Archive for the ‘Mac OS X’ Category

Quick look on Leopard’s Spotlight

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Spotlight feels more mature and efficient with Leopard. Small new features will improve the experience of using Spotlight. For example, web sites you visit are automatically indexed by Spotlight, allowing you to retrieve pages you visited recently based on their contents, right from Spotlight menu! Spotlight is now a great application launcher, for when you enter a few letters from an application name, this application will be selected among results, and you can launch it by simply pressing the Return key. And if the application doesn’t come up at the top of the list after you typed a few letters from its name, select it and next time it will appear on top automatically. Here is a quick look on these improvements.

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QuickLook on Leopard’s Dock

Friday, October 26th, 2007

The Dock received a great deal of visual changes, as well as a major feature change with Stacks. Here is a quick look on this application in Leopard.

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QuickLook on Leopard’s Automator

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Ease of use for new users is greatly improved in the new version of Automator, making it a more polished application than once it was first introduced in Tiger. Here is a quick look on this application in Leopard.

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Text selection and edition using drag and drop

Friday, March 19th, 2004

Text edition is undoubtedly the task which occupies the greatest part of our computer work. In spite of the subtle differences between applications, it is possible to outline general methods for text selection and modification, and this, by extension of our knowledge already acquired on drag and drop. This knowledge will not be useful solely in word processing applications, but also in any text modifications we can do on screen.

We will initially make a summary of text selection methods with the mouse and the keyboard, then we will see the various ways for creating and preserving text clippings. Lastly, we will see how to use drag and drop for text edition and to manage information (Internet forms, information fields in various applications). As this text constitutes the third from a tutorial on drag and drop, it is recommended to start by reading the first text. (more…)

Uses for the icon in windows title bar (proxy icon)

Saturday, February 14th, 2004

Who never noticed this icon which appears at the top every document window, to the left of the window title, that we call “proxy” icon. Although these icons seem to be added almost as a decoration to the top of the windows, they are filled with somewhat hidden features that are very useful, particularly for drag and drop. Here is an example of proxy icon, on the left of the document’s (in TextEdit):

Proxy icon example

We will see in this text the features offered by the proxy icons located in the windows’ title-bar. It is recommended to know the bases of drag and drop with files before reading this text.

Drag and drop in the Finder and the Dock

Monday, February 9th, 2004

My first text about drag and drop will be related to files in the Finder and the Dock. Drag and drop obviously feels like a natural way to do things, yet we don’t know every time when we can use it on a computer. Some might think that drag and drop only is for beginners, but I bet you will be surprised by some tips you’ll find here (I hope at least !)

I’ll try to make an in depth review of the subject, and highlight what I consider to be one of the greatest strength of Mac OS. This review will also cover basis of File management and some essential features found in the Finder and the Dock, but ending with more advanced tips.

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Searching Mail

Tuesday, November 25th, 2003

When tons of messages appear in your different mail accounts every day, it is sometimes not easy to find some messages when you need to read them immediately or to find the exact sentence you are looking for in one message.

I’ll cover all you need to know to search messages in Mail, from the basic options to search some text (a knowledge you can apply to text from any application in Mac OS X, including web pages viewed in Safari) to the new options in Panther to search in some specific Mailboxes at once. You’ll also learn how to mark your message once your found them, using any color if you want.

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Screen zooming used to show content on TV and Panther new zoom options

Sunday, November 23rd, 2003

When you want to show something on screen to many people, having a 12″ iBook might not be ideal. But there is a way around this shortcoming : using an Apple AV Cable, you can use your computer to show your screen on a TV (some other Mac portables have this option as well). This helped me when I wanted to show pictures to my family using iPhoto. But I also wanted to give titles to those pictures, and make sure names and places would be written correctly, so I asked my aunt to proofread as I wrote. Given the poor resolution of the TV, it was impossible for her to read, but using screen zooming, I managed to make it possible. Using two key sequences, I was able to zoom in to the rename box in iPhoto, and zoom back to full screen where our pictures were displayed as big as possible (filling the photo frame in iPhoto).

I’ll introduce key concepts to Screen zooming as well as the new options that appeared in Panther.

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Make the iBook / MacBook a book

Thursday, November 20th, 2003

Wouldn’t it be beautiful if we could read on the computer screen as easily as in a book, using the full screen to display our pages and holding the computer vertically like a book. Well, with a iBook (or MacBook) and Preview, we can !

New in Panther is the feature to display a PDF document in full screen. And a PDF document on OS X mean any kind of document, since you can create a PDF out of any application using the Print command (and Preview). Plus, many manuals, technical books and tutorials are already PDF documents.

In Preview, you first need to rotate the document. You can do this using Rotate Left under Show menu (this option is under the Tools menu in rencent versions of Preview). Then choose Full Screen under the same menu (or Slideshow under the View menu in recent versions). To move from page to page, you can use the Up and Down arrows, or just click the Trackpad to get to the next page. Remember to press Escape to exit the full screen mode

Want something that will look more like printed paper and will be easier for the eyes ? Using System Preferences, you can add a calibration for your monitor that will make you screen look just perfect for reading. Go in the Display preferences, choose the Color tab, and click the Calibrate button. You can make the Expert Mode active (extra option at the bottom of the screen) to adjust your monitor colors precisely, but for a quick setting, let this option off. Click Continue twice (you’ll want to leave the first panel as it is) and choose D50 on the Select target white point panel. This will turn you screen in a warm yellowish white that is easier for the eyes, especially for reading. Click Continue, and name your profile to something like “reading”. You’ll be able to switch back to this profile or choose another profile from the Display preference panel in the future.

Notice that you can interrupt your reading session at any time and go to another application by using Command-Tab or Exposé. When doing late readings on my computer using this method, I sometimes find myself grabbing the right corner of the screen and trying to turn the page ! It feels just like a book !

 The iBook as a book

Learn about HFS volumes journaling

Wednesday, November 19th, 2003

An interesting article was published on the journaling of HFS volumes, which is now activated by default on Panther. Offering a protection for data and ensuring a faster restart in the event of crashing, this technology can sometimes slow down a volume which would be used by audio and video application. The article suggests activating it only on the boot volume.

File Journaling on OSX Panther Explained