Art Directors Toolkit 5

The other new announcement that immediately caught my eye was Art Directors Toolkit 5.

If you have a PowerMac you probably already have Art Directors Toolkit 3. It’s a handy little utility that gives you quick access to tools that you typically need in graphic design. I upgraded to version 4 on my G5 a few years go and I’ve been happy with it. I mostly use the RGB palette which lets you load/save color palettes in a little window which floats over all your applications. Adobe Creative Suite 2 has a nice feature to share palettes between applications, but what if you need a color in Fireworks or to put in a website form?

It also has a nice onscreen ruler, a limited but effective swatch mixer, font sizing utility and some other do dads.

I went ahead and downloaded the demo of version 5 and I’m not sure it’s worth the $15 upgrade.

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It now has a dashboard widget for Tiger, but it only has the conversion and reference information which is nice but there are a ton of widgets that already do that.

There’s a launcher, but it’s no Quicksilver.

The layout guide now has a “spread” option which is helpful to see how a document will lay out when bound in a book. I don’t have to do my method which is to take some extra paper, fold & write numbers and then unfold to see what pages goes with what. I’m disappointed that Art Directors Toolkit doesn’t appear to offer more complicated layouts. I would be interested in a utility that helped me to impose a tri-fold, quarter-fold or other more complex layouts without using my scrap paper comp method.

The other new feature is that it’s a Universal Binary which means it will run on the new Mac Intel chip…maybe that will be a bigger deal later in the afternoon. We’ll see.

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