Writing for a tech blog like MacTrast, I find myself doing a lot of Google Searches, screen captures, and bouncing back and forth between multiple windows and apps. I recently had the opportunity to try out Shape Magic. This Mac app claims to speed up your daily workflow by supplying a central app to manage windows, take screenshots, and search the web. Let’s take a look.
Upon loading, Shape Magic resides in your menubar at the top of your Mac desktop. The only way you’ll know it’s active is that you’ll see a Square, a Diamond, and a Circle sitting in the menubar. A simple click of any of the three symbols allows you to access the features of the app. The functions can also be accessed by customizable hotkeys.
The features of the three symbols are as follows:
The Square allows you to expose your Desktop by hiding/unhiding all visible applications by a single click of the mouse on the square on the menubar or via a key combination. You can exclude applications from being hidden, by adding them to an Exclusion List.
The Diamond lets you setup a list of all the major search engines and major searchable websites that you usually access, and then access them through a Spotlight-like Search Menu, which resides in the menubar. A single click or a key combination allows you to access them. You can navigate through the list with the arrow keys or by using the mouse.
By clicking the Circle you can take screenshots of the entire screen, a selected area, or a window, and then save them to a folder or the Clipboard. All the choices are available from the menubar.
You can customize where you want to save the screenshots, choose the file type for the screenshots, (png, jpg, pdf, gif, bmp or tiff), and even set a delay before the screenshot gets saved.
In using Shape Magic, I found that it actually performed as advertised. I was able to clear my screen with a single click of the square, and searching via the Diamond was easy and fast. I did like the option of setting which sources you wanted results from, as it made it easier to just enter the search term and go.
My favorite feature of the app was the Circle. Screenshots are a must when writing reviews and news posts, and Circle definitely made it easier to grab a quick screenshot, especially of a single window in an app. I especially liked that the window screenshots were saved to a neutral, solid background. That looks much better than seeing wallpaper or other windows and apps in behind the main subject of the screenshot.
While the Circle was my most used function of Shape Magic, I put Square and Diamond to good use too.
Square allowed me to clear the screen quickly when I was looking for a file I had saved to my desktop. (Yes, I’m one of THOSE people.)
Diamond came in handy when searching for information on specific subjects. I simply clicked the Diamond, entered the search term, and bam, a new browser window opened with the info from the selected source.
Shape Magic is one of those utilities that you don’t think you really need, but once you try it, you find you don’t really want to do without it. I’ll be keeping the app on my Mac. I will admit I didn’t use Square as much as the other two shapes, simply because I use multiple desktops for my apps, so I’m not using numerous apps at the same time on a single desktop. However, Circle and Diamond more than made the $2.99 price of admission worth it.
The developer does say that new “shapes” are being developed, and will be added to the app free of charge as they are finished. I can’t wait to see what the new shapes are.
Price: $2.99 – Available in the Mac App Store. [DIRECT LINK]
- Quick and easy way to perform searches across multiple resources.
- The screenshot functions neutral backgrounds give a polished look to screenshots.
- One click clearing of the screen came in handy, and the ability to specify apps that would stay visible was very handy.
- It’s another app that lives up in the menubar, which can get pretty crowded if you’re on a small laptop screen. The hotkeys do help here though.
*The above review was commissioned by the developer in accordance with our app review policy, and has been written in an objective, unbiased fashion.