Spotlight is the Mac’s search engine, just as Google is one of the Web’s. To search for—or through—files and folders on your computer, access Spotlight from any Finder window, or from the Spotlight menu at the far right of your menu bar.
In the Finder, start a search by selecting File -> Find, by pressing Command-F, or by clicking in the search field of any window. Open the Spotlight menu’s search field by clicking on the Spotlight icon at the far right of your menu bar or by pressing Command-space bar. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about using Spotlight.
Q: Is it possible to narrow my Spotlight searches somehow—say, when I just want to find an image?
If you’ve read much of my writing here at Macworld, you know I love using the keyboard as much as possible. I find that reaching for the mouse (or trackpad, as much as I love mine) slows me down and interrupts my flow. If you’d like to use the keyboard more and the mouse less, here are some ways to do just that—and some advice on how to manage your growing collection of keyboard shortcuts.
OS X includes a number of global keyboard shortcuts that you may already be familiar with: Hide and unhide the Dock (Command-Option-D), activate Spotlight’s menu bar drop-down (Command-Space), take a screenshot (Shift-Command-3), and show Mission Control (Control-Up Arrow). What you may not know is that these shortcuts are customizable, and that you can assign shortcuts to other system-wide actions.
Like everyone else, I detest spam, and I seldom opt in to receive marketing email, even from companies I like and do business with regularly. Even so, I do look forward to receiving periodic newsletters from nonprofit organizations I support, tips on using some of my favorite applications, announcements of upcoming events at the library, and yes, even the occasional notification of big discounts on products I have a special interest in. If your business or organization wants to send messages like these, a group email service, which manages the entire process for you via a friendly Web-based interface, may be just the ticket.
Why use a group email service?
Ordinary email programs like Apple Mail () and Microsoft Outlook () aren’t the best tools for sending messages to large groups, because they force you to maintain your mailing list manually and provide no built-in tracking capabilities. They also may run afoul of your ISP’s limits on outgoing email if you send the same message to hundreds or thousands of people.
Editor’s Note: The following article is an excerpt from Take Control of BBEdit, available for download from TidBITS Publishing ($5 through April 9th, $10 thereafter). Beyond the clippings discussed below, the 199-page ebook explains how to use BBEdit 10 to efficiently accomplish real-world tasks, with a focus on essential text-processing features, working with HTML, and managing multi-resource projects.
A clipping lets you easily insert pre-defined bits of text into a document. A clipping can be any length of text, and it can contain placeholders that are swapped out with the corresponding value when you insert the clipping.
Let me give you a real-world example. When I type Web links for a certain publication, I need to not only type the correct HTML for the link, but also include the attribute for opening the link in a new blank window, like this: <a href="link goes here" target="_blank">text for link</a>.
At Apple’s recent iPad event I donned my photographer’s hat. My job was to take pictures and, as quickly as possible, send website-ready images back to Macworld headquarters. Taking the pictures wasn’t difficult. The challenge lay in transferring the images from the camera to my MacBook Pro, converting and scaling them to a specific size, and then emailing them to my office compatriots. I could easily miss an important shot if I were to perform all these chores manually, so our own Jason Snell created an Automator workflow to handle the worst of the dirty work. While it may not be your job to work a press event, anyone who needs to easily transmit images—real estate agents, contractors, and doctors, for example—will find this or a similar workflow helpful.
The ingredients for the workflow include Automator, a copy of Apple’s Aperture (), and a digital camera that can shoot while tethered—meaning that you can plug it directly into your Mac’s USB port and control the camera remotely as well as save its images to your computer rather than to the camera’s memory card. My Nikon D300 () is just such a camera. Check your camera’s manual to see if it supports tethering.
Launch Aperture and from the File menu choose New -> Project to create an empty project. Give it an intuitive name such as “Export and Send.” Copy a single image into this project. Now choose File -> Export -> Versions. In the resulting sheet click on the Export Preset pop-up menu and select Edit. In the Image Export window that appears click on the Plus (+) button in the bottom-left corner to make a copy of the currently selected preset.
OS X Lion wants you to pick up where you left off. Applications open when you log out or shut down your Mac automatically reopen when you restart. When you launch an application, it reopens all the windows that were open when you quit, even if you saved the documents and assumed you were done with them.
I don’t know anyone who likes Lion’s Resume features—and I know a lot of people. Most users want to start with a clean slate, not wait for all the previous programs to relaunch and deal with leftover document windows clamoring for attention. Luckily, you can turn off the Resume options and set up your own startup scenario:
By now you have no doubt heard about Pinterest, the virtual “pin” board (aka online scrapbook) that is the current social media darling. Pinterest is the fastest growing social network and has been driving more traffic to online publishers (i.e., stores or brands) than Twitter or LinkedIn or Google+ the past few -and Piterest has become the go-to site for women aged 25 to 34. Pinterest wasn’t designed to be a business tool (with Pinterest stating the site should not be used for self-promotion), but that hasn’t stopped retailers and businesses with a visual bent from setting up shop there.