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There’s screenshot tools, and then there’s screenshot tools. There’s the apps that let anyone quickly grab something off their screen, mark it up to show what they mean, and share it simply. Then there’s the apps that help you capture anything, organize it, sort the shots into detailed libraries, and much more. I’m currently writing a comparison between the best pro screenshot library tools for the Mac, but truth be told, that’s not what most people need. Indeed, even for those of us who do need more advanced screenshot and image tools, it’s still the quick and simple tools that are often the most valuable even if they’re the cheapest.

So, whether you’re on a Mac or PC, or a Chromebook even, here’s the very best tools for simple and quick image annotations — the apps to circle something and add some text, and save without a hassle, whether you’re annotating a screenshot or any other image. These are the best image annotation apps for getting the job done quickly.

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It’d be hard to be a creative professional and not have heard the drama around Adobe’s move to subscriptions with Creative Cloud‘s release. We’ve covered the good and bad of the move to subscriptions, and even wrote an Open Letter to Adobe about the changes. Creative Cloud has many good things — it’s even cheaper than buying Master Collection and upgrading every time — and the upgraded apps have a lot of nice new features. There’s even the value-add of font and file sync. But, if you want to own your apps, or not have to pay for upgrades and new features you don’t want, though, it’s hard to see the upside to Adobe’s new move to a subscription-only system.

The good thing is, Adobe’s got more competition for its apps than ever before, especially on the Mac. There’s an embarrassment of riches on the App Store and beyond for everything from photo editing to web design to animation. We’ve rounded up the best alternate apps to everything Adobe sells, from Acrobat to Premiere and everything in-between, so if you’re not so excited about shelling out $50/month to Adobe, here’s your chance to jump ship with great new apps.

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There have been good things happening in the world of screen capture apps, with new apps becoming available for Mac and old favorites updating with new features. In the giant sea of screen capture apps, though, it can be hard to find just the right one for you, the one that has all the features you need and not too much of the stuff you don’t.

We’re going to amble through seven great apps for creating and annotating screenshots. They run the gamut of price and features, and hopefully at the end of it all, you’ll have a better handle on what’s out there and what’ll work for you. (more…)

Adobe used to be best known as the company that sells a $700 dollar photo editor that’s all but ubiquitous in the design world. Now, it wants to be known as the company you pay $50/month to, for its whole suite of apps. Adobe’s rethinking their entire business in terms of a one-size-fits-all Creative Cloud subscriptions, which is either great news for you price-wise (if you upgrade every time and own one of the pricer Creative Suites), or terrible news (if you only own an individual Adobe app or don’t purchase upgrades that often).

Now, there are great new features coming to all of the Adobe apps we love in upcoming Creative Cloud releases, but lost in the limelight at Adobe MAX and the discussion about the switch to Creative Cloud is the great free stuff that Adobe offers. They’ve dropped a few things over the years — like the beautiful online office suite they used to have at Acrobat.com – but they’ve added enough stuff that Adobe still has quite the nice set of free offerings.

There’s Mac apps, fonts, and web tools here: enough for everyone, even those who swore off Creative Suite years ago. So here’s the best stuff you can get 100% for free from Adobe, today. (more…)

As a web designer, slicing a mockup or exporting optimized images can be some of the most annoying and time-consuming tasks you must undertake. Granted, some designers and developers don’t do any “slicing,” but at some point, the need to allocate images becomes necessary. Whether that image is part of an element’s background or a slide for a slider, slicing it, exporting it, and optimizing it can take you a some time – unless you decide to get Enigma64, that is.

Enigma64 is a Photoshop plug-in that addresses not only slicing, exporting, and optimizing images, but it also gives you the ability to use Base64 as a method of exporting your optimized image. If your workflow includes some of these steps, follow us after the break to learn more about this incredibly useful plug-in.

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Macs have kept their reputation as the machines of choice for those in creative fields – and hey, why let them take the title away? After all, there’s a ton of creative apps on the Mac that can help you make just about anything you want, and Apple itself has quite the portfolio of pro creative apps that are exclusive to the Mac. Take, for instance, Motion.

The sidekick to Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion is a great and relatively affordable way to make cinematic effects and animations from your Mac. It’s a lot to master, though, if you’re starting out, but that’s where templates come in. Our parent company Envato’s VideoHive marketplace has a ton of great Apple Motion templates that can make it simple to produce high-quality animations in Motion on your Mac. We’ve looked at some great Motion templates here before, and now’s the time for another look at what VideoHive has to offer.

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When you’re looking for a good way to introduce a product, create a trailer for a film, or even edit a photo, Apple has some good software to offer its Mac users. iMovie, iPhoto, GarageBand and other members of the iLife suite are included with OS X. Many users really enjoy these and think of them as prime benefits of owning a Mac. However, there are more professional versions of such software available from Apple. Final Cut Pro, for instance, is a truly professional way to edit a short picture or even a full independent film; Logic Pro brings every single audio tool to your fingertips; and Aperture is nearly on par with Photoshop, just aimed at a different price range.

The product we’re interested in today is Motion, a companion to Final Cut Pro. It’s designed to help you create motion graphics, moving versions of brochures you’d already have designed in Photoshop or Pixelmator. This software can help small businesses create advertisements for their new products at beautiful high definition. However, not everyone wants to create one of these from scratch, so what about a template for it? Our parent company Envato’s VideoHive now offers a section for just that. But there are currently 35 templates available, so which one is best for you? Let’s take a look at eight of the most well-designed.

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So, you got a Macbook Pro with Retina display. Congratulations, we are all jealous of you — no seriously, we are. But as you look at those pixels or, well, the lack thereof (that you can see anyhow), you are probably wondering what is the best way to showcase that amazing looking 2880×1800 resolution display. If so, you are in luck. This roundup will give you some of the most amazing Retina-ready wallpapers.

We’ve gather 100 wallpapers to choose from, in every category you can think of. We’ve also heard your problems with loading the page when there are too many big images, so we’ve place the wallpapers in thumbnails. Then, we’ve put all the wallpapers found in this roundup in a handy zip file that you can grab after the break. How’s that for a great wallpaper roundup?

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Have you been staring at the same dull desktop wallpaper for weeks? Do you need something to spruce up your computer in time for summer? Then look no further as we present 100 of our favorite wallpapers for Mac. From beautiful photography to simple, clean designs, there will be something for everybody in this collection.

If you would like to skip directly to a certain style of wallpaper, just select one of the categories below:

Otherwise, just dig in to our extensive collection of wallpaper backgrounds and scroll though them all until you find something that strikes your fancy!

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Today, our computers and mobile devices house many stunning icons that often influence our desire to use a certain application or open a folder. The icons in our machines are practically part of our lives as we see them almost everyday. It is never a bad idea to customize these icons in order to make them even more appealing than they already are.

The icons below are only a few of the many beautiful design pieces people have created for your enjoyment. Replacing application or folder icons is amazingly easy to do, so don’t hesitate to use any of these free and sexy looking icons.

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