Kid Pix Studio Deluxe 🎨, released in 1998, is something I grew up using on school computers and on my mom's Mac. At its core, it's a paint program, but packed with a surprise and delight that's missing from a lot of modern software design. Regardless, it's fucking fun and I want everyone to be able to experience it.
Kid Pix Studio Deluxe runs on Mac OS 9. So unless you have an older Macintosh lying around (I do, but it's inconvenient), you'll need an emulator.
Emulators are basically just a way for your computer to imitate the hardware of another type of computer– you can use them to run Windows-only software on your Mac or arcade games in your browser.
The emulator we'll use to imitate Mac OS 9 is called SheepShaver. It's got a cute little icon!
Big props to Redundant Robot for providing the OS 9 disk image and ROM.
You'll also need to have a way to open
.sit (StuffIt) archives. I like The Unarchiver for this, but you might already have something else installed.
Start by downloading everything in the above Downloads section, and unarchiving anything that's zipped or stuffed or whatever.
SheepShaver folder is where the really important stuff goes, so move it out of your Downloads into either your home folder or
Applications. Then move the following files into it:
Mac OS ROM
Kid Pix Studio Deluxe.toast
Create another folder, preferably in your home folder, that you'll use to sync files in between your computer and the emulated operating system (I always name mine
sheepshare, which is what I'll use to refer to this folder from now on).
Configure SheepShaver using this guide. Keep the following in mind for Step 3:
sheepsharefolder you made earlier
OS9.imgso that SheepShaver has something to boot from (don't check the CDROM box)
Kid Pix Studio Deluxe.toastas disks, too
Once you're done configuring SheepShaver, you can quit (
Ctrl-Esc) and open it again to boot for the first time!
During start up you'll be asked to initialize a new volume (the virtual hard disk created earlier). Give it a name (I'll call it
System) and choose
Mac OS Extended for the format.
You're now using Mac OS 9 inside of macOS. That's pretty cool by itself! 🎉
Before we install Kid Pix, we need to do a little tidying. Right now the
System disk is empty, but we want to make it bootable like
OS9. Luckily, this is as easy as dragging the
System Folder folder from
Once that's done, open up
System Folder > Extensions and also open the
MacinTalk Temp drive. Drag everything in the
MacinTalk Temp > Into Extensions folder into
You can now install Kid Pix from the installer "disk" on the desktop! Just double click and it'll walk you through the steps. Make sure you choose to install it on the
Now, open SheepShaver Preferences, select
OS9.img from the list, and click "Remove". Do the same for
macintalk3.img. Close SheepShaver (select "Shut Down", not "Restart").
Launch SheepShaver again and you'll be able to open Kid Pix!
Make sure to enable sound effects (under the Toolbox menu) when in Kid Pix mode
"Picture" files saved by the main Kid Pix program are supposed to be just PICT images. There's something weird about them though, and I've only been able to convert them using Photoshop 😰 So for your final images, use "Export a Graphic" instead of "Save a Picture"
Kid Pix Studio Deluxe.toast mounted as a disk within SheepShaver, as some of the features rely on files that don't get copied over during install 🤔
While this is the most complete copy of Kid Pix Studio Deluxe I've been able to find online so far, it's not perfect. Neither is the emulator!