iaian7 » code » dashboard   John Einselen, 6.09.09 (updated 16.02.12)    

Sheets is an OS X widget that automates the process of building sprite sheets from image sequences. Using ImageMagick, animations can be output in strips, sheets, or with custom settings for scale and tiling. File sheets (contact sheets) can also be generated, with file name and original size clearly labeled under each thumbnail. Large collections are automatically paginated when necessary.

Images can be a collection (select multiple files in Finder, then click-drag while opening up Dashboard, and releasing within the drop area), or a single image from a numerical series (Sheets will automatically gather the rest of the images for the sequence). While groups of files can contain any number of files and various file names, images are sorted lexicographically – full serial numbers are required for best results (0000 through 0100 will sort correctly, while 0 through 100 will not).

When scaling images to fit within specific dimensions, the scaling algorithm can be selected in the preferences side of the widget. For more information on scaling algorithms, there are some great articles posted by imagemagick.org and Bart van der Wolf.

Also new are the alpha output options – transparent (premultiplied), flattened (removed), extracted (alpha only), and multiple files, which produces transparent, RGB, and A files for use in other tools that require straight RGB input (for example, ImageMagick doesn’t support straight RGB in the TIF format, so multiple files are the only way to retain all RGB data).

The output filename is taken from the first image in the series, replacing the frame number with a title set in the preferences. For example, a group of images starting with animation_ver1_0000.png by default will result in animation_ver1_SpriteSheet.png.

File sheets are slightly different, in that they prepend the user-set title to the beginning of the first file name. By default, a collection of files starting with animation_ver1_0000.png results in FileSheet-animation_ver1_0000.png.


1sheets.zip version 3.0.7

By clicking the download link, you signify your acceptance of the following agreement. This application is freeware, to be used and abused however you like. However, the author(s) assume absolutely no liability, and the software is offered with no warranty or quality assurance. And God forbid you use it in the operation of nuclear facilities (a warning I see in the EULA of so many applications, I really do wonder how exactly someone could use a graphics utility in the operation of a power plant). In short, use at your own risk.


This widget requires ImageMagick to run, please see imagemagick.org for details. You can download the installer directly, or download and install via MacPorts. The install location (needed for Sheets to access the commands) is typically /opt/local/bin/.

Alternatively, you could also follow directions from Mat Schaffer (places the commands in /user/local/bin/ but does not include some file formats) or use the install script by Master Kain (locates the commands in /user/local/bin/ and installs several other support scripts as well).

When it comes time to update, it’s often easiest if you’ve installed via MacPorts; simply run the auto update command, and the rest is taken care of for you. Because of this, MacPorts is the recommended installation mechanism. Though it’ll take a wee bit of command line work to get going, it’ll pay off in the long run.

Double check the installation by typing in a sample command, and confirm the install location by typing in which montage. Once verified, update the widget information with the correct command location and click “done” to save the preferences.

Version History

3.0.7 — fixed preference saving on hide
3.0.6 — fixed small interface error
3.0.5 — user interface improvements
3.0 — all new user interface and icon, preset updates
2.5 — adds rgb/a options
2.4 — adds scaling options
2.3 — allows any image format supported by ImageMagick
2.1 — actually fixes support for files without numerals
2.0.5 — fixes support for file names without numerals
2.0 — fully implements file sheet options and functionality
1.9 — updates and fixes automatic version checking
1.8 — updates from lexicographical to alphanumeric sorting
1.7 — revamps contact sheet into a seventh front-side choice
1.6 — adds contact sheet options in the widget setup
1.5 — adds on-complete auto return and input field opacity
1.4 — fixes sheet naming preference
1.3 — adds more detailed user settings, fixes UI errors
1.2 — adds resize and tile
1.1 — adds single image support
1.0 — initial release


Support is not technically available, but you can still send suggestions and questions via the contact form  (if you don’t mind my slow-or-never responses), non-support comments can be left below.

Ariel Rosado, 15.12.09

It doesn’t seem to be working on my Snow Leopard installation. Any suggestions?. I installed imageMagick using macports and manually but it didn’t help either way. Thanks in advance. BTW Great tools emoticon

Iaian7, 15.12.09

Have you been able to confirm that ImageMagick works directly from the OS X Terminal command line? If not, try that first. Sheets is powerless if ImageMagick isn’t running correctly already.

Have you updated Sheets’ preferences with the correct command location? You can confirm the location by typing which montage in the command line, and double checking the listed directory.

Ariel Rosado, 16.12.09

Yes, if i run which montage in the terminal it returns /opt/local/bin/montage. The Dashboard Sheets application setting is set to /opt/local/bin/ but still wont work. Any particular reason? It used to work perfectly on my Leopard Installation.

Thanks for your time.

Ariel Rosado

PD: Im running Snow Leopard. Running Magick-config --version returns 6.5.8 Q16

Ariel Rosado, 16.12.09

Fixed it!. I still don’t know the reason but, I ran sudo port uninstall ImageMagick after that i deleted the complete tar file i downloaded from the ImageMagick site and the decompressed version in /usr/local/bin. After doing that I tested ImageMagick to see it was uninstalled with which convert and which montage. After that i installed ImageMagick with sudo port install ImageMagick and verified that the Sheets settings path was /opt/local/bin/. After that it worked. After it worked i think that one reason that caused confusion on me was if the path should end with /bin/ or /bin.

Best regards

Ariel Rosado

PD: I have to say it again. Its a great tool I use for my game development every day emoticon ! Its working WIPPIIIIIII! emoticon