Apps make your Mac amazing. Here are some I find useful, so you may too.
Spotlight has improved over the years, so some people don’t think they need a launcher app. I disagree. Alfred offers many features not found in Spotlight, that you have to check it out.
I only put my most used apps in my Dock to keep it clean. Instead of having a full dock with many small icons, Alfred lets me have quick access to all my apps and more. It’s one of my all time favorite apps. To use Alfred you:
- Hit a keystroke (I set mine to Command–Escape).
- Start typing the name of an app you want to launch (or webpage, contact, etc.).
- Hit Return to lauch it!
Alfred does more than just launch apps though. It can play iTunes music, create an email with an address in your contacts, and so much more. The PowerPack lets you create workflows to do so many different tasks!
Quicksilver is another great launcher app. I used it before switching to Alfred. Which launcher app you choose is a personal decision and I wanted to mention Quicksilver because it’s still a good app, even though I now prefer Alfred.
This is a great app to resize windows with customizable keystrokes. I use it when coding, putting my code editor on one half of the screen and my web browser on the other.
This is a must have for anyone that works in a cross-platform environment! Apple’s built in Zip Archiver includes special Mac invisible files such as .DS_Store files. Mac users don’t see these files, but PC users do. YemuZip creates .zip files without these files, so Mac and PC users both get nice clean zip files! YemuZip is free, but you can buy YemuZip Pro on their website for $4.95 or on the Mac App Store for $4.99. The Pro version lets you turn off the small ads within the app.
A must have for web designers! PNG, GIF, and JPEGs exported from Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. can be shrunk even further without loss of quality. Just run them through ImageOptim and it typically reduces their filesize. Run it a couple times, until it no longer shrinks the files!
Another must have for web designers! ImageAlpha greatly reduces file sizes of 24-bit PNG files (including alpha transparency) by applying lossy compression and converting to the more efficient PNG 8 format, but still including alpha transparency!
This is the gold standard of FTP apps. It’s fast, reliable, and has a ton of features.
The best free FTP app I’ve found so far. It that has a nice interface, is easy to use, and performs well. Be careful when downloading though. I sometimes see ads with download links for other software that you don’t want, so be sure to use the proper download links!
Mac OS X Yosemite now has batch renaming built into the Finder, but if you want something more powerful you should look at Name Mangler.
If you need to capture videos of your screen ScreenFlow is awesome. It not only lets you capture your screen, but it also lets you edit the captures, put various clips together, add callouts, audio and more. I use Screenflow to record my YouTube videos as well as the video demos for my InDesign scripts.
If you take a lot of screenshots, you’ll want SnapzPro. While the Mac OS is good at taking screenshots, Snapz gives you more control. One of it’s best features is that it can freeze the screen and capture open menus, including special cursors that normal screenshots don’t capture.