Just when you think you’ve got everything figured out, someone comes along and unfigures it for you. What’s the premier graphic and image editor, Mac or PC? If you answered Photoshop you’d be right.
At $600, Photoshop does everything anyone would ever want to do to an image, comes with every tool you could ever imagine, and requires several books and a class at the community college to figure out how to use. Is there an image editor for the rest of us? Is there a Mac image editor for mere mortals?
Yes, Virginia. In fact, there’s more than one such. There’s at least two. I’m still looking because there might be more. I have a stack of Mac apps I haven’t been able to get to yet. How can a mommy of three afford so many wonderful Mac apps?
Alexis, say, “Thank you, MacHeist.” That’s where I ran into such a wide variety of Mac apps and utilities. Just recently I pointed out the 5 Ways Pixelmator Is The Photoshop For The Rest Of Us.
Why Pixelmator? At 1/10th the price of Photoshop, Pixelmator is a bargain. It looks like Photoshop, it works like Photoshop, I’m not sure what Photoshop smells like, but I’m sure they’re similar.
If you want an image editor for your Mac and money is an object and you don’t want to take college classes, Pixelmator is the best bargain around, right? Not so fast.
Another Kid On The Block
Fresh from a prolonged engagement of performance enhancing digital alchemy comes the little image editor for humans—Acorn. The Mac folks at Flying Meat Software (with a name like that you know it has to be good) upgraded little Acorn to a 64-bit screaming meanie image editor.
How much is that doggy in the window? Acorn is 1/12th the price of Photoshop, and more than 15-percent less than Pixelmator. But it’s not a little acorn when it comes to features.
Professional image editors want the best tools, and if you live, breathe, and sleep digital imaging, Photoshop is your daily manna (but in no way am I equating Adobe as some sort of benevolent God; it’s just a figure of speech).
Small Is Beautiful
If Acorn’s small price tag is attractive, remember that it comes with a big list of features common to the best Mac image editors. Acorn is built to be simple to use, but not skimp on the tools you need.
What tools do you expect?
Layers? Text? Drawing? Filters? Vector shapes? Selections? Export options? Plugins? Of course you expect such tools and Acorn does not disappoint, and throws in a few unexpected yet decidedly handy features.
Click Here for Page 2 and the list of features that make Acorn an image editor for humans at 1/12th the cost of Photoshop.
…continued from Page 1…
Acorn uses the Keep It Simple, Simon method of software development. Palettes can up opened or closed with a tab key. All the tools go into a single palette so the screen is uncluttered.
After all, what do you really want from a Mac image editor? Speed, tools, ease of use, enough capability.
On the right Mac, OS X Snow Leopard is speedy. Acorn takes advantage of Snowy’s 64-bit capability and runs in 64-bit mode, where appropriate. That means more speed.
Acorn can also use your Mac’s graphic processor unit (assuming you have a speedy GPU) for enhanced performance. More speed. Less waiting.
Did I fail to mention layers? That’s what makes Photoshop so cool—the ability to layer in effect after effect, filter after filter, layer after layer, blending objects and text and yet never contaminating your beautiful image.
Acorn does layers. And filters. And text.
Filters, Shapes, Text, Oh My!
Putting text into a layer makes it easy to drop into a creative image. Acorn’s text tools do the basics like bold and italics, and a little more, including ligature and kerning. And spell checking.
For me, vector graphics are a must because I build graphics for presentations. Acorn does vector shapes which lets you come back to the layer and make changes to borders, colors, sizes, shapes, without all that messy bitmap destruction issue.
Filters can be chained together for special effects. No, it’s not Photoshops gargantuan list of filters and effects, but, hey, we’re talking 1/12th price tag.
Selection tools also have that Photoshop flair—invert, feather, add a radius to a corner, select an entire color. There’s even a Magic Wand to produce rapid changes here and there, or, use selections to enhance filters and controls.
What would a little acorn of an image editor be without a few built-in surprises that make the package worth more than 1/12th the Photoshop price?
Can you say Screenshots? Command-Shift-6 and Acorn snaps your Mac’s whole screen. Cool, huh? Oh, wait. That’s already built-in to Mac OS X, right? What are there, twenty eleven different utilities and keystroke combinations to take a screen shot?
One thing I like about Acorn that is different than Photoshop and Pixelmator is the palette arrangement. Tools are mostly on a single palette rather than scattered over seventeen nine palettes hiding here and there.
One More Thing™
You know that 1/12th Photoshop price comparison? Try this instead. Acorn works in full feature mode for the trial period, but has a free mode, too. You lose a few features here and there, but you can still use Acorn’s basic features. Take that, Adobe.
I love bargains. I love Mac apps and utilities that do more for less, that leave you pleasantly surprised, rather than scratching your head and wondering which Dummies book to buy next.
Flying Meat’s Acorn is a nifty little image editor that truly feels like it was made for mere mortals, for humans, for bargain hunters, and for any Mac user not desirous of willing a portion of your belongings to Adobe for the price of Photoshop.