Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tools I love- for the Designer

Sometimes when you start designing, you think, "There's gotta be a better way to do this!" and usually there is! Sometimes it costs money but most of the time, it's free! sweet! So here's a list of some of my favorite tools for designing/packaging up and some are free!

1. Alpha Cutter- wow. yeah, for months I would crop each letter in my alpha. What a pain! I use Flergs Alpha Maker and I love it! Chelle's Creations has made her alphas coordinate with Flergs alpha maker in that they fit in her grid lines. So easy to customize your alphas and then just hit an action that cuts them all for you! LOVE! I have heard that there are other alpha makers out there that are cheaper...
2. 7-Zip- I love this program. I made it my default zipper on my computer so I just right-click a folder and say "Add to ___ zip". I also have any downloads open up in 7-zip so that as they are completely downloaded, I can sort them into a specific folder. If I am downloading several parts of a kit, the drop down box saves my recent locations and I just click on that to put the files in the same folder. I am sure other zipping/un-zipping software works similar but I found this, it's free and I love it.
3. PNG-saver- This is for when you have templates in PSD/TIFF format but need them in PNG format for customers that don't use PS or you need to have it converted into PAGE (SBC can load PNGs and then you arrange them as the template is, and save in PAGE formats). I use Happy Scrap Girl's PNG Layer Saver. Also love! Love that it makes a preview for you! fun! I had a different one before and it would name the layers based on what you named them in PS but I also found these pngs were HUGE! and that didn't work. For these layers, they are numbered and I just use the next tool...
4. Renamer- Holy scrap this one's cool! Allows you to rename groups of files all at once. I name my elements as I create them for kits but then I use this bad guy to add my designer initials and kit nickname to the files. Also, I changed my initials recently from MC to MegsC on my files and I can tell it Replace "MC" with "MegsC" etc. Lots you can do with this guy! Awesome! Free, too!
5. Hide Shadows action- I mentioned this one a few weeks ago when talking about making clusters with only the inner drop shadows. I used WendyZine's Hide Shadows Action. Yes you can do this yourself in a few steps but I make A LOT of word art clusters and this action is done in like 3 seconds and opens it up in a new document so I don't have to worry about making a bunch of duplicates so I still have the layered version. Totally love :)
6. File Stacking- Ok so this isn't something you have to download...well actually, it's a script that some PS users might not have and you can least I thought I heard that. If you don't have this, oh man, try! Making previews can take FOREVER but this little nifty guy helps a BUNCH AND keeps the file name on the layers! That makes it so much easier to see what you are working with! I talk more about how file stacking works HERE.

Those are my biggest tips for saving time! Hope you found the list helpful!

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