Free font: Pictonic Cube

Pictonic font

Pictonic Cube is a free icon font set that includes the most useful UI elements for your user interface design projects. As a font, it’s very flexible. For example, you can manipulate the icons with CSS properties (e.g. color, size, shadow, etc.). The font files include EOT, SVG, SVGZ, TTF and WOFF. If you want to edit the icons, SVG files (editable in Adobe Illustrator) are also provided for all icons.

Adjust Magic Pad and Magic Mouse tracking speeds independently

Smooth CursorThis little Magic Mouse moved too slow. This little Magic Trackpad moved too fast. This little Mac OS X utility makes them both just right!

It seems as far back as I can remember, I’ve never been happy with the tracking speed of any OS version or mouse I had connected to my Mac—or the software to control the speed with which my cursor flies around the screen.

I’ve always wanted to speed up the movement, or slow it down—depending on if it was an Apple mouse or 3rd party one. Almost all 3rd party drivers either lack features, don’t work at all, or are overkill.

Smooth Cursor aims to solve a lot of those problems, and it does so perfectly.

Smooth Cursor

Smooth Cursor for Mac OS X Lion is a simple utility that lives in your menubar which allows you to adjust the tracking speed of any mouse or trackpad you have connected, or the built-in trackpad on your MacBook. That’s all it does. There are no superfluous features to speak of (NICE!), and it basically only has three settings: Off, On, and Enforce—which forces any app to respect your settings if it tries to override them.

I love Smooth Cursor because it can work with a mouse and trackpad independently. This is perfect for me because I prefer to speed-up my Apple Magic Mouse tracking, but slow down the tracking on my attached Magic Trackpad.

Smooth Cursor is a 64-bit application for Mac OS X Lion, and is absolutely free.

‘Almost Everything That Apple Does That Involves The Internet Is A Mess’

Former Apple engineer Patrick B. Gibson has a provocative post on Tumblr arguing that the power balance between Apple and Google is shifting in Google’s favor.

Specifically, Gibson suggests, Google is getting better at gadget design faster than Apple is getting better at Internet services.

I’m not sure I don’t agree. While Apple has certainly been improving in the area of cloud computing, it still seems like they’re only providing half-efforts. On the other hand, Google has made a living off of offering half-baked services for free.

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Fit gradient to text in Adobe InDesign

One of the cool new features of Adobe InDesign CS6 is the auto-size feature for text boxes. It’s useful for those of us who prefer to keep our layouts neat & tidy. But it also has another very functional feature; ensuring gradients applied to text appear the way you expect them to.

As InDesignSecrets points out: when you apply a gradient to text, the gradient is actually applied to the frame itself, it just appears to be applied to the text inside the frame. So the gradient can appear to extend beyond the text.

Gradient fit to text

In the example above, I have the same black-to-green gradient applied to the text in all three text frames. But as you can see, only the bottom one shows the full gradient. That’s because the frame itself is set to auto-size to fit the text it contains. The two frames above it are larger, and the gradient adjusts to the size of the frame itself, rather than just the text.

So the moral of the story is: if you apply a gradient to text, make sure the text frame itself is sized to fit.