What's your favorite "pure OS X" trick?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jsw, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    There are lots of fun things you can do with your Mac that don't involve any 3rd party software. There are tip sites everywhere, but I often learn things here that I haven't seen elsewhere (or have forgotten) - things like the control-option-?-8 trick for alternating between color and inverse B&W screens, turning on spell checking inside browser boxes using Spelling->"Check Spelling as You Type", etc. What are some of your favorite things to do that are pure OS X (i.e., you could do them with an out-of-the-box Mac and no additional software)?

    Here's one of my favorites:

    I like to update my desktop with pics I find on the web. In particular, ones I find on the APOD site (be sure to click on the pic on the page to get to the usually larger version).

    As is common knowledge, one can select a folder of images and rotate through them (System Preferences...->Desktop & Screen Saver->Desktop, choose folder, select the "Change picture:..." checkbox).

    This easily lends itself to creating an image folder on your desktop (or several, if you want different categories), then dragging images to the appropriate folder and eventually seeing them show up in the rotation.

    Sometimes, though, you want to be able to set the desktop picture immediately to a new one. This is easy in Windows - but the pics get stashed in a non-intuitive place. To be more user friendly - i.e., to let you drag the picture into the folder of your choice - use Applications->AppleScript->Script Editor to create an AppleScript containing:
    on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving added_items
    		tell application "Finder"
    			set desktop picture to the last item in added_items
    		end tell
    	end try
    end adding folder items to
    Save the script to "/Library/Scripts/Folder Action Scripts".

    Enable Folder Actions (control or right click on a folder and select "Enable Folder Actions" - this is global for all folders).

    Associate the above script with your images folder (control or right click on the appropriate folder and select "Attach a Folder Action...").

    Drag an image to the folder and it'll appear as your Desktop.

    Just did this with my APOD folder. When I "rotate" images, it works as it did before. When I stop rotating, it immediately sets to picture to the latest one I dragged to it.
  2. keithpetey macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2004
    the voice recognition. right now i have it set up to play music, open applications, control the volume, and such. all i have to say is "play song" and then the name of the song. not sure if this is just osx but its something that anyone can do out of the box if they turn it on.
  3. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    Exposé show all windows. Wows 'em every time, especially when you have 10+ open at once...
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    I like being able to zoom in and out at the touch of a (couple) buttons. I'll be showing someone a product or something on a web page and the picture is too small. So I hit Cmd-Opt-+ and bam, it zooms in on the cursor. (This assumes you've set your accessibility preferences correctly.)
  5. dsharits macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2004
    The People's Republic of America
    I like using Exposé too. It's great to see a Windows user speechless as I maneuver the window sizes and locations with the push of a button. They're always like, "Woah, how'd you do that?" I've even heard, "Wow, what program are you using and where can I download it?" from a PC boy.
  6. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2004
    I reconfigured mine to be F8 zoom in and F7 to zoom (incrementally) out. Gotta love Exposé though, and Shift F9/10/11 - thats cool. I keep hitting F9 of F10 on my work PC and then cursing it :p
  7. asphalt-proof macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2003
    I do the very same thing. I will often move my cursor to the lower rt hand corner to show all windows and am befuddled for a moment when nothing happens. :p
  8. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I love Expose too, heck, who doesn't?

    Ive got 3 of the buttons on my MX700 mouse to do the Expose actions, really convienent.
  9. iindigo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Not really sure about that, but opening a windows virus on purpose and nothing happening while the Windows users stands in awe is pretty darn fun :D
  10. SFVCyclone macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2005
    Pasadena, Ca
    my favorite is command-shift-4-space bar a little camera shows up to take a picture of only 1 window and makes a pdf of it, it is extremely usefull for me at work.
  11. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO

  12. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    expose, my life is now complete. I have it set so that when i move the mouse to the top right corner it shows my dekstop and the bottom right shows all windows. :cool:
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I just set up an album in iPhoto called "Desktop Wallpapers" and put all the pictures I want to use as Wallpapers into that album. You can go into System Prefs and set your wallpaper to use that album in iPhoto to shuffle through. I have around 40 photos getting shuffled randomly every 5 minutes, so my screensaver changes every 5 minutes.
  14. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Feb 20, 2004
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    I'm a simple man with simple tastes

    power-W : Window closes
    power-Q : Quit application entirely

    Every time I go back to Windows it amazes me how something so useful and simple has not been taken up.

    Like I say, simple man.
  15. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    Where's the "power" key?
  16. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004
    Thanks! I don't know why I hadn't thought about doing something like this before; it's a great idea! :D

    That's what I was going to post. :) I love the way you see it zoom in / out of the image, it's almost as slick as exposé.

    I find it really useful with my Powerbook either when I just want to sit back and read something, or when I'm showing someone a page, and they're not sitting in front of the machine.
  17. lordmac macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2004
    Santa Cruz, CA

    I think he means the command key(? key).
    You can learn many of these command plus something key shortcuts just pull down any menu and usually next to everything its has the keyboard short cut keys. :)
  18. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Feb 20, 2004
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    The Apple-logo'd squiggley one. I tend to call it the 'power' key when I'm stood upright with my fists pressed firmly on my hips and my chin pointing towards the Gods... it adds to the dramatic effect.
  19. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
  20. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040


    Sep 13, 2003
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    What I do that wows a lot of people is Have expose rigged up to my intellimouse. The left and right buttons as well as clicking the scroll wheel don't have much use for me so in every application except for X and Safari I have them mapped to expose. Wows even people who've seen expose
  21. thequicksilver macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2004
    People get very impressed with spring loaded folders.

    Also, bizarrely, with the cmd-tab task switcher. Not just the switcher itself, you understand, but the way it can be used. If you don't know what I mean, try this:

    • Hold down cmd until I say stop.
    • Hit tab (->|) once.
    • Move your mouse around the different icons.
    • Hit tab to move to the next icon on the right.
    • Hit ` to move to the next icon on the left.
    • Or just use the left/right cursor keys.
    • Hit Q to quit the app the little rounded rectangle's on.
    • Let go of cmd when you're bored.

    I find this absolutely invaluable to me, so much so that alt-tab on my PC is completely pedestrian in comparison. It just seems logical to me that this kind of switcher capable of holding loads of apps (or windows in Windows' case) should be easily manipulatable, and not just require hitting tab several times.
  22. vouder17 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2003
    for a super cool effect hold shift and then minimise,expose...anything that moves windows....super cool


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