A Guide to “Things Mac OS X” on the Net...
(Apache, PHP & MySQL now on Webmastering page)
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General Mac OS X Info
Mac OS X Lion
Mac OS X Community
Mac Software Collections
Mac OS X Interface
  • Bring Back a Proper Textual Drag and Drop – How to fix Cocoa’s drag-n-drop delay flaw
  • Script Menu – A handy AppleScript menu
  • Drag Thing – Dock alternative; restore Trash to desktop
  • TinkerTool – Customize Finder settings from the GUI instead of the CLI
  • Jumpcut – Clipboard buffering/history (Open Source)
  • Path Finder (SNAX) – Mac OS X Finder Pro?
  • Drop Drawers – App’s, URL’s and clippings at your fingertips
  • ASM – Adds an Application Switcher Menu to the right side of the Mac OS X menu bar
  • piPop – Restores Apple Menu functionality sans menu (RealBasic app)
  • ResExcellence Mac OS X Modifications – A page of many UI mods, tricks, hacks, etc.
  • Quitling – Kill, launch, or relaunch processes from menu bar
  • WindowShade X – Brings classic WindowShade functionality to Mac OS X. Note: Use with caution; some have reported system–wide problems after using this product.
Unix “locate” (Find File) GUI’s
  • Locator – Freeware GUI front-end for the CLI locate command (find file); nice interface
  • SubRosa QuickFind – Another freeware GUI front-end for locate
  • Look4 – Another GUI front-end for locate. Shareware; v1.1 is not as good as either the free Locator nor SubRosa
Spotlight alternatives/enhancements
  • EasyFind – Alternative to Spotlight; finds files, folders or contents without indexing
  • Better Search – Search deeply in your HD for invisible directories, packages, etc.
  • HoudahSpot – File search tool based on Apple Spotlight technology
  • SpotLook – GUI for Leopard Spotlight; open-source project
  • SpotInside – Preview result documents with highlighted search words
  • FileSpot – Provides an enhanced interface to Spotlight (was MoRU)
Mac OS X Utilities
  • DiskWarrior – Everybody should have this disk utility
  • Disk Inventory X – Shows sizes of files and folders in graphical “treemaps”
  • PrefEdit – Inspect and edit preference settings for Mac OS X applications
  • HexEdit – Inspect and edit binary files
  • OpenLDAP, PostgreSQL and TCP Flow Recorder – Tips and instructions for installing these under Mac OS X
  • Cyclone – Character set text converter (useful for web development, among other things)
  • CronniX – A GUI cron front-end
  • BatChmod – A GUI chown, chgrp, chmod, and it can Force Empty the Trash too; obsolete since Jaguar?
CD/DVD Burning
  • Burn – Simple disc burning, with a lot of advanced options – Free and open source
  • SimplyBurns – Burn CD/DVD media; copy mode – Free and open source
  • LiquidCD – Burn CD/DVD media – Freeware
  • BurnX Free – Burn CD's with multiple sessions – Freeware
  • Patchburn – Allows legacy versions of Mac OS X to burn with many third-party DVD or CD writers
Mac OS X Web Browsers
  • iCab – Feature rich; now based on WebKit engine
  • Firefox – UI now more Mac-like; Powerful plug-in architecture; Gecko engine
  • NetVideoHunter – Download videos from many video sharing sites (e.g. YouTube) – Firefox
  • Safari – Apple’s AppleWebKit/KHTML based browser
  • Autocomplete Always On! – Patches Webcore (Safari’s HTML engine) to ignore the “autocomplete” flag so AutoFill works on more pages
  • Safari Tidy – Validates webpages for (x)html compliance
  • Cocoa Cookies – Utility to search (with regex) and delete (with undo) HTTP cookies used by Safari, Dashboard, NetNewsWire, Sherlock, Shiira, et al.
  • DownloadComment – Saves URI in the Finder/Spotlight Comments
  • PimpMySafari – Safari customizations
  • Web Development with... Safari – Safari enhancements (mostly obsolete now)
  • OmniWeb – Now free
  • Camino – Camino (formerly Chimera) Cocoa UI, Gecko engine; simple, small, fast
  • PimpMyCamino – Camino customizations
  • Shiira – A Cocoa, Open source, WebKit browser
  • Bookit – Cross-browser bookmark sync tool
  • Mozilla – Open source version of Netscape
  • Google Chrome – Crash resistant; unwieldily amalgam of URI & search boxes is just dreadful, however
Ad Blockers for Web Browsers
  • ClickToFlash – Block Flash on WebKit browsers (e.g. Safari, Chrome, iCab); one click viewing; higher quality YouTube; reduce CPU usage, extend battery life
  • GlimmerBlocker – A proxy-filter ad-blocker compatible with 64-bit Safari, other WebKit browsers, and FireFox (when manually configured)
  • SafariBlock – A Firefox AdBlock clone for Safari (32-bit Safari only)
  • Ad Blocking for Firefox, Mozilla, Camino, and Safari – CSS based ad Blocking for Firefox, Mozilla, Camino, and Safari
  • PithHelmet – Ad, Flash, Shockwave blocker for Safari (WebKit)
  • Adblock Plus – Ad blocker for Firefox
  • Flashblock – Flash blocker for Firefox
  • Numbers – Part of Apple’s iWork suite
  • Mariner Calc – Lean yet capable spreadsheet app; Excel file compatibility
  • Tables – Cocoa app
  • Mesa – Cocoa; icon-based interface; Excel compatible
Audio/Video Software
  • Plex Media Center for OS X – iTunes & Front Row alternative
  • Plex competes with Front Row – Macworld Plex Review
  • EyeTV – Turn your Mac into a DVR
  • ETVComskip – EyeTV plugin to skip past commercials
  • PyeTV – Plugin to access EyeTV within Front Row's top-level menu
  • Perian – Open source; adds QuickTime support for many popular video formats
  • VLC – Open source; plays most multimedias files as well as DVD, Audio CD, VCD, and various streaming protocols
  • Lunettes – Death of VLC for Mac is “greatly exaggerated”
  • HandBrake – Video transcoder; e.g. move videos from DVD to iPod; Open Source
  • Audio In – Great little App to capture audio input
  • Audio Hijack, Detour, et al – Useful Mac OS X sound redirection tools
  • xACT – GUI front-end to Shorten, shntool, monkey's audio compressor,flac and cdda2wav (with paranoia support)
  • Flip4Mac – Play Windoze Media files (.wma and .wmv) in QuickTime Player or in a web browser
Mapping Software
Graphics Software
  • Google SketchUp – Create, modify and share 3D models
  • Pixen – Designed for pixel artists; somewhere between a powerful Paint, or a simple, Photoshop. Open Source.
  • Paintbrush – Bitmap image editor (like MacPaint); open source
  • Seashore – Cocoa image editor. Gradients, textures, anti-aliasing, layers and alpha channel editing. Uses GIMP technology, but only for basic image editing. Open Source
  • Tux Paint – Drawing software for children ages 3 to 12. Open Source.
  • MacGIMP – GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) for your Mac
  • GIMPShop – A more Photoshop-like version of GIMP
  • InterfaceLIFT: Icons – Free Mac OS X icons
Other Mac OS X Software
  • Pangea Payroll – Open Source: calculate employee payroll taxes for small businesses
  • HPConnect – Open Source: Connect to HP calculators with USB (e.g. HP49G+, HP50)
  • Archicad – Architectural virtual design
  • Undercover – Anti-theft software; transmits pictures of the thief
  • MyMahj – A freeware MahJongg Solitaire game; similar to Activision’s Shanghai for Mac OS 8, but without the wonderful sound effects and dancing dragon
Apache, PHP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, HTML, CGI
Data/Network Security
News Readers
  • MT-NewsWatcher – A descendant of John Norstad’s venerable NewsWatcher; now carbonized for Mac OS X
  • NewsWatcher-X – A carbonized version of John Norstad’s venerable NewsWatcher
  • Halime – Mac OS X news reader technology preview (under development, but worth keeping an eye on)
Screen sharing/remote control
Networking/File Transfer (e.g. SSH, sFTP, FTP)
  • Fugu – A Mac OS X SFTP, SCP and SSH Frontend
  • Macfusion – Mount servers from across the internet directly in the Finder as a “Volume”; requires Google’s MacFUSE
  • FileZilla – Cross-platform FTP, FTPS and SFTP client
  • Cyberduck – A Mac OS X FTP and SFTP client; open-source (GPL)
  • SSHKeychain – GUI Keychain management for SSH Keys, and SSH Tunnels
  • MacSSH & MacSFTP – Secure Telnet applications (freeware/Classic & shareware/Carbon)
  • RsyncX – rsync with HFS+ support through either CLI or GUI
  • Radmind – (remote administration daemon) a collection of Unix command line tools to manage file systems of multiple machines
  • Synk – Sounds like (but may not be) rsync with a GUI frontend
  • RBrowser – Commercial graphical FTP/SSH/SFTP client
  • osXigen – A feature-rich sharware FTP/SFTP client (Cocoa)
  • FTP client comparison – from Indiana University; links, descriptions and chart
  • CaptainFTP – Freeware and Shareware versions of a graphical FTP client
  • Transmit 2 – Commercial graphical FTP/SFTP/SSH client (Cocoa)
  • Gideon – A sharware FTP/SFTP client (Cocoa)
  • Interarchy – Commercial graphical FTP/SSH/SFTP client (formerly called Anarchie)
  • Fetch – Commercial graphical FTP client
  • Net::SSH::Perl – Perl client interface to Secure Shell
  • AlmostVPN – A Preference Panel for managing ssh tunnels
  • SSH Tunnel Manager – A CLI tool to manage SSH Tunnels. It can set up many tunnels, each containing many port redirections
  • see also: Things Macintosh (Users) – for classic Mac software
Technical Mac OS X Info
Command Line Interface (CLI)
Packages and Ports
CVS Information
GUI front-ends for CVS
Backup Software
Beer Making

Wordsmithing & OCR

Word Processors (General Purpose)
  • Nisus Writer – Multilingual word processing; Mac-only; commercial
  • Mellel – Multilingual word processor; designed for scholars, creative and technical writing; Mac-only; commercial
  • Mariner Write – “Powerful, yet streamlined word processor”; Mac-only; commercial
  • AbiWord – A free word processor; Mac/Lin/Win; open source
Word Processors (Creative Writing)
  • Montage – Screenwriting software; Mac-only; commercial
  • Storymill (nee: Avenir) – Novel writing software; Mac-only; commercial
  • Scrivener – Virtual writing studio; integrates outlining, storyboarding, research and writing; store and cross-reference your research; Mac-only; commercial
  • Storyist – Story development tool for novelists and screenwriters; Mac-only; commercial
  • Jer’s Novel Writer – Simple word processor with support for creative writing projects; Mac-only; commercial
  • CopyWrite – Project-oriented manager “for writers of all kinds”; Mac-only; commercial
  • Ulysses – Text editor for creative writers; Mac-only; commercial
  • Celtx – Pre-Production software for film, video, theatre, and animation; Mac/Win; free, open source
  • Manuscript – Specialised word-processor for writers; Mac-only; shareware
  • Final Draft – Designed for writing movie scripts, television episodics and stage plays; Mac/Win; commercial
Word Processors (Layout)
  • Wolfram Publicon – “Technical publishing made easy”; FrameMaker alternative?; commercial
  • Scribus – Open Source Desktop Publishing; cross platform
  • TeXShop – A LaTeX based editor for Mac; some assembly required; GPL
Text Editors
  • Smultron – Cocoa based Text editor; features for HTML, coding, etc.; author seems to be taking a wait-and-see approach to future development based on App Store sales ($5); no longer open source
  • Fraise – A fork of Smultron (v 3.5 or 3.6); open source; apparently abandoned
  • TextForge – Worth a look; Open Source
  • TextWrangler – aka BBEdit Lite
  • Tex-Edit Plus – A Carbon text editor; was well supported (until 2007)
  • SubEthaEdit – Collaborative text editor
  • TextMate – Cocoa based Text editor; shareware
  • Writeroom – “Simplicity of a typewriter”; full-screen writing environment; shareware
  • mi – Text editor for HTML, programming, etc.; freeware
  • Jedit – Cocoa based Text editor; shareware
  • CSSEdit – CSS editor; shareware
  • Tag – “Intuitive” XHTML editor; shareware
GUI versions of CLI Text Editors
  • MacVim – A Cocoa GUI version of the CLI text editor Vim
  • Aquamacs – Emacs editor with an aqua GUI
  • MyMind – Outliner and “Mind Mapping” software; Donationware
  • FreeMind – “Mind Mapping” software; free
  • OmniOutliner – Commercial
Office Suites
  • OpenOffice – Open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases, etc.; an alternative to Microsoft Office
  • NeoOffice – “An office suite that is adapted to the unique needs of Mac users by taking the features in… OpenOffice.org… and adding improvements”
  • NeoOffice MD5 Checksums
  • Papyrus OFFICE – Commercial; Word-processing, desktop publishing, spreadsheets, relational database, “phonetic search” option
  • KOffice.org – Primarily an X11 suite, but a Mac GUI is available
Bibliography Management & Research Aides
  • Sente – “Academic Reference Manager for Mac OS X”
  • Bookends – Reference management and bibliography generation software for Macintosh
  • Papers – “Your personal library of research” for Mac OS X
  • EndNote – “Bibliographies made easy” is the claim; not all users agree; cross platform
  • Bibus – Open Source; bibliographic and reference management software; cross platform
  • BibDesk – Open Source; Mac OS X BibTeX front-end for use with LaTeX; external DB connectivity for importing/exporting & linking to local documents
  • Mendeley – Academic reference management software for researchers; Organize, collaborate & discover; Like iTunes for research papers
  • Zotero – Firefox extension; collect, manage, cite, and share research sources
  • Comparison of reference management software – Wikipedia
  • OCRKit – “Simple and Streamlined OCR” (25 languages; AppleScript Support; App Store)
  • Prizmo for Mac – “Accurate OCR… in 10 languages”
  • VueScan – A flatbed and film scanner program with OCR
  • ABBYY FineReader for Mac – Commercial OCR
  • Readiris 12 for Mac – Commercial OCR; poor reviews on Amazon.com
  • Presto! PageManager 9 – “Document Scanning and Management Solution for Mac”; has OCR
  • Clara OCR – Open source; POSIX X Window System GUI, and a Web interface
  • GNU Ocrad – Open source for Unix-like OS’s; No Mac GUI
  • Tesseract-OCR – Open source for Unix-like OS’s; No Mac GUI; “Probably one of the most accurate open source OCR engines available”
Spelling & Grammar
Typographic Considerations

Other pages in the “Things” series are:
This page was last updated on 14-September-2011