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  1. Limit to one application per answer.

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  3. Add a link to the website in the name of the application if possible (no direct downloads).

  4. Use ## [appName](link) for citing the application name.

  5. Only Mac OS X (not iOS, OS 9, compatible, etc) applications. All versions of OS X are accepted, but if the application requires a specific version please note.

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locked by patrix Nov 24 '13 at 9:28

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed. More info: help center.

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Voted to close — a good question, but we really should avoid subjective ones here. –  apostlion Aug 17 '10 at 20:19
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@Apostlion: Simply because it's subjective does not mean it can't be answered. There are (community defined) "good" applications that are useful on a daily basis. –  Josh K Aug 17 '10 at 20:22
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Voted to reopen - it is subjective, but a popular and useful style of question, if kept as a wiki and not repeated too much. These questions are mostly accepted on gadgets.stackexhange.com for example. –  Jon Hadley Aug 17 '10 at 21:08
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Can we make this Community Wiki? And also 1 app per answer? Much easier to check if something has already been said and to edit to add information about said app. Thank you. –  Loïc Wolff Aug 19 '10 at 20:39
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I did a lot of cleanup. Changed all the app names to ## (because it was the most commonly used in the existing answers. Moved links so that they were within the app names. Removed some first-person descriptors. –  Robert S Ciaccio Aug 23 '10 at 3:18

239 Answers 239

ScreenFlow

With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your entire monitor while also capturing your video camera, microphone and your computer audio. The easy-to-use editing interface lets you creatively edit your video, and add additional images, text, music and transitions for a truly professional-looking video. The finished result is a QuickTime or Windows Media movie, ready for publishing to your Web site or blog or directly to YouTube or Vimeo.

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WebStorm & Co.

These are the best IDEs for Web development I found so far. The features go way beyond what simple editors offer. Intellisense, refactorings, debugging, source control integration are my favorite.

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XtraFinder

XtraFinder add Tabs and features to Mac Finder.

• Tabs.

• Dual Panel & Dual Window.

• Cut & Paste.

• Colorful icons in Sidebar.

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FinderPop

This tool provides a ton of enhancements to the contextual menu. It allows you to select move,copy,alias a selected item (icon) to pretty much any folder via pop-up hierarchical folder lists. Built-in preview stuff, and more.

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Prism by Mozilla Labs

Prism allows you to turn any webpage into an application. I've used this numerous times.

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CheatSheet

Just hold the a bit longer to get a list of all active short cuts of the current application. It's as simple as that.

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VideoMonkey

This is an open source replacement for VisualHub. It's free and lets you do all kinds of mass video conversions as well as auto-tagging your video with tv show / movie metadata.

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Hyperspaces

Set names and separate background pictures for different spaces. Really helps me focus on one specific project at a time and helps me avoid tangents.

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Zooom/2

Zooom/2 is a Mac desktop utility that redefines how you can resize, move and align your application windows - making you faster and more productive.

On many X-based desktops (such as KDE and Gnome) you can resize windows from any side, move windows by clicking anywhere on the window, and switch windows simply by pointing your mouse. Zooom/2 brings the same functionality to Mac, and I can no longer live without it. For example, in my configuration I hold Shift-⌘ and click anywhere in a window to move it. No more hunting for the menu bar or the resize corner!

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It also supports using fn as a modifier and snapping windows to screen edges and other elements. –  Lri Jun 7 '11 at 16:15

Clyppan

This is a really good clipboard manager.

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Minuteur

Quick and easy to use timer. It's programmable, so you can do (10+2)*5 or the Pomodoro technique on repeating intervals.

The App is localized into English, but the linked webpage is French. The MacUpdate page is in English.

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Pow

Pow is a zero-config Rack server for Mac OS X. Have it serving your apps locally in under a minute.

Simple to use and indispensable if you are doing any kind of Rails/Sinatra/Rack development

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Final Cut Express, a discontinued video-editing software made by Apple. Final Cut Express is one step above iMovie, with up to 99 video tracks, 99 audio tracks, and 12 compositing modes. My favorite features of FCE are Chroma Key, Color Correction, and Livetype, which comes with Final Cut Express.

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DragThing

is a utility that provides an alternative to the Dock. It is tremendously flexible and customizable in letting you design your own way to organize application launchers.

Let me be frank; I've been using a Mac every day since 1987. I cannot live without DragThing because I could never get used to using the Dock, which appeared with the first Mac OS X circa 2000 (and I was using developer builds of Mac OS X before the first version went public). While you can configure DragThing to perform many functions, what I use it for is to provide an application menu and an application launcher that behave the same way they did in Apple Macintosh System 7 through Mac OS 9. That's the way I want it.

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Alarms

Alarms app is the reminder system you never knew your Mac was missing. Just drag the items you want to be reminded of to the Alarms menu and place them on the time line.

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Warp

From the website:

Warp is a preference pane that allows you to use the mouse to switch between Spaces rather than using the keyboard.

Warp offers the ability to display a live preview of a space when you move the mouse to the edge of the screen, allowing you to see what you have on another space before actually switching to it. Clicking the preview will then warp you to that space.

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Keyboard Maestro

An indispensable macro tool. Trigger a macro based on a hotkey (overriding the frontmost app if appropriate), typed strings (a la TextExpander, the status of an app, the system waking or your logging in, at certain times or dates, etc.

A macro can do pretty much anything you can do manually -- manage apps, choose menu items, click on windows or dialog boxes or whatever, display text or Growl or other notifications, etc. -- including running scripts. Macros can also include flow control (if, while, etc.) for less straightforward tasks (e.g. in Photoshop CmdDelete deletes the current layer if a layer is selected or the current group of layers if a group is selected).

One great use is unifying commands across apps, e.g. have Cmd- zoom out and Cmd= zoom in for every app that supports the concept rather than having to remember how, say, OmniGraffle does it vs Photoshop vs Numbers.

Keyboard Maestro enables you to create or record custom macro shortcuts that you can activate at any time. For example, your macros could help you navigate runnings applications or work with an unlimited number of clipboards. Best of all, every macro you create is available using simple keystrokes you choose.

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Final Cut Express

I am so amazed no one has mentioned this!
The best video editor for the price. Unfortunately Apple has abandoned FCE to go on to FCPX. I couldn't live without FCE!

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Growl Extras - Hardware Growler, Growl Mail,...

HardwareGrowler

Find out when a hardware status changes on the Mac.

Growl Mail

Notifications for incoming mail.

enter image description here

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 MarcoPolo

MarcoPolo brings context-aware computing to your Mac! It allows your computer to determine its context through gathering evidence from your environment (evidence sources), using flexible rule-based fuzzy matching to make an educated guess (rules), and then performing arbitrary actions upon changing context (actions).

I use MarcoPolo to run scripts (actions) when I arrive at work, as determined by WiFi hotspots detected or IP addresses assigned (context).

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Seems like ControlPlane (see apple.stackexchange.com/a/41826/19225) is the "new" MarcoPolo: ControlPlane creating using code from version 2.5.1 of the MarcoPolo project still available at symonds.id.au/marcopolo. Development of MarcoPolo seems to have come to a halt and ControlPlane attempts to pick up where MarcoPolo left off. As of version 1.0.0, ControlPlane is 64bit and fixes the WiFi Evidence Source. –  the_karel Feb 26 '12 at 15:46

Simple Comic

Simple Comic is the most intuitive comic reader on the Mac. Its clean interface gives you full control of your viewing experience without getting in the way. Reading comics on a computer has never been easier.

A great program for looking any any set of archived images.

Simple Comic viewer window

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Yep

  • I scan all my documents to PDF and use Yep to track & find them.
  • No filing! Everything goes to a single target folder, Yep takes care of it.
  • Tag documents
  • Automatically finds all PDF, iWorks, Office, et.al. documents anywhere on your hard drive.
  • Does not use a database like some similar apps. So I can access documents via finder; move, copy, delete, etc. easily.
  • In conjunction with a Fujitsu Scan Snap scanner Yep is a dream to use.
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teleport

Okay, did a search of all eight pages posted to date, and didn't see "teleport" listed.

This little free System Preference gets installed on two computers, and then you can move your cursor off the screen of one, onto the screen of the other.

I run a dedicated Mac Mini server, but my main computer is a Mac Pro. I have the server screen above the pro screen, and I can simply move my cursor up to the server, like you'd do with multiple monitors on the same computer. BRILLIANT!

This is so much simpler and easier than using Screen Sharing or other such tools.

It also copies the clipboard of one computer to the other. This can cause a significant delay if you have something huge on the clipboard.

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EVE

From website:

EVE helps you to learn shortcuts, in order to increase your productivity with MAC OS X. Every time you execute an action using the mouse, EVE will show you the matching shortcut.

Great application! I use it with Cheatsheet.

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SparkleShare

SparkleShare allows you to create your own DropBox. In this way you don't have to pay for more space, if you have your own server, and you don't have to share data with no one else (service provided) except the people you decide.

How does it work?

SparkleShare creates a special folder on your computer in which projects are kept. All projects are automatically synced to their respective hosts (you can have multiple projects connected to different hosts) and to your team's SparkleShare folders when someone adds, removes or edits a file.

Why SparkleShare?

The idea of SparkleShare sprouted at the GNOME Usability Hackfest in London, where a couple of designers came to the conclusion that they didn't have a good (Open Source) collaboration tool to share their work (for more background, read “The one where the designers ask for a pony”). They didn't like how the good collaboration tools were proprietary, and that using them meant having to give up privacy, control and other rights. What they needed was something that they could run and control themselves, without having to depend on other companies.

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Vienna

Viennna is a free open source RSS/Atom reader. Very flexible and version 3 will have Google Reader support.

Vienna main window

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Tweetbot for Mac

Though relatively new. Tweetbot for Mac is bringing the same innovation to the Mac platform that it's had established on iOS for a while now.

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Glui

I never really enjoyed using Skitch, even before Evernote bought them. Not too long ago I heard about Glui and have fallen in love ever since.

It's quick, provides some useful annotating tools, uploads to Dropbox and the automatically copies the share url to your clipboard.

Really has improved my workflow as a programmer. Makes it super easy to share screens when working with others.

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Monosnap

Monosnap is a free screenshot program for Mac OS X and Windows. The program allows users to create screenshots, annotate them and upload them to the cloud.

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SecondBar

SecondBar adds a second menu bar to your secondary monitor. Although there are a few bugs, it's a great little application.

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