Tag Archives: macos

PreviewApps updated

All three of my PreviewApps — PreviewMarkdown, PreviewCode and PreviewYaml — got big updates this week. Headline features: significantly improved font, style and colour selection, across-the-range stability improvements, and faster PreviewCode theme preview presentation.

Each app allows you to pick a different font to display Markdown, YAML and source code file previews. The last two previously offered a limited selection of monospace fonts — now you can choose any monospace font that’s installed on your Mac. Additionally, the styles available for each font — regular, italic, bold, condensed, heavy and so on — can be selected separately:

Select any monospace font installed on your Mac…
…and select from among a font’s available styles

PreviewMarkdown uses monospace fonts for code blocks and proportionally spaced fonts for all other text. Again, you can now pick from any font of those types installed on your computer, and apply any of the available styles.

PreviewMarkdown and PreviewYaml use colour to highlight different parts of the presented file content: YAML keys, for instance, and code blocks in Markdown. Earlier versions provided a set of pre-defined colours, but some users wanted to apply different colours, so the new releases provide colour selection through the standard macOS colour picker:

Choose text colours with the macOS picker

Additionally — because it was requested — you can now pick a separate colour for headings to help them stand out even more.

These two PreviewApps were designed to provide simple, straightforward previews, so the range of customisation is intentionally limited. macOS’ QuickLook facility is meant for glances as files rather than content consumption, after all. So there’s less customisation on offer than a reader app might provide. That said, there is demand for deeper preview customisation, the feedback I’ve had via the apps themselves and the Mac App Store, so that’s on my list to add to a future release.

Speaking of feedback, please do keep your suggestions and bug reports coming in. Go something to post? Use the Send Feedback button in the apps’ main window.

Incidentally, for those of you asking about images in previews, that’s in the pipeline. Watch this space.

All three PreviewApps are available from the Mac App Store:

Tackle async signal safety in Swift

How do you safely interrupt a command-line program written in Swift? This question was posed to me this week by a reader who got in touch to point out that boilerplate code included in my How to write macOS command line tools in Swift post might not be totally safe: it could leave a program and system in an undefined state, which is never a good thing. So I took a closer look.

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MNU now supports Mac terminal emulator iTerm2

MNU, my macOS menu bar utility that lets you call up regularly used command line operations and more, now supports iTerm2, the popular alternative to macOS’ own Terminal app.

MNU in action
MNU in action
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Crop picture files with confidence and pixel-precise offsets, using sips and imageprep

I recently had a rather large number of screenshots to process: specifically to crop them down to a small area about a third of screen width in and two-thirds of its height down. I could have done this manually, but it’s easy enough to make mis-crops when you’re cropping a couple of images by eye, let alone a 100 or so. The solution? Get your Mac to do it for you. Here’s how.

imageprep 6.30
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How to fix ‘xcodebuild’ macOS Terminal slowdowns

For a while, running commands and scripts in macOS’ Terminal has felt slower than it should, especially when opening Terminal for the first time. Clearly my .zshrc file was being run, but there was a very noticeable pause between the completion of the script and before the prompt appeared. The gap was much less on my M1 Mac than my Intel machine, but still noticeable. Got the same problem? Here’s how to fix it.

macOS Terminal
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Looking for YAML macOS QuickLook file previews? With PreviewYaml 1.0.0, you got ’em!

Last week I announced the release of a new version of PreviewMarkdown that will preview YAML front matter in Markdown files. Work on that release prompted me to code a new app that enables QuickLook previews and Finder icon thumbnails of YAML files.

QuickLook previews and icon thumbnails of YAML files can now be yours
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Now available: PreviewMarkdown 1.3.0 with YAML support

Version 1.3.0 of PreviewMarkdown has just been released. Its key new feature: you now have the option to view YAML front matter in Markdown file previews. This is really handy if, like me, you use a static site generator and use YAML to record content metadata at the top of your Markdown page files.

With PreviewMarkdown 1.3.0, you can now preview files’ YAML content too
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How to share preferences between macOS/iOS apps

A couple of macOS releases or so ago, Apple introduced app extensions: self-contained modules that are bundled within apps to deliver functionality to the wider operating system. But how do apps and their extensions share information between themselves, in particular users’ preferences?

PreviewMarkdown’s new Preferences sheet
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