18 Adobe AIR Apps for Designers

    Sean P Aune
    Sean P Aune

    Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) is a cross-platform program that allows you to run a wide variety of different little programs. It has become best known for a slew of Twitter clients, the most popular being TweetDeck, but the environment is a lot more useful than just as a platform for the popular microblogging service.

    Web designers can find a slew of handy programs that will ease their job.  Some of the tools you can find include choosing a color scheme, measuring spaces in your design, editing vector images and a whole lot more.  We’ve picked 18 of the best to help you get started.

    Color & Pattern Tools

    Color Browser: Color Browser allows you to locally organize palettes that you’ve created in Adobe programs, Kuler or ColourLovers by importing the ASE files.  You can also create new mixtures in the program which can contain as many colors as you like.

    COLOURlovers Desktop Color Finder: This app will allow you to search over one million named colors and over 300,000 palettes.  Click on the comment icon and you’ll be taken to the corresponding page on the website so you can comment on it.

    Contrast-A: Contrast-A allows you to check the color accessibility of your choices by WCAG 2.0 and 1.0.  You can create palettes to print out as PDFs and save to your desktop.

    Kuler Desktop: Kuler allows you to import palettes from the Kuler website, browse and search other themes for inspiration, and import selections you wish to use into Creative Suite 3 Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop.  You can also get RSS feeds of Highest Rated, Most Popular, Newest and Randomly Selected themes to keep the inspiration flowing at any time.

    Random Pattern: Random Pattern allows you to create the basis for mosaic backgrounds by just changing the settings.  Completed files can be saved to an SVG format file.

    Design Tools

    BetaDesigns Caliper: Caliper floats on top of all programs you have open so that you can measure anything on your screen, rotate it up to 360°, drag settings and more.

    designview: This app gives you the basic functionality of Flex Builder Design View.

    Pixus: A super easy pixel measuring tool that will allow you to measure anything on your computer.  Simply open it up, drag it to fit the area you want to measure and you’re done.  You can also preset various sizes so you won’t have to constantly drag the borders to what you need.

    ScreenScales: ScreenScales allows you to measure between points on a design horizontally, vertically and diagonally.

    Image Tools

    e2vector illustration: A vector editing program that includes layers, masks, SVG import and export and more.

    ImageSizer: ImageSizer allows you to rename, re-size and optimize a batch of .jpg files and then create a zip file of them.  Makes it easy for you to send a group of images to a client or the developer.

    JustResizeIt!: JustResizeIt! has preset filters of various sizes and allows you to make new ones so you can drag a picture into the size you want for automatic cropping.

    pixDIF: Drag an image into the program and you can start measuring the distance between any points you want, making it handy to determine how much you need to move an element of your design.

    Splashup Light: From the people behind the Splashup online image editor, Splashup Light is a simple and free image editor when you just need to do something quickly.

    Miscellaneous Tools

    .merlin: A trueType font tool which will help your organize your collection, rename files and delete duplicates.

    Icon Generator: A handy tool that will let you create Web 2.0 or Adobe CS3 style icons in just three steps.  Images can be sized at 128×128, 48×48, 32×32 or 16×16.

    Screencapture Tools

    Snapshooter: Simply enter a valid URL, click “Take a Snapshot,” and you have a saved screenshot of the site on your desktop.

    WebSnapshot: WebSnapshot allows you to enter a URL and choose to take a screenshot of the resulting page as a thumbnail, snapshot or full page.