Acorn describes itself as “an image editor for humans”, and that sums it up in a nutshell.
What you get inside Acorn are pretty much all the image editing features you’re ever going to need, for a fraction of the price of some of the competing apps.
If you’re into creating bitmap and vector graphics, Acorn’s got everything you need, including graphics tablet support so you can use it to draw. But it’s also a lovely photo editor too, whether you just want to tweak the colors and add a crop, or whether you want to mess around with an image, mix it with other graphic elements, and craft something new from the parts.
All this, and more, is presented inside an unexpectedly simple interface. Open it up, and you see little more than a simple floating tools palette. Don’t be fooled – there’s much more to Acorn than initially meets the eye.
So much, in fact, that you might want some help with finding it all. That’s cool, because there’s a whole bunch of online tutorials that guide you through all the basic features.
Acorn gets a place in the 50 Mac Essentials series because it’s yet another example of bargain software. For $50, you get a high quality product that’s been hand-crafted by an indie developer (Gus at Flying Meat) who cares a great deal about the software he’s making.
For many people, Apple’s own Preview will do all the simple image editing they need. But if your requirements ever start to stretch beyond what Preview can offer – and although it’s a fine application, they wouldn’t have to stretch very far – Acorn should be the app you need to take the next step up.
An apology: Yes, the band’s reformed. 50 Mac Essentials is back to wrap things up and finish the list. It was entirely my fault the series stalled – my apologies to everyone who’s been waiting for the final five essential apps to appear – GT.