Category: Mac & OS X

Mac OSX topics

Find out what font a web page is using

FontFace Ninja extension
I recently came across an awesome browser extension that allows you to hover over text on a webpage and have the name of the font appear in an overlay. It’ll even show you the font size, leading and spacing amount.

FontFace Ninja takes it a step further by allowing you to click the “Mask” button to hide all the images, ads and bothersome clutter to allow you to see only the text on the page. The website has a great intro video to show you exactly how the extension works.

Rounding-off the feature list is a button that allows you to purchase the font you’re interested in with (this feature doesn’t work with all fonts, but they have a pretty good collection of providers for the feature).

FontFace Ninja is free and works with Safari, Chrome and Firefox. It’s perfect for web designers and developers!

Get control of your Time Machine backup schedule

TimeMachineEditorI’ve written about this topic a few times in the past, but I recently had the need to stop Time Machine backups from occurring for a period of time, but I didn’t want to completely shut off Time Machine—for fear that I would forget to turn it back on and it would be weeks before I noticed.

There’s an easy way to manage the schedule of Apple’s Time Machine, which by default backs up everything every hour. That’s a bit too often to back things up if you’re not constantly saving loads of data to your drive. Plus Time Machine can soak-up a lot of power and network bandwidth while working if there’s a lot to back up.

TimeMachineEditor (free, donations welcomed) is a fantastic little tool that offers three distinct ways to edit Time Machine’s backup schedule.

TMEditor - Interval setting

TimeMachineEditor – Interval setting


Interval – Allows you to simply set a time interval to have Time Machine back up your files, such as every 3 hours, etc.
TMEditor - calendar interval

TimeMachineEditor – Calendar Interval setting


Calendar Intervals – Allows for a more complex scheduling of backups. As you can see above, you can schedule specific (down to the minute), multiple daily and weekly backup times.
TMEditor - When Inactive setting

TimeMachineEditor – When Inactive setting


When Inactive – Allows Time Machine to back up your files whenever you’re not using it. This is my preferred setting.

No matter which setting you choose, TimeMachineEditor also offers the option to NOT run backups between user-specified times. I have mine set to the middle of the night to morning, since it’s likely nothing new will have been added for quite a while before and after that.

Because this is simply setting some parameters for Apple’s Time Machine app, you can still use Apple’s Time Machine menubar widget to “Back Up Now” and “Enter Time Machine” whenever you wish.

I love this little utility. It’s been around for years and has always worked flawlessly for me.

Quickly show hidden files in macOS

macOS hidden files

There was a time in the history of macOS (formerly known as Mac OS X) when you had to use a Terminal command or a third-party utility to show the hidden files and folders littered all over your storage drive. I won’t go down the rabbit hole of why you would want to see these hidden files and folders, but know that Apple has finally built-in a simple keyboard shortcut to do just that—and it works in the Finder as well as Open/Save dialog boxes.

Simply hit Command + Shift + . (period key) and macOS will instantly make them visible (as seen on the right in the image above). Hit the shortcut again and they return to their hidden state.

OS replacement for macOS and Windows

Elementary OS
Elementary is an open source OS based on Linux that runs on macOS and Windows, and costs as little or as much as you want. It looks VERY much like a colorful and playful version of macOS.

Elementary ships with all the basic apps, such as: browser, email, photos, calendar, text editor, terminal, music player and more. They also have an open source App Store.

Take a look at some screenshots below (click the image to imbiggify them).
Elementary OS - Browser
Elementary OS - Music
Elementary OS - Calendar
Elementary OS - File Manager

Elementary OS claims to be safe, secure, stable and collects no personal info. Nor does it display any ads. Their income is solely based on what users choose to pay. Interesting. For as little as a $1, I could see buying a copy to run on an older Mac that I’m not using anymore.

Add PiP video to any site in Safari

PiPTool
Apple added a Picture-in-Picture (PiP) to Safari a while back. It’s a fantastic feature that places videos from web pages in a separate window that floats over all other windows. The problem is that Apple’s implementation doesn’t work unless the website has implemented it on their end… which most sites haven’t done.

PiPTool to the rescue! This nifty little Safari extensions adds PiP functionality to ANY video on ANY site. All you have to do is go to a page with a video you want to watch, click the PiPTool button in Safari’s toolbar and click on the video you want to be PiP’d. You can resize the window and move it from the top right corner by holding the Command key down while dragging the window.

I’ve been using PiPTool for several weeks and haven’t come across a single site it doesn’t work with.