Tagged: Mac OS X

Resize Finder columns to fit long file names

Mac OS X's Column View resize widgetDid you know that you can resize a Mac OS X Finder window when you’re in Column View to fit the widest folder or file name automatically? It’s a simple keyboard shortcut, and can save you a lot of scrolling and manual resizing.

Just hold down the Option key and double click the widget at the bottom of the column divider. I love working in Column View in Mac OS X’s Finder, and this shortcut makes it easier to get a view of full file names.

The Graphic Mac Link Box #2

The Graphic Mac Link BoxA collection of interesting or otherwise helpful links I’ve come across recently that you may not have seen:

Steve Ballmer’s days are numbered

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, has apparently done more to reduce the value of Microsoft than any other product, service or company. That bit of news comes to us from an in-depth opinion article by Ben Brooks.

Your next logo design: RGB vs. CMYK

MycroBurst attempts to answer the question of what color standard you should use when designing your next logo. It isn’t a particularly in-depth article, but I felt like it was a great lead-in for a list of 9 rules for logo design I wrote a long time ago!

25 Weird interview questions from large companies

I can’t say I’ve ever been asked any of these in a job interview, but I have been asked some odd questions that were clearly intended to set me off pace for the purpose of gauging my reaction.

Text Wrap and Fit Content Options in Adobe InDesign

New users of Adobe InDesign may find this article quite helpful. It covers the ins and outs of InDesign’s Text Wrap and Fit Content Options most excellently!

How to Create Eroded Metal Text with Photoshop

Creating eroded, grungy, nasty, weathered metal text in Photoshop is probably something you do 50 times a day, right? Ok, probably not. But if you did need to, this tutorial will make it easy for you!

Apple to introduce us to Lion: Maybe you’ve heard?

Ok, so that was a smartass question. If you’ve been on Twitter, Facebook or the web in general, you’ve probably heard that Apple has a lot to announce Monday at their annual WWDC conference. Expected in the announcement are details about Apple’s MobileMe replacement, iCloud. Also expected are announcements concerning the next release of iOS 5 which will reportedly include Twitter integration and much more. As for me, I’m prepping my hard drive for a rather large (and price discounted) download of Lion from the Mac App Store!

Lo-Fi for Mac brings retro camera effects to your images

Lo-Fi for Mac iconiPhone users have plenty of apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic to apply effects to their images before sharing them. Those apps are all the rage right now, and for good reason. They give you the ability to turn a mediocre photo into a personal masterpiece. For the most part though, Mac users who prefer to shoot photos with dedicated digital cameras had been left out in the cold until Lo-Fi came along.

Lo-Fi brings retro camera effects to your digital photos in a fun and user-friendly application that looks more like the back of a digital camera than it does a desktop application. Lo-Fi doesn’t really do anything that you couldn’t do with a copy of Photoshop and some spare time – except that it does them with the click of a button, at a fraction of the cost, and with fantastic results!

Lo-Fi app

Lo-Fi offers a unique interface for enhancing your digital photos

After launching Lo-Fi, you simply drag a photo into the large viewer window to get started. That’s when the fun starts. On the right side, you’ll find three rows of options to enhance your photos; Film, Mood, and Frame. (more…)

Email archiving in PDF format for the Mac

Email Archiver

Email Archiver creates PDFs of all your emails

There are plenty of reasons for wanting to permanently archive your emails, not the least of which is making sure you have a record of agreements you’ve made with clients. Whatever your reason for wanting to archive your emails, there is a simple solution for Mac users that ensures future accessibility.

Email Archiver creates a PDF file of each and every email in Mac OS X’s Mail application. The advantage of a PDF archive is that they are compatible with so many applications, thus making it future proof. The app simply scans all (or some) of your mailboxes and folders in Mail and creates a PDF of the mail, including a full email header for searching purposes, and creates PDFs of each email in hierarchical folders in the Finder location of your choice.

Email Archiver normally costs $9.99, but is free right now on the Mac App Store.

Quickly add events to your iCal calendar with Remind Me Later

I love the simplicity of iCal as my calendar application of choice on the Mac. But one thing that seems unnecessarily cumbersome is adding events to the calendar.

When I want to add a simple reminder to my calendar, I have to launch iCal, find the date (if I’m lucky it’s in the same week I happen to be displaying), click to add an event, double the event name to edit it, click yet again to make time adjustments, then place a bandage on my bleeding head from banging it on my desk. It shouldn’t be that difficult.

Thankfully, Remind Me Later (Free) relieves me of the keystrokes and the bleeding head.

Remind Me Later

Remind Me Later makes adding events to iCal easy

Remind Me Later lives in the menubar, and allows me to add calendar events using simple plain language in a single dialog box which I can activate with a keyboard shortcut, or clicking the icon in the menubar. It’s even smart enough to understand that fri 530pm means “this Friday” at “5:30 pm.” I just love how simple the interface is, and am amazed at how such a single feature app can make my day easier.

Once you download the app from the website or the Apple Mac Store, you make a few configurations in the preferences and you’re off and running. If you use iCal, and add frequent new events, Remind Me Later is virtually the perfect add-on.

Simple screenshots with Captur

Captur iconThe ability to capture screenshots in Mac OS X has been built-in from day one. But as is the case with most built-in features, third-part developers often find simpler/better ways of doing things. Users who create screenshots generally fall into two categories; those who have simple screen capture needs, and those who need more than just a full-screen, or Finder window capture.

If you fall into the first category, Apple’s built-in screen capture app (Grab) and the associated keyboard shortcuts are often all you need. There are a few shortcomings with using Grab, and that’s where Captur comes in.
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SneakPeek allows you to view your InDesign and Illustrator files on the Mac, iPhone or iPad

When Apple introduced Quick Look in the Mac OS it was a huge productivity boost to many designers and photographers. Quick Look allows you to view QuickTime compatible files in an overlay right in the Finder simply by selecting the icon of the file and pressing the Space Bar. It wasn’t long before users began seeking out plugins to view more file types than just PDFs and JPG images though.

SneakPeek Pro, by Code Line Communications (the company that brought us Art Directors Toolkit, arrived on the scene and took Quick Look to a new level. This simple Preference Pane allows you to view layered Adobe Photoshop files, Illustrator .ai and .eps files, and InDesign documents. SneakPeek doesn’t stop with just a preview image of your document though. The Quick Look overlay SneakPeek provides also displays information about Illustrator and InDesign files, such as the colors used, the images placed in the document, fonts used, and general file information such as multiple page previews (see the image below).

SneakPeek for Mac

SneakPeek Pro for Mac allows you to view your graphics files in the Finder

I’ve found SneakPeek Pro for Mac to be a valuable addition to any designer’s toolbox. But with more and more designers working on the road, the ability to view graphics files on the iPhone would be nice addition. Thankfully, Code Line has finally brought the power and usefulness of SneakPeek to iOS device users.

SneakPeek renders previews of graphics files stored on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It works by providing an “Open in SneakPeek” button to your favorite iOS applications like Mail, Dropbox, Safari and just about any app that gives you access to files.

SneakPeek for iOS

SneakPeek for iOS allows you to view the same file information as the desktop version

With SneakPeek installed on your iPhone, you can check the InDesign file for a client’s new business card layout that just got emailed to you without waiting to get back to the office. And rather than viewing a jagged JPG file attached to an email of a new logo, you can view the actual Illustrator file. SneakPeek for iOS also offers you the same file information as SneakPeek Pro for the Mac – such as fonts, images and colors used.

SneakPeek Pro for Mac is available for $19.95, and offers a 15-day demo for you to test out. SneakPeek for iOS devices can be had for only $9.99 directly from the Apple App Store. Both versions of SneakPeek can save you a lot of time, and are well worth the cost of ownership.

Take control of your Mac OS X Finder windows

Mac OS X FinderThere are numerous ways to customize your Mac’s appearance, and one of the things I love about OS X is the ability to quickly change the views of your Finder windows using easy to remember keyboard shortcuts.

Here’s a list of some of the commonly used keyboard shortcuts that will allow you to customize the way you view files in Mac OS X’s Finder.

  • Command + Option + T hides the toolbar across the top of your window
  • Command + Option + S hides the sidebar on the left edge of your window
  • Command + [ takes you back
  • Command = ] takes you forward
  • Command + Up Arrow opens enclosed folder
  • Command + Control + Up Arrow opens enclosed folder in a new window
  • Command + Down Arrow opens the highlighted item

Here is a more complete collection of keyboard shortcuts, straight from Apple.

Disk Drill recovers deleted files (get 15% off!)

Disk Drill iconFile recovery applications have been around since the early days of the Mac OS. There’s nothing worse than deleting a file, only to realize a few days later that you really didn’t want to do that, and you have no backup.

Apple has made backing up your hard drive easy when it began including Time Machine with every Mac. The problem is, not everyone has an external (or a second internal) hard drive for Time Machine to back up to. This can be particularly troublesome if you’re on the road with your Mac Book and you accidentally delete a file you need. If you have Disk Drill Pro installed, you may be in luck.

Disk Drill, by Cleverfiles, offers affordable ($89 for the Pro version – Get 15% OFF using coupon code TGRC-MC at checkout) drive monitoring and file recovery from HFS, HFS+, FAT, NTFS and other file systems, including USB and Firewire drives and memory cards from your digital camera.
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Run Windows on your Mac – save $30!

If you need to run that one or two Windows apps, there’s no need to buy a separate PC to do it. True, Apple has made it possible to boot into Windows natively, but the process is cumbersome and not very flexible – especially in a cross-platform workflow.

Parallels on sale for $50, and get 10 other great apps as a bonus

Parallels on sale for $50, and get 10 other great apps as a bonus

Parallels allows you to run Windows right inside the comfort of Mac OS X, and it does so extremely well – allowing you to Drag-and-drop files between Windows and Mac applications, launch Windows applications from your Mac dock, and do so with a great amount of speed and control.

Parallels normally sells for $79.99, but you can get Parallels 6 for $49.99 for the next few days via the MacUpdate Bundle – which includes 10 other great apps like 1Password, TechTool Pro 5, Civilization IV, and A Better Finder Rename.

If you do choose to purchase the bundle, I appreciate you using the affiliate link I’ve provided!