Being of sound mind—with wife, children, and career—my Mac middle age provides me with some latitude and opportunity to help my fellow Mac brethren.
So, I help out at our nearby community college with technical service, and demonstrate Mac applications to students eager to learn the tools of the graphic trade. One of those tools is a Swiss Army Knife app and a perfect complement to GraphicConverter (the original Mac Swiss Army Knife app).
The 9 Lives Kitty Utility
Adobe’s venerable Photoshop seems to be the app that students aspire to master. Easier said than done. Photoshop is a beast and true graphic designers need all the tools that get the job done.
Lemke’s GraphicConverter is one such tool.
GC is a Swiss Army Knife of graphic utility. Aside from the clumsy interface, there isn’t much it does not accomplish for the patient student.
However, graphic pro wannabes need to broaden their tool horizons. This slick and sassy tool offers so many new and improved ways to move and track pixels on a screen that you may not need Photoshop the first semester.
Rule The Screen With Rulers
Our Mac screens are made up of pixels—horizontal and vertical. Therefore, all the images we massage, manipulate and coax into a design, are made up of so many pixels.
Rulers is a Mac utility with nine lives and nine ways to live. First, it’s an on screen ruler. Trust me. That gets handy, even if you have good eyeballs and can tell when a pixel is missing somewhere.
It’s nice to have third party verification.
Rulers can be saved using the Auto Save option and works in perfect harmony with the built-in Grid Generator. Fear not, pixel pushers, Rulers can measure in more than pixels.
Also built in is the ability to measure across multiple Mac displays—and don’t we all aspire to have a desk with multiple displays attached to our Macs? Rulers lets you take screens shots of the whole screen, parts of the screen, or parts of the grid you created on the screen.
Of course, pixels are the party, and no decent graphic tool is totally complete unless it has a magnifier, a color picker, and email. Rulers has all that except the email.
Even better, Rulers is available in a multitude of graphic languages—from English to Italian, from Spanish to German, from French to Japanese to Hungarian to Dutch to Russian to Czech. What? No Pidgin?
Rulers is modestly priced for Mac and PC (after all, graphic pros do not discriminate) but isn’t the only Mac Graphic Tool You Must Have™. Another favorite is IconFactory’s xScope which offers similar, but different features—rulers and dimensions, a loupe, screen guides, frames, and crosshairs (as opposed to the nice ones).
It isn’t a matter of either or, as both are useful, and combined with the Far Less Expensive Than Photoshop GraphicConverter make a powerful trio.