Monday, January 14, 2008

Recommended Mac Freeware: URLWell

I've already mentioned three indispensible Mac freeware programs: Mainmenu for system cleaning and maintenance, Menushade for dimming the menubar, and AntiRSI for preventing repetitive stress injuries while programming. I have also recommended freeware options for text editing, either Textwrangler or Smultron.

Another tool I use daily is URLWell:
It's a small menubar icon that allows you to drag urls in for later viewing. This is tremendously useful for things you'd like to remember, but have no desire to bookmark permanently. Here's what it looks like (it's the @ symbol):

Picture 1.jpg.

Suppose I've found a piece of software that I may want to download later. I can just add the link to URLWell by dragging and dropping:

Picture 3.jpg

Now when I click on URLwell, it has a list of all of the sites I've marked:

Picture 2.jpg

There are several nice options to clean up your list. You can export an HTML file with links, a text list, or just open all of the pages in separate browser tabs:

There are no keyboard shortcuts, which is too bad, but the interface couldn't be simpler. Urls can be dragged from other applications: I most frequently use this to move blog posts from NetNewsWire for later reading.

Apparently the developer of URLWell disappeared, much to the consternation of the Mac universe. So a kind-hearted web citizen is currently hosting a site for downloading URLWell.

URLWell link from

I'm completely satisfied with URLWell, but if you are looking for more full-featured bookmarking software, the developer of Smultron has developed a similar bookmarking program called Hallon. The advantage - or disadvantage, depending on how you see it - of Hallon is that you can bookmark anything: emails, iTunes songs, blog posts, Finder folders. That might be a little more than I need right now, though I'm intrigued by the idea.

If you're wondering about the names, Smultron means "Strawberry" in Swedish, so his other programs are Hallon (raspberry) and Lingon (lingonberry, a Scandinavian fruit you may recognize from IKEA jams).

I'm going to add a freeware link list on the side of the site. Not all of them will be Stata-related, but I think they can all be helpful to Mac users.

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