Black Ink 1.6.6: Even More Streamlined Solving

January 9th, 2017

Black Ink 1.6.6 is now available from the Black Ink home page, and is waiting for review by Apple on the Mac App Store.

This update fixes a few little bugs, and also changes the app’s behavior when the “Move to blank after changing words” preference is set.

The gist of this preference is when you have moved from one word to the next, it skips over letters in the newly selected word that have already been entered. This makes it easier to quickly type out the rest of an answer without having to re-type existing letters.

In Black Ink 1.6.5 and earlier, it would only jump to a blank entry in the next word if there was one, otherwise it would focus on the first letter of the completely filled answer.

Starting in Black Ink 1.6.6, if the next word is completely filled, it skips the entire word, focusing on the first blank entry in the next word down the line. So for example, in this image you can see where the focus has landed on the second space of 9-across, after typing “AIRS” in 1-across, and pressing the tab key:

Screen Shot 2017 01 09 at 12 44 02 PM

Previously it would have landed on the first letter of 5-across.

I hope you enjoy this small change, as well as the other improvements in this version:

  • Tabbing to a new word now skips completed words when “Move to Blank” preference is set
  • Fix a crash that could occur when opening a damaged puzzle file
  • Fix a UI glitch that caused multi-character entry focus ring to be wider on one side
  • Eliminate some issues caused by entering single-character answer in multi-character entry mode

Let me know if you run into any problems!

FastScripts 2.6.11: Touch Bar Mac Fix

January 6th, 2017

FastScripts 2.6.11 is now available from the FastScripts home page, and is waiting for review by Apple on the Mac App Store.

FastScripts was affected by the same macOS bug that caused MarsEdit to sometimes crash when a Mac with Touch Bar is woken from sleep.

This update works around that crash, and also prevents the possibility that FastScripts (or a script run by it) could put a Mac into high-power GPU mode, affecting battery life.

  • Workaround a bug that could cause FastScripts to crash when waking a Touch Bar Mac from sleep
  • Add NSSupportsAutomaticGraphicsSwitching to Info.plist to avoid depending on high power GPU

Let me know if you run into any problems.

MarsEdit 3.7.9: Bug Fixes & Battery Savings

December 16th, 2016

MarsEdit 3.7.9 is now available from the MarsEdit home page, and will be submitted to Apple for update on the Mac App Store.

This release works around a few crashing issues that have started to affect MarsEdit in the past few OS updates from Apple. The most common of these is one that affected users with MacBook Pros that have the new Touch Bar interface. The most common crashing behavior in this scenario involved MarsEdit crashing immediately upon waking the computer from sleep.

This version of MarsEdit has also been adjusted so that MarsEdit should never be responsible for forcing a MacBook to use the more power-hungry graphics card. Previously, using MarsEdit’s Media Manager window could push the system into “high power” mode, and the computer would stay in this mode until MarsEdit was quit.

There are also a few minor usability bugs addressed by this update. Here is the complete list of changes:

  • Fix a bug that caused “allowfullscreen” to be stripped from YouTube embeds
  • Fix an issue with old system font hardcoding being respected by later version
  • Add NSSupportsAutomaticGraphicsSwitching to Info.plist to avoid requiring high power GPU use
  • Work around a crash that could occur when waking from sleep on a Touch Bar-enabled Mac
  • Fix a crash that could occur in Apple’s web framework when closing a document
  • Detect and offer advice about WordPress two-step authentication challenges
  • Fix a bug that caused preformatted text in the rich editor to remain small when a larger editing font is selected


Title-free Touché

November 29th, 2016

I have been impressed by the response to Touché, my macOS utility for testing Apple’s Touch Bar without the need for Xcode.

What’s surprised the most is the number of people asking for minor usability changes. These are not the kinds of things you fret about when you’re using a utility here and there for a quick test, but when you are committing to run a utility full time:

  • It should move out of the way when the Dock appears
  • It should slide off and on the screen like the old Control Strip
  • It should be oriented vertically to stick on one side of the screen
  • It should be a menu-bar icon, instead of appearing in the Dock
  • It should appear correctly in full-screen apps
  • It should position itself under menus so it can be kept at the top of the screen
  • It should support hiding the title bar in the Touch Bar window

I made Touché as a sort of gift to developers, designers, and yes, end-users who want to check out Apple’s Touch Bar. I didn’t anticipate it might garner a comparable amount of feature requests as my other software does!

I am probably not going to be able to put a ton of time into supporting Touché or adding to its feature set. I like the simplicity of it, and I have a lot of other work to put the majority of my time into. However, I pick one item off that list: Touché 1.1 now supports an option to hide the Touch Bar window’s title bar.