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Acorn is a new image editor built with one goal in mind - simplicity. Fast, easy, and fluid, Acorn provides the options you'll need without any overhead. Acorn feels right, and won't drain your bank account.

  • Take screenshots using Acorn and edit them right away.
  • Chain together image filters to create stunning effects.
  • Layer based image editing, an industry standard.
  • Make new images and layers using your built-in iSight.
  • Easy image and canvas resizing, just by changing the size of your window.
  • Take advantage of every pixel of your monitor with full screen image editing.
  • Tablet sensitive for pressure strokes and using the tablet's eraser.
  • Vector shape and text layers.
  • Freeform, elliptical, rectangular, and magic wand selections.
  • Gradients.
  • Create and apply custom text styles.
  • Control opacity and blending modes for each layer.
  • Write plugins using the Python scripting language, as well as in Objective-C.
  • GPU powered. The same graphics card that makes your gaming experience smooth, helps Acorn fly through the toughest of graphics operations.


New Stuff

  • New international presets when creating a new image - A3, A4, A5, and A6.
  • New Command: Layer > Merge Visible to New Layer (shortcut Command-Option-Shift-E). This will add a new layer, which is a composite of all the visible layers. The menu item for Merge Visible will switch to Merge Visible to New Layer when the Option key is pressed.
  • You can now paste an image into the brush designer's canvas, which will then take that image and turn it into a brush.
  • New Crop preset: "Document". It adds a crop to the canvas at 90% of the canvas size, and will keep its aspect ratio when resizing.
  • New AppleScript command: "add layer mask". Works on either the document or layer object, and if there's a selection on the canvas, that will be used as the mask (otherwise the command will add an empty layer mask). There is also a new Cocoa Script interface to it for the layer object- addMask:.
  • When browsing for a new filter in the filters list, changing the front and back colors in the tool palette will now update the colors in the current preview filter.
  • The Raw Image Import window now supports full screen editing.
  • The gradient tool now has an optional blend mode when used on bitmap layers.
  • Acorn will automatically hide palettes when Web Export is used.
  • If you paste in dimensions such as "1256x408" into the width field of the new image window, Acorn will recognize that you probably want an image with a height of 408, and will automatically set that value for you.
  • The eraser tool now has a precision mode option just like the brush tools do (this will slow down your strokes by 3x, making it easier to add small brush strokes).
  • You can now click and drag with the flood fill tool to increase its base tolerance setting, just like with the magic wand and instant alpha tools.
  • The tolerance setting for the magic wand will live update when you click and drag on the canvas - which will increase it by the base amount you have set.
  • You can now reset individual values in a layer filter by double clicking on its label.
  • New shortcut (command-option-shift-n) to create a shape layer.
  • Spotlight indexing now includes the fonts in the image as well as the pixel count.
  • Pressing the + in the Inspector Palette with the Option and Command keys down will add a new Shape layer (and holding down just the Command key will create a new Group layer, and holding down the option key will duplicate the current layer).
  • You can now lock / unlock layers with the command-option-l shortcut.
  • Acorn can now open up .pict files. Yes, really. Hello, 1984 called and wants its file format back.

Changed Stuff

  • If you have a bitmap layer which is completely transparent, the various transform tools will now let you know that they have no job to do. And if that empty layer has layer filters which generate pixels (such as Render Clouds), Acorn will ask if you want to flatten the filters before continuing.
  • The Shape Generator sheet (under Shape ? Generate Shapes) will now remember previous settings.
  • Acorn no longer lets you set the paragraph spacing of text objects to a negative value. This sometimes worked, even though Acorn was using APIs incorrectly to make it happen- you would get unpredictable results depending on the selected font, and the values were sometimes reset when you reopened a file.
  • If the currently selected layer is invisible, the blend mode, opacity slider, and any layer filters it has will now be disabled in the filter palette until the layer is made visible again.
  • When using Crop presets that are too big for the canvas, Acorn will now do a better job of scaling things down for you.
  • When adding a layer filter preset, Acorn will no longer replace any existing layer filters and instead append to the filters that are already present. If you like the previous behavior, you can hold down the shift key while choosing the preset to replace the current filter(s).
  • Web Export: If you have the matte option enabled and are exporting as PNG, Acorn will no longer add a (useless) alpha channel to the image, which will make the file size a bit smaller.
  • Deleting the contents of a bitmap layer is way faster now if you've got a huge canvas and just a teeny tiny bit of visible pixels on the layer. Yes, we try and rub the speed on everywhere possible.
  • When manipulating star shapes, it will always grow / shrink on either size instead of just one.
  • Acorn is taking advantage of more caches to speed up compositing, which helps enormously with layer styles.
  • Brought the way background shape layers are selected to be more inline with what happens when selecting bitmap layers. Acorn no longer gives precedence to the currently selected shape layer when clicking on shapes which might be overlapped by other shape layers. If you were enamored with the previous behavior, you can bring it back with this hidden pref: defaults write com.flyingmeat.Acorn4 checkSelectedShapeLayerFirst 1
  • Smoother selection animations, as well as rotating colors for the selection (does it stand out more on retina displays now?)
  • Less beeping.
  • When you have multiple groups selected in the layers list, Acorn will now stuff them into a single group when the New Group command is used. This now matches the same behavior when multiple non-group layers are selected. Previously Acorn would add a new group layer to the selected group (and Acorn will still do this if there is a single group selected).
  • Acorn now remembers which color well was selected when you quit and restart.
  • New hidden pref for automatically adding a white background when opening a PDF: defaults write com.flyingmeat.Acorn4 whitePDFBackground 1

Fixed Stuff

  • Fixed a bug where removing an anchor in the Curves window wouldn't update the preview.
  • Fixed a bug where you couldn't properly use the Outline Path command on Line shapes.
  • Fixed a crasher when deleting every selected segment of a bezier path.
  • Fixed a bug where Web Export wasn't working when in trial mode.
  • Fixed a bug where sometimes dragging and dropping an image from the Canvas into the Brush Designer image well (to make a brush shape from the image) wouldn't always work.
  • Making selections with the free and polygon selection tools is a bit more natural feeling when zoomed way in.
  • Making single pixel selections with the rectangle selection tool is a lot easier to do when zoomed way in (you don't have to drag your cursor around as much).
  • Fixed a bug where precision mode with the brush and eraser didn't work great when you were zoomed in our out a bunch.
  • The Magic Wand cursor was missing + and - symbols when you held down the shift and option keys to add or subtract to a selection. This has been corrected.
  • Fixed a bug where masks in PSD files wouldn't open up correctly with certain images.
  • When in Quickmask mode, adding layer filters to the selection works better now.
  • The reset button in the filters palette now matches what you get when you add the filter to your layer.
  • The tab key now works correctly to move between fields in the Levels window.
  • The text insertion point no longer gets layer effects applied to it when you are editing text.
  • New document from clipboard now works better when you've got a bunch of shapes copied from a shape layer.
  • Fixed a bug where the ungroup layers command wouldn't work correctly for selections of multiple layers.
  • When creating shapes, they now snap to rulers and document bounds.
  • Fixed a problem where the clone tool didn't give the greatest results when cloning from transparent areas in a layer.
  • The File > Add Images... sheet no longer allows you to select images Acorn can't open (such as EPS files).
  • Better drawing of text bounds when you're zoomed in and modifying stuff.

AcornTech Specs

Free to try
File Size
15.9 MB
Operating Systems
Mac OS X
System Requirements
  • OS X 10.8 or later

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