Category: Mac & OS X

Mac OSX topics

How to use the Apple Watch font in Mac OS X Yosemite right now

Rumor has it that Apple will be switching the default system fault from Helvetica Neue to their own proprietary SanFrancisco font, currently used on the Apple Watch, with the next Mac OS X Yosemite update.

SanFrancisco font for Yosemite

If you love tinkering with your Mac, you can download the SanFrancisco font (direct link) and place the font files in your /Library/Fonts (that’s the Library folder at the top level of your Mac’s storage drive, not the one in your Users or System folder). Now log out and log back in to your Mac to activate the new font system-wide.

I recently installed SanFrancisco font as the default and I love it. I’ve also used other Yosemite font replacements like Fira, Source Sans, Input Sans, and even the old OS X Mavericks default, Lucida Grande.

You can patch any font you wish to be a system replacement font yourself. Unfortunately, it requires some geeky wet-work with the Terminal.

Solve the age-old question of “What’s filling up my storage drive?”

“What the hell is filling up my hard drive?” It’s a question we all have after a year or so of downloading files and storing work documents on our Macs. A cluttered storage disk can lead to all sorts of problems, not the least of which is making your Mac run slow.

CleverFiles has a fairly new app for Mac OS X that can help you analyze your storage drive and remove large files and folders easily. Disk Cartography maps your drive data and lists the space-hogging files in an easy-to-read list, and allows you to delete the unwanted files/folders with the click of a button.

Upon launching Disk Cartography, it scans your chosen disk and displays a tree-like folder-structure which you can use to evaluate what’s taking up space, as well as where it is on your drive.

Disk Cartography window

You can manually or automatically filter what is shown by setting parameters such as minimum file size, or whether or not to show System files, etc. The minimum file size feature is particularly useful because it allows you to view your file folder list without the thousands of files taking up so little space that it’s not worth seeing. You can see an example in the image above. Those “Filtered Objects” folders contain all the files on my drive that don’t meet my minimum filter requirements of a minimum of 128MB in size.

Scanning my drive took only a few minutes, and the app displays the data in a clear and simple interface. I also liked that I can right-click on a file or folder to ‘show it in the Finder.’

Disk Cartography isn’t the only app out there that does this, and it certainly doesn’t have the most luscious user interface of them. But I like the simplicity of the app.

There is no dedicated web page for Disk Cartography as of this writing, but you can buy it directly from the Mac App Store here.

You can grab your copy for $1.99 until May 18th when the promo ends.

Safari Search preference

Safari offers default search engine options. Try dropping the Google habit. Just sayin’…

Where to find email Drafts on your iPhone

iOS email drafts

When you don’t have time to finish typing an email on your iPhone, you can hit the Cancel button and save the email as a Draft to finish it later. What’s not obvious is where to actually find the email Draft once the window closes.

Your email Drafts are hidden under the Compose icon at the bottom right of the iPhone screen. Simply tap and hold the Compose icon to bring up a list of your email drafts, then tap on the one you want to continue typing.

Free Automator scripts for Apple’s new Photos app

Photos + Automator

This Automator Action collection for Apple’s new Photos app in Mac OS X Yosemite makes your photography workflow a much more efficient and smoother process. In particular, I love the Import image into a specific Album action file. This allows me to quickly add desktop wallpapers and other images I’ve acquired online to a specific Photos album without actually going through the process manually.

There are a ton of other fantastic Automator Actions available at MacOSXAutomation. Be sure to check them all out to see if there’s something else you can use.

30% discount on Elmedia Player 5

Elmedia Player (EP) is an all-in-one media player and manager for Mac OS X. Unlike Quicktime and iTunes, EP allows you to discover, download, organize, play, and manage movies and music in a ton of formats, including: FLV, SWF, XAP, AVI, MOV, MP4, WMV, DIVX, DAT, and more.

I’ve reviewed Elmedia Player in the past, and while not a whole lot has changed over the years, some of the improvements are welcomed.

Elmedia Player app

The latest version adds support for the Apple Remote, the built-in media keys on an Apple keyboard, playlist search, a 10-band equalizer, video tuner, and a host of other video playback controls.

As I wrote in my previous review, the free version of EP does an awful lot. But users who wish to add the ability to download regular and streaming RTMP videos and Flash animations, as well as download external resources used by SWF animations will need the Pro version. You’ll also need to upgrade to Pro if you want to download YouTube videos, extract audio from those videos, make screenshots of videos, or convert entire movies into images.

What I love about EP Pro is that it pretty much rids you of the need for any other apps for managing and playing videos. Because EP plays so many formats, there’s little need for converting videos. Also gone is the need to have a browser window open along with your media player, since EP has a browser built-in—which allows you to discover and watch videos without dealing with ad-infested pages. This means downloading videos from Metacafe, Vimeo, Facebook and Yahoo is just easier.

Elmedia Player Pro is available for $19.95. Use the coupon code THGM-DSC at checkout to receive 30% off. If you already own a previous version, you can upgrade for 50% off the purchase price.

30% discount on Airy 2.0 upgrade

Airy 2

I’ve written about Airy in the past. Eltima Software has upgraded their awesome little YouTube video downloader to 2.0, and brought with it a few handy features.

Airy 2.0 continues to make downloading YouTube videos even easier by adding the ability to download an entire YouTube playlist with a single click. I was able to download several playlists of music videos numbering from 15 to 40 videos with no problem at all. Downloading is the same as previous versions: you paste a YouTube video address into the Airy app URL bar, or use the included browser bookmarklet (my preferred method).

Airy 2 Playlist

The update also adds the ability to pause downloads, so the next time you open Airy, the downloads resume automatically. Given that Airy downloads videos so quickly, this may seem unnecessary, but when you consider downloading a playlist with dozens upon dozens of videos, it can come in handy.

Airy hasn’t added any new formats that I can see. But you can already save videos as MP4, FLV and 3GP formats, as well as save only the audio as an MP3, so I see little room for improvement here anyway.

Airy 2.0 is a little faster, and a little more stable—though I never had problems with the older version to begin with. This is one of those little gems that I’m glad I have around. For years there have been plenty of YouTube video downloaders that were a pain to use, and usually stopped working after a few months. Airy has been around for a while, is not free, and is provided by a stable developer. That means it’s likely to be supported for the foreseeable future.

The latest upgrade runs on Mac OS X 10.7 and later. Previous Airy users can upgrade to the new version for 50% off, and new users can use the coupon code THGM-DSC at checkout time to receive 30% off the regular $19.95 price.

Upgrade your Safari status bar

The very bottom of Safari’s browser window, the Status Bar, by default shows you the web address of the link your mouse is hovering over. Unfortunately this feature doesn’t always work well, and isn’t very informative. Heck, sometimes it doesn’t work at all.

Ultimate Satus Bar is a Safari extension that improves on the built-in status bar in a few ways.

First up is the fact that unlike Safari’s status bar, Ultimate Status Bar only shows up when you hover over a link, saving you around 20 pixels of screen real estate. That’s not a big deal on an iMac, but if you’re surfing on a MacBook Air it can make a big difference.

Ultimate Status Bar for Safari

Ultimate Status Bar places a small Favicon in the corner of the site the link will take you to when possible, as well as an icon for the file type if you happen to be hovering over a downloadable link such as a PDF, TIF, ZIP, etc. And for those downloadable files, it will display the file size if it can be determined – so you can decide if you want to download the file now, or wait until later.

Perhaps the best feature is that short URLs get lengthened and displayed (see the image above). This is not only great for security reasons, but it’ll also help prevent you from getting Rick-Rolled!

Finally, you can customize the appearance of Ultimate Status Bar with the built-in themes.

Ultimate Satus Bar is free, and for the most part works extremely well. I couldn’t get it to display the Favicon for my own site, nor the download size of a ZIP file I hosted (though it was a very large file, so maybe I didn’t wait long enough). But it never failed to show me the link address, expand a short-URL, or hide the bar completely once I moved the mouse.

OS X Yosemite font management advice

Font Book
If you’ve upgraded to Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10), there is one important piece of advice I can give you as it pertains to fonts: Don’t ever, ever, EVER move or delete HelveticaNeueDeskInterface.ttc. You will completely hose your system, requiring a re-install of the system, or some work with a recent backup. Either way, it’s just not worth messing around with.

Unlike Mavericks (10.9), Yosemite does not have a fall-back option when it comes to the main system font. Desktop icons will use Helvetica, but menus, dialog boxes and the rest of the interface will simply be blank and unusable.

The following are the require fonts for Yosemite, and should not be moved or deleted from the System/Library/Fonts folder:

• Apple Color Emoji.ttf
• AppleSDGothicNeo-Bold.otf
• AppleSDGothicNeo-Regular.otf
• Courier.dfont
• Geneva.dfont
• Helvetica.dfont
• HelveticaNeue.dfont
• HelveticaNeueDeskInterface.ttc
• Keyboard.ttf
• LastResort.ttf
• LucidaGrande.ttc
• Menlo.ttc
• Monaco.dfont
• Symbol.ttf
• Times.dfont

All other fonts can be safely moved or deleted if you wish, though some may be required by other app such as Pages, Keynote, etc. But in general, those fonts are found in the main Library folder, not the System folder.