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Try an affordable Photoshop-like Mac App



  Graphicconverter Hi. My name is Barbara. I'm a Photoshop user . "It's not of choice. It's a business decision. And maybe the start of a 12-step recovery program. You know, like being stuck with Microsoft Office at work.

To set the obvious, many Macs are happy applications despite the fact that Adobe has dominance in the graphic design industry by doing much of what Photoshop does, with another set and with much lower price tag.

Must Convert Graphics

As much as I am deeply embedded In Adobe's media culture, I also have tools that do some of the things you can't find in Photoshop and do everything else for a much lower price tag. One of my favorites and it goes back to a place near the last century is the strangely named one very popular GraphicConverter app for Mac.

Most of the people I know in the design community here in the Bay Area using Photoshop also have GraphicConverter on their Macs (that's just Mac) .GC was good at converting one file format to another and do it in groups to save time. Since then, GC has added commercial function after feature, and it's not so much about converting files anymore.

At the high end of the functionality, GC can import somewhere around 200 different graphic file formats (who knew there were so many, I can name a dozen and I have done this for a long time, long), but also export to nearly 80 different graphic file formats.

 GraphicConverter

GC not only converts files from this file format to that file format, it has a built-in file and photo browser that handles slideshows, but what makes it useful for professionals – beyond the conversion options – is image enhancement features, many of which are Photoshop-like in nature, including editing, effects, filters, plugins (from Photoshop, of course) and color management with ICC profiles. Oh, and also add ColorSync.

TWAIN support is built-in, making it easy to add images from a connected scanner, or importing images directly from a camera, including RAW images. Unlike many recent graphics or imaging buttons, the GC can run on Macs that return to OS X Mountain Lion.

GraphicConverter is one of the few Mac graphic apps that can export .JPG, .PNG, and .GIF files for websites of roughly (but not entirely) the same quality and file sizes as Photoshop and the current fireworks (which I want to provide up only when my cold, lifeless body is laid to rest).

The latest version has 32-bit per channel support for HDR, EBM import and export, and a whole host of workflow related options.

A nit has to do with GraphicConverter interface. This is an app that receives regular updates and new features every year, so many features and features will appear bolted on rather than designed as a coherent, logically floating app. There are so many options and sections that you may need to hunt for Find features that you know are there but just not immediately visible.

That's the only real problem I've ever had because GC called the Swiss Army Knife of Mac graphic tool for a reason. Almost everything you can think of is filled in with it, and when compared to Adobe's monthly subscription service, it's an absolute bargain. How to feed the GC of Photoshop's soft underbelly? If you use Photoshop as a professional, you will probably also use GraphicConverter. If you've just started graphic design and can't afford Adobe's monthly subscription service, the GC is a great way to learn and compete.


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