Posts tagged Freelance
Sip: Smart Color Management for Your Mac

If you work with color on the Mac, you’re probably painfully aware that the macOS Colors palette hasn’t changed in years. It offers several different types of color pickers, an eyedropper tool for sampling a color from the screen, and wells for storing color swatches. It’s functional for occasional use but becomes clumsy quickly—try remembering which red is which when you’ve saved multiple similar versions. Many graphics apps offer their own color tools, but they’re useless as soon as you need to work in another app. Luckily, there’s a solution: Sip.

Sip is a $10 menu bar app that allows you to pick colors anywhere on your Mac, quickly organize them into palettes, and smartly use those colors in other apps. Brothers André Gonçalves and Rui Aureliano designed Sip with advanced features for professional developers and designers, but its core functionality is simple enough that any Mac user might find it useful for color management.

Sip Basics

The first thing you’ll do with Sip is pick some colors. You can open the color picker—which is a circle that magnifies a small portion of the screen underneath it—by clicking the menu bar icon or pressing a keyboard shortcut (Command-Option-Control-P). Sip provides plenty of shortcuts, all of which you can change in its settings.

Sip Color Picker

To pick a color, position the color picker over the desired hue, wherever on the screen it may be, and click. That adds it to Sip and copies the color to your clipboard. Press a modifier key while picking a color to add additional tweaks:

  • Shift: Adds multiple colors in a row.

  • Option: Automatically creates a new palette and puts each color you pick in that palette.

  • Control: Creates a new palette with the colors you’re picking.

  • Command: Sends the color directly to the app in which you’re working, if it’s one of the 17 currently supported apps, including Web development apps like Coda and Espresso, and Adobe’s Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop.

For more precise color picking, use Sip’s keyboard shortcuts to increase or decrease the zoom of the color picker, to make the color picker’s grid larger or smaller, and to move the color picker around in 1- or 10-pixel increments. This is great for grabbing a 1-pixel border color or the color of small text.

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Terminology: Where Word Explorations Begin

When I hear a term that’s new to me or I’m struggling to find the perfect word for a sentence, I turn to Terminology. It’s a powerful utility app for iPhone and iPad from Agile Tortoise, the creator of Drafts.

In much the same way that Drafts gives you a place to start writing, Terminology gives you a launchpad for your word explorations, and its extensible actions are powerful enough that you will usually find what you need.

Terminology Basics

Terminology is, first and foremost, an offline dictionary and thesaurus. After tapping through a quick first-launch guide and searching for a word, it will present you with instantaneous results containing definitions, synonyms, and antonyms. 

On top of this, Terminology’s thesaurus results show more and less specific words. For example, with the term “dive”, a less specific word result is “swim” and more specific word results include “belly flop,” “jackknife,” and “swan dive.”

Terminology makes it incredibly simple to tap into any related words to view their results, arrow back and forth through your history, and, most importantly for me, follow the skein of terms wherever it leads. With the speaker, pencil, and heart icons in the upper right, you can have any word pronounced out loud, add notes to it, and favorite terms you want to revisit later. I find myself mostly relying on my search history in lieu of favorites. Your notes, favorites, history, and settings all sync between your devices using iCloud, so there is no need for an account.

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