we did in the new version was to select the shape you want to modify, hit CMD+F to free transform, and then double click (sometime you have to do this twice) on the shape to activate the shape handles. Ensure that you are double clicking on the shape you want to modify, otherwise it could go back out of free transform mode.

    Hope that helps. let us know if that works.

    Pixelmator NinjaNovember 28, 2013
  • December 26, 2013

    […] into semi-circles using the free transform. We showed you how to play around with this feature in Tip #7 earlier. By adding some small circles to the end of these shaped semi-circles, we get the […]

  • I really like your tutorial!..but in this tutorial, I can’t change the shape mode to add shapes. The shape setting can’t be clicked.

    LeightonJanuary 24, 2014
    • Hi Leighton, thanks for reaching out. We are putting the final touches on our next tutorial that will show you how to create, edit, and style shapes, and this will show you exactly what you are looking for. Keep an eye out.

      Pixelmator NinjaJanuary 25, 2014
  • January 26, 2014

    […] tutorial will help you hone your skill before moving onto more complex tutorials such as Tip #7, Tip #18, or Tip #19. This is one of our most requested tutorial by our ninja community – […]

  • Hey Folks, Check out Tip #22 in our blog page to learn the basics of how to create and edit shapes as you requested.

    Pixelmator NinjaJanuary 26, 2014
  • December 15, 2014

    […] Create and Share Your Own Custom Shapes […]

  • Thank you!
    It’s really helpful for me!

    KattareeyaJune 10, 2015
  • Thanx! It works!

    PupshaseReloadedMay 17, 2016
  • Just wondering, after creating a shape (where not all elements are touching), is there a reason that one cannot add the shape to the shapes palette?

    Doctah JSeptember 14, 2016
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