Category: Mac & OS X

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

  • 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!

Extensis Universal Type Server: font management for large groups

Dealing with lots of fonts is no small task. This is especially true in ad agency, design firm and pre-press environments. Not only does everyone need to have the same fonts, but companies tend to want to make sure all the fonts are of high-quality, and legally owned. This is where font server management applications come into play. Where desktop font managers control fonts on an individual user’s machine, a server-based font manager handles it for many users over the network. Extensis Universal Type Server (UTS) is just the tool for the job. UTS picks-up where Suitcase Fusion leaves off, by managing large collections of fonts from a server, and quickly deploying them to users as needed. (more…)

Order your images when viewing with Quick Look

Reader RhymingDesigner sent me a great tip for arranging the order in which OSX displays files using Quick Look that I thought was pretty cool, so I thought I would share it with everyone. You can force Quick Look to display files in a desired order by Command + clicking on files in the Finder in the order you want to view them before hitting the space bar to launch Quick Look. Quick Look will then display the images in the order you clicked on them, rather than the order in which they appear in the Finder window. In the image above, I Command + clicked the stickynotes image first, then the other two files. So even though the Pages document is first in the folder listing, the stickynotes image appears first in Quick Look. Pretty cool!

Dropbox offers free file storage, syncing, and sharing over the Web

There are a ton of file-sharing sites out there. Most all of them force you to use a cumbersome Web interface, and few offer the ease of syncing your files between computers. Dropbox allows you to store, sync and share your files online as easily as drag-and-dropping your files or folders on the Dropbox folder on your desktop (or wherever else you wish to keep it). Files of any kind are automatically uploaded and made available online. Those files are also synced with any other Mac you have Dropbox installed on. But here’s where it gets interesting… (more…)

Glims offers cool Safari customization

There aren’t many plugins or add-ons for Safari, and even less since Leopard’s release. So when a new one comes along, I download it and give it a run-through right away. One that caught my eye this past week is Glims, by MacHangout. Glims adds a myriad of features to Safari, including Tabs, Thumbnails, Full Screen, Search Engines, Search Suggestions, Forms autocomplete on, Dated download folders, Type Ahead, and more. Unlike Saft, perhaps the most popular plugin for Safari, Glims is absolutely free. When I was using Safari as my main browser, I used Saft, and was completely frustrated with the quirky nature of it – as well as the fact that it broke every time Apple made the slightest little change to Safari, including Security Updates. So far Glims has been working perfectly, and has replaced all the features I actually used from Saft.

  • Adds thumbnails to Google.com search results
  • Adds thumbnails to Yahoo.com search results
  • Adds search engines to the default Google search tab
  • Adds full-screen browsing capability
  • Adds Favicons to tab labels
  • Undo “Close Tab” (cmd-z)
  • Re-opens last session when Safari starts
  • Auto-Closes download window
  • Focus last selected tab
  • Always open links in a new tab
  • Type-ahead support (auto cmd-f)
  • Sets the focus on the search field when opening a new window
  • Adds Amazon’s information banner on Google.com search results
  • Adds Amazon’s information banner on Yahoo.com search results
  • Adds a “Max Window Size” menu item to resize the Safari window
  • Forms autocomplete always on
  • Dated download folders
  • Glims works with Safari 3.0.4 (4525.18) or later in Tiger or Leopard. If you’re looking to customize Safari, Glims may be just what the doctor ordered!

    Eliminate shadows in Leopard screenshots

    In the last few months one of my favorite sites, CreativeTechsQuickTips, has blogged two of my previous articles (Easily remove an OSX System Preference Pane, and Copy multiple Photoshop layers into a new document without flattening). Today I’m happy to return the favor with this tip from CreativeTechs on eliminating shadows you get when using Command + Shift + 4 in Leopard screenshots. To do it, simply fire up OSX’s Terminal application (located in Applications/Utilities) and enter the following:

     defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true

    Then logout and log back in, or restart. Your screenshots should now be void of shadows. As noted in the CreativeTechs article, this method works well. But for the really picky designer, the artifacts left around the rounded corners of windows (as seen above) can be a real nuisance. Be sure to check out the link at the bottom of the article that will make a Photoshop Action available which gets rid of the Leopard shadow, and replaces it with a custom layer style which you can turn on and off as you wish. By the way, if you wish to set the shadow defaults back to normal, you can do so by opening the Terminal again and entering the following:

     defaults delete com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow

    Happy shadow hacking!

    Customize OSX’s Mail “Flag” icon

    UsingMac has a nifty tutorial on how to change the little “Flag” icon used in OSX’s Mail application. Using the built-in flag feature (Command + Shift + L) is a great way to bookmark/highlight an email, but for me the flag icon that ships with Mail doesn’t stand out enough. This simple tutorial not only shows you how to customize the icon, but makes the star icons you see in the image above available for download.

    How to easily remove an OS X system preference pane

    TUAW reports on an easy way to remove system preference panes. Simply right-clicking on a system preference pane in the Others section (which are the custom preferences installed by user applications) will present you with the option of removing them, which moves them to the OSX trash. While this is a simple OSX tip, it’s great for those who don’t want to go digging through their various Library folders looking for the actual preference pane manually.