Useful utilities

As I am still really getting to grips with the Mac I look for ways to personalise it and make it for the way I want to work.

One thing I missed from Windows is the ability to snap applications to the side of the screen letting you display two or more side-by-side.

I had found a freeware utility but it was a bit buggy so bought Magnet from the App Store. At only 99p it is an absolute bargain letting you snap windows in position with the mouse/track pad like Windows but also define hot keys as well.

I had heard about Caffeine, a little tool to stop your Mac going to sleep but it doesn't look to be available in the UK App Store.

A free alternative available here is the unfortunately named Amphetamine which lets you specify a length of time that your device will ignore power saving rules. A quick keyboard shortcut to toggle it on and off and you don't have to keep tapping the trackpad.

I had previously looked at clipboard managers on my phone but it found a solution I really liked. For the Mac, however, I have found Clipy which is really lightweight tool for copying multiple items and easily selecting which one to paste with a handy keyboard shortcut.

I had, of course, heard about Alfred but I'm in a similar position to where I was with Workflow on the phone: I don't yet know how I would use it.

All the good stuff is in the Powerpack but £19 is a lot for something you don't even know you're going to use. Without the Powerpack you just have a Spotlight alternative without the integration into various apps. It looks better but doesn't do as much.

LaunchBar is another interesting alternative but, again, I don't know how much I'd use it.

I'm getting there.

  1. jack says: #
    I've found Alfred to be invaluable. It handles: clipboard manager, text snippet expansion, and of course app launching, etc. Workflows are complex but nifty. I'm hobbled without it.
  2. stefp says: #
    I'm the same with Launchbar. I've used it for years and it's the first thing I install on any new Mac.
  3. Bruce says: #
    There are many ways to do it, but you can run the caffeinate terminal command straight from Alfred. I've aliased in my .bashrc so all I have to type is "cmd-space; ! stayawake". Simpler than a GUI utility.
  4. Colin Walker says: #
    I've got hotkeys assigned so don't need to bother with the GUI - one to start and one to stop. Nice and easy. Don't you need the Powerpack for Alfred for that?
  5. johnjohnston says: #
    the power pack is worth it, just for the fun of scripting things. It also seems to get new features quite regularly. Lovely app.
  6. Bruce says: #
    Maybe? Can't quite tell from their website. I got the lifetime upgrade to Powerpack awhile ago and have forgotten which features are exclusive to it.
  7. Bruce says: #
    Actually, now that I look again, it does require the Powerpack. One demerit for my reading comprehension. ;)
  8. eli says: #
    if you are cozy in the command line, or at least not adverse to opening it take a look at caffeinate, all Macs ship with their own version of Caffeine baked right in!