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#682: Our Ten Favorite Mac Tips, Where's That Preference?, iWork.com, Apple and the Environment
It’s the end of our fiscal year, and Small Dog’s retail stores will be closed all day tomorrow and Thursday morning for inventory. Jon Spaulding will be manning the tech support phones during the closure, and we’ll still be taking web and telephone orders, but no orders can be filled or shipped until Thursday night. While we won’t be open to accept machines for repair or trade-in assessment, repairs will still be done on the machines already checked in, and pretty much everything should be ready for pickup Thursday afternoon.
We’ve gone from summer to full on foliage since last week’s issue. There’s been plenty of rain and downright chilly nights, and most of the valley’s cornfields have been plowed under. I’m still hoping my pumpkins will grow a bit bigger!
I included Ed Shepard’s 100th Mac Treat from our flagship newsletter, Kibbles and Bytes. It’s kind of like my Tip of the Week, and last week’s treat was actually ten treats in one. I’m sure you’ll find them useful.
Enjoy this issue, and keep in touch.
|Our Ten Favorite Mac Tips||By Ed Shepard|
This article first appeared in Small Dog’s weekly flagship newsletter, Kibbles and Bytes. You can subscribe to it and Best in Showroom, our retail team’s monthly mailing (mailed on the 1st of every month): Smalldog.com/newsletters
This is our 100th Mac Treat. It took us slightly over two years to reach this milestone. Mac OS X has thousands of features—many that aren’t obvious to new and even experienced Mac users. We started posting short Mac Treats to reveal and explain these features, as well as to promote best Mac practices. We want to make it easier and more fun to use your Mac, both for creative tasks as well as everyday computer-related chores.
However, our main goal with Mac Treats is to provide the “a ha!” and “I didn’t know you could do that!” moments that come from owning a Mac. Here are my 10 most-used, favorite Mac treats.
#1 The King of All Keyboard Shortcuts
Hold down the Command and Tab key at the same time. You will see a large bar in the middle of your screen with all active applications. To jump between the foremost application, simply continue holding down the Command key while tapping the Tab key. This is a super fast way to hop between applications.
You can combine other shortcuts with tab-command. For example, you can use Tab-Command to quickly cut and paste text between applications (as long as they are running) such as TextEdit, Word, Pages, Mail, etc. Or, you can instantly quit applications by Shift-tabbing to the application you want to quit, then (without letting go of the command key) use the Command-Q shortcut. I use this combination all the time to quit applications.
Note that the Command key is found to the left of the spacebar on Mac keyboards. On laptops it’s often stamped with an Apple or an icon that looks like a little four-leafed clover.
#2 Easier Renaming of Files and Folders
#3 Efficiently Select Multiple Files
To choose a sequential series of files, folders, photos, songs, etc from a larger list or group of files, click one on the first file you want, hold down the Shift key, then click on the last file at the end of the list. All files in between will be highlighted. You can drag and drop the highlighted files or even move them to the trash. This is also how you can highlight blocks of text.
If you want to pick and choose non-sequential files or folders out of a larger group, simply hold down the Command key while selecting files. The selected files will be highlighted. Again, you can drag and drop these highlighted files or move them to the trash.
#4 Easy Maintenance – Clear that Desktop!
Ideally, the OS X desktop should only be used for temporary, short term storage. It’s best to keep all your files stored in their proper locations, as much a possible—documents in the Documents folder, photos and images in iPhoto or the Pictures folder, etc.
You can keep a catch-all folder in your Home Directory, or Documents folder, where you simply stash everything. You can drag that catch-all folder into your dock, where it is always easily accessible.
#5 Match Font Styles in Copy and Paste
However, for many Mac applications (Pages, Mail, TextEdit) there is a simple way to force the copied text to match the font of document it’s being pasted into. After copying text, navigate to the Menu bar at the top of the screen, click on Edit, and choose “Paste and Match Style” from the drop down menu.
If you prefer to use a keyboard shortcut to paste your text , hold down the following keys at the same time: Command-Option-Shift-V.
#6 Silence the Quack
#7 Subscribe to Free, Useful Calendars With iCal
You can find public, shared calendars at Apple’s website by clicking here. You can also find over 2400 downloadable iCal ready calendars on iCalshare by clicking here. However, many of the calendars on iCalshare.com are out of date.
I usually just use Google to find iCal calendars. For example, I was looking for the Red Sox schedule and simply Googled “Red Sox iCal.” That brought me directly to a Red Sox page that lists three different iCal compatible calendars.
Once I subscribe to these calendars, I can then sync and share them on all my Macs and my iPhone with MobileMe.
#8 Forward Delete on a Mac
Apple notebooks, Apple bluetooth keyboards, and the non-extended Apple keyboard that ships with newer iMacs don’t have a dedicated forward delete key. To forward delete on MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and older Apple notebooks, simply hold down the fn key (function key) and press delete. The cursor will gobble up the words in from of it. On MacBooks, MacBook Pros, PowerBooks, and iBooks, the fn key is located on lower left corner of the keyboard, under the Shift key.
#9 Get in Character
Easy access can be found either as a part of your other Apple Apps (such as Mail, TextEdit, Stickies, etc.) or in the International panel of System Preferences. (System Preferences > International > Input Menu)
If you find that you use these symbols a fair amount and would like to see them quickly, check the Character Palette checkbox and “Show input menu in menu bar.” The latter will display a little flag icon in the top right-hand corner of your menu bar (how patriotic!).
Another tip for finding some symbols that you use more than others is to remember the keyboard shortcuts. Here’s a cheat sheet for my most popular ones:
Accent Acute (´): Option-E; Bullet (•): Option-8; Cent (¢): Option-4; Copyright (©): Option-G; Degree (˚): Option-K; Registered (®): Option-R; Trade Mark (™): Option-2;
And, for Mac users, one we’ve mentioned before and use a lot of: Apple symbol (): Shift-Option-K.
#10 Beyond Dragging and Dropping
Create instant bookmarks in Safari by dragging a link into your Bookmarks bar. Create an instant shortcut to a webpage in Safari by highlighting the URL (address) and dragging the text to your Mac’s desktop. This creates a link on your desktop—double click it and Safari will bring you directly to the webpage. Save an image from the internet by dragging it out of Safari and dropping it on your Mac’s desktop.
Select any text, drag it to Stickies, and you’ll have a new Sticky with the selected text. Select any text and drag it to Font Book, and it will create a library with the selected font. If you drag selected text while holding the Option key, it will be copied where you drop it—not moved. Drag and drop CD/DVD burning. Pop a blank CD or DVD into your optical drive. Drag files onto the CD or DVD’s icon. Drag it to the trash and you’ll be asked if you want to burn the disk or simply eject it. You’ll also have the opportunity to name the disc.
|Where's That Preference?||By Matt Klein|
There have been quite a few calls to our technical support team regarding Snow Leopard upgrades since the new operating system was released. It seems a common issue is Safari function, and there are a few network-type issues that can be resolved by resetting DNS addresses in Network Preferences. There was one odd call that stuck out for me relating to use of an external mouse with a MacBook Pro.
Under earlier versions of Mac OS X, all keyboard and mouse settings were grouped into the Keyboard and Mouse preference pane within System Preferences. After the upgrade, our customer called to say that his preference settings before the upgrade included the “ignore trackpad input when a mouse is connected” option. He found that after the upgrade, the trackpad was accepting input while he typed, even though he’d selected that the input be ignored before the upgrade. Frantically, he went into System Preferences and tried to verify the setting, but was unable to find it.
He called us us and explained the situation, and I quickly asked him to check the Keyboard and Mouse preference pane, not knowing that the option had moved. Ultimately, I did realize that the option had moved to the Universal Access pane after typing the word “trackpad” into the System Preferences search box.
|iWork.com Enhancements||By Kali Hilke|
Apple sent out a note to iWork.com beta users today about some new features and improvements they’ve made to the iWork.com service.
Automatic email notification.
Refined user interface.
To get started: Under the Apple menu, click Software Update and install any updates for iWork ’09. Select “Share via iWork.com” from the Share menu to share a document from Pages, Numbers or Keynote.
|Apple and the Environment||By Matt Klein|
Ever since Greenpeace rated Apple’s environmental record very poorly some years ago, Apple’s commitment to the environment has evolved quite a bit. I see thousands of Apple boxes pass through our warehouse every month, and it seems with each product introduction the packaging gets smaller and smaller.
The unibody laptops are packaged in a redesigned box with much less foam and are double boxed in recycled corrugated cardboard with recycled packing material. Just two years ago, Apple’s laptop boxes were nearly twice the size of the computers themselves and had lots of unused space. Printed manuals with each device approached 100 pages, but documentation is almost exclusively provided online or through Mac OS X. New high-capacity, long-lasting batteries have proven to be extremely reliable, and will significantly reduce the need for battery disposal.
Apple recently completed a “complete life cycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions.” It’s rare for a company to have such full disclosure of environmental impact—Apple claims to be the only technology company to do so. The study shows how a product’s environmental footprint is distributed across and beyond its useful life. The study concludes that 95% of Apple’s carbon emissions are from the products they make.
Each Apple product now has an environmental report available here: http://www.apple.com/environment/reports/
Apple also maintains a blog on the environment here: http://www.apple.com/environment/news/
I’m thrilled that Apple is innovating in this area as well as in the product mix!
|SPECIALS | 09/29/09 - 10/07/09||By Ed Shepard|
MacBook Air 1.86GHz 2GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Snow Leopard DVD, Apple USB SuperDrive, Free Shipping!
NEW! Apple Final Cut Studio 3 - Instant $100 Rebate, FREE itsaKey 4GB Flash Drive, FREE Shipping!
Chill Pill Mobile Speakers, Black, PLUS Recommended Chill Pill AC Charger, Save $10!
MacBook Pro 13in 2.26GHz 2GB RAM, 160GB HD, Free Sleeve, Free Shipping!
Home iH9 Alarm Clock Radio for iPod, Silver, Perfect for any Dorm Room or Office - $20 Off!
iPod touch 8GB (2009), plus AppleCare for iPod touch - Save $25 plus get FREE Shipping!
Apple Time Capsule 500GB - Small Dog Refurbished, Save $10 plus FREE Shipping - Just $139.99!
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