Category: Mac & OS X

Suitcase Fusion 2 now compatible with Tiger

Extensis has released an update to Suitcase Fusion 2, their industry-leading font management application, bringing full Mac OSX 10.4 (Tiger) compatibility. Version 13.1 also includes a number of new features and fixed issues, including:

  • New ability to search for fonts by the “Date Added” to Suitcase Fusion.
  • Added ability to search by “Keyword” with the QuickFind tool.
  • New “Library” column in the Fonts pane shows where your fonts are located.
  • Updated font corruption warnings when adding fonts.
  • Ability to disable warnings from Suitcase Fusion 2.
  • Plug-in manager improvements, including the ability to install more than one copy of a plug-in for multiple versions of a host application.
  • Automatic removal of obsolete plug-ins.
  • Suitcase Fusion 2 users on Mac OS X v10.4 (Tiger) now have access to plug-ins for Adobe CS4 and Quark 8.

This is a free update for all current Suitcase Fusion 2 users. It’s easy to upgrade your current installation if you have Suitcase Fusion 2 currently installed. To update, from the Suitcase Fusion 2 menu, choose Check for Updates and follow the instructions to download and apply the update.

Safari 4 Top Sites vs. Firefox Fast Dial extension

The recently released Safari 4 introduced a new feature called Top Sites which places thumbnails of your most recently visited sites in a tab for easy clicking. Firefox has had a similar feature for quite some time in the form of an extension called FastDial. So which one is more useful? Obviously, it depends on which browser you use. Here’s a quick comparison of each. (more…)

Creating image mosaics

Creating an image mosaic can be a fun and creative way to spice up your personal or commercial project. Depending on your needs, there are a few different resources available to help you out with what would be virtually impossible to do manually unless you had an enormous amount of patience and an endless supply of images to work with. The Image Mosaic Generator is a Web-based image mosaic creator. This Web app allows you to upload the full sized image you wish to create a mosaic of, then wait while it does its magic. The process if fairly quick, and you can download the final result. You have no control over the images used to create the mosaic, but it’s certainly the fastest and easiest way to go about creating the mosaic. For those who need much more control over the mosaic, you can try Funtastic Photos, which I reviewed for Macworld’s Gems blog here. An image mosaic feature is built-in. It’s a great program that does a whole lot of other things beyond creating image mosaics. For a more dedicated image mosaic creation app, the best one I’ve come across is MacOSaiX. This dedicated image mosaic creation app has been around for a long time, and is probably the most customizable app for creating image mosaics. It offers the ability to choose which photos are used to create the mosaic from images you already have on your Mac, or use Google or Flickr image searches to find more. You can also have it use Font Glyphs if you so choose. MacOSaix is also quite intelligent when choosing which photos are used where in the final Mosaic, based on the color found in the images. You can also choose which shape the photos are, and how many tiles (images) are used to create the final mosaic. Be warned though, the larger the mosaic you wish to create, the longer it will take to create. And by longer, I mean REALLY LONG, as in hours in some cases. But the results from MacOSaiX are stunning to say the least, and well worth the wait.

Preview your Photoshop brush sets without loading them

Adobe PhotoshopIf you’ve followed this site for any amount of time, you no doubt noticed that I have a great fondness for Photoshop brushes. I download every decent brush set I come across. My custom brushes folder has hundreds upon hundreds of brush files. One thing that has always bugged me is that in most cases, I have no idea what ALL the brushes look like before I bother loading them into Photoshop to preview. Most sites that offer brushes create a preview image that shows off only one or two of the brushes in the set, and typically they apply other Photoshop effects to make them look better in the preview. Thankfully, the options I’ve covered below make previewing your brushes easier. (more…)

Add a right-click Print Document option to OSX contextual menus

Apple AutomatorIf you’re familiar with Windows, you know you can print a document from the desktop simply by right-clicking on it and choosing the print document option. If I recall, we had that option on the Mac back in OS9 and earlier. While we have Desktop printers, I don’t care for having more icons sitting on my Desktop. I also don’t care to have them in my Dock, so the drag & drop method is out too. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to get OSX to have a Print Document option in the contextual menus just a right-click away. (more…)

Switching between multiple libraries in iPhoto

You may have known that you can create and maintain multiple iPhoto libraries by holding down the Option key when clicking the iPhoto icon in the Dock. This is a useful feature for those who have large collections of photos. In the past, you had to hold the Option key down while launching iPhoto in order to access the dialog box which allowed you to choose which library to open. With iPhoto ’09, you can now just double click the iPhoto library in your Pictures folder to access the library you want to work with. Keep in mind that iPhoto will “remember” the last library you had open, so clicking the iPhoto icon without holding the Option key down will open the last library you worked with. Why would you want to create multiple iPhoto libraries? Well, I like to create a new library for each year. Not only does iPhoto load faster, but it makes it much easier to back up each library to DVDs.

Cool OSX clock screensaver

I came across this screensaver the other day and thought it was so cool I couldn’t wait to share it. Analogy, from Jesson Yip, is a typographic clock that presents an everyday object with a fresh twist.

The screensaver looks just like what you see above, and also offers an inverted version on a black background, which you configure in the screensaver prefs.

Prevent screen dimming, screensavers and sleep on your laptop with Caffeine

If you work on a MacBook or MacBook Pro you probably have the laptop set to sleep after a certain amount of time, and the screen to dim after a certain period of inactivity, in order to save battery life. The problem is that sometimes the dimming or sleep feature activates at an inopportune time – such as reading long documents or Web pages. You could adjust your EnergySaver preference settings, but that’s a pain – and if you forget to switch it back, your battery drains even faster. Enter Caffeine from Lighthead Software. This free piece of software prevents your Mac from automatically going to sleep, dimming the screen or starting screen savers. Caffeine is easily activated by clicking the menubar icon. Another click deactivates it. You can also tell Caffeine to turn off after a specified number of minutes by Command + clicking on the icon. A checkbox in the preferences sets Caffeine as a startup application, so it’s always there when you need it. I recently started using Caffeine on my MacBook Pro and love it. It’s a one-trick pony, but it does the trick very well.

Free Silk icon collection – 1,000 icons for your Web design projects

Free icon collections are nothing new, darn near everyone offers a few icons here and there for download. But rarely does a collection the size of Silk come along, let alone for free. Mark James’ wildly popular Silk icon collection has grown from just over 300 icons in 2005, to over 1,000 now. With the release of version 1.3 of Silk, James is now calling the set “complete.” The Silk icon collection (16×16 pixel, .png format) can be downloaded for free, but comes attached with the CreativeCommons Attribution License, meaning you must credit James with a link on your site if you use them.