xS­cope 4

Icon­fac­tory’s app for de­sign­ers gets a ma­jor up­date and great new tools

Mac Format - - CONTENTS -

Get up close with your Mac

£35 De­vel­oper The Icon­fac­tory, xs­co­peapp.com

OS OS X 10.8 or later, 64-bit pro­ces­sor

Two new tools have made their way into this ma­jor up­date to Icon­fac­tory’s in­dis­pens­able app for mea­sur­ing, in­spect­ing and test­ing on-screen graph­ics and lay­outs. ‘Text’ is a pow­er­ful way to search, de­ci­pher and for­mat text. You can ri­fle through 100,000 Uni­code char­ac­ters, con­vert strings, and mea­sure glyphs. Through the pref­er­ences, you de­fine the fonts the tool can ac­cess, and the end re­sult is ex­tremely use­ful for pro­gram­mers and de­sign­ers alike.

‘Over­lay’ is even more im­pres­sive. The tool’s frame is at­tached to a browser win­dow, and you then de­fine break­points for re­spon­sive web lay­outs that you can snap to with a sin­gle click. Ad­di­tional tools pro­vide the means to add col­umn grids or an image over­lay that can be tog­gled, to quickly com­pare a mock-up with a live site. For mo­bile and web de­sign­ers, this would be worth the price of ad­mis­sion alone.

All the old favourites re­main present and cor­rect, but with a smat­ter­ing of new fea­tures and a sub­tly up­dated in­ter­face that should chime nicely with OS X Yosemite. For ex­am­ple, the Screens tool now boasts a use­ful ‘de-re­tinizer’, which gives de­sign­ers with Retina Macs a quick in­di­ca­tion of how their work will ap­pear on older dis­plays. Else­where, bugs have been squashed and nig­gles ad­dressed, in­clud­ing rel­a­tively mi­nor de­tails, such as be­ing able to group the menu ex­tras un­der a sin­gle icon.

For many de­sign­ers, xS­cope has long been an in­dis­pens­able tool, and this lat­est up­date re­mains an es­sen­tial pur­chase. Craig Gran­nell

xS­cope’s toolset is in­sanely use­ful for any Mac-based de­signer.

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