Tagged: Lion

Drag & drop between OS X Full Screen apps just got easier

I get to try a LOT of applications and utilities, but few of them remain installed on my Macs for the long haul. This is especially true of small shareware utilities that tend to solve a relatively minor issue that few people even consider a problem to begin with.

When I tried Yoink, from Eternal Storms Software, I suspected this might be yet another one of those apps that was more trouble than the problem it attempted to solve. After using it for a short while, I was happy to find this was not the case at all.

When Lion shipped with the Full Screen feature, I found it to be cumbersome to use all the time because it limited drag & drop access between the Finder and apps that were in Full Screen mode. The problem for me was, I was really starting to enjoy using Full Screen with as many apps that would support it. Yoink solves the single, very annoying problem.


Yoink places a small window on your screen as soon as you start dragging a file which you can then drop the file on to store it. You can drag multiple files to the window if you wish. Then when you’re ready to drop the files into another program, you simply drag them out of the window. Normally, Yoink’s window lives on the screen edge, but you can configure it to appear just next to your mouse cursor when you start dragging a file.

I find Yoink particularly useful when I want to attach several files located in multiple locations in the Finder into Mail when it’s in Full Screen mode.

You can view a brief video of Yoink in action, then purchase Yoink here for only $2.99. If you’re unsure if Yoink will work for you, there is a 15-day trial available.

Reset your OS X Lion user password

OS X LionPrior to OS X Lion, the OS X installation DVD included a password reset utility. With Lion there is no install DVD, and no easily recognizable way to reset a password for a user account. Don’t worry, if you ever forget your password for a Lion user account, there is still a way to reset it; in fact it’s much easier than booting from a slow DVD.

Restart your Mac while holding Command + R. This will boot you into the Recovery HD Utility. Launch the Terminal from the Utility menu at the top and type resetpassword and hit enter. The Reset Password dialog box will appear where you can choose which user account password you wish to reset, and allow you to enter a new password and hint.

Remove Lion’s Mission Control animation

OS X LionFor users with the latest & greatest Macs, the animations Lion added are probably barely noticeable. But for those of us running it on older Macs, it’s painfully slow and quite annoying. Thankfully, much like removing the new Mail animation I wrote about last week, you can remove the animation completely.

Launch the Terminal app and type the following and hit Return after:
defaults write com.apple.dock expose-animation-duration -float 0

Before the change takes affect, you need to restart OS X’s Dock, which you do by typing the following in the Terminal and hitting Return:
killall Dock

Thanks to OSXDaily for the tip, and a few more adjustments you can make to Mission Control’s animation, including restoring it to its original state.

Get rid of the new window animation in Lion Mail for a speed boost

OS X MailAmong many of the changes to the Mail application that Lion brought was an animation when you reply or create a new mail window. It’s a nice touch, but on an older Mac such as my original Mac Pro, it becomes a slow, annoying, and frivolous feature. Here’s how you can turn it off.

Fire up the Terminal and copy/paste the following text (and hit return):
defaults write com.apple.Mail DisableReplyAnimations -bool YES

This will turn off the animation when opening new windows in Mail. If you ever want it back, simply replace YES at the end with NO.

Control multiple Macs with one keyboard and mouse

teleport lets you use a single mouse and keyboard to control several Macs. Simply reach an edge of your screen, and your mouse teleports to your nearby Mac, which also becomes controlled by your keyboard.

The pasteboard can be synchronized, and you can even drag & drop files between your Macs. You can make a donation to the developer if you find teleport useful in your workflow.


Control multiple Macs with one keyboard and mouse

teleport features:

  • keyboard bindings: you can assign a keyboard shortcut to a controlled Mac to directly jump to it.
  • host specific options: you can define the switching and sharing options per host, to have different settings.
  • much improved file transfers: a lot faster, specially when transferring folders, no more size limitation, supports multiple files.
  • full multi-screens support: all screens of shared Macs are now visible, so pairing a secondary screen is much easier than before.
  • full gestures support, as well as volume controls.
  • host location indicator: when positioning a host around your Mac, a red line appear at the location where the switch will occur.
  • sound notification: teleport can play a sound when it switches to another Mac.
  • host appearance indicator: when a host comes online, a line will flash on the corresponding border to notify that you can now control it.

Download teleport here.

Open files using OS X’s Quick Look feature

Quick Look is a handy feature of Mac OS X that allows you to preview a file simply by hitting the Space Bar while the file is selected. A large preview window opens allowing you to see what the file is (provided the file format is supported by OS X.

Open files with Quick Look

Quick Look can open files with a simple mouse shortcut

With OS X Lion, you can open the image by clicking the small button in the upper right corner of the Quick Look window, but it’s much easier to simply double-click the Quick Look window. Not a huge time-saver, but every click saved is a click earned, I always say.

Paste text without formatting in OS X Lion

If you want to copy formatted text from one document into a new one but don’t want to keep the formatting, you can do so with a simple keyboard shortcut.

Simply copy the text as you normally would (Command + C), then move to where you want to paste the text and hit Command + Shift + Option + V. Your text will be pasted with no formatting whatsoever.

This is particularly useful when copying colored text with one font and pasting it into a new document that uses completely different fonts and colors.

The problem with Mac OS X Lion’s Auto Save feature

Auto SaveMac OS X 10.7 Lion’s Auto Save feature is one of the highlights of the operating system revision, especially for inexperienced users. It removes the need to remember to press Command-S (or take a mouse trip to choose File > Save) in applications that support the feature. Lion automatically and continuously saves every change to disk. However, one casualty of the feature is the age-old “Save As” command, used to create and then work on a new file with the same contents as the original. Save As has been replaced by a cumbersome duplicate-and-then-save behavior.

Tidbits goes into detail about how Auto Save works, and the problem with it replacing the ages-old Save As command. I’m not a fan of Auto Save, which is to say I absolutely hate it. I hope Apple makes it an option I can turn off in future OS revisions, but I suspect we’re seeing the beginning of the end of the file system methodology we’ve known for years. (more…)

Firefox 9 update brings Swipe gestures for Lion users

Mozilla has FINALLY added Mac OS X Lion gesture support in Firefox. Although, Firefox 9 only adds two gestures (forward and back), they are certainly the most popular.

Firefox 9

Still not making the feature list (below), though, are numerous other Lion (and even Leopard) features that Chrome & Safari browsers have, such as PDF viewing support and native full screen. With the plethora of extensions now available for Chrome, there’s little reason to use the more bloated Firefox browser right now.