If you find yourself taking screenshots a lot, you no doubt dumped Mac OSX’s built-in screen capture utility long ago. My preferred screen capture app is Snapz Pro. But the one area that few apps do well is capture an entire Web page (including the portion not currently on screen). There are a few stand-alone apps that can do this, but most require you to manually type the URL into the app for it to work.Since I use Firefox, I have a few options available that are fully integrated into the browser to accomplish the task. My favorite is Pearl Crescent Page Saver (PCPS). PCPS adds a little camera icon to your toolbar that allows you to save an entire Web page, the visible portion of the page, or a single frame on the page as a .jpg or .png file. If you don’t care for a button in the toolbar, you can also assign a keyboard shortcut, or use the contextual menu it adds to the browser. PCPS works perfectly capturing a page, including a page containing Flash content, an area that many screen capture utilities seem to have great difficulty with. PCPS offers several more configuration options that make working with it a productive experience, particularly for bloggers with a fixed-width site. PCPS not only allows you to set the file format, including the JPG quality, but you can customize the output size of the image by percentage or pixel-width dimensions. Your image is ready to upload immediately. You can even have a custom naming convention set up via the preferences. There are several add-ons that offer screen-capture capability to Firefox, but I’ve found Pearl Crescent Page Saver to be stable, reliable, and offering just enough in the way of customization to satisfy my needs.
There’s no valid reason to bother with this – heck, it’s not even Halloween yet. But I came across this site and it’s fun as heck to mess around with. Upload a photo of yourself and go to work turning yourself into Frankenstein, a vampire, and more. Just visit the Buffalo Wild Wings Night Hunger site to get started monsterizing yourself. A tightly cropped head shot with a simple background work best. This is the second time I’ve referred you to a Buffalo Wild Wings site because it was über-cool! The main Buffalo Wild Wings site I recently wrote about is awesome as well.
Long-time Mac users probably remember the day when Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator were the only games in town. With Mac OS 9 and the early days of Mac OS X, IE was the lean, mean, speed-machine; while Navigator was continuing its fast slide to irrelevance. But with OS X’s Unix underpinnings, and its sleek new GUI, it wasn’t long until developers started porting old browsers, or releasing all new ones to run on Apple’s shiny new OS. One of the earliest non-MS/Mozilla browsers was OmniWeb. It was easily faster than most anything out there, had a slick interface, and boasted features few other browsers offered at the time, such as tabs on the side, per-site preferences, built-in ad-blocking, and more. Due to Microsoft’s barely-an-effort port of IE to OS X, and Netscape Navigator suffering from never-ending software bloat, the time was right for other vendors to make their move. OmniWeb’s popularity exploded, and with it came a (welcome) blistering onslaught of Web browsers available for the Mac. (more…)
If you’ve followed this site for a long time, you’ll know my utter hatred for Flash Web sites. I find them clunky, slow and generally not worth the time it takes to load when all is said-and-done. In most cases, it appears that the designer built the site simply to show off the fact that they know every nifty Flash trick in the book. But there are always exceptions, and Buffalo Wild Wings is one of them.The site is uber-cool. Moving your mouse over virtually everything results in something happening. Sometimes it’s as simple as a sound-effect, other times a menu pops-up, or a list of locations, etc. Buffalo Wild Wings is a fun sports bar – so it doesn’t have to present valuable information in an overly-simplified matter. The site simply exists to promote itself, tell you a bit about the business, where they’re located, and notify you of any promotions they may have going on. I love the fact that it’s a single-page site, and I’m not forced to sit through worthless intro-videos on every page. Check it out!
If the idea for your next project includes graffiti lettering, then venture on over to Graffiti Creator to start vandalizing your desktop! The site, run by Mike Wigén, claims to be the first “graffiti generator” on the Web. I won’t argue the point, but I will say that it’s one of the best ones I’ve used. It allows just enough customization to make it interesting, yet simple enough to save the image and easily trace in Adobe Illustrator if need be (hint-hint).
I haven’t yet seen EVERY site on the Web, but Bio-Bak is definitely one of the coolest sites I’ve seen in as long as I can remember. Upon entering the site, you navigate around simply by “dragging” the page around your screen. I recommend going with the full screen mode. You must find the toolbox, then the metal detector. Once you do that, the metal detector will help you find the missing tools. Once you’ve collected all the tools, you can “zoom out” on the site to see the much larger picture. And trust me, it’s worth seeing!There’s a lot of animated illustration work on this site – quite frankly the whole thing is just stunning. Needless to say, if your client is looking for something out of this world for their Web site, this guy can probably help you out.
If you’re new to CSS, or want to learn CSS to bring your Web site into the modern-day Web, check out this helpful post containing links to gain a basic understanding of CSS and all that it can do for you.
4 Free graphics editors
Seashore – open source image editor using Cocoa framework. Inkscape – open source vector graphics editor similar to Illustrator & CorelDraw CinePaint – open source image editor that supports 8, 16 & 32-bit images Gimp – the most popular open source image editor with a huge following of users
Dealing with disk fragmentation in OSX
OS X does a great job at minimizing file fragmentation by rewriting files in contiguous space when a file is opened, is under 20MB and contains more than eight fragments. This works quite well to prevent heavy file fragmentation, but what it doesn’t prevent is free space fragmentation. TheAppleBlog covers disk framentation in this informative article. The article includes a brief tutorial on how to tell if your free space is fragmented without the use of a commercial program.
Adobe Creative Suite tips
InDesignSecrets offers a tutorial on how to customize your Links Panel and have the settings stick across workspace resets and app restarts. VectorDiary has a quick tutorial showing you how to converge points together using the Average function. The Average function is pretty powerful, and wildly under-used.
Snap2Objects discusses all aspects of typography, including anatomy, categories, adjustments and more in Fonts101. The article is fairly informative, and includes plenty of links to find fonts, font managers, and more type-related articles.
If you’re not on Twitter, you’re missing out on a great resource. You can follow me on Twitter to receive tips and links I don’t normally post here, as well as general discussion. If you’re already using Twitter and looking for a more advanced desktop client, you might want to check out atebits on Monday – as they’re scheduled to release a desktop version of their popular iPhone Twitter client, Tweetie. There’s a brief intro video posted their now, and it looks fantastic. If you use the popular Evernote service, you’ll be interested in knowing that they now have Twitter integration.
There are plenty of sites that offer the opportunity to view other designer’s work on the Web. The latest I’ve come across is DesignFridge. The site offers a clean interface for viewing inspirational Web design from users around the world. The gallery is categorized by style, so it’s easy to find samples of just what you’re looking for.
Sigurdur Armannsson has put together an exhaustive list of typography-related RSS feeds over at Font.is. Every site in the list has a brief description and a link to the RSS feed. If you prefer to grab them all, he has made an OPML file available for download.