utilities

CopyLess and PopClip Jump Aboard the Party Barge

Since I’m building up a host of efficiency tools, I’ve added CopyLess 2 and PopClip to my arsenal.

At first glance having CopyLess might seem contradictory since Alfred already has a clipboard manager. Under normal circumstances that would be correct, but I want to use a clipboard manager in a slightly different, but very specific way.

Since I have multiple monitors (4), I want the clipboard manager to float on a second monitor and be visible at all times. It needs to be on top of other apps and not disappear when it loses focus. When filling out forms and working on certain test scenarios, I want to move back and forth as quickly as possible to copy and paste data. I don’t want to repeatedly press key combinations or go to the menu bar to make my list appear.

There are a lot of really good clipboard managers out there, including the one built in to Alfred, but CopyLess was one of the few that could actually stay on top of other applications, keep track of a large list and set aside text as favorites. And because of that, it’s working out really well for me. It also comes in at a very affordable price with some nice customizations.

CopyLess 2

Another tool in the efficiency category is PopClip. This was also a new one to me, but I can see why people are fans. When you select a block of text, it creates a floating bar like you see on iOS devices. But it’s more than just Copy/Paste. There are a hundred plugins available that allow you to do something with that selected text whether it be reformatting it, creating an appointment, performing a search, or turning it into a note.

The popup bar is very handy on it’s own, but when you add the extended functionality of plugins, you get a tool with almost limitless possibilities. It’s another way of linking actions and functions together so you can continue from one task to another in a seamless way.

PopClip

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Tools for the QA Engineer

When it comes to web testing, people are familiar with Selenium, Postman, JMeter and others. They’re the staples of heavy testing. But what about when testing has to be done manually. What are the sorts of the tools you bring to the party when you know you’ll have to write everything down by hand and keep a record of what was testing.

I was recently going through the tools I use and came up with this short list of essentials. There is always another tool to add to the belt, but at minimum, I wouldn’t start a project without these.

Here is a list of my personal favorites. Some of the tools have changed over time and might change again before next year is up.

For example, I liked Boostnote, but chose to go with SnippetsLab for the Gists functionality.

I think this is a pretty solid list. I’m sure there is plenty of variation with the actual tool names, but if there is some functionality I’m missing, I’d love to hear about it. I’m always looking for a way to save time and increase efficiency.

TextExpander
– TypeIt4Me
– I save so much time using this tool. It helps to write code fragments as well as fill in forms with standardized info like address, phone, company, etc. Saves a lot of typing. It also handles a lot of my most common snippets.
Note Taking
– Mini Note, MWeb, TextSoap
– Mini Note is for quick text items and a way to share info across Macs.
– MWeb is a great way to take notes, write Markup and create documentation.
– I just added TextSoap for it’s parsing. This could be a big help with filtering big files and log entries.
Document Management
– DevonThink
– DevonThink is my trusted friend for document management and note archives. It holds documents, code, links, and just about anything else you can store on your machine. For Windows, get RightNote.
Clipboard Management
– CopyPaste Pro
– CopyPaste Pro is my current clipboard manager and helps with repetitive pasting operations.
Task Management/Test Management
– 2Do
-My standard way of tracking tasks and creating test case items
Code Development
– Coderunner
– Very handy text editor. A great way to run shell commands. Helpful for writing sample code.
Screen Capture
– SnagIt
– It’s capabilities shouldn’t need any introduction. 🙂
File Sharing/Download
– FileZilla
– FTP is alive and well. This is the tool for the job.
Snippet Management
– SnippetsLab, DevonThink
Window Management
– Fiplab Window Manager
– It is so beneficial to be able to resize windows, split screen, and order your work environment.
– Magnet is a great alternative. For Windows, you need DisplayFusion.

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Dozer – Hide menu bar icons on macOS

Over the weekend I desperately needed to hide some of the icons in my menu bar. Things have gotten out of control. The icons I really want to use keep getting pushed off the screen. But like so many things in the Mac world, there is an app for that.

A quick search revealed just the tool for the job – Dozer for Mac.

It has one job, hide the icons you aren’t using so you can get to the ones you are. It takes just a moment to configure and the results are glorious. My menu bar now has 8 icons rather than 30+.

Even better? It’s free.

Dozer for Mac

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A shortcut to your applications with Fiplab Shortcut Bar

A pattern is emerging that I am a fan of Fiplab and the tools they make. That is true. They make several productivity tools that I find very beneficial. Another in that list is the Fiplab Shortcut Bar.

I have no shortage of apps installed, but there are a handful I use everyday. And I want to get to them quickly. Enter Shortcut Bar.

It’s a small menu bar applet that is configured to display whatever list of applications you build. Or, jump to a set of folder that you use frequently. This keeps the Dock from being overrun with icons.

In my case I have Katalon, the App Store, Coderunner, LibreOffice, MWeb, SQL Studio Pro and a few others in my dropdown list. These are the tools I go to each day.

But it’s not just for apps. It can be folders as well. It could be a training folder, a folder for test plans, or even a specific document you need to load, such as a template.

It only takes a few minutes to build the list or add folders. Once complete, it will be a quick change to click on the menu bar rather than Lanchpad to start your most common apps.

There are similar tools out there, but I have found Shortcut Bar to be very reliable. I’ve had it at work and at home for about a year. I make changes every now and again as apps get replaced or fall to the wayside. But it’s a clean list of my common tools and I like the way it works.

Shortcut Bar – Favorites at your fingertips

fiplab-shortcut-bar

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Putting windows where they belong with Fiplab Window Manager

It’s not really a complaint, but in some respects I find the Mac window management to be a little strange at times. I’m fine with the close and minimize, but I don’t want maximize to be full screen and double-clicking the window title doesn’t always full the screen the way I like.

Additionally, I like to have windows side by side when working with code and a tutorial or moving files and folders between directories. Luckily, there is a very simple solution.

I actually have two tools that work in almost the exact same way. I originally got Fiplab Window Manager and it works wonders. It comes prebuilt with dozens of screen sizes and snap positions. Windows can be half-size to the left, half-size to the right, half at the top, half at the bottom and lots of other choices. It’s great for lining up windows with a single key combination. I use it all the time to position windows across my multiple screens and to quickly maximize the window.

As an example, I have Slack, iMessage and Quicktime set as 1/3 the screen size on a vertical monitor. At home, Slack and iMessage are half screen left and right of each other. I also use it for Finder to move files, for Scrivener to copy and paste and 2Do with Pagico so I can compare the tasks and projects.

There is another tool called Magnet which is almost identical. The reason I didn’t get this one first is because the update period was more than a year. It felt like maybe the development cycle had come to an end, even though the tool probably didn’t need much enhancement.

However, Magnet has received an update, so the choice is yours. From what I can tell, the main difference is price. Magnet is the cheaper of the two, but I have both and they are great.

Either way, this is an extremely useful tool, and I would say, almost a necessity. For those from Windows, this would be akin to DisplayFusion.

So, if you need window snapping and the ability to quickly line up windows, Magnet and Window Manager will take care of the job.

Fiplab Window Manager

Magnet by CrowdCafe

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