I went to the first post-Apple era Macworld on Friday and spent a couple of hours in the exhibit hall. This year it was only in the North Hall, much smaller than it has been in past years. A lot of the big names—besides Apple—that were anchors in previous Macworld Expos were not there: Adobe, Filemaker, Canon, EPSON. Microsoft, HP and others had smaller, toned down booths. The floor was packed with a lot of the smaller players and had a substantial area dedicated to iPhone apps. I found that I had to pay attention to the small exhibitors.

In terms of my show picks, here they are.

  • TypeDNA: This is a series of plug-ins for Adobe CS4 that helps you preview and make decisions about your typeface choices. The innovation is that it analyzes 62 characteristics of every one of your own fonts to build a local database. From that database, it will allow you to search by styles, classifications and even find pairs of typefaces that go together. All this is based on scanning the letterforms, not checking the font name. Pretty incredible. It’s not out yet, but should be shipping in the next month or two.
  • Topaz Labs Filters: This was the first demo that caught my eye. The speed and accuracy in which the ReMask plug-in works is incredible. Much easier to use than Photoshop’s native Extract tool or onOne Software’s Mask Pro.
  • Inklet + Pogo Sketch: I’ve always been a Wacom tablet user. I just find that for Photoshop work, it’s invaluable. Inklet is software that allows you to use your MacBook Pro’s multi-touch trackpad as a tablet. Combined with the Pogo Sketch stylus, it’s like a mini-tablet built right in!
  • Anti-Glare Screen Protector from Green Onions Supply: I’ve never liked the glossy screen on my MacBook Pro. So when I saw this on the show floor, and how it just cuts the glare, I had to pick one up.