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Thread: Isolator: For Focusing On Applications On A Mac

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Is your computer life hectic? Are all of those extraneous windows floating around keeping you from concentrating? If a Mac OS X computer is one of your main tools of
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  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
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    Default Isolator: For Focusing On Applications On A Mac

    Is your computer life hectic? Are all of those extraneous windows floating around keeping you from concentrating?

    If a Mac OS X computer is one of your main tools of choice for getting work done, then while multitasking can be daunting. It isn't because Mac OS X has bad multitasking, it's because of the way that we perceive things. When we have a lot of Windows open at once, we get distracted - plain and simple. Coming to the rescue to help make sure you get your work done by focusing on the task at hand is an awesome application called Isolator.

    As you can see from the screenshot above, Isolator helps take background applications out of focus so that your eyes focus more on what is in front of you. As you switch between applications, the application that you are in becomes the main focus of your screen. Isolator comes with numerous settings; you don't have to make the background blurry, you can make it black if you want. The screenshot below shows you some of the settings that encompass the settings of appearance for Isolator:



    Instead of blur, you can also choose between none, bloom, crystals, and desaturate - all of which help to take your focus away from the background. There are sliders that let you adjust the focus so that you can put it at a comfortable level for your eyes. You can also adjust the speeds that focus changes as you go from one application to another. You can adjust the color of the tint and make it as opaque or faint as you like it.

    Apart from the appearance settings, there are also behavioral settings for Isolator. You can make it start up with Mac OS X so that you're ready to do work in a focused environment as soon as you boot up your computer, or you can opt to launch it manually. When Isolator is running (as you see in the first screenshot of this article) there is a status bar icon up in the top right of the screen on Mac OS X's menu bar which is shaped like a box. There you will find the options to open preferences, check for updates, turn Isolator on or off, or quit the application. The menu bar icon can be enabled or disabled from the settings.

    Additionally, you can use Isolator to hide the dock which will help you get yet another distracting part of the operating system out of your sight. This setting only works when Isolator is enabled - this way when you quit Isolator, you can go back to using your dock as usual without having to go into System Settings to re-enable it. Isolator supports a hot-key function to enable it so that you don't even have to click anything. If you want to launch it like a regular Mac application, you can also launch it the old fashioned way by clicking on the icon from your Applications folder.

    Albeit an extraneous piece of software for some, if you would like to enhance your ability to focus on the task at hand on your Mac OS X machine, then I highly recommend Isolator for you. It is currently in beta for Mac OS X 10.7, but there is a stable release for Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5, and 10.6. Isolator is not tough on system memory or performance and I would say that you wouldn't even notice it was there. It massages so nicely into Mac OS X that you might end up getting used to it and forgetting it's even there. I really like it - might be a keeper for me.

    Download Links:
    Sources: Isolator via OSX Daily

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    iPhoneaholic AUZambo's Avatar
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    Seems pretty cool...but why would you need to use Isolator to hide the dock when the ability to hide the dock is already built into the mac's preferences??

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    Quote Originally Posted by AUZambo View Post
    Seems pretty cool...but why would you need to use Isolator to hide the dock when the ability to hide the dock is already built into the mac's preferences??
    Because most people, like myself, like to have our dock visible at all times; but sometimes when we really need to focus on a specific window, we need to remove as much distraction as we can. So it makes sense to add that feature to Isolator, because it's easier to open Isolator and have all our focusing needs covered and then close it and have our dock like normal. I guess it's one of those "I'm too lazy to do it myself" things...
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    MMi Staff Writer Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AUZambo View Post
    Seems pretty cool...but why would you need to use Isolator to hide the dock when the ability to hide the dock is already built into the mac's preferences??
    The Isolator setting, as I stated, only activates when Isolator is open. As soon as you quit Isolator, your dock comes back. This means you can have a work session without fumbling in your settings.

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    Oh wow, this is absolutely awesome! As a professional graphic artist, I continually switch through half a dozen programs, hundreds of times a day. Placing the focus in Photoshop when I'm working on something is really nice, especially with a dual screen. I will no longer forget that I have another document open on the second display!

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    this is awesome it's really helping me

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    MMi Staff Writer Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsg View Post
    this is awesome it's really helping me
    I like it too.

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