My top five design tools are available exclusively for OSX — and they’re all free too.
Of all the programs that I use most on my Powerbook, TextWrangler is second only to Firefox. The folks at Bare Bones Software have outdone themselves with this amazingly powerful and easy to use text editor.
By default, it will detect the type of file you’re working on (be it PHP, CSS, whatever) and highlights code appropriately. It’s hands down the easiest way to tell if your code is correct before sending it to the compiler. To top it all off, it’s completely free.
Enabling the Zoom feature of Apple’s Universal Access preference pane brings a new definition to the words pixel perfect. I use the Zoom shortcut (Cmd Shift =) on a daily basis to get a better view of my CSS elements. It’s fast and efficient, plus, it wows your friends. Just make sure you disable “Smooth images” in the options, otherwise you get won’t get a pixel-level view.
I also like to use the Universal Access pane to invert the screen colors. It’s a nice change of pace that helps me break into some new color schemes.
This feature comes standard with OSX, so no download or payment required. Can you feel the love?
There was a time when I used to fire up Photoshop just to use the color browser. Waiting around for Photoshop to load just to get a hexadecimal value? Silly me.
There are a myriad of color pickers out there for OSX, but I choose to use one of the simplest: ColourMod. It lives in my Dashboard and waits until I need it. It does nothing more than what I need it to — quick access to a color wheel and value converter. Like the rest, it’s free.
If you’re brave enough to grab a nightly build of WebKit, the open-source engine behind Apple’s Safari, you’ll be rewarded with one of the slickest-looking DOM inspectors on the block. In a style befitting Apple’s pro line of applications, the inspector gives you a quick look into your website’s DOM tree.