I own a few dozen Mac graphic and photo utilities. Most are very good, some are essential to the graphics business.
However, if I had to choose one graphics tool for images and photos, it wouldn’t be Photoshop, Fireworks, or Illustrator.
It would be much less expensive, and more useful. If you use the Mac for graphics you already know where I’m headed. GraphicConverter.
All of us who work with image processing on the Mac have our favorite tools and utilities. Some we use more than others. If only one could be essential, GraphicConverter would be the one.
I don’t know how many years I’ve used GC, but I started using it back when nobody knew much about Mac OS X. Here are 6 prime reasons to own the Mac’s top photo tool.
Import 200 File Formats. Export 80 Formats.
What else can you say? That alone makes this a Mac tool you should have if you’re into graphics and images.
The web has what, three basic images? JPG, GIF, and PNG. Then there’s Photoshop and Illustrator. What else? Oh, yeah. Bitmaps.
That leaves over 70 more export formats, and still nearly 200 import formats.
These days there’s focus on productivity, efficiency, and ease of use, so naturally, being able to convert many files from one format to another is important.
GraphicConverter automates the repetitive task of converting many images, and includes the ability to apply dozens of batch functions to a process. Reduce file size, rotation, change resolutions, repair, and many, many more.
Set it up, grab the old files, convert, check new files—hardly any waiting.
Photoshop Plugin Compatibility
Just being able to use Photoshop’s hundreds and hundreds of plugins has a distinct advantage, especially in workflow.
This one comes with a “gotcha” as GraphicConverter is a Universal Binary and runs on Macs with Intel Inside, and not all Photoshop plugins are binary version, requiring the PowerPC version of GC to be run on newer Macs using Rosetta emulation.
TWAIN And Scanner Support
Duh. This isn’t a deal breaker, but makes life much easier for the wannabe graphics pro who doesn’t wannabe an owner of Photoshop.
GraphicConverter has been called the Swiss Army Knife of Mac graphic and image utilities. Scanner support is just another blade.
One feature high on my list of must have requirements is the ability to speed up the processing of photos. If there’s a complaint I have against most photo processing applications it’s that they’re too simple or too complicated.
GC is right in the middle with plenty of adjustment tools for photos, yet with express options for those of us who are less patient than 24-hour A Day Adobe Users.
Color, Color, Color.
GraphicConverter uses Apple’s OS X ColorSync technology so what you see is what you print (generally speaking). Ditto for web graphics.
GC’s ability to use color profiles is not for the faint of heart, but having the ability to manipulate color is more than a plus. It’s essential.
A Mac utility that has been around this long carries plenty of additional reasons for ownership and regular usage. First, GC works on older Macs, even back to G4s and Mac Classic.
Digital photos are all the rage these days, including the RAW format, which GC handles just fine, thank you—directly importing from the camera.
I especially appreciate Graphic Converter’s ability to create an overview, a catalog of image collections, especially for the web (using HTML).
What’s your favorite Mac graphics or image utility and why? Photoshop? Illustrator? Fireworks? What else? Share your experience with other Mac360 readers in the Comments section below.