If you know me as a developer then you know that I'm, well, text centric. I'm a back end guy living in a front end world so to speak and I lack, ahem, any graphical skills whatsoever. To this day my favorite graphic tools are:

  • Deluxe Paint under Dos
  • JASC's Paint Shop Pro 5

And you can count on the fingers of 2 hands the number of edited screenshots / png files that I've made personally since about 1996 when those tools passed from this computing world. sniff; alas

Anyway, I've been re-doing my personal tool stack recently and I thought it might be interesting to document the process hence this post and subsequent add on posts. My first choice for "Software Worth Purchasing" is Flying Meat Software's Acorn 5.5. They describe it as a "Image Editor for Humans" and I can attest to that:

  • I'm human
  • I can use it

I'm graphically challenged at best and when I was able to use it add basic, albeit bad looking, arrows to my latest aws tutorial, I was delighted. Its very possible that there is a nice arrows feature inside the product but the fact that I was able to open an image and make basic changes without worrying about layers, crazy file formats, wondering where the damn scroll bars went*.

I think the best commentary I can make about this is it works like Mac software is supposed to work. In the process of writing this I had to modify the image below to remove my serial number and even though I am graphically challenged I was still able to:

  • remove a region of the image
  • find the dropper
  • get the right color
  • zoom in
  • fill in the region
  • save it

And they have that level of quintessential grace and style that a small, independent Mac company is supposed to have:


I cannot say how delighted I am with Acorn. Utterly, massively recommended!

*That one's a commentary about Sketch which is a brilliant product seemingly but where the hell did the scrollbars go - how am I supposed to intuit how to pan around a large virtual workspace???