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Pencyl (Image Editor)

by Jon (Updated on 2015-10-12)

Disclaimer: Pencyl is third party software we've bundled into Stencyl. It is a rebadge of a free, cross-platform editor that is closed-source. As such, we are unable to support or develop it.

You are highly encouraged to use another package of your choosing such as GIMP or Photoshop.


  • What is Pencyl?
  • Other Image Editors
  • How to Switch the Default Image Editor
  • Working with Pencyl
  • Supported Formats
  • Gotchas

What is Pencyl?

Pencyl is Stencyl's built-in image editor. You can access it through Stencyl any time you need to edit an image on the fly.

(For example, when you're editing an actor animation frame, or a tileset frame, by pressing the Edit Image button in the lower right-hand corner)


Other Image Editors

Don't like Pencyl? Try out these other free image editors.

Paint.NET - GIMP -

Switching the Default Image Editor

Pencyl is the standard option for the image editor when you install Stencyl. You can change it to a different program (such as Photoshop), or change it back to Pencyl, by opening up the Preferences menu from the File dropdown menu.

Switch image editor

Working with Pencyl

Once you enter Pencyl, you will see the toolbar, which may be familiar to you if you have used any kind of image editing program before.

  This is the Transform Selection Tool (V). It changes the position, height and width properties of the image.

  This is the Rectangle Selection Tool. With the right mouse button, you can drag and select objects on the screen.

  This is the Ellipse Selection Tool. It works just like the Rectangle Selection Tool, except circular.

  This is the Lasso Selection Tool (L). It allows you to draw any shape and selects anything in that shape.

  The Dropper Tool (I) allows you to pick any color you click on for the Foreground color.

  The Magic Wand Selection Tool (W) selects an object by color. Tolerance increases the selection.

  The Fill Tool (F) fills an area with the Foreground color. Tolerance increases the size of the affected area.

  The Pencil Tool is used to draw pixels with the Foreground color. Great for sprite work.

  The Brush Tool allows a creator to draw in different styles and automatically uses Anti-Aliasing.

  This is the Clone Tool. It clones an area by allowing you to select an area you want to clone from.

  The Eraser Tool removes what's on the canvas.

  This is the Line Tool. It creates lines.

  This is another Line Tool. This one has the option of creating arrow heads at the end of a line.

  The Rectangle Tool creates rectangles with the added options of the Rectangle Selection Tool.

  The Rounded Rectangle Tool works just like the Rectangle Tool with added Radius for the corners.

  The Circle Tool creates circles.

  The Star Tool can be used to create stars for a night sky, or anything else star-shaped.

  The "A" symbol is the Text Tool. It has quite a few font styles to choose from.

  Gradient Tool. This tool allows you to make gradients.

  The Perspective Transform Tool allows you to shape the image into a perspective by manipulating the corners.

  The Warp Tool warps the image as you push around the bright green grid nodes.

  The Panning Tool moves the screen around. This does not affect the position of the image.

  The Zoom Tool zooms into the image, like the Panning Tool, it does not affect the image.

This shows the Foreground and Background colors you're currently working with. The small arrows on the top-right corner switches the colors assigned to the right mouse button. The white and black boxes in the bottom left corner are the default colors. By clicking on them, the Foreground and Background become black and white, respectively.

On the left-hand side of the program you will see another vertical bar that lets you manipulate colors, gradients, and opacity. Each section on this bar has its own options for fine-tuning an image.

Supported Formats

When you're done, you can save your image in a variety of formats. Of these, we recommend sticking with PNG.

Type Supported? Comments
Native No Saves under the extention .ie which can't be opened by most programsm if not all. Don't use this one.
JPEG Yes Does not support transparency.
GIF Yes Allows transparency and is good with solid colored images
PNG Yes The best for transparency and arguably the best format for sprite work.
PSD Yes No transparency, and the layers don't seem to carry over to Photoshop or Pencyl.
BMP Yes No transparency.
PICT No Does not open with Stencyl for Windows
Targa No Does not open in Stencyl.
Sun Raster No Does not open in Stencyl.
PCX No Does not open in Stencyl.
ImageIO: jpg/jpeg and png Yes Saves with transparency, but jpg and jpeg seem to have horrible quality.
ImageIO: gif Yes Still no transparency for you.


  • You may only Undo an action once.
  • Images cannot exceed 2048 x 2048 in size.
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Disclaimer: Use comments to provide feedback and point out issues with the article (typo, wrong info, etc.). If you're seeking help for your game, please ask a question on the forums. Thanks!


Mad Bomber
I'm having the same problem as Ramorez117. Pencyl will not load in Ubuntu. I click the pencyl icon and it opens a folder with two more folders inside, neither of which opens Pencyl.
0 11 years, 6 months ago
What you can also do if you have a PC is use Paint to make actors as well.
0 12 years, 5 months ago
Hi, does anybody know why this doesnt work? I cannot load it from within Stencyl or through the folder.


1 12 years, 5 months ago
dont work
0 12 years, 5 months ago

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