The Shape of Everything
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July 10, 2017

So we released Acorn 6 today. 🎉

It's been a lot of work and it shipped a little later in the year than we planned, but we're really happy to have something awesome for everyone to use. And in addition to that, we've currently got it on sale for 50% off. Go grab it for cheap while you can.

What's new and awesome?

For a number of years, text on a path has been our number one feature request and we finally got to deliver it with version 6. Acorn has always had great text support; it handles unicode effortlessly, and you can have multiple font faces and weights in a single text block. You can even have emoji as part of your text block. All of these same features work perfectly with text on a path. Inline editing, selection, etc- it just works. And it was a ton of fun to code on as well. Buy me a beer someday and I'll spill the details on how I coded it.

We also implemented our number two feature request, clone tool improvements. You can now select any layer as a clone source (bitmap layers, a group of layers, even shape layers) and then clone to any other layer, or even another image. We also added stamping to the clone tool, which works by holding down the shift key when you click on your image.

Wide gamut images are all around us now thanks to newer iPhones and DSLRs, and we wanted to find a way in Acorn to show you where the colors in your image may fall out of the range of sRGB (which is pretty much the current standard color profile these days). We did that by adding an extra option in the web export window, which shows up when your image is wider than sRGB. When turning it on, you'll get a nice view of your image with areas highlighted that fall out of the range of sRGB. There are also options to convert your image to sRGB at that point, either by perceptually matching colors or just by assigning the sRGB profile to your image without touching the source pixels.

What else is cool? Inner and outer stroke for vector shapes! New boolean options for shapes! Smart Layer Export things! Much improved interactions when cropping, transforming, or other things that used to be modal operations. And more. Full release notes are available (actually- that statement is only partially true. There are a lot of little things we didn't include in the official notes).

And as mentioned in a previous post, we're doing something new with trials in Acorn 6. The direct version will get its usual 14 day trial, but after that's up you can still use Acorn to view your images. The only change will be that the tools are disabled if you choose not to purchase it. We're also doing this for the App Store version in Acorn 6. You can download it for free and "purchase" a 14 day trial for $0.00. When that's up you can keep on using Acorn to view your images, or you can unlock Acorn at the usual price. This will make it really easy for App Store customers to download Acorn and try it out. We're really curious as to how this is going to work out in the long run, and if you choose this option- let us know how you like it.

And finally, I should mention that Acorn improvements mostly come from ideas from our customers. So if there's something you'd like to see, let us know.

Now off to work on the inevitable 6.0.1 release…