Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts

How would you like to print a particular file, but skip the Print command, not open the file, and not even launch an application–yet use your custom print options every time you need to print it? It's easy if your printer has a desktop icon, says Anne Mitchell Green, of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Say you have a file that you need to reprint regularly–for example, a customized envelope layout featuring your logo and address. Every time you need a few envelopes, you have to open the file, select your print options (five copies, best quality, color, and so forth), and send it to print.

Make it easy on yourself. The next time you open the file, select all the print options you want, click Print, and immediately open the desktop printer. Select the print request for that document, and click the red Hold button (it looks like a VCR's pause button). If the print request is at the top of the printer window, you can also put it on hold by dragging it to the bottom of the window.

Now duplicate the print request by pressing command-D or choosing Duplicate from the File menu; you can instead control-click the print request and choose Duplicate from its contextual menu. This makes a copy of the print request, with all of its particular settings. Next, send the duplicate print request to the printer, by dragging it to the top of the printer window or selecting it and clicking the green Resume button (it looks like a VCR's play button). The original print request remains on hold, ready for the next time you need to use it.

You can repeat this procedure for other documents (or for the same document with different print options, such as more or fewer copies) and put as many print requests on hold as you need.

Q. A friend used Aladdin Systems' Spring Cleaning to find duplicate files, and it reported that Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop carried the same plug-ins. Can he delete the duplicate plug-ins from one program? Also, if I keep two versions of the same program in different folders, can I delete duplicate program files from one version's folder?

Cleto Criste
Molokai, Hawaii

A. If you merely remove plug-ins or other files from an application's folder or subfolders, you'll lose the features they provide. But you can replace some Illustrator plug-ins with aliases of Photoshop plug-ins, thus using the same plug-in for both.

The plug-ins you can replace are in two subfolders of each application's main plug-ins folder. In Illustrator, the subfolders are Photoshop Effects and Photoshop Filters. In Photoshop, the subfolders are Effects and Filters. Rather than deal with individual files, you can replace the two subfolders in Illustrator with aliases of the two subfolders in Photoshop.

To be safe, don't immediately delete files or folders you're replacing with aliases. Keep the originals in an archive folder or on a removable disk until you're sure the replacements work correctly.

Aliases of Photoshop plug-in files also work in Adobe PageMaker (where the folder path to the replaceable files is PageMaker: RSRC: Plug-ins: Effects), Macromedia Director (folder path Director: Xtras: Filters), and Macromedia FreeHand (folder path System Folder: Macromedia: Xtras). A similar maneuver works with duplicate plug-ins in Web browsers.

You may run into trouble if you apply this tactic indiscriminately with duplicate auxiliary files in different versions of a program. Files that look like duplicates may not be, and replacing one file with an alias of the other may cause one or both versions of the program to malfunction. If you replace one auxiliary file with the alias of another, absolutely identical one that's housed with a different version of the same application, both versions may not run at the same time. (This restriction may already exist if both versions use the same preferences file from the System Folder.)

Q. Do you know of any software that can let me pick up a color with an eyedropper from anywhere on the screen and then apply the color to my Web page? I'd like to be able to pick up a color in Adobe Photoshop and apply it to a background color in Adobe GoLive and vice versa.

John Tomlinson
New York, New York

A. You don't need any extra software. Simply click the Apple Colors tab or the Real Web Colors tab in GoLive's Color Palette, hold down the option key to turn the pointer into an eyedropper, and drag over any color on the screen; release the mouse button when you have the color you want.

A similar trick works in any application that uses Mac OS 8.X's Color Picker, but instead of option-dragging, you option-click to pick up a color. For example, you can set Photoshop to use the Apple Color Picker (File: Preferences: General: Color Picker). Then click the foreground or background color box in the Photoshop tool bar (or double-click the foreground or background color in the Photoshop Color palette) to bring up the Apple Color Picker, and option-click anywhere on screen.

For more-precise color pickup, use Apple's free DigitalColor Meter 1.2 program (included with Mac OS 8.5–check the Monitors Extras Folder in the Apple Extras folder) or the freeware Coloristic from Bubble Pop Software (download it from ) to measure the HTML value of any displayed color, as shown in "Web Color Pickup." Point to the color you want, and press command-H in DigitalColor Meter to hold the color, or press caps lock in Coloristic to lock onto the color. Copy the color value by pressing command-C. Then switch to GoLive, select the Value field in any of the three Web Colors tabs in the Color Palette, and paste.

TIP Here's a way to get precise measurements of items in Microsoft Word 6 and 98 documents. The ruler in these versions of Word normally gives you an analog reading for the position of tabs, indents, columns, and table cells. If you'd like to set the position of these items digitally, just hold down the option key while dragging a ruler item. A precise numeric display of the distance between adjacent ruler items replaces the normal ruler markings.

Will Pearce
Durham, North Carolina

TIP If you use FileMaker Pro's Web Companion plug-in to publish your database on the Web, be careful what permissions the passwords allow. Even if your database Web pages have no visible means of deleting records (such as a Delete button), you're at risk. Anyone who views your database from a Web browser and uses a password with permission to delete records can easily do so by making a simple change to the URL in the browser window.

For example, when a browser displays a product record from the Shopping Cart database sample included with FileMaker Pro, a URL like the following appears in the browser's address bar or location bar:

If all the passwords for this database allow permission to delete records (or if the database doesn't require passwords), any Web surfer can change "-find" at the end of the URL to "-delete," press return, and delete the record. Protect your database by turning off permission to delete records for all passwords except those of trusted individuals.

Howard Bell
Christchurch, New Zealand

TIP There's no doubt that Mac OS 8.5's Sherlock is a much better searching tool than older systems' Find File feature. However, here's a problem I've had with Sherlock, as well as a slick workaround.

When searching for a file by name in Mac OS 8.command, I fell into the habit of pressing command-F in the Finder and immediately typing the file name before Find File opened. I still use the same process in Mac OS 8.5, but since Sherlock takes even longer to open (at least on my machine), my advance typing ends up in the Search Internet tab or whichever tab opened last. I discovered I could combat this tab-of-the-moment syndrome by using Sherlock's keyboard shortcuts for selecting a tab: command-F for Find File, command-G for Find By Content, and command-H for Search Internet. Now I press command-F twice in the Finder to open Sherlock and preselect the Find File tab. While Sherlock is launching, I type the entire file name, press return, and see the results almost as soon as Sherlock finishes opening.

Jonathan Woolson
Oakland, California

LON POOLE answers readers' questions and selects reader-submitted tips for this monthly column. His latest book is Macworld Mac OS 8.5 Bible (IDG Books Worldwide, 1999).

All shareware and freeware mentioned in Quick Tips is available from the Macworld Online software library ( ).

We pay $25 to $100 for tips selected for publication that discuss how to use Macs, peripherals, or software. Please include your full name and address so that we can send you your payment. Send questions or tips to or to Macworld Quick Tips, 301 Howard St., 16th Fl., San Francisco, CA 94105. All published submissions become the sole property of Macworld. Due to the high volume of mail received, we cannot provide personal responses.

August 1999 Page 93

1 2 Page 1
Shop Tech Products at Amazon