Throughout the whole time of using Mac, often we will spend time on checking and managing our mail. I personally like the default mail application for Mac: Mail.app.
In this trick, I am going to share with you some keyboard shortcuts that come in handy when we're going to manage our mailboxes, quick navigate mailbox, and handle message.
I believe we all know that we can use Spotlight to do quick calculation, where we can do quick addition, substraction, and other simple mathematical operations right from within of the Spotlight window.
In Leopard, you can just type in pow(a,b) to find the value of a^b (e.g. 3^4 = 81). However, you can do it even faster with Snow Leopard by just typing a^b.
Note that you can always use key combination Cmd-Space to call up Spotlight box.
Although the steps needed to do batch resize images on Snow Leopard are more or less similar to those batch resize steps for Mac OS X Leopard, there is a simple workaround needed to perform batch open and resize images on Snow Leopard.
If you're fans of single-liner for UNIX command, you can always use this quick Terminal command line execution trick to save the steps for executing Terminal command.
Here are the steps:
With this trick, I am sure you can start to tweak around with simple command line, e.g. command line for New List View.
Sorry for the long hiatus of daily trick series due to lack of internet connection. Now, we're back on the track again.
If you put the Dock on the left of the screen, you're left with two display options, which are Grid View and List View. However, folks at Mac OS X Hints found a Terminal command to bring out new list view.
defaults write com.apple.dock use-new-list-stack -bool YES && killall Dock
After execution of the command above, your list view will look like the combination of Grid View and List View.
↑ new List View : After Execution of Command Line
And you can always use command line below to revert back to normal.
defaults write com.apple.dock use-new-list-stack -bool NO && killall Dock
If you've mastered and used not only one language, but many of them, I believe you would want to have selections of input source and the input source switcher.
First of all, let me guide you to add more input sources for your Mac OS X 10.6.
Though now you can have more than one language of input sources, it will slow you down if you can't do the fast switching between input sources. In order to perform a quick input sources switch, you need to…
For a side note, if you only need to switch between two input sources, you can just press the keystrokes without the need of holding modifier keys.
(L). The screenshot of input source selector that I mentioned.
It surprises me that Apple has finally solved the hard-to-navigate minimized window issue with the release of Snow Leopard. If you've upgraded to Snow Leopard, you won't need to use Open Minimized Window Trick to reveal those minimized windows.
With Snow Leopard, you only need to click-and-hold on the Dock icon of that application and an Exposé display will appear, showing all opened as well as minimized windows.
And if you prefer using Hot Corners to using click-and-hold, you can set it up as one of your hot corner actions; you can do it by following these steps:
With simple steps, you can get a wonderful effect. Great!
When I browsed through new features of Snow Leopard, I stumbled on text transformation feature built-in on TextEdit. Using this feature, you can easily capitalize, make lower case, or turn words into upper case.
This new feature can be found on TextEdit Menubar · Edit → Transformations.
Putting productivity on the top priority, I create keyboard shortcuts for each of the action. If you want to do the same thing, you can follow these steps:
As you can see from screenshot on the left side, now I have applied my customized shortcuts for these new text transformation actions.
Hope that I can help you improving your productivity with this little trick.
Reading from the title, you will know that I have successfully installed Snow Leopard on my little Black Macbook. As a kick-start, let me share with you this simple trick to enable stack highlighting.
You only need to execute these two lines of Terminal commands to make it happens :
defaults write com.apple.dock mouse-over-hilite-stack -boolean YES
After execution of the second command line, your Dock will be restarted and when you mouse over one of your stack items, it will be highlighted.
Screenshot on the right displays how the stack highlighting looks like.
Source → MacRumors Forums
Often, it's really annoying to have stream of continuously coming unwanted messages. By only trashing the message won't discourage the senders in spamming our mail.
There is one way you can use to discourage them: by rejecting the message. Technically, it's called Bounce Back. If you're currently using Mail.app (default mail reader for Mac), you can do the trick.
As we all have known, having alias (or well-known as shortcut) can save you a lot of time in navigating through files.
For highlighted items, there are 3 ways you can use to create an alias of them:
Depending on the situation, you can choose one of the making alias techniques. For example, if you want to make alias on the same directory and subsequently move it elsewhere, 3rd technique is the most suitable.
It's not just as simple as pressing Cmd-Shift-3 to screen capture your Mac. If you've used screen capturing feature for quite a long time, you will figure out some nifty tricks of it.
In this daily trick, I am going to share some tricks that I know in capturing screen. I hope that using list is fine for you.
That's all for this screen capturing tricks. You can apply some of the tricks above to capture things on your Mac desktop and use the screen capture result to take part in our contest: UsingMac Contest. Beauty of the Mac [more…].
Perhaps some Mac users are not used to using Zoom window of Mac; they would prefer to have maximized browser. We have a good news here, you can maximize your browser with a single click on this address → Maximized View.
And of course, you can always bookmark the address above so that everytime you want to maximize your browser window, a single click on the bookmarked address will do.
This trick works fine with Safari and Firefox. I haven't checked it on other browsers.
After installing the latest Safari 4.0.3 via Software Update, my Mac suddenly refuses to open new window of Safari. The possible cause of this problem is the plugins that have been installed on your Safari.
The first possible fix is by uninstalling Glims. To do this, you can go to MacHangout FAQ to download Glims Uninstaller.
If Safari is still not working after the installation, you can check on several possible and delete some possible clashing plugins:
Note that you can just: open Finder, hit Cmd-Shift-G, and copy-paste the address written above for quick directory jump.
I have managed to make my Safari working fine now. Hope that you can get your Safari working again too.
In our previous daily trick, we have discussed about the Canned Searches, which is also known as Smart Folders. And in this daily trick, we are going to talk about creating your personalized Smart Folders, not just using the pre-defined searches.
First of all, you should open Finder window. And then followed by these steps:
Now, you can create as many Smart Folders as you want. And this will save your time by avoiding repetitive insertion of search constraints.
One of our readers, Mahdi Hosseini, stumbled on the Smart Folder trick and he is eager to share with us.Smart Folder Trick
I came across a cool thing buried inside Finder.app.
If you like the current Canned Searches that could be used to search for certain files, such as All Documents, All Images, etc, and wish to have more search categories, worry not.
You can follow these steps to browse for more:
For example, by using the Smart Folder: All PDF Documents, you don't need to search all over the place to find your PDFs, single click on this Smart Folder will do the job.End of the Trick
Many thanks to Mahdi for this little useful trick.
I believe we all have ever used Wikipedia and perhaps we often use it. And usually, we will use our web browser to search the entry of Wikipedia, won't we?
But using our Mac, it is not necessary for us to open web browser just to look for the entry in Wikipedia. It's because we can use our Dictionary.app to browse through Wikipedia entries.
But initially, you will need to enable Wikipedia as one of your Dictionary sources. Here are the steps to do it:
Of course with similar steps as above, you can also enable Thesaurus or other dictionaries as the source.
If you feel that there are too many things on your Finder sidebar, you can hide some of the rarely used items. It's very easy to hide the items; You only need to drag-drop it out of sidebar.
However, if someday you feel that you will need the item again, you can:
But up to now, I still can't find the way to hide the sidebar while keeping the toolbar shown, like in Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4).
If you're feeling bored of the contextual menu of the Dock, you can always change the menu labeling. To change the menu labeling, these steps can guide you:
There are many labels you can change apart from the given example. The part that you can change is shown in the highlighted part as shown in the screenshot below.
Just try this little trick and have fun!
Often, we want to quickly access to some directory paths to Finder, such as accessing folder Applications, Home, or Desktop. If you go to Finder Menubar → Go, you can see some pre-assigned keyboard shorcuts that can help you quickly access those directories (e.g. Cmd-Shift-A for Applications).
And for the directory not on the list, you can always use Cmd-Shift-G and fill in the path for quick directory access (e.g. ~/Documents/Drafts).
In order to send files to the other Mac on the same local network, usually we will utilize a public folder and create a drop box inside. Drop Box is a folder where other users can drop files into it, but they can't see the content inside.
The drop box creation is simple and straightforward:
However, you also need to turn on your File Sharing so that other users on the local network can access to your Public Folder.
You can go inside System Preferences → Sharing to turn on your File Sharing. Now, you should be able to share files easily on the local network.
When we received a mail with many attachments, there are some actions can be taken: change download location, download all attachments, or download only some attachments.
To change the location of your downloaded attachments, you can follow these steps:
After you've changed the download location, now you can download the attachments without afraid of losing track of those files. If you want to download all files, you can click on the save button and all of the attachments will be saved to the download folder.
If you don't want to download all of the attachments, you can:
Hope that you will be able to handle mail attachment better than before reading this.
Having downloaded some nice menubar applications, the problem of always keeping those menubar items launched upon login may arise. One reader pointed out the absence of an option to keep the item automatically activated (like in Dock).
Unfortunately, there isn't any quick way to always launch the menubar items. The only way is by assigning it to our login items, which can be done by following these steps:
It is always good to remember that the more you have applications assigned as your login items, the longer it will take for your start-up time.
In many occasions, scrolling will be needed. If we are using a trackpad, usually we will use double finger to scroll vertically or horizontally.
However, some users may not feel accustomed to the double finger scrolling, they would choose to drag the scroll bar. For these users, we can suggest another new way of scrolling grab-scrolling.
How to perform the scrolling? Follow these steps and you will know:
This works just like grabbing around the map in Google Map.
Now, you can experience a brand new way of scrolling, i.e. grab-scrolling. And for me, this trick is extremely useful when you want to scroll diagonally.
I believe most of us have already known that we can type in an equation on the Spotlight and straightaway get the result without the need to open Calculator. Also, I believe that only few of us know that we can do a quick equation without using Spotlight.
How can it be done?
So, next time if you want to do a quick equation, you should use this instead of Spotlight. Cheers from UsingMac!
While we're kept occupied by some tasks, we may have lose the attention of the time, and may miss certain important events.
But with using Mac, you can set the clock to auto-announce the time every hour. Setting can be made easily with these steps:
Not only set it to announce every hour, but there is also options for you to set the announcement to be made at interval of half hour or even quarter hour.
Obviously, don't try this in your office with your volume turned to maximum. You will annoy your colleagues, especially if you're using Hysterical as your custom voice.
When replying or forwarding mail, there would be a high chance for us to quote some parts of the message. By quoting, you can pin-point the discussion of the mail.
To quote portion of your message, follow this steps:
The good thing is, you don't need to waste time deleting unnecessary part of the received mail. Just quote it.
Most of the time, we will use Finder to browse through our files. If you've noticed, there will be the same directory shown in the first time you open Finder.
Let's call it Finder Home.
By default, this finder home is set to your user home. Perhaps you don't need to visit our home frequently; You visit our Pictures folder more often. Then it would save you several clicks if you change the default Finder Home, with these simple steps.
However, if you don't want to set Finder Home, you can always drag-drop your favorite directory or folder to the sidebar and have access to it within single mouse-click.
For large videos, however, we will need to wait several tens of minutes before we can open the video. Hey, why don't we just stream download it? Like what we did while watching the video on YouTube?
If you want to stream download it, follow these steps:
This trick works well for downloading video from YouTube. I haven't tested it for other video sites.
Having English as my second language, there are many words that I don't know. As a result, I will need to open Dictionary most of the time.
If everytime I need to launch Dictionary.app to see the word definition, I will waste my precious time and decrease my productivity.
However, thanks to my Mac, with a simple keystrokes Ctrl-Cmd-D a quick dictionary pane will appear right in front of your eyes. If you failed to call the quick dictionary, it's possible that you've previously changed the shortcut. To change the shortcut back, follow these steps:
You can click on the thumbnail for larger view.
Unfortunately, this feature is not supported by some applications, like Firefox.
In many occassions, we will need to minimize application windows in order to reduce distraction level to minimum. Of course, we can always use key combination Cmd-M to minimize a window or even use Cmd-Opt-M to minimize all opened windows.
But the problem arise as soon as we want to restore the window. Most of the time, we will click on the Dock thumbnail to restore minimized window. However, if you feel tiresome to reach your mouse/trackpad, you can use this trick:
Anyway, if you're ready to install additional application, you can use Witch to assist you in application switching process.
As Mac users, it would be much more convenient if we can schedule our shut down time. Using this scheduling feature, we can shut down our Mac even though we are not nearby.
The setting process is quite simple, you just need to follow these steps:
You can click on the thumbnail for viewing larger screenshot.
Not limited to shut down, you can also use this setting to sleep, wake up, or even restart your Mac.
Talking about mp3 songs, one application should instantly crawl inside our mind: iTunes. Yes, today I will share with you how to trim your mp3 songs with iTunes.
As usual, first step you will need to open iTunes and then followed by:
You can click on the thumbnail for viewing larger screenshot.
Have fun in trimming! And don't forget to introduce me some nice songs as you can see that I've no much songs in my iTunes playlist.
No, we're not talking any hacking process here. We will talk about our Mac serial number. Every Mac comes with serial number, do you know about this?
If you want to know your Mac serial number, you can click on the Apple logo on the menubar and then open About This Mac. On the floating pane, click the version number of your Mac two times, it will change into Mac serial number.
Then how can we decipher this serial number?
This conversation often takes place after reading this trick.
"Where is your Mac coming from?"
"China. So, what can I do with this?"
"I dunno. Don't ask me."
It's good that we can open many applications at once, without any hesitation, using our Mac. The bad thing is, more often than not, we will get distracted if we open more than one applications at the same time.
You can press Cmd-Opt-H to hide all other applications.
Or you can also hold modifier keys Cmd-Opt while clicking on the Dock icon.
Either one will result in showing only one application and hide others.
Personally for me, I seldom use Dock-clicking, usually I will just combine Cmd-Tab with Cmd-Opt-H. I am addicted to Mac keyboard shortcuts, I admit it!
Many have tried to tweak Safari, including me. Initially, I'm really satisfied with the tweaking process. But now, not really. What's the reason behind?
After browsing around the web, I found this little cocoa application for Safari called Glims. Glims empowers our Safari with many additional tools, such as Full Screen View, Search Engine Thumbnails, Tabs Re-open from Last Sessions, Bookmarks Separator and other gorgeous features.
You can click on the thumbnail for viewing larger screenshot.
Believe me, you should try installing this application. It's just a minute away, which is much faster and more gorgeous compared to tweaking by yourselves.
After navigating deeper, deeper, and even deeper on a website, eventually we will find ourselves get lost inside the web. Often, we need to press the back button many times just to get back.
Maybe some have noticed it, if we're using Safari Web Browser, we can see the hierarchy of current viewing site.
Simply by moving to window title and Cmd-Click, site hierarchy can be shown.
From the top one is current hierarchy we're in, go down all the way to the website address. With this, it's much easier for us to move around the site.
Sometimes, without having enough privileges for a file, we will end up unable to save, edit, or even open it. Of course, we can easily change the privilege by using Get Info pane.
Problem arises when we want to change the privileges of a folder and hundreds of items inside. It would be time consuming to change the privilege one by one. The best solution is by changing the privilege recursively.
We can now say good-bye to the traditional, super-slow way of changing privileges!
After using Mac for quite some time, I believe we all have made use of our Finder toolbar. Many things can be done to our Finder toolbar, such as sticking application to toolbar for quick launch and dropping simple AppleScript.
Apart from those functions, everyone has different taste for how the icons should appear on the toolbar.
Be it like normal icon, text icon, or icon with text, we can easily change it by performing Cmd-Click on the pill button (top-right).
FYI. Cmd → Command
After using Mac for quite some time, our desktop will surely cluttered with many files. Those icons make your desktop uglier and slow down the system.
Usually, people will suggest you to delete those items on the desktop or move them
somewhere else. However, we can always use this terminal code to hide all desktop
chflags hidden ~/Desktop/*
And to reveal it again, we can use terminal code:
chflags nohidden ~/Desktop/*
But for those people who are not familiar in using Terminal, we can always use Camouflage for Mac.
Using Camouflage, with just a click away you can hide/show your icons.
And what's best is that, you can grab this application for free.
Finally, you will get the cleanest desktop ever. Make sure you grab some gorgeous walls from our previous wallpaper compilation to even beautify your clean Mac desktop.
After using Safari for quite some time, it will be normal for us to have visit many sites and pages. All of those are tracked and saved in our history.
Perhaps after a year or more, we will forget some of useful sites and want to find it. At that time, we can use our history to trackback.
If you are using Firefox as web browser, you can have your eternal history by following these steps:
On the other hand, if you want to make your history only lasts for 1 day, you can simply change the number to 1.
For Safari, the setting is under Safari Menubar → Preferences → General Section.
Quick Look usually scales down big images to suit the screen resolution. Because of this, we may lose some details of the image while we observed it in Quick Look mode.
Some people maybe suggest using Full Screen Mode, but that's not solving the problem for images with higher dimension than our screen resolution.
The ideal solution is to use Quick Look Zoom that is achieved by pressing (and holding down) Option key and you will see the cursor change to a magnifier icon. After the zooming, you will be able to drag the image around.
Zooming in effect:
 Normal View
 Zoom View
For zooming out, use Shift-Opt with mouse-click(s).
This trick only works on image files. If you want to zoom in/out PDFs, you can simply use Cmd-[+] or Cmd-[-].
Usually, in order to adjust the brightness of our Mac to 0%, we will press and hold the function button all the way until the light from our Mac is gone. And I am not satisfied with this usual stuff as it's not giving me immediate darkness to my Mac.
I've mentioned this trick somewhere in previous articles, we can use single keystrokes to get total darkness of our Mac.
This will sleep only the display without turning your Mac into sleep mode.
And this saves more battery power compared to turning on screen saver.
Some new Mac users, without knowing the existence of universal shortcut to directly shut down their Mac, would go for the menu bar, search for the apple logo, choose the option, and confirm from the prompted dialog box.
All of these hassles can be replaced with keystrokes:
The same applies for restart, only single keystrokes needed:
And to put the computer to sleep: Cmd-Opt-Eject.
Note. These shortcuts, except for restart, will take the action immediately without prompting dialog box asking for confirmation. Make sure you save all your works beforehand.