Macintosh blog postings

Macintosh Postings

Earliest: June 26, 2003Latest: November 8, 2019Total: 321
August 30, 2019

Keyboard Maestro Command in BBEdit

I have been using BBEdit as my daily note tool. Why BBEdit? Here are my three reasons:

Three Reasons I use BBEdit as a Note Tool

  • Clean Simple Interface. I have it set as the "Right third" of the screen, and add notes when needed.
  • I use Markdown as my note formating - so I can focus on notes and not formating. At the end of the day, I can easily import to DayOne, or Evernote (For Evernote, I preview the contents in BBEdit and then copy/paste the contents of the preview into Evernote.)
  • I have BBEdit always open, so why not just use it.

Keyboard Maestro Implementation

Part of the problem with using BBEdit is that I don't need to see the Line Numbers or Gutter tool. BBEdit allows you to assign keyboard shortcuts, but I need to type in two separate commands.

Thankfully, with Keyboard Maestro, I can create a one-step command to show/hide the the Gutter and Line numbers. Note: This is more of a proof of concept than a real issue that was bothering me - can I create a Keyboard Maestro to trigger two menu item at once.

Keyboard Maestro Macro

This is the Keyboard Maestro Macro that I have setup so that it will Show/Hide the Line Numbers and Gutters.

KeyBoardMaestroBBEditKeys_sm.jpg
Click on image for a larger version.

Some Notes:

  • I set this up so that I type the same command to Hide/Show the Gutters/Numbers.
  • I have this in a Group so this command only works in BBEdit. That way I don't mistype the command in another application.
  • It was a bit tricky to figure out how to set up the condition statement with application menus.
  • I need to wait a few seconds before hiding/Show command. I can't quickly Hide/Show. Not sure if the issue is with BBEdit or Keyboard Maestro. But if I type in the shortcut fast twice, I'll get an error.

Download the Macro

If you have Keyboard Maestro you can download the Macro. It will save time typing in all the above information.

Default Language as Markdown

Since I start my day with using Markdown in BBEdit, I changed the BBEdit Settings to default every new document to Markdown. This is simple config change done using the Terminal Editor.

Simply open up Apple Terminal or iTerm and paste the following:

defaults write com.barebones.bbedit DefaultLanguageNameForNewDocuments -string "Markdown"

August 23, 2019

BlogStomp

Blog Stomp allows you to get your images ready for your blog. It's an easy way for bloggers to display their images perfectly.

The goal of the application is to allow bloggers to focus on the content and not spend a lot of time getting their images ready for the blog post.

Blog Stomp3

Five Things I Learned about BlogStomp 3

  1. I liked how easy it was to create a gallery of photos from a group of photos - you can pick the layout that works for you. You can even rearrange the pictures by double-clicking and moving images around. There are styles to add text below the gallery.
  2. You can define your own custom Style name - perfect when you want to keep the images the same on your blog - or social media posts. You can set border margins, background colors, Outer/Inner Strokes, Tab Heights, Rounded Corners, JPEG Quality. You can even add your Blog logo. There's no limit to the number of styles, so you can create similar styles with and without the logo. These come in handy when your batch processing images.
  3. Quik Mode is enabled when you drag and drop a bunch of images to the BlogStomp icon. You then select the style to apply and then click "Stomp It!" Super Easy way to get the images in the right size for your blog.
  4. You can sync up BlogStomp with all the popular blogging applications - WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, ExpressionEngine, and LiveJournal. More connections are coming soon.
  5. Social Media Posting - You can easily post your Stomped! images to Twitter with a text message. The Facebook connection was available until Facebook took away the API access. Now BlogStomp opens your Image Gallery in your Web Browser to make it easy to upload the images to Facebook.

Software Recommendations

This is a very cool tool to have if you post a lot of images - such as a photographer or food critic. It's certainly a good way to keep your images the same throughout the website.

I don't publish enough images in the blog posts to justify getting this software. The more I played around with it, the better understanding of how cool it would be to have. It's certainly a great solution to standardizing the images on your blog.

Try Before You Buy

Download a trial version of BlogStomp 3 from Stomp Software website.The trial is unlimited - just the output images contain a watermark.

If you choose to purchase BlogStomp, it cost $49 for a single user or $89 for a studio.

August 16, 2019

BBEdit Shortcuts

BBEdit is one of my favorite applications. I have tried other applications, but more often I come back to the power and flexibility that BBEdit provides.

I have a lot of shortcuts set up to make it easy to use. This is the list of the most popular shortcuts that I use every day.

B B Edit Desktop

Top Ten Keyboard Shortcuts

ShortcutActionDescription
Save Current Selection as a ClippingThis quickly creates a BBEdit Clipping. BBEdit Clippings are snippets that appear as I am typing words. These save a lot of time typing the same thing over and over. I can go into the Clipping Folder to remove them if I don't think I'll use it again. This comes in handy when I am working on a short term project and need to type a name or phrase over and over.
Preview in BBEditBy default, Command-P is Print. I find that in BBEdit I don't print that often. However, I do preview a lot, so I changed the default Print option to Preview, as I am more likely want to preview a page than Print. This is very helpful when previewing
ScratchPadSometimes I just need to jot something quick down.
Live SearchQuickly find something on the page. Note the search matches are highlighted on the right of the window, making it easy to scroll to find similar matches. Simply type the shortcut and then search.
Backup FileI created an AppleScript which basically sends the the contents of the current window to Evernote. This is a super quick way to back up files. No more backup files cluttering the desktop.
Zap GremlinsRemove any unwanted characters that may cause problems. For example the curly brackets that Microsoft Word creates. The text is replaced with ASCII equivalent.
Show/Hide SideBarBBEdit automatically opens the sidebar when you have more than one file open - such as working on a project. Sometimes the sidebar can be distracting.
Hide/Show Line NumberUsually I have line numbers on by default, but when I am writing Markdown, line numbers don't cut it. So this is useful when I don't want to see them.
Hide/Show GutterSometimes having a gutter is useful, sometimes it's not. Usually I combine the Gutter/Line numbers actions. That's why I have the shortcuts setup with one off numbers.
Process Lines ContainingGreat way to filter out a log file. I can extract the lines that I care about into another file.
August 9, 2019

Haunted Mansion Wallpaper

In celebrating Disneyland?s Haunted Mansion 50th Anniversary today, here?s a couple of Personal Haunted Mansion Wallpaper images for your Macintosh.

Disneyland_ Birthday Blog
http://www.cryan.com/daily/2019/DisneyLandHauntedMansion.jpg

This was taken on September 2009, when the Haunted Mansion was closed. It?s a rare opportunity to get a picture of the Mansion with nobody in it.

Walt Disney World Blog
http://www.cryan.com/daily/2019/DisneyWorldHauntedMansion.jpg

This is one many image that I took at Disney World's Haunted Mansion. It's a very simple image to use as a background as it's not a distraction. I have other dark photos that I will upload at a later time.

How to Install the Wallpaper

Simple instructions to get this Wallpaper image on your computer.

  • Click on the above image to download the image to your computer
  • Right click on the dashboard and select "Change Desktop Background..."
  • Drag and Drop the downloaded image to the box in the top left.

You can use the drop-down to adjust how the image appears. The "Fit to Screen" option works best for me on my 2560 by 1440 monitor.

Enjoy!

August 2, 2019

MacinCloud

MacinCloud is a cool service that let's you have access to a real Macintosh. While it may seem silly if you own one, but if your doing some development work and need to make sure the application works in different environments it can be very useful.

Each box comes pre-installed with various developer tools including the latest Xcode, Microsoft Visual Studio for Mac with Xamarin components and more.

Mac In Cloud
https://www.macincloud.com/

MacinCloud can be useful when testing software and figuring out why some applications are working and not working in different environments.

Description from the Website

MacinCloud provides managed and dedicated cloud Mac servers, hosted private cloud solutions and DevOp pipelines. Users can access on-demand Mac servers for app development, Mac tasks, and enterprise builds. All of our plans and solutions are backed by genuine Mac hardware hosted in 7 professional data centers around the globe.

This isn't a free service, you have to pay to access the boxes - which can be a lot cheaper than straight out owning your own box at a colocation center.

July 26, 2019

Create your Own Blueprint pattern

PhotoScape is a great photo tool. It's my go-to application when I need to do anything graphic.

Recently I wanted a make a blueprint for a background. I was surprised how easy it was to do using the Replace Color tool in PhotoScape. The nice thing is that I can create this blueprint in any size that I want.

PhotoScape Blue Backgrounds

Making a Custom Blue Print

Here are the steps to make an awesome blueprint:

  • Open up PhotoScape X and Create a new document (Command - N)
  • Define any size and then select the middle box for the pattern.
  • Select the 'etc' group and a graph design. (I selected white with the black borders)
  • Click the 'OK' button.
  • Once the file is in the Editor, select Adjustments and then scroll all the way down to "Replace Color."
  • Use the color picker to select the white in the image.
  • Then use the Hue color picker to the right color blue you want.
  • You can use the "Color Range" to sharpen the image a bit more.

The nice thing is that you have the flexibility make whatever "blue print" color you want. Red, Pink, Green - whatever works best for your design.

July 19, 2019

Repeat Last Capture (SnagIt)

TechSmith Snagit is a great screen capture tool. It has lots of features that can help make touch up a screenshot to help tell more of the image.

Additional Capture Items

Snagit has a capture tool in the menu bar - making it easy to capture the screen. You can select from different options, include making your own preset.

One thing that users may not notice is that there are additional short cuts available - beyond the menubar options. These are located in the Snagit Preferences.

Snagit Captures Keys

Repeat Last Capture

The "Repeat Last Capture" is a great way to quickly take a screenshot of changes on a webpage - or application. Simply define the capture area using the "Select Capture Mode" then use the "Repeat Last Capture" to capture a change.

This is useful when capturing steps on a website, from page to page.

The nice thing about the "Repeat Last Capture" is that it's silent. The capture goes right into Snagit Library without opening up the application window. This allows distraction-free capture.

July 12, 2019

Bootstrap 4 BBEdit Tools

Recently I upgraded the website from Bootstrap 3 to Bootstrap 4. This was a big upgrade as there were a lot of files that needed to get changed.

No more Panel or Wells

One of the biggest changes is that Bootstrap 4 no longer supports panels or Wells. Instead, Bootstrap 4 now puts emphasis on Card types.

Slight Problem

This site used both types extensively. Which means that I had to do multiple search and replace. So I would need to edit multiple files with various changes.

BBEdit TextFactory to the Rescue

Bootstrap Text Factory
Download the BootStrap 4 Text Factory File

BBEdit Text Factory is the only tool that I have found that will perform multiple Search/Replace on a group of files.

I simply created a TextFactory will all the search and replace rules and the run it against various files on my site. It was easy to set up and certainly made the migration a lot easier than I thought.

TextFactory File

If you're migrating to Bootstrap 4, from Bootstrap 3, you should download my TextFactory file. I think you'll find it helpful with the migration process.

To install this into BBEdit, simply double click on the BootStrap.textfactory file, it should open in BBEdit. Then save the file in the ~/Library/Application Support/BBEdit/Text Factory/ folder.

Make sure to check out all the various search/replace options. You may need to adjust them based on your how your files are set up. BBEdit has more information about using the Text Factory.


Bonus: BBEdit Text Clippings

BBEdit Bootstrap Clipping
Download the BBEdit Bootstrap Text Clipping Library

I put together 60 Text Clippings for BootStrap 4. I separated them into two groups, Bootstrap and Bootstrap Colors. These will make it easy to use BBEdit to edit and create Bootstrap files.

To install these clippings, simply download the BBEdit BootStrap 4 Clippings file. Unpack it and move the BootStrap and BootStrap Color folder to your Clippings Folder. The easiest way to find your BBEdit Clipping folder is to open BBEdit and select the Clipping Menu - it's the C next to Help. Then select the "Open Clipping Folder." Drag the folders to the Clipping Folder.

July 5, 2019

Managing the Mac Dock

The Apple Dock is a great central resource to launch popular applications. Back in 2016, I wrote a blog post of what applications I have in my dock and a way to add spacers to the dock.

My Dock needs have changed a lot since 2016, today my dock contains:

Google Chrome, FireFox, BBEdit, Brackets, Transmit, Evernote, Dayone, Notion, iTerm, Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, PhotoScape X, Snagit 2018, LaunchBar, Keyboard Maestro, Slack, and Apple Mail.

Apple Dock Tips2

More Great Apple Doc Tricks

Here are some additional tips to manage your Apple Doc:

How to add a ?Recent Applications? folder to your Apple Dock

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add '{"tile-data" = {"list-type" = 1;}; "tile-type" = "file-tile";}'; killall Dock;

How to add a ?Recent Items? folder to your Apple Dock

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add '{"tile-data" = {"list-type" = 1;}; "tile-type" = "recents-tile";}'; killall Dock;

How to Highlight Hidden Applications

When you select to ?hide application? the icon in the dock will be slightly transparent. So you know which Apps are hidden.

defaults write com.apple.Dock showhidden -bool yes; killall Dock;

Only Show Open Applications in Dock

When you only want to use the Dock to show active Applications. This is useful when your using LaunchPad or LaunchBar.

defaults write com.apple.dock static-only -bool true; killall Dock;

June 28, 2019

Trick with LaunchPad

The Apple Launchpad is a one way many Macintosh users find and launch their applications.

Apple's Launchpad is where you can find most of your computer's applications. It shows the applications in a very similar layout that users see applications on their iPhone. You can access the Launchpad by clicking on the F4 key.

Launch Pad View

Organizing the First Page

Like the iPhone, the first page of the LauchPad should contain your most popular applications. This can be tricky because as you add applications, the icon can appear on different pages, If you have a lot of applications, it can be time-consuming to find the files.

Quickly Sorting Your Icons

The trick to getting icons to the first page is to search for the application first in LaunchPad. Once you find the application, click and hold to cause the icon to wiggle - similar to what you do on the iPhone.

Once it starts to wiggle move it to the left, and then keep it on the left side of the screen until you get to the first screen, then drop it where you want.

Simple but Effective

This is a much easier way to organize the first page of the LaunchPad. Do this for a few minutes, and presto your first screen becomes a productive way to access your applications.

Now you can get quick access to the top 35 applications on your computer. You may find that you don't need to have as many applications in your dock since you can easily get access to them in the Launchpad