Apps & Utilities for Mac OS X that I can’t live without: Part 2

My Favorite Apps: Part 2

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.

RenameRename
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.

AppCleanerAppCleaner
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.

TrashIt!TrashIt!
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.

ApptivateApptivate
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.

YoinkYoink
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.

Worth mentioning:

OnyXOnyx
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.

1Password1Password
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.

Suitcase FusionSuitcase Fusion
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.

TweetbotTweetbot
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!

Photoshop’s Align & Snap to Pixel Grid explained

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.

Apps & Utilities for Mac OS X I can’t live without: Part 1

Mac apps I can't live without

“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…)

Aligning punctuation in Numbered Lists in Adobe InDesign

I come across files all the time where the designer used multiple blank spaces, or even separate text boxes to align the period after the numbers in a numbered list in their InDesign document. It’s a royal pain in the ass to fix, and it actually is a lot more difficult to do than just doing it the proper way to begin with.

InDesign numbered lists

To align the punctuation in numbered lists, the first thing you do is NOT type numbers. Simply select the items in your list and click the Numbered List icon in the Control Bar (see image above). This will add the numbers for you.

To align the punctuation, Option + Click the same Numbered List icon in the Control Bar and adjust the Alignment of your list to Right Justified.

InDesign numbered list alignment

Next, click the Preview checkbox in the lower left corner of the dialog box so you can see your adjustments updated live, and adjust the Left Indent amount until there is a sufficient amount of space after the numbers and before the text of the list.

Finally, adjust the First Line Indent amount by a negative number until your satisfied with the look of the list. The amounts in the screenshot above is what I used to achieve the fixed list on the right.

The beauty of doing it this way is that you can go back later and make adjustments to all your lists at once, no hitting the space bar multiple times, no setting multiple tabs, no hassle!

New color picker for web designers and developers

Skala Color plug-in
If you’re a web designer, you’re no doubt a bit frustrated with OS X’s built-in color picker. Skala Color aims to improve it with a plug-in that enhances the standard color picker by adding a few handy features.

Skala Color works by adding a tab to the color picker. It works in much the same way – you adjust the brightness and saturation by dragging the color sample circle around. You can also adjust the hue, on the fly, by dragging the outer edge of the circle around. As you adjust the color, a larger sample bar appears allowing you to really target the exact hue you’re looking for.
(more…)