Software for Macintosh

Last updated Sunday, 2 November 2014 — 2:27am

Here I keep a running directory of software for Mac OS X that I have found especially useful. Many of these cannot be found in the Mac App Store. Unless I indicate otherwise, everything here is free.


  • BibDesk is a graphical bibliography manager that serves as an easy interface for BibTeX.
  • Coda costs money, but is the best website development and administration tool I have ever used. It comes bundled with complete interactive reference books for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP.
  • MarsEdit costs money, but is the essential toolkit for serious bloggers who know better than to write and manage content in unreliable web-browser interfaces.
  • Scrivener, which also costs money, takes the principles of integrated development environments for computer programmers and applies them to large-scale writing projects. Never use a clunky word processor again.
  • TeXShop is a tidy graphical front-end for all your LaTeX typesetting needs.


  • Adium is the only instant messaging program you will ever need.
  • ClickToFlash is a Safari extension that selectively blocks Flash elements on websites unless you choose to activate them yourself.
  • Fugu is a lightweight FTP/SFTP client, perfect for those who only do occasional file transfers and don’t feel like paying for Transmit. It has not been updated in some time, but it works.
  • GlimmerBlocker is a highly flexible ad-blocker that can also be configured to disable intrusive website enhancements and scripts.


  • f.lux adjusts the colour temperature of your monitor according to the time of day as an aid for sleep therapy.
  • iStat Menus is no longer the free widget it used to be, but in its new form as a paid product embedded in the menu bar, it still serves as an excellent and versatile system monitor.
  • OnyX is a utility for advanced operating system maintenance and tweaking hidden settings.
  • smcFanControl adds an indicator to the menubar that monitors your computer’s core temperature and fans, and also allows you to manually boost your fan speed for quick cooling.
  • The Unarchiver unpacks and decompresses files in virtually any format you throw at it.


  • DarwiinRemote is a lightweight application for linking a Wii remote to the Mac via Bluetooth.
  • Dolphin is the leading emulator for the Nintendo GameCube and Wii, with support for upscaling graphics to higher resolutions than the original hardware.
  • Quackle is the best AI and game analysis tool for serious Scrabble players.
  • Sigma Chess is an excellent chess program with extensive tools for study and analysis, and is not too intimidating for amateurs. There is a commercial version for serious experts, but the free version will be more than sufficient for most players.
  • Zyzzyva is the pre-eminent Scrabble tool for word study as well as the tournament-standard software for dictionary lookups.