The first question to ask is obvious. “Why would you want to do that? Why measure anything on the Mac’s screen?” Fair enough. Designers do it all the time and xScope is a tool that does the deed and nine more.
Nine? Yes, that 9. xScope is a set of tools that reside in the Menubar or on a floating palette which deliver all kinds of functions that graphic designers, engineers, website developers, and others with a penchant for counting pixels, finding pixels, and using color need.
Scope It Out
Applications that have been around awhile tend to develop something we reviewers call feature creep. No, not creepy features, but those can be found, too. Feature creep is features tossed in for the hell of it, rather than features that users want. xScope is packed with features you will enjoy using.
It all starts with the floating toolbar.
One click to a tool on the xScope toolbar brings up another function. More on how those look below.
The functions themselves are crazy, well, functional. For example, xScope has built-in Text functions good for characters, reformatting, measure font glyphs, deciphering odd text, converting specific text files, and much more– all from a pop-up, one-click window.
xScope has Guides, Framed, Rulers, and Dimensions which do what you expect, including measure pixels from one object to another on the Mac’s screen, or allow you to align objects to guides. You get the idea, right?
There’s a built-in Crosshair for precision, and the standard Loupe to magnify and capture a specific color on the screen on any object.
Yes, that’s almost everything xScope can bring to the Mac’s screen. One of my favorite new functions is the Overlay which is good for checking designer element mockups on a grid. Text is new, too, and anyone who deals with fonts will appreciate the combination of functionality.
One of the oddest features is called Mirror. Now, it’s odd only because I don’t use it and those here in the school where I work probably haven’t used it either. Mirror lets you see designs and applications on iPhone and iPad while you work on them on the Mac’s screen. And, yes. It sends images to Apple Watch, too.
I know, right?
Preferences? Got plenty.
Each of the tools has their own set of preferences, plus there are keyboard shortcuts to invoke a specific tool or the entire toolbar. xScope also lives in the Mac’s Menubar. I like the option to make xScope the front applications when activated.
Otherwise, xScope comes highly recommended from all those I know who push pixels for a living. As always, it’s try-before-you- buy even with an App Store version.