What Are Some Good Softwares For Macs

Back when Ars Senior Products Editor Andrew Cunningham was forced to work in Mac OS 9 by his colleagues in September 2014, he quickly hit a productivity wall. He couldn't log in to his Ars e-mail or do much of anything online, which meant—as someone who writes about new technology for an online-only publication—he couldn't do his work. All Cunningham could do was play old games and marvel at the difference 15 years makes in operating system design.

But as hard as it may be to believe in light of yet another OS X macOS update, there are some who still use Apple's long-abandoned system. OS 9 diehards may hold on due to one important task they just can't replicate on a newer computer, or perhaps they simply prefer it as a daily driver. It only takes a quick trip to the world of subreddits and Facebook groups to verify these users exist.

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Certain that they can't all be maniacs, I went searching for these people. I trawled forums and asked around, and I even spent more time with my own classic Macs. And to my surprise, I found that most of the people who cling staunchly to Mac OS 9 (or earlier) as a key component of their daily—or at least regular—workflow actually have good reason for doing so.

Why? Whhhhyyyyyy???

The reasons some Mac lovers stick with OS 9 are practically as numerous as Apple operating systems themselves. There are some OS 9 subscribers who hold out for cost reasons. Computers are prohibitively expensive where they live, and these people would also need to spend thousands on new software licenses and updated hardware (on top of the cost of a new Mac). But many more speak of a genuine preference for OS 9. These users stick around purely because they can and because they think classic Mac OS offers a more pleasant experience than OS X. Creatives in particular speak about some of OS 9's biggest technical shortcomings in favorable terms. They aren't in love with the way one app crashing would bring down an entire system, but rather the design elements that can unfortunately lead to that scenario often better suit creative work.

I'm alluding here specifically to the way OS 9 handles multitasking. Starting at System 5, classic Mac OS used cooperative multitasking, which differs from the preemptive multitasking of modern Windows and OS X and Linux. With classic Mac OS multitasking, when you want to change apps it's up to the active program to relinquish control. This focuses the CPU on just one or two things, which means it's terrible for today's typical litany of active processes. As I write this sentence I have 16 apps open on my iMac, some of which are running multiple processes and threads, and that's in addition to background syncing on four cloud services.

By only allowing a couple of active programs, classic Mac OS streamlines your workflow to closer resemble the way people think (until endless notifications and frequent app switching cause our brains to rewire). In this sense, OS 9 is a kind of middle ground between modern distraction-heavy computing and going analog with pen and paper or typewriter.

These justifications represent just a few large Mac OS 9 user archetypes. What follows is the testimony of several classic Mac holdouts on how and why they—along with hundreds, perhaps thousands of people around the world—continue to burn the candle for the classic Macintosh operating system. And given some of the community-led developments this devotion has inspired, OS 9 might just tempt a few more would-be users back from the future.

Programmatic hangers-on

Remembering how the comments on Cunningham's article were littered with stories of people who still make (or made, until only a short time beforehand) regular use of OS 9 for getting things done, I first posed the question on the Ars forums. Who regularly uses Mac OS 9 or earlier for work purposes? Reader Kefkafloyd said it's been rare among his customers over the past several years, but a few of them keep an OS 9 machine around because they need it for various bits of aging prepress software. Old versions of the better-known programs of this sort—Quark, PageMaker, FrameMaker—usually run in OS X's Classic mode (which itself was removed after 10.4 Tiger), though, so that slims down the pack of OS 9 holdouts in the publishing business even further.

Wudbaer's story of his workplace's dedication to an even older Mac OS version suggests there could be more classic Mac holdouts around the world than even the OS 9ers. These users are incentivized to stick with a preferred OS as long as possible so they can use an obscure but expensive program that's useful enough (to them) to justify the effort. In Wudbaer's case, it's the very specific needs of custom DNA synthesis standing in the way of an upgrade.

'The geniuses who wrote the software we have to use to interface the machines with our lab management software used a network library that only supports 16-bit machines,' he wrote. This means Wudbaer and colleagues need to control certain DNA synthesizers in the lab with a 68k Mac via the 30-year-old LocalTalk technology. The last 68k Macintosh models, the Performa 580CD and the PowerBook 190, were introduced in mid-1995. (They ran System 7.5.)

This DNA synthesis lab has two LC III Macs and one Quadra 950 running continuously—24 hours a day, seven days a week—plus lots of spare parts and a few standby machines that are ready to go as and when needed. The synthesizers cost around 30,000-40,000 Euros each back in 2002 (equivalent to roughly $35-50k in 2015 terms), so they want to get their money's worth. The lab also has newer DNA synthesizers that interface with newer computers and can chemically generate many more oligonucleotides (short synthetic DNA molecules) at once. This higher throughput comes with a tradeoff, however. Whereas the old synthesizers can synthesize oligonucleotides independently of each other (thereby allowing easy modifications and additional couplings), the new ones do them all in one bulk parallel process, meaning the extra stuff has to wait until afterward. More work means more time, and as Wudbaer says, 'time is money.'

On the Facebook group Mac OS 9 - it's still alive!, people trade more of these OS 9 endurance stories. Some prefer it for writing environment. Others keep it around for bits and pieces of work that require expensive software such as Adobe's creative suite or a CAD package or Pro Tools or specifically to open old files created with this software. Most use it for old Mac games, of which there are far more than the Mac's game-shy reputation would suggest—but that's a story for another day. A scant, brave few not only struggle through OS 9 for these sorts of offline tasks, but they also rely on it as a Web browsing platform.

Top 12 Best Free Drawing Softwares

Are your looking for the best free drawing software to create amazing paintings on your PC with a stylus, mouse, or touchscreen? Choose one of the following digital art softwares to do a realistic simulation of grunge effect, watercolors, oils, pastels, charcoal, etc.

1. Paint.NET

Updated version of standard Windows Paint for drawing

Editors' Rating (4/5)
Windows 7 SP 1 or later Read Paint.NET Review
  • Convenient and simple to use
  • Lots of functions and effects
  • The interface is well-organized
  • Online support and useful tutorials
  • Brushwork is limited
  • Burn&Dodge isn’t available
  • You can’t correct text after applying other effects

As well as the name, the program’s interface resembles a standard drawing tool integrated into the operating system. But in terms of functionality, Paint.NET is far ahead. This free digital art software perfectly copes with the task of drawing volumetric models, moving objects, and transparent structures.

Because of its simplicity, Paint.NET is perfect for aspiring artists. Besides, it can work quickly even on low-powered devices. Paint.NET supports layers and has a large number of effects. There are tools for blurring, styling, sharpening, and noise reduction. If you wish, the program features can be expanded using plug-ins. Additionally, this free paint program allows you to get images from the scanner and enhance it.


Top-quality open source drawing software with free plug-ins

Editors' Rating (4.5/5)
Mac / Win / Linux Read GIMP Review
  • Graphics Tablet Support
  • Individual file storage format “.xcf” to store texts, textures, layers
  • Ability to open PSD files
  • Create plug-ins
  • GIMP is a bit difficult
  • The UI is not well-organized
  • There are fewer features compared to paid analogs

This is a powerful, flexible, customizable open-source raster picture editor.

This free painting software has a large number of tools that are available in Photoshop: layers, masks, color grading, smart selection, brushes, filters, and tons of other features. The other tools can be added by using third-party extensions. However, the interface and hotkeys are peculiar here. If you're used to Photoshop, you'll have to relearn.

  • Check out the best Wacom tablet.

Initially, this product was created as a free alternative to Photoshop. However, the functionality of the application allows you to create drawings from scratch. This best free drawing software includes different “soft” and “hard” brushes with variable features, the possibility of layer-by-layer drawing processing, smoothing and other effects, as well as a large number of additional tools.

3. Corel Painter

Completely free drawing software for professional digital drawing

Editors' Rating (4.8/5)
Mac / Win
  • Constant updates
  • Dozens of tools that imitate real drawing
  • User-friendly interface
What are some good softwares for macs windows 10
  • An upgrade is a bit expensive
  • Difficult to understand

Corel Painter is a program originally created for painting. Its functionality does not provide the solution of a wide range of problems, and this is not a universal program at all. However, for digital drawing needs, Corel Painter is well-developed. This drawing software will provide you with an impressive array of professional artist tools. Brushes, oil palettes, watercolor palettes, various paper textures are available for you.

The digital drawing software imitates not only the result of applying a particular tool, but also the process of working with it. When using a pencil, the line thickness will directly depend on the angle of the stylus towards the screen of your tablet. A brush that has just been dipped in the paint will leave a wider and more saturated mark than a brush that has been painting for some time.

4. Krita

Editors' Rating (4.7/5)
Mac / Win / Linux Read Krita Review
  • Up-to-date UI with a nice layout
  • Improved OpenGL
  • Many brushes
  • Layers are available
  • HDR is supported
  • Lacks image retouching tools
  • After updating you may have lags
  • Inconvenient text tool

Many professionals prefer this program. The application doesn’t limit the size of the virtual canvas. It depends on the performance of your PC. Krita imitates real canvases, emulates various drawing tools, and the effects container includes many artistic effects. Therefore, the process of creating digital drawings is as realistic as possible. Besides, this free digital art software works smoothly with layers, contains tools for drawing post-processing and provides a high level of detail.

  • Read more how to fix Wacom tablet lagging.

It is interesting that initially Krita was developed as a drawing tool, but now the program can boast of many additional functions for editing ready-made digital pictures and can be considered as a competitor of Adobe Photoshop.

5. Mischief

Editors' Rating (4.5/5)
Mac / Win
  • Free version was updated
  • The price of the paid version is lower now
  • Unlimited canvas
  • Decent interface
  • Many brushes

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  • Lacks nice standard brushes

The new version of the application for drawing has unlimited canvas and cool brushes that can be scaled. The UI is now panel-based and its elements are located across the screen. Because of a smaller large number of tools, this free painting software provides you with a larger canvas.

One of the advantages of this program is the ability to get an image with broadly sketched parts and, at the same time, well-detailed other areas.

In general, the new version of this free paint program is a worthy continuation of the previous ones. You can stretch the canvas to the desired size. You can also zoom in. Among the new features, I would mention multi-touch support, extra docks for brushes, trackpad support for Macs, and two new custom swatch color palettes.

What Are Some Good Softwares For Macs Windows 10

6. MyPaint

Editors' Rating (4/5)
Mac / Win / Linux
  • Works on all platforms
  • Many special features
  • A great free option for manga and anime artists
  • The undo feature could be faster
  • Some problems with the GUI when choosing brushes
  • Sharp Lines are not smooth enough

The graphic editor is focused on beginning artists. This is one of the best free drawing programs that has a simple interface along with unlimited canvas sizes. This software allows you to immerse in the process of painting, removing all additional panels and settings from the program’s desktop. The application offers the chance to select brushes. All of them are divided into three sections: “Classic”, “Experimental”, and “Favorite”. In addition, MyPaint contains an interesting tool called “Notepad”. This is a kind of draft where you can try how different brushes paint.

7. Clip Studio Paint

Editors' Rating (4.5/5)
Mac / Win
  • Brushes can be customized
  • Excellent vector tools
  • Great coloring options
  • User base and community are large
  • Many assets for free downloading
  • Text tools don’t impress
  • No audio support for animation
  • Interface is confusing

This is one of the most popular professional drawing apps for PC. The program was designed to create illustrations, animations, manga, and comics. Currently, over 4 million people use this app.

Many professional artists and illustrators prefer Clip Studio Paint as it provides superior flexibility and freedom. When creating manga or comics, you can do the same things as on paper. However, you have more advantages thanks to digital technology. The program has a huge selection of great drawing tools. The updated version also includes animation features, which makes her one of the best free art programs.

This program can be considered a worthy competitor to classic Photoshop. Now, many artists opt for Clip Studio Paint since it is more universal in many aspects.

8. Microsoft Paint 3D

Editors' Rating (2.5/5)
Windows 10
  • 3D image creation and editing is very easy
  • It is possible to share 3D images online
  • The creation process can be played back
  • 2D objects can’t be extruded
  • No 3D captures mobile app
  • Lacks standard picture editing tools

If you use Windows 10, Paint 3D is built into your system by default. If this is not your case, you can download Paint 3D from the Microsoft app store for free following this link. Using this free art software, you can accomplish three main tasks: create your own three-dimensional object, place it in the composition and make it animated. Creating and working with primitive three-dimensional objects in Paint 3D is very simple. Select the desired object on the list on the right side of the screen, for example, a cone. Left-clicking on the canvas, you create this shape. As soon as you release the left mouse button, a box consisting of four adjustment rings will appear around the object. Three of them will direct the cone in space. The fourth, located in the upper left corner, will move the object closer or further away from you.

9. Artweaver Free

Editors' Rating (3/5)
Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10
  • Many creative brushes
  • You can automate the work using scripts
  • Small installation file size (less than 20MB)
  • Creative painting tools
  • Poor work with text
  • Problematic drawing with the stamp tool

Some users call this free paint program as an analog of Corel Painter, while others claim that Artweaver is close in functionality to the fifth version of Photoshop. Anyway, Artweaver allows you to perform most standard photo-editing operations efficiently. It far surpasses the built-in editors of graphic viewers.

A user is offered a rich set of various brushes (chalk, charcoal, pencil, acrylic fibers, sponge, oil). There is the ability to work with layers, import and export graphics in various formats. Artweaver also has all kinds of filters that can be used while editing drawings (wind effect, blur, waves, granulation, oil effect, etc.). Moreover, this best free drawing software has the feature to draw textures. Artweaver also has Plugins Pack that contains many additional filters.

10. PixBuilder Studio

Editors' Rating (3/5)
Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10
  • Primitives are available
  • Text can be corrected
  • Multi-layer select
  • Layers can be grouped
  • You can’t edit text in-place
  • Lack of color swatches
  • It’s impossible to delete outlines from primitive

PixBuilderStudio is painting software for Windows that allows you to perform all the basic operations including correction, processing, and creating images. We can’t compare the program with full-fledged commercial editors, but it competes on equal terms with popular Paint.net and StylePix.

The program interface is clear and convenient. It fully complies with the requirements for programs of this kind. It has a large selection of tools for work with colors, manipulating layers, applying various effects. By the way, this paint software supports plug-ins for Photoshop. Perhaps not all, but most plug-ins should work in the program.

11. Gravit

Editors' Rating (3/5)
Win / Mac / Linux / Chrome OS
  • Easy and understandable interface
  • It is possible to re-use the same element several times
  • Sketch files are supported
  • Sometimes lags
  • The overall functionality is rough around the edges
  • The Sketch import works poorly

Gravit is a graphics editor that has both an online version and desktop applications for all major platforms. This digital painting software has a complete set of tools necessary for work with vector graphics. The application supports curves, layers, geometric shapes, various selection and transformation tools, texts and many other functions for manipulating objects.

Gravit can also be used as a raster graphics editor. There are such functions as cropping, masks, blending, resizing, and adding filters. It is very useful when designing interfaces, creating layouts for web pages and printing products. In addition, the program has access to a huge library of vector objects that can be used in your work for free.

12. MediBang Paint Pro

Editors' Rating (3/5)
Win / Mac
  • Very simple interface
  • Many patterns and brushes
  • Supports various input modes
  • Some annoying advertising when you open the program

This is a specialized tool that will appeal to those, who create comics, anime, and manga. The application is very simple, fast and at the same time absolutely free. MediBang Paint Pro library has over 800 pre-installed backgrounds and anime-themed templates. Besides, there are about 50 brushes and a big choice of free fonts. I like that there is a built-in cloud where you can upload your works for free and not litter the space on your computer. MediBang also works great with .PSD files, which is non-typical for free paint programs.

Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more