Mail and spell checking in general will fix a lot of typos and spelling errors automatically as you type, but it fails to correct common key sequence issues. Sometimes words are an actual word, but not something 99% of people would write. It also sometimes doesn't fix short spelling errors. Fixing things like "i," "suer", "tis," "fi," "eb," "si," "ti," and "int eh." Symbol and text substitution is your friend and picks up when spell checking doesn't.
I write a lot of e-mails; often hundreds a day providing support to customers. Not form e-mails, but actual human e-mails. Mail has pretty good auto-correction for spelling errors, but it doesn't handle key sequencing errors where the space key gets hit just before the ending letter of a word, or when letters come out just slightly out of sequence form typing fast. I constantly found myself proofreading for weird auto-corrected words, fixing the red underlined unknown things Mail didn't fix, and fixing missed capitalization mistakes such as "i" and "THanks." I searched and searched, trying to figure out how to remove words from dictionary, when I suddenly realized I could override the dictionary. Until now, I just see people telling you how to make shortcuts to type longer texts and such, but it's more useful to me to have it fix my typos so I can write my text faster.
Open System Preferences, click on Language & Text, then on the Text tab to see the Symbol and text substitution list. Using this, I can fix common spelling sequence typos automatically, and have made my typo error rate almost 0%.
Here are some examples that Mail didn't auto-correct:
i > I
em > me
hte > the
ym > my
tis > its
ont hem > on them
suer > user
fi > if
od > do
beb > Ben
apss > pass
si > is
eb > be
sue > use
Whent he > When he
int eh > in the
ont he > on the
ont eh > on the
ti > it
tot he > to the
trya > try a
a nd > and
Try this, and you may find that the common errors you make are automatically corrected.
This Service adds any unique words you look up in the OS X Dictionary app to a TextEdit document that is- saved on your desktop, so that you can review, or repeat them later. Then you can use the same service to look up those words that you have logged already; they won't be added to your log file.
The service is seamlessly integrated with the Dictionary service on your Mac. It is even installed on the same keyboard shortcut: Command-Control-D.
The only limitation is that it only works with selected text, so if you are looking up a word by hovering the cursor over it, in, say, Preview or Safari, then you'll have to choose More in the lower right corner of the Dictionary sheet that pops up to view the full Dictionary window. Then you'll have to press Command-Control-D once more, to "log" the word into the text file (the search word turns up selected in the Dictionary window.)
Avoid the above limitation by selecting the word before Command-Control-D. If you select the word before pressing Command-Control-D, then everything is handled automatically.
Since English is not my native language, this is something I have been wanting for years. So it is mostly made for non-native English speaker, but may also be useful for native anglophones.
How to install:
Choose service and don't check anything
Search for the Run AppleScript action, and add it to your Service
Paste in the script below, replacing everything that is by default in the Run AppleScript action
Save the Service as dictLogger
Open the Keyboard preferences of the System Preferences pane
Find the service under "Services" and install it with the keyboard shortcut Command-Control-D
After you have successfully looked up a word, look into the file "DictLogger.txt" that should be on your Desktop if everything is working
Select a word in "DictLogger.txt", to see that it works from here
If you use some app other than TextEdit for .txt files, be sure to set the default app of this file to TextEdit, if you want it to open with TextEdit. I don't guarantee that every other text editor will work, though I think it will work with TextWrangler and BBEdit
Mail in OS X has a Favorites Bar (View > Show Favorites Bar) where you can drag the mailboxes you use often. If you do this, you can use keyboard shortcuts to go to these mailboxes. Command-1 is the first one on the left, Command-2 the second one, and so on.
Interestingly, even if you don't have the Favorites Bar displayed, you can use these shortcuts to switch to their mailboxes. So if you want to apply keyboard shortcuts for your favorite mailboxes, and don't want to see the Favorites Bar, display it, add the mailboxes in the order you want, then hid the Favorites Bar. You can see the shortcuts in the Mailbox > Go to Favorite Mailbox menu in case you forget which shortcut to use.
Mail in Mountain Lion has a VIPs mailbox, which, by default, shows all e-mails from people you have set as VIPs. (To do this, click on an e-mail address and choose Add to VIPs.) But this mailbox, by default, shows all messages received from those addresses, whether they are in an inbox, or whether they are in a folder or in the Archive mailbox.
You can change this, but the setting is in a non-intuitive location. Click on the VIPs mailbox to select it, then choose View > Sort By > Inbox Only.
I would actually like the VIPs mailbox to also show sent messages, which it doesn't; not all the time, but sometimes I'm looking for a sent message to someone in my VIPs list, and it would be easier to be able to find them there than rooting through my Sent mailbox.
If you, like me, have suffered an undesired in-app purchase there is a solution. Apple used to require the password to be entered every time there was a purchase involved. On the iOS 6, however, if you happen to have entered the password, such as to download a free App, watch out. During the next 15 minutes, if your kid happens to play one of those nasty games that keeps prompting for a in-app purchase they can do it without entering a password!
The solution is easy although a little inconvenient. You can turn on restrictions and make sure that the password is always asked for instead of lasting for 15 minutes.
To do this, go to Settings > Restrictions > Require Password and set it to Immediately. (There are only two choices: the default 15 minutes and immediately.) The drawback is that if you want to download a few apps in a row that are free you must always enter the password.
First, I needed to put two drives in my Mac. I already had a Crucial M4 SSD and 500GB HD so I a bought hard drive caddy and put my 500GB Momentus XT in it.
That was the easy part. Now how to make them work? In Jinx's article you can read that GUI Disk Utility does not offer needed functionality. It's available only in command line version, diskutil. But from my previous installation I remembered that there is access to terminal in OS X's recovery mode.
It was downhill from there. Create a logical volume group, get the UUID and create the volume. The OS X Installer recognized the volume and installed nicely. After the whole process was over, I did tests similar to those that Jinx mentioned and the drive does, indeed, behave like a fusion drive - files used more often end up on the SSD and less used are shuffled to the HDD.
[kirkmc adds: I don't usually run hints that don't explain things, but the first article linked above goes into great detail. I'm tempted to try this out, as my Mac mini has both an SSD and a 750 GB HD, but I'd need to move all the files - my music collection - from the HD to an external drive. I might try and get to it this week.]
It is possible to use Emoji in file and folder names. When typing a file or folder name, you can choose Edit > Special Characters, click on Emoji, and add the symbols you want to use. They will display in the Finder as part of the item’s name. If you use them at the beginning of a file name, they sort above numbers but below spaces.
[kirkmc adds: We had a hint last year about using Emoji in LaunchPad. I felt it was also interesting to point out that you can use Emoji in file and folder names. Personally, I wouldn’t want to put smileys on file names, but adding symbols can make certain folders stand out. You can even add folders to the Finder sidebar, and the Emoji will add some color to that drab gray area (whereas custom folder icons don’t display in the sidebar).]
With iOS 6, you can now add different signatures for different e-mail accounts, but you can also add logos, links and styled text.
If you have an HTML or styled signature in Mail on OS X, do the following:
1. Send an e-mail to your account with the signature from OS X.
2. Open the e-mail on your iOS device, then tap and hold the signature text.
3. Select all the text and images of your signature, and then copy it.
4. Go to Settings > Mail, contacts and Calendars > Signature. In the text field, tap and hold again to display the Paste menu and paste your signature.
Only styled text (bold, italic or underlined), plus images and links will be copied. Text colors or font sizes will not.
[kirkmc adds: We had a hint giving a much more complex way of doing this back in April. This is very easy to do, requires no third-party software or futzing around with backups. Though, to be fair, think carefully if you really need images and logos in your e-mail signature…]
I was working on my iMac recently when I noticed the hard disk was working overtime. I checked Activity Monitor and found out the Finder was eating into my CPU, from 40% to over 100%. I decided to take everything off my Desktop and enclose it in a folder. Doing so reduced the CPU to nothing until I opened the folder containing the documents. I narrowed it down eventually to an MKV file I had. I can only assume it was QuickLook rendering the movie.
Reduce the files on your desktop, especially movies as these seem to eat into CPU even though you are not using them. Even normal files need rendering every time your Mac launches, so there's no need to leave them there.
[kirkmc adds: The idea isn't new; we covered this back in 2005, and it's pretty well known that files on the Desktop can slow down Macs. The reason I'm posting this is because I have seen the same thing since Mountain Lion. (The hint was submitted as a 10.6 hint, but I've only seen this excess activity since 10.8) I have some video files on a network volume, and if I open a folder containing the files, I can see the network traffic and see in Activity Monitor that QuickLook is working very hard. So not only can this slow down your Mac because of CPU usage, but it can also cause a lot of network activity, if you have such files on a network volume.]
I've recently needed to fill in an e-mail address in Safari on my iPad for a number of sites. I have multiple e-mail addresses and they're not trivial to type. I kept thinking "why doesn't Safari let me pick one of my addresses to fill in here?" While I couldn't find a way to make that happen, I realized I could do this by creating shortcuts for my commonly used email addresses and get a very similar result.
To do this, go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts. Tap on Add New Shortcut, enter a "phrase" - this can be a single word, an e-mail address or a longer text - then enter a shortcut. For example, to enter email@example.com, enter a shortcut such as "myn."
[kirkmc adds: I've been using shortcuts for some user names that aren't e-mail addresses, since I generally use the same address on most websites, but this is a good way of easily entering any kind of text. If you don't know about them, you should.
One interesting thing to point out: shortcuts sync across devices via iCloud, as long as you have Documents & Data syncing turned on in the iCloud settings. So set up a bunch of shortcuts on one device and they'll propagate to others.]