Three quick browser tips

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.

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Make Mail Dock badge show important messages only

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:

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Stop the Lion "rubber-band" bounce

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:

defaults write -g NSScrollViewRubberbanding -int 0
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Quickly share iOS photos with your Mac

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.

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Copy events, delete Mail messages

Couple of quick ones today:

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.

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8

Organize videos by groups in iTunes

In iTunes, there are two ways to categorize your videos: as either Movies or TV Shows. Movies are displayed individually, but TV shows are organized in groups, as they would be if they were episodes in the same show. One anonymous Mac OS X Hints reader takes advantage of this to organize all kinds of videos, regardless of their actual source. He uses his Movies library for very large files and puts everything else in TV Shows. So, for example, in his TV Shows library, he has groups called YouTube Videos, Home Videos, Work Stuff, and so on.

To create a group, first make sure both TV Shows and Movies are visible in the iTunes source list. If they're not, go to iTunes' General preferences and check Movies and TV Shows in the Show section.

Next, import your new video into iTunes by dragging it to the source list where these libraries display. In most cases, iTunes will categorize it as a movie. In the Movies library, select the video and press Command-I to display its Info window. On the Options tab choose TV Show from the Media Kind drop-down.

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12

How to delete the Dock delay

You probably know that you can configure the Dock to hide itself when you aren’t using it. (If not: Go to System Preferences -> Dock, and select Automatically Hide and Show the Dock, or Control-click on the separator in the Dock itself and select Turn Hiding On.) You may also have noticed that, if the Dock is hidden and you then move your cursor to the edge of the screen to make it reveal itself, there’s a slight delay before the Dock slides back into view. The delay may not be that long—maybe half a second—but it does irritate some users.

If you’re one of them, OS X Hints reader bahoom found that a simple Terminal command can make the Dock appear instantly. In Terminal, run the following command: defaults write com.apple.Dock autohide-delay -float 0 && killall Dock. That will change the setting and relaunch the Dock. When you move your cursor to the edge of your screen now, the Dock should reappear immediately.

If you ever want to restore the default delay, go back to Terminal and enter the command: defaults delete com.apple.Dock autohide-delay && killall Dock.

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