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 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.
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.
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.
KeyCue is a cheat sheet for both application and system shortcuts. It behaves like a HUD and is designed to make you memorise the shortcuts, but does allow you to select and apply them with the mouse. Version 7 adds column headings to differentiate between system and application shortcuts. The most spectacular new feature is the ability to create custom themes, so you can have the HUD exactly as you want it. But that’s not all.
Timelime is an unobtrusive application designed to track your time. It has minimal design but nevertheless comes with every feature you need to track time, plot your time usage and export recorded time to Excel or Numbers. It appeals to students, office workers and freelance workers as well as independent contractors.
Imagine a blank slate on which you can write your thoughts and ideas and work on them further, regardless of whether it's a note, a brief or a book you're trying to compose. You'll need an app that supports your stream of thoughts without intruding. Ullysses III is such an app.