A few months ago, I wrote about my favorite little Mac apps. This post was originally published on my portfolio blog (which I have since merged with this one), so it had more of a focus on web development and productivity, so I wanted to write up a part 2 with more general-use apps I use frequently.
I use YouTube a lot, but I hate their video player, and the constant ads are obnoxious (nothing is worse than watching a dev tutorial and having it get interrupted by an ad for Wix). Vinegar is a Safari extension that replaces the YouTube player with a standard HTML 5 player, and blocks ads. It’s made YouTube so much more enjoyable to use on both my Mac and iOS devices. I suggest getting it in a bundle with Baking Soda, which replaces custom video players on other websites with standard HTML 5 players.
Rocket gives you quick and easy access to the full swath of Emoji with a simple search function you can either access via the menu bar, or in any text field via a trigger key (for example, Rocket pops up when I type
::). And that’s just the free version! With the pro version, you can store and search custom text snippets, ASCII art, images, and even gifs. Furthermore, you can search various symbols and glyphs like ↺, ◆, ∭, etc…
I do 90% of my writing in Markdown (heck, this blog is just a collection of Markdown files), and I wanted to see if there was a way to preview Markdown in QuickLook. After some searching, I found QLMarkdown! While it is an app you install to your Applications folder, it is primarily a QuickLook plugin that will display any
.md file as a fully styled Markdown preview. The app itself is simply a interface to change various settings for how you want the preview to look and function. Best of all, it’s open source!
Or, if you use Homebrew, you can install it with
brew install --cask qlmarkdown.
Even though MacOS handles ZIP files, and other similar formats, it does have some limitations. I used the Unarchiver for many years, but I recently discovered Keka. I find it to be faster, and has a lot more options for compression and encyption if you’re into that.