5 Indispensable Free Tools for Web Designers
Nothing makes a job easier than having the right tool at the right time. Web design is no different. For this weeks’ blog post, Josh and I wanted to share some of the web design tools that we consider indispensable. So put on your virtual tool belts and join us for a no-holds-barred tour through some awesome tools guaranteed to make your life as a web designer easier. Plumbers crack optional.
1. Google Docs
Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are a free, web-based word processor, a spreadsheet program, and a presentation program respectively. This suite of tools allows users to create, edit, and share documents in the cloud while collaborating with other users in real-time. The author of a document can share access with other uses and assign them user privileges such as edit and read only.
Although these may not sound like the sexiest tools in your arsenal, I can say without reservation that Josh and I would not be able to conduct our day to day business without them. From a simple shared to-do list to collaborating with clients on big projects, Google Docs are indispensable for us.
To learn more about Google Docs visit: http://www.google.com/docs/about/
To quote the developers, “PicMonkey is a free photo editor that works in your browser — nothing to download or install. Fix your photos and add beautiful filters and text. Touch up facial features or create outstanding graphics. Ridiculously easy, staggeringly gorgeous.”
Although we rely on PhotoShop for all of our high-octane imaging jobs, we end up using PicMonkey for 90% of our image editing needs. For cropping, resizing, and simple file format conversions PicMonkey gets the job done! If you haven’t checked PicMonkey out – do so today.
Check it out at: http://www.picmonkey.com/
3. Awesome Screenshot
Awesome Screenshot is our go-to solution for screen captures. It allows you to capture the whole page or any portion, annotate the screenshot, blur sensitive info, and one-click uploads for sharing.
We use Awesome Screenshot whenever we are sharing site designs with customers and colleagues alike. Combined with a great markup tool (see #4 below) Awesome Screenshot becomes a tool you simply can’t live without. Awesome Screenshot is available as a plugin for most all of the popular browsers.
To learn more, visit: http://awesomescreenshot.com/
Skitch is a markup or annotation tool. It allows you to get your point across with fewer words using annotation, shapes and sketches, so that your ideas become reality faster.
At Michael the Tech Guy we use Skitch all the time. When you are busy the ability to get your point across clearly and quickly becomes a very powerful asset in your toolbox. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and, combined with a good screen capture tool, (see #3 above) Skitch becomes indispensable. Skitch is available for all popular operating systems. Not to mention it is so fun to say.
To learn more about Skitch, or to download it, visit: https://evernote.com/skitch/
5. Instant Eyedropper
Instant Eyedropper is a free software tool for web designers that will identify and automatically paste to the clipboard the HTML color code of any pixel on the screen with just a single mouse click.
Instant Eyedropper is without question an indispensable tool for Josh and I. We are always needing to capture color codes during the designing process and Instant Eyedropper does this job perfectly – what’s more, it takes up very few system resources and doesn’t include a bunch of extra, unneeded functionality. We tried a number of similar tools and none compared to Instant Eyedropper.
Unfortunately, Instant EyeDropper is only available for Windows machines. To download the tool visit: http://instant-eyedropper.com/
If you are using a Mac you can visit this link for other popular alternatives: http://alternativeto.net/software/instant-eyedropper/?platform=mac
At Michael the Tech Guy we always try to include a little something extra, and this blog post is no exception.
When thinking about your favorite, most indispensable design tools, it is easy to to think in terms of practical solutions. When you need a color code you use your color-picker and when you have an image to edit you visit your editing tool. It’s to easy to overlook sources of inspiration and new ideas. We wanted to include one of our favorite web design blogs as the bonus material for our list.
Tom Kenny is the author of “Inspect Element” and does an incredible job of bringing weekly web design topics that never fall flat. We have found countless sources of inspiration from his posts.
Check out Tom’s blog and subscribe today at: http://inspectelement.com/
Utilizing powerful web designer tools and resources like those shared in this post have helped us at Michael the Tech Guy step up our game. We would love to hear about your favorite tools so please feel free to leave us some feedback. If you have any comments, questions or requests for new blog topics, please contact us at email@example.com
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