Thursday, March 18, 2021

Acorn 7

Flying Meat (tweet):

Acorn now sports a unified window with a matching toolbar. Gone are the floating palettes everywhere and getting in your way. Palettes are now inspectors and can be brushed away by pressing the TAB key, and brought back the same way. Acorn also adopts many new MacOS Big Sur conventions to make it look and feel like it belongs on a Mac. If you prefer the previous behavior where inspectors are in their own windows, there is a preference to enable that.

Speaking of tabs, Acorn has a new preference for opening up images in tabs. So now you can gather all of your open images under a single window.


A new export workflow gives you options for specifying a color profile (like CMYK or Gray), more formats to save as (now including WebP!), precise file size of your export, and a live preview even for PDFs.


This time around we managed to make Flood Fill, Instant Alpha, and Magic Wand multithreaded and up to 3x faster. Filters have also been fully optimized for Metal on Apple Silicon and Intel Macs.

Photoshop is impressive and all, but I find Acorn much more pleasant to use. There’s also a new tool for fixing perspective distortions. It’s currently on sale for 50% off.


Update (2021-03-22): Gus Mueller:

Here’s a casual overview of some things I find interesting with this release.


One nice thing about the Command Bar is that I can also include other random oddball things in there which don’t necessarily deserve a menu item by itself. For instance, there’s a toggle in there to switch Acorn into Dark Mode or to Light. There’s an entry to quickly switch to pixels for the ruler, or fill the current selection or layer with the stroke color, or capitalize any currently selected text. I get requests all the time for cool little ideas (just today I got someone asking for the ability to pull the alpha channel out into it’s own layer). I’ve always shied away from these ideas because I want Acorn to be approachable, and having too many options in the menus can be a big turn off. But if they could be tucked away in the Command Bar, ready at your finger tips if you know it’s there?

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

Thanks to Acorn I rarely have to open Photoshop.

"If you prefer the previous behavior where inspectors are in their own windows, there is a preference to enable that."

A software developer who recognizes that there may be more than one way its users want to use their tools? I just bought Acorn 7 as much to support that attitude as I did because it is a useful program.

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