Category: Mac & OS X

Fixing various power issues on MacBook/MacBook Pro

If you find your MacBook or MacBook Pro having various power issues such as:

  • backlighting
  • hard disk spin down
  • sleep or wake issues
  • battery issues
  • trackpad control

the first thing you should try doing (after simply restarting your computer to see if that fixes it) is resetting the System Management Controller (SMC). The SMC is a chip on the logic board which is responsible for power management of the computer. Issues can and do pop up that render the settings in the SMC unusable, resulting in problems with the above mentioned items. Many times, resetting the SMC is all that is necessary to fix the problems. To reset the System Management Controller on the MacBook or MacBook Pro, do the following:

  1. Turn the computer off
  2. Disconnect the AC Adapter and remove the computer’s battery
  3. Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds, then release it
  4. Reconnect the battery and AC adapter
  5. Press the power button to restart the computer

The process is similar for MacBook Air users, as well as users of older Apple laptops which use the Power Management Unit (PMU) rather than the SMC. You can view this Apple support document for more info.

Free Christmas Mail stationery pack

iPresentee offers free Christmas Mail Stationery templates designed especially for the Christmas holiday to use with OSX’s Mail application. The Christmas Stationery package includes ten wonderful templates: Santa Claus Letter, New Year’s Day, Christmas Wreath, Merry Christmas, Gift, Snowman, Christmas Letter, Christmas Socks, Santa Claus and Christmas Tree. Christmas is on its way and there’s a good cheer everywhere. The Christmas Mail Stationery templates comes with an installer to make sure the templates end up in the right place and would be displayed in Apple Mail New Message Stationery menu automatically. Mail Stationery templates requires any Macintosh computer running Mac OS X 10.5 with bundled Mail application.

Adjust the volume of the Mac startup chime

Ever wish you could mute the startup sound your Mac makes when it boots up? At the very least, perhaps you want to turn the volume down a bit on the startup chime? You’ll want to take a look at StartupSound.prefPane, from Arcana Research. The system prefs pane does two things, it either mutes the sound, or allows you to adjust the volume. That’s it. Thankfully, it does those two simple tasks perfectly, and absolutely FREE! You can download StartupSound.prefPane here. Be sure to grab the latest version if you use an Intel Mac.

Create desktop printers for faster PDF printing

If you generally print a lot of PDF files at a time, it can be tedious to open each file individually and deal with the print dialog box for each file. Thankfully, OSX provides you with a faster way. Open the Print & Fax preference pane from OSX’s System Preferences icon in your Dock and select the printer you’d like to use to print the PDF files. Once the printer is selected, drag it to your desktop, which will create a Desktop Printer.

Desktop printer icon

Creating a desktop printer in OS X

Now, when you’re ready to print your PDF files, simply drag & drop them all on the newly created Desktop Printer icon and a printer dialog box will open and allow you to print the files. The great part of this tip is that neither Preview nor Acrobat Reader will open in order to do the work. This tip works with all file types, except that PDFs are the only file type that doesn’t require the host application to actually open in order to print.

Save time with Firefox 3 keyboard shortcuts

Firefox keyboard shortcuts

Firefox keyboard shortcuts

Firefox 3 has a lot of timesaving shortcuts if you just get used to using them. Below is a collection of standard keyboard shortcuts for the Mac OSX version of Firefox 3.

Back Cmd + [
Cmd + Left Arrow
Forward Cmd + ]
Cmd + Right Arrow
Shift + Delete
Home Option + Home
Reload Page Cmd + R
Reload (override cache) Cmd + Shift + R
Stop Loading Page Cmd + .
Current Page
Go to Bottom of Page End
Cmd + Down Arrow
Go to Top of Page Home
Cmd + Up Arrow
Move to Next Frame F6
Move to Previous Frame Shift + F6
Page Info Cmd + I
Page Source Cmd + U
Print Cmd + P
Save Page As Cmd + S
Zoom In Cmd + + (plus key)
Zoom Out Cmd + – (minus key)
Zoom Reset to 100% Cmd + 0 (zero key)
Find Cmd + F
Find Again Cmd + G
Find as You Type Link ‘ (apostrophe key)
Find as You Type Text /
Find Previous Shift + F3
Web Search Cmd + K
Windows & Tabs
Close Tab Cmd + W
Close Window Cmd + Shift + W
Move Tab Left
(when tab is focused)
Cmd + Left Arrow
Cmd + Up Arrow
Move Tab Right
(when tab is focused)
Cmd + Right Arrow
Cmd + Down Arrow
Move Tab to Beginning
(when tab is focused)
Cmd + Home
Move Tab to End
(when tab is focused)
Cmd + End
New Tab Cmd + T
New Window Cmd + N
Next Tab Ctrl + Tab
Cmd + Opt + Right Arrow
Cmd + }
Ctrl + Page Down
Previous Tab Ctrl + Shift + Tab
Cmd + Opt + Left Arrow
Cmd + {
Ctrl + Page Up
Open Address in New Tab
(from Location Bar or Search Bar)
Opt + Return
Undo Close Tab Cmd + Shift + T
Select Tab ( 1 to 8 ) Cmd + # ( 1 to 8 )
Select Last Tab Cmd + 9
Bookmark All Tabs Cmd + Shift + D
Bookmark This Page Cmd + D
Bookmarks Cmd + B
Downloads Cmd + J
History Cmd + Shift + H
Clear Private Data Cmd + Shift + Del
Select Location Bar Cmd + L
Select or Manage Search Engines
(when Search Bar is focused)
Opt + Up Arrow
Opt + Down Arrow
Full Screen Browsing F11
Delete Selected Autocomplete Entry Shift + Delete
Mouse Shortcuts
Back Opt + Scroll Down
Forward Opt + Scroll Up
Scroll Line-by-Line Cmd + Scroll
New Tab Double Click on Tab Bar

Quickly convert your .eps or .ai files to PDF without Illustrator

PreviewIf you need to send a copy of your Adobe Illustrator .eps logo to a client or someone without the ability to use .eps files, you probably want to send them a PDF. Don’t waste time firing-up Adobe Illustrator, Apple has made it easy with Preview (check your application folder). Preview is obscenely fast at opening PDFs, .jpgs, .eps and even .ai files. Open your .eps or .ai file in Preview and save the file. Preview will automatically choose PDF as the file format. The great thing about doing this is that the resulting PDF file can still be opened and edited in Adobe Illustrator.

Stuffit Deluxe 2009 takes advantage of Leopard features

Years ago, back in the days before OSX, file compression on the Mac meant using applications like DiskDoubler and Aladdin Stuffit. Stuffit was a staple of every Mac computer. Many applications required the Expander app just to install, and virtually any file you downloaded off the Internet for the Mac was compressed using the Stuffit format. You could make the argument that it was the single most popular non-Apple application on the Mac for years. Aladdin (later known as Allume) sold Stuffit to Smith Micro Software in 2005, at which time it was still the dominant file compression method on the Mac OS. Flash-forward to present day and we now have file compression built-in to the OS, via BOMArchiveHelper’s .zip format. So you might be wondering why you would need anything more. Read on to find out why. (more…)

Full screen Quick Look keyboard shortcut

One of my favorite features of Leopard (OSX 10.5) is Quick Look. Normally, selecting a file in the Finder and hitting the Spacebar invokes a small Quick Look window with a preview of your file. If you need a larger view of the file, you normally have to drag the corner to make the Quick Look window larger. But hitting Command + Option + Y will automatically open your Quick Look preview in full screen mode.

Extensis releases Suitcase Fusion 2

Extensis has released the newest version of our single-user font manager for Mac OS X, Suitcase Fusion 2. This release contains a whole slew of new features that we’re sure that you’ll find helpful and fun to use. Fusion 2 is compatible with the recently released Adobe Creative Suite 4 and Quark XPress 8. The following are the most prominent new features in Suitcase Fusion 2.

Modern technology

  • Built for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)
  • Based on the Universal Type Client code base.
  • The Suitcase Fusion Core™ keeps fonts active even when the Suitcase Fusion 2 is not running.


  • Auto-activation plug-in installation is now a breeze with the Plug-in install options built into Suitcase Fusion 2.
  • To ensure a trouble-free workflow, the auto-activation plug-ins contain new features, including the ability to create document sets as well as check document fonts.
  • Selective global auto-activation allows you to select which applications to have Suitcase Fusion 2 automatically activate fonts.
  • Updated auto-activation plug-ins now include an XTension for QuarkXPress 8 and plug-ins for Adobe InDesign and Illustrator CS4.

Font organization

  • Improved search options allow you to quickly locate fonts using very granular font information.
  • Smart Sets dynamically filter and display fonts based on your own custom settings.
  • Font libraries allow you to organize fonts the way that you want.
  • A portable Font Vault allows you to quickly backup your entire font collection, easily switch to an entirely different database, and even move your Font Vault to another drive.

System font management

  • Improved system font management features help you avoid font conflicts and other problems with system fonts.
  • Easy identification helps you disable unnecessary fonts in your system folders.

Previewing fonts

  • Enhanced font preview options, including automatic encoding detection for most Roman and non-Roman languages.
  • Floating previews allow you to preview fonts as transparent document overlays.
  • Easily customized previews allow you to quickly display preview text as you want it.
  • Glyph View Window allows you to inspect the glyphs of a selected font and compare them to any other font in Suitcase Fusion 2.

Font corruption checking and repair

  • Enhanced font corruption detection and repair.

For more info, check out the Extensis website.

Top 10 Mac screen savers

UsingMac has put together a spectacular list of the top 10 Mac screen savers, which features several Flurry-like savers, an alteration of the OSX RSS saver, a Digg saver, and the incredible 3D photo wall saver seen in the screenshot above. I’ve tried them all, and found them all to work very well. Screensavers are more eye-candy than anything else, as screen burn-in really hasn’t been an issue for many years. All the screensavers on the list are free!