Money matters. And money talks. If need to do some image editing on your Mac, and you’re on a budget, and Adobe’s Photoshop Element which is far less expensive than paying for a full sized Photoshop is still too expensive, and you still need an app with a modest learning curve and plenty of tools, try Acorn.
Plant an Acorn and watch it grow. That’s right. Acorn. It’s a Mac photo and image editor that’s been around awhile; one that blends image editing tools with vector tools and plenty of brushes and extra goodies to compete with Photoshop Lite.
My fixation on a career in graphic design allows me to collect and use a multitude of Mac apps which do a little of what Photoshop does, but without the expense, extensive learning curve, and monthly rental fees. Acorn looks familiar, sans the added expense of a charcoal user interface, but has the basics down– filters, layers, curves, shape tools, gradients, brushes, and plenty of built-in vector tools.
Floating tool palettes are context sensitive so you get just the options you need to perform a particular function. Layer styles and filters can be merged together to create an endless string of unique combinations.
Radius and center points can be manipulated onscreen in real time. Vector-based shape tools are extensive, but it’s not Illustrator, so there’s less to learn and confuse. Tonal response can be adjusted even inside curved objects.
Of course, there’s built-in text tools for do all you need to do to a font to make it your own.
What Acorn is like is, well, Photoshop Lite, if there was such a thing. As it is, you get plenty of familiar tools and options but without the subscription fee of Photoshop.
The proof is in the taste of the pudding, of course, so there’s both a trial version and an upgrade option (take that, Mac App Store).