Author: James

Manipulate 3D images right inside Photoshop with free plugin

The short video above should tell you all you need to know about what PixelSquid does. Manipulating images as 3D objects right inside Photoshop without the hassle of knowing how to use 3D tools is a concept I’m surprised more companies haven’t tried to tackle.

PixelSquid offers quite a decent-sized collection of 3D images, including a few nice collections like the Apple Collection—which features over 50 Apple objets from yesterday and today. I also liked the Money collection.

The plugin is free, though you do have to sign-up for the service.

Control window position with Spectacle


If you’re looking for a little more control over your Mac’s window placement but don’t want to waste time mousing around, Spectacle is the answer to your wish.

Spectacle allows you to move windows to full screen, top half, bottom half, left and right half position with a simple keyboard shortcut.

Results are in: The pen IS mightier than the keyboard


Educators are eager to know how the computers popping up in their classrooms actually affect student learning. A recent study published in Psychological Science confronts the issue head-on.

The results of the study come to no surprise to me. People who hand-write notes are more likely to process the information as it comes in (and have a much easier time recalling the information later), compared to those who basically sit there and transcribe an entire lecture or presentation on a computer.

I compare the results of this study to logo design. Even with all the modern software & hardware technology making it easier and easier to create on your digital devices, you still get better results when you sketch your logo design concepts on paper first. There’s just less distraction with the process. You don’t get hung-up on colors and precise layout when you sketch on paper, which leaves your mind to focus on the basic concept.

Yet another example I can think of is that I find that when I have a client meeting, I’m better able to understand what a client is asking for when I limit my notes to a few high-points (or not take notes at all), than when I used to basically write down every word they said. I learned over time that it’s better to HEAR what a client is saying, not LISTEN to what they’re saying. When you’re taking notes, you’re listening to what they say, but you’re not really hearing them.

Free eBook: Web Design Book of Trends

Web Design Trends eBook

Great read for aspiring and experienced web designers and managers—and completely free.
Web Design Book of Trends 2015-2016

  • 10 timeless trends completely explained with plenty of tips
  • 166 hand-picked examples showing the best techniques
  • 100 of our favorite design resources curated for you
  • Dozens of visual case studies revealing the methods behind eye candy
  • Best practices shown from companies like Adidas, Intercom, Reebok, Apple, BMW, Spotify, Jawbone, Versace, and many more.

Download Web Design Book of Trends 2015-2016 here.

Enhance OS X’s speech services


If you use Mac OS X’s built-in speech service to read text back to you, you’re going to love this little gem!

Dictator is a free add-on that enhances built-in speech services by adding a progress indicator, a teleprompter (for reading along with the audio if you wish), and control audio with play, pause, and skip forward by sentence or paragraph controls.

To use Dictator, you simply select some text in any Services supported app (pretty much every app), right-click and choose Dictate from the menu.

You can download Dictater here.