The Magnet 75: Grab Bag
Useful software tools and a visit to a magical place
In this issue, I want to share a few software utilities I use all the time and a recommendation to visit Meow Wolf in Denver.
One of my new favorite tools for photo editing is Cleanup Pictures. It can remove unwanted objects, text, or people from your photos, leaving behind no trace of the original content. It often gives better results than clone stamp tools like the one in Adobe Photoshop. It’s not perfect, but I use it along with Photoshop for good results.
I know newer versions of the OS X operating system have a way to extract text from photos, but I don’t find it to be very useful. I use an $8 utility called TextSniper instead. (Windows has similar utilities.) I’ve had it for about a year, and I use it at least three or four times a day. To use it, press Shift-Option-2 and draw a rectangle around the part of an image that has text. TextSniper converts the image into text and saves it in the clipboard, ready for pasting. Here’s an example of how it works.
This is from a photo of cartoonist Chris Ware’s original art, on display at the Centre Pompidou in Paris:
And here is the TextSniper text:
I SHOULDN'T BE SO HARSH WITH HER, I GUESS...
I KNOW SHE'S ONLY TRYING TO HELP, AND THAT IT'S HER WAY OF 'CONNECTING' WITH ME, BUT DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE A CRITICISM?
IT'D BE NICE IF EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE SHE'D OFFER A COMPLIMENT OR AN ENCOURAGING WORD OR TWO...
I wish I had started using this 30 years ago. I would have saved so much time.
Tiles is a free Mac utility (sorry to PC and Linux users) that makes it easy to snap windows to specified sections of your monitor. I typically have two windows running side by side on my desktop display (one for research, and one for writing or doing some other kind of work), and I can make a window resize and snap to one side of the screen or the other just by dragging it in that direction. To make a window take up the entire screen, I drag it up. If you like a tidy desktop, give it a try.
Tired of nothing but bad news? How about two minutes of good news every day?Awesome News Daily with David Beach. (A professional podcast with the occasional sound of cats in the background to ruin the illusion...)
Magnet subscribers get one free ad a year. The ads will be seen by paying and non-paying subscribers (10,172 as of today). Here’s the form to order an ad. If you want to place an Unclassified Ad in The Magnet but don’t have a subscription, you can subscribe for just $50 a year.