Reckoner font is free for commercial use and includes a regular and bold face, plus some special characters. It’s an all-caps font, so you’re pretty much limited to headlines and logo type, but it looks great.
Shaun McGill explains his rather unpleasant experience buying a Windows 8 laptop. Having used Windows 7 for a few years, I was pleasantly surprised at how easily I was able to adapt to the Windows experience. But from all I’ve read, Windows 8 is amateur hour in comparison. If Windows 7 was Mac OS X, then Windows 8 is closer to DOS in comparison. It just doesn’t make any sense.
I’m not sure where Microsoft is going with their future OS versions, but I do know that if they want to stop the continued trip to consumer irrelevance, they had better make a full stop and reverse.
Fonts. We love them. From cool to crazy, free and open source to extremely expensive, there are a massive number of fonts in the world, and we want to collect them all for current and future projects.
While impressive, an ever-expanding personal font collection can become unwieldy, problematic and even unusable over time.
Join Extensis font management expert Jim Kidwell in this free webcast to learn how to:
- Remove corrupt fonts from your workflow
- Dispel the dreaded “missing font” dialog box in Creative Cloud apps
- Efficiently organize your font collection
- Speed font prototyping
- Remove font duplicates
- Clean font caches
- And more
When you want to show off your app or other visuals meant for specific devices, it’s always best to show them in the context of how they’ll be used. PlaceIt takes your images and app screenshots and places it within an environment for a final photo that can be used as marketing collateral. There are tons of environments, or stages as they call them, you can place your image in, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, outdoor boards and more.
You simply choose the stage you want, upload your image to PlaceIt, and bam, you have a clean image showing off your screenshot as it will be seen by potential viewers.
The small comp images (400×300 pixels) are free, with larger images costing $8 to $80 depending on size and usage. That may seem expensive, but when you consider the cost of buying a stock photo, and the time it would take to mask out the image area and drop your image in, it’s well worth it.
When Adobe shipped Creative Cloud, Bridge was missing a feature many designers and photographers use quite often – the Output module. The Output module allows you to select folders of images and create a customizable contact sheet in PDF or Web Gallery format.
Thankfully, Adobe has made the Output module available as a stand-alone install, which you can download here. It’s fairly simple to install, and of course, absolutely free to all Creative Cloud users.
BlendMeIn is a nifty new Photoshop and Illustrator extension that allows you to search thousands of assets, including popular icon packs, without leaving Photoshop or Illustrator, and place them in your document directly via a Panel.
Unlike FlatIcons, which I recently reviewed, the artwork available in BlendMeIn is free via Creative Commons Attribution license. Unlike FlatIcons, it works in Adobe Illustrator as well as Photoshop. I still prefer FlatIcons, but this is a great option.
Last week, I gave you part one of my list. Today I offer you part two of my list of OS X apps I can’t live without. Some I’ve used for quite a long time, some are a recent discover, but all of them have found a permanent home on my Mac.
There are plenty of file renamer apps available, but if you only need to use a tool like this once in a while, it’s a shame to spend $10 to $20 on it. Rename offers the most important features that more popular bulk file renamer apps have, and is free of charge. I don’t use it often, but when I do I’m glad I found this little gem.
After all these years, you would think Apple could come up with a way to make it easy to delete an application and ALL its associated files. Until that happens, AppCleaner does the job extremely well – and it does it automatically. Drag an app to the Trash and AppCleaner pops up a window asking if you want to delete any files it finds that appear to be related to that app (prefs, configuration files, etc.) If you download and install a lot of different apps, AppCleaner is something you’ll want to have around, and it’s absolutely free.
If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s when a file refuses to be deleted. The Finder somehow believes I don’t have permission, it’s in use, or whatever stupid reason. TrashIt! to the rescue. I keep the icon in the Finder window toolbar so it’s only a click away when I need it. TrashIt! simply asks for your admin password to delete any stuck file. It beats having to launch the Terminal and typing the command to delete a file. TrashIt! is free, and has saved me from throwing large heavy objects through my office window many, many times.
Get instant access to files & folders, or launch apps and scripts with a quick keyboard shortcut. There are tons of file launchers available today, but Apptivate is simple and works extremely well. I particularly like the ability to assign a sequence of key shortcuts to activate items in Apptivate. It also allows you to overwrite system shortcuts with a pref setting. Apptivate is free.
Drag & drop is fantastic. I use it constantly. But if you use apps in Full Screen mode, have apps in separate spaces, or have a hard time motivating yourself to hold the mouse button down while you navigate from one place to another in order to drop the file in the right spot, then it’s probably not a lot of fun. I found Yoink to be a real life-saver, popping-up a window when you start dragging a file and allowing you to “store” it there until you’re ready to drop it somewhere else. I love it because I can drag multiple files into the window one at a time from various Finder windows, then drop them all at once in an email. Yoink is available in the Mac App Store for $3.99.
Onyx is the one-stop-shop for tweaking your Mac, and keeping it running smoothly. With the ability to run maintenance routines and customize the Mac OS, it offers something for everyone. It’s updated frequently, and best of all, it’s absolutely free. This is one of those apps that I can’t believe everyone doesn’t already have installed.
For creating, storing, and entering passwords for websites, there’s simply nothing better. And when you add in the ability to store credit card info, and software license info, 1Password is one app I can’t live without. $50 will get you a single-user license, while $70 gets you a family license (5 users). 1Password is available via the Mac App Store or directly from the developer.
Every designer needs a font manager. There are only a few options available, and Suitcase is the king of the mountain. Every new version brings useful features for designers, updates for new versions of Adobe’s Creative Suite are timely, and it’s been rock-solid for me for years. In particular, Fusion’s Quick Match feature is invaluable. Fusion costs $100, with upgrades priced at $50.
There are a ton of 3rd party Twitter applications available, but none of them come close to Tweetbot – which strikes the perfect balance between features and usability. Tweetbot isn’t cheap. At $20, it’s not for the casual user. But if you spend a lot of time on Twitter, it’s worth every penny!
When working with the vector tools (such as the shape tools), Photoshop has a preference to “Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid”. This preference is extremely helpful when creating shapes that need solid, straight edges as it snaps the edges of the shapes to be fully aligned to a pixel, preventing soft, anti-aliased edges. Julieanne Kost explains it as simply as I’ve seen.
“When it comes to utilities and applications for my Mac, I must admit I’m a bit of a whore.”
I’ll date lots of them, and toss them aside just as quickly as I come across them. But there are some that just seem to stick around. I absolutely love them, and can’t imagine my Mac-using life without them. Here is part one of my list of OS X apps I love: (more…)