Hexels: Go Beyond Square Pixels With This Drawing App (Mac)

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Hexels is a unique image creation app for the Mac that pulls elements from both standard paint programs as well as high-end software like Photoshop Adobe Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts 101 Whether you're a beginner or a pro, these Adobe Photoshop keyboard shortcuts will save you hours of time. Read More . However, there’s a catch – it operates entirely using a variety of “pixels” that come in assorted shapes.

The app’s name comes from its default hexagonal dot set, but it also offers other shapes like crystals, diagonal lines, circles, and more. The pro version even allows you to create your own shapes.

drawing app mac


Hexels comes with a set of drawing tools just like you would find in professional apps. A paint brush, a fill bucket, and an eraser are provided, and taking a cue from Adobe, the app also offers both individual “hexel” and magic wand selection tools. A glowing effect can be added to all hexels for a beautiful finished product. When you’re finished with your artwork, your files can be exported in the .PNG format.

This app is designed to be a fun way to create images in a manner that deviates from the norm. However, for commercial artwork, you may want to stick with professional applications. Even still, this app is a good starting point for future picture composition apps. With a few features added here and there, it could turn into something absolutely amazing.


  • Standard drawing and image creation tools.
  • Utilizes hexagonal-shaped pixels (with options for other shapes).
  • Saves files in an exclusive .HXL container.
  • Exports .PNG files up to 1280×1280.
  • 6 extra shape modes: Brixels, Crystals, Circles, Wiggles, Diagonal, and Zeez.
  • Standard glow map and the Hex, Target, and Triangle glow maps.
  • Great for isometric game map creation.

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  1. Ken Kopecky
    March 15, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks for the article! I just wanted to add that Hexels is available for Windows as well at hexraystudios.com.