Every Mac user who dabbles in or lives in the graphic design world has a number of add on tools or utilities that do something special. Here’s one of my all time favorites; a must have for the Mac designer, developer, or graphics pro or wannabe.
It’s called xScope and it’s really a Swiss Army Knife of utilities. There are 10 useful tools available from a floating palette so you can place the tools anywhere on the Mac’s screen, or from the Menubar so they can be accessed from within any Mac app.
Loupe – no graphics utility is complete with a magnifying loupe, and xScope provides a good one that copies color and can even simulate how colors appear to users who have standard color vision impairments.
Guides – Mac folks who use as much of the screen as possible need both horizontal and vertical guides that float on top of everything else so graphic elements and text can be perfectly aligned.
Crosshair – this extra is self explanatory and makes it easy to find and align any point on the Mac’s screen.
Frames – I don’t use this much but it’s an easy way to create and layout holder or marker boxes that float over a graphic layout or other onscreen components or elements.
Rulers – of course there are rulers. Where there are guides there are rulers but these scale, rotate, and snap to the edge of the Mac’s screen.
Overlay – new to the floating palette and the Menubar is Overlay which lets you view mockups or display grids over a browser. It’s good for creating responsive web designs, too.
Text – also new is Text which lets you search fonts on your Mac, find, decipher, and reformat text and character glyphs. It’s nerdy but neat.
Dimensions – where there are guides and rulers there are dimensions and xScope’s Dimensions tool is as easy to use as moving the onscreen pointer.
Mirror – this is an extra that lets you see your designs on iOS devices while you’re still working with them on your Mac. Very handy for web development and design.
Screens – finally, a bunch of templates for PCs, Macs, TVs and other mobile devices. Perfect for mockup designs.
This is one of those must-have Mac graphic tools that just gets better over time. Worth the extra coin, though.