Interesting Mac OS X Programs

This is a list of Macintosh-based software that we’ve found interesting over the years. Not all the software listed is free, and this is not an exhaustive list. If you don’t see your favourite program here, email us, and let us know!

Note: All links listed here are for Intel-based Macs.

Office Productivity

  • LibreOffice for MacOS X fork of using Java and Carbon instead of X11 for better integration with the Mac OS X environment.
  • Abiword simple to use cross-platform word processor.
  • Smultron open-source text editor has features such as syntax highlighting.

Web Browsers (other than Safari)

  • Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.
  • Mozilla Firefox free web browser with features such as including tabbed browsing, pop-up blocker, privacy/security controls, integrated search, and more.
  • Opera Browser free alternative web browser

Email client software

  • Thunderbird free email client with features such as POP3/IMAP support, intelligent spam filters, a built-in spell checker, RSS feeds, saved search folders and more.

Utilities and functionality extenders

  • Main Menu Pro gives access to hidden Mac OS X settings and let you easily optimize your system. (US$19.99)
  • Perian extends QuickTime support for many popular types of media
  • Flip4Mac allows you to view/listen to Windows Media files on OS X
  • Carbon Copy Cloner creates bootable clones of your current OS drive, making for quick recovery in times of disaster (Donate-ware).
  • SheepShaver probably the only way we know of to run the OS 8/9 environment on an Intel Mac for those with software that just hasn’t been ported to OS X yet. Takes a bit of fiddling (not a simple setup), but actually works.


  • Roxio Toast one of the best ways to create your own audio CDs (allows cross fading between tracks), crunching your (personal video content) 8GB DVDs to fit the 4GB DVD spec. (US$80)

Educational / Lifestyle

  • Kindle App allows you to read your Kindle purchases on your Mac
  • Comic Life engage your children’s (or your) storytelling skills, with this app that helps you create your own comic book from your own images. Quite addictive.

Image Editing

  • Pixelmator is an image editor which is not quite a Photoshop killer, but is more cost effective, and also allows you a 30 day free trial. (US$14.95, via AppStore application).