Helpful Lion Tweaks

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by RobT, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. RobT, Jul 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011

    RobT macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2007
    Ohio, USA
    Sorry in advance for the long post, but I put together some info. and tweaks about using Lion I though others might find here goes.

    1. Downloading and installing. All I want to say here is that when you download Lion from the app store, before you run the installation, back up the install file. When you run the Lion install app it deletes itself so if you want to make a bootable DVD or flash drive for clean install you may have difficulty getting that original install file back. I’ve seen various ways posted online where it may be possible to re-download Lion but the easiest way is to back it up before you run it. If nothing else it saves you a lengthy re-download.

    2. The Mouse. Three things here. First, you will likely want to speed up the tracking speed (cursor speed), especially if you have the Magic Mouse. I used to use MouseZoom to do this but as of right now, it’s not compatible with Lion. Instead, I use the free MagicPrefs, found here: Second, you will likely want to increase scrolling speed. To do this go to System Preferences>Universal Access>Mouse and Trackpad>Mouse Options and then slide “Scrolling Speed” all the way to the right. I also have scrolling with inertia selected. Third, you will likely want to select and familiarize yourself with gestures. Go to System Preferences>Mouse and/or System Preferences>Trackpad and review what the new gestures do. If the scrolling direction in Lion bothers you, you can uncheck “scroll direction: natural” here. This is personal preference but for those of you who freaked out by the way Lion scrolls, here’s your fix.

    3. Speed up the Mac App Store. If you find the Mac App Store way too slow, here’s the fix. Go to Utilities>Keychain Access>Preferences>Certificates and turn Certificate Revocation List (CRL) to “Off.” You’re welcome.

    4. Launchpad. Two things here. First, if you are like me, you want Launchpad assigned to a hot key (combination of keys, function key, etc.). I kind of think this should have been in place by default, but it wasn’t. There is a trackpad gesture, however (three fingers and thumb “pinch”). In fact, a tip on making the “pinch” more reliable, rest three fingers on the trackpad and then just “swipe in” with your thumb. Anyway, to set the Launchpad to a hotkey, go to System Preferences>Keyboard>Keyboard Shortcuts and click on “Launchpad and Dock.” Then, and here’s the important part, double-click on
    “Show Launchpad.” HOWEVER, not on the words, Show Launchpad, but to the right of it, where the hotkey combo would show up if it was there. You should then be able to assign your hotkey of choice. Another tip, if your setting gets hosed (stops working), there’s a fix for that too. Just click on the restore defaults button and restart your Mac. WHEN YOU RESTART, MAKE SURE TO UNCHECK “Reopen windows when logging back it.” Then go back to System Preferences and assign the hotkey combo again. You should now be good to go. Second, if you have apps on your Launchpad that you don’t want to show up there (in my case I had some kind of Skype installer app I didn’t want showing up) you can get rid of them (hide them) using this fine and free tweak Thanks Andreas Ganske!

    5. Installing Xcode. If you have trouble installing Xcode from the App Store (hey it’s free now, so get coding!) because it says iTunes is still running even though you shut it down, go to System Preferences >Users and Groups>Login Items and highlight iTunes Helper and get it gone by clicking the minus button. If you want it back running after the Xcode install, right click it (control click) and select “Show in Finder.” Make a note of this location and add it back following the Xcode install using the “+” button. If you don’t want the option or feature of having iTunes launch when you plug in your iPhone, iPad, etc., you can just leave it gone…no need to add it back to the list.

    6. Try Safari (again). If you’ve been using other browsers for a while, now is a great time to give Safari a try again. It’s been upgraded and it’s worth another look…’nuff said.

    7. Full-screen apps. Several apps including Mail, iTunes, Safari, iWork, and Reeder (great RSS app available from the app store) have the option to go full-screen. Give full-screen a try. To go full-screen, launch the app then click the arrows in the upper right hand corner. Mouse to the upper right hand corner and click the arrows again to get the app out of full-screen mode (or press esc).

    BONUS TIP from Ropie (below) " full screen mode in Safari for each tab you can drag the scroll bar in away from the edge of the screen. This resizes the other side at the same time to keep things central so has the effect of minimizing the area that a page takes up." Nice!

    8. Slow dock magnification. Not really a fix here. Several Lion users have been complaining about a “laggy” Lion dock when using magnification. You can count me among them. I just shut off the magnification…and I’m glad I did! I actually like it better with magnification turned off. Anyway, if you want to give this a try, go to System Preferences>Dock and uncheck “Magnification.”

    9. Assign an app to a “space” If you used and appreciated “Spaces” like I did in Snow Leopard, pause with me for a moment of silence because spaces is no longer with us. In its place is Mission Control. To assign an app to a space (now called a “Desktop,” go to the desktop you want to use for the app using Mission Control, right click (command click) on the app on the dock you want to assign to this desktop, and select Options>This Desktop.

    10. Reveal the dock when using a full-screen app. Ok, this one is a little tricky to explain but once you get it, you’ve got it. Bring up a full-screen app on the screen. Got it? Ok, now move the mouse pointer to where your dock would normally be (like the bottom of the screen) and keep going until the pointer is off the screen. Once you have it there, move it IN THE SAME DIRECTION AGAIN and the dock should appear. If it didn’t work the first time, give it a few more tries. Once it shows you’ll know what I mean and, like I said, you’ll have it and it will be easy from that point forward.

    11. Make widgets (dashboard) work like they did in Snow Leopard. If you don’t like the way Dashboard shows up as it’s own “space” and would like it to work like it did in Snow Leopard, just go to System Preferences>Mission Control and uncheck “Show Dashboard as a space.”

    12. Add a “space” in Mission Control. To add a space/desktop to Mission Control, launch Mission Control and move your mouse to the upper right hand corner of the screen and click on the “+” sign that will appear.

    Ok, that’s it for now. Hopefully you found at least one thing in this list that helped you out. Good luck
  2. Cheule macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2009
  3. Ropie macrumors regular


    Aug 6, 2007
    Nice list, cheers :)

    Here's one I just discovered to add to point no. 7 - in full screen mode in Safari for each tab you can drag the scroll bar in away from the edge of the screen. This resizes the other side at the same time to keep things central so has the effect of minimising the area that a page takes up.
  4. RobT thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2007
    Ohio, USA
    Good one!! I'll add it to the post above.
  5. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
  6. kriscj macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2011
    Tip #11

    I've had trouble with Tip #11, but I have a workaround, too.

    I'm one of those users with no touch device: mouse and keyboard only, none of this gesture stuff. Thus, for years, I've had Dashboard assigned to F8, going back to Tiger or Leopard or whatever it was that introduced it.

    Unfortunately, if one does tip #11 from the OP, above, hitting F8 still gets you Mission Control, at least for me on several different user accounts. Using a hot corner worked for properly getting me the "old" dashboard, but I hate hotcorners (nothing more distracting than going to grab an icon or something in the corner and blam, the screensaver starts or dashboard pops up).

    The solution was to simply reassign (in system prefs->mission control) the key from F8 down to F7. That made the dashboard work properly on key press without being too much of a change for ye olde muscle memory.

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