Mac Users Guide brings you a series of Mac OS X Qucik Tips via its feed on Audioboo.fm. In the next phase of Mac Users Guide we are opening iLearn by Mac Users Guide, a training program designed to bring valuable information through hands-on instruction. The workshops are designed to expand on the concepts and how-to articles found on Mac Users Guide and offer you, the user, the opportunity to learn with a real Apple professional who can answer your questions about Apple’s Mac OS X and wide range of equipment and applications. We offer 1-hour private classes or weekly 2-hour group classes that focus on specific applications and help beginners get started or experts deepen their knowledge of Apple hardware and software concepts. Learn more at http://iLearn.MacUsersGuide.com
The following are a series of Mac OS X Snow Leopard quick tips that we will be covering in our upcoming workshop.
Language and texts in Snow Leopard
Ever run into needing a symbol shortcut…like lets say the copyright symbol. I do almost on a daily basis. To solve this problem simply open System Preferences, choose Language & Text. In Leopard a new tab was added called Texts and it has a Symbol And Text Substitution feature. For instance type ( c ) and you get © among other commonly used symbols. You can also make your own custom shortcuts! Like type “awesome” to substitute it for Carl Berkeley! Also comes in handy for your name or address.
Selecting Multiple Files
Most of us long time Mac users know that if you want to select something you just click on it to open or move it. What if you want to move or open more than on file? To select groups of items select the first item in a folder and while holding down shift select and click on the last one. If you want to be more specific hold down Command and Click on only select items in a folder. While selecting items in this manner you can also select groups of items next to one another. Simply hold the Command and Shift buttons down at the same time as you click. With a little practice you will be a power selector!
Set a poster frame in iTunes
What is a poster frame? It is a still based frame taken from your video. You can add them to new movies and TV shows in iTunes or iTunes automatically creates an image to display as that video’s icon. What if you want to customize this image? I have had a a studio logo come up or the auto select landing on something not very descriptive. A simple solution to this problem is to choose another frame of the movie to use as the poster frame. To do this, just start the video playing in iTunes, go to the frame you want to use and then pause it. Then just right-click on the video and choose “Set Poster Frame.”
Cisco VPN Support
If you work from the road, or from home, you know how important Cisco VPN is. Did you know that Snow Leopard has it built right into the OS. To set up your VPN start my getting your setting from your IT Department. Next navigate to System Preferences > Network. Click on the small plus sign (+) in the lower-left corner. Choose VPN in the Select Interface drop-down. This is much better than opening a third-party application to get on the office server from home.
Image Capture Device Control
Image Capture transfers images between your digital camera, iPhone or scanner and your Mac for use in iPhoto and other applications. You can download all or any portion of the contents of your digital camera, crop images to a variety of sizes, and delete unwanted pictures from your camera. You can also set iPhoto to open for one device, and Aperture for another… or nothing at all.
One “ooooohhhh, aaaaaahhhhh” feature in the Snow Leopard is that you can simply click and hold an icon in the Dock to trigger Exposé to show all of the select application’s windows. This way you can avoid having to use a keyboard shortcut. This can be especially useful if you’re trying to quickly sort through all your Finder, Web browser, or word processing windows.
If you’ve secretly suspected that your MacBook’s battery isn’t working correctly, Snow Leopard can tell you what your geek senses have known all along. Now in the menu bar you can not only check the status of your battery but also see if it needs service. Just hold down Option and Click. Hopefully you not see the “Service Battery” warning
Screen Saver Photos
Here is a quick way to customize your Mac. As Apple users we have always had the option to shuffle through different Desktop pictures, but now you can set your screen saver to shuffle through different iPhoto, MobileMe, Flickr, Facebook, and Aperture Library. Simply organize your photos in either iPhoto or Aperture libraries and add your favorite social networking outlets or add them directly to Desktop and Screen Savers by click on the plus sign. Check Use Random Screen Saver then click on Shuffle. Then just check the boxes of the image libraries you want shuffled as screen savers.
Get Specific with Spotlight
If you use Spotlight a lot to find files, you know it’s slightly annoying when you type a file name into the Spotlight search field in your Finder window, only to have it search everywhere. In the Finder navigate in the menu bar to Finder > Preferences, click on the Advanced tab, and change the default search location from Search This Mac to Search the Current Folder.
Put it back!
Accidentally put an item in the trash? Simply select the item in the Trash. Right-click on the item and select Put Back from the contextual menu. The file will return to its original location before you throw it away.
Every week I bring you a series of Mac OS X Tips via my feed on Audioboo.fm. With the launch of Safari 5.1 update on Wednesday I was reminded why I love Safari so much. The new version enables third-party extension support in the web browser. Compared to Chrome it will give it a run for the money, but Firefox – well that’s another story. At any rate I wanted to leave you with a selection of tips I have come up with to help you get the most out of surfing Safari!
Drag & Drop File Uploads
This is one of Safari’s hidden features. Tired of having a file to upload, a YouTube video or a Flickr image, for example, normally you would click the “Browse” button to open a dialog box and navigate to the location of your file. Wouldn’t it be great if you could drag and drop the file from your already – open Finder window directly to the upload form’s ‘Browse’ button in Safari? Well you can! Next time just drag and drop your files to the ‘Browse’ Button and your done!
Tab through Safari Tabs
Cycle through your Tabs like a pro by holding down CNTRL-Tab. Hit Tab to move forward.
Putting Safari Address Bar to work!
Ever run into the problem of starting to type a URL in the Address Bar and then realizing that I intended to view it in a new tab. Instead of cutting and pasting the URL into a manually-created tab, Safari lets you stay in the current tab and press Command+Enter to open it in another.
Re-sizable text fields in Safari
When filling out an online form that includes multi-line text fields, you might feel a little cramped by the pre-determined number of lines coded into the page. In Safari you can resize multi-line text fields on forms and make them larger by merely dragging the bottom-right edge.
Snap Back feature in Safari
Typically when you are surfing in Safari and move through a website you might find yourself wanting to go back to where you started. Sure, you could hit the Back button – a few hundred times – to get back to the original page, or you can use SnapBack. SnapBack works by silently marking a web page everytime you type in a new URL, click a bookmark, or open a new window. Simply go History > Search Results SnapBack or Type Comand+Option+S and SnapBack will bring you back to the beginning immediately. A huge time saver!
Speed up Safari
Surfing the web is great in Safari but after a while your Mac might start slowing down. Have you emptied your Cache lately? What is Cache you ask? As you surf the web your browser makes copies of the pages you visit, in case you need them again. This can cause things to slow down though. Here’s how to do a clean up. Select Safari > Emtpy trash from the main menu. A dialog will appear. Click Emtpy.
Setting Download Location in Safari
Did you know that Safari provides several options for managing downloads? To set the location for saving downloaded files on your hard drive, from Safari’s Menu Click on Safari and select preferences and Click on the General tab. Next Click on the “Save downloaded files to…” drop-down menu and select either “Last download location” or “Other…” to specify a specific location.
Managing Active Safari Downloads
The Downloads option under the Window menu in Safari provides you with more control over your downloads. When you select Downloads from the Window menu, the Downloads Pane will open, listing all active downloads and also perhaps some past downloads, depending on your settings in the General preferences pane. You can start and stop a download by clicking the Stop or Resume button next to the file name. You can also view the progress of your download in the Finder by clicking on the ‘Magnifying Glass’ button. There is also a Clear button in the lower left hand corner to clear your history of downloaded Files.