Category: Software


Software / 11 Oct 2012

50 Amazing Resources for Dribbble Lovers

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.

Software / 1 Oct 2012

How to Avoid Stupid Screw-Ups With Adobe Template Files

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.

Software / 26 Sep 2012

Adobe Edge: Does Adobe Finally Understand Developers?

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.

Software / 25 Sep 2012

Finally, Collect for Output in Illustrator

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.

Software / 10 Sep 2012

The Master Guide to the Photoshop Layers Panel

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!

Software / 16 Aug 2012

Seven Online Infographic Builders That You Have to Try

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).

Software / 30 Jul 2012

How to Turn Photographic Textures Into Masks in Photoshop

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.

Software / 5 Jul 2012

How to Organize Your Shoots and Catalogs in Lightroom

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.

Software / 2 Jul 2012

Help Prevent User Screw-Ups With These Awesome Tips

As a user, don’t you hate it when you click a button, only to realize that the resulting action really isn’t what you wanted at all? Sometimes this is a minor annoyance and sometimes it’s a complete disaster that ruins hours or even days of work.

As a designer, it’s up to you to help your users avoid these tragic mistakes whenever possible. Today we’ll look at some methods that you can use to achieve this goal.

Software / 27 Jun 2012

Brackets: Adobe’s Innovative Text Editor Project

Unlike Apple, Adobe seems to love sharing its product ideas when they’re in their infancy. This is both a good and a bad thing. As a user, it’s fun to see what Adobe has up its sleeve. Admittedly though, it’s frustrating to spend time working with a project only to see it vanish completely, never to come to full fruition. There’s also the frustration involved with using any sort of early beta project. Allowing users to check out the barely functioning version of your product might dissuade them from ever trying the finished one.

For better or worse, Adobe often shows its burgeoning products to the public, and the latest app in this trend is a text editor called Brackets. Adobe claims this new text editor will be innovative, open, focused and extensible. Will brackets live up to these lofty promises? Read on to find out.

Software / 19 Jun 2012

Adobe Creative Cloud: Is Subscribing to Software a Good Idea?

Fresh off the heels of purchasing my new MacBook Pro, I decided that it was time to make the jump to CS6. This of course brought up a critical choice: how should I purchase the software? These days Adobe provides you with a plethora of options for getting your hands on their apps and choosing the best method for you isn’t always easy.

The newest method of obtaining the Creative Suite caught my interest right away: Adobe Creative Cloud. Under this model, you’re really leasing the applications instead of buying them. Is this a good idea? Is Adobe Creative Cloud worth it or is it a short term convenience that turns into a long term nightmare? Let’s explore.

Software / 23 May 2012

Ode to the Option Key: 30+ Cool Option Key Shortcuts in Photoshop

The Option key (that’s Alt for you PC folks) is an amazing little helper for the Photoshop user. For the most part, you can probably get along without it but when you learn to wield it well, you open up tons of time saving features.

Why is it so great? What are all these great things you can do with the Option key in Photoshop? Read on to find out!

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