This feature is actually mentioned on the OmniGraffle web site, but I think it worth publishing here on Mac OS X Hints as well because it is very cool.
Create an outline using OmniOutliner, and save it. Now drag the file onto the OmniGraffle icon. OmniGraffle will display the outline as a diagram. If you happen to be making a diagram that has a hierarchical organization, it is much easier to make it as an outline first. And even if this is a feature you could never use yourself, it's worth trying it out once anyway just to see it :-)
OmniGraffle will also display Project Builder project files, which could be very handy for Cocoa programmers, as well as some other formats.
[Editor's note: If you aren't familiar with them, OmniOutliner is a program that tries to let you capture your thoughts in an outline format, and OmniGraffle is a charting package. Both have freely downloadable versions available for you to try before buying, and are well worth a download.]
Rainer Brockerhoff announces the immediate availability of a new public beta of XRay, the File/Folder information utility for Mac OS X.
XRay offers users a much more detailed view of files, folders, applications and volumes than Mac OS X's "Show Info" window does. Permissions can be changed without resorting to obscure terminal commands. Type, creator and extension can be examined and changed, and their effect on file-application binding is shown immediately. Types, creators and extensions can be selected from pop-up menus built from the system's own databases. XRay can be run from the Finder's Contextual menu, the Services menu or by dragging and dropping items onto the application's icon. Third-party developers can write plug-ins that further augment XRay's capabilities. Preview, Custom Icon and Hex Edit plug-ins are already in the works.
[Editor's note: XRay is a very impressive application! Well worth a download if you do much work manipulating file settings. And the return of third-party contextual menus in the Finder is very nice to see.]
MacReporter is a $12 shareware application that runs as a dockling in OS X, and has some cool features that are worth a look. Similar to Slashdock and other dockling news browsers, MacReporter can pull headlines from various sites and display them in the dock. MacReporter makes use of live dock updates to show the number of unread articles in the dock icon, as seen in the screenshot (it may be a bit hard to see in the image, but it shows 24 unread articles). It also notes which articles you haven't read with a small diamond icon, and has access to sites which do not offer traditional RDF output. You can also choose how you'd like to be notified of new headlines - the dock icon, a sound, both, or no notification.
In its unregistered state, you get access to 20-ish news sites, and MacReporter is limited to displaying half the headlines from each site. This allows you to get a good sense of whether you feel MacReporter is worth your shareware fee or not, while still providing a compelling reason to register. macosxhints, unfortunately, is not in the preview version, but is available to registered users (and no, I don't get a kickback if you register! :-). In addition to macosxhints, you gain access to about 60 other sites; there's a full list on the MacReporter website.
MacReporter is a nicely done piece of shareware that's worth a look if you spend much time looking for news around the web.
You can have two desktops (one for root, one for your normal user) in the same Mac OS X session by using this small trick I found while trying a previously published tip on running the Finder as root. That hint does not seem to work in 10.1.1, possibly due to the Security Update.
Copy Finder.app from /System/Library/CoreServices/ to your user's Applications directory (/Users/user_name/Applications; you may have to create this folder if it does not exist). Do not copy the Classic application also named Finder; the one you want is around 5mb in size.
Rename the file with a different name (say rootfinder) and change the icon.
In the terminal, execute the application by typing:
Enter your password when prompted, and replace user_name with your user's short username. "Open -a rootfinder" from terminal doesn't start the Finder as root, and so it won't bring up two desktops.
That's it! The Finder starts as root (you can move/delete any file) and comes up with a new desktop.
If you have ASM, you can switch between the two Finders and you will find the desktop picture and Finder preferences changes when you switch. You cannot switch using the dock as rootfinder does not appear in the dock. The only way to get rid of the root finder is to force quit.
[Editor's notes: As cautioned earlier, be careful when using a root Finder. You can do all sorts of bad things to your system with this trick! I experimented with this a fair bit, and had some mixed results. I was able to launch the root Finder with the simpler "sudo open -a ~/Applications/rootFinder.app", but this gave me a different desktop picture than did the above method -- yet both images were different than my standard user's desktop! Also, if you have DragThing you can switch between the two Finders and quit either one of them via the Process Dock. My desktop picture would NOT switch when switching back and forth between environments. Lastly, please be careful if you're going to try this hint! This is clearly a hint that falls in the 'experimental' category!]
Why would want to clear the Printer and Spool files? If you lose the ability to print in OS X 10.1 and the Classic environments, booting to 9.X.X and printing is not a real solution. But clearing the Printer and Spool files may be a quick way to restore your printing capabilties. To clear the queue and printers:
Open "Print Center" in Applications -> Utilities
Click on the "PrintCenter" menu, then press and hold the option key and select "Quit Print Center". This will bring up a dialog box asking you if you're sure you want to delete your printer and any jobs waiting to be printed. Select "Yes".
Open Print Center again and re-add your printer. I've had this work with Apple, Epson, HP and Lexmark printers.
[Editor's note: I just used this hint to clear a stuck queue on a Brother HL-1270N as well.]
With the new Finder, some things are different in OS X. Let's say you're copying files within the Finder. Most people would say that you need two Finder windows open. However, you don't neccessarily, which is nice (at least for me since I like it as "clean" as possible).
Okay, let's suppose you're in column view in your Documents folder. You just created a new folder inside the Docs folder for Recipes. Now you wish to move all your recipes lying around in the Doc folder into that new folder. It can be tedious to move them from one Finder window to another or to make the column terribly long or to drag the item along the scroll bar to move up or down.
Just select the target folder (one click). It'll show up to the right (its content, that is). Now select the doc you wish to move and drop it to the right. You only have to make sure that you don't actually click the doc (or any item), but keep the mouse button down and only release it over the open folder to the right. So, very often, you'll just need one Finder window.
[Editor's note: You can traverse as far up the hierarchy as you can see using this method. Grab a file from three columns back and drag it into the far right column to move it there. Or release it on any of the folders displayed in the in-between columns. This is much harder to describe than to actually do, so just experiment a little bit to see how it works.]
If you view 'man' pages in the Terminal (or using something like ManOpen in the GUI), then you may be familiar with the footers that are inserted every so often, as shown in this snippet from "man tcsh":
...... ...... Sets the environment variable name to value. (Domain/OS only) (+)
Astron 6.10.00 19 November 2000 1
-e The shell exits if any invoked command terminates ...... ......
These footers are somewhat annoying in the terminal, and very annoying if you're trying to print the manual in ManOpen, as they do not align with 'real' page breaks.
Carl Lindberg, the author of ManOpen, went looking for a solution to this problem after I (annoyingly?) asked him why they appeared regardless of what kind of tweaking I did in the Terminal. It turns out that the version of 'groff' (a document formatting utility) installed with OS X is a bit out of date. Installing the new version (1.17.2) removes the page footers, making the man pages print quite nicely in ManOpen.
If you'd like to install the newest 'groff', read the rest of the article for the instructions.
I wanted to restrict other users' access to folders that existed prior to my upgrade to OS X, like the subfolders in my home folder.
Files and folders that were on the hard disk prior to upgrading to OS X are not assigned to a user or group. They take on ownership by whatever user is logged in. Using the Finder: Show Info to change the Privileges does not work. Any user logging in is listed as the owner with rw, r, r privledges. Group is usually "unknown."
To restrict access, you can log in as the user you want to own the files and copy them. Then delete the original. A faster method can be done via Terminal using "chown". You must sudo to use this command:
sudo chown [user shortname] filename
I did this to a folder and, voila, logging in as a different user I couldn't open the folder and got the "do not enter" folder icon.
For neatness' sake, you can also change the group [Editor: chown username:group filename]. The group is usually "Staff", but check out an existing file's privileges first.
I think an option for chown will change all files below "filename" but I haven't tried it. [Editor: use the "-R" option on chown]
MetaMorph X is a program which allows you to alter, via ‘themes,' the look and feel of the Macintosh system interface, not unlike what Kaleidoscope provides to Mac OS 9 users. However, it has the capability of causing great damage to your system under circumstances that can very easily befall any user.
If you install MetaMorph X, YOU MUST MAKE SURE that the theme you use is for the current version of your operating system. You cannot use a 10.0.4 theme on a 10.1 system, for example! If you have MetaMorph X installed and are installing a system update, MAKE SURE it is completely uninstalled and that you are in the "Aqua" theme that Apple packaged with Mac OS X before installing any update.
If you don't, what will befall you?
The next time you try to log back in, you will find that your system no longer presents you with a login window. (Enabling automatic login prior to theme installation is not a solution.)
If this happens, the only solution so far has been to re-install OS 10.0. The problem with that is that after the install of 10.0 is complete, many systems will experience kernel panics immediately at startup. Fortunately, you should be able to continue the upgrade to 10.1, which should cure the panic. (Fortunately, even though my computer was "panicking," the Upgrade CD still recognized the system as being eligible for an upgrade to Mac OS 10.1 — the disk was not greyed out. YMMV.)
According to a post in the MacFixIt Forums, the reason for all this sturm und drang may be that the Extras.rsrc file gets corrupted, and that this may be a bug with Apple's themes implementation.
[Editor's note: Whenever you decide to use something that modifies the lowest levels of your system, please make sure you backup your data first! It's just generally good advice in case you end up reformatting your drive.]