TINY FLYING GOATS (THE ZINE)

17 February 2010

This is a pretty simple one. Well, I guess all the little apps I put on my list to write up are simple, only, once they fall into the pile of prolixity which is my mien, they may seem not so simple. But this one, really, it’s simple.

Today’s app is Free Ruler. It’s a ruler. You can get it here, for free.

How often have you been designing or coding up a website only to wonder, “how many pixels is that”? Or, how many times have you been working on something when someone, say, an art director type person in your life, asks, “Is that actual size?” and you realize you’re not really sure? Or, how many times have you been browsing the web and wondered how wide someone designed their site? How many times have you wondered just how many point that type you already turned to outlines in Illustrator is?

OK, I will admit you may have answered “zero times” to the questions above. But these were awkward situations and conundrums that once plagued me. Not so with Free Ruler trustily stowed in my dock!

You can drag it around your screen You can convert units. You can measure vertically or horizontally or both at once. You can make it more or less transparent. You can get it to tell you the exact measurement at the place you’re pointing your cursor. You can tweak it to give you accurate measurements for your actual monitor. You can lock it in place. You can get it to convert units for you. You can use keyboard shortcuts. And, it looks pleasingly like a ruler.

See, it was pretty simple. I use this thing a lot. Maybe you wouldn’t. That’s ok. I also really like metal drafting rulers with cork backs. But I can’t get those into my monitor.

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