TOP 5 | Software and tools for designers

Check out our list below for the best utility tools for creative productivity!

Colour Coder

Grab colour HEX codes from your screen!

Colour Coder from Team Drake is a really useful tool for web designers and developers. If you are looking to find out the HEX colour codes of a website or logo, this simple palette tool will do the job. There is a free version which limits 16 colours per palette or the paid version which is just $3 which enables you to have 32 colours per palette with up to 10 palletes on-screen at one time.

Colour coder screenshot

#5

Price:

FREE Basic Version

$3 Pro Version

OS:

Windows Vista to 10

Bamboo Paper

Digital Sketchbook

Every creative loves a sketchbook, well with Wacom's Bamboo Paper you can doodle to your heart's content without fear of running out of paper. An app that really comes in useful if you are using a Surface tablet or Wacom pen enabled device on your PC. The software is free with the basic functions, with in-app purchases to unlock extra pens, pencils and paper textures.

Wacom Bamboo on cintiq

#4

Price:

FREE with additional
 in-app purchases

OS:

Windows 10 or higher

dp4 Font Viewer

View styles of fonts without having to install them

dp4 Font viewer is a handy utility freeware program for designers or anyone who wants to know what the style of a font looks like at a glance without having to install it on their system. Once dp4 font viewer is installed, click on the font name in the left panel or select multiple fonts to see a preview of the different weights and styles in the right hand panel. Great for designers out there wading through hundreds of folders looking for a particular style of font!

dp4 font viewer

#3

Price:

FREE

OS:

Windows 7, 8 or 10

File Viewer plus 4

open, edit and convert up to 300 file types

If you have been a designer for any length of time you know that you will have been sent a file by a client that you have no clue what it is or what to do with it.  File viewer can open, edit and convert up to 300 file types, including any audio or video file. It also comes in handy if you are working cross platform and you need to open a Mac or PC file that is not compatible with your system. There is a 14 day full feature trial to check it out and its currently on offer with a 40% discount.

file viewer plus

#2

Price:

FREE 14 day trial

£28.76 Full Version (40% off)

OS:

Windows 10 or higher

Adobe Colour

Create complimentary colour palettes

Adobe Colour (formerly Kuler) is an invaluable tool for any graphic or web designer. Accessible from any web browser, Adobe Colour enables you to create  palettes of complimentary, split complimentary (and many other options) colours, just by using the simple colour wheel on the browser interface. Once you have created your desired palette you can save to your AdobeCC account (also free) and download as a jpg or ASE swatch to import into illustrator.

adobe colour

#1

Price:

FREE

OS:

Any Web browser

Reviewed and tested by P. A. Roberts

Senior Creative @ Harmonix Graphics

All details are correct as of reviewed date August 2020.

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