Apple includes some software with every Mac, but there's a vast world of applications and utilities out there that will enhance your Mac experience. The hard part is finding the best programs among them to make you more productive, or to make using your Mac more enjoyable. That’s where this Superguide comes in. Our friends at Macworld have been publishing the Mac Gems column for years, finding and reviewing free and inexpensive programs that you might not have run across on your own.
They've now chosen the cream of the crop and collected them in this 80-page ebook. Each program receives a capsule review, a link to the full review on Macworld's Web site, and a link to the developer's site, making it easy for you to find the programs you want. All the programs listed are compatible with Lion (and probably with Mountain Lion, though the book was released before Mountain Lion came out).
Table of Contents
Master the Web, Email, and Social Networking Between email, blogs, social networking sites and services, instant messaging, videoconferencing, and so on, you’ve never had more options for keeping in touch with far-flung friends and family—even strangers are no more than a few clicks away. But with all of that chatter comes the sometimes daunting task of dealing with the deluge of information, as well as the various forms of communication. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools that can help.
Work with Text Copy. Cut. Paste. Repeat. Working with text can involve dozens of little repetitive tasks. Some have easy-to-remember keyboard shortcuts, but others—like changing formatting or eliminating line breaks—usually don’t. If you’re tired of the more tedious aspects of working with the written word or if you’re just looking for a great writing app, these text-focused utilities can help. Whether you’re taking notes at a meeting, writing HTML code, or doing some creative writing, let these tools take care of the heavy lifting and help you focus on what matters—your words.
Be More Productive Reaching your maximum level of productivity is a personal journey—no single application or combination of tricks works for everyone. That’s why we’ve packed this chapter with numerous third-party programs and add-ons that offer faster shortcuts, smarter calendars, easier file organization, and other customizations to make your time in front of the screen as productive as possible.
Work with Media Between iTunes, iPhoto, QuickTime, GarageBand, and iMovie, your Mac can handle many common audio, photo, and video tasks. But there’s plenty these programs can’t do. For the audiovisual and photo nerd lurking in all of us, third-party programs address everything from getting your DVDs onto your iPad to giving your photos a retro feel. We’ve collected some of our favorite add-ons, big and small, that improve and complement your music, photo, and movie libraries.
Enhance Your Mac Your Mac is designed to be as intuitive and easy to use as possible, but each user has a unique set of needs and habits. While you can alter your preferences for OS X and individual programs, there’s a limit to how much you can do without third-party help. In this chapter you’ll find tools for customizing your system so that it’s the perfect fit for you. These utilities can change the behavior of everything from the Dock and the Finder to your mouse and Spotlight.
Secure Your Data The digital world is full of do-no-gooders hoping to gain access to your accounts and other private data. These Gems help you keep that information save by encrypting your data, whether it’s on your Mac, in your browser, or traveling over the Internet.
Maintain & Back Up Macs are relatively hassle-free—most people get by with minimal maintenance. But it’s still good to keep an eye on your drives and to back up regularly, as doing so can reduce your chances of problems big and small. Every Mac owner’s first line of defense is having a good backup system. The next is being aware of how your computer is using its resources.