When you use the volume controls on a Mac to increase or decrease the sound coming from your speakers, those levels increment in whole steps on a scale from 1 to 10: Press the Up Volume button once, for example, and the volume goes up one step out of ten.
But in versions of OS X prior to 10.7, it was possible to adjust the volume in smaller increments: If you held down Shift and Option before pressing the Volume keys on your keyboard, you could adjust the volume in quarter-steps instead of whole ones. For some reason, Apple removed this ability in OS X 10.7. But reader aGr[j5(6WU noticed that it has returned in 10.7.4—a change not mentioned in the release notes.
In addition to using this Shift-Option combination to control the volume more finely, you can also use it when you adjust the brightness on your Mac. Press Shift-Option, then press one of the brightness keys on a Mac keyboard, and you’ll notice that the brightness changes in quarter-steps. This is nice if you find your display is just a bit too bright or too dim.
Whether you're preparing a presentation or how-to documents for your staff, there may come a time when you want access to a program's graphics. You may especially be curious about the images in applications like Apple’s Keynote or Pages, which include plenty of graphical elements in their themes.
Reader LMP showed how you can view all of an application’s graphical resources—its icons, pictures, UI (user interface) elements, and so on—quickly and easily by dragging the application icon onto the Preview icon. When you do this, Preview’s sidebar will show all of these items, and you can click on any one to view it in the main window.
With Keynote, for example, you'll gain access to all the graphical elements in the various themes the program contains; and with Pages, you’ll be able to see all the elements from the program’s templates. These latter programs’ contain thousands of graphics, so it may take you a while to wade through them all. But you might find something interesting.
Have you ever found yourself on a webpage filled with animated GIFs? Annoying, aren’t they? Reader NoOH-Lye noticed that you can pause those GIFs in Firefox just by pressing the Escape key. You can do the same in Safari, but you need to hold the Escape key down to keep them from starting up again.
Safari’s Downloads pop-up (which opens when you click on the button in the upper right corner) offers some interesting features. Some of them you probably know about. (For example, double-clicking a file’s icon in the pop-up opens it, and you can copy a file’s URL by selecting it in the pop-up and pressing Command-C.) But Hints reader Bairnsfather pointed out one I didn’t know about: You can select a downloaded file in the Downloads pop-up and then drag it—to a folder, to your Desktop, or even to a Dock icon to launch it with that application.
Finally, if you’re short on hard drive space, check your copy of Google Chrome. When Hints reader itechguy.com did so, he found that the app was taking up 1.2GB of drive-space. The reason for the bloat: When he looked into the app’s bundle (by right-clicking and choosing Show Package Contents), he found multiple old versions of the app, all which appeared to be nearly identical. After he removed all but the most recent version, the app shrank to 113MB but still worked just fine.
If you get a lot of email, it can be hard to see the important messages among all the others that can clutter your inbox. Reader radek suggests a way to have the badge on Mail's Dock icon display only the count of the emails you really care about—those from people you know.
To set it up, first create a new rule: Go to Mail -> Preferences -> Rules, select the Inbox Rules tab, then click on Add Rule. Name the rule Personal Email then define it:
One thing that annoys many Lion users is "rubber-band scrolling": When you scroll to the end of a page in many apps, the page seems to continue scrolling a bit, then bounces back. OS X Hints reader Havner found a way to remove this effect. (He started from this anonymous hint about turning it off in Xcode, then did some research on Apple's discussion forums to find the answer for other apps as well.)
As with so many other 'hidden' settings in OS X, the fix for this is just a Terminal command away:
There are plenty of ways to transfer photos from an iOS device to a Mac—I generally email them to myself or use Messages—but it can still be a hassle. A tip recently published on The Iconmaster could be my new solution to the problem.
First, make sure you have Photo Stream turned on in each of your iOS devices, as well as on your Mac. Next, go to your ~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub folder. There, you'll see a bunch of subfolders with names like 013184d3f181aa175db7e48b08817861eff8cac25a. (If you aren't sure how to get to the Library folder inside your home folder, here are 18 ways to do so.) Perform a search for image files in this sub folder by typing kind:image in the search field and selecting Sub as the focus of the search. (If you take a lot of photos or screenshots, and only want to find one or the other, you could instead search for png for screenshots or jpg for photos.)
Now save this search as a Smart Folder by clicking on the Save button just below the search field. You can save it wherever you want: by default, it will go in the Saved Searches folder, but you can check the box that says Add to Sidebar if you want quick access from the Finder sidebar. You can also choose a different location for the Smart Folder, such as your Desktop. If you want this folder in the Dock, add it to the Dock by dragging the folder there.
First, Macworld senior editor Dan Frakes recently reported that he'd inadvertently stumbled on an undocumented keyboard shortcut for deleting messages in Mail: Control-H. Hitting that key-combo does the same thing as the Delete key, sending messages to the Trash folder.
That might seem odd at first glance, but isn't really odd at all: Control-H is the Unix keybinding for the Backspace or Delete key. As a result, you can use Control-H to delete text in apps that use the Cocoa text input framework. Its ability to delete messages in Mail is an interesting side-benefit.