Category: Site News

VectorScribe takes vector path and shape editing to new levels

Astute GraphicsPlease join me in welcoming The Graphic Mac’s latest site sponsor, Astute Graphics. The first time I heard of Astute Graphics was back in 2008 when I reviewed Phantasm CS, a new plugin suite for Adobe Illustrator. In that review, I called Phantasm CS “the most useful plugin set I’ve ever come across for any version of Adobe Illustrator.”

Today I want to introduce you to VectorScribe, the latest plugin from Astute Graphics. VectorScribe allows you to quickly and easily create and manipulate vector paths in Adobe Illustrator CS3 to CS5 through the use of several new tools and panels.

VectorScribe by Astute Graphics

VectorScribe makes complex path operations easy

Because there are two versions of VectorScribe, Designer and Studio, and the tools are so incredibly powerful and in-depth, I’m just going to briefly overview them here. But before I do, let me just say that if you’re the type of Illustrator user who only opens AI once or twice per month to quickly edit an existing logo, VectorScribe probably isn’t for you. But if you spend a good amount of time in Illustrator, working as a logo designer, architect, illustrator, or cartographer, then you’ll definitely enjoy this plugin! (more…)

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

For those of you who reside in the United States, I would like to take this time to wish you a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy your extended weekend with family and friends – just be sure to exercise great judgement if consuming alcohol is part of your celebration plan this weekend.

For those outside the U.S. who are not familiar with Memorial Day, it is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates men and women who died while in military service to the United States. First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War, it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

Regular posting to The Graphic Mac will resume on Tuesday.

Run Windows on your Mac – save $30!

If you need to run that one or two Windows apps, there’s no need to buy a separate PC to do it. True, Apple has made it possible to boot into Windows natively, but the process is cumbersome and not very flexible – especially in a cross-platform workflow.

Parallels on sale for $50, and get 10 other great apps as a bonus

Parallels on sale for $50, and get 10 other great apps as a bonus

Parallels allows you to run Windows right inside the comfort of Mac OS X, and it does so extremely well – allowing you to Drag-and-drop files between Windows and Mac applications, launch Windows applications from your Mac dock, and do so with a great amount of speed and control.

Parallels normally sells for $79.99, but you can get Parallels 6 for $49.99 for the next few days via the MacUpdate Bundle – which includes 10 other great apps like 1Password, TechTool Pro 5, Civilization IV, and A Better Finder Rename.

If you do choose to purchase the bundle, I appreciate you using the affiliate link I’ve provided!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

This Mac is for the birds!

Thanksgiving is a harvest festival to express thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation to God, family and friends for which all have been blessed of material possessions and relationships.

The reality is that it’s a day not only to celebrate all you have, but a day to stuff your face with the largest meal you’re likely to eat all year, watch two lousy NFL teams play a game, and unbutton your pants just before falling asleep on the couch!

No matter how you celebrate it, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends. Thanks for supporting The Graphic Mac!

Site News: New mobile version of the site, and new Facebook page

Graphic Mac mobile version

The new Graphic Mac mobile site

You may have already noticed, but I thought I would share the news anyway. This past week I created a completely separate Facebook page for The Graphic Mac. So if you were following my personal page on Facebook, you may want to “Like” the new page page to catch the updates. I created a Discussion area on the new page as well, so if you have questions, comments or just want to chat about something in particular, feel free to post away. I plan on sharing links, and leaving comments about all things Apple and Adobe that don’t necessarily warrant a full article here on the site.

The second bit of news that will only affect readers who view The Graphic Mac on their iPhone or iPod Touch device.

I’ve set up a mobile version of the site that strips away most of the design of the site and just lists the articles to click on. The article graphics are still there, but it makes it much easier to navigate the site this way. You’ll still have the ability to search, and view topics by category, as well as see if there are any comments on the article (the little red badge on the date icons); it’s just a little easier on the eyes. I hope you like it.

The Graphic Mac welcomes: Photocase

If you’re on the lookout for stock photography on the web, you certainly have plenty of options. Over the last few years, microstock sites have been popping up all over. But one thing that sets Photocase apart from most competitors is that while they pride themselves on the simplicity of microstock (low prices, royalty-free licenses, easy to use), they push the creativity and ideas with their photos. You’re not likely to find the typical group of racially mixed business people sitting around a conference room table at Photocase.

I’d like to take the time to welcome Photocase as a banner sponsor to The Graphic Mac. I must admit that until they approached me, I had never heard of them. But after exploring the site for a while, I like what I saw and bookmarked them for future use.

Photocase

First, they make purchasing images easy. Photocase uses a credit-based purchasing system, and offers most features you would expect to find on a stock photography site; such as lightboxes and image searching. You can also upload and sell your own photos if you wish.

But the one thing I really loved about the site is that it loads fast. When I searched for “sky,” I was quickly greeted with a page full of thumbnails, with over 800 more pages to look through if I chose to do so. Fortunately, I quickly found a nice image to use before I finished looking through page three, made easier by the larger preview images you get when you roll over the images with your mouse. Flipping through pages was speedy, a fact I appreciate when I’m busy and in need of a photo quickly.

If you’re searching for new stock photography resources, be sure to give Photocase a try.

The Graphic Mac on Twitter

While I’ve been on Twitter for a few years now, and you’ve probably noticed the Twitter link at the top of the site; I thought it was a good time to let you know what to expect if you follow The Graphic Mac on Twitter.
The Graphic Mac on Twitter

The Graphic Mac on Twitter

I recently updated the background image on my Twitter page, and almost immediately got a private message from a follower commenting about it. He also asked how much I use Twitter in my day to day work. The answer made me sit back and think about it for a while. My usage has changed quite a bit over the last year or two.

There was a time, when I was freelancing full-time about a year ago, when I was Tweeting a dozen or so times a day. I was working from home, and often found interesting ideas from other people, or simply used it as an excuse to take a break from my work. Once I started working full-time again, my Twitter habits changed. I don’t Tweet nearly as often anymore, but I found it to not be such a bad thing for me, and hopefully a more useful thing for my followers.

My Tweets now consist mainly of two things. First, you’ll see a quick Tweet announcing the latest article when it appears on The Graphic Mac. Second, I share interesting links to articles and resources as I come across them. Many of these links also appear in the sidebar off to the right, but many do not – so it’s worth checking both places.

Occasionally I do interact directly with followers if I have an answer to a question, or can provide a link to help someone out. But you’re not likely to see me Tweeting about my travels, or taste in coffee.

So in short, think of The Graphic Mac on Twitter as an extension of this site, not an extension of my social life. I would also like to say thank you to everyone who follows me, and who have supported this site over the years!