Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Create very unique signatures in Preview Apps
You can make signatures in Preview that are pen and ink style drawings.

I don't know if this has been posted yet, or if it is generally known, but I stumbled upon a neat feature of signatures in When you create a signature, if you you don't hold up a piece of paper with a signature on it, and simply smile for a mug shot, Preview will create a signature that is a neat pen and ink style image of yourself, or whatever is in front of the camera. I've created several, that for the right client, can be used as a humorous alternative to an actual signature. I also used a screen capture of the signature on a document and made the image into a Facebook Profile picture.

[crarko adds: Well I didn't know about it. Most folks use Photo Booth to do things like this, I'd guess, but I always appreciate a creative use of a program.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (8)  
  • Currently 1.81 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (26 votes cast)
[2,393 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
Custom margins in TextEdit Apps
There is already an old hint about this topic, but it doesn't really explain it very clearly, only in the comments.

Here's how you can change the margins in TextEdit to your favourite size, so that you can use, for example, the whole space on a sheet of paper when printing.

First, save your document first as a Rich Text file (.rtf), if you have not already done this. To see the effect directly in your document, open it and enable under the Format menu the setting Wrap to Page for your document.

Next open up the TextEdit preferences, switch to the tab Open and Save and check on the option Display RTF files as RTF code instead of formatted text.

Open the document again and you will see the raw code that defines how the document look like. You want to look in the 4th row, where it says:


This defines the left and right margins, thats what the 'l' and 'r' behind marg stand for: left and right.

Now to define customized top and bottom margins you have to add margt and margb, and similarly to before 't'=top, and 'b'=bottom. So add these after the given ones for the side margins, like this:


Now you can set the margins how you like. You have to replace the stars with the correct number in Twips (1 Twip = 1/1440 inch). Here a few examples:
  • 360 (.25 inch)
  • 720 (.5 inch)
  • 1080 (.75 inch)
  • 1440 (1 inch)
  • 567 (1 cm)
Finally save the modified document and change the preference settings back to what they were originally. Then open the document again and you'll have your custom margins.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. Please note that updating older hints and clarifying them is always a good thing, so don't be shy about submitting ideas that do just that.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (1)  
  • Currently 3.00 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (8 votes cast)
[1,823 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
Paste an address and Contacts will parse it Apps
I'm not sure how long this has been the case, but if you copy an address, say from a web site, and paste it into the first address field (street) in Contacts, Contacts will parse appropriately.

For example, try:

1234 Easy St
Pleasantville, CA 43402

When pasted into Contacts it will correctly place the City, State and Zip into the appropriate fields.

[crarko adds: OK, I'll admit I don't know when this was introduced either because I'd long ago stopped looking for it. Nice to know data detectors keeps being improved.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (5)  
  • Currently 3.30 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (10 votes cast)
[2,709 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
10.9: Add an Automator action to Calendar Apps
Apple removed the option to add an action to Maverick's Calendar app but you can use Automator to accomplish this.

I found that if you use Automator to add an action an Automator calendar will appear over in the Calendar side bar. Then just select the Automator calendar for the item you are adding.

[crarko adds: I had to play around a bit in Automator to figure out what to do here, but it looks like creating a Calendar Alarm action will do the trick.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (0)  
  • Currently 2.00 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (8 votes cast)
[2,956 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
10.9: Encrypt/Password-Protect a PDF in Preview Apps
With the latest versions of (since OS X v10.8, I believe) which save versions of files rather than the old standard Save dialogues, it took me a while to figure out how to Save As... and encrypt a PDF file with a password.

While clicking on the File menu, press the Option key, which causes the Duplicate menu item to become Save As... instead. Then you'll see the familiar Save As.. sheet with the Encrypt checkbox. Enabling this allows you to set a password for the PDF file.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. This may be common knowledge, but serves as another example of why it's often helpful to explore the modifier keys in an application before getting too frustrated.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (6)  
  • Currently 2.67 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[3,197 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
Export vector drawings from Keynote to a PNG with transparency Apps
Instead of buying expensive vector drawing software, Keynote can be used as a simple but great vector drawing tool. The problem is you can only export entire slides as images from the File menu and there will be a white background. There is no obvious way of exporting just the vector art to an image file. Fortunately there is a solution. Use the following method to extract just your vector art creation to a .png file with alpha transparency.
  • Create a vector-based drawing.
  • Drag and select the entire vector drawing you are going to export.
  • Choose Edit » Copy from the menus.
  • Open
  • In Preview choose File » New from Clipboard.
  • The vector drawing will then appear with a transparent background, ready to be exported as a PNG.
[crarko adds: It seems like a quick, cheap way to go the job. Probably not for all situations.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (4)  
  • Currently 2.20 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (5 votes cast)
[3,176 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
Display iTunes artwork in Growl notifications Apps
OS X and Growl notifications are AppleScriptable and great for displaying user-defined text, but not so hot for user-defined images. OS X can only display the sending application's icon, and Growl no longer accepts raw iTunes artwork image data or regular image files.

Growl's iTunes limitation can be overcome by converting an iTunes track's raw artwork image data into a TIFF file that can be read and passed to Growl:
tell application "iTunes" to set _rawData to raw data of artwork 1 of current track

set _startupDisk to (path to startup disk as text)

set _tempTiffFile to (open for access file (_startupDisk & "tmp:iTunesTiffArtwork.tiff") with write permission)
	write _rawData to _tempTiffFile starting at 0
	close access _tempTiffFile
on error a number b
	close access _tempTiffFile
end try

-- Use 'sips' to make it a TIFF file:
do shell script "sips --setProperty format tiff /tmp/iTunesTiffArtwork.tiff"

set _tempTiffFile to open for access file (_startupDisk & "tmp:iTunesTiffArtwork.tiff")
	set _readImage to read _tempTiffFile as "TIFF"
	close access _tempTiffFile
on error a number b
	close access _tempTiffFile
end try

tell application id "com.Growl.GrowlHelperApp"
	set the allNotificationsList to {"AppleScript Notification", "Another AppleScript Notification"}
	set the enabledNotificationsList to {"AppleScript Notification"}
	register as application "Growl AppleScript Sample" all notifications allNotificationsList 
		default notifications enabledNotificationsList icon of application "iTunes"
	notify with name "AppleScript Notification" title 
		"Current Track's Artwork" description "Converted to a TIFF file in '/tmp'" 
		application name "Growl AppleScript Sample" image _readImage with sticky
end tell
The above script should display the current track's artwork in a Growl notification. Here's a script that displays iTunes artwork and a lot of other useful track information. It looks like this.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. I did verify that the scripts compile, and that the downloadable script is safe. At the moment, I don't have the ability to archive that script here for FTP, but I'm working on that.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (0)  
  • Currently 2.67 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[3,192 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
Put image/video inside secure notes in Keychain Apps
I'm not sure if this is documented already. When you create a secure note from Keychain, it will accept an image or movie just as easily as it will accept text. I was able to put an image in one note and a movie in another. You can also play the movie while it's secured inside the note.

Create a secure note from the menu bar, then copy and paste the image into the note. That's it, the image is saved inside a secure note. You're done.

To put a movie inside a secure note, go to the file location on the Finder to locate the movie. Drag the movie to the body of the secure note.

[crarko adds: I'm not sure if it's documented either. This is a fairly old submission in the queue, so things may have changed recently.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (5)  
  • Currently 1.34 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (29 votes cast)
[4,057 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
Keyboard shortcuts for conflicting menu items Apps
When assigning a keyboard shortcut to a program's menus in System Preferences, you can run into a problem if more than one menu item in the program has the same name.

If you describe the full 'menu path' using '->' as a delimiter between items (no spaces), then OS X will follow that path and select the correct menu item.

For instance:
The '->' symbol seems to be used from Mountain Lion and later. Earlier systems use '>' on its own.

I don't claim to have discovered this idea myself, but the hint doesn't seem to be very well-known, so I thought it should be posted here, if it hasn't already.

Credit goes to this discussion thread on the Apple forums.

[crarko adds: If someone still happens to be running Lion (10.7) can you try this and post about which delimiting symbol worked? The referenced Apple discussion implied the change happened with 10.8 but the original text for the hint said 10.7, and I'm curious to know which is correct. Thanks.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (6)  
  • Currently 3.43 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (14 votes cast)
[6,344 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
10.9: View arbitrary number of days in Calendar Apps
The behavior of this hint has changed slightly with Mavericks Calendar app from the older iCal method.

Now you first need to go to day view (e.g., by pressing Command+1) and then you can use Command+Option+(2-6) to view 2 to 6 days in the week view.

It would be nice if something like this was also available for month view (2-4 weeks) and year view (2-11 months).

[crarko adds: Not much for me to add here.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (3)  
  • Currently 3.00 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (10 votes cast)
[5,376 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version