My Favorite Mac Graphic Tool Of All Time

The Mac App Store is my new found friend. What I’ve found is nearly a dozen great Mac photo enhancement apps, all of them under $10, many at 99-cents, and a few priced in-between.

What caught my hair on fire this weekend was xScope, the Mac onscreen measuring tool, priced at the high end of my allowance.


If you do any graphics on your Mac you’re probably already loaded with apps that enhance this, or filter that, or add effects to everything in umpteen gazillion layers.

xScope doesn’t do any of that. No red-eye reduction, no extra color saturation, no sepia tone, no frames or colorizing.

What you get are seven different tools in a floating palette that are each a requirement for graphic pros, but collectively make up the best bargain graphic app on the Mac.

Dimensions – Point to a space and Dimensions spreads out left to right and up to down and gives you the dimensions of the space in between.

Rulers – What you see is what you get. Rulers gives you onscreen pixel-precise measurements of objects and distances, even across multiple displays.

Screens – All screen sizes are not created equal. Screens makes it easy to see what your graphic image will look like on a specifically sized Mac screen, including the typical 4:3 ration, and 16:9 aspect ratio.

Loupe – My favorite. Nothing is better at magnifying a portion of the screen and capturing the color of a pixel.

Guides – Keep your images straight on the screen with Guides, vertical or horizontal, as wide or narrow as you need, and save them for future use. And, yes, it works on multiple displays.

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Frames – Preset guides for frame layouts is not a tool everyone needs but if you need it, you need it and there are few apps that have it. xScope does.

Crosshair – Where’s that pixel? Crosshair displays the exact coordinates of any position on the Mac’s screen. You can even set any point on the screen as the origin.

Alright, enough gushing. If you do graphic design or layout, you’re familiar with all seven of those tools. xScope’s claim to fame is that all seven are on one palette, just a click away.

In one weekend of use I’m a believer that good things come to good people. I’m not much of a graphic design talent. Yet. But I know which tools help. This is one.