Posts Tagged ‘command key’

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…)

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.


Visually mark a quoted sentence from any text using Mac OS X PDF capacities

Tuesday, January 13th, 2004

Sometimes, when doing a report on a given subject, you need to quote an official text. This has to be done textually in many cases, but if you plan to make a nice graphical presentation for your paper or else if you decided to make a short documentary using iMovie, you’ll probably want to quote the source more visually, highlighting the sentence your reader should read. It helps focusing on a part of the text, while preserving the exact look of the original document, thus allowing to put the quotation in perspective from the rest of the document. The result should then look like this :

Visual quote example

Continue reading to learn how to use Panther’s PDF capacities to do this.


Quickly compare a Web page before and after its update in Safari

Friday, January 9th, 2004
  • Level: average (possibly useful to Web developers)
  • Required: Safari

When Web page content changes (either because the author updated it or you updated it yourself while building your own site), you can always use Reload to show and updated version of the page. But after you reload the page, you can’t go back to display the page like it was before, so if the content changed and you want to access the information that previously appeared on page, or if your goal was to compare the new page and the old one, then you are out of luck !

But if you use Safari, you are lucky because there is something you can do instead of using the Reload button. First, click in the URL field (it is not necessary to select the address). You can always use cmd-L to do this. Then hold the Command key and press Return. Voilà ! If you use tabs, the updated page will show up in a new tab, and you can go back and forth between those two tabs (with cmd-shift-right arrow and cmd-shift-left arrow if you prefer using the keyboard). If you don’t use tabs, it’ll open up in a separate window.

Notice that you can do the same by dragging the URL on the right of the last tab in the tabs bar. This last trick works for any URL, even those found on Web pages.

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.


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