Sometimes we’re prone to overlook the core OS X applications. When people think of PDF editing software what comes to mind; Adobe Acrobat, PDFPen, Skim. But what about Preview? If you think Preview is just the application that pops up when you download a PDF, you’re missing out on a great deal of functionality.

Preview is capable of far more than viewing PDFs and contains basic editing features, quartz filters, the ability to manipulate pages, and draw annotations. This how-to will walk you through a variety of the less well known Preview features, and illustrate what the app is capable of.

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For many people, the audio functionality of their Mac is something that just works – there’s no need to mess with it, and no real requirement for anything more advanced. If you’re willing to spend a few minutes looking at what’s on offer, however, you may well stumble upon a few apps which can really enhance your experience of music and radio.

This roundup will take a look at a variety of different tools allowing you to better record audio, try an alternative to iTunes, listen to satellite radio, have your Mac speak to you, or stream music around your house.

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RapidWeaver is a great app for designing websites in a visual, template driven environment. Having recently reviewed RapidWeaver, we’re lucky enough to have two copies to give away to you beautiful readers. If you’re searching for a simple and powerful way to design a website, look no further.

One copy will be given away via Mac AppStorm, and another via Twitter. To enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post with your current website address (or, if you don’t have a website, an idea for what you’d like to create with RapidWeaver)
  2. Follow us on Twitter – I’ll be asking a question via Twitter at a random time this week. The best answer will win!

Good luck, and feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions!

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Embedding this MacTastik strip elsewhere? Please provide a link back to this post and to NCWinters.com

We’ve recently looked at a few screenshot tools, along with a range of screen recording applications. A recent addition to this area of software which caught my eye is Layers, a screenshot utility which records all your screen content in a layered Photoshop file.

Layers is actually quite an advanced application, with a whole bunch of different preferences and options for changing what is recorded and how the file is produced. This review will take a look at what’s on offer, and investigate how useful this functionality actually is.

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Thank you to everyone who entered the Billings competition. It’s always fun to give away free software, and I particularly like the fact that we’re able to reward a Twitter follower as well on this occasion. The results are in:

The winning blog comment, chosen at random is:

  • Tony S: I’d love a copy of Billings to use for my own personal freelance photography business!!! It would be tremendously helpful!!! Thanks for the opportunity!!!

And the randomly selected Twitter follower is:

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A huge congratulation to the winners – you’ll be contacted shortly. Sorry if you missed out, but you’ll have another chance to win again very soon. Next week’s competition will be for a RapidWeaver license, so stay tuned to Twitter or RSS to find out how to win!

Having a beautiful desktop background can be a fantastic motivator – unfortunately it can be difficult to sort the great from the ghastly when it comes to wallpaper design. To make the search easier, we’ve hand picked a selection of 50 stunning desktop images for your viewing pleasure.

I’ve split the collection down into a few different categories for easier browsing; Apple & Technology, Design & Typography, Abstract, and Nature & Architecture. Do let me know if you have any other favorites which I’ve missed!

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There are countless different ways to design a website, and a variety of different tools to make the job easier. These range from writing the raw code in an app such as TextWrangler to using an integrated environment such as Coda. There is a more visual route available as well, commonly called “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG), which aims to make designing a website a remarkably simple process.

An application called iWeb, part of the iLife suite, is probably already sitting on your Mac. If it doesn’t meet your needs, another popular tool is RapidWeaver – a long standing visual web editor with a decent range of features. This review will showcase the main capabilities of RapidWeaver and explain how easy it can be to have a website up and running in no time.

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We’re fortunate enough as Mac users to already have many beautifully designed application icons. However, there are always one or two older applications in your dock which seem to lower the standard. There are a few easy ways to rectify this, with numerous tools available to assist with organizing and changing OS X icons.

This how-to will walk you through the process using two different applications, and provide a few useful resources for sourcing some really good looking icons.

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Whilst you may be content using a pen and paper, many Mac owners need something a little more powerful for writing text on their computer. Fortunately, a wide range of different tools exist, each with their own unique features (and price point). Whether you’re looking for a simple note taking application, need to write reams of code, or simply don’t require the long waiting times of Microsoft Word, there’s a text editor out there for you.

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