Unleashing Snow Leopard Exposé Features

Unleashing Snow Leopard Exposé Features

Exposé Hidden Features

Snow Leopard “hidden features” brings with them a host of new tools that range from an improved Finder Toolbar and useful Exposé features. I want to take a minute to showcase a few of these Exposé features enhanced by Snow Leopard that I have found to be the most useful in my everyday computing.

Activate Quick Look
With a Finder Window open you should by default have the Quick Look “eye” in menu bar. If not you can add it by Customizing Your Toolbar by performing Control + Click on the Finder Window Menu bar or from the main Finder menu Click View > “Customize Toolbar…”. From the menu that drops down Drag the “Quick Look” Icon to the bar and Click “Done”.

Using Quick Look
To use quick look simply select an item that appears in the Finder Window and Click on the Quick Look Icon in the Menu bar. You can also activate it by selecting an item and tapping the Space Bar.

Quick Look Slide Show
Activate Quick Look slideshow after selecting a group of files. These can be either images or regular files. With the Finder Window open hold down the Option key to change the Quick Look icon to a Play button or use Command-Option-Y. By click the play button Quick View will go into full screen mode with auto play, forward/backward buttons and slide table view.

Find Window You Need with Exposé
Quick Look is a part of Exposé where you can easily see, access or hide applications windows or documents. Mac OS X 10.5 you can use F9 to display all open windows on your Mac. Using Snow Leopard 10.6 you can use F3 to show all window by Application. You can also sort alphabetically using CMD+1 or by Application using CMD+2.

Exposé by Application
Want to see all the windows you have open by Application. Simply Click and hold open the Application Dock to show all its windows. To enlarge a view simply hover over it and tap the Spacebar.

Getting Fancy: X-ray Folder previews using Quick Look
So when you have tried all this and you want to make Quick Look stand out here is a easy Terminal command that will allow you show a preview of the folder’s contents inside a translucent folder icon. The enable this Quick Look preview that allows you to view the files inside the folder and cycle through them so you can see all of them perform the following command:

defaults write com.apple.finder QLEnableXRayFolders 1

killall Finder

Mac OS X Toolbar Tips and Tricks

Mac OS X Toolbar Tips and Tricks

Customizing OS X Toolbar

If you’re new to Mac OS X you might not know that you can customize OS X Toolbar. Here are some tips that might help you improve your work-flow and get organized. At the top of every Finder window is a row of function and navigation buttons. By default your Finder window will have the folder back and forward buttons, view controls, Actions and Search. One click of any of these base icons lets you quickly backtrack your folder navigation, get a new perspective, trigger a command, or search your location. Here are some additional tips for getting the most out of your Finder Toolbar.

Removing or Shrinking
If you are not interested in having the buttons on top of the Finder window or need space simply click the oval toolbar button in the upper-right corner of the window. You can also hide the toolbar by either selecting View > Hide Toolbar or pressing Command-Option-T.

Customizing the Toolbar
There are a lot of different options in customizing your Toolbar. To customize simply open a Finder Window and select from the Finder Menu > View > Customize Toolbar. A window will appear and you can add additional favorite items into the toolbar by dragging and dropping them. You can also remove items by click and dragging them out of the Toolbar. To reset the Finder Menu Bar you can drag the default set into your toolbar. If you need to conserve space you can adjust the size of the icons or just show the icons, icons and text or just text. You can also add Files and Folder to the toolbar by dragging and dropping a folder or file from one Finder Window to the active Customize Toolbar.

Using Finder Views
Improving your work flow is key in managing your projects. Using your Finder Views can help you view important files and organize lists quickly and efficiently. The four views you can use are the Icon, List, Column and Cover Flow.

Icon View lets you see each folder and file as an icon and is typically the default Finder view. This view is useful id you want to arrange icons in a specific way, create groups, or help you remember file locations. With OS X 10.5 you can view detailed information about each file or folder. Drawback of this view are that it can easily becomes messy.
List View is the most versatile in that it not only shows the file’s name but also its attributes such as size, kind, version, comments and labels. The advantages of using this view is that it allow for sorting of files by the column headings and that you can see a folders contents without leaving the initial folder. Drawbacks are mainly in the creation of new folders as you can loose them in the list.

Column View displays files and folders in a hierarchical view allowing you to easily keep track of where you are within your Mac’s file structure. This is by far my favorite view in that you can see an items path and you can easily move files and folders around easily. The only drawback is that the Column view is dynamic and changes usually occur when you’re selecting or moving and item. This might need some getting used to if you are new to Mac OS X.

Cover Flow View is the newest Finder view. New to OS X 10.5 Leopard it is my least favorite view. It is based on a feature found in iTunes and allows you to see the contents of a file as thumbnails. The only real advantage for using this view is when browsing an images folder. You can easily thumb through multiple images with ease. Main disadvantage is in displaying the thumbnail previews can hog resources, although most new Macs shouldn’t have any problems.

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