Free tools for OS X developers



23 May 2017

A short list of free tools I find useful for blogging and web development! Includes Microsoft Visual Studio Code, ImageOptim, ForkLift 2 and Commander One.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code, currently in Preview, is excellent although more complex than what I'm used to with Visual Studio.

It's now my go-to editor for Markdown with live preview!

Visual Studio Code with Live Markdown Preview

To associate .md with Visual Studio Code, secondary click (i.e. right-click) on a .md file and select Get Info. Change the Open With to Visual Studio and click Change All....

Get Info Open With Visual Studio Code

I also use it for .twig templates. Since .twig is not a known extension, there is no syntax colorization... but it's only a click away, to select the Language Mode. Just click "Plain Text" at the bottom right of the status bar, and select another language, e.g. PHP, HTML or Handlebars.

Visual Studio Code Language Mode

Short cuts are Command-K, M or "Language Mode" from the Command Palette.


I also use ImageOptim to squish PNG's as much as possible before posting. It even can be run from the Terminal command line.

Get ImageOptim from the developer's site and not knock-offs on the AppStore!

I've created a nice screen capture script to automatically take a window screen shot, generate one regular retina sized, and one at 50%, and then optimize them both.

ForkLift 2

ForkLift - File Manager and FTP/SFTP/WebDAV/Amazon S3 client is currently my favourite dual pane file manager. ForkLift version 2 is free on the App Store, while the paid new-and-improved version 3 is on the BinaryNights web site.

Commander One

Commander One is a great free dual pane file manager, so much better than Finder! There is also a paid PRO version with FTP, 7-Zip and ZIP support and other features.

Updated 23 May 2017: Added ForkLift 2.