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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 30 September 2013

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Pixelmator 2.2.1 -- Despite receiving a seemingly minor numerical tick to version 2.2.1 (from the previous 2.2), Pixelmator introduces a new file format to its popular and attractively priced image editing and manipulation app, claiming significant performance improvements. (If you’re unfamiliar with Pixelmator, be sure to read Michael Cohen’s review, “Can You Replace Photoshop with Pixelmator?,” 17 May 2013.) In addition to greatly speeding up the opening and saving of image files, the new Pixelmator file format saves edits in the background while you manipulate images, and it now saves individual edits to iCloud (rather than saving the whole image file each time). The new file format also introduces a progress bar for a better idea of where you’re at while opening and saving, and it offers enhanced Quick Look support. Additionally, Pixelmator adds a checkbox option that enables you to choose to open and save images in the new file format or in their original format.

Beyond the new file format, Pixelmator improves the Effects Browser with the capability to open highlighted effects by pressing Return as well as adding more keywords for quickly finding the right effect. Third-party effects are better organized and gain a tooltip so you can view full titles. Other changes include the addition of a Command-Option keyboard shortcut to compare how an image looks with and without an effect, improved accuracy while previewing the Sharpen effect, a more precise eyedropper for the Replace Color and Select Color tools, and more flexibility in previewing images while applying an effect or using the Select Color and Refine Selection features. ($14.99 new from the Mac App Store, free update, 41.6 MB, release notes)

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Typinator 5.7 -- Ergonis has released Typinator 5.7, enhancing the way the text-expansion utility pulls together variable parts of expansions with optional default values. If a default value is present, the input field contains the specified string rather than what was entered the last time the expansion was used. The update also fixes a problem where some input fields weren’t recognized if they immediately followed another marker; works around issues in IntelliJ, PhpStorm, WebStorm, and PyCharm that inserted the current clipboard when attempting multi-line expansions; fixes a bug that created different types of line breaks in some applications; and provides a workaround to a problem with certain multi-line expansions in Microsoft Word. (€24.99 new with a 25 percent discount for TidBITS members, free update, 5.5 MB, release notes)

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TextExpander 4.1 -- Preparing for the upcoming release of OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Smile has released TextExpander 4.1 with new Security & Privacy settings as well as a lengthy laundry list of improvements and fixes. The typing shortcut utility gains an Emoji snippet group, enables you to type Command-Return to complete a fill-in window, improves the performance of snippets containing multiple embedded images, adds capitalization correction in applications such as Mellel, sets the CPU to idle 30 seconds after an expansion or capitalization correction, and gives you the option to convert existing snippets when changing the default snippet type. ($34.95 new with a 20 percent discount for TidBITS members, free update, 8.6 MB, release notes)

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ReadKit 2.3.1 -- Webin has released ReadKit 2.3.1, a maintenance release with a number of fixes that also improves sync speed and overall performance. The RSS client and read-later app adds image caching for RSS services, mark as read/shared options and tag completion for Pinboard and Delicious sharing, OPML export for RSS feeds, and a preference to preload original pages in the background. The update also fixes a bug with marking Feedly items as read; a problem with sharing an article’s title on Twitter, Facebook, Messages, and Mail; a crash when adding new subscriptions on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion; display notifications in Notification Center; and several validation issues. Normally priced at $4.99, ReadKit is on sale for a limited time for $1.99 from the Mac App Store. ($4.99 new, free update, 3.9 MB, release notes)

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