Tag Archives: osx

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:

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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How to migrate to native Homebrew on an M1 Mac

Let the great Homebrew migration begin. Yes, Homebrew now has native support for Apple’s ARM64-based M1 chip. The latest version, 3.0.0, released 5 February, will run nicely on your Apple Silicon Mac. There’s a catch, of course. Well, several catches: first, not all of the tools you can install using Homebrew are M1 native yet and, second, Homebrew doesn’t offer explicit migration instructions, that I could find at least.

Apple Silicon Mac, now with native Homebrew support
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How to debug a Raspberry Pi Pico with a Mac, SWD and… another Pico

When you’ve used Serial Wire Debug (SWD) to help you correct the C or C++ code running on your Raspberry Pi Pico, you’ll never want to go back to USB and the UF2 file system again. I don’t — no more messing about unplugging and re-plugging cables for me.

The Raspberry Pi Pico
The Raspberry Pi Pico is ready for Serial Wire Debugging
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How to program the Raspberry Pi Pico in C on a Mac

Last week I tried the Raspberry Pi Pico with MicroPython. The Raspberry Pi Foundation would be sufficiently commended for providing only this level of programming support. MicroPython leverages the Python skills of the many Raspberry Pi users out there and is accessible to plenty of others too. But the Foundation has also provided a C/C++ SDK, and this opens the Pico up to serious embedded-system developers too.

The Raspberry Pi Pico
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Just released: imageprep 6.2.0 with powerful new features

imageprep, my command line tool for batch-processing picture files, had a big update a week or so back — and now it has another one. With the second update imminent, I didn’t announce the first, 6.1.0, which I released to coincide with my post on writing command line utilities in Swift. That done, it’s time to shout about imageprep 6.2.0.

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How To Write macOS Command Line Tools with Swift

I’ve spent a lot of time of late working on several macOS command line tools written in Swift. So I’ve gathered together the key points I’ve learned while creating and updating pdfmaker and imageprep: some best practices and ways to deliver many of the features common to programs the run at the command line.

imageprep running in Terminal
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