It can be more convenient to organize iOS apps and create folders using iTunes on your Mac than it is to do so on your iPhone or iPad itself. Among other reasons, it's easier to drag icons (including more than one at a time) between screens on your Mac. But a little-known extra feature in iTunes simplifies application organization even further by letting you quickly find the apps you want to drag.
First, connect your device to iTunes. Click on its name in the Devices list of iTunes's sidebar, and then click on the Apps tab. This is the screen where you can organize your apps: There's a list of all the apps you've downloaded on the left, and then representations of your iOS device's home screens on the right.
Here's the hint: Look up at the iTunes search box. When you're on this tab, its default text changes to Search Apps. Start typing the name of a specific app there, and the list on the left will be filtered down to show only apps that match what you've typed. From that filtered list, you can drag the apps you want from the left pane onto one of the iOS home screens on the right.
Now that MobileMe is on the way out, Hints reader vincent860524 wanted to be prepared for its eventual demise. Specifically, he wanted to figure out an alternative way to publish his iWeb projects online. His solution: Store his sites on Dropbox ().
To implement his workaround, open your iWeb project and click on the project's name in the sidebar to get to the Site Publishing Settings. In the Publish To dropdown menu, select Local Folder. Now click on the Publish Site button in iWeb's bottom toolbar. The program will prompt you to choose your local folder. Here's the trick: Choose your Dropbox's Public folder—or, more likely, a subfolder within it that you create just for this site.
Once Dropbox finishes syncing your saved files, go to the Dropbox website and log in. Navigate to your newly-created folder and find the index.html file that iWeb created in it. Click on the blue triangle to the right of the filename, and then choose the Copy Public Link option. You can copy the full URL (which will begin http://dl.dropbox.com/u/), or click on Shorten Link to get a smaller one (which will begin http://db.tt/).
Power users likely already know about Activity Monitor. This handy troubleshooting tool (/Applications/Utilities) can tell you which apps are running on your Mac, along with how much CPU and RAM they're gobbling up. But Activity Monitor packs a lesser-known yet equally useful feature: You can tweak its Dock icon to display live graphs charting what's going on with your computer.
To change Activity Monitor from its default icon, first make sure the utility is running. Control-click (or right-click) on the Activity Monitor icon in the Dock and select the Dock Icon option from the menu. (Alternatively, choose View -> Dock Icon from the app's menu bar.) There, you can choose from five graph icons: CPU Usage, CPU History, Network Usage, Disk Activity, and Memory Usage. After you select one of them, you'll see a continuously updated chart in your Dock, graphing whichever stat you selected. If you quit and relaunch Activity Monitor, the software remembers the chart you selected most recently.
If you'd like to ensure that your preferred chart lives in your Dock full time, Control-click on the Dock icon again and choose Options -> Keep in Dock.
Fortunately, another Hints reader, NaOH, came to her aid. It turns out that, by default, you need to enable text substitutions on an app-by-app basis. Even better, NaOH shared a Terminal command that changes that default setting and makes substitutions available in all apps that support them.
First, create your new shortcut. Launch System Preferences, go to Language & Text, and click the Text tab. Then click on the plus-sign (+) button at the bottom left to create your new shortcut. (For example, Mom would type teh in the Replace field, and the in the With field.) Ensure that your newly-added replacement is checked.
When you drag highlighted text to the desktop, you create a text clipping. And when you drag a URL favicon to the desktop, you create a .webloc file—a document that, when opened, launches the saved URL in your default browser. Hints reader llee frequently uses both clippings and .webloc files, and discovered a clever way to copy those files' contents to the Mac's clipboard quickly.
Start by dragging the clipping or .webloc file towards the upper-right corner of your screen. As you drag, trigger Spotlight's search window. (The default keyboard shortcut is Command-Space.) When you drag the item over Spotlight's text-entry field, your cursor will turn into a green and white plus sign. Release the mouse button, and the contents of the file—whether a URL or a text snippet—will appear in the Spotlight search field. The text will already be selected, so a quick Command-X (or Edit -> Cut) will cut the text from the Spotlight field into your clipboard.
There's a reason you have to trigger Spotlight after initiating the file-drag with good reason: if you open Spotlight's search box first, and then start dragging, the search box will disappear again. And the tip uses Command-X (or Cut) instead of Command-C (or Copy), because otherwise our text will still be in the Spotlight box the next time we go to use it.
When you print documents with your Mac, they show up in your printer's queue. You can view that queue by clicking the printer icon in your Dock. Sometimes, though, it's difficult to tell exactly which documents are which in that queue—especially if you're printing a bunch of untitled or similarly-named files. Hints reader ppinheiro76 figured out a delightfully simple way to get quick previews of the files you're printing.
Once you're in the print queue, just double-click on an individual print job to open a Quick Look preview of the document being printed; since it's Quick Look, you could instead tap the spacebar to trigger the same effect.
This reminds me that Quick Look pops up in some unexpected places, and it's often a delightful surprise. For example, I frequently use it in Open and Save dialogs to preview files there. And don't forget that the print queue has some other hidden functionality, too: Remember the one about dragging documents directly into the queue to print them?