Posts tagged ‘Mac’

Mac tip: Quick font bundle installation

I want to share a quick Mac tip on how to install a bunch of fonts quickly, even when they are in different subfolders. This comes in handy when you purchase a font bundle, for instance. It’s really much quicker to do than to explain. I put together a 3 minute video, as well as written steps for those of you who prefer that. Of course this same process of using the Mac’s smart Finder windows is handy for lots of other sifting tasks as well, and once you get the hang of it, you will use it all the time.

1. Locate the bundle folder, usually in your Downloads folder. If it is zipped, double click on it and it will unzip automatically.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 10.46.12 AM

2. Double click to open the bundle folder and you will see a bunch of other folders.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 10.46.28 AM

3. Type the letters “otf” into the search bar and select Postscript OpenType font from the menu that drops down. (I install OTF as a rule of thumb, but you can use TTF if you prefer.)

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 10.47.32 AM

4. Click the name of the folder in the Search header.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 10.47.56 AM

5. Select any one font name, then type command-A to Select All. Tip: You can select individual fonts and preview them by pressing the space bar. If you don’t want to install all the fonts, you can command-click to select just the ones you want.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 10.48.45 AM

6. Open the Font Book application (its built in to your Mac, type Font Book in the Spotlight Search bar to find it quickly) and (optional) make a new Collection by clicking the plus button at the bottom left.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 10.52.20 AM

7. Bring the Finder window back to the front, or side by side, and drag and drop the selected fonts into the Collection of your choice or onto “All Fonts” at the top.


8. When you let go, a verification window may appear asking for your password. If so, enter it and click OK. Your fonts will be available to preview in Font Book under All Fonts or by clicking the collection you installed them into. They will also be available to all of your software applications the next time you open them.

Want some bundles to install?
The Sweet Type bundle is covered in this post and there’s another crafter friendly font bundle covered here and yet another holiday bundle reviewed here.

November 6, 2015 at 12:25 pm 11 comments

A Cricut policy you need to understand

Imagine if you picked out a new printer, checked the system requirements on the box to be sure it would work with your computer system, took it home, set it up, were happily using it until one day when, without warning, your new printer was disabled by a non-optional, irreversible driver update. Your call to support yields one simple solution … purchase a new computer to support the new requirements of your printer. Say what? You’d be outraged, and rightfully so … yet that is exactly what has happened today to Cricut Explore owners with MacOS 10.6 under Cricut’s policy of changing system requirements retroactively.

On the left are the system requirements that appear on retail boxes for the Cricut Explore and Explore Air. On the right are the new system requirements that quietly appeared in the FAQ’s at after a February update to Cricut Design Space, which is required to run the Explore. As you can see, RAM requirements quadrupled and 4 operating systems were dropped.


System Requirements for Cricut Explore Air per screen captured 7/15/15

As of this writing, Mac OS 10.6 users are unable to use their Explores, even though their computers met the system requirements at the time of purchase. Others who do not meet the new system requirements are sometimes encouraged by Cricut’s Customer Care to purchase a new computer when they call about a problem. While it is sometimes possible to update an older computer to a newer operating system, this can be costly, result in performance loss or perhaps resulting in the loss of other legacy hardware or software that may not be replaceable at all (Mac OS 10.6 users should be especially cautious about the 4 OS jump Cricut is recommending to you). I remain a Mac OS 10.7 user by choice for this very reason, yet wonder how much longer my Explore will operate.

I was still holding out hope that this was an oversight until Cricut’s policy on this was added to the FAQs this spring, and until today’s instructions to Mac OSx 10.6 users.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 2.35.46 PM

I know of no other hardware that comes with this kind of caveat. Up to this point, the system requirements on the box have always been assumed to be current and valid for the life of the product. Yes, time marches on and technology improves, but you always have the option to refuse updates to be able to keep your hardware running if that is your need or choice. Cricut is changing the game here in a way that is not consumer-friendly and it’s important that anyone considering an Explore understand that. If you have already purchased an Explore, and especially if you have already been impacted by this policy, please do not quietly buy a new computer thinking this is the norm. It is not the norm, it is unprecedented (and I’m not even sure how it is legal.) Let Cricut management hear from you that this policy is unfair and unacceptable and that there needs to be a way for those that are happy with their current computer to refuse Design Space updates that would render their Explore inoperable.

Update: Let me try one more approach to make this clear. With any other diecutting machine (or phone, printer, etc) you can buy it, set it up and continue to operate with your existing operating system, RAM, internet speed etc for as long as you wish or until the device or computer fails. Periodically, you would have the option to update drivers, etc. at your convenience. Until you do, the machine keeps working. WIth the Cricut Explore, this is not the case. When Design Space stops supporting your operating system you must update it or buy a new computer to continue using the Explore. Periodic plug-in updates are not optional, and not at the user’s convenience. Until you complete a Design Space update, your Explore will not operate at all. These are, of course, consequences of the cloud-only system that Cricut has chosen, but it is important to understand what the practical difference will be to the users in terms of life cycle cost.

My intent is to serve the diecutting community of which I am a member both as a long time Cricut and Silhouette owner. If you follow this blog you know that I call out any company or product that I believe is not treating its customers respectfully or performing as advertised. I am going to delete any comments from Silhouette users who wish to bash Cricut because that’s not what this is about. Thank you for understanding.

July 15, 2015 at 11:05 am 83 comments

Adding thumbnails to your .studio files on a Mac

One of the shortcomings of the .studio file format is that there is no file preview. For Mac users, there is a relatively quick solution, although not an automatic one. I have a video to show you the process.

And for those of you who prefer written steps:

-open your .studio file
-hold down shift + command + control + 4 (this is kinda like twister so feel free to use both hands)
-let go once you see the “crosshairs” cursor
-drag from one corner to the other to select a roughly square section of your file that includes its contents or a representative sample
-go to the folder where your file is located and click to select the file
-press command +i to open the Get Info window
-press the tab key or click on the icon at the upper left of the window. It will highlight in blue.
-press command-v to paste your screen capture as the new icon
-close the Get Info window

Your new icons will show in all views in the Finder, and via Quick Look (press spacebar in Open dialog or in Finder).


Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 5.11.17 PM


There are two caveats. First is that is that the “Date Modified” for the file will change to reflect the date you changed the icon… just something to be aware of if you later search for a file by Last Modified date instead of by Date Created. Secondly, you will lose your custom icon when you open and resave the file. This is some sort of Mac glitch I haven’t found a workaround for. If you know how to prevent either one please let me know.

And no, there is not a way to create a custom icon for a file in Windows. What you can do in Windows is create the screen capture with the Snipping Tool (Win Vista and later), give it the same name as your file and place it in the same folder as your file so the preview image is then paired with the studio file when browsing.

October 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm 21 comments

Accessing OpenType options with software you already have on your Mac

OpenType fonts are amazing, but you can’t get to all the awesomeness without Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, right? Wrong! Where there’s a will, there’s a way to get your hands on a bunch of OpenType features and every single glyph using just the software that comes with your Mac. I show you how in this video. (Tim Cook you can thank me later.)

Here are the written steps for accessing OpenType features via TextEdit:

  1. Open TextEdit (v1.6 or 1.7 are known to work) If TextEdit is not already in your Dock, type TextEdit in Spotlight search or find it in your Applications folder or LaunchPad.
  2. Type your word or phrase and highlight it.
  3. Select Format>Font>Show Fonts or ⌘-T to open the OSX Font Panel
  4. Select a font from the scrolling list and adjust the size for ease of viewing.
  5. Click on the gear icon at the lower left of the Fonts Window and select Typography to open the Typography window.
  6. Click the triangles to expand or condense the list of Typography features, which will vary depending on the font selected.
  7. With all or some of the text selected, begin toggling features in the Typography window while watching changes to the text. This is a trial and error process to find alternatives accessible from the Typography window.
    Tip: Try the process above with any program that has the OSX Font Panel.

When you are finished formatting your word or phrase, it can be exported via one of two ways:

  • screen capture (low resolution) : shift-⌘-4 to save a .png version to your desktop for import into another application; or shift-control-⌘-4 to save to the clipboard for pasting into another application


  • export as PDF (fully scaleable) : File>Export as PDF then type in name, choose location and click Save to create a vector PDF.

This PDF can be converted to SVG with the webapp Misc2SVG using the following steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Click the Choose File button and navigate to the PDF you just exported and click Open.
  3. Click “senden.”
  4. Click Download.
  5. Safari: right click (or control-click) image in browser window and Save Page As, name file, select location, leave format as “Page Source” and Click Save.
    Firefox: right click (or control-click) image in browser window and Save Page As, name file, select location, leave format as “Web Page, SVG Only” and Click Save.
    Chrome: right click (or control-click) image in browser window and Save As, name file, select location, and click Save.
    This SVG is suitable for Inkscape, diecutting software, etc.

Here are the written steps for viewing and exporting vectors for all the OpenType glyphs via Font Book:

  1. Open Font Book. If it is not already in your Dock, type “Font Book” in Spotlight search or find it in your Applications folder or LaunchPad.
  2. Click on the font name to select the font you want to work with.
  3. Choose Preview>Repertoire for a preview of all the glyphs in the font.
  4. File>Print, choose Repertoire from the Report Type drop down menu. (Click the Show Details button and/or select Font Book from the pull down menu if you do not see this option.)
  5. Adjust the Glyph Size slider as desired and use the preview window to identify the page range you want to export.
  6. Enter the page range in the appropriate boxes.
  7. Press PDF>Save as PDF, then enter name and location and click Save.
  8. This vector PDF can be converted to SVG with the webapp Misc2SVG using the following steps:
  9. This vector PDF can be converted to SVG with the webapp Misc2SVG using the following steps: Go to
  10. Click the Choose File button and navigate to the PDF you just exported and click Open.
  11. Enter the page number of the page you would like to convert into the box above the senden button. Only one page can be converted at a time.
  12. Click “senden.”
  13. Click Download.
  14. Safari: right click (or control-click) image in browser window and Save Page As, name file, select location, leave format as “Page Source” and Click Save.
    Firefox: right click (or control-click) image in browser window and Save Page As, name file, select location, leave format as “Web Page, SVG Only” and Click Save.
    Chrome: right click (or control-click) image in browser window and Save As, name file, select location, and click Save.
    This SVG is suitable for Inkscape, diecutting software, etc.

Pin-friendly title page for my video made using only TextEdit and the font Lavanderia:


The other font shown in the video is Florence.

June 6, 2013 at 10:59 pm 32 comments

Easily find all the digital paper on your Mac

I’m not a digiscrapper, but I do collect digital paper. I like to use it with my Cricut and computer crafting projects. This week I stumbled on a way to see it all easily. If you have a Mac with OS 10.4 or later then you have what is called Smart Folders. Smart Folders are virtual (not really a folder with files but a saved search with results), and are constantly updated, so they are especially wonderful for people who want to be organized without actually moving anything. Here’s how to set up a Smart Folder for your digital paper.

1) From the Finder (desktop), choose File>New Smart Folder.

2) Click the circle with the plus sign on the right hand side of the window near the top.


October 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm 12 comments

Make-the-Cut makes unexpected debut

I was going to be excited to report that SCAL2 for Mac was out in a form I would now call stable. I’ve been cutting with it for a week or so with no issues and looking forward to doing a full review once the Christmas rush was over… and then, without even a whispered rumor in advance, a SCAL competitor emerges.

The first version of Make-the-Cut software (for Windows only) has been released by an independent developer. First reactions are positive, at least at the introductory price of $78. Andy has taken pains to address the most painful aspects of SCAL and it is obvious from just a couple of screen shots that the interface is more polished than its predecessors. Will be interesting to see where things head with this in the coming weeks as lots of people find Black Friday Cricuts under their trees.

December 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm 39 comments

Way Cool Tool for your Mac

2013Update: Skitch has been bought by Evernote and absolutely destroyed. I no longer recommend it.

I can not remember when I have been more excited about a new piece of software than I am about Skitch. Skitch is a free screen shot/image sharing and annotating tool that is just so well designed you will have to see it to believe it. When you do you will find yourself asking yourself, “Why isn’t all software like this?” It seems like plasq has not only created a whole new kind of application we didn’t know we needed, but thought of everything as they built it and created an interface sure to be envied (and hopefully emulated) across all computerdom. I’m (obviously) not ashamed to gush over this combination application/web service which might just be the exception to that “if it seems too good to be true” rule.

Sample uses for the crafter/blogger might include
-taking, annotating, sizing and organizing screen shots for use in blog or print/pdf tutorials
-ditto for webcam shots
-cropping, resizing and annotating digital camera photos or scans for posting on blogs or message boards
-facilitating multiple images in a single post on Cricut message board
-creation of dummy thumbnails for scut or svg files

April 10, 2009 at 6:16 am 1 comment

Older Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,064 other followers

Follow me on Twitter


Cricut and Sure Cuts A Lot Top 40
Silhouette Top 40
Sure Cuts A Lot Top 40
Make The Cut Top 40


Posts on this blog may include affiliate links which reward me for purchases you make from here. This allows me to defray the cost of providing this blog to you. Though there is sometimes a financial incentive for me to recommend products and services you can trust me to only steer you towards those I personally use and am satisfied with.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,064 other followers