|Earliest: June 26, 2003||Latest: March 22, 2019||Total: 288|
|June 15, 2018|
Photoshop Elements has lots of cool features, one of which is the ability to add various photo effect using a guided wizard. In the Photo Play category you can add Out of Bounds, Picture Stack, Pop Art, Puzzle Effect, Recompose, and Reflection.
If you open up Photoshop Elements and then select Photo Play and then Puzzle Effect. You can have a cool puzzle effect on your image:
You have a choice of puzzle effect: small, medium or large. (The best image appears to be the 16:9 format type.) Photoshop Elements allows a user to change the photo effect choice if you don't think the right type is selected.
After you select the effect type, you can then select the puzzle piece and then extract it from the image. You can then move the piece around wherever you want.
What's neat about Photoshop Elements is that you have a choice of what puzzle size is best for your design;
|June 8, 2018|
On the Macintosh, at the top right-hand side of the screen is where notifications are sent. You'll get notified if you have the new email or if someone slacked you a message. You'll also get notifications about upcoming meetings.
Every once and a while, it's nice to turn off the notifications. Especially if you're in a meeting and you're showing your computer to someone. You don't want to be distracted because someone sent you Spam about some financial stock tip .
Did you know that you can disable the notifications?
When you click on the notification icon, the top right icon in the toolbar, you'll see a history of notifications. If you scroll down you can see a lot of notifications.
If you scroll up, you'll see two options - above the "Today" category. Don't stop at 'Today' keep scrolling up. You should see this:
Now you can quickly disable the notifications and not get any alerts.
Night Shift will adjust the monitor colors for better viewing at night. This is ideal when you have the computer on and there are no other lights on in the room.
|June 1, 2018|
Posterino is a Macintosh application that makes very cool looking collages. Check out my previous blog post on creative things to do with the application. Basically it the fastest way to make trendy photo collages on a Macintosh.
One cool feature of Posterino is the ability to add Frames, Filters, and Decorations to any image. One of the image decorations is the Postmark Effect tool - it adds a cancel postage stamp on your image. It's unique because Posterino gives you the ability to edit the text in the stamp, something I haven't seen in other applications or cloud service.
What's neat is that you can apply the effect to a single image, then export to be used elsewhere.
Now your image will be on top of a transparent layer to be used in any application!
It's a lot of steps to get a simple effect, but sometimes having a postmark effect makes the image stand out a bit more.
If you know of another way to add a stamp/postmark effect and is configurable, let me know in the comments below!
|May 25, 2018|
This week I decided to download it to see what makes it unique among the other Photoshop alternatives.
Acorn uses the power of Apple's Metal 2, which means you fully utilize the computer graphic processing unit. You also get a lot of the common filters such as Blur, Color Adjustments, Distortion Effects, Gradient, Stylize and more.
There are 32 Tools that are available and all are easily accessible via the toolbar or using a keyboard hotkey. For example, to use the Paint tool simply type B.
There are three text tools, Text, Text Circle, and Text Path. The text circle is pretty cool, its a fast way to type text on a circular path. You simply define the size of the circle and then type your text. It's a lot easier than other applications.
There is a Shape Processor which creates a shape layer where you can do all sorts of things to shapes, which is useful for a background or object fill. It's a cool feature to play around with and discover different design ideas.
There isn't that many pre-defined shapes. However, you can make your own shape by drawing a selection and convert it to a shape.
Acorn supports Photoshop Brush file format. Simply drag-and-drop any '.abr' file to the Acorn icon in the dock. Then select the Brush tool, and then the imported brush.
The Layers filter dialog makes it really easy to see what filters have been applied to a layer and make adjustments. You can easily change the order of the layer filter - something that isn't available in other image editors. The filters are non-destructive, so you can change it up anytime you want.
Acorn doesn't support importing EPS files, but you can open SVG files.
You can create a new image from your camera - making it easy to touch up an Avatar.
Acorn Help has a lot of great tips and tricks for using Acorn. Many of the tips come from other users to show how to cool things in Acorn. There are Tutorials for Beginner, Intermediate and Advance users.
|May 18, 2018|
PhotoMill helps you convert a bulk of images into the most popular image formats, give your files meaningful names, watermark with text and image, adjust photos (brightness/saturation/exposure/grayscale/etc.), fit geometry (scale/crop/trim/etc.), remove private metadata, add your own copyrights etc.
Also, PhotoMill is a great batch metadata editor, image file renamer and photo browser.
Seems to be a good solution if you manage a lot of photos. For example, if you have a lot of old pictures that you want to convert to JPG from BMP or TIFF scans.
PhotoMill might be a good tool when creating an online photo gallery. (Quickly create thumbnails)
You can do multiple actions, such as add a Watermark Rectangle and then add a text above the rectangle. It is a cool effect that I haven't seen used in other applications.
You can get a side-by-side preview of the change you're about to apply, so you know what impact your changes will have on the image.
The Info Panel is a good way to get detailed information about images without actually having to open it.
There is a preset for "Prepare for Facebook" with the long edge being 2048 and the method is resized to fix long edges. Originally I thought that 2048 was too big for Facebook, as I thought 1200 was the standard size. However, Facebook own documents recommend using the 2048 width to have the best quality.
The search and sorting features was pretty impressive. I can easily drop a folder full of images and work on ones that meet certain criteria. For example, I can drop a large folder of pictures but only work on the pictures that had the wrong orientation.
This application would be very handy when viewing old DVD data. You can pick and choose which images are worth keeping and convert to today's format.
PhotoMill has a free 7-day trial with no limits. After that, the cost to purchase the application is $12. (There is a discount if you purchase the application after your trial)
You can download the trial application from their website.
|May 11, 2018|
On April 30th, Autodesk announced that SketchBook is now free for everybody, previously it was $25/yr. This includes both the Macintosh and Android editions.
The only thing that you will need to do is to signup for an Autodesk account - and that is also free.
Autodesk Sketchbook Pro drawing and painting software provide designers, architects, and concept artists the tools to sketch ideas quickly and create beautiful illustrations. Available for most platforms and devices.
Sketchbook 7 Features
Here's a few things that make Sketchbook a great companion to Affinity Designer:
Even if you don't need a drawing program, it's good to have to use and play around. It does take some time to understand the interface and how to navigate between brushes and colors. However, once you play around with it for a while you'll see that it's a pretty cool application.
If you have a Lynda.com account, you can take Veejay Gahir's Sketchbook Pro 7 Essential Training and learn how to use the software.
After you download Sketchbook, make sure to get the bonus Painting brushes.
|May 4, 2018|
There have been reported problems with how Spotlight search is working on the latest version of MacOS (High Sierra). For some people it isn't working or that it's slowing down their computer.
According to Apple, the best way to zero out the Spotlight Database is to put the drive in the Privacy section of Spotlight. When you do this, Spotlight will remove all information relevant to that location.
Once that is done, you remove the entry from Privacy and then Spotlight will reindex the data from scratch - like it didn't know it existed. I would recommend waiting a few minutes for the database to get cleared.
Obviously the index is going to take some time to work. The amount of time that it takes will depend on the size of your data and what you have set to Index in the Spotlight Control panel. Your better off letting this run overnight so that indexing process isn't flighting resources with other computer activity.
If Apple's official way doesn't work then try the mdutil way...
The mdutil command is at your service. The command manages the database used by Spotlight. If you're doing anything with Spotlight, you have to go through the mdutil command.
Some of these commands you need to be the computer root user. Which for most instances, the primary user that logs into the computer.
The mdutil -s command checks to see if Spotlight Index is on. That is will search inquiries return a search results.
mdutil -s /
Two Responses you can get:
Using the 'E' flag with running mdutil will Erase and Rebuild the Index. The same caveat as before, it will take some time for the index to get rebuild.
mdutil -E /
This is useful Spotlight indexing is taking too much of your computer resources.
mdutil -i off /
This is what you should see if the process was successful.
mdutil[96409:6557235] mdutil disabling Spotlight: / -> kMDConfigSearchLevelFSSearchOnly
If you're not going to use the computer for a while, why not turn on indexing. Remember you can always exclude documents and folders by using the Spotlight Control panel.
sudo mdutil -i on /
This is what you should see if the process was successful.
|April 27, 2018|
XMenu is a neat utility that put allows you to put up to six addition menu items in the menu bar.
There is the type of menus that you can add, each category has their own unique menu icon.
This menu item displays all the applications that you have in your Application Folder. This is an alternative approach to using the LaunchPad.
The downside is that if you have a lot of applications, it can take a while to find it. There's no searching and the applications are displayed by there name.
This menu item displays all the applications that you have in the Xcode Applications folder.
If your not a hardcore developer, you get Accessibility Inspector, Application Loader, FileMerger, and Instruments.
Tip: Probably not very useful menu item if your not a Developer.
All your Home Folders at your fingertips!
This is a great way to access common folders you use every day. Files in your Dropbox, Photos, Music, and Desktop can be accessed very easily.
This is just you user Document folder, which is located at ~/Documents
Most files that you save are kept in the Documents folder.
Create your own set of application/files that you want in the menu bar. This a very cool feature since you can put anything you want and it will be displayed in the drop-down menu.
Personally I think this is the best feature of xMenu.
This is a great way to declutter your System Dock, simply put "rarely" used applications in here. You'll still have quick access via the menu bar instead of the System Dock. You can create folders of like items so they might be easier to find.
Access common text snippets from the menu bar. However, with tools like LaunchBar and Keyboard Maestro, this doesn't really seem very useful. There's no scripting capability - you only display raw text.
This is neat to have feature, but for better productivity use Keyboard Maestro or TextExpander.
XMenu adds one or more global menus to the right side of the menu bar. They give you access to your preferred applications, folders, documents, files, and text snippets. Launch any application with a single menu choice or insert text snippets into your documents. XMenu is a real app, no hack, no extension. And it's free.
You can download XMenu from the Mac Apple Store. Devon Technologies has provided the software free of charge.
|April 20, 2018|
Macsoft's Image Resizer for Mac is specially designed Mac image editor software for Mac users to combine, resize and revolve photos, add watermarks to them freely. And it allows you to change the image format from one to another without any difficulty.
The application allows you to do multiple image actions at once, you can resize, add text and add text and image watermarks.
It's a good basic application for the functionality. However, there are a few drawbacks:
If there's a current Bundle Hunt bundle going on, you can pick it up for a good deal. At least if you ocassionaly need an image batch program.
It does what it says - I think you're limiting yourself to features and functionality. It certainly not worth the $19.99 price.
Otherwise it's $19.99 on their website - not sure if it's really worth the price.
The Batch functionality in Photoscape X goes well beyond the capabilities of Resize-image. You can add a lot more effects and have more flexibility with existing tools in Resize-image.
While Photoscape X cost a bit more, it's certainly worth the extra cost because you get more than an app that does batch processing. You get a nice image toolbox.
Which means that you'll be using the application more often and at the end of the day get more value for your money.
Five things that make Photoscape X a much better application:
|April 13, 2018|
LaunchBar is a very powerful tool that puts instant access to all sorts of actions at your fingertips. You can open applications faster, get to documents, set reminders and so much more.
There are a lot of very useful LaunchBar built-in actions - 152 of them to be exact. They expand the capabilities of LaunchBar to be way more useful than the standard Spotlight search.
Here are three example actions that are very useful. Granted it takes some time to get used to the new process, but you will see how it can improve your computer productivity time.
The typical method to search using Google requires opening up a browser, typing a search term and hitting return. That's great if you're already working with the browser open, but if you're doing a paper it's a lot of extra steps.
Using LaunchBar, you can quickly get things moving by passing the search parameters to the browser. After doing this a few times, you'll see how using LaunchBar method is so much easier than a typical method.
Whenever I have a list that I need to join, I usually end up opening up BBEdit and then pasting the text and then do a simple search and replace. After the search, I have to remove the last comma in the list. No so fun, and very time-consuming.
Using this trick in LaunchBar, I am able to work much quicker. Now I can quickly sort the list. There are other list tools in LaunchBar, but this is one that I use the most.
Tiny URL is a great service to make URLs really shore, especially when the URL has a lot of parameters. This is useful when you want to post something in Slack or in a Jira. There's no need to have a huge paper trail link
The nice thing about Tiny URL is that it never expires, so you can keep using it for a long time.
You can make the process go even quicker by using custom abbreviations. The actions will appear quicker with abbreviations that you are more familiar with.
To make Searching Google faster, change the Google Abbreviation to search: