Pixels are important because they help us view what’s onscreen, but for a large number of Mac users pixels are a measuring tool. And not just for graphic designers, either. Biologists, cartographers, engineers, physicists, astronomers, photographers, medical technicians– all those and more depend upon precise pixel measurements from images on the Mac’s screen.
That’s what PixelStick does.
Measure Twice, Cut Once
In addition to just about everything Adobe publishes, my Mac is loaded up with a few must-have utilities that Apple doesn’t provide in OS X, but have use within apps that don’t come with a monthly subscription fee. PixelStick measures distances, angles, and even colors on the Mac’s screen. Yes, Photoshop does that, too. But only in Photoshop. PixelStick does it everywhere, within any Mac app, and that makes it a much more robust solution for measurements for non-Photoshop users.
PixelStick isn’t difficult to use but may take some effort to master. Drag endpoints from here to there to take a measurement or change am measurement. Locks can constrain movement but basically it’s an onscreen ruler with more functionality.
Retina display Macs measure in points but pixels still apply, and that’s the strength of using PixelStick to measure. It’s not just a measurement tool for straight lines. It can measure points within an area and there’s no visible ruler to block your view of the pixels. PixelStick stays out of they way.
To measure height and width, simply position PixelStick’s endpoints on the corner pixels, then drag one of the endpoints to the opposite corner on the Mac’s screen to measure the other side. Endpoints can be locked to constrain a length or angle.
I’ve used PixelStick for a few years simply to measure graphic images and photos, but I was surprised to see how many other Mac user professionals could benefit from the same kind of pixel precision.
- Designers – for graphic, architecture, interior, space, marine, and aeronautical.
- Software Developers – for graphics, layout and user interface.
- Cartographers – for maps or all kinds.
- Medical Technicians – for X-rays, ECG, EKG, and microscopy.
- Biologists – for microscopy and morphology.
- CSI Technicians – for crime scene investigations.
- Manufacturing – for design and fabrication.
- Physicists and Astronomers – for all kinds of measurements.
- Engineering – for mechanical, electrical and civil engineering.
- Builders – for measuring existing buildings or blueprints.
- Education – for students, teachers and researchers.
The PixelStick developer publishes a number of Mac apps including the popular and highly recommended CopyPaste Pro. PixelStick is also a try-before-you-buy Mac app.