18 Essential Software Applications for Web Designers

by admin on March 23, 2011

Software is the web designer’s best friend. With the right software you can create amazing images and details for web pages, and you can make coding the site itself much faster and with fewer errors. Here are 18 software applications we think web designers will really love. Some of them are even free!

For the Mac

  1. Image Tricks: With this image editing software, you can do some great things with photos and other images. It’s perfect for creating cards and interesting photos. This is one of those pieces of software that you’ll just play with for fun, even when you’re not working on anything. You can also download a trial version for free, so that you can try before you buy.
  2. Image Commander: This software is great for giving your photos 3D effects, among other things. You’ll also find yourself playing with this one, just to see what it can do with your personal photos.
  3. Goldberg: This is another image editing software package. It also allows you to edit movies, and it supports QuickTime.
  4. Photostyler: Photostyler can do great things with your pictures. It really makes digital images come to life, and it also lets you add some great texture effects.
  5. Gimp: Gimp is a great animation software you can use to create all sorts of images. Gimp is also available for Windows.
  6. HDRtist: Create HDR photos and tone map them in one step.
  7. Paparazzi: Paparrazi is a simple utility that lets you make screenshots of webpages.
  8. Inkscape: Inkscape is a great graphics editing tool. It works a lot like Illustrator. You can get it for Windows, too.
  9. Wouldjadraw: Wouldjadraw is a great drawing program. You’ll love the sketches and animated images you can make with this program. It is also far less expensive than most other drawing packages for Mac. You can download a trial version for free.

For Windows

  1. KompoZer: KompoZer is a web authoring system that combines web file management and WYSIWYG web page editing. This is free open source software.
  2. Bluefish: Bluefish is an editor designed specifically for writing websites, scripts and programming code. Its focus is on writing interactive websites.
  3. Krita: Krita is a really cool sketching and painting application based on KOffice technology. It’s great for creating cartoons and all sorts of other images like concept art. It’s free to download.
  4. GraphicsMagick: This software offers a wide variety of tools and libraries that support reading, writing and manipulating images in over 88 major formats including Gif, JPEG, TIFF and DPX. The product’s developers refer to it as ” the Swiss Army knife” of image processing.
  5. MT Paint: MT Paint is a great painting utility that’s really easy to use.
  6. Skencil: Skencil is a really great interactive vector drawing application.
  7. Dia: Dia is a diagramming tool. It’s great for making flow charts and other diagrams. It’s a lot like Visio, but it’s designed for more casual looking diagrams.
  8. JEdit: JEdit is a great text editor for programmers. It’s easy to use and can run on the Mac or Linux, too.
  9. Inkscape: Inkscape is a vector graphics editor. It has a lot of features like Illustrator or Xara X. But, it’s open source, so it’s free.

These software packages are designed to help you do great web development, without spending a lot of money. You’ll find that the features on these programs are very comparable to ones that would cost you way more money. You’re certain to love using each of them, and you’ll find that they decrease your cost of designing a web page, either through lower fees or through time saving. Either of these savings could mean more money in your pocket at the end of the day.

Stay on the lookout for more inexpensive and feature rich development tools as they hit the marketplace. New ones are created regularly and they can really help you add an edge to your design work and save yourself a buck or two in the process.

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