A (much) better window manager for macOS


Apple introduced a window-snapping feature a while ago, it’s lame. They also added a split-screen feature, which works but is extremely limited. Most users who want a window manager for macOS typically settle on BetterSnapTool ($3), Moom ($10) or SizeUp ($13). All three are great products. But in my opinion, all three do a little too-much for my taste, and in some cases cumbersome to use. It’s not that they’re terribly expensive, it’s that they’re terribly expensive for the simplest parts that I actually want to use.

I was on the lookout for a window manager that’s easy to use, doesn’t try to do too much and is either low-priced or free. That’s when I found Spectacle.
Spectacle Window Manager

Spectacle is fantastic, meeting all my requirements and nothing more. It allows you to set the size and position of the active window on your screen. Like all the other window managers, Spectacle will snap your windows to half sizes on the top, bottom, left and right of your screen, place the windows in any of the corners, as well as fill the screen or center the window on the screen. Unlike the others (unless I missed it), you can also resize and re-position windows to the left, middle and right third of the screen. But what I really love is that it offers you the ability to enlarge or reduce the size of a window… all with customizable keyboard shortcuts.

Spectacle is free, open-source software. But the developer does accept donations, and I think you’ll find it’s worth tossing him a buck or two if you use it.

Free font: Comfortaa

I love this font in all caps at smaller sizes—It’s so readable. Comfortaa comes in light, regular and bold, and is completely free for personal and commercial use.

Comfortaa

Adding noise/grain effect to text and images right inside your InDesign document

InDesign - add noise
Adding noise to a gradient image background is something I do often in photoshop. It helps avoid color banding when printing. It can also be a nice little effect when used correctly.

While I’ve used InDesign’s ability to add noise to my drop shadows and glows using the Effects panel, I never consider the ease with which I could avoid doing it all in Photoshop… that is, until I came across this Tip of the Week from Mike Rankin over at InDesignSecrets.

Add Grain Effects to Photos and Type shows you how easy it is. And for those that do use the Add Noise feature in Photoshop, you know how much storage space this is going to save you!

Fix Safari’s lack of Favicons

Favicons in Safari

I don’t want to write a full review, because I personally find them to really ugly-up Safari’s clean interface, but if you do like Favicons in your Bookmarks bar, Tab bar or both—Faviconographer will fix what ails ya. See the image above for what Daring Fireball’s John Gruber and so many others call an improvement or necessary feature.

Download Faviconographer. Enjoy your uglified Safari interface.

Which Photoshop content-aware feature should you use?

In Photoshop, content-aware features make automatic edits such as seamlessly blending the edges of retouched image areas. Using technology that recognizes different types of image content, content-aware features help you retouch images faster, and open up new possibilities for changing the composition of an image.
Content-Aware Fill
But how do you know which of the many content-aware features might help you right now?

Conrad Chavez has a brief explanation of each of the features in his article at CreativePro.

How to get thousands of beautiful wallpapers for your Mac with no effort

Irvue desktop wallpapers from Unsplash
If you’re a designer, you’ve probably come across Unsplash, the free stock photography site that has exploded in popularity over the last few years. They have absolutely stunningly good photos you can use in your commercial design projects. They also happen to be a great place to get photos to use as desktop wallpapers.

Enter Irvue, a simple little utility that lives in your menubar that pulls photos from Unsplash based on your preferred channels and displays them on your desktop.

IrvueIrvue is like many other auto-updating wallpaper apps in most respects. It allows you to adjust the timing between new wallpapers loading, setting keyboard shortcuts to change them manually and animate the transition between old and new images.

What sets Irvue apart is its short list of unexpected features. One such feature allows you to limit preferred images to portrait, landscape or both. It also offers image blacklisting, so you if you don’t like a particular image you can block it from every showing up again. Another great option is the ability to decide if you want different images to appear in multi-display setups.

But the truly great feature is Irvue’s ability to switch the macOS’ theme from light to dark mode depending on the image itself (see the image above).

Irvue is free, so give it a try if you’re into having different desktop wallpapers with no fuss.

Resizing the Photoshop canvas when your text or artwork goes off the edge

Photoshop's Trim commandIf you’ve ever designed with type in Photoshop, you’ve probably encountered a situation where changing the size or font caused the text to not fit on the canvas any more. Or maybe you’ve placed a large logo file that didn’t fit on the canvas to begin with.

Mike Rankin has the easy alternative to the tedious norm of resizing the canvas size manually using the Reveal All and Trim commands.