We know that Dock is one of the most essential features on your Mac, without your Dock, I can say that you will lose roughly half of your productivity. Even folks at Windows are imitating the Dock, as can be seen here, here and here also.
As a big fan of tweaking, I love to play around with the system files of the Dock. And more importantly, I've found out several tweaks that I believe will give you an extra boost in productivity and self proud.
But before we started…
We won't take any responsibilities for damages or data loss due to practicing the content of this article. Please kindly backup your files involved in the tweaking before you proceed.
Now, I've shouted it out, let's begin our tweaking!
As a huge fan of Leopard Preview, I always try to do my image editing process with Preview. And I guess today is my lucky day, I discovered how to pick color from anywhere of your Mac screen with only Preview in hex format.
You could see the benefits here: Preview is fast, rarely crash and most importantly: it's free.
Here is the step by step tutorial on how to set up the color picker:
While resizing all my images, photos and wallpapers, I came into this great trick to easily batch resize images that I've never read somewhere else before; You can simply use Preview to batch resize images.
Wanna know more?
Reading article from ArsTechnica about next Apple plan: Mac OS X Code Named Snow Leopard, May be Pure Cocoa shocks me. It's only for Intel which means in the very near future, my beloved PowerPC cannot be upgraded.
Unlike in Tiger where you can do image sorting with simple Control-Click anywhere on the sidebar - as discussed in my earlier post Meet the Preview Ultimate Sort Ability, in order to perform images sorting in Leopard Preview you need to click on the gear button (to the left of the slider), expand the menu and choose Sort By.
Safari has been optimized for Mac and because of that, it becomes the best browser for running on Mac. However, with Firefox empowered by plenty of plugins, it's confusing to determine which one to choose: Safari or Firefox?
After searching around the web, I found several impressive plugins for Safari, such as del.icio.us bookmark, StumbleUpon toolbar, Tab Exposé, Greasemonkey script customizer, and many others. Interested?
Stack has been really useful for Leopard users in organizing and keeping their stuffs clean and well-arranged. Now, there are something in the stack that will definitely enhance your experience.
Maybe you've already heard about this before, by pressing modifier key Shift and clicking on the stacked folders, you can see your Stack opened in Slow Motion. It's worth a try.
Perhaps, when you want to open multiple files from Stack, you usually open your Stack and then open one file at a time. But with the help of Option, you can click on as many folders as you want and all enclosing folders will be opened in separate Finder windows.
Folks from Creative Bits pointed out that Stack can be used in Tiger by simply dragging the folder to your Dock and holding down mouse for like 2 seconds will be needed when you want to open the list of files inside that folder.
But I personally haven't tested this neat trick. So it would be great if some Tiger users can give me useful inputs on this.
By pressing Command while dragging your Stack folder out of Dock, you will make a duplicate of that folder instead of making that particular folder vanish.
There are a lot of things out there that can be done to your Mac OS X. These 101 are just a small collection of those cool things. Since every single trick are too small to be compiled as single article, I decided to combine them all in a single post. Hope you can enjoy it.
With Ruby on Rails you can build powerful and dynamic web sites. Read this article to learn how to develop your application using Xcode 3.0 and the tools that come pre-installed in Leopard.
Ruby on Rails is a popular and powerful open source web framework for rapidly creating high-quality web applications. Rails is thriving on Mac OS X, and Leopard comes pre-installed with Ruby, Rails, Mongrel, Capistrano, Subversion, and other tools that help to streamline the development and deployment of Rails applications. We will use the Organizer feature of XCode 3.0 to demo the step of the development.
This article gives you a full tour of Ruby on Rails 2.0 on Mac OS X Leopard and building a web application using the latest Rails features with Xcode 3.0.
Initially, Leopard Finder has 6 pre-defined smart folders on it sidebar. Actually, there are 11 of them provided. How to activate all 11 of them?
First of all, you should spot them first. If you follow these simple steps, spotting them won't be hard :
Show Package Contents
There are 26 items come along with your Mac OS X that can be attached onto your menu bar. Here is the shortcut to show them all on your menu bar.
Perhaps you have read the new book by David Pogue, The Missing Manual : Mac OS X - Leopard Edition. There is inside written the complete list of all Leopard menu bar items and how to attach them onto your menu bar.
Probably some of you guys like to use leopard default features, but some of you may want to do some modification to the current look and feel, theme, the way it works, so that we can increase our productivity, fun and also mood. There is one software that can do most of the stuffs as what I have posted earlier here by using some terminal command line. LeopardMod is the name of this software. It has functionality to tweak finder, dock, dashboard, safari, menu bar, and also expose.
I've found several interesting icons, but how can I change all icons in just one shot?
The drawer above can be easily made with only your Mac OS X Leopard little humble Preview.
Everyday in your working days, you probably need to check all the same e-mail, news, website or maybe favorite blog site. You should try using Fluid.
With Fluid, you can convert all of them into each separate applications, which are easily distinguishable. And you will find that you won't need to cycle all your opened web browser tabs in order to find particular site. The icon is customizable and you can put it on your Dock.
Talking about Screen Sharing, the reflection of iChat shouldn't be far away from your mind. Actually, the Screen Sharing itself is provided in your Finder.
Just now I told you that Screen Sharing is separated from iChat. To prove that, you could go to Mac HD ▸ System ▸ Library ▸ CoreServices which Mac HD is your hard drive name. Inside there, you will definitely find Screen Sharing.
With a simple highlight and import,
Preview can display exactly the displayed icon. Let's see how to do it.
I've become a blogger for quite a long time. During the process of compiling my article, these applications are essentials for me.
This is my basic image editor. For blogging purpose, CS2 is more than enough but if you've quite a money on hand, you can purchase CS3. I love it especially when I can give effects on images with Photoshop.
I remember the last time I used my Mac OS X Tiger, I used Journler to take some notes.
Since the upgrade to Leopard, I started falling in love with mail and its new features : Notes and To Do. However, this time I'll share you my way to use Notes efficiently.
Before step further, I recommend you to download additional plugin for Mail. It's called
Letterbox which I've discussed a little in my past article Get Various Leopard Enhancements for Free.
Shortcuts play the most important parts in increasing productivity. Therefore, in the middle this discussion, I'll include many useful shortcuts.
By default, your dictionary's reference libraries shown are
Apple. Obviously, you can add more references to it.
First, go to your
Dictionary Preferences Pane by either using keystrokes Command-Comma or using menu bar
Dictionary ▸ Preferences. Then you will see there are more than four default references which is available for your
It's a tough time for me to figure out how to read file with type Property List (for tweaking purpose). I tried to use TextMate but it's been expired. I also tried to use TextEdit but all I can see were mysterious codes. However, Quick Look seems to be working well with this kind of files.
Feeling irritated to reach those far away F8 to F12 key for activating Space, Exposé, or Dashboard for your Mac? If you use double-button mouse, this trick will be very useful.
Follow these simple steps :
It will be hard to see what is the text on the podium. However, Ken Drake brilliantly decoded it.
Here is the decoding result :
God, I dreamed there was an angel Who could hear me through the wall As I cried out-like, in Latin "This is so not life at all Help me out-out-of this nightmare" Then I heard her silver call- She said: "Just give it time, kid I come to one and all"
She said: "Give me that hand, please And the itch you can't control Let me teach you how to handle All the sadness in your soul Oh, we'll work that silver magic Then we'll aim it at the wall" She said: "Love may make you blind kid- But I wouldn't mind at all"
It's the bitch of living (Bitch, just a bitch) With nothing but your hand (Just a bitch, yeah) Just the bitch of living As someone you can't stand See, each night, it's like fantastic- Tossing, turning, without rest
/System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Resources/ScreenSaverEngine.app/Contents/MacOS/ScreenSaverEngine -background &
Actually, you don't need to open dictionary application each time you want to check the definition of a word. With Leopard, you can trigger your word definition checking (Dictionary) on-the-fly. Like this :
In Leopard, Spotlight has been configured in such a way that it can search much faster than that of Tiger. Some Spotlight searching tricks below will certainly improve your productivity.
By typing search terms as described above, you ask Spotlight to search only for certain type of file. However, you still don't know exactly what kind of keywords that can be used for this. Fortunately, Leopard happily provides you with detailed information regarding to that and here we will gladly deliver it to you.
There are several things that can make you consider using Safari as your Leopard web browser. Let's take a look at them.
Webclip is newly released tool for Safari. With Webclip, you can pick portion of your favorite web pages as an new Dashboard widget. Webclip is located next to the reload button.
defaults write com.apple.dock mouse-over-hilte-stack -boolean YES killall Dock
Everyone can do it. Everyone can enjoy it.
default write com.apple.finder QuitMenuItem -bool YES killall Finder
By quitting your Finder, all the files scattered on your Desktop will be hidden. Those files will appear again as soon as you launch your Finder. Here is what the modified Finder menu looks like.
For detailed information : Quit Finder
Quick Look and Slideshow, which complement each other, are masterpieces of Leopard.
Quick Look, which cannot be opened at the same time with Slideshow, is known to be the simplified version of Slideshow. Though so, Slideshow in Leopard, that comes with better resolution, should not be completely buried under the trees. In this article, I will discuss some of the techniques to open your Leopard Quick Look and your Slideshow, that is hidden under Quick Look, at ease.
As I've just said, Slideshow is well hidden under the Quick Look. Hovering your mouse long enough on top of the eye icon, which is the button for activating Quick Look, would definitely unveil the fact that Slideshow is the alternate version of Quick Look. Therefore, holding modifier key Option change the tool icon from an eye into our familiar Slideshow button.
Are you looking for free distribution of icons which are Leopard cover flow compatible?
Check out these icons submitted by people on Apple Official website. I've brought forward some of them that are compatible for your Leopard Coverflow (huge) icons.
Well, all of these can be seen inside Leopard Help Pane. However, this pane is really troublesome that it will always float over other panes. Fortunately, all of them are also provided inside info.apple.com.
Shortcuts for starting up
9 funny things of your Leopard icons.
Parental Controls feature in Leopard helps you monitoring and restricting other user activities on your computer. Accounts under Parental Controls will have account status
Managed. And for your information, administrators who declares themselves as under Parental Controls will automatically lose their rights to be an administrator.
Parental Controls is set under System Preferences ▸ Parental Controls. But before that, you must be an administrator and have at least one account under Parental Controls. Transforming account, either it's normal account or it's administrator account, can be done inside System Preferences ▸ Accounts. What are those features for managed accounts :
Simple Finder is suitable only for inexperience users. For experience users, it will be very boring to use Simple Finder because Simple Finder restricts sidebar and even directory managing.
Digging around my Finder and discovering this amazing background for Time Machine make me very proud of myself.
I don't have any devices available to access my Time Machine. However, I can tell from Mac OS X Leopard Guided Tour how does the Time Machine background look like.
Red and white is the original iCal icon color. Let's change it.
iCal icon is stored in the file
App-empty.icns. This file full-path is :
Macintosh HD ▸ Applications ▸ iCal ▸ Contents ▸ Resources
You are recommended to back up the original icon before doing some changes in the icon. Now, open the App-empty.icns with Preview. Next, you may use the new Preview tools Adjust Color and make the adjustments like below :
Are you getting bored already with your monotonous looking Dock?
When I browse throughout my Leopard, I've found out that there are several image files in PNG format that control the appearance of the Dock. I tried to delete those files ( I made backup before that ) and I got invisible glass for my Dock. Let's see what are those files.
The glass where your icons sit is controlled by image files named scurve. It's separated into four files, scurve-sm, scurve-m, scurve-l and scurve-xl. I think scurve stands from super curve. I hope I'm not wrong. The one white line at the bottom of the Dock is controlled by an image file named frontline. A line that divide Dock into two parts is controlled by an image file named separator.
And all of them are located inside :
Macintosh HD ▸ System ▸ Library ▸ CoreServices ▸ Dock ▸ Contents ▸ Resources
Leopard Preview got some new tools, from the coolest and most useful one to the ugliest and least useful.
This is the most useful new feature of Preview in Leopard. As its name states, it helps you adjust your image color right inside the Preview. This tool isn't attached to the toolbar. However, you should be able to call it up with keystrokes Command-Option-C or with menu
Apple ▸ Tools ▸ Adjust Color.
With some adjustments on Exposure, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Temperature, Tint and Sepia, you could actually enhance special effect to your image, like what I did to this Leopard's image
Clown Fish.jpg. This image can be found inside
Macintosh HD ▸ Library ▸ Desktop Pictures ▸ Nature.
Still remember how to change login background for Tiger? In Leopard, it's totally different.
I remember the last time I changed Tiger login background, I only need to go inside my Desktop Pictures folder and change the filename. Now in Leopard, what should I do?
Leopard stores the default login background in the form of file named
DefaultDesktop.jpg. This file is exactly located inside Macintosh HD ▸ System ▸ Library ▸ CoreServices ▸ DefaultDesktop.jpg. As you expected from Leopard, your DefaultDesktop.jpg is actually Aurora.jpg by default.
After you spotted the file, change it to other name, such as ExDefaultDesktop. Then, drag the new login background into the folder and change the filename into DefaultDesktop.jpg. Next time you log on your Mac OS X Leopard, you should get your new login background.
All of the securities start from securing accounts.
These three ways hopefully can help you keep your information stored in your account secure. All of these settings are inside Apple → System Preferences → Accounts → Login Options ( the small house at the left-bottom corner of the pane ).
After taking to look at Leopard Spaces, now I should take you around, deeper into spaces with F8.
F8 is the keyboard key that will bring you to Leopard Spaces when it's pressed. However, you got to activate it first inside the System Preference.
Arrow keys can move around the highlight ( the Spaces remain still ). When you've reach your destined Space, pressing Return, Space or another F8 will bring you into that Space. In the picture below, the slightly darker Space is the highlighted one.
With drag and drop, you can swap one Space with the other. For example, if you want to swap Space 9 with Space 8, drag the Space 9 to the top of Space 8 and Space 8 will move by itself to the initial position of Space 9. There will be a lot of tricks that can be done with this dragging and dropping.
Let's say that I've already assigned my Firefox to Space 2. Therefore, when I opened my Firefox, I will be warped into Space 2. The very same thing will also happen when I switch my active window to Firefox. But the question here is, I've opened Firefox and I moved the Space 2 to Space 9, what will happen if :
Why does Leopard display Address Book as an icon for Applications Folder? Why is one of Application icon broken?
The Application Folder automatically stacks up all Applications inside by their alphabetical order. Since our (my) Address Book ranks highest by its alphabetical order compare to others, it's displayed as Application icon followed by others' with no opacity, i.e. we can only see a little portion of others'.
The very same rule also applies for those folders located at the right part (launching part is the left part) of Dock.
I'm glad to see that our Leopard Dock got a new look.
Let's recall what our old Tiger Dock looks like..
And if we contrast it with our brand new 3D Leopard Dock..
Think positively, this should not be a kind of bug brought by Leopard. This should be called 'The Leopard Hidden Selection'.
This feature (or bug?) comes with our trusted new Leopard Spaces. It's brought by assigning Finder into one of Leopard Spaces. You may look at my other article Leopard Take A Look - Spaces for reference.
Finder is not located inside your usual Application folder. Finder is located at
Macintosh HD → System → Library → CoreServices. After you found it, assign it to one of your Leopard Spaces, for example Space 5.
When you got yourself at Space 5, you still have your selection. Now, let's try to go to other Spaces and draw a selection using your mouse. You will see the magic selection : The Hidden Selection.
Leopard packs Terminal differently in such a way that it will definitely increase your productivity.
Let's see our Terminal way of saying by our old Tiger, in which I discussed in my other article Styling Terminal
Leopard gives us the feeling of freedom which we can even jump through the space.
During the first launch of your Leopard right after installation, this Spaces featured is disabled. Spaces can be enabled under a tab named Spaces which is inside System Preferences → Exposé & Spaces. There are several things you can do inside here..
10 little secrets that you should know while using Leopard.
Leopard Dictionary got a new look.
Unlike old Tiger OS where Thesaurus and Dictionary are separated into two different Applications, Mac OS X Leopard integrates Dictionary, Thesaurus, Apple Dictionary and Wikipedia into one single Application called Dictionary.
Leopard Mail supports AOL, Yahoo! Mail and Gmail. And many features added, including RSS.
You will be really often to use Spotlight inside your Mail. Spotlight can spot messages, to-dos, notes, or even RSS feeds inside your Mail. And I love the new smarter Spotlight ranking system. Let's see how Spotlight search the keyword Leopard for certain RSS. You can compare with Spotlight search result with the very same keyword for entire Mail.
Everyone should already know that Leopard provides new features for Finder, such as Cover Flow and new Sidebar. However, who knows exactly the real beauty behind these features..
As you know, showing picture, reading PDF, or even watching movie come in handy with cover flow. Let's see the snapshot I took when I watch the Leopard welcoming scene. Cover Flow view can be activated using keystrokes Command-4.
I believe you don't want to miss all this features, such as Quick Look and Fan View.
Control-Click on your Folder that sits on the Dock. When the contextual menu appeared, mouse hover the View as and there will be three types of new view for Leopard : Automatic, Fan, and Grid.
If you choose automatic view, Leopard will automatically switch to fan view if your folder only has some contents and will switch to grid view for folder with a bunch of contents.
Time for Upgrade : 1h 53m 14s
Time for Clean Install : 1h 2m 27s
Total Time Estimation : 2h 55m 41s
You can use Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper. You can see my older post related to this.
Once you inserted the installation disk and run the installation, something like this will appear. Restart your Mac to make it reboot from disk. The big 'X' logo is so eye-catching that it's hard to notice there is a Restart button at the bottom-right corner.