Sunday, April 24, 2011

One-Click Long-File-Name Fix

If you’re working in a window set to Column view, you’re going to run into this all the time — files with long names have the end of their names cut off from view, because the column isn’t wide enough. That doesn’t sound like that big of a problem, until you start working with more descriptive file names, and you can’t see which file is “European Front End Silver Car” and which is “European Back End Silver Car” because everything from “European” to “Silver Car” is cut off.

Luckily, there’s a quick fix — just double-click on the little tab at the bottom of the vertical column divider bar, and the column will expand just enough so you can see even the longest file name of any file in that column. Option-double-click on the tab, and every column expands to show the longest name in each column. Pretty darn sweet!

Monday, April 11, 2011

See Your File’s Hidden Info

Want more info on your files than the standard icon view provides (after all, it just gives you the file’s name in icon view)? Then turn on Show Item info. This adds an extra line of information below many files and folders that can be very useful. For example, now not only do you get a folder’s name, but just below the name (in unobtrusive light-blue, 9-point type), you’ll see how many items are in that folder.
If the file is an image, the Item Info shows you how big it is. MP3 files show how long the song is, etc. To turn on Item Info for your current Finder window, press Command-J to bring up its View Options. Then turn on the checkbox for Show Item Info. If you want to show the item info for every window (globally), then choose the All Windows button at the top of the dialog.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

PDF: The Smaller PDF Secret Control

This is another one of those “secret, buried-in-a-vault” killer tips that addresses something Mac OS X users have complained about: The file sizes of PDFs that Mac OS X creates are sometimes too big (vs. Adobe’s Acrobat PDFs). believe it or not, there’s a way to get smaller PDFs. Here’s how: launch TextEdit, then choose Print from the File menu. From the PDF pop-up menu in the bottom-left corner of the dialog, choose Compress PDF. That’s it. It’ll compress the PDF and call it a day.

However, if you’re charging by the hour, and let’s pretend you are, you have a wonderful time-consuming option: Choose Print from the File menu, and from the second Presets pop-up menu choose ColorSync. From the Quartz Filter menu that appears, choose Add Filters. Click on the three-oval icon in the top-left corner of the dialog that appears, click on the filter named Reduce File Size, and then click-and-hold on the arrow button to the right of the filter and choose Duplicate Filter. This creates an unlocked filter you can edit.

Now click on the triangle to the left of the duplicate filter to show its options; this is where you choose what you want. I recommend clicking on the arrow to the left of Image Compression and dragging the magic slider that lets you control the amount of JPEG compression your PDF images receive. For smaller file sizes, drag the Quality Slider toward Minimum. Now go back to TextEdit and in the Print dialog, choose Colorsync from the second Presets pop-up menu, choose your new filter from the Quartz Filter pop-up menu and click Print. That’s it. (Whew!)

Friday, March 25, 2011

What If You Don’t Want To Open The File?

The idea behind Spotlight is that it will find the file you want, and then open that file for you, so you can start working on it immediately. But what if you just want to know where the file is, and not necessarily open it? (For example, what if you just want to know where it is, so you can burn a backup copy to a CD?) To do that, once the results appear in the spotlight menu, just hold the Command key and then click on the file. This will close Spotlight and open the Finder window where your file is. Or if you want Spotlight open, just click on the file and press Command-R, which will open a Finder window with the file selected, leaving the spotlight dialog open.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

You’re Two Clicks from a Photo’s EXIF Data

When you take a photo with a digital camera, the camera embeds info directly into the file, including the make and model of camera, the exposure, shutter speed, and a host of other info (called eXiF data). That info is usually viewed within an application like Photoshop or iPhoto, but now you can view it right from the Finder.

Just click on the photo’s icon, then press Command-i to bring up the info dialog. When it appears, click on the right-facing triangle beside the words “More info” and the basic eXiF data will appear.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Speed Navigating in Save As, Part 2

Want to speed things up by using the keyboard to get around in the Save As dialog? There’s just one thing you have to do first — press the Tab key. That removes the highlighting from the Save As naming field, and changes the focus on the sidebar (notice the blue highlight rectangle around the sidebar shown here). Once the sidebar is highlighted, you can use the Up/Down Arrow keys to move up and down the sidebar. Press Tab again and the search field is active. Press Tab once more and the Column (or list) view is highlighted, and you can use the Arrow keys on your keyboard to quickly get right where you want to be. When you get there, press the Tab key again to highlight the Save As field so you can name your file, and then hit the Return key to “make it so!”

Note: if you don’t see the sidebar or viewing modes, click on the little blue down-facing arrow button to the right of the Save As field.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Address Book: See Which Groups They’re In

If you have a contact that appears in more than one Group, you can instantly see which of your Groups this individual appears in by simply clicking on his or her contact and holding the Option key. When you do this, every Group that they appear within will become highlighted.
This is handy if you want to clean up your Groups by deleting extra instances of people who appear in multiple Groups.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Searching Just Your Bookmarks

If you’re trying to search for a particular bookmark, you’ll want to know this trick: First, click on the Show All Bookmarks icon in the top-left corner of the Bookmarks Bar. Doing this makes the Collections column visible on the left side of Safari, but more importantly, it adds a Search field at the bottom center of the Safari window. When you type search terms in this field, it searches just within your bookmarks, so you get super-fast results.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Preview: Hidden Sorting Options

When you open multiple images in Preview, they appear in the Drawer. You can sort them manually by dragging them up and down the list, but there’s another way—if you Control-click on one of the images in the Drawer, a contextual menu will appear, and you can then sort by name, size, keyword, and more.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dropping Text on the Dock for Fast Results

Let’s say you’re reading an article online, and you read a sentence that you want to email to a friend. Don’t do the copy-and-paste thing. Instead, just highlight the text and drag-and-drop it right on the Mail icon in the Dock. It will open Mail and put that sentence into a new mail message. This tip also works in other Cocoa applications like TextEdit, Stickies, and Safari. For example, if you’re reading a story and want to do a Google search on something you’ve read, just highlight the text and drag-and-drop it on the Safari icon in the Dock. It will launch Safari and display the Google Search Results.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Get to Your Top Hit Fast

If you do a search and notice that the file it chose as your Top Hit in the Spotlight menu is actually the file you were looking for (hey, it could happen), just press-and-hold the Command key to jump right to the Top Hit, then press Return to open that document (or song, email, etc.), which closes the Spotlight menu. See, it even tidies up after you. So basically, just press Command-Return to instantly open the Top Hit. Easy enough.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Finding the Combined Size of More than One Document

Let’s say you have several files on your desktop, and before you copy them all onto your jump drive, you want to find out their combined size. Here’s how it’s done: Select all the files for which you want the combined size, then press Command-Option-I, which brings up the Multiple Item Info dialog, complete with a list of how many files are selected and their combined size.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Ultimate Customize Toolbar Shortcut

If you want to customize the items in your toolbar (and there’s nothing wrong with that), just Command-Option-click the little white pill-shaped button at the top right of your window’s title bar, and the Customize Toolbar dialog will appear, right there in your window. Now you can just drag-and-drop icons onto the toolbar.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Keep Your Images in RGB As Long As Possible

When you convert an RGB image to CMYK, you lose flexibility because you’re targeting it to a specific press condition. For example, if you convert to SWOP Coated, you’re assuming the image will end up on a Web offset press with very specific inks, paper type, and paper color. But you’ve limited yourself because you may need that same image on a sheetfed press or later need to repurpose it for on-screen delivery. It’s much better to leave your images in RGB mode as long as possible — even all the way to your page-layout application.

Yes, it really is okay to place RGB images directly into Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress. Both of these programs have great color management systems that can convert the image to CMYK when you print or export as PDF. In the case of InDesign, the results are typically identical to what you get when you convert in Photoshop! So save yourself time and energy and keep your images in RGB as long as you can.

If your output provider is color management savvy and can handle RGB PDFs, then send them PDF/X3 files (which maintain the original color spaces). If they want CMYK files, then make sure you convert to a CMYK destination when you export your PDF files. For example, exporting as a PDF/X1-a file ensures that all your colors are converted CMYK for your printer. Of course its also a good idea to check with your printer to ensure you are converting the the right kind of CMYK for your print job (SWOP, Sheetfed, etc).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Become the Ultimate Menu Master

Want to really speed things up? How about jumping right to the Apple menu without even clicking the mouse? Just press Control-F2, press Return, and the Apple menu pops down (if you’re using a MacBook, press Function-Control-F2). Oh, but there’s more! Now that you’re in the Apple menu, press the Right Arrow key on your keyboard to move to the other menus (Finder, File, Edit, View, etc.) and the Left Arrow to move back.

Once you get to the menu you want, press Return, then type the first letter of the command you want in the menu and it jumps right there. Now press Return again to choose that command (and you did it all without ever touching the mouse).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Forcing a Document on an App

Sometimes docked apps don’t want to open your document, even though they may be able to, so you have to coax (okay, force) them to give it a try. For example, let’s say you created a document in WordPerfect for Mac a few years back. if you drag that document to Microsoft Word’s icon in the Dock, chances are it won’t highlight (which would be the indication it can open that document). If that happens, just hold Command-Option, then drag the document’s icon to the Word icon in the Dock, and you can force it to try to open that document.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Creating Aliases Without the Word “Alias”

Do you find it as annoying as I do that Mac OS X adds the word “alias” every time you create an alias? (I know, previous versions of the Mac OS did that as well, and it annoyed me there too.) Well, you can bypass the “adding-the-word-alias” uglies altogether by holding the Option and Command keys and clicking-and-dragging the original file outside the Finder window it’s currently in (I usually just drag mine to the desktop).
This creates an alias without the word “alias” attached. (Note: Don’t worry, you’ll still know it’s an alias, because its icon will have a tiny arrow at the bottom left-hand corner.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Look Inside Multiple Folders Automatically

Need to see what’s inside more than one folder while in List view? Do it the fast way—Command-click on all the folders you want to expand, then press Command-Right Arrow. All the folders will expand at once.
If the file you’re looking for isn’t there, just press Command-Left Arrow (you can do that, because your folders are still highlighted) to quickly collapse them all again.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Searching by Color Label

Besides the visual benefits of having certain files tagged with a Color label, there’s a hidden benefit: You can search for files by their color. For example, let’s say you misplaced an important file for a project you were working on. You can press Command-F to bring up the Find function, and from the top-left pop-up menu, choose Color Label.
Then, click on the color for the files you labeled in that project, and it will instantly find and display all the files with that color. Searching by color—only Apple is cool enough to come up with a search like this!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Resizing Photos for Emailing

Have you ever noticed how freaked out relatives get when you email them high-res photos from your six- or eight-meg digital camera? For example, your grandmother in Minnesota may not have Photoshop CS2, and so dealing with that 26MB, 41-inch-wide photo you shot with your eight-meg camera might put a strain on her system. That’s why you might want to reduce the size of those photos you’re about to email. You don’t even have to launch Photoshop — because you can do the resizing right within Mail.
After you attach a photo to your email message (you can just drag-and-drop the image into the New Message window), take a look in the bottom-right corner of your email message window, and you’ll see a pop-up menu where you can choose the Image Size you’d like to send. As soon as you choose a size (other than Actual Size), the image is immediately scaled down right within the email message window so you can see the exact size of the photo you’re sending.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Need the First Available Printer?

If you’ve got a print job on your hands and you need it as soon as possible, but all the printers on your network are often busy, you can pool these printers together so your document will automatically print to the first available printer. Just go to the Printer Setup Utility (in the Applications folder, within the Utilities folder), Command-click on all the printers you want to pool together, then go under the Printers menu and choose Pool Printers. A dialog will open where you can name your pool (the default name is “Printer Pool”), and it shows a list of printers that are in that pool.
You can click-and-drag the printers into the order that you want and then click Create, which adds a new printer in your Printer list called Printer Pool. Choose that as your printer, and then when you choose Print, Mac OS X will start looking for the first available printer.
Screen Shot

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Burn Folder Isn’t Burning Aliases

When you create a burn folder in Tiger (which you do by either choosing New Burn Folder from the File menu or from the Action menu [that’s the button with a gear icon on it in Finder windows]), if you look inside that folder, you won’t see your original files. Instead, you’ll see aliases to the originals (you can tell they’re aliases because they have a little curved arrow on them). But don’t let that throw you — when you do finally click the burn button (in the upper right-hand corner of the burn Folder’s window), it actually gets the original files and burns those to disk, so you don’t have to worry about having a CD full of aliases pointing to files you no longer have.
So why all the aliases in the first place? Because it points to your files (rather than copying them into the folder), which makes burning discs much faster than in previous versions of Mac OS X.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Finding Where the © and ™ Symbols Live

Since nearly the beginning of Mac-dom, when you wanted to find out which key combination produced a font’s special characters (stuff like ©, ™, £, ¢, ‰, ƒ, etc.), you used a utility called KeyCaps. More than a decade later, KeyCaps is still a part of Mac OS, but a better way to access these special characters is through the Character Palette. You can access it two ways: (1) From within Mac OS X business apps (like Mail, TextEdit, Stickies, etc.), just go under Edit and choose Special Characters or click on the Actions pop-up menu at the bottom of the Font Panel and choose Characters; (2) add Character Palette access to your menu bar, so you can access it when you’re working in other applications (like Microsoft Word or Adobe InDesign). You do this by going to the System Preferences in the Apple menu, under International, and clicking on the Input Menu tab. Turn on the checkbox for Character Palette and it will appear in the menu bar along the right side.
Either way you open it, here’s how you use it: When you open the Character Palette, choose All Characters from the View menu, then click on the By Category tab. The left column shows a list of special character categories and the right column shows the individual characters in each category. To get one of these characters into your text document, just click on the character and click the Insert button in the bottom right-hand corner of the dialog. If you find yourself using the same special characters over and over (like ©, ™, etc.), you can add these to your Favorites list, and access them from the Favorites tab in the Character Palette. To see which fonts contain certain characters (they don’t all share the same special characters), expand the Character Palette by clicking on the down-facing arrow next to Font Variation on the bottom-left side of the palette. This brings up another panel where you can choose different fonts. you can also ask that this list show only fonts that support the character you have highlighted.
Finding where the © and ™ Symbols Live

Friday, February 4, 2011

The One-Click Trick to Moving the Dock

Okay, so you’re working in a program like Final Cut Pro or iMovie, which takes up every vertical inch of the screen, and when you go to adjust something near the bottom, the Dock keeps popping up. Oh sure, you could move the Dock to where it’s anchored on the left or right side of the screen, but that just feels weird. But what if you could move it temporarily to the left or right, and then get it back to the bottom when you close Final Cut Pro, in just one click?
Here’s how: Hold the shift key, click directly on the Dock’s divider line (on the far right side of the Dock), and drag the Dock to the left or right side of your screen. Bam! It moves over to the side. Then, once you quit Final Cut Pro, just shift-click on that divider line and slam it back to the bottom (okay, drag it back to the bottom). A draggable Dock — is that cool or what!
The One-Click Trick to Moving the Dock

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Burning Multiple Times to the Same CD

Generally, when you burn files to a CD once, you’re done — you can’t burn to that CD again. Unless you use this little trick: First create a new folder and give it a descriptive name (something like “burn baby burn!” Kidding). Now put the files you want to burn into that folder, then go to the Applications folder and open the Utilities folder. Double-click on Disk Utility. When it comes up, go under the File menu, under New, and choose Disk Image from Folder, and then when the Open dialog appears, find that folder with the stuff you want to burn and click the image button. A Save dialog appears in which you can leave the name as is or choose a new name (leave the other controls alone), and then click Save. In a few moments, a disk image of your folder’s contents will appear in the list on the left side of the Disk Utility dialog. Click on that icon, and then click the burn button at the top left of the Disk Utility dialog.
When you click the Burn button, a dialog will appear asking to insert a disc. Do so, and then click once the blue downward-facing triangle on the right side of this dialog to show more options. Click on the checkbox for Leave disc appendable, then click the Burn button. Your data will now be written to that CD. To add more files later, just insert that same CD and then you’ll use this same process all over again, but when you get to that final burn dialog, the button won’t say “Burn” this time, instead it will say “Append” because you’re adding these files to the same disc. By the way, don’t forget to remove the files you already burned to this disc from your “burn baby burn!” folder (and the DMG file it creates) before you make your next disc image.
Burning Multiple Times to the Same CD

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Go Directly From Your Video Camera Into QuickTime

There’s a very cool feature that sneaked into QuickTime Pro 7 that has kind of flown below the radar so far. It’s the ability to record directly from your digital video camera (or a microphone) right into a QuickTime fIle, without having to go through iMovie, Final Cut Pro, or a third-party application.
Just connect your digital video camera (or even your iSight camera), launch the QuickTime Pro Player, then from the File menu choose New Movie Recording. A QuickTime window will open showing you a preview of what your camera is seeing. Now just click the round red record button at the bottom of the QuickTime window and it starts recording. Click the stop button when you’re done and you’ve got an instant QuickTime movie. It works the same way for recording audio using your Mac’s built-in microphone (provided of course that your Mac actually does have a built-in mic), but instead of choosing New Movie Recording, you’ll choose New Audio Recording. Note: you have to upgrade from the standard QuickTime to QuickTime Pro to have access to this feature.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Where Did That Download Come From?

If you download a file from the web, you can usually find out exactly where that downloaded file came from (including the exact web address) by pressing Command-I when you have the file selected. Once the info dialog appears, click on the right-facing arrow beside More Info to expand that panel and it will display a Where from header, and to the right of that it will show the exact web address from which the file was originally downloaded.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Can’t Remember the Password?

If you can’t remember a password for a website (or anything else for that matter), all your passwords are saved in the Keychain Access utility (which probably isn’t news to you), but the cool thing is you can do a Spotlight search from right within Keychain to quickly find the password you’re looking for.
Start by looking inside your Applications folder for the Utilities folder, and inside of that double-click on Keychain Access. When it opens you’ll see a search field in the upper-right corner. Type the name of the site you’re looking for, and it will appear. Double-click on the result and an info dialog will appear, and to see your password, turn on the show Password checkbox.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Get Instant Maps

In Leopard, your Address Book doesn’t just tell you where to go—it shows you!
To get an instant map to any address, just control-click on the address field of a contact card (or right-click if you have a two-button mouse). Then select Map Of.
Screen Shot

This command opens Safari (if it’s not already open) and reveals the address in Google Maps.
Screen Shot This trick isn’t just confined to Address Book: Leopard can detect street addresses within Mail as well. When your cursor hovers over a street address in an email, a dotted rectangle surrounds it and a small gray triangle appears. Click on the triangle and select Show Map... to see the address in Google Maps.
Screen Shot

Friday, January 21, 2011

Create a Custom Desktop Slideshow

Changing your Desktop picture is easy: Just click the Apple menu and choose System Preferences. Select Desktop & Screen Saver and click the Desktop tab. Then select Choose Folder and navigate to the folder containing the picture you desire.
You can also create a custom desktop slideshow by putting the images you’d like to use inside a new folder, navigating to it as described above, and selecting one of the images. Before you close the Desktop & Screen Saver window, select the Change Picture checkbox. Using the pull-down menu, specify how quickly you’d like the images to change and whether you’d like the images to cycle in random order.
To keep things tidy, you may want to store your new custom picture folder in the same location as your default Mac OS X desktops. They reside in your root-level Library folder, in the folder called Desktop Pictures.
Custom Slideshow

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Type Like a European

Do you know the simple way to add accents, tildes, umlauts, and other non-English diacritical marks to your text document?
In Apple’s Pages and TextEdit applications, go to the Edit menu and choose Special Characters. In Microsoft Word for Mac, go to the Insert menu and choose Symbol.
Up pops a cool Character Palette that includes most of the symbols you’re ever likely to need. Just place your cursor where you want the symbol, select your desired symbol from the palette, and click Insert.
So much for the simple way. How about the fast way?
You can drop symbols right in line as you type — without interrupting your flow to sift through special menus — by memorizing a few simple key commands. If you frequently type foreign words, it can be a real time-saver.
When you want to add a letter with a symbol in just about any Mac OS X application, hold down the Option key and press the appropriate symbol key. Release the keys and type the letter you want to receive the symbol. Take café — you type c, a, f, then press Option-E (to get the right-leaning acute accent), then e. Same for résumé, fiancée, or blasé.
As in most of these combinations, the acute accent key command is linked to the letter most likely to need the symbol in question — in this case, the letter e. But if you need to type the Italian limóne, say, you press Option-E, then o. For Spanish está, it’s Option-E, then a.
The left-leaning (grave) accent is simple to remember, because it has its own key: the ` above the Tab key. Just press Option-`and then the target letter: Voilà!
Some more easy ones:
  • Option-C produces the cedilla in façade and curaçao.
  • Option-N plus n yields the tilde in España and mañana. For the tilde in São Paulo, press Option-N plus a.
  • Option-I plus i creates the circumflex in huître, while Option-I plus e gets you fenêtre.
  • Option-U plus u puts the umlaut in German words like Übermensch. Follow Option-U with an o or an a to get the umlauts in Götterdämmerung.
  • Option-O gives you the stroked o in Nordic words like the Norwegian nevø.
  • Option-? and Option-1 create the inverted question marks and exclamation points that start some Spanish sentences. ¿Comprendes? ¡Sí!
Need to type a capital letter with an accent or other diacritical mark? Just press Option plus the appropriate key for your symbol, then press Shift as you type the letter you want. For example, to type Évian-les-Bains, use Option-E followed by a capital E.
The Special Characters window in Apple Pages and TextEdit.
The Symbol window in Microsoft Word for Mac.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Immaculate Desktop

Are you the sort of neat-freak who abhors Desktop clutter? Who keeps all apps and docs in carefully organized folders? Consider diving deeper into onscreen clean by making your mounted drives and discs disappear from the Desktop and accessing them instead via Finder windows.
Here’s how to try it: From the Finder, pull down the Finder menu and select Preferences — or just press Command-comma [⌘ ,] from within the Finder. Click the General tab and uncheck Hard disks; CDs, DVDs, and iPods; and Connected servers.
Next, click the Sidebar tab and check the boxes next to all the items you unchecked under the General tab.
When you want to access a drive, disk, or server, just open a Finder window by pressing Command-n [⌘ n] from within the Finder. And when you close the Finder windows, your desktop will be spotless. (Remember, Command-w [⌘ w] closes a Finder window, and Command-Option-w [⌘ ⌥ w] closes all Finder windows at once.
Immaculate Desktop

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ColorSync Utilities

Mac OS X contains a number of useful utilities that can enhance creative workflows. In the root-level folder /Library/Scripts/ColorSync are editable AppleScript utilities that perform various common design tasks.
Say, for example, you have a collection of images in a directory that you would like to prepare for the web by embedding the sRGB color profile. Rather than open the images individually to assign the profile, you could use the "Embed chosen profile" script instead by simply dragging-and-dropping your collection of images on that script's icon in the Colorsync folder. A real time-saver when dealing with hundreds of images. And, because these scripts are editable, you can customize them to be specific to your workflow needs.

Screen Shot Screen Shot

Monday, January 17, 2011

Editing Word Files — Without Word

It’s easy to work with Microsoft Word files on your Mac, even if you don’t have Microsoft Word installed on your computer.
TextEdit, your Mac’s built-in word processing program, can open MS Word files (which are often distinguished by a “.doc” or “.docx” suffix). Simply double-click the document icon. It will automatically open in TextEdit if that’s the only word-processing program on your computer. If you have several, you can specify which program to use by Control-clicking on the file icon (or right-clicking if you have a two-button mouse) and selecting your desired program.
Screen 1 Now you can edit the file just like any other document. However, if you want to share your file with MS Word users, be sure to save your work in Word format. Here’s how.
From the File menu, choose Save As… or type Command-Shift-s. Click-hold on the File Format tab and choose one of the Word formats. Press Save.

Screen 2 If you own iWork ’08, you can use similar techniques in Pages, Apple’s advanced word processor. But instead of using the Save As… command, select Export from the File menu. Choose the Word option and press Next.
Screen 3 Finally, navigate to the destination where you’d like to save the document, and press Export.

Adding a Photo as Your Window’s Background

As long as your Finder window is in icon view, you can add a photo as its background. You do this by going under the View menu, under show View Options, and in the background section (at the bottom of the dialog) choose Picture. Click on the select button and the standard Open dialog will appear in which you can choose the image you’d like to appear as the background of your window. Click OK and that image will appear. Note: This works only when viewing the window in icon view. if you change to list view, the image will no longer be visible.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Email Attachments Made Easy

If you want to attach a file to an email message, you can drag the file directly to Mail’s icon in your Dock. This opens Mail and creates a brand-new email message window with that file already attached. Sweet! Better yet, even if you drag multiple attachments, they all attach to just one email message (rather than creating one message for each attachment, as in previous versions of Mac OS X).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Unlock More of Your Mac’s Power!

Wouldn’t it be cool if there were extra built-in automation power already on your Mac, and all you had to do was turn it on. Yeah, that’d be cool. Anyway, here’s something completely different (just kidding). Actually, you can unlock this automation by just doing a little digging.
Start by opening your Applications folder, and then look inside your AppleScript folder (don’t worry, you’re not going to be doing any scripting — they’re already written for you). Now double-click on the AppleScript Utility icon, and in the resulting dialog, turn on the Show Script Menu in Menu Bar checkbox. Close the Utility dialog, and then go to the menu bar and click on the Script icon — a list of all sorts of cool automatic functions are now just a click away.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Copy and Delete at the Same Time

If you’re archiving a file to disk (let’s say to an external FireWire drive for example), you can drag the icon of the file you want to archive directly to that drive and the Mac will write a copy to that drive. However, your original file still lives on your current hard drive. If you want to have that file deleted from your drive as soon as it’s copied to another drive, just hold the Command key as you drag your icon, and the Mac will do two tasks for you — copy the file to the new drive and delete the original from your drive.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Power Copy-and-Paste

In previous versions of Mac OS X (and Mac OS 9 for that matter), if you clicked on a file, copied it (Command-C), then opened an application (like Mail) and pasted it (Command-V), it would only paste that file’s name. Now, in some applications it pastes the actual file, so you can copy-and-paste a file from a Finder window or the desktop right into your application. Okay, so what if you do want just the name (which happens from time to time)? Just click directly on the selected file’s name (to highlight it) and press Command-C to copy it. Now you’re copying just the name. It’s a Power Pasting thing!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Two Seconds to Sleep

Want the fastest way to put your Mac right into a deep, sleepy-bear hibernation-like sleep (no whirling fan, no dialogs, no sound — nuthin’ — just fast, glorious sleep). Just press Command-Option and then hold the Eject button for about 2 seconds and Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. It doesn’t get much faster than that.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where Does That File Live?

If you found the file you were looking for, and want to know where it is on your hard disk, just move your cursor over the result in the Spotlight menu, and in just a second or two, a tiny dialog will pop up showing the path to that file.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Getting a Transcript of Your Chat

There are a dozen reasons why you might want a written log of your text chats; maybe someone gave you instructions, a recipe, or just typed a bunch of stuff that cracks you up. Well, luckily, you can ask iChat to keep a running log of your text chats — go under the iChat menu, to Preferences, then click on the Messages icon, and turn on Automatically Save Chat Transcripts.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Your Buddy Doesn’t Need a Camera

If your buddy doesn’t have a camera connected, but you do, you can still have a one-way video chat. That way, your buddy gets to see and hear you on his end. The only downside — you don’t get to see him.
Here’s how it works: Click on your buddy’s name in the Buddy List, and then go under the Buddy menu and choose Invite to One-Way Video Chat. Again, your buddy will see and hear you, but not the other way around. Well, technically, if he has a Mac with a built-in microphone (many Mac models fall in this category), then you’ll be able to hear your buddy, too.