When I want to step away from my desk, I move my pointer to the top-left corner of my display. My screensaver activates and my screen locks. When I want to see if I have any messages in Notification Center, I move my cursor to the top-right corner and Notification Center appears. Dashboard? Who needs a keyboard shortcut? I just slip my pointer to the bottom-right. And to see all my apps in Mission Control, the bottom-left corner of my screen does the trick.
OS X’s Hot Corners come alive after you set a not-so-easy-to-spot preference. This lets you determine what actions will trigger when you move your cursor into a particular corner of your Mac’s display. Select Apple menu > System Preferences and then click Mission Control. At the bottom of the window, click the Hot Corners button to see a dialog box with options for all four corners.
How can Hot Corners save you time? I’ll take you through all the possibilities for this little-used, yet powerful feature.
As any iPhone or iPad owner with children will attest, touchscreen devices are clearly the future of kid-friendly computing—there’s no substitute for the direct interaction between on-screen items and fingertips. But a lot of great kid software is still available for the Mac, so until we replace all our Macs with tablets, we’ll have plenty of reasons to set up a computer for the young ones.
Most people worry about finding the right software and configuring the right settings for kid-safe computing. But what about the hardware? Chances are you often see a scene much like the one above—your child happily absconding with your laptop to the couch. But it’s not the best setup—ergonomically or logistically—for a child. Here are some tips for setting up a work-and-play-station your kids will love.
You probably spend a lot of time moving in and out of folders in the Finder as you navigate among your files and apps. Getting into a folder is easy: Just double-click it. But what about getting out of that folder and returning to where you were? You may be surprised to find that you have many ways to move up a folder in the Finder. Here are eight of them.
1. From the keyboard
If you use the keyboard a lot, you’ll appreciate the simplicity of this technique for moving to the folder that encloses the contents of the current window. When you have a Finder window open, just press Command-Up Arrow, and your Finder window will shift to show the enclosing folder.
Joe Kissell is a senior editor of TidBits and the author of numerous ebooks in the Take Control series. More by Joe Kissell
Mac users who want to (or have to) use Intuit’s QuickBooks have plenty of choices—we can run the Mac, Windows, or Web app version. One of those options probably pops out as an obvious choice, but as I recently discovered, the least-obvious solution is sometimes the best one.
My wife and I are both professional writers. A few months ago, on the advice of our accountant, we reorganized our small business as a corporation. We agreed to endure a considerable amount of extra paperwork in exchange for significant financial and legal benefits.
Accountants love QuickBooks (even if authors don’t)
Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area. More by Christopher Breen
I recently read Jeff Carlson’s “Four things Apple could do to improve iPhoto right now,” and one point he made struck me in particular—that I couldn't make Photo Stream images appear in a folder of my choosing. Thinking how convenient this could be—for copying images into my Dropbox folder, for example—I set about finding a way.
The slow and clumsy way
A simple-but-clumsy way to do this is to access the folder where the images are stored on your Mac and then open a load of folders inside that folder to get to your images. You can navigate to this folder by choosing Go > Go to Folder in the Finder, entering ~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub in the Go to the folder field, and clicking Go. This exposes a window full of folders, each folder containing an image.
If you like to find new ways to tweak OS X, you sometimes need to look in unexpected places. For example, the Accessibility pane of System Preferences, which houses a number of features to help users who have limited seeing, hearing, and mobility, contains some nifty features that all users should know about. Here are five system tweaks that you might want to try on your Mac.
David has been covering Apple and how to get the most out of its products since 2005. Now a freelance tech writer, he runs Finer Things in Tech, jots down thoughts at DavidChartier.com, occasionally starts outlining the great American tech novel, and might still get to snowboard Breckenridge one more time. More by David Chartier
Keeping up with just one social media account is tough enough. But if you personally hang out on even one or two more services, or are in charge of socializing with your business’s customers online, juggling it all starts to feel a lot more like work, and not the fun kind. Here are a few tools and tricks—some for power users, others for business cases, and even a slightly nerdier option—that can help take the drudgery out of managing social media.
Get started posting with OS X
Depending on your needs, there is, of course, always OS X itself. As of Mountain Lion, Apple added some much-needed integration of a handful of social media accounts right into OS X. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences and select Mail, Contacts, & Calendars. Here, you can add multiple Twitter accounts, one Facebook account, and Yahoo, Vimeo, and Flickr accounts.