Six Design Tools to Make Your Life Easier

Some times as designers, we don’t think about using tools to make our job easier. Either it is pride, or we are just don’t think about it, but we can benefit from tools. Here are some tools that will make your designer life a lot easier.

Postable

Have you ever had to replace &ltg; with it’s HTML alternative. You most likely had to go look for the code to make the change, and then have to make the change multiple times in your code. Well with Postable, the nightmare of doing that is over. Postable will take convert all of those “non-HTML” characters into their HTML version.

TypeChart

TypeChart has a list of different styles of fonts, and different attributes applied to those fonts. You can get an idea of how a combination of text and attributes will look at just a glance. This takes the hassle out of guessing what fonts and attributes you want to have in your design.

Em Calculator

Cameron Moll (http://www.cameronmoll.com/archives/001266.html) stated in his presentation entitled “Essential Web Skills” at Webmaster Jam Session that a great designers treats text as part of the UI. Ems can allow designers to use text as a UI element, since that is what the measurement was designed for. Most designers will instead use pixel measurements to control text. This could be from habit, laziness, or because it is just simpler. Em Calculator takes the pain out of converting text from px to em, and does it very easily.

Vertical Rhythm Calculator

Vertical Rhythm Calculator does the same job that Em Calculator does, except it is a desktop based calculator. This calculator is designed to work with Adobe Air.

Grid Designer

Grid Designer gives you the basic CSS to generate an number of columns into a design. The tool even allows you to control other aspects in the design such as the size of headers, and paragraphs.

CSS Optimiser

One of the things that every web developer should think about is how to optimize the code for the sites they are working on. It doesn’t matter if you are working with Java or HTML, optimizing your code can enhance your user’s experience. Before most people got broadband into their house, optimizing code was one of the big issues that developers tried to over come. Even though more people are getting faster internet connections, doesn’t mean developers should get lazy. CSS Optimiser reduces the size of your CSS code to allow it to be transfered quicker, and reduce the code’s footprint on your web server.

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