March 29th in Mac Software, Free software by .

PixelStick Review: A cool ruler for web developers, designers, artists on Mac

Today’s Top Tech has discovered another FREE app for Mac OSX… PixelStick! A small and simple app for measuring distances between two points on your screen. Gimmick or Gold? Read our review to find out what we thought of it.

This review is for a little known, free, app for the Mac… called PixelStick.

What is it?

PixelStick, is a small app which allows you to measure the distance between two points on your Mac screen. It also allows you to pin point the exact pixel location of two points on your screen, and the angel between them. PixelStick also provides scaling options, for GoogleMaps for example, so that you can measure distances between geographical locations too!

How does it work?

Because it’s a small uncomplicated app, it loads instantly and sits on top of all other open windows. It has useful guides that go right across your screen to help you position your two end points exactly. There’s also a small information window which updates in real-time as you move the two points around the screen, giving you the precise pixel location, distance and angle information.

PixelStick for Mac OSX - Review

PixelStick - Click for larger image

Once you’ve started to move the points around, you soon realise that you’re an expert… there’s nothing else to learn, fathom, tweak etc. So simple. But, actually really useful for anyone who codes websites, or uses any element of design or artwork.

Sometimes you just need to know quickly what distance is between two points on a website, or the width of a DIV, or the size of an image etc. PixelSticks can tell you in seconds!

What’s missing?

A fairly obvious feature that’s missing from PixelStick, is the ability to snap-to common angles when placing your points on the screen. Very often you just want to measure distances between two points that are at 180 exactly (perfectly horizontal). Or 90 degrees for perfectly vertical alignment. A common short-cut for this in many design packages is to hold the ‘Shift’ key down whilst dragging the points with the mouse. PixelStick doesn’t however provide this feature which we found a to be rather annoying.

Other than that, we couldn’t really say we wanted anything more or less from the app. It’s simplicity is what makes it so handy. Just like popping out a quick virtual take measure from your pocket, getting the measurement, and then putting it away and continuing with your project… no fuss, no hold-ups, no waiting around.

Today’s Top Tech Review Our overall rating:   3/5

What we liked…

  • Useful for designers, developers, artists to measure pixel distances
  • Fast, responsive, simple app
  • It’s Free!
What we weren’t so keen on…
  • No snap-to feature for common angles

Vital info

Software: PixelStick for Max OSX
Supplier: Pixelated Software
Price: Free!

Self-confessed tech and gadget geek. Love all kinds of tech, but especially that which helps me work more effectively, and looks / feels good to use.

VIsit Jon Smith's website


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