Mac Freeware

Some of my favorite mac freeware *

  • Adium – multi-protocol instant messaging client
  • Butler – application launcher with many other handy features
  • Camino – mac-like gecko browser. not as many features as firefox, but faster.
  • ClamAV – Antivirus program, because you just never know…
  • ColloquyGUI IRC client
  • ColorTagGen – Use the eyedropper to get fast hex color codes. This little app rocks!
  • Dashboard KickStart – brings up the dashboard for a second at startup so that you don’t have to wait for it to load the first time you use it.
  • Firefox – I heart Firefox
  • MAMP – Mac, Apache, MySQL, PHP server environment in an easy to install, easy to use package. Includes Apache v2.0.x, phpMyAdmin, MySQL v5.0.x, PHP v4.4.x and v5.1.x, and more.
  • NeoOffice – Mac version of OpenOffice (OO also works on a mac). No need for X11 with Neo. Prettier than OO.
  • Onyx – tweaking, maintenance, etc.
  • Quicksilver – similar to Butler, only geekier. I use it on my powerbook. I find Butler’s interface a little more intuitive.
  • Smell-O-Mints – Periodic table with some nice features
  • TextWrangler – I actually use BBedit, but TextWrangler is an excellent free text editor that does much of what BBedit does so I have to mention it here.
  • Transmission – BitTorrent Client


  • Image Shackle – fast easy way to resize images. Just drag the image to the widget, set a size, and click ‘shackle’ for a copy of your image at the specified size. I love this widget!
  • Panda Cam – live feed from the San Diego Zoo’s Panda Cam
  • PHP function reference (PHPfr) – comprehensive PHP reference
  • iStat Pro – system monitoring widget

There is a great list which includes many of the programs mentioned above (and many that aren’t) at

Anyone else have any favorite mac freeware? Please share…

*I am using the word freeware because payment is not required to use these apps with all features enabled and without a time limit. Many of the programmers accept donations to compensate them for their time and effort. If you can afford it and use the program regularly, please consider donating 🙂

10 thoughts on “Mac Freeware”

  1. The dock background never really bugged me before, but after hearing it described as “milky” (I hate milk), and seeing the pretty purple translucent background on the screenshot at the Unsanity site, I may have to download it.

    The other program you need is APE (Application Enhancer). It is necessary to run all Unsanity haxies and is included with the haxie download. Also free.

    I am a big fan of the Menu Master haxie. It is for easily assigning keyboard shortcuts to menu items (go to the item in the menu and click the keyboard shortcut) either program specific or system wide.

    NeoOffice runs pretty fast for me (running 2.0 Aqua Beta 3), but I still use Word for most word processing. I have been using BASE for a database design class I’ve been taking and am pretty impressed. I tried to use it in regular Open Office and couldn’t get past the interface.

  2. “NeoOffice runs pretty fast for me (running 2.0 Aqua Beta 3), but I still use Word for most word processing.”


    azureus is a pretty nice bittorrent client on mac.

    Freemind is a cool mindmap app.

    I also use NoteStudio (cheap shareware), which I love, but I’m not liking the java-ness. I find java annoyingly slow on macs. If you know of a good freeware note organization program I’d love to hear about it.

  3. I use Word because it is most compatible with documents that I receive from other people. Apple Pages does not do such a good job with that, although it is nice for other things. Unfortunately, I hardly ever have a need for those other things.

    Maybe someday NeoOffice will finally beat out Word, but I haven’t had much time to play with it. I had been using OpenOffice for a while, and my main problem was with the interface, not the functionality. I am very picky about UI and love mac prettiness 🙂

    Freemind seems really cool too. I downloaded it a while ago but I keep falling back to Inspiration 7, which I bought a long time ago, because I am more familiar with how it works and haven’t had time or patience to figure out freemind yet.

    I use Barbones Yojimbo for note organization, after trying about a million things. It is not freeware, but so far has been worth every penny of the $39 I paid for it. I looked at the NoteStudio site, but couldn’t really figure out how it worked.

  4. I’ve just noticed that you have NeoOffice and claim it’s the Mac version of Open Office. I’ve only used Open Office on the PC and I was looking for a Mac version when I came across this link. The page calles it Open Office and not Neo. Is it the same?

  5. From the NeoOffice site:
    “NeoOffice is a fully-featured set of office applications for Mac OS X. Based on the office suite, NeoOffice has integrated dozens of native Mac features and can import, edit, and exchange files with other popular office programs such as Microsoft Office.”

    Neo usually has the most recent version of OpenOffice as its base, has mac-like appearance and functionality, and doesn’t require X11 to run. Like OO, NeoOffice is free and released under the GNU GPL.


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