How To Measure Objects On Your Mac Screen Without Installing Any Software

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Lately I’ve been working on a few projects where I need to take a pre-designed PSD and build a custom WordPress theme from it. One big part of that is making sure that spacing, layout, and object sizes are consistent between the PSD and the theme. That means a lot of measuring.

One trick I’ve learned is to use the built-in Mac screenshot functionality. There’s no software to install or launch. Just click command + shift + 4 and then the pointer will turn into a cross-hair icon. Click and hold down the left mouse or trackpad button at one side of the object you wish to measure and then drag it across to the other side of that object. The numbers next to the cross-hair icon will then display the height and width (in that order) in pixels of the selected area. It’s that easy!

To save yourself from taking unnecessary screenshots, just click the escape button while you still have the left mouse button pressed down and the crosshair icon will disappear.

Four-Wheeler Tubing, Chainsaws, & A Review of The Sony Action Cam

For some crazy yet awesome reason Sony sent me one of their new go-anywhere HD video cameras, the HDR-AS15¬†Action Cam. I actually volunteered to receive it through their request on Klout, a website that measures influence and engagement across the different social media platforms. I’m not too big on keeping track of a score for these things – I like social media for the “social” aspect alone – but if you’re going to send me a $250+ camera to test and review, I’ll take it!

All that being said, I finally had a chance to put this camera to the test over Christmas. As you’ll see in the above footage (edited in iMovie), we captured some 120 fps slow motion footage of my brother-in-law and his chainsaw in the first part of the video. I really dig the wide-angle settings of the Action Cam and you’ll good demonstration of that in the very first clip. You can actually change the view from 120-degrees all the way up to 170-degrees.

The second part of the video is from an afternoon of tubing-on-the-ice-behind-the-four-wheeler at my parents’ house – one of our all-time favorite winter activities. The first few shots are from the head of my 5 year-old. Notice the part where she actually falls off and dives head-first into the snow. Hilarious. Eventually I strapped the camera onto my own head and had my dad really whip me around on the tube. The footage this camera captured pleasantly surprised me in how cool it looked.

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Yank On: Penmanship in the Digital Age

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I had to write a note in a Christmas card yesterday. The finished product looked like it was written by a heavily intoxicated right-handed person with a broken right hand. It was awful and I was hesitant to even put the card in the mail.

I’ve never had great penmanship, but I also realize that I never actually write anything anymore. I don’t journal – I blog. I don’t write letters – I email. I don’t even write a list when I go to the store – I use the Notes app on my iPhone.

The only thing I ever write out is my signature when I have to sign for a purchase by credit card.

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