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To download Crosshairs from the Mac App Store, you need a Mac with OS X 10.6.6 or later. Learn More.


By Giant Comet

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Crosshairs is a screen ruler app for quickly getting the dimensions of anything on your screen. You can drag a transparent overlay overtop of any app and adjust the box as much as you need. No more taking a screenshot just to get the size of something.

* Activate/deactivate the app with global hotkey, which is customizable
* Switch between overlay colors
* Dynamically adjust the opacity of the overlay
* Switch between normal and inverted overlay mode
* Copy dimensions directly to your clipboard
* Can customize the format of the dimensions to suit your needs
* Take a screenshot of the area beneath the overlay
* Make pixel perfect adjustments with the keyboard

Keyboard Shortcuts:

Crosshairs is a menu bar app and has a very minimal interface. Most of the app's features are controlled via keyboard shortcuts. Here's a complete list:

* Esc or Command-H = Deactivate app
* Command-Shift-2 = Global hotkey to activate the app
* Arrow keys = Move the overlay by 1 pixel
* Shift + arrow keys = Move the overlay by 10 pixels
* i = Toggle between normal and inverted overlay mode
* Tab = Toggle between the primary/alternate overlay color
* Command + up/down arrow = Increase or decrease the opacity
* Command-C = Copy current dimensions to clipboard
* Delete = Clear the current overlay
* Command-, = Open preferences
* Space = Take screenshot

**Note: when Crosshairs is active, it intercepts all mouse clicks so you can draw an overlay on top of existing apps. Some users have reported this as locking up the system since they can't interact with other apps. When Crosshairs is active, the menu bar icon is blue, to quickly deactivate it, just hit the Escape key.**

You can watch a video of Crosshairs in action to see all its features at

Please contact if you have any feature requests, suggestions, or issues.

Follow us on twitter @giantcomet for news and updates about all our apps.

What's New in Version 1.1

New feature: inverted overlay mode. Inverted mode fills the background instead of the selected area, and you can still change the color/opacity of the background with the standard shortcuts. Hit "i" to switch between normal and inverted.

All changes:
- Added inverted overlay mode (shortcut: i)
- Made hotkey activate or deactivate app (instead of just activating it)
- Some minor user interface updates to handles and dimensions bubble to help stand out better
- Crosshairs will no longer deactivate the current app so it works better with apps like Photoshop. Side effect is no custom cursor support. Added preference to return the old way if you prefer.
- Added highlight to menu bar icon to show when app is active
- Added in-app help screen that lists all keyboard shortcut
- Left-click in menu bar icon activates app, right-click (control-click) shows menu
- Fixed bugs with color preference settings not taking effect right away
- Fixed bug with taking screenshots on computers with multiple screens being off
- Ensured overlay always snaps to whole pixels, even during screen zoom, for sharpest possible lines
- Now always showing dimensions outside box and removed option


Screenshot 1
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Customer Reviews

useful but very counter-intuitive

update: the developer figured out who I was and got in touch via e-mail (I'm guessing he knows the name from Twitter or my blog) and told me how to use this app. he was totally cool about it, especially considering my initial review (which you can read below). he offered me a refund but I said no that's OK. the app is actually extremely useful, but the UI is mysterious. here's how it works: Escape is how you return to normal, right-clicking the menu bar icon (after hitting Escape) is how you see the menu, and space bar puts a screenshot on the desktop.

original review:

this thing works, but it puts screenshots on your desktop without asking, and quitting out of it once you've gotten your screen measurement is incomprehensible. returning to whatever app you were using ought to be stress-free and simple but it is absolutely not, in my experience and personal opinion. I'm a developer and have been good with computers my whole life. if I can't figure out your app, normal people are going to have no freaking hope of making any sense of it at all. I'm pretty sure Apple won't even allow you to see my comment if I describe what I think should happen to the people who created this app, but it's traumatic, it involves a goat and a flamethrower, and they'd need therapy and medical attention afterwards for years. so let me just say that I'm of the opinion that they owe me $5 as a refund and another $500 for stress and mental anguish.

Don't get this -- it's too intrusive

I'm not sure WHY people are giving this a good review … but if you DO make the mistake of purchasing thing -- be SURE to read the instructions on the app homepage BEFORE you activate it. It takes over all mouse function, does NOT appear in the task list (so you can't force quit), and takes residence in your menu bar whether you like it or not.

My first experience was -- double-click the app, then spend 10 minutes trying to figure out how to get my mouse back … finally, I swiped my hand across the keyboard and hit the ESCAPE key … which stops the app from taking over the world enough so you can come back to the app store and find the very quiet instructions on how to use it (some).

If the developer understood anything, he or she would:

1 - EXCLUDE the app's icon on the menu bar, so when someone clicks it, SOMETHING happens (duh)
2 - give us keystrokes to expand the selection box -- you let us MOVE the box with keys (yay), but not change size
3 - the icon implies that there is a magnifier to see WHICH pixels you are overlaying -- no such feature seems to exist
4 - give more details while dragging -- so a user can just move the mouse around and see info

If you are a professional, this is NOT the app for you … I'm guessing the positive reviews are friends and family.

This is a lousy app.

Good app … but confusing

I wish I had come here before writing the developer. I thought the app was broken in Mountain Lion; but I guess it's not. The top review when I came here gave instructions on how to use the app. I wish these instructions had been accessible within the app or even on the developer's website. It is confusing.

Like the reviewer below, I would say that this application is very useful; but I could not figure out how to quit the application or even see the preferences. For some reason clicking on the application's icon in the menu bar (either left or right click) produced no results. How would anyone know to do this immediately after hitting ESCAPE? Oh well … now I know and it is quite a nifty little app.

View in Mac App Store
  • $4.99
  • Category: Developer Tools
  • Updated: Feb 17, 2011
  • Version: 1.1
  • Size: 0.6 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Giant Comet

Compatibility: OS X 10.6 or later

Customer Ratings

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