Category: Mac & OS X

Extensis Universal Type Server: font management for large groups

Dealing with lots of fonts is no small task. This is especially true in ad agency, design firm and pre-press environments. Not only does everyone need to have the same fonts, but companies tend to want to make sure all the fonts are of high-quality, and legally owned. This is where font server management applications come into play. Where desktop font managers control fonts on an individual user’s machine, a server-based font manager handles it for many users over the network. Extensis Universal Type Server (UTS) is just the tool for the job. UTS picks-up where Suitcase Fusion leaves off, by managing large collections of fonts from a server, and quickly deploying them to users as needed. (more…)

Order your images when viewing with Quick Look

Reader RhymingDesigner sent me a great tip for arranging the order in which OSX displays files using Quick Look that I thought was pretty cool, so I thought I would share it with everyone. You can force Quick Look to display files in a desired order by Command + clicking on files in the Finder in the order you want to view them before hitting the space bar to launch Quick Look. Quick Look will then display the images in the order you clicked on them, rather than the order in which they appear in the Finder window. In the image above, I Command + clicked the stickynotes image first, then the other two files. So even though the Pages document is first in the folder listing, the stickynotes image appears first in Quick Look. Pretty cool!

Dropbox offers free file storage, syncing, and sharing over the Web

There are a ton of file-sharing sites out there. Most all of them force you to use a cumbersome Web interface, and few offer the ease of syncing your files between computers. Dropbox allows you to store, sync and share your files online as easily as drag-and-dropping your files or folders on the Dropbox folder on your desktop (or wherever else you wish to keep it). Files of any kind are automatically uploaded and made available online. Those files are also synced with any other Mac you have Dropbox installed on. But here’s where it gets interesting… (more…)

Glims offers cool Safari customization

There aren’t many plugins or add-ons for Safari, and even less since Leopard’s release. So when a new one comes along, I download it and give it a run-through right away. One that caught my eye this past week is Glims, by MacHangout. Glims adds a myriad of features to Safari, including Tabs, Thumbnails, Full Screen, Search Engines, Search Suggestions, Forms autocomplete on, Dated download folders, Type Ahead, and more. Unlike Saft, perhaps the most popular plugin for Safari, Glims is absolutely free. When I was using Safari as my main browser, I used Saft, and was completely frustrated with the quirky nature of it – as well as the fact that it broke every time Apple made the slightest little change to Safari, including Security Updates. So far Glims has been working perfectly, and has replaced all the features I actually used from Saft.

  • Adds thumbnails to Google.com search results
  • Adds thumbnails to Yahoo.com search results
  • Adds search engines to the default Google search tab
  • Adds full-screen browsing capability
  • Adds Favicons to tab labels
  • Undo “Close Tab” (cmd-z)
  • Re-opens last session when Safari starts
  • Auto-Closes download window
  • Focus last selected tab
  • Always open links in a new tab
  • Type-ahead support (auto cmd-f)
  • Sets the focus on the search field when opening a new window
  • Adds Amazon’s information banner on Google.com search results
  • Adds Amazon’s information banner on Yahoo.com search results
  • Adds a “Max Window Size” menu item to resize the Safari window
  • Forms autocomplete always on
  • Dated download folders
  • Glims works with Safari 3.0.4 (4525.18) or later in Tiger or Leopard. If you’re looking to customize Safari, Glims may be just what the doctor ordered!

    Eliminate shadows in Leopard screenshots

    In the last few months one of my favorite sites, CreativeTechsQuickTips, has blogged two of my previous articles (Easily remove an OSX System Preference Pane, and Copy multiple Photoshop layers into a new document without flattening). Today I’m happy to return the favor with this tip from CreativeTechs on eliminating shadows you get when using Command + Shift + 4 in Leopard screenshots. To do it, simply fire up OSX’s Terminal application (located in Applications/Utilities) and enter the following:

     defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true

    Then logout and log back in, or restart. Your screenshots should now be void of shadows. As noted in the CreativeTechs article, this method works well. But for the really picky designer, the artifacts left around the rounded corners of windows (as seen above) can be a real nuisance. Be sure to check out the link at the bottom of the article that will make a Photoshop Action available which gets rid of the Leopard shadow, and replaces it with a custom layer style which you can turn on and off as you wish. By the way, if you wish to set the shadow defaults back to normal, you can do so by opening the Terminal again and entering the following:

     defaults delete com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow

    Happy shadow hacking!

    Customize OSX’s Mail “Flag” icon

    UsingMac has a nifty tutorial on how to change the little “Flag” icon used in OSX’s Mail application. Using the built-in flag feature (Command + Shift + L) is a great way to bookmark/highlight an email, but for me the flag icon that ships with Mail doesn’t stand out enough. This simple tutorial not only shows you how to customize the icon, but makes the star icons you see in the image above available for download.

    How to easily remove an OS X system preference pane

    TUAW reports on an easy way to remove system preference panes. Simply right-clicking on a system preference pane in the Others section (which are the custom preferences installed by user applications) will present you with the option of removing them, which moves them to the OSX trash. While this is a simple OSX tip, it’s great for those who don’t want to go digging through their various Library folders looking for the actual preference pane manually.

    Create a new tab with the last site you visited in your browser

    If you’re reading a Web page and want to go back to the last site you visited without leaving the current site you’re on, there’s a simple trick to allow you to do so. Hold down the Command (Apple) key and click the Back button in Firefox or Safari. The site you’re currently visiting remains open and the previous site you visited will open in a new tab.

    Shrink O’Matic makes image resizing easy

    With the release of Adobe AIR, the flood of AIR apps are beginning to roll in. If you don’t know, Adobe AIR is a development environment which allows developers to use Flash, Flex and Ajax to create rich Internet applications which are platform independent. You can download Adobe AIR here. One AIR app that caught my eye is Shrink O’Matic, which allows you to easily (batch) resize (shrink) images. It handles JPGs, GIFs and PNGs. Simply drag and drop images and they’ll be resized as you wish! Options allow you to choose the output sizes, names and formats.

    What’s in your Firefox?

    With Firefox 3 in the final stages of beta, I’ve been looking at what extensions I use and whether or not I wish to continue using them. Since most extensions don’t work in the beta version of Firefox without the use of Nightly Tester Tools, I’ve been living without most of them for a while. Below is a list of extensions I consider must-have. All the extensions I’ve listed either work already with Firefox 3rc1, or work with Nightly Tester Tools forcing them to work. (more…)