I have used Photoshop for years now. I have tried other tools as well. I believe in being well rounded. Heck, I have tool week on my blog for crying out loud.
Recently, I wondered if I could live without Photoshop. Could I use GIMP or Fireworks?
The back story
This question didn’t come out of the blue. I purchased my first mac almost two months ago thinking I could transfer Photoshop from Windows.
As it turns out, I cannot. You need to have the “most recent version” to “migrate” says Adobe, “You have CS4”. Insert rant here…
Naturally this brought about some pain. Photoshop is not cheap. And no one in his right mind pays for anything but a bundle from Adobe.
But, can a front-end developer live without Photoshop?
Is there an alternative?
No, is the short answer. In my workflow the PSD is too common. GIMP and Pixelmator can open a PSD but are a definite no-go. Text becomes a flat image layer when opening a PSD. Plus, like Fireworks they dislike masks.
Now, I have asked around. I’m not just making accusations. I have tested numerous tools. Questioned, over 20 developers with only two or three saying otherwise.
“Otherwise” meaning it would be painful not to have it. Fireworks being the only workable alternative.
In the end, if you don’t have Photoshop you put yourself in a hole. Fireworks is great alternative, don’t get me wrong. But for my workflow it will not slice it without some time consuming edits.
The round up
What can one do? Bootup a VM for Photoshop, use Fireworks in the meantime and start saving baby! Because at the end of the day if you want to edit, slice and make awesome websites you need to be compatible with the working standard.
Its about being efficient and productive. Not wasting time. That’s all.