Acorn Image Editor

image-15I am not a professional image editor by a long shot. I do have occasion to use graphic editing apps in amateur fashion. Lately, I have been using a very excellent, powerful app called Acorn from Flyingmeat Software. Version 5.0 is a must have if you need powerful image editing software and cannot afford Photoshop.

Acorn Transparentomatic

Acorn is extremely sophisticated. I am a new user of Acorn so I cannot give you a detailed look into its features. Suffice it to say, it can do just about anything most people need to do in the way of editing images. I know I will be using Acorn for most of my future image editing.

Today I wanted to mention one of Acorn’s features that I really like. When writing the Macessence blog I frequently need to make the background of an image (icons mostly) transparent. Sometimes they come that way or they have a slightly gray background or some other background color. Making the background of an image transparent in Acorn is simple. Here is the Acorn window with my macOS Sierra icon in it. The icon is a JPEG file:


You might not be able to tell, but the background of this JPEG is slightly tinged gray. To make it transparent just go to the Filter menu, then Color Adjustment and select Transparentomatic:

Click for larger imge

This command removes the background of your image and presents a “Tolerance” window:


Here you can turn off the transparency and turn it back on. You can also adjust the “Tolerance” of the effect. This adjusts how the transparency interacts with the edge of your image. You can click on that little gear icon at the bottom of the window and save your settings as a Preset. I chose to use the default settings; they worked great. Once you are done experimenting just click “Flatten” and your image is ready. You now have an image with a transparent background.

Other image editing apps can create transparent backgrounds, but Acorn makes it so easy. The whole application is very user friendly, in my opinion. Acorn bills itself as “The image editor for humans”. Indeed it is.


This is no big deal. I just wanted to start bringing you some articles on the Acorn Image Editor and I thought this was a good place to start. There will be more to follow as I continue to use it. Acorn costs $29.99. It can be downloaded from the Flyingmeat website or the Mac App Store. The current version works in OS 10 Yosemite forward, including macOS Sierra.