Dark Desktop and Productivity Tools for Mac

I "Went Mac" exactly one year ago. For the most part, I am a happy camper. Mac is not without its problems, but it clearly has smoother edges than Windows. This post will be reminiscent of my Desktop Cleaning post, only now "I am a Mac".

Today I decided that I was tired of spending time resizing windows on my Mac. It wasn't great in Windows either, but at least it was easier in that you could drag any of three sides of the window. On Mac, the only way to resize a window is to drag its lower right corner.  What I needed was a tiling window manager, something like xmonad. Unfortunately, xmonad is only for Linux. Yes, you could get it to run on Mac, but it'll only work for X11-based applications - which are the minority of what I use on a day to day basis. I did some research and found an app called SizeUp. SizeUp allows you to tile windows using keyboard shortcuts. For example, you can make the current window occupy the left; right; top or bottom halves of the screen. You can also make it occupy each of the four quarters of the screen. You can also center a window, full screen a window, etc. If you use multiple screens, there are also shortcuts to move a window between the screens. All the shortcuts are configureable, and you will want to play around with configuring them to know what works for you, because honestly, the defaults are "a bit shit".

SizeUp Screenshot

Another problem I have been having with the Mac experience is task switching. In Mac, the task switcher can switch between different programs, but not between the different windows within programs - unlike in Windows. You can switch windows within the active program using Cmd-`, but it's not as nice an experience as there isn't any indication of how many windows there are or what their names are. For this problem, Witch fits the bill. Witch is basically an advanced task switcher for Mac (for Windows there is the Power Toys Task Switcher). It does let you cycle through all the windows of all the active applications. It also shows you the names of all the windows.

Witch Screenshot

Well, those are two Mac productivity apps that I think are worth the money. But last and not least here's a tip for making your desktop dark. If you go into System Preference -> Desktop & Screen Saver, you'll see Solid Colors as an folder under what you can select to be your wallpaper. Unfortunately for me, black is not an option. To make a dark wallpaper - well, it's obvious really - I just created a one-pixel-sized black image and used it as the wallpaper. There you go. Here's a screenshot of my dark desktop with Witch opened on top of it:

Dark Desktop Screenshot
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