macOS Developer Tweaks

I’ve always been a believer in the proverb “a bad workman always blames his tools”. I’ve worked with many software developers who spend half their day tweaking their settings, fonts, editor, etc all in the name of getting more done. It’s endless…

For myself personally, I often don’t have time to constantly change my tools. At the end of the day, I feel good when I’ve made solid forward progress on whatever project I’m working on. Over the years, I’ve found reliable developer tools that I use day in day out and I don’t change them easily. For one example, I’ve been using Textmate every day for over ten years.

With that said, there are a couple of tweaks to macOS that I couldn’t live without. One of them, I just discovered a couple of days ago and I’m already sparking joy in a way I didn’t expect.

Blazing Fast Key Repeat Rate

It seems way too fast when you initially turn this setting on, but you have to let yourself get used to it for a bit. Then, when you pair with someone else, the agony of waiting for your cursor as you’re holding down the arrow keys will be unbearable.

System Preferences > Keyboard

Crank those settings up! There used to be a terminal command to go beyond what the interface would allow you to do, but I haven’t seen that in the past couple of years.

This is a setting I’ve been using almost my entire career. I’d be really curious how much time I’ve saved not waiting for my cursor to scroll? Maybe a month? It can really add up over time!

True Text Rendering

First of all, I’ve gotta give credit where credit is due. I found this tip from When I first discovered this blog post, I was skeptical that this was for me since I’m extremely hesitant to change up my tools. However, after a couple days of using these new settings, I am so much happier. Reading text on my computer has become a joy! That’s a weird thing to say, but when you’re looking at text for 10 hours a day, it’s a big deal how it’s rendered.

To see the difference, you need to change two settings:

  1. Turn off “Font smoothing”
System Preferences > General

2. Use 2x Resolution

System Preferences > Displays

The author goes into a ton of detail about why this is the right options for viewing your Macbook Pro that I won’t get into. All I’ll say is that it’s incredible how much better text looks on my screen!

Photo by Juan Gomez on Unsplash