Between 50 and 90 new Mac applications are introduced or updated every day. I investigate, research, test, explore and experiment with dozens of these applications each month and occasionally I uncover a gem, an application so remarkably handy it makes all the work worthwhile. In this column, I will introduce you to four of my latest discoveries. They aren't useful for everyone, but check them out nonetheless. If you are using old-fashioned methods to perform the following tasks, you will be pleased to learn these applications are readily available. I keep track of many things by using graphs. How much versus how long is how I manage and evaluate everything. To do this I need graph paper of all shapes and sizes, which I usually have to draw by hand. Eureka! Last week I discovered Graph Paper Maker ( www.blackcatsystems.com/software/graphmaker.html ; US$19.95), which masters this art. Enter a few parameters and in a moment you will have exactly the graph you need. This application will draw graphs linearly, logarithmically or spaced on a variable scale. If you have ever had to draw such complex scales by hand - as scientists, teachers and managers do - you will recognise the value of this wonder-app. If you are a Photoshop expert, it's not a big deal to make colourful logos and graphics using fonts treated with special effects. But neither is it a simple chore. Art Text ( www.belightsoft.com/products/arttext/overview.php ; US$29) will let anyone produce amazing 3D and glass art objects from fonts and simple drawings. You just type in what you want to say and adjust sliders until the end result dazzles you. Export the object to your project and sit back to enjoy the praise. The same company that created Graph Paper Maker also makes Atomic Mac. It's a periodic table - which generally only high school students and scientists have much use for - that gives you loads of information about each element. Want to know the thermal expansion coefficient or the electrical resistivity of mercury? This handy application will oblige and give you more than 40 physical properties of each element in the periodic table. Not everyone will use this app but if you are a little nerdy, like me, you will enjoy exploring it. Back to the real world and Microsoft has a new version of Office out for PCs. It also has a new (almost) open source document (DOCX) format that only people who have bought the Word 2007 application can open. I've already started getting documents from friends who are using the new suite and to open these documents I use docXConverter ( www.panergy-software.com/products/docxconverter/index.html ; US$19.95). It couldn't be simpler. After docXConverter is installed, double click on the Word 2007 document and it opens perfectly. This is only a couple of weeks' worth of wonder-apps. The only thing they have in common is that when I discovered them, my first thought was: 'Now, isn't that handy.'