Category: Mac & OS X

Mac OSX topics

Control your Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad or MacBook trackpad like a boss

MagicPrefsWhen I came across MagicPrefs a few weeks ago, I didn’t think I would use it beyond a quick peek at what it could do. It just seemed like the sort of app that was too good to be true, be difficult to work with and make a general mess of a simple thing.

MagicPrefs allows you to completely customize your Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad or MacBook trackpad in a ridiculous amount of ways. You can add actions to existing or custom gestures and clicks/taps.

MagicPrefs
You can even assign “areas” of your trackpad or mouse to receive those gestures (see above).

There are so many options that it’s nearly pointless to go through even a few of them. MagicPrefs is free, so there’s no reason not to give it a try if you wished you could do XYZ with a simple mouse gesture.

Uplet offers multi-account Instagram uploads from your Mac

Uplet 1.3 update
I reviewed Uplet early last year when version 1.0 was released and found it to be quite nice.

In short, Uplet allows you to upload your images to Instagram directly from your Mac. To my knowledge, this is the only Mac-based app that works with Instagram.

Eltima recently released Uplet 1.3 and addressed one of the concerns mentioned in my review. They’ve added the ability to upload videos to Instagram from your Mac! Drag. Drop. Done.

Along with video uploads, the latest version also adds the ability to work with multiple accounts. This is fantastic for Mac users who might manage multiple Instagram accounts for clients, etc. A single click beats logging-out and logging-back-in all day.

Priced at $20 it’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely worth it if you upload a lot of images, work as a social media manager, or just plain hate pulling your phone out when you’re already sitting in front of your Mac.

Shortcut to symbols and emoji characters

Keyboard Emoji ViewerIf you didn’t know, Apple’s macOS has a built-in keyboard/character viewer (see image above) which allows you to view characters available to you such as currency symbols, punctuation, arrows, mathematical symbols, etc. It’s also where you can view all the emoji characters available.

They Keyboard & Emoji Viewer is available in the Mac’s menubar after you enable it in the System > Keyboard Preferences dialog window.

But there’s a shortcut to bring that Keyboard Viewer up without visiting the menubar—a good amount of time savings if you use it a lot or have the menubar icons hidden with an app like Bartender.

Bring the Keyboard & Emoji Viewer up simply by hitting Control+Command+Space.

The one thing that bothers me is that there’s no keyboard shortcut to make it go away. You can’t hit Command+W to close the Viewer window because the Keyboard Viewer isn’t a typical app in that the app window is never the “active” window, and you can’t force it to be.

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.