Mac Users:Suggested Applications

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This list are the applications that most use in CSE. We try to focus on applications that are free, inexpensive and open source. If such applications don't exist, we list the best piece of software in that category. If you want a specific piece of software, try MacUpdate and VersionTracker. You can also send your question to the mailing list.





  • TeXShop is TeX specific any editor is good.
  • LaTeXiT is for embedding quotations in any document.
  • BibDesk is a good bibliography manager.


  • OmniGraffle is great for creating posters, graphs and other vector based images.
  • Inkscape is an Illustrator clone and is good for free form work.


Note Taking


  • Camino is based on the Mozilla rendering engine, but unlike Firefox it is "Mac-y" in nature. It uses Keychain, OS X elements, etc. You can find optimized versions on MozillaZine and extensions at PimpMyCamino.
  • Safari is the standard OS X browser. WebKit is Apple's open source (and often faster) browser engine. Find extensions at PimpMySafari.

If you are using, Camino or Firefox, you'll note that you don't by default have the ability to render PDFs in the browser. If you're running on an Intel mac, you're up a creek without a paddle, switch to Safari if you really need it. If you're using a PowerPC mac then you can download PDF Browser, which basically puts into the browsers.



  • Adium (based on Gaim but pretty) because it's customizable and allows for all the chat protocols in one client. It has medicore file transfer support.




Mail tends to be more popular because it's easy and simple. Entourage tends to be the reverse of Mail, and Thunderbird sits in the middle.


iCal Entourage.

iCal tends to be more popular because it's easy and simple. Entourage tends to be the reverse of iCal but has better Exchange server support.


  • Vienna is an open-source client that works well.
  • NetNewsWire (both pro and lite) are pretty good too.


File Transfer


  • Cyberduck offers good FTP/SFTP support.
  • Fugu are nice but getting old.
  • Fetch works and is free for students.
  • Transmit is nicest of all but not free.


General Downloading








Burning Software

  • Finder has built-in burning.
  • Toast is the burning standard.
  • Burn is a free alternative.



  • LaunchBar gets you instant access to apps, documents, search engines, etc. It's extremely quick, stable and has limited features.
  • Quicksilver is a similar to LaunchBar. It's open source, has a ton more features, but is less stable.
  • Path Finder A replacement for the Finder


  • Growl allows applications that support Growl to send you notifications. It's generally a useful thing to have installed.


  • SuperDuper makes a bootable image of your hard drive.
  • Chronosync makes versioned incremental backups of any folder you specify.


  • OnyX helps you run system maintenance tasks and configure hidden parameters.
  • AppleJack is a similar utility to OnyX but runs in single user mode.
  • MenuMeters is a system monitoring, cpu, network throughput, disk, memory, etc.
  • Pacifist Look into pkg, dmg, .tar, etc files and pull individual files out.
  • UnArchiver A much more capable replacement the built-in archive unpacker program in Mac OS X.
  • Visor a systemwide terminal window accessible via a hotkey, much like the consoles found in games such as Quake

Remote Desktop


If you do a lot of hardware or graphics intensive work, use Bootcamp. If you need a full fledged Windows install try Parallels. If you only have one app and it's supported by Crossover, then use that. If you want know the differences, try this Guide for Choosing Boot Camp or Parallels to Run Windows on an Apple MacBook