Software Archive

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Hammer & Anvil: Two Unbelievably Awesome New Web Development Tools

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Riot is a small software company currently comprised of only five people. Out of nowhere, this team has dropped two web development apps for Mac users that have blown me away. This is an app category that, in my opinion, hasn’t received much true innovation in recent years and apparently the good people at Riot are out to change that, because their ideas are truly unique and incredibly useful.

Today we’ll take a brief look at both Hammer and Anvil to see what each does and how they can collectively improve your workflow, particularly if you’re a front end developer working with static sites.

November 19th, 2012 Posted in Software
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WebZap: Beautiful Photoshop Web Mockups at Light Speed

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WebZap is an awesome Photoshop plugin for helping designers create high fidelity web design mockups faster than you ever thought possible. By combining simple one-click actions with robust customization options, this tool makes the entire layout process not only painless, but actually fun.

Follow along as we take a look at what WebZap does and put it through the paces to see how it performs. I promise, it’s the coolest Photoshop plugin that you’ve seen for web designers since GuideGuide.

November 1st, 2012 Posted in Software
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50 Amazing Resources for Dribbble Lovers

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Here at Design Shack, we’re huge Dribbble fans. Sort of a Twitter for design, this awesome site is home to beautiful bite-sized work samples from the web’s best designers.

To showcase our love for Dribbble, we’ve put together a collection of fifty fantastic resources for anyone and everyone who uses Dribbble. From open source developer projects and quirky web projects to desktop and mobile applications, we’ve got enough Dribbble goodness to keep you occupied for months.

October 11th, 2012 Posted in Software
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How to Avoid Stupid Screw-Ups With Adobe Template Files

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Don’t you hate it when you use some important file as a template and then accidentally save over it? I used to do this all the time and it frustrated me to no end.

Fortunately, Adobe has invented these great little template file types that fundamentally function differently than your normal files to make sure you don’t screw anything up. Read on to see how they work.

October 1st, 2012 Posted in Software
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Adobe Edge: Does Adobe Finally Understand Developers?

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Adobe and web design. They have a complicated history. I can never quite tell if Adobe is an estranged partner of web developers or an active advocate. Are they focused on empowering developers or replacing them with clunky WYSIWYGs?

Today we’re going to take a look at Adobe Edge Tools and Services, a new initiative from Adobe that might be enough to change your mind about how Adobe views coders.

September 26th, 2012 Posted in Software
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Finally, Collect for Output in Illustrator

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For over a decade, a fierce debate has raged on about whether or not Adobe Illustrator is an appropriate tool for page layout projects. Should you really be building ads and brochures in an application meant for illustration?

The question is an interesting one, and those in the “yes” camp have always been held back by the simple lack of a “Collect for Output” feature. This has finally changed in CS6. So is the debate over? Not remotely. Read on and join the discussion.

September 25th, 2012 Posted in Software
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The Master Guide to the Photoshop Layers Panel

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The Layers Panel in Photoshop is one of the single most important aspects of the software’s UI. Odds are, you’ve spent a good chunk of your life staring at and interacting with the Layers Panel, but how well do you really know it?

Today we’re going to take a deep dive into what the Layers Panel has to offer and how to make the most of it in your workflow. We’ll learn about everything from keyboard shortcuts to obscure customization features. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’re bound to learn a few new tricks!

September 10th, 2012 Posted in Software
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Seven Online Infographic Builders That You Have to Try

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The world is becoming increasingly visual – especially the online world. Thanks to social media and the explosion of sites such as Pinterest, displaying information in a visual way has become even more important. But it can be time consuming and even brain-boggling.

There are a host of tools out there though that can help you turn information into pretty good (and Pinterest-friendly) infographics in a matter of minutes. Here we take a look at some of the top contenders, how they work, what they cost and if they are worth your time (and money).

August 16th, 2012 Posted in Software
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How to Turn Photographic Textures Into Masks in Photoshop

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Texture is a key element of design. Learning how to wield and apply textures effectively will really open up your level of skill and proficiency in Photoshop.

Today we’re going to learn about a super quick and easy way to take a photographic texture and turn it into a mask that affects the transparency of a layer. No matter how proficient you are with Photoshop, you should be able to pick up this technique and begin using it on your projects today.

July 30th, 2012 Posted in Software
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How to Organize Your Shoots and Catalogs in Lightroom

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Typically I stick to strictly design related topics, but today we’re going to stretch that a bit with a quick discussion on Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Tons of designers take photos for their projects whether they consider themselves “photographers” or not so I’m sure lots of you will find this to be a useful topic.

The main struggle that I see with Lightroom users is simply organization. How can you keep multiple shoots separate? Where should you import your files? These are important questions and the answers aren’t very intuitive so today I’ll walk you through my basic process for keeping various shoots organized.

July 5th, 2012 Posted in Software
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