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http://www.macupdate.com/download/36981/isolator-4.0.dmg
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Isolator is a small menubar application that helps you concentrate. When you're working on a document, and don't want to be distracted, turn on Isolator. It will cover up your desktop and all the icons on it, as well as the windows of all your other applications, so you can concentrate on the task in hand.

Isolator is similar to, but not the same as Think and Backdrop. The difference is that it works exactly how I want it to. Maybe you'll like it too.

What's New

Version 4.76beta:
  • Fix code signing

Requirements

Mac OS X 10.4 or later

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Isolator User Discussion

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DovTodd Member IconReview+19
DovTodd
+0

Just installed this, I'm on Mavericks (Mac OS 10.9.2), works just great! Entire screen (except for menubar) turns totally black, including even the desktop wallpaper. Very easy and simple to use.

You can change the color from black to another solid color of your choice, if you want. The color can be total, or it can let the actual background leak through, and you can decide the strength of that leakage, that's your choice too. You can also decide the fade speed. I left that at the original setting, at nearly immediate.

Whatever you want to focus on has to be selected first before you turn on Isolator. Isolator's icon appears only in the menubar. To turn on Isolator, you click its icon, then within its drop-down menu you click "on." When you're done, again click Isolator's icon, click "off" in its drop-down menu, then regular screen returns. That's it.

If you want to use the keyboard instead of the mouse, you can use the hotkey of your choice to turn Isolator on and off from the keyboard. The icon showing in the menubar is optional, you can still access it through the hotkey.

I see no bugs; it seems totally stable. This doesn't feel like it's a beta at all.

I did have two questions I couldn't resolve. In Preferences, under the tab titled "Background windows," there's something called "Filter type" where you have the choice of: None, Blur, Bloom, Crystals, Desaturate. I tried them all but couldn't determine what these options actually did. So I left this at the original setting, None. There's also something called "Filter radius," which you can change along a continuum from small to large. Tried this out as well, didn't seem to do anything either. I left this alone at the original setting as well. There's nothing on the developer's website that explains these two options either.

Reply0 replies
Version 4.76beta
Leftblank Member IconReview+1
Leftblank
+0

Phew!! Still seems to work fine with Mavericks OS 10.9 ... clearing the visual clutter of other applications.

Although the downloaded disk image claims to be a 4.9 beta, it contains the 4.76 beta ....

Reply0 replies
Version 4.76beta
PeterWood3054 Member IconReview+0
PeterWood3054
+0

I have only recently started using this app, so ratings for stability should be taken with a grain of salt. But it does what it is supposed to very effectively. It stops me from being distracted by the web and allows me to get along with my work. It is very simple to use, and flexible - it is simple to add new web pages to block.

I think this may be the most useful 'productivity improver' that I have installed! I am very excited by this!

Reply0 replies
Version 4.76beta
Leftblank Member IconReview+1
Leftblank
+0

Simple. Very helpful. Wonderful. Thank you.

Easiest way to shut out the necessary clutter of other apps in order to concentrate on a single task ....

8-)

Reply0 replies
Version 4.76beta
Giray Member IconReview+3
Giray
+0

I love Isolator for its simplicity. Thank you!! A wish list item for me would be application exclusions.

Reply0 replies
Version 4.76beta
taja Member IconReview+90
taja
+0

The cleanest, simplest and least memory-hungry of the 'concentration' apps.

But for some reason, since I upgraded to Lion, when the app is set to load as a startup item, it doesn't activate with the hotkey; I have to go and open it again, which is mildly annoying.

Still, that minor issue, aside, this is a fantastic app.

Reply0 replies
Version 4.76beta
tfigs Member IconReview+6
tfigs
+0

Really nice app. Does what it says and does it well. Lots of options to adjust to your liking.

Reply0 replies
Version 4.76beta
Randy-Crawford Member IconReview+53
Randy-Crawford
+0

I've been blessed to find a few really great pieces of software lately. Isolator is one of them. It is useful to me because I run many applications concurrently and it can be difficult to keep up with which is the front app. I run 4 monitors which compounds the problem. Frequently I run 3-4 copies of 4D and I have modified the wrong code many times because of losing track of which is which. Isolator solves that perfectly. You can dim out the background apps so that you can see them, but also know they are not the front app.

One recommendation I would make is to turn of the "Filters" which control the look of the background apps. Filters cause a significant slow-down with no real benefit.

To make things even better, Isolator is Free! Can you beat that?!

Reply0 replies
Version 4.76beta
Eelco Deuling Member IconReview+24
Eelco Deuling
+0

This is a great tool, but I did have some troubles with it.

I do not like a lot of things in my menu bar, so I switched this option off. I use a (very huge amount) lot of software at the same time, so I erased the keyboard shortcut so it could not interfere with some other app.

...and now I could not control the app anymore and had to quit it in Activity Monitor (clicking the app icon did not do anything).

But it did help me to focus, works very well and the 'filters' to hide the desktop are great!

Reply0 replies
Version 4.76beta
JasonE Member IconReview+112
JasonE
+0

Perfectly simple, exponentially beneficial.

Reply0 replies
Version 4.76beta
user icon+11
Dawda
Version 4.76beta
user icon+100
Paulnojustpaul
Version 4.76beta
user icon+189
James-D
Version 4.76beta
user icon+2
Losmuertos
Version 4.5beta
> 5 28

Ratings

Overall
(28)
Current Version (4.x)
(22)

Details

Downloads 25,481
Version Downloads 5,485
License Free
Date 11 Feb 2011
Platform OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32
Price Free
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