Mac Gems Promising Prospect: Shortcat replaces mouse clicks with keyboard presses

Marco Tabini , Macworld

Marco Tabini is based in Toronto, Canada, where he focuses on software development for mobile devices and for the Web.
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Nearly two decades after it first made an appearance on my desk, the mouse has yet to gain my favors. Modern graphical-user interfaces (GUIs) make its use practically mandatory, but I use it only when I have no other choice.

My dislike for pointing and clicking is not just a matter of reliving the good old days, when the only way to use computers was to type for hours on end—uphill, both ways—but rather a simple consequence of the fact that, unlike the mouse or trackpad, a keyboard gives me haptic feedback that allows me to type without looking.

I mention all this to help explain why Shortcat caught my eye. This little utility promises to let you use the keyboard to perform many operations, such as clicking textual links on a Web page, that normally require a pointing device.

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Mac Gems: Photo+ simplifies and streamlines photo viewing

Jackie Dove Senior Editor, Macworld

Jackie is always looking for creative mischief to get into. So it's fitting that she oversees photography, video, publishing, music, and Web design.
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Sometimes you just want to see your images in one place without a lot of fuss: You don’t need an image editor; you don’t want to move anything; you just want to browse your photos and possibly do some very light editing or share some images with others. For such situations ArcSoft’s $10 Photo+ stands out.

Photo+, normally $10, but on sale for just $2 at the time of this review—is a seriously no-hassle photo viewer. It has an elegant, dark interface with a filmstrip-style photo bin at the bottom that lets you swiftly scroll through all your images. Choose a photo, and you get immediate information about it, such as its resolution, date taken, file size, and other bits of data you choose (in the app’s preferences) to see. If you want to view all your EXIF information in one place, just choose View > Show Info to see a separate window listing your camera model, exposure, and other routine data.

You can view just your image, or reveal full EXIF information.
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Mac Gems: Startupizer takes control of login items

Dan Miller Editor, Macworld

Dan is Macworld's Executive Editor and, thus, the senior Dan on staff.
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Gentle Bytes’ $10 Startupizer is one of those utilities that does one very specific thing, but does it well. The thing, in this case, is manage your login items—those apps and other nifty processes that you’ve opted to automatically launch or open every time you log in to your account on your Mac. Startupizer does this well by giving you greater control than OS X over exactly when and how those things launch. (Note that, confusingly, Startupizer doesn’t manage startup items, the system-level items that run when your Mac starts up. Rather, it manages only the user-level items that open when you log in.)

Normally, your list of login items sits buried a couple levels deep in the System Preferences utility (specifically, in the Login Items screen inside the Users and Groups pane). Once you find that list, there’s not a lot you can do with it: You can add items to it, and decide whether they should launch visibly or not, but System Preferences doesn’t let you otherwise control the login process.

Startupizer replaces the Login Items list in System Preferences with its own list.
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Mac Gems: OneSafe gives 1Password some password-saving competition

Marco Tabini , Macworld

Marco Tabini is based in Toronto, Canada, where he focuses on software development for mobile devices and for the Web.
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There’s certainly no shortage of password managers for OS X—there’s even a basic one (Keychain Access) built into the OS, and the next versions of OS X and iOS will include a cross-device-syncing option. But rather than over-saturating the market, these apps are catering to different kinds of users—and that can only be good news if it means better security for more people.

A case in point is Lunabee’s $13 OneSafe (Mac App Store link), one of a genre of apps designed to keep your personal information safe from prying eyes while making it readily available when you need it. (I review the OS X version here, but a $6 iOS version is also available—your data synchronizes between devices over iCloud.)

Setting up OneSafe is a simple process; a quick wizard walks you through the process of choosing how you’ll unlock your password database. Unlike most of its competitors, which support only passphrase-based unlocking, OneSafe offers a choice of four unlocking mechanisms: a four-digit PIN, a full passphrase, a pattern-drawing keypad similar to the one implemented by some versions of Android, and a set of four combination-lock wheels. (To help you if you forget your combination or password, OneSafe allows you to choose two security questions, although these are optional.)

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Mac Gems: Mailplane 3 melds Gmail and your Mac

Nathan Alderman , Macworld

Nathan Alderman is a writer and copy editor, and frequent Macworld contributor based in Alexandria, Virginia.
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Four years ago, we reviewed Mailplane 2, the first dedicated Gmail client that avoided traditional IMAP and POP approaches to Gmail, opting instead for standard browser technology under the hood. The result was an app that gave you the benefits of “real” Gmail with the advantages of a native Mac app.

Like that version, Mailplane 3 beautifully transforms Google’s webmail service into a full-fledged desktop app, with an impressive interface and well-thought-out features. But it’s not the only game in town these days—and many traditional email clients now handle Gmail better—so whether you’re willing to spend $25 for slightly more functionality than what is already offered through your Web browser may depend on just how much you love Gmail.

Tabbed windows and a Safari-style Downloads window highlight Mailplane 3’s updated interface.
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Mac Gems: Scapple combines a text editor with a mind-mapping app

Josh Centers , Macworld

Josh Centers is the Managing Editor of TidBITS, as well as a contributor to Boing Boing and The Magazine. He sometimes blogs at his eponymous Web site.


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Literature and Latte's $15 Scapple is a unique amalgamation of productivity tools from the folks who brought us the amazing Scrivener (4.5-mouse rating) writing app. The developers describe Scapple as a freeform, nonlinear, mind-mapping text editor—unlike most mind-mapping software, there’s no suggested hierarchy and no set system for capturing ideas.

The app starts you off with a blank canvas. Double-click anywhere to add a new note. To connect notes, just drag and drop one onto the other. If you change your mind, you can repeat that process to disconnect the two notes. The default connection is a simple dotted line, but if you’d rather have a directional arrow, hold down the Option key as you drag and drop. If you’d rather the arrow point the other way, instead hold Command+Option. If you prefer an arrow that points both ways, hold down Shift+Command.

A bunch of ideas in a Scapple document
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Mac Gems: Keyboard Maestro 6 is a genius at repetitive tasks

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Many Mac users whose relationship with the Mac predates Mac OS X retain an affection for macro utilities—applications that let you string together a series of actions, and summon those macros with a click or a key press to automate repetitive tasks. Chief among them was QuicKeys, an application passed from company to company before finally coming to rest (and currently in deep hibernation) with Startly Technologies.

With the decline of QuicKeys and the arrival of new users who are generally unaware of utilities of its ilk, macro utilities seem to have dropped off the radar during the past few years. And that’s regrettable, particularly when one as useful, powerful, and affordable as Keyboard Maestro 6 ($36; $18 for upgrades) exists.

Working with the Maestro

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