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Backgrounds are important. Whether they're used on a website, on a drawing, on an image compo or on a mobile phone, they give an undeniable "cachet" to your creation, while also improving the viewing experience by increasing the focus on the content. And while they're tons of free or shareware applications to create these backgrounds, there's also a lot of free online tools that will do the same in seconds. This list of 15 online generators will allow you to create your own background, stripes and tartans in a couple of clicks!

» 15 Online Background Generators

Our friends at Smashing just released an article that features nothing but the ultimate list of must-have plugins for photoshop. It doesn't mean these plugins are free, of course, but it gives you a clear idea of how your plugin collection should look like if you're info serious graphic design.

» Ultimate Collection Of Useful Photoshop Plug-Ins

Once again, we crawled the web to offer you a great collection of nothing but exclusive, high-quality free high-resolution textures and background images for your projects. As usual, don't forget to read the terms & usage conditions before including these textures into your professional work.

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As web developers, web designers, graphic artists or information architects, we deal daily with a lot of documents. Files, applications, archives, that's a lot of information. We also exchange a lot of data with colleagues, co-workers, contractors, freelances... And in this mass of data, sometimes there are pieces we don't know. What if you're sent an obscure .ABT document and don't have a single clue what this file format is? Of course, you can Google it, but wouldn't it be nice to always be able to open any file you have, regardless if you have its native mother application or not? Now it's possible, thanks to OpenWith.org!

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Writing for the web requires a certain discipline. Also, the way you put up your content can't be compared to the way you write for other media, such as newspapers, or any other form of more “traditional” communication. But most of all, what you write on the web should talk to your audience, not to yourself. Our friends at WebDesignerDepot have written an excellent article over the subject, explaining the "ugly", the "bad" and the "good" of a efficient copywriting, and how it can impact the effectiveness and the core value of your websites. Read on!

» Is Self-Centered Web Copy Hurting Your Websites?

One of the main concerns when creating an HTML page to send via email (like a newsletter) is that the application that will be used by the recipients to read your page has, at best, a very vague interpretation of CSS (at worst, no support at all), whether that CSS is linked from an external stylesheet or directly inserted into the document (in the HEAD section). Hopefully, there are alternatives. But some are far more usable and effective than others...

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Rounded corners have become one of the essential design components of modern web design. There are numerous ways to implement them in your pages; pure HTML/CSS, proprietary javascript, or using standard frameworks like jQuery. That's the approach we have chosen, since it'll be very difficult to overcome the simplicity of this solution.

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