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Edit photos with precision and remove backgrounds with new iOS app Exacto

One of the oldest and most used tools in Photoshop is the pen selection tool. Throughout its existence, it cemented itself as the go-to solution for making precise cuts within images.

Until now, the pen selection tool has been mainly limited to desktop computers, but thanks to an appropriately titled app Exacto, you can now precisely cut out subject matter on your iOS device.

Developed by Samer Azzam, the man behind ProCam 4, Exacto is a single-purpose app for iPhone and iPad that brings the desktop-pen functionality to mobile devices. It’s not the most simple solution to editing out certain components of an image, but what it lacks in convenience, it attempts to make up for in precision.

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Much like the desktop version of the pen selection tool, Exacto lets you meticulously create points around the selection of an image you want cropped out. Unlimited undo and redo make it easy to correct accidents and the autosave feature ensures no image gets left behind in case you close out of the app to answer a call or catch the bus.

Layers are also available, making it easy to cut out multiple areas of an image for more precise control and the live preview option lets you see what the image selection will look like against a transparent background.

In a brief trial run with Exacto, we found the process to be a little less than convenient. Even on an iPad Pro, tracing the subject of a photo proved challenging. But with a little practice and more importantly an input device like an Apple Pencil, it would absolutely simplify the process.

Exacto is available in the iOS App Store for $3.