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Use Moom and Automator to restore Finder windows

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

Moom is great for saving window layouts—arrangements of windows across one or more applications, making it easy to restore your windows to where you want them to be. In general, Moom will attempt to match existing window titles with the titles of the windows in your saved layout—so if you have a Word document named “2020 Taxes” open, and that document was open when you saved the layout, then that window will go to where it was when you saved the layout.

If Moom can’t match an existing window title, however, then it just works with the number of windows—if you saved a layout with four windows open across three apps, and you have that same number of windows open in those same apps, then Moom will restore your layout, but the windows won’t be opened to whatever they were displaying when you saved the layouts (because Moom can’t open files, folders, documents, URLs, etc.).

As much as our users may wish it possible, it’s not feasible for Moom to restore whatever it is you were working on in whatever apps are in your saved layout—we’d end up writing lots of custom code on a per-app basis, and there are still some apps where we probably wouldn’t be able to get them to open documents, so we’d end up with a solution that only sort of worked.

For me personally, the only time I really want Moom to open the actual things I had in my saved layout are when I’m working in Finder. I have a number of saved layouts—one has my preferred window layout when working on Many Tricks projects, another that I use when I file documents I’ve scanned, and a third for managing my downloads. Unfortunately, because Moom can’t save the folders with the windows, I have to manually navigate to the proper folders after restoring these layouts…or do I?

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Usher 2 beta updated…and a pre-sale!

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

If you’re using the Usher 2 beta, make sure you get today’s update—it’s a biggie, but it also marks a “no turning back” point: If you install and use this update, and make changes to your library, you will not be able to return to Usher 1.

Why not? Usher’s release notes explain it well:

Tags and Properties now use the CSV format for their values, which necessitates a library file format change, which in turn has backwards compatibility ramifications. See the note that will appear after updating for more info on this.

Given that Usher 1 only works on pre-Catalina versions of macOS, this is really only a decision to worry about if you’re on an older version of macOS.

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Butler 4.3.3 released

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

Butler 4.3.3 is out now; this is a bug fix release that improves the reliability of the Screen Saver Smart Item, fixes Butler’s applications database in Catalina (so that it finds everything that shows in Applications and Utilities), and fixes a couple other minor things—you can read the full release notes page for the nitty-gritty.

We have more to do for full Catalina compatibility (i.e. iTunes no longer exists there), and we’re working on it, but we felt these fixes were important to get out now.

As always, you can update via either the in-app updater, or by downloading a fresh copy from Butler’s web page.

See window titles in Time Sink 2.1 in macOS Catalina

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Time Sink 2.1 is out for both App Store (hopefully out now or very soon) and direct customers (definitely out now). This release has one very important fix for macOS Catalina users, as well as one directly-related new feature.

The “fix” (though it wasn’t anything in our code that was broken) is that Time Sink can once again see and track individual windows in macOS Catalina.

When macOS Catalina was released, it contained new security restrictions, and one of those restrictions is that an application is not allowed to see window titles unless the app is registered as a screen recording application. So that’s basically what Time Sink does: It registers as a screen recording application, but it does not record your screen. (Note: Due to App Store restrictions, the App Store version of Time Sink does this slightly differently, though the end result is the same: Trackable window titles but no screen recording.)

Please read the remainder of this post for specific instructions on how this feature works for direct and App Store versions of Time Sink, as the initial setup process is slightly different for each version.

So what about the new feature?

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Witch 4.3.5 returns to the dark side in Catalina

Monday, December 23rd, 2019

They say a picture is worth 1000 words, so for you Witch users on macOS Catalina…

Yes, Dark Mode support is back for Witch in macOS Catalina. We’ll apologize for earlier blaming our non-functional Dark Mode on a bug in macOS Catalina; instead, it was an undocumented change in Catalina (inverted behavior) in how third party System Preferences panels indicate they support Dark Mode.

Note: You may have to reboot to see the changes take effect—it seems macOS caches something related to Dark Mode, and a reboot will clear that cache.

That’s really it for this update, so not much need to read release notes this time around.

Moom 3.2.17 released

Monday, December 9th, 2019

Moom 3.2.17 is out—it’s a “behind the scenes” update that addresses a possible issue where Moom’s settings for the green button’s hover behavior aren’t reset when Moom is quit.

In addition, we fixed some minor redrawing issues related to multi-step actions, and added Plexamp to Moom’s blacklist—Moom’s pop-up menu otherwise appears when hovering over Plexamp’s window, even though it lacks a green button.

That’s about all you’ll find on the release notes page. Direct users can update in-app, or download a new copy of the app from the Moom page (you won’t lose your settings). App Store buyers should see the update in the App Store app, either now or very shortly.

Name Mangler 3.6 released

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

Name Mangler 3.6 is out now, with a couple of new features and some bug fixes.

The biggest new feature is that you can now create independent sequences based on some common metadata, such as parent folder name. Now each set of files within a folder can have a sequence number that starts with “1,” instead of continuing on across folders. (See the help file’s Renaming Actions → Sequence section for an explanation of how this works.)

We’ve also added an option for Title Case conversions to keep existing formatting for words shorter than a certain length, rather than convert them to lowercase.

There are other changes, too, so check out the release notes page for all the details.

Direct users can update in the app, or by downloading a fresh copy from the Name Mangler page; App Store buyers should see the update in the App Store app (if not already, then very shortly).

Witch 3 departs the Mac App Store

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

When we released Witch 4 in March of 2017 (after a public beta that began in October of 2016), we made the decision to leave Witch 3 in the Mac App Store—Witch 4 can’t be in the store, because it cannot be sandboxed.

We left Witch 3 in place mainly to keep the exposure of Witch to those searching the App Store for app switchers and utilities. But we know that it’s not fair to pay for old outdated tech, so we included a free license for Witch 4 for anyone who wanted to move to the new Witch (though doing so meant leaving the Mac App Store for future updates).

With the release of Catalina, though, we’ve decided to remove Witch 3 from the Mac App Store, effective today. Why? Because Witch 3 is 32-bit code, and it will not run in macOS Catalina. Unfortunately, the App Store will lie about this if you look at the Witch 3 listing in the Mac App Store

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Moom 3.2.16 works on iPads in Catalina’s Sidecar mode

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

For those on macOS Catalina who use their iPads via the Sidecar feature, Moom 3.2.16 should now work as expected when Sidecar is active. That is the only change, so the release notes are a pretty boring read.

Direct users should see the update available in the Updates tab in Moom’s preferences, or you can download a fresh copy of the app from the Moom page. App Store users should see the update in the App Store app—if not now, then very shortly.

Witch update fixes preferences behavior in macOS Catalina

Monday, October 14th, 2019

Witch 4.3.4 (release notes) is out today, and it resolves an issue in macOS Catalina where Witch’s preferences layout was misbehaving: The tab bar would jump around on the screen as you moved from tab to tab, sometimes getting in a state where you couldn’t see the tab bar at all.

It seems that, at some point very late in the Catalina betas, Apple disabled third party System Preference panes’ ability to resize the System Preferences window—Witch used to do this as you switched between its tabs. This update uses a fixed window size for all of the tabs, so the tab bar no longer jumps around as you switch between tabs.

Note: If Witch isn’t working for you at all in macOS Catalina, it’s most likely that you’re running into a glitch with the system’s file quarantine flag. Please read this blog post for the details and the very easy (if geeky) fix.