Everyone knows about the big guns in the graphics field. Adobe is pretty much the unchallenged master of image editing with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks. Adobe’s InDesign shares the digital publishing field, albeit grudgingly, with Quark’s QuarkXPress. Serious graphic designers find themselves stuck between these two large corporations, due in part to format lock-in and in part to features that other pieces of software just don’t have.

For those of us who don’t need things like the ability to switch from right-to-left text to left-to-right text with one click of the mouse, or even more obscure features, there are a number of other third-party applications out there that may meet our needs.

They range from cross-platform open source programs with more power than beauty, to applications with innovative user interfaces developed by pillars of the indie Mac developer community. One thing is true in all of them: they’re less expensive than the Adobe alternative!

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Everyone knows that apples are a healthy food—hence the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor way”. But people rarely think to ask what Apples eat. When your Mac starts gobbling up too much fattening hard drive space, it’s time to call in a different kind of doctor. One that goes by the name of “Xslimmer”.

Xslimmer is a simple, effective application for safely reclaiming the surprisingly large amounts of hard drive space that can get taken up by parts of applications you don’t actually need. It’s not a compression app, although its developer LateNiteSoft also makes a product called Squeeze that compresses your files in place. Instead, Xslimmer frees up hard drive space by stripping unneeded translations and binaries from your applications.

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Compartments by LittleFin is a home inventory application. In other words, it’s built to help catalog and track any and all of your worldly belongings, from software licenses, to furniture, to your brand new car.

Compartments doesn’t track anything purely financial, like loans or investments; it’s strictly limited to possessions, although those possessions can be digital files or information. It’s especially aimed at people who want to have a full inventory of their belongings in case of a disaster.

As LittleFin’s website points out, having a home inventory prepared in advance can mean less to worry about if an unexpected event should claim your house. Let’s take a look at the app, and see how it works!

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