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Leveraging Free Web Design Tools
Just because your budget doesn’t cover the Adobe CS suite doesn’t mean you can’t be mighty effective (and cost-conscience)! Here are a few good (and free) tools to consider adding to your web design tool box:
GNU Image Manipulation Program is a free, open source Photoshop-like program. It is available for many popular operating systems, including OS X (with X11), Linux and Microsoft Windows. Overall, it is very powerful and has a large community offering tutorials, tips, fonts, brushes, etc. There is a bit of a learning curve as it isn’t set up like Photoshop, but it is free!
FireFox is a must for serious web designers. With so many third party extensions available, it is almost the only tool you need! Here are a few of the tools that I find useful:
- MeasureIt – Get the width and height of any web element
- ScreenGrab! – Saves entire web page as an image
- ColorZilla – Advanced Eyedropper, ColorPicker, Page Zoomer and other colorful goodies…
- Browsershots.org – See how your design will look in a myriad of browsers
- ColorSchemer – Generate a color palette based on input of a single color
- ColorPalette Generator – Create a color palette around your own photo or image
I’m sure there are many more free tools available for web design. If you know of any, feel free to add them by commenting on this post. Thanks!