Pumping the Pixels With PixelPumper

For a long time now have been using the application MarsEdit as the interface into my WordPress blogs. It is much easier and more convenient when you have more than one blog to have an application which lets you publish to all of them from one place. Now another application has come to my attention called PixePumper and this is my first attempt at using the application. My first impressions are such that it is a nice looking application with a clean interface. I don’t think is possible to get in to see the HTML of the post that you’re working on, so it might not really work out for my standard workflow that I normally use. At the moment I am dictating directly into PixelPumper with DragonDictate and I am quite happy with the way that is working so far. What I’m starting to wonder about is how it is going to be with regards getting a video from YouTube embedded into the WordPress post.

Working with multiple websites

I have just learned a lesson with PixelPumper. I was working on this post for the site and then decided that instead of posting it to the sits that I was working on, I was going to post it to another. So I went into the settings and added another website and then went back to the post I had been working on and not all of it was not there any more. I lost quite a long paragraph of text that I had also added an image to. Since we have been using Mountain Lion we get used to having applications save things for us as we go, and this one doesn’t do it. So you should certainly make sure that you’re working in the right website for your post that you are working on, or you should be sure that you click on the button in the lower part of the application Save As Draft. If you don’t do that then you could lose quite a lot of work, as I just did.

The PixelPumper interface

After you have logged into the websites that you are working on you will see a list of previous posts on the left-hand side of the application. You can choose one of these and start working on it again to update it and change as necessary. Or, what you can do is to click on the icon at the top for new post and start filling in your blog post in the area for editing. Within this area you have a space to put the title of the post and a WYSIWYG area underneath for writing your blog post. It is not possible to add photos to the text by dragging them and dropping them in, this is disappointing. It is possible to drag-and-drop an image that you can have set as the featured image, there is a space over on the right hand side above the place where you set the category for your post. To get an image into the post you have  to use the icon at the top for Add Photo. Once you have added the photo you get options for the text flow around the image. The settings are very basic and it would be very handy to have the option to to set where the want to have a margin around the image. If the image doesn’t have a natural margin around it, then it is often very handy to add 10 pixels of space in between the image and the text.

Styling it with Pixel pumper

You can select a paragraph and use the styling button in the icon bar at the top in order to set whether it is body text or one of the six available headers. I found it a little bit weird that the setting for the header is by slider. I was clicking on the button where it said H2, so that I could change it from being a header one and nothing was happening. It took me a little while to work out that I needed to move the slider across. I think this interface design needs a little bit more work. It is okay to have a slider, but it should also work by clicking on the header that you require. Those of us that like to use the keyboard will also be disappointed by the necessity to highlight your text and then use the icon for format, if you want to change some text to either bold, italics or underlined. In fact I think it is just plain weird that I’m not able to just press Cmd B if I want some selected text to be bold.

The Mac20Q verdict on PixelPumper

This is the second time that I have lost text and time while working on this article, this time due to the application crashing. The application doesn’t have the keyboard shortcuts in it that it should have and the best that I can say about PixelPumper is that it looks nice. It is most definitely a work in progress and I will not be changing away from MarsEdit. For somebody that really hates to work on the actual WordPress interface in a webpage, then maybe you would be prepared to put up with the limitations and the weirdness that is present in PixelPumper. In this day and age I expect to have my work to saved for me automatically as I work and it should be making use of iCloud or it should be written into the application.

As this application stands at the moment, I can’t give a Mac20Q thumbs up for PixelPumper, it is not ready for the big time just yet. I do hope that the application developer is able to do something about the shortcomings of this application because in some ways it is not a bad start and in time it could become an application well worth using.


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