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