Amar Sagoo

27 November 2022

Licensed 1.5 (and Tofu news)

In 2014, I announced that I was not planning further development of my Mac and iOS apps. I have a couple of updates on that.

Licensed 1.5 now available

One thing I still intended to do was update Licensed, my Mac app for managing software licenses. That update is finally here. I’m sorry it took so long.

My main motivation was to add an export function, so that you could get your data into other tools such as a spreadsheet, and finally say goodbye to Licensed if you were still relying on it.

But it also turns out that technology moves on in 14 years (yes, that’s how long it’s been!), and the app couldn’t even run at all on recent versions of macOS. So that became the first problem to address. Licensed is now built to run on macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) through 13 (Ventura). This update also increases the chances that Licensed will work with future macOS versions.

Achieving this compatibility did involve a small compromise. Licensed 1.0 had the ability to auto-fill your name and email address from your Address Book app (now Contacts). Modern versions of macOS have additional privacy controls around that data, which would require rewriting the auto-fill functionality. I decided this wasn’t worth it, given that the main goal of this update is to help you stop using Licensed.

On the other hand, I couldn’t resist making some visual tweaks to make Licensed look a bit more at home on a modern Mac, for instance using standard, macOS-provided icons in the toolbar. I also fixed a couple of bugs and made minor usability improvements.

Here are the full release notes:

  • Now runs on macOS versions up to at least 13.0 (Ventura), and requires version 10.13 (High Sierra) or later.
  • Added ability to export data in comma-separated format, via the File menu.
  • Added ability to reveal data file in Finder, to help with manual backups.
  • Using standard macOS toolbar icons, and the toolbar is no longer customisable.
  • Sorting by product now also accounts for the version number.
  • The date column is now resizable.
  • Combo box menus will now grow as tall as they need to.
  • Fixed bugs that stopped auto-completion from working in the maker field.
  • Your name and email addresses will no longer be pre-filled from Address Book/Contacts.
  • No longer supports extracting information from apps with resource forks, only from application bundles.

You can download Licensed 1.5 here.

Work begins on Tofu 3.0

The 2014 announcement suggested the end of the line for Tofu, my reading app for the Mac. However, I've been surprised and moved by how, even 14 years after its last update, people have continued to express their love for Tofu, lamented its extinguishing by recent macOS versions, and even offered to help maintain it if it was open source.

Your persistence has been effective, and I'm excited to announce that I plan to update Tofu in the next few months. 2023 will mark the 20th anniversary of its first release, and it will be nice to revive it for hopefully another 20 years. The primary goal is to have it run on modern versions of macOS, but I'm also looking to speed up layout, fix bugs and make other quality improvements.

Sign up here to get notified when Tofu 3.0 is ready (and for any other product updates I might have in the future). I'll also post updates on my Twitter account as development progresses.


  1. I'm so glad to have found this post! I was just looking around (yet again) for a decent replacement for your venerable Tofu, which I've missed since I had to upgrade from 10.14. I'm excited to hear you're going to be updating it and have subscribed to your announcement list. Thanks!

  2. This is incredible news. The mere fact that I've been coming back to this website at irregular intervals for YEARS, in the faint hope that an updated Tofu might see the light of day, speaks volumes all by itself. I cannot wait for its return… Thank you so much for picking it up again.

  3. Same here! I've looked for a Tofu replacement for years and am delighted to find out that there's hope for the original!

  4. I should add that the new Tofu doesn't need to be free for me to re-adopt. Free is nice, but Tofu is worth a lot to me!

  5. I was extemely unhappy upon my discovery that Tofu no longer worked after I upgraded the macOS to 64-bit from 32-bit.
    Not wanting to be without Tofu, I learned how to set up various VMs (virutal machines) so that I could also run an older macOS for the sole purpose of running Tofu. Wasn't able to satisfactorily solve the lower screen resolutions of the VMs I tried.
    I would frequently recheck for any new Tofu news like many of the commenters.
    Was listening to a yt vid on how to use ChatGPT to code. Was wondering if Tofu's code was opensource so that I could make a stab at upgrading Tofu even though my coding skills are primitive.
    Then I saw the joyous news! Can't wait. I'm willing to prchs the app, also.
    I used to use Tofu a lot to reread my journals, diaries. Also for .pdfs.
    Now, I use my iPad Pro, 95% of the time, to write while on my recliner. My MacBook Pro is anchored to a large screen at my standing desk. But I'm willing to get out of the recliner to use Tofu!
    Hoping for the day when Apple allows macOS apps to run on the iPadOS. Know that there are kludges to run macOS on the iPad while maintaining iPad-specific features; will probably try those workarounds when Tofu 3.0 is released.
    Just saw a Youtbe vid about speed reading & learning techniques. The doctor advocates narrow columns of text to make word grouping easier as one tactic. Which Tofu does... user-defined column sizes to get word groupings sized for the type of text you're studying.
    "4 Steps to Read Difficult Texts Faster (Academic Speed Reading Comprehension)" by Justin Sung, M.D.

  6. very excited to come here and discover a new release of tofu is in the works. happy to pay! i miss that app so much - the joy of just being able to c&p text to read rapidly in columns just isn't something that any other app has managed as elegantly. can't wait.

  7. Very excited to hear that Tofu is coming back. Have been missing it for years. Would love to help test the version if that's useful.