Sam Brown


xScope from Icon Factory is a powerful set of tools that are ideal for measuring, aligning and inspecting on-screen graphics and layouts.

I purchased the program for OS X several weeks ago and I use it daily, infact, hourly. There are 6 different on-screen tools that help in my daily work, Rulers, Screens, Loupe, Guides, Frames and Crosshair. Icons for which can be seen in the second image, I have three of the icons visible in my menu bar and the Toolbar I have turned off.

The three I use are Rulers, for measuring the widths of things on screen in Pixels, this means I no longer have to take a screenshot, import into Photoshop, select the area and note the size. These rulers just overlay on my screen and I can extend them to measure anything underneath!

Screens is a nice tool, not used so much however, it simply overlays a box on the screen at a set size, for example 800×600, or 1024×768. A quick and easy way to check that a webpage fits into a smaller screen size without having to change the resolution of my computer.

Lastly, Loupe, which is invalueable. It dispalys an 8x zoomed in area of my screen around the mouse, it has a pixel grid and on hovering over individual pixels shows the HEX colour code, RGB colours and HSB, and also the X,Y co-ordinate of the mouse at the time. I use this all the time to quickly pull colour codes from something like photoshop into skEdit for placing in my CSS style sheets.

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Sam 20 March 2005, 17:47 #1

Hooray, it appears as if I annihilated the JavaScript that is used to make the Live Preview work below the comments.

I did some serious hackage of Jon Hicks original script, time to dig out the backups, damn it.

richie 21 March 2005, 00:09 #2

My precious, precious live-preview!
This application sounds awesome – downloading it now

Sam Brown 21 March 2005, 02:32 #3

Hurrah.. I fixed it for you Richie! :)

The app is great, the only problem I have with it, is that the icon sits open in the taskbar all the time, that’s kind of frustrating as it doesn’t need to be there.

I did send that in as a feature request, hopefully thats fixed in a future version.

richie 21 March 2005, 05:32 #4

Control-click the application, Show Package Contents > Contents > Open up Info.plist in bbedit or textedit. Add these strings just before the final [/dict]


Replacing the [] with

(The app needs to be quit when this happens). Then restart the Dock (killall Dock) and start the app. Voila!

Sam 21 March 2005, 16:11 #5

That didn’t seem to do anything! I assume it was mean’t to turn the icon off.. but it never. Strange.

Note: I did change the square brackets to poke your eye out brackets.

nasu 23 March 2005, 14:59 #6

xScope is nice, but for some reason I can’t make ruler shorter than 240px, does anyone else have the same problem?

Sam 23 March 2005, 15:17 #7

Neither can I actually. I’ve never had something smaller than 240px that I would need to measure but that could become slightly annoying!

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Sam Brown co-founded Iterate, and was previously VP of Design at Foursquare. Based in NYC.