Acorn 6 – The Image Editor for Humans

If you’ve ever waited a longtime for Photoshop to load, you know it’s not the best for lightweight mac image editing. I’ve been a longterm user of Acorn 4 and 5. And, now Acorn 6 has been released.

For a limited time, Acorn 6 – The Image Editor for Humans is half off at $14.95 at the MacOS App Store.

As a blogger and tutorial writer, I most use Acorn for fast crops and image compression.

New Features

Here’s a quick rundown on the major highlights included in Acorn 6:

Text on a Path
Text on a path has been Acorn’s most requested feature over the years. Ask and you shall receive! Text on a path is simply awesome. Create any shape you desire with one of Acorn’s vector tools, then convert it to path text and type away! Your text will follow the path you designed, with easy editing available via on-canvas controls. There is no limit to modifying the path and text, so you can edit away until things look just right. Acorn also includes circle text and boxed text, so you have multiple powerful text tools at your fingertips.

Clone Tool
Acorn 6’s enhanced clone tool offers the ability to clone across layers, images, and even to clone group or shape layers. Hold and release the shift key when cloning to have the clone tool function as a stamp tool. Acorn’s clone tool interface includes adjustable edge softness, flow, rotation, and the ability to use any brush in your brush library when cloning, even imported Photoshop brushes. With these additional new features, Acorn offers an impressive tool for designing and editing your images.

Smart Layer Export
Be sure to check out Acorn 6’s great new smart layer export palette. Smart layer export is a time saving feature similar to slicing. Adjust your layer’s export settings via a configurable palette to quickly set the file format, file name, export boundaries, and scale including 1x-5x. Smart layer export is particularly helpful if you are designing images for retina displays or iOS where you need to scale your images to keep them looking sharp. Acorn will even remember your settings for future use!

Scaling, Transforming, and Cropping
Acorn 6’s improved scaling, transforming, and cropping make fine tuning your images a breeze. With Acorn’s new unified scaling and transforming interface, you can adjust the rotation, width, height, position, scale, and even flip the layer horizontally or vertically all from within the inspector palette. And be sure to check out Acorn’s crop tool improvements. Scale your image while making a crop by locking the pixel dimensions. Use the crop tool on a single layer to easily trim off any unwanted edges.

Color Profile and Wide Gamut Improvements
Acorn 6 includes color profile and wide gamut improvements! It is now easier than ever to load and save color profiles to your image from within the Color Profile sheet. Be sure to also check out the new wide gamut previewing option in Web Export. This unique feature highlights which colors will show up when you’re saving out a wide gamut image so you know exactly how your image will change.

And Much Much More
Acorn 6 includes dozens of new features, improvements, and bug fixes, so be sure to read Acorn 6’s release notes for all the details.

Posted by Jeff Reifman

Jeff is a technology consultant based in the Pacific Northwest.


  1. Funny — I had the opposite experience. Loaded a 60 MB PSD file into Acorn 6 and it was beachball city every time I tried to do any work on it. Will give it another try before giving up, but I’ve never had that issue with Photoshop.


    1. I wasn’t recommending Acorn 6 for 60 MB files !!!! I use it to quickly and seamlessly process screenshots for various tutorials I write or blog posts. And, it’s much faster than Photoshop loading and basic use.


      1. 60 MB is pretty lightweight in 2017. I have mobile apps that can handle the same file fine. That’s not good.


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