Don't-Miss Utility software Stories

One way to end a stuck Time Machine backup

Have you ever seen Time Machine get stuck during a backup run -- constantly showing a tiny percentage completion, for instance? If so, this hint may help; it explains how to gracefully exit that situation, using two simple Terminal commands.

Unclutter your hard drive

Old, unneeded files do more than just waste space. They can also slow down searches, backups, and other basic chores; sometimes, they cause crashes. Joe Kissell explains how to clean out the cruft.

Customize iMovie's titles

iMovie offers several pre-made designs for titles that overlap your video. All you have to do is select the title and edit its text to get a slick effect. But you can do a lot more to change the appearance of the text, from quickly applying different fonts and colors to tweaking the typography. Jeff Carlson walks us through it.

Enable missing Snow Leopard Services

Re-enable a few missing entries from the Services section of the contextual menu in Snow Leopard.

Better command history browsing in Terminal

Learn how to improve the way you navigate through the history of commands that Terminal creates as you use it.

Clear just one Recent Items category

Learn a simple way to clear out one category (Applications, Documents, Servers) in the Apple Menu's Recent Items section without clearing the other categories.

Ease web searches with LaunchBar

Learn how to use LaunchBar to quickly search your favorite sites, and how to use Google's I'm Feeling Lucky feature to immediately jump to the results you (most likely) want to see.

Set background color for selected text in TextEdit

Learn how to set the background color for selected text (instead of the entire document) in TextEdit

Use mouseover highlights in Snow Leopard's Stacks

Learn two ways to see mouseover highlights when using grid and fan view Stacks in Snow Leopard.

Disable spell checking in Stickies in 10.6

Learn how to permanently disable spell check in Stickies in Snow Leopard

Remove unwanted text shadows in iWork programs

Learn how to remove unwanted, and occasionally doubled, shadows in iWork applications. This hint will also work in other programs that use both their own font styling features alongside the system-wide Fonts panel.

Bugs & Fixes: Apple updates disk repair advice

Apple has released a trio of articles that offer new or updated information regarding disk repairs. Ted Landau looks at all three.

Enable better font smoothing on some LCD displays in Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard removed some options for font smoothing, and some third-party monitors may suffer degraded font rendering as a result. This hint explains how to possibly restore the font smoothing on those monitors via a Terminal command