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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!


Every time I find an application that I really like, I immediately check out the other applications from the same developer. You’ll find that more often than not, there is a theme (visual or practical) that ties all their applications together in such a way that if you like one of them, you’ll probably like a few others as well.

Today we’ll take a look at some of my favorite Mac software developers. Some of them have created incredibly popular software while others are fairly obscure. You can be sure that all of the Mac and iPhone developers below have immense talent and at least one or two apps worth downloading.


It usually doesn’t happen very often that one has to reinstall OS X from scratch, but when you do, have you ever wondered where in the world you put those licenses for your digitally purchased software?

With LicenseKeeper, an application that is specially designed to help you in these cases, storing and retrieving license information becomes painless. Today we’ll be taking an in-depth look at what LicenseKeeper is capable of, and whether it’s right for you.


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