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Witch 4.1 released

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Witch 4.1 is out, and the big news here is badges: You can now see Mail’s unread message count on Mail icons in the Witch switcher panel. Witch also has a soon-to-be-public API that other developers can use to make it simple to send badge data to other apps, including Witch—hopefully we’ll see more badges coming to Witch in the future.

In addition to the badges, we did a ton of work to improve Witch’s speed when working with slow-to-respond (to Witch’s queries) apps. We’ve also improved cross-Space window switching, and we found and fixed a memory leak that could make Witch’s RAM usage balloon if you used a lot of window previews.

You can find other goodness in the Witch release notes, and you can update to Witch 4.1 either via the in-app updater, or by downloading a fresh copy from the Witch page (you won’t lose your settings).

Moom 3.2.8 released

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Late yesterday, we released Moom 3.2.8, which has only one change from Moom 3.2.7, released the day before. The update is available directly from us (via in-app updater, or by downloading it from our site), and it should be available in the Mac App Store app shortly, if not already.

The one change was to the grid, which switched from rectangular (with the circles of 3.2.7) to the new hexagonal layout, as seen at right.

Why did we change the design? Late last week, we learned there’s a US patent that covers resizing windows using a rectangular grid in a miniature preview image. We learned this when the patent’s owner told us they believed Moom’s grid was infringing on their patent. For now, we have redesigned the grid in such a way that no infringement claim can be made, and we’re working on further improvements.

Note: Comments are closed on this post, as we wish to inform you as to what happened, not to start a debate on software patents in general, or this patent in particular.

Witch 4 switches out of beta

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

As of today, the public beta is over, and Witch 4 is officially released. Witch 4 has been on pre-sale for $10 ($6 for Witch 3 upgraders) since the beta started, and those sale prices will continue through Sunday, April 9th, 2017. After the sale, Witch will be $14 (and $8 for upgraders).

So what’s new in Witch 4? A whole bunch of stuff, but here are the highlights:

There’s a ton of other good stuff in there, but rather than list it all out in boring text form, why not download the demo and give it a try yourself?

Buying Witch 4

Buying Witch 4 is easy, though there are slightly different paths depending on whether you own Witch 3 or not, and where you bought it.

Recent Witch 3 purchaser: If you purchased Witch 3 directly from Many Tricks after October 1st of 2016, you already have a valid license for Witch 4—you can start using it as a fully licensed user with your existing license.

If you bought Witch 3 from the App Store after that date, you too have a direct license waiting: You just need to permanently crossgrade to the direct version.

Less-recent Witch 3 direct customer: Buy a Witch 4 upgrade for $6 ($8 after April 9th).

Less-recent Witch 3 App Store customer: First, permanently crossgrade your App Store license to a direct license. After that, you too can buy a Witch 4 upgrade for $6 ($8 after April 9th).

New Witch customer: Buy the full version for $10 ($14 after April 9th).

If you have any questions on the buying process, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email, or using our ticket system.

Usher 1.1.16 released

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Although Usher is retired, that doesn’t mean it’s being ignored. Today’s update adds two new features (really!), and fixes a couple of bugs.

The new features are an option to auto-size thumbnails, and (mainly for those looking to migrate to another app), a CSV export option. For more details on the export, open Usher’s help, and you’ll find some instructions at the top of the first page. If you’re really bored, you can read the full release notes.

Because Usher is no longer available in the App Store, this update is only available to users of the direct version. Usher App Store users, please crossgrade (it’s free) to the direct version in order to get this update.

Usher will be stepping aside

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

After many long conversations, we have decided to retire Usher, our media management app: Effective March 1st, 2017, Usher will no longer be available for purchase. We will update it to fix issues that arise, but no further development will occur.

If you’ve always wanted to own Usher, you’ve got about two weeks left to make the purchase. (It’s not being abandoned, we’re just retiring it from active development, so you will be supported. However, please read the Q&A before you decide to purchase Usher.)

So what does this mean for you as an Usher user? We figure you might have questions, so we’re going to do our best to answer them here. Anything we don’t address, please feel free to bring it up in the comments, or by emailing us directly.

Why are you retiring Usher?

Usher does its video magic through QuickTime. Not the newer-and-current QuickTime X, but the original QuickTime. This lets Usher do all sorts of neat stuff, but also means it can break due to an event that crashes QuickTime—most Usher crashes are actually QuickTime crashes which then take Usher out, too.

QuickTime is very old, and obviously no longer updated. (It’s so old that it’s not even 64-bit code.) Newer video formats may cause issues, and we can’t resolve those issues in Usher because they’re actually in QuickTime. Given these age-related issues with QuickTime, we’re no longer comfortable selling and supporting Usher to new buyers, so we’ve decided it’s retirement time.

Why not make Usher work with QuickTime X?

As much as we’d love to work on integrating QuickTime X into Usher, the unfortunate reality is that we can’t presently justify the time investment it would require. Even when new, Usher served a niche audience of people who obsessed about their video collections and found iTunes/iPhoto weren’t sufficient for their needs. Unfortunately, this niche started small and has only gotten smaller over the years, and the move to streaming media instead of physical or electronic-but-owned media files has only made it worse.

Beyond the market size, we can’t just delete “old QuickTime” and insert “QuickTime X” and be done with it. The two are very different, so much so that we’d need to totally rewrite the engine that drives Usher. And that’s a huge job…and one that wouldn’t ever be paid back in sales, due to the limited market size.

The double whammy of a lack of potential customers and huge time investment to rewrite Usher mean we can’t presently justify the work required to make Usher use the newer QuickTime X.

What happens to my copy of Usher?

Nothing at all. Like all our apps, Usher is a standalone program, so it will continue to run just fine in macOS Sierra (or whatever release you’re using it in).

Going forward, we’ll work to fix any bugs that crop up, and do our best to keep Usher working with new releases of macOS. We can’t make any promises, of course, but both of us use Usher, and we’d like to keep it working for as long as possible without investing a huge amount of time in the project. (Of course, if Apple breaks “old QuickTime” at some point, that will be the end for Usher. Let’s hope they never do that.)

I bought from the Mac App Store, what happens to my version?

All Mac App Store buyers are encouraged to crossgrade to our direct version—it’s free, and you get a permanent Usher license so you never need use the App Store version again. The App Store version should get any bug fixes we release, but we’ve never tried updating a removed-from-sale app before; migrating to the direct version will ensure you always get these bug fixes. By migrating, you’ll also be able to reinstall at any time by downloading the app again from our server and applying your license file.

Can I get a refund?

If you bought directly from us, you can get a refund within 60 days of purchase. If you bought from the App Store, Apple’s official policy is no refunds, but they’ve been known to offer them if you ask nicely (and rarely).

But again, the app will continue to work fine, so there’s no need for a refund on the basis of non-functionality. But if you’d like your money back and you’re within the 60-day window, just ask.

Why aren’t you open sourcing Usher, instead of retiring it?

We can’t open source Usher because it contains code that we share between many of our apps, and we’re not willing to make that code public at this time.

Why not give it away for free?

In short because we wouldn’t be able to support the users. Yes, we could say “no support included,” but if someone has a problem with Usher and they lose their library, neither of us would be comfortable saying “Sorry, no support, it was free.” That’s not how we work. So we’d wind up with a crush of free support requests for one of our largest, most complex apps. That’s not a sustainable model.


It’s never easy to say goodbye to an application, and Usher is no different. Unfortunately, between the old QuickTime technology and small (but very enthusiastic) audience, we cannot currently justify the work required to make the program into what we know it could be.

Time Sink 2 is on the clock

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Time Sink 2 iconTime Sink 2 is out today—yes, it’s a major update in version numbers, and no, it won’t cost you a cent. That’s right, Time Sink 2.0 is a free new major version, for both direct and App Store buyers.

Why free? Because all though we’ve done a ton of behind-the-scenes work to make Time Sink an even better time tracking app (so it’s indeed a major upgrade to us), the user-visible new features may not feel like typical “oh wow this is a MAJOR update!” material to you. So instead of trying to justify charging for the upgrade, we decided to give it to everyone for free. (But hey, if you want to buy another copy or gift one to a friend, we won’t mind—it’s still just $5.)

So what’s new in Time Sink 2? We won’t bore you with all the many behind-the-scenes changes, other than to mention that Time Sink is now sandboxed, so we can add new features to the App Store version to keep it in sync with the direct version—hooray!

Here’s the stuff you can see and work with as a Time Sink user:

  • Ad-hoc timers can be used to track non-Mac activities, such as phone calls or client meetings.
  • All timers can be paused via an assignable hot key, and can be set to resume automatically when activity resumes.
  • A pop-up menu at the bottom of the Activity Report window lets you easily select time frames like today, this week, this month, or this year.
  • Define the “start of day” time for the “today” Activity Report view. No longer must you start working just after midnight.
  • Use window title filters to merge windows from apps that include always-changing info in their window titles, as when Photoshop appends @50%, @75%, etc.
  • Exported reports can be opened in Time Sink to view historical data.
  • View time usage in the Organizer as percentages of total time instead of hours/minutes.

Finally, there are a couple of new themes for the Activity Report:

Two new Activity Report themes join the original

The original purple (left) is joined by light (center) and dark (right); the blue shown in the dark theme shot will be replaced with whatever you’ve set as your macOS highlight color (System Preferences > General).

How to update

Direct customers can get the update via in-app updating; App Store customers should see the update in the App Store app soon, if not already. (Just one note of caution: Time Sink 2 requires OS X 10.8 or newer; if you’re on OS X 10.7, you’ll want to stay with the original Time Sink. See the museum for links to older versions.)

How-to: Track top-level web site usage with Time Sink

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Our time-tracking app Time Sink relies on window titles to track your activities. This approach works great for most use cases, as window titles are supplied by the vast majority of apps out there, which means Time Sink is able to keep an eye on nearly everything you do.

But when browsing the web, relying on window titles can sometimes be problematic: Many sites don’t include any site-specific information in their window titles. For instance, a news site may just have the title of the news article as the window title. So if you were interested in finding out how much time you spend on that news site, Time Sink apparently wouldn’t be able to help, because there’s no way to tell which site those news stories came from.

Other sites do include some site-specific data in their window titles, but what that is will vary by site, as well as where it appears within the window title.

The good news is that Time Sink can track site-wide time usage for both types of windows—it’s relatively simple for sites that include site-specific data in their window titles, and it’s somewhat more involved for sites that do not.

The relatively simple way

Some sites include a bit of unique information in each page’s title, which makes tracking them simple. YouTube, for instance, appends ” – YouTube” to every window title:

Any site that does this is easy to track with a pool, regardless of which browser you use. (This example assumes Safari.)

  1. Drag any opened YouTube window (in Time Sink’s Organizer window) to the Pools section of the Organizer window, and drop to create a new pool.
  2. Expand the Safari (assuming you used Safari, of course) folder in the Pools section, then expand Safari (the app within the folder) to reveal the window title.
  3. Select the window title and press Return to edit it. Change the window’s title to * – YouTube and press Return again. The * is Time Sink’s wildcard, and it means “match anything.” In this example, it will match any number of characters that are followed by the ” – YouTube” bit.

That’s it; Time Sink will now add all time spent on any YouTube page (in Safari, at least) to that pool. In general, there are basically three versions of the window title that you could see. Here’s how you’d edit each in a Pool to track the site in aggregate:

  • unique tidbit – words ==> unique tidbit – *
  • words – unique tidbit ==> * – unique tidbit
  • words – unique tidbit – words ==> * – unique tidbit – *

Related tip: If you want to track YouTube usage in any browser (actually, any app that can load web pages and includes page titles), right-click on the Safari application entry in the pool, then select Track Across All Applications:

This will change the application name from Safari to Any Application, and now all your YouTube time will be captured in one pool. (Are you sure you want to do this!?) You can also, as seen in the screenshot, change the name of the pool to reflect that it’s no longer Safari-specific.

So much for the simple sites…

Announcing the Witch 4 public beta

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

It’s been a long time since we released a major update to Witch. How long has it been? It’s been 27 minor updates long, that’s how long (nearly seven years, if you count like a normal human).

But the long wait is (nearly) over…


Hey, are those tabs in Safari or separate windows?

Say hello to Witch 4. You can try it out for yourself, today, via the Witch 4 public beta (with special pre-release pricing, too).

And yes, Witch 4 has learned more than a few new tricks…here’s just one…

If the above images have you convinced you need the beta, well, give it a try! But you should also keep reading, as there are some important details about the new features, the beta itself, and the pre-sale.

The pre-sale? Glad you asked: During the public beta, new users can buy Witch 4 for just $10 (normally $14); users of prior versions of Witch can upgrade for only $6 (normally $8). And yes, this includes App Store buyers. There are more details on the pre-sale at the end of this post.

What’s new?

Horizontal switcher

Obviously, Witch now has a horizontal mode. And anything you can do with “vertical Witch” you can also do with “Horizontal Witch.” But more on that in a bit…

Switch to tabs

That’s right, tab support! Witch can now switch directly to any tab in many apps, including the biggie, Safari…

Switch between tabs

“What other apps’s tabs will work?,” I can already hear you asking. Any app that uses the built-in support for tabs in macOS should work just fine. So all of Apple’s apps work, obviously, but so do Chrome and Opera. (Firefox, iCab, OmniWeb, and Vivaldi don’t use the system-provided tab feature, so their tabs won’t show in Witch. If you want browser tabs with Witch, use Safari, Chrome, or Opera.)

Switch to non-standard windows

If you’re like me, your toolbar is full of useful add-ons, things like Moom and Keymo, and maybe even some stuff from other developers.

The windows that open from these menu bar apps aren’t normal—they don’t show in the Command-Tab switcher, for instance. But they do show in Witch 4:

No more window shuffling to find that one settings window!

Multiple switchers

Witch 4 lets you have many switchers—one vertical and one horizontal, for instance:

Each switcher can be set to show windows or just apps. Each can have a different sort order. Each can separately list tabs or not. You get the idea. There are many actions to choose from, too:

These were all choices in the old version of Witch…except for that first one, which when used with a horizontal switcher, gives you a nicer-looking alternative to the built-in Command-Tab switcher. And now you can easily add and remove any of these actions from your collection of active switchers.

Search window titles

Even with Witch, switching between many open windows can be time consuming—you have to find that one particular window in a potentially huge list of windows. But with Witch 4, it’s easy…

It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Switch via the menu bar

Witch 4 includes an optional menu bar mode that can be added to any and/or all actions you create.

Switch apps via the menu bar. Switch windows and tabs via the menu bar. Switch just the frontmost app’s non-minimized windows and tabs via the menu bar. The possibilites are endless…well, no, that’s a cliche, they aren’t endless. But they are many!

Lots more

There are other new things, too, but we’ll leave them for you to discover during your explorations of the beta. Speaking of the beta…

About the beta

Please download the beta and put it to use, and send us feedback. We’d prefer it if you could use the Witch Talk Google group (so everyone can see what’s being discussed), but feel free to use any of the other support methods. We welcome all feedback—bugs, feature requests, and how-do-I questions are all fair game.

Note that Witch 4 will only be available directly from us, because it cannot be sandboxed, which is a requirement for the App Store. (We have a migration process for App Store customers…keep reading.)

About the pre-sale

Witch 4 will be available at the same price as Witch 3—$14 for new customers, $8 for upgraders.

During the public beta period, however, the price is just $10 for new customers and $6 for upgraders from older versions of Witch—including App Store users.

Also, anyone who purchased Witch 3 after October 1st already has a valid license for Witch 4 —you can start using it as a fully licensed user with your existing license.

App Store buyers

Because Witch 4 cannot be sold in the Mac App Store, you’ll have to purchase directly from us in order to use Witch 4. The good news is that as an existing customer, we’ve figured out a way to get you the upgrade pricing, too. Here’s how:

  1. Permanently migrate to the direct version of Witch 3 by following these instructions.
  2. Purchase an upgrade license for Witch 4.

If you purchased Witch 3 from the App Store after October 1st, you only need to do step one—the license you’ll receive will work with Witch 4.

If you have any questions on the beta or the pre-sale, let us know! Otherwise, enjoy the beta, and please, send us your feedback!

Three minor updates have escaped into the wild…

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

…and while you’d think that’d be enough for one day for us, we are Many Tricks, after all. So a bit later today, stay tuned for an announcement witchwhich you may find of interest.

As for the escapees, they are…

  • Butler 4.1.23, which includes some comestic improvements and a couple of bug fixes. [release notes]
  • Resolutionator 1.1.1 fixes a color depth issue on newer laptops that could cause Resolutionator to not show any resolutions. [release notes]
  • Usher 1.1.15 has a ton of changes, most of which aren’t directly visible. But we’ve improved memory usage, speed of previews, crawler performance, and more. [release notes]

Butler and Resolutionator are direct-only apps, so you should get notified by each app that there’s an update available, if you haven’t disabled that setting in Preferences. Or you can just download the full app from our site again; you won’t lose your settings if you update that way.

Usher is available both direct and in the App Store, and the App Store update should be showing up any minute now, if it’s not out already.

Name Mangler 3.4 is at your service

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Name Mangler 3.4 is out now, and though there are only three changes in this version, we felt one of them was major enough to merit a full dot increase in the release number. You can read the details on the release notes page; two of the three changes are fixes, but the third…

The third is a nifty new feature best summarized with a screenshot:

That’s right, Name Mangler can now create Services out of your renaming actions. Services are available either via the Services menu in Finder, or (more usefully) via the contextual menu you get if you right-click on a selection of files. You can read all about this in the Menus (File) section of Name Mangler’s help, but the basics are, well, basic:

  1. Create your renaming action
  2. Choose File > Create Context Menu Service
  3. Enter a name, but do not change the save location in the dialog that appears
  4. Select some files in Finder, right-click, and choose your service from the contextual menu. (Or as above, go old school and use the Services entry in the Finder menu.)

When activated, what happens next depends on whether Name Mangler is running or not. If it’s running, Name Mangler will activate with the files populated, showing the effect of the Service you applied. All you need to do is click Rename, and you’re done.

If Name Mangler isn’t running, the service just does its thing on the selected files: They will be renamed without any interaction on your part. Easy!

To make your renaming Services even easier to use, you can assign them keyboard shortcuts, in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services. Once assigned, you can rename files with a quick press of a hot key. We think this feature makes Name Mangler even better, and hope you find it useful as well.

Direct users can get the update via the in-app updater, or by downloading the full app from our site. App Store users should see the update in the App Store app—if not already, then very shortly.