Category: Mac & OS X

Accepting an invitation on a specific Apple iCal calendar

If you have multiple calendars set up in Apple’s iCal application and you receive an invite from a friend, family member or client, you can easily decide which calendar you want the invite to be placed in. Simply hold down the Accept button, rather than just clicking on it, to get a pop-up menu which allows you to choose which iCal calendar it should be placed in.

Get the most out of your laptop battery

If you know the right tricks, you can maximise the lifespan and battery life of you MacBook or MacBook Pro. The way you charge the battery, the conditions is which you use and store your laptop and the way you have your energy saver preferences set all have an effect on how long your battery will last and how well if performs. The OSX System Profiler can help you assess the condition of your battery’s current health.

MacOSXTips recently published Get the most out of your laptop battery, which covers some best-practices for maintaining a healthy battery life on your MacBook and MacBook Pro. My recommendations are to power-off your laptop overnight, cycle the battery completely each time you use it – which means to run the laptop on battery power until it’s down to at least 20% charge before you plug it in to recharge, and make sure you have the battery optimization set to “Better Battery Life” in the Energy Saver system prefs pane. And if you plan on not using the laptop for a few days, such as a vacation or long weekend, take the battery out of the laptop completely after powering it off. The laptop battery only has so many recharge cycles in its life, recharging the battery when it’s still at 80% needlessly uses up a cycle, thereby shortening the life of the battery. Using the tips provided in the article will go a long way in prolonging your investment.

See exact time in iTunes playlist status bar

By default, iTunes displays the approximate playing time of the selected playlist in the bottom status bar – along with the number of songs and file size of the list of songs (See image below). This is fine most of the time. But what about when you’re trying to find the perfect combination of songs to use as a soundtrack for your home movie, etc.? How long exactly is 5.9 hours? Click the info in the status bar with your mouse and the status display switches from relative to exact time (as seen above).

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.

Navigation
Back Cmd + [
Cmd + Left Arrow
Delete
Forward Cmd + ]
Cmd + Right Arrow
Shift + Delete
Home Option + Home
Reload Page Cmd + R
F5
Reload (override cache) Cmd + Shift + R
Stop Loading Page Cmd + .
Esc
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)
Search
Find Cmd + F
Find Again Cmd + G
F3
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
Tools
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
Miscellaneous
Select Location Bar Cmd + L
F6
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…)