Photoshop, Illustrator and Freehand, besides being amazing applications, all have a bad feature; their initial load is pretty slow.
And, when you only need to see what is inside a vector file to find the right one or you don't have these applications (but may need to open vector files), PSD, EPS and AI Viewer softwares can be a quick solution.
They are free applications (for Windows) which loads fast and not only opens the related vector files but can save them as JPEG, Bitmap, GIF, PNG and other extensions. Also, you can resize or rotate them too.
P.S. What would be better is: a single application that can open them all.
Requirements: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
Sometimes we work on a PSD file, duplicate it and work more on it when creating a new version.
And one day, we need a layer or effect that only exists in only one of these files, search for it which can become complicated (what we're looking can be invisible as well).
ComparePSD is a free Windows software that helps finding the differences between 2 PSD files in such situations to save you time.
The software enables you to select the files to be compared from Windows Explorer.
When it is started, the files are compared layer-by-layer including layers styles (effects), styles attributes, layers visibility flags and highlights the differences.
Requirements: Windows XP+
LightShot is a simple & free tool which makes taking screenshots very easy.
With the click of a keyboard shortcut, a cropping interface appears where it is possible to:
- set the area of the screenshot
- make it fullscreen
- copy to clipboard
- upload to the net & get a link
- edit it on a web-based service
Most of the similar tools instantly take a screenshot of the area you selected before clicking any approve button. LightShot makes it kindly, waits for you to arrange the area, shows you the size of it & a click is required which is better to prevent wrong screenshots.
The tool can work in every computer as it comes as a Windows desktop application, a Firefox add-on & an Internet Explorer add-on.
Requirements: Windows, Firefox or Internet Explorer
It is activated with a hotkey (Alt+g) & can toggle between displaying the grid in the foreground or background.
By default, #grid comes with a 980-pixel-wide background image to provide the vertical grid lines (a 940-pixel-wide content area with 20px gutters). But, when working on different grids, you can create a new image for your guides.
Compatibility: Firefox & Safari (Problems in IE & doesn't support Opera)
Screenpresso is a simple-yet-powerful & free screenshot tool that improves your Ctrl+Print function.
It can capture the entire screen, region or window with various options like "including the cursor", "automated resizing of them" or even "applying automated effects".
The tool sits in the system tray & allows you to keep an history of the last 100 screenshots.
It can auto-name the captured images or batch convert them (resizing & adding effects) after they are taken.
The screenshots can be drag'n dropped into any application or there are other sharing features like "send to e-mail", "send to Twitter" or "save to clipboard".
Screenpresso also has a built-in image editor that can apply image effects, insert objects (textboxes, arrows, annotations, etc.), apply resize or crop to the screenshots.
For Mac & Linux users, sadly, it only works in Windows.
StylePix is a free image editing software, an alternative for Photoshop or Fireworks, with numerous advanced features.
It has an intuitive user interface where all the controls can be selected easily.
The software works with layers & offers multi-layer/group editing support.
Some features of StylePix are:
various selection types (auto-range, color-range & rectangular, circular, polygonal, lasso area selection)
30 different filters
thumbnail, histogram & waveform view for current image
StylePix works on Windows OS & consumes very few system resources, even the installer is ~800kb, which makes it an ideal solution for less-powerful computers or running from portable devices (a portable version exists).
Compatibility: Windows OS
Konigi, a must-bookmark resource for UI designers, is sharing a handy "do-it yourself wireframe magnets kit" for easy whiteboard prototyping.
They are based on the Konigi wireframe stencils and includes 3 sheets of elements (form elements, HTML editor, etc.).
How To Create Them?
Simply download and print the PDFs on to magnet sheets, optionally laminate them if you intend to use with dry-erase markers, and finally cut them out.
2 Things You May Consider Buying (from Amazon.com):
Adobe AIR has clearly became the standard on creating desktop applications for web developers.
Besides the offline applications, it can combine the richness of web with the simplicity of desktop & offer very functional tools.
At WRD, there were 2 other posts that had shared web designer/developer focused Adobe AIR apps.:
Since then, various new tools are built & here are 15 new Adobe AIR applications for designers & developers:
colrful is a beautiful application that enables you to make color-based searches in Flickr. Any number of colors can be mentioned, they can be viewed as thumbnails/originals & downloaded.
Another feature is the ability to mention an image URL & get similar images from Flickr.
The application is a desktop interface for Google Analytics (free version works with 1 website).
It offers most of the features of Google Analytics including visits, pageviews, reports, Google Maps report & more..
Read the rest of this entry »
Divine is a fresh & free Photoshop plug-in for converting Photoshop files into WordPress themes.
It works by selecting spots in design files & marking them as WordPress variables like:
- post title
- post text
- author link
It produces valid XHTML-CSS code & themes are automatically widget-ready.
Divine has an integrated FTP-client & it is a very ideal plug-in for anyone who is not that into coding and/or WordPress theming.
Requirements: Photoshop CS3+
For any designer with significant amount of Photoshop brushes installed, it is always a pain to navigate through the brushes & find the one you need.
ABRView is a free software that makes this process much easier. It allows you to define the folder(s) where brushes are installed & preview them.
Also, once you download a brush, although you have an opinion on how it looks, you can not be sure until installing it, running Photoshop & checking the look from the brush palette. As ABRView can display brushes from any folder, you simply save time on seeing how they look.
It has an .exe version for Windows & .jar version for Mac & Linux.
Compatibility: Windows, Mac & Linux