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MarsEdit 3.6.8: Retina Image Uploads

March 4th, 2015

MarsEdit 3.6.8 is available now from the MarsEdit home page and the Mac App Store.

This update includes a large number of bug fixes as well as one important change in the way that MarsEdit handles the uploading of images intended to be displayed at a “Retina” compatible resolution.

One of the problems with handling Retina graphics well is that there is a huge variety of solutions in use by different web sites, depending on the priorities for bandwidth, ease of editing, backwards compatibility, etc. My expectation that MarsEdit users would want the app to support this variety has kept me thus far from releasing any solution at all to the problem. In the interim, I have been adopting the workaround myself of uploading images at twice the resolution I wanted them to display at, and hand-editing the HTML to reference them at half-size. So, if I wanted a 400x400pt screenshot on my blog, I’d upload an 800×800 image and hand-edit the HTML to look like:

<img src="..." width="400" height="400" />

As of MarsEdit 3.6.8, a checkbox when uploading or inserting an image to Treat as Retina image will enable behavior like the above, completely automatically.

That is to say, if you want a 400×400 image on your blog to look nice on Retina displays, just supply an image at least 800×800 and check the “Treat as Retina image” checkbox. MarsEdit will produce the expected HTML and upload the image at twice the width and height.

This solution will not meet everybody’s expectations for how Retina images should be handled, but it’s a good step up from what MarsEdit has offered thus far. This solution has the benefits of being both simple and backward-compatible. The main downside is that readers with standard-resolution displays are forced to download a higher resolution image than necessary. As high resolution displays become more and more popular, and bandwidth use becomes a less typically critical issue, I think the adoption of a compromise like this one will be common.

Here is a list of all the specific changes that went into this release:

  • Address issues with images being uploaded for display on Retina screens:
    • Images are now uploaded at 2x specified dimensions when Retina checkbox selected
    • Width and height fields now show size as “points” instead of “pixels”
    • Width and height fields now limited based on size of image and Retina setting
  • Rich and HTML Editor bug fixes
    • Fix a bug where pressing return in a blockquote could cause a new blockquote to be created
    • Fix a bug where smart quotes, etc. were erroneously allowed in plain HTML
    • Fix a bug that prevented images from being pasted into post editor content
  • Other media-related fixes
    • Fix a bug that caused Tumblr images to publish at constrained size even if the size is changed in Media Manager
    • Fix a bug where media style macro was not applied to re-inserted, previously uploaded images
    • Fix a bug where media style macro with prefix and suffix did not wrap the active selection
  • Other bug fixes
    • Fix a bug that prevented post documents from showing unsaved changes after changing custom field contents
    • Fix a bug in “Show Text Statistics” sample script that caused inaccurate word count to be shown
    • Fix a bug in Media Manager that failed to show the entire folder name for folders with periods (.) in their names
    • Default newly added Blogspot blogs to “Apply Preview Filter” before publishing, to ensure paragraph tags are added if needed

Let me know if you have any questions or run into any problems!

4 Responses to “MarsEdit 3.6.8: Retina Image Uploads”

  1. Chris Says:

    Another problem is that this solution doesn’t scale for the iPhone 6 Plus, which really wants 3x images.

  2. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hi Chris – yeah, I considered this and then decided at least for now this @2x compromise is good enough to bring a lot of graphics to the Retina mainstream. I don’t know how common it is yet for people to bother with providing @3x images. Given how relatively uncommon even @2x is on many sites, I have to think it’s not a priority for most people yet.

  3. Nicolas F Says:

    Well, that’s what I was already doing on my blog, but on the CSS side (img were reduced at the width of a post). It will be easier for everyone now !

    What would be great though, is to implement srcset and generate multiple versions of each image. Maybe in a future update ?

  4. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Nicolas – yeah, I tend to agree srcset is better. I do anticipate fleshing out other options in the future. But the nice thing about the future is it will also become more and more apparent how this stuff ends up usually being handled.

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