No password is unbreakable, but alphanumeric passwords are more secure than the passwords many people use, which tend to be composed of letters only. Jim Butler of San Diego compiled three different methods for creating easy-to-remember alphanumeric passwords. With what he calls the look-alike method, you use numbers in place of the letters they resemble, replacing the letter o with the number 0, i with 1, z with 2, s with 5, G with 6, and g with 9. For example, worlds becomes w0r1d5.
With the license-plate method, you create passwords from phrases by substituting individual letters and numbers for words and syllables they sound like. For instance, “I see you ate before two” becomes icu8b42.
The 0-to-J method is more complicated and harder to remember at first. You substitute the numbers 0 to 9 for the letters a to j. Simply pick a word and replace any occurrence of a with 1, b with 2, c with 3, and so forth. For example, benzene becomes 25nz5n5.
Another method is to create passwords that are acronyms for mnemonic phrasesfor example, B282fbsl, which means “Badwater [is] 282 feet below sea level.”
Get Around Remote-Access Limits
Can I configure the Multiple User control panel so that a Normal user can open the Remote Access control panel?
The network configuration is usually the same for all a specific computer’s users, so Mac OS 9 allows only the Owner to make changes in the Remote Access control panel. (This is also true of the Modem, AppleTalk, TCP/IP, and File Sharing control panels.) But there are ways to give Normal users the same control you get from the Remote Access control panel. How you go about it depends on what type of control users need.
If all a user needs to do is connect and disconnect manually to the Internet, give access to the Control Strip so the user can open the Remote Access module. (The Owner can make the –Control Strip available to Limited and Panels users as well.)
Another option is to make connecting and disconnecting automatic no matter who’s using the computer. To do so, configure the Remote Access control panel to connect whenever a user attempts to dial in (for instance, to retrieve e-mail messages or browse the Internet) and then disconnect after a designated period of inactivity.
What if users need to do more than connect and disconnect? You can let any user change Remote Access or other network configurations via the Location Manager, but it’s not convenient (it requires restarting). Here’s how to grant access and avoid trouble: the Owner must create a location in the Location Manager control panel for each network configuration a user may need. Additionally, the Owner must use the Location Manager’s Preferences command (in the Edit menu) to set the Startup Switching option to Always. Thereafter, the Location Manager will ask the user to select one of the preconfigured locations during start-up. Since this opportunity occurs only during the start-up process (before log-on), users must restart the computer to change the network configuration; the Logout command is not sufficient.
Warning: Make sure to tell users they must restart in order to change network settings. The OS won’t let anyone but the Owner change settings via Location Man-ager without restarting. Even worse, attempting to change settings could cause Location Manager to malfunction. For instructions on how to guard against such mishaps, read article 60657 in the Apple Tech Info Library (
Do you know of a one-step method for getting a clean view of my desktop when I have several applications open? This normally requires two steps if I’m already working in an application. First, I switch to the Finder from the active application. Second, I choose the Hide All option from the application menu.
The first shortcut is to develop a new habit: hide applications whenever you leave them. That way, when you switch to the Finder, all applications are already hidden. For this tactic to pan out, you must diligently press the option key every time you switch applications. The option key works with multiple switching methodschoosing an application from the Applications menu, clicking in another application’s window, or clicking in the Application Switcher palette of Mac OS 8.5 and later.
Don’t want to be that obsessive? As an alternative, use the AppleScript applet shown in “Switch and Hide.”
Destination: Desktop Folder
I like to set the Desktop Folder as the destination for Web downloads and e-mail attachments. This is no problem in programs that use the old-fashioned Open dialog box, where you simply click the Desktop button and then click any grayed-out item, such as the Trash. But this trick doesn’t work in programs that use a Navigation Services dialog box with Mac OS 8.5 and later.
You can select the Desktop folder in this dialog box by pressing the option key while choosing Desktop from the Shortcuts menu. Alternatively, you can choose Desktop from the Shortcuts menu (or press 1-D). That brings up a list of desktop items with one of the items selected. Next, shift-click the selected item to deselect it, and then click the Select button.
Moving Paragraphs with Keystrokes
In AppleWorks (aka ClarisWorks 5), you can use keystrokes to move paragraphs in a document. Just put the insertion point in the paragraph you want to move, or select the text in multiple paragraphs if you want to move more than one. Then press control-up arrow or control-down arrow to move the paragraph(s) up or down one paragraph.
Switch and Hide
This simple AppleScript applet switches to the Finder, hides all other applications, and then collapses all Finder windows, giving you an unobstructed view of the desktop. Enter these commands in a Script Editor window. When you save them, set the Format option to Classic Applet and turn on the Never Show Startup Screen option. To make switching and hiding a one-step process, put the saved applet in the Apple menu. If you don’t want the applet to collapse all Finder windows, omit the statement that begins “set the collapsed.”
You can also increase or decrease a paragraph’s left indent half an inch by pressing control-right arrow or control-left arrow.
Orderly MP3 Playlist
After ripping a CD to MP3 files, you may wish to add these files to a playlist in their order of appearance on the CD. Assuming that your encoder processes them sequentially (most do), simply view the folder containing the MP3 files as a list, sorted by Date Modified or Date Created with the oldest file at the top. Then select all the files and drag them en masse to the playlist, where they’ll show up in the correct order.
InDesign Autorecover Trouble
Adobe InDesign’s autorecover feature can be a lifesaver, unless it’s trying to recover a rather large document. If a crash happens when you’re working on a massive document, future attempts to start InDesign may result in a crash because of lack of memory. To work around this, open the InDesign folder and look for the InDesign Recovery folder. Open it and throw away all contents. Next, open InDesign by double-clicking the application icon (not by opening a document). Now you can choose Open from InDesign’s File menu, select the document you want to open, select the Open Copy option at the bottom of the dialog box, and click Open. A copy of the selected document opens, in the same condition as when you last saved it (and not when InDesign last autosaved it).
Sherlock 2 Searches Specific Folders
Sherlock 2, unlike its predecessor, appears to offer no method for limiting a search to a specific folder. In fact, there is a way to do it. Just drag folders you want to search to the list of searchable items in Sherlock 2’s Files channel, and Sherlock will add them to the list. For instance, you can toss your Documents folder, Applications folder, or whatever folders you want onto the list of searchable items, deselect other items on the list, and watch Sherlock 2 ignore the dross.
answers readers’ questions and selects reader-submitted tips for this monthly column. He is a coauthor, with Todd Stauffer, of Macworld Mac OS 9 Bible (IDG Books Worldwide, 2000).
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