The Graphic Mac, a site dedicated to providing graphic design resources, Adobe Creative Suite and Mac OS X tips & tricks, software reviews, and commentary on all things design, Apple, and the Internet.
Apple announced the new, long-awaited MacPro. Major new macOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS shipping soon. And now, Jony Ive leaving Apple.
Apple announced the new, long-awaited MacPro. Major new macOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS shipping soon. And now, Jony Ive leaving Apple. There’s a whole lot of change in the Apple world right now.
For just shy of 20 years, I’ve been blogging about graphic design, Adobe products and Apple in general. It started at my personal blog (originally named “CreativeGuy,” where I gained quite a nice little following. That lead to writing for other sites like CreativeBits (thanks, Ivan!), Macworld.com, TheAppleBlog, AppleLife, PCWorld, and several others. I also had the pleasure of being published in Macworld and Popular Science magazines.
TheGraphicMac was a source of creative release for me. I never did this for money. In fact, short of a few text link ads in the sidebar or footer and an occasional sponsorship banner, I never ran ads on the site. And despite being a designer for a living, I never put much effort into the design of this site either, preferring to focus on the content. I was posting articles and reviews multiple times per day for years, eventually slowing to every other day.
Since starting CreativeGuy in 1999, I’ve gotten married, moved from Las Vegas to Phoenix, and my wife and I had a son. My freelance career has done quite nicely, and my wife recently started a small business.
Because of those things, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t posted here at the Graphic Mac on a regular basis the last few years. Not only do I no longer have the time, but I feel like The Graphic Mac has run its course, and I’m ready to retire it.
I hope you’ve found the site useful over the years! The site will cease to exist sometime in early August, but I will still be sharing free design resources and articles from other great sites both on Twitter and the GraphicMac Facebook page.
Thanks for reading, and the thousands of emails over the years. It has truly been a pleasure.
I don’t see my screensaver come on very often, but when I do I prefer to see something gorgeous. I use an official Apple screensaver, which I “acquired” some time ago. I also use the Apple TV Flyover screensaver. But I came across this beauty and felt it was worth having.
Brooklyn is a free screensaver of a real artsy-fartsy Apple logo. Actually, it’s over 60 different Apple logo animations in one screensaver. You can choose which ones you want to appear when your screensaver activates. It’s quite cool.
I’m a huge fan of Bartender, the $15 menubar manager that, among other things, allows you to hide the icons for apps that live in the macOS menubar. A cluttered menubar drives me crazy, and so does not having control over the order of their appearance in the menubar regardless of how many there are.
But $15 may be a bit much for some people, particularly those who simply want to hide a few of the menubar icons and don’t need the other features found in Bartender.
Enter Dozer, a free and open source utility that does only one thing—it allows you to choose which icons are hidden behind a dot in the menubar. You can set a keyboard shortcut to unhide/hide the icons as well, making it easier to keep your menubar uncluttered.
That’s it. It really doesn’t do anything else, and that’s why I love it. There are other apps out there, such as Vanilla, that do the same thing, but I’ve found that all of them are either buggy or try to be too much or too clever.
Grab Dozer for free and runs on macOS 10.13 or higher.
VideoDuke is a powerful video downloader which downloads YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo videos to your Mac as well as videos from many other websites.
Downloading videos (or the audio contained within the video) is something I suspect we all wish we could do often. VideoDuke handles this with ease, saving audio and video files in numerous formats. It also allows you to download entire YouTube Playlists and Channels.
VideoDuke has browser integration in the form of a bookmarklet you save in your bookmarks/favorites bar. When you come across a video you want to save, you simply choose the bookmark. The bookmark opens VideoDuke, adds the video to the download list, and allows you to customize your download settings. It’s that simple.
VideoDuke will also save live streams, sports events, educational videos, etc. This video downloader for Mac supports videos embedded via HTML5 and those streamed over RTMP so you can watch them when it’s convenient for you.
I’ve been a big fan of Eltima’s other video downloader, Airy. But Airy only works with YouTube videos, while VideoDuke works with numerous popular sites including Vimeo, DailyMotion and more.
Interestingly, VideoDuke even told me what the issue with ESPN videos was. I’ve always noticed how the ad at the beginning of ESPN videos always plays perfectly, and the actual video clip starts just fine but gets hung up just after starting or at the same exact spot every time. Turns out, ESPN doesn’t upload a 15-second highlight video, they upload 15 one second videos that play one right after another, giving the appearance of being one video.
VideoDuke is compatible with macOS 10.10+ and costs $20 for a single license or $40 for a family license. An extra $9 will get you a lifetime upgrade guarantee. A demo is available.
Airy used to be my favorite video downloader for the Mac, but VideoDuke has convinced me to switch.
While not a killer feature of macOS Mojave, Dynamic Wallpapers are a cool customization tool limited only by the fact that Apple only provides two, and offers no built-in way to create your own.
Dynapaper changes that.
Dynapaper allows you to create dynamic wallpapers with a simple drag-and-drop interface and save them in the required HEIC format for use in the Mac’s Desktop & Screensaver Preference Panel.
Dynapaper is free to download and use, but does add a watermark to your image. A $12 in-app purchase will remove the watermark. To be honest, though, I couldn’t find a watermark in my first two dynamic wallpapers—maybe that’s part of a demo-period?
The only complaint I have about Dynapaper is that it doesn’t create a “preview image” for the Desktop & Screensaver Preference Panel. So all your dynamic wallpapers will show up just like Apple’s desert wallpaper in the list, making it difficult to choose the one you want. From what I’ve read, this is a limitation of the OS, not Dynapaper itself. I’m sure developers will eventually figure it out.
Learn what DPI is and when you should and shouldn’t worry about it.
“DPI is used to calculate physical measurements. Printers, for example, don’t work in pixels, so we need a way of translating our content on screen—pixel dimensions—to a printable format. Thus we have the dots-per-inch measurement, which defines the print density and bridges the physical measurement of inches with our digital pixel resolutions.”
Understanding DPI, by James Ritson for the Affinity Spotlight blog, is probably the best, easiest to understand explanation I’ve come across. So if you’re confused between DPI, PPI, and resolution in general, give the article a read!
If you work on any sort of project that has editorial content, the writer, your client, or someone involved in providing the text content is likely to ask you for a word count. For many designers, that means copy & pasting some bogus text from the design into an app like MS Word or Apple Pages to get a character, word, or paragraph count.
That’s just silly and unproductive.
Simply hit F6 or open the InDesign Info Panel manually by visiting the menubar Window>Info. Now all you need to do is click in any text box with the Text Tool active and take a look at the Info Panel.
As you can see in the image above, you’ll be shown the character, word, line, and paragraph count in the selected text box. In the image, I have a text box selected that contains 882 characters. The Info Panel tells me that I have 629 of those characters showing, and 253 more that are hidden because I reduced the size of the text box and the text is overset. If the text box were not reduced and all the characters showing, the Info Panel would simply say 882 characters.