Quick Tips

One of Mac OS 8.5's great new features is its multitalented Sherlock searching program (see also Secrets, in this issue). In addition to searching for files in the same way as Find File in previous Mac OS versions, Sherlock quickly searches the Internet by sending your queries to multiple Internet search sites and presenting their combined results, ranked by relevance, in a single Sherlock window. (Click any of the found items to see the corresponding page in your Web browser.)

You can add to Sherlock's six standard Internet search sites (AltaVista, Apple Tech Info Library, Encyclopedia.com, Excite, InfoSeek, and Lycos) by dropping special plug-in software modules onto your Mac's System Folder icon; the Finder automatically routes them to the Internet Search Sites folder inside the System Folder. You'll find diverse search-site plug-ins from the growing collections at the Sherlock Plug-in Directory ( http://www.apple.com/sherlock/plugins.html ), Raul's Sherlock Plugs ( http://www.teamdraw.com/raul/stuff/stuff2.html ), and Sherlock Internet Search Archives ( http://www.apple-donuts.com ).

But too many plug-ins make Sherlock cumbersome, observes Joshua Rafofsky of Los Angeles. Collect a couple dozen search-site plug-ins, and you'll wish you could enlarge Sherlock's window to see more than six sites without scrolling. Until Apple amends this, you can easily modify Sherlock to make its main window resizable using Rafofsky's free utility Moriarty, available on his Web site at http://members.aol.com/appleink98/moriarty.htm. The modified Sherlock doesn't have a visible size box in the lower right corner of its window, but you can change its size by dragging the window from that corner.

Even with a larger Sherlock window, the list of search sites becomes unwieldy when it grows to 50 or 100–and Sherlock won't let you show or hide sites by group or category. Rafofsky suggests grouping these sites with Casady & Greene's venerable Conflict Catcher.

To set this up, open Conflict Catcher and choose Preferences from the Edit menu. Select the Folders icon in the scrolling list on the left side of the Preferences dialog box, and click the Add button to display the Create Folders dialog box. Here you set the Starting Folder option to the System Folder and enter sce–a standard suffix for Internet search-site file names–in the space provided for an abbreviation. Then, still in the Create Folders dialog box, click the Folder button. In the Open dialog box that appears, select the Internet Search Sites folder. Now you can use Conflict Catcher to manage your Internet search sites just as it manages your extensions and control panels.

For each group of Internet search sites you want to establish, make a duplicate of your everyday set (probably named Standard Set) in Conflict Catcher. In each duplicate set, indicate which sites you want active and name the set appropriately (for example, Software Sites, or Business and Stock News). If you turn on the Finder Menu option in the General section of Conflict Catcher's Preferences dialog box, you can quickly switch among these sets by choosing from this menu. The change occurs the next time you run Sherlock–there's no need to restart your Mac.

Q. How do I switch among open windows via the keyboard, as PC users do using Windows 95's Alt-Tab command?

Tom Adams
via Macworld Online

A. Upgrade to Mac OS 8.5, and tear off the Application menu (at the right end of the menu bar) to turn it into the Application Switcher window. To do this, click the Application menu icon, drag your cursor down the menu and past the bottom, and position the resulting window wherever you like. Then you can press command-tab to switch to the next application, or press command-shift-tab to switch to the previous application.

If you don't want to upgrade to Mac OS 8.5, you can add similar keyboard shortcuts by installing Michael F. Kamprath's $10 Program Switcher control panel, or one of several other similar utilities. You can set advanced options in Program Switcher to make program switching look and work very much as it does in Windows 95.

The Microsoft Office Manager control panel can also facilitate keyboard-based switching between programs, but has been known to cause problems. (For details, search for Microsoft Office Manager on Ted Landau's MacFixIt Web site at http://www.macfixit.com/searchengine.shtml.) This control panel, installed automatically with Office 4.2.1, is not part of a standard Office 98 installation; you must drag the control panel from the Value Pack folder on the Office 98 CD to your System Folder.

Q. Now that Mac OS 8.5's Application Switcher uses command-tab, this keyboard shortcut no longer has its incredibly productive function in QuarkXPress or FileMaker Pro. Is there any way to change the Application Switcher's keyboard shortcut?

Jeep Watson
Baltimore, Maryland

A. One way is to use the on-screen help that comes with Mac OS 8.5. First make sure the Finder is active, and then choose Mac OS Help from the File menu. On the left side of the Mac OS Help window, click Files And Programs. Then, on the right side of the window, click Switching Between Open Programs. Scroll down until you see the underlined text "Help me modify the keyboard shortcuts," and click this text. A series of dialog boxes leads you through the process of modifying the Application Switcher's shortcut keys.

The Application Switcher has more advanced options, some of which you can control through AppleScript (see "The Many Faces of the Application Switcher"). For example, you can change the width of the Application Switcher window by dragging the right edge of any of its buttons. You can change the window orientation from vertical to horizontal by shift-option-clicking the zoom box, or change the icon size by option-clicking the zoom box. Using AppleScript, you can hide the window's title bar and frame and list programs in the order in which you opened them instead of alphabetical order. Mac OS 8.5 comes with three starter AppleScript scripts for changing the Application Switcher; run these scripts by accessing Mac OS Help and clicking the underlined text at the very end of the Switching Between Open Programs section of Files And Programs.

There are also many free utilities for changing Application Switcher options. Of the five I looked at, AppSwitcher Control by pascal gives you the best control of the Application Switcher's keyboard shortcuts, but it responds slowly to your clicking and doesn't let you set less common options such as confining the Application Switcher to one monitor. Prestissimo from PolyMorph Software Development gives you less choice of keyboard shortcuts, but it responds quickly and lets you set the less common Application Switcher options. It also gives you more-flexible control of your 8.5 scroll bar configuration than you get with Mac OS 8.5's Appearance control panel. Other utilities include Dock Manager by Wade Cosgrove, SwitcherSetter by Chris Gervais, and Application Switcher Prefs from MaxConsulting.

TIP It's possible to print a multipage ClarisWorks or AppleWorks 5 word processing document on both sides of the paper without using QuickDraw GX or a printing-utility program. First, open the document you want to print. Choose Document from the Format menu and turn on the Mirror Facing Pages option in the resulting dialog box; this matches the inside and outside margins on facing pages. I also like to select the Facing Pages Side-By-Side option in this dialog box to display pages side by side on screen. This doesn't affect printing but makes it easy to distinguish the right (odd-numbered) pages, which print on the front of the paper, from the left (even-numbered) pages, which print on the back.

Print the odd-numbered pages first by choosing Print from the File menu, selecting the Right Pages option, and clicking Print. Then reverse the order of the printed pages, turning them over so that page one is on top and facedown, page three is facedown under page one, and so on.

Next, place the printed pages back into the printer facedown, observing the correct page orientation for your printer. If the last page of the document is odd numbered, don't put it back into the printer–there's nothing to print on its back.

Finally, print the even-numbered pages by choosing Print from the File menu, selecting the Left Pages option, and clicking Print.

Bruce Farah
Eugene, Oregon

Depending on how your printer feeds paper, you may not need to reverse the order of the odd-numbered pages before putting them back into the printer.–L.P.


We pay $25 to $100 for tips on how to use Macs, peripherals, or software. Please include your full name and address so that we can send you your payment. Send questions or tips to quicktips@macworld.com or to Macworld Quick Tips, 301 Howard St., 16th Fl., San Francisco, CA 94105. All published submissions become the sole property of Macworld. Due to the high volume of mail received, we cannot provide personal responses

February 1999 page: 95

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