People are very open-minded about new things
as long as they’re exactly like the old ones.
[Charles Kettering]


My first computer was a TRS-80 in 1982. It used my TV as a monitor and an audio cassette recorder to save files. Its memory was 4K. Instead of software, it came with a manual about how to program basic. In ’85 when I traded my nurse’s cap for a triangle and T-square, I only used a computer for word processing. By 1990, I was doing graphic design on a tiny Mac screen using Quark XPress and Freehand. Photos were processed and stripped in at the printers.

As output devices improved and finally reached industry standard for print media, I added Photoshop and Illustrator to my computer tools. Shortly after 2000, Quark hit a period where the software wasn’t as adaptable to printing as Adobe Indesign so I changed to Adobe Creative Suite and have used it ever since. When Adobe went to a cloud subscription arrangement, I stayed with my last purchased upgrade (6.0).

Since then, I’ve started a search for replacement software just in case the time comes when I can’t get the old Adobe software to work. The criteria for my search includes the following items as essential:

  • Be able to open and edit old files that were created in other software
  • Usable on both my iPad and Mac
  • Designed to work simply—low learning curve

Eureka! I’m so excited about the new software I found.

Concepts (by TopHatch)

I rely heavily on Illustrator for the vector art I design. Concepts is an app for the iPad (and other tablets). It has already expanded my horizons in illustration. Here is what the company says on their Website:

Concepts for iOS is a vector-based sketching tool with an infinite, whiteboard-like canvas for note takers, visual thinkers, architects, designers and illustrators. The app’s clean, customizable interface, flexible vector lines, and beautiful brushes in Copic colors encourage people to explore, create and share ideas on their iPad Pro, iPad and iPhone. Creators can sketch notes, plans and drawings in the moment, bridge their work across apps and workflows, and present and share with others wherever they go.

Cost: Download is free. In-App purchases for some features are under $20.00

Affinity Photo, Designer and Publisher

I’ve been using these three pieces of software on my Mac, plus Photo and Designer on my iPad for two months. They do everything I’ve ever dreamed. Affinity Photo is comparable to Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Designer is comparable to Adobe Illustrator, and Affinity Publisher is an elegant alternative to Adobe Indesign. Check out their Website (especially the price — under $50.00 each)

NOTE: I have no business or personal connection with these companies.
I simply enjoy using their software.