Open source applications and tools are a great alternative for web designers on a budget. Many open source tools have comparable features to the expensive applications, and are also free.This makes it possible possible for a web designer to have all the tools and applications needed to complete everyday tasks without even spending a cent.
KompoZer is a complete web authoring system that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG web page editing. KompoZer is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it ideal for non-technical computer users who want to create an attractive, professional-looking web site without needing to know HTML or web coding.
Notepad+ is a freeware text editor for Windows operating systems and is intended as a replacement for the Notepad editor installed by default on Windows. It has more formatting features but, like Notepad, works only with plain text. It can open text files of any size, and a single instance of the program can have multiple files open simultaneously. It supports dragging and dropping text within a file and between files, and supports multiple fonts and colours.
- Project management, including support for local and remote (through the network) projects. Project files can be uploaded to many servers using various protocols. CVS support is integrated, Subversion support is possible through external plugins. Advanced project features, like actions assigned to various project events and assigning roles in a team are also available.
- Uses KDE KIO slaves for FTP, SSH (through FISH) and other protocol support.
- HTML and XML support: by default support for various (X)HTML versions and some XML based languages are available. This support can be extended either by the user (by importing an XML DTD) or via the “hotstuff” interface, by downloading XML support packages. XML support means autocompletion of tags and attributes, visual editing of tags, document structure viewing, validation/problem reporting, context help.
- script language support: by default PHP support is included, other languages can be supported by creating a language description package. PHP debugger interface is included for the Gubed and XDebug debuggers. Autocompletion for built in and user functions/variables is possible.
- CSS support: visual CSS editor, autocompletion for CSS.
- templates: full site, one document or snippet templates are possible. Templates can be shared via hotstuff.
- user toolbars and actions: toolbars can be freely created with stock or actions created by the user on it. The toolbars can be assigned to a language or to a project. The toolbars are also shareable via hotstuff.
- extensibility: any type of scripts/executables can be assigned to actions or project events. Users can exchange toolbars through the hotstuff system.
- plugins: general KPart plugin support. Any KDE KPart can be used inside Quanta, by default Konsole, KImageMapEditor, KLinkStatus, Cervisia (CVS) and KFileReplace are configured.
- integrated preview: documents can be previewed inside the application using the KHTML engine. Preprocessing the documents through a web server before previewing is possible.
- context help: context help for many languages can be downloaded via hotstuff. New help packages can be created by the user.
- lots of settings: the application is highly configurable, so everyone can adapt it to their needs.
- Built in rendering with KHTML.
- Display the source code, WYSIWYG Mode (called VPL (Visual Page Layout) in Quanta) or both.
GIMP is a versatile graphics manipulation package. It’s considered by many to be an excellent alternative to Photoshop.
There are several ways of selecting colors, including palettes, color choosers and using an eyedropper tool to select a colour on the canvas. The built-in color choosers include RGB/HSV selector or scales, water-color selector, CMYK selector and a color-wheel selector.
- Selections and paths
GIMP selection tools include a rectangular and circular selection tool, free select tool, and fuzzy select tool (also known as magic wand). More advanced selection tools include the select by color tool for selecting contiguous regions of color—and the scissors select tool, which creates selections semi-automatically between areas of highly contrasting colors
- Image editing
There are many tools that can be used for editing images in GIMP. The more common tools include a paint brush, pencil, airbrush, eraser and ink tools used to create new or blended pixels.
- Layers, layer masks and channels
An image being edited in GIMP can consist of many layers in a stack. The user manual suggests that “A good way to visualize a GIMP image is as a stack of transparencies,” where in GIMP terminology, each transparency is a layer. Each layer in an image is made up of several channels.
- Automation, scripts and plug-ins
GIMP has approximately 150 standard effects and filters, including Drop Shadow, Blur, Motion Blur and Noise.
The Generic Graphics Library (GEGL) was first introduced as part of GIMP on the 2.6 release of GIMP.
- File formats
GIMP supports importing and exporting with a large number of different file formats, GIMP’s native format XCF is designed to store all information GIMP can contain about an image; XCF is named after the eXperimental Computing Facility where GIMP was authored.
Inkscape is a vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Adobe Illustrator.
3D boxes: created using the 3D Box tool. The boxes have adjustable XYZ perspectives and configurable values for vanishing points. 3D boxes are in fact groups of paths and after ungrouping can be further modified.
Objects can be arbitrarily grouped together. Groups of objects behave in many respects like “atomic” objects: for instance, they can be cloned or assigned a paint. Objects making up a group can be edited without having to ungroup it first, via an Enter Group command: the group can then be edited like a temporary layer. Z-order of objects can be managed either using layers, or by manually moving the object up and down in the Z stack. Layers can be locked or hidden, preventing modifying and accidental selection.
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