Tagged: Mac OS X

OS X Yosemite font management advice

Font Book
If you’ve upgraded to Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10), there is one important piece of advice I can give you as it pertains to fonts: Don’t ever, ever, EVER move or delete HelveticaNeueDeskInterface.ttc. You will completely hose your system, requiring a re-install of the system, or some work with a recent backup. Either way, it’s just not worth messing around with.

Unlike Mavericks (10.9), Yosemite does not have a fall-back option when it comes to the main system font. Desktop icons will use Helvetica, but menus, dialog boxes and the rest of the interface will simply be blank and unusable.

The following are the require fonts for Yosemite, and should not be moved or deleted from the System/Library/Fonts folder:

• Apple Color Emoji.ttf
• AppleSDGothicNeo-Bold.otf
• AppleSDGothicNeo-Regular.otf
• Courier.dfont
• Geneva.dfont
• Helvetica.dfont
• HelveticaNeue.dfont
• HelveticaNeueDeskInterface.ttc
• Keyboard.ttf
• LastResort.ttf
• LucidaGrande.ttc
• Menlo.ttc
• Monaco.dfont
• Symbol.ttf
• Times.dfont

All other fonts can be safely moved or deleted if you wish, though some may be required by other app such as Pages, Keynote, etc. But in general, those fonts are found in the main Library folder, not the System folder.

The ‘Genius’ inside your computer


EtreCheck is a simple little app to display the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It was designed by an Apple engineer, and is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to help people help you with your Mac.

It’s a nifty little utility that will list every daemon, launch agent, kernel extension and plugin running on your system, as well as some other insightful information. It’s like having a Apple Genius living inside your Mac. The app really does nothing you can’t do with the Terminal, but it makes it much easier to read and decipher.

Advice: Building the best graphic design toolbox

There is no perfect set of tools for graphic designers. We’re all unique, we all work in different ways, and budgets always come in to play. I’ve put together a breakdown of major factors when building the best graphic design hardware and software toolbox based on my experience. Consider the following as a guide, rather than a set of absolute rules.
Design Toolbox

Keep it simple

I’ve been a graphic designer for 30 years, using the Macintosh the entire time to produce work for some great clients. I’ve worked for ad agencies large and small, a design firm, printing companies, and I’ve freelanced full and part time. Over the years I’ve learned a few short rules as it pertains to building my design toolbox and getting things done—and it has held true everywhere I’ve worked. Those rules are: keep it simple no matter the cost, don’t get caught up in software trends and gimmicks, buy a little more than you think you need, because you will grow into it. The following is more specific advice for building your design toolbox. (more…)

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.

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.

Worth mentioning:

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.

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.

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!

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…)

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.