Most of you probably know that the spine mostly maintain and focus on the Photoshop export script for PSD compatibility reason. However if your main drawing app is not PS but other software like Krita/CSP, etc. You may find that it is kind of suck to pay Adobe yearly for just doing the export. You don't need to! I am not talking about the CS2 free download which in theory require you to own the software in the 1st place and also don't support the latest feature such as adjustment layers. The solution is to use Photoshop Element which is a stripped down version of PS for photographers! Yes, you still need to pay Adobe for this but only once for life!

However, the current export script require a very little modification to support PS Element. Here is how:

1.Open the script file in a text editor.

2. Search for the line:
layer = layer.merge();
and change to
//layer = layer.merge();
* In fact, this line of code seems not needed and is not supported in Element. It just merge the groups with [merge] tag before saving the png. So commenting it out will actually make the export faster. Spine team if you hear me, please validate this.

3. Run the script in Photoshop Element.
It is a little different to run a script in Element than the normal version.
Everytime you want to run the script, just drag the script file to the canvas to bring out the export dialog.

You can try out the Element with trial version and see if it works for you. e.g. Checking if some features are missing that will affect you. Normal illustrations with just layers, clipping mask, adjustment layers should be fine.

Simple as that, you can buy a PS Element with just 69.99 USD which is still cheaper than the cheapest photograhy plan 9.99/mo for a year. 8)

If you also use PS for other purpose, you have no luck.
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Nice advice, thanks for sharing! I've added a note about it in the readme file.

I wasn't able to install PSE as it requires me to do an OS update, which I can't do at this time. I wanted to do that to see if we can detect Elements is being run and avoid the merge. Instead I wrapped the layer.merge() call in a try/catch which should suppress any errors (unless Adobe has done something terrible, which happens often). Latest version is now 5.0, commit it here.

It's a bit scary to remove the merge, as it could break exporting some complex PSDs. It was added in this commit which is when tags were added. It does look like we'd be OK without it, but I think it's safer to leave it with a try/catch for PSE. I tested without it and didn't see exports being any faster.
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