Your virtual design assistant: xScope 4

xScope 4 text tool front image

Designing layouts, measuring design elements, inspecting on-screen graphics and layouts, and sending screenshots of these elements across workgroups can be challenging. A couple of years ago, the IconFactory and Artis Software developed xScope for this purpose. The first versions of this app gave users a simple tool to work with rulers, guides and screens across all applications. It was better than competing products, which were limited by bad design and limited feature sets, but at least the first version of xScope had a limited feature set of its own. Version 3 was a big improvement and now there’s xScope 4 with no less than 80 improvements and new features.

Typinator 6 Date Steps — conversion to European date format example

Typinator 6

Typinator 6 comes with a good example of how you can use regular expressions to increment (and decrement) dates in steps of one day or one week. The feature works with the reference date, which has been set to the default format of YYYY-MM-DD. I tried to create a set that would do the same with a date set to a different date format and got stuck at the conversion from reference date to my European date format — in this case DD.MM.YYYY. Ergonis Software was quick with offering help and here is what their technical expert worked out for me.

Typinator 6 most powerful text expansion with regular expressions

Typinator 6 new interface

A couple of months ago, I was trying to fix my number one typo: double caps at the beginning of a word. I use Typinator and I realised that, despite its powerful features, I couldn’t do it. I also knew why I couldn’t: you need regular expressions to fix something as vague as double caps, because only with a regex search pattern can you capture all occurrences of all double capped letters you type. Regex, however, wasn’t on Typinator 5’s feature list. Well, it is on Typinator 6’s list. And I finally don’t have to go back and fix those silly typos anymore.

LaunchBar 6, the best version ever

LaunchBar 6

One of the nice things you can do with OS X is use Spotlight as an app launcher, but after a while you come to realise Spotlight is only scratching the surface. LaunchBar, on the other hand, is much more than an app launcher. LaunchBar 6 is the newest iteration of an indispensable utility. Version 6 looks better, is simpler to configure and adds yet again a bunch of capabilities. LaunchBar is a must-have if you want to keep your hands on the keyboard as much as possible, avoid shoulder and wrist hurt, and work efficient and fast.

The Snagit 3 review

Snagit 3

TechSmith’s screen capture utility, Snagit for Mac, is one of those applications that started life on Windows and then got ported to the Mac platform with an exceptionally well-designed interface. Snagit for Mac has just the right features that in version 3 were re-designed to bring you the ultimate in screen capturing power. One command rules them all, but leaves enough room to allow for flexibility. Snagit 3 is better than anything else I’ve tried so far.

Faster, more accurate, 64-bit dictation with Dragon Dictate for Mac 4

Dragon Dictate Mac 4

Dragon Dictate for Mac 4 is the new version of Nuance’s dictation software. It is 100% 64-bit, transcribes podcasts or pre-recorded audio files, enables full control over Gmail in your browser and has dramatically improved accuracy and speed. Furthermore, Dragon Dictate for Mac v4 offers full text control in Apple Pages 4.3 with the ability to mix dictation and typing. It also plays much nicer with apps like Ulysses and BBEdit, which it choked on in previous versions.

Mail Archiver X 3 archives your email nice and tidy

Mail Archiver X 3.1

When I first reviewed Mail Archiver in 2012, I found the application to be a robust and powerful mail archiving solution. Today, I saw that Mail Archiver X 3.1 has been released and decided to write an update on my initial review. The new version supports some IMAP accounts, MailTags, and Retina displays. It’s much faster too.