Though the Web Design section here at Tuts+ is your home for all resources concerned with this fine art, we're joined by literally thousands of other tutorials on alternative topics. Many of these are pretty relevant so, in this roundup, we're going to take a look at some posts from our Mac Computer Skills section to see how they can help refine the workflow of Mac-equipped designers.
Managing Your Hardware
Macs are notoriously easy to use, but help can always be.. helpful. Whether you're just looking to buy your first Mac or are looking to optimise your current setup, the Mac Computer Skills section hosts a number of really useful tutorials; from guides on how to save money when buying a Mac, to choosing and calibrating a display. Let's dig in.
In "How To Choose Your First Mac", James Cull discusses the various options available to you when buying a new Mac. This tutorial goes in-depth into Apple's stock models and explains the various customisation options that help you tailor your purchase exactly to your needs.
Dylan Herx shows how, in "How to Save Money on Your Next Mac", you can upgrade your current Mac at a lower cost by maximising its sale value and finding the best deal for your new one.
It doesn't have to be a painful experience, though, as long as you know the venues and their idiosyncrasies.
You may find the 11-inch MacBook Air to be a great way of working away from your desk, but the limited screen real estate can cause some restrictions to your web design workflow. Jordan Merrick, a web designer based in the United Kingdom, plays host in "The Complete Guide to Buying an External Display for Your Mac", exploring the steps of selecting and purchasing an external display for your Mac.
This article shows how to make your Mac's display more accurate by modifying its colour calibration. You can find out more about the importance of colour calibration in our own article on the subject, a presentation that quickly comes to the conclusion: "If you have the time and resources to calibrate your device, or if having a wide color palette is essential to your work, then you should calibrate your monitor."
Managing Multiple Platforms
Just because you've chosen a Mac, you're not restricted to living, working and, importantly, testing in OS X alone. Your Mac is a flexible being which can run, through official and unofficial means, Windows and Linux. If you're looking to ensure your designs work equally well outside of OS X or just want to take advantage of some platform-exclusive tools, these tutorials will help you get up and running.
In "Boot Camp: How to Run Windows on Your Mac", I show you how to use Apple's own Boot Camp utility to partition your Mac's hard drive, install Windows and set up the drivers needed to make everything work smoothly.
In this guide, Dylan Herx shows how you can install Linux on your Mac. It's a little more hands-on than using Boot Camp to install Windows, but the tutorial goes through the steps in-depth to ensure everything runs perfectly.
Ubuntu, a popular variety of the open-source OS, works well on a Mac, and best of all, it can be booted natively.
Your Mac is a gregarious machine. In fact, with many multi-designer teams stereotypically being found sitting around on beanbags with MacBooks in their arms, these tutorials on collaboration are especially useful.
Jacob Penderworth shows off the various options for Mac-based screen sharing in "Screen Sharing on The Mac", teaching you how to share what's going down on your machine with others through OS X's built-in solution and other, third-party alternatives.
This introduction goes through OS X's built-in file sharing tools, explaining how you can send and share files between machines and control just what can be done to them.
Here, Johnny Winter showcases the many cross-platform options for sending particularly large files, from traditional methods such as email to cool little apps that live in your Mac's menu bar.
Many developers pay a lot of attention to both form and function meaning that a few carefully chosen apps can enhance your day-to-day workflow. When it comes to sending large files, this is no exception.
Making the Most of OS X
OS X has a ton of built-in tools, utilities and mechanics that make it an awesome platform to work on... once you get the hang of things. When you get acquainted with OS X, complex tasks can be made simple and your whole workflow can be streamlined. These tutorials are all about using smaller features to really optimise the way you use your Mac.
Johnny Winter showcases fifty smaller changes and additions in OS X's latest version. This roundup highlights some of the cool new stuff that you can take advantage of to really get more out of your operating system.
In "How to Become an OS X Screenshot Wizard", Johnny Winter shows us how become an expert in the art of screen capturing in OS X. This tutorial shows off how to use and customise OS X's built-in utilities for screen capturing, so the process never needs to be arduous again.
Whether you know them as screen dumps, screen captures, screenshots, screen grabs or print screens, the process of capturing the visual information — displayed on the screen of your Mac — is a relatively straightforward process …once you know how.
As web designers, typography is important and OS X has really versatile support for a range of beautiful typefaces. Kevin Kirsche, in "Take Control of Your Fonts in OS X", shows how to use the preinstalled Font Book app to customise the selection of fonts available, including the process of adding entirely new ones.
Automator is a preinstalled application in OS X which allows you to create workflows to easily automate the process of repeating tasks. In "Automator 101: Building Your First Workflow", I show you how to create basic workflows in Automator.
It's a fairly versatile tool that can be used for a lot of things, but the fundamental setup of an Automator document is a workflow of actions that can be run without your intervention.
In "How To Set Up Custom Keyboard Shortcuts on Your Mac", Josh Johnson shows how to create custom keyboard shortcuts in OS X to really speed up the things we do often. In this tutorial, Josh also highlights some third-party apps available OS X which can even better streamline your already-optimised workflow.
Finally, the Mac Computer Skills section hosts a handful of other tutorials which can be really useful to us, as web designers, but don't quite fit into any of the categories we've visited in this roundup.
Slightly off the topic, but still relevant to our web design context, Peter Taylor shows us how to use the Raspberry Pi to run the Ghost blogging platform in "Run the Ghost Blogging Software on a Raspberry Pi".
As Ghost is very new it is still quite simplistic, and this simplicity makes it ideal to run on a Raspberry Pi. You'll be able to write and edit posts and upload images to your blog.
In the collaborative "Tuts+ Team Top Tips", Tuts+ instructors share their personal tips for working in OS X, highlighting everything from the importance of learning keyboard shortcuts to recommending some stellar OS X-exclusive apps.
Now it's time for our open call to you, our readers. Have you been reading Tuts+ Mac Computer Skills? Do you have your own web design-centric tips for using a Mac? Be sure to share your thoughts, tips and recommendations in the comments section!
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