It's annoying that there's no easy way to create new reminders in Mountain Lion without launching the Reminders app itself. But an anonymous Hints reader did figure out a way to do so with Automator. The only hitches: All reminders you create with this workflow must go to the same list, with the same priority, and you can't automatically assign a due date.
Open Automator and opt to create a new service. At the top of the Automator scripting pane, choose No Input from the Service Receives drop-down and Any Application as the In option. Next, open the the Text actions library, choose Ask for Text and drag it to the right-hand part of the Automator window. Enter a prompt, such as Enter a Reminder. From the Mail library, choose New Reminders Item and drag that below Ask for Text. Choose a list to which you want to add the item. You can select a priority, but you probably don't want to select a Due Date. That done, save the service.
Now open the Keyboard preference pane in System Preferences, open the Keyboard Shortcuts tab, and find the Services section on the left. Select the service you just created and assign a shortcut to it. Now, you can hit that keyboard combo from any Mac app, and you should get a dialog box prompting you to enter a reminder.
Savvy Preview users know they can do some interesting things to PDFs—convert them to black-and-white or sepia tone, increase or decrease their lightness, and more—by selecting File -> Export, then selecting one of the Quartz filters in the resulting dialog box. Reader zpjet is one of those users, but he was never satisfied with results of the Reduce File Size filter (which he'd use when trying to make PDFs small enough to send by e-mail): It made them too small and made the graphics fuzzy.
After a little digging around, he found that these filters are located in the folder /System/Library/Filters, and that they're XML files that are easily edited with TextEdit (or any other text editor). Examining the file for the Reduce File Size filter, he found out why it didn't work for him: Two of the parameters—Compression Quality and ImageSizeMax—were just too low (0.0 and 512, respectively).
So he copied this file to his Desktop, made two copies of it, and then renamed all three: Reduce File Size Good, Reduce File Size Better, and Reduce File Size Best. Then he changed the parameters of each file: 0.25, 0.5 and 0.75 for Compression Quality (respectively) and 842, 1684, and 3508 for ImageSizeMax (ditto). (The first is A4-size at 72dpi, the second A4 at 144dpi, and the third A4 at 300dpi).
Have you ever been annoyed to find that your Mac won’t go to sleep when you tell it to? Reader wjv found that, in Mac OS X 10.6 and later, there’s a simple way of finding out what’s keeping your Mac awake. To do so, run the following command in your Terminal: pmset -g assertions .
In the first section of output, you’ll see the status of two kernel assertions (essentially, assumptions the system makes about the state of your system) named PreventSystemSleep and PreventUserIdleSystemSleep. An accompanying status of 1 for either of these means that it is currently triggered. For example, here’s what I see when I run that command on my Mac mini:
A new operating system means new reader tips, and we’ve been getting plenty of them for Mountain Lion. Here are two quick ones for two of the most popular OS X apps.
First, if you previously used iChat to send and receive screen shots or graphics, you may have used Quick Look to view them. More specifically, if you had the iChat File Transfers window open, you could click on an inline graphic that someone sent you in a chat and press the space bar to preview it with OS X's built-in file-viewer. In Mountain Lion’s Messages app, this no longer works. You can, however, click on the graphic right in the Messages window, then press the space bar to view the image in Quick Look.
Second, you no longer need to right-click and summon the Edit Name dialog to rename a bookmark in Safari's Bookmarks Bar. Now, in Safari 6, you can just click and hold the bookmark; the name will become editable, so you can rename it then and there. This applies to Safari 6 as a whole, which is provided with Mountain Lion, but which is also available for Mac OS X 10.7.
As you’ve probably heard, Safari 6 has a new combined URL and search field. If you type a search term into that field then press Return, you’ll get a Google page with search results. But, oddly, the URL for that Google search won’t appear in that search-address field; instead, the search term itself will remain there. This can be frustrating, because sometimes you want the URL for the Google results page, either to save or to share.
Macworld Senior Editor Dan Frakes recently tweeted a quick AppleScript that enables you to get that Google search URL. Many Tricks developer Peter Maurer suggested an improvement to the script, then Jordan Kay posted a final, one-line version of it. The sum of their collaboration: Run the following script and it will save the URL for the frontmost Safari tab to the clipboard; from there you can paste it wherever you want.
tell application "Safari" to set the clipboard to URL of current tab of window 1 as string