Error when exporting: The file .pxm couldn’t be opened


Posts: 5

2 years ago

Hi, using Pixelmator 3.3.1 with Yosemite, a workflow which used to work fine is now broken.

The following workflow USED TO WORK:
1. Take picture with iPhone
2. Connect iPhone to Mac using USB cable
3. Run "Image" to copy photos from iPhone to Mac
4. Open JPG in Pixelmator
5. Resize image (e.g. convert 2448×3264 to 600×800)
6. Export as JPG

Now this workflow is broken: At step 6, a dialog appears with the error "The file “IMG_1234.pxm” couldn’t be opened".

All I want to do is import a JPG, make a very simple transformation, and then export a JPG - so I have no need to save or create a PXM file at all.

In earlier versions of Pixelmator I was able to follow this workflow without having to create a PXM file (although one may have been created automatically, I can't remember - but the point is the app didn't bug me about it, it just opened a JPG and then let me do a JPG export).

I tried to work around the issue by saving a temporary PXM file before attempting to export a JPG.

If I do this by choosing File > Save, I get the same error "The file “IMG_1234.pxm” couldn’t be opened" (regardless which folder I choose).

If I do this by choosing File > Duplicate, I get the same error "The file “IMG_1234.pxm” couldn’t be opened" (regardless which folder I choose).

It doesn't make any difference if I select an alternative folder to store the temporary ".pxm" file in, I still get the error "The file “IMG_1234.pxm” couldn’t be opened". It is not an OS X permissions issue in the folder I'm specifying for the Export / Save / Duplicate.

The only way I can work around the issue is by choosing File > Move To..., saving a temporary ".pxm" file, and THEN performing an export.

Note that this issue doesn't occur with all JPG's. It doesn't even occur with all JPG's imported from my phone. When I tried to reproduce the issue just now, it did not occur. But the issue has occurred on 3 separate occasions - and each time, the workflow has been exactly as described above.

Posts: 5

2 years ago

OK I've managed to reproduce the issue. The trick is to open the JPG and apply transformations in Pixelmator before exporting, and of course without saving a .pxm file.

Once you do this Pixelmator gets into a strange state where you can't Export, can't Save, and can't Duplicate - all three generate the error "The file “IMG_1234.pxm” couldn’t be opened". Using File > Move To is the only way out.

It's almost AS IF, by not explicitly opting to save a .pxm file at the start, after a short while Pixelmator creates a temporary .pxm file in some internal/private folder where it doesn't have permission (possibly due to MAS sandboxing) - and every time you attempt to Export, Save or Duplicate the project, it attempts to update this .pxm file and FAILS.

Maybe File > Move To is the only way to effectively move this .pxm file to an explicit location with write access.

However, if you do the Export immediately after opening the JPG, then the error does not occur - perhaps because no temporary .pxm file gets created until you've made a few edits?

Posts: 885

2 years ago

Hey semblance,

Thanks for the detailed information. Judging from it, it looks like you might be having some permission related issue on your Mac where Pixelmator cannot properly access the folder in the User Library where the temporary PXM files are being stored. To troubleshoot the issue, first I'd suggest to try fixing the home folder permissions. You could find some info about how to do this at this Apple Support Communities website thread:
Pixelmator Team

Posts: 5

2 years ago

Hi @Motiejus, I reset my Home Directory Permissions and ACLs, and this appears to have fixed the issue! Thanks for that.

For what it's worth, I chose to my reset home dir permissions and ACLs using the official Apple-supplied utility for this (accessible by booting into Recovery mode), and NOT the unofficial scary-looking command-line script which the above discussion suggests to try first. The Apple utility is described in numerous places including here: ... ssions.htm

Posts: 23

1 year ago

This thread is a little old, but I wanted to add my 2¢.

I created a new User Account yesterday; nothing to do with this problem but demonstrating the permissions aren't to horked at this point.

1. Get a text messages with images in Messages.
2. Drag and drop the image(s) on Pixelmator.
3. Try to save using Save or Duplicate, and the error message "The file “blah” couldn’t be opened."
Note: As mentioned above, Move to… gets around the problem.

So, I would think it is some sort of cross application permission error. It might be wise to make that error a little more descriptive for the situation.

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