I bought a new computer (Mac) recently and wanted to make a list of all the tools I find useful in case other people find them useful too. I used to use a Windows computer, so a lot of these are things I used on Windows too, or equivalents.

So here it is:

Window Management

This is something Windows does better natively than Mac (in my opinion). However, as long as you’re comfortable with using your keyboard, Spectacle does a good job of bringing OSX up to par.

One small note: if you use the keyboard shortcut for footnotes in Word (⌘ + ⌥ + F), you might want to remap the “fullscreen” shortcut in Spectacle’s preferences so they don’t conflict.

Spotify Notifications

Why isn’t this a thing that the Spotify app already does!? Anyway, in the meantime, you can see the title of each new song with this app.

Flux

Screw night shift. Flux is better.

Battery Lifetime

Since the newer versions of OSX don’t have the battery time remaining indicator, I think this Battery Monitor App (App Store Link) is pretty useful.

Trackball scrolling

I have a Logitech M570 Trackball Mouse and I like to use the trackball to scroll. It’s amazing and I don’t know why the Logitech software doesn’t allow you to do this already since it’s 1000% better than using the scroll wheel.

I got the trackball scrolling working using a hammerspoon script from this thread:

https://github.com/tekezo/Karabiner/issues/814

It has options for keybinding to start the scroll mode, or you can press a button on the mouse, which is what I do. I only changed two parts of the mouse button script:

Line 4:

local scrollmult = -2

The negative number makes it non-natural scrolling. I prefer the natural scrolling, but this helps me switch back to Windows, which I have to use at work. I also tamped down the speed a bit, from 4 to 2.

Line 13:

    local shouldScroll = 2 == pressedMouseButton

Changed the button to OSX button 3 (middle button). I also remapped the fifth button (“forward”) in Logitech Options to be the middle button, which is how I had it set up in Windows. I find it easier to click than the mouse wheel.

Other than that, I kept the rest of the script the same. Works better than the Windows AHK script I was using.

Typewriter Scrolling in MS Word

On Windows, I had an AHK script that kept the active line in Microsoft Word in the middle of the screen, instead of wandering to the bottom (a.k.a. “typewriter scrolling”). Since I occasionally do transcription, this is really useful, since it improves the ergonomics of typing for a long time.

I couldn’t find a script that did the same thing using Hammerspoon, so I wrote one using AppleScript. It’s not elegant… but it works!

Link: View on GitHub