Apple published a technical note about this yesterday. From Reminders, if you choose File > Export, you can save your reminders to an .ics file; choose File > Import to import a similar file, either following an export or from a backup.
Apple's technical note explains this, and also tells you how you can restore reminders from a Time Machine backup. Since there is no automatic backup of reminders - they do get synced to iCloud, but there's no accessible file anywhere on OS X - this involves finding a file you've backed up and importing it, something you may not be likely to do.
It's in the File menu in the Reminders app on OS X, but I never thought of looking there, so while technically not a hint, it's good to point this out.
You can use Emoji fonts in Mail and TextEdit, but the Apple color Emoji font has never worked in Pages. For some reason Apple has not yet updated the app so that Pages can use these characters. Until Apple fixes this problem in a future Pages update, here's a workaround for using Emoji fonts in Pages.
First make sure your toolbar shows the keyboard icon on the right side of your toolbar. If not, go to System Preferences and then click on Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts; and check “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar.”
Open your Character Viewer and select the Emoji font. Then select the
Emoji image you want to use. An enlarged version will appear in the Emoji icon box.
Press Command-Control-Shift-4, and your cursor will now be a crosshair. Click and drag the crosshair around the large Emoji icon into a box frame and release your mouse or trackpad. You have now captured the Emoji icon as a screen shot on your clipboard.
Click in your Pages document where you want to place the Emoji icon, then press Command-V to paste it. There will be have handles around the image, and you can resize it to your need and drag in to a different location.
[kirkmc adds: This is indeed a workaround, but it doesn't keep the actual character, so while you'll see the image, if your paste it into an application that does handle Emjoi characters, you'll get the screenshot, but not the Emjoi character itself.]
Double Clicking/tapping in the right place helps Safari set its zoom to the proper setting when using Smart Zoom.
Safari and the Mac OS support a feature called Smart Zoom. In Safari, a double tap/click will zoom in on the web page. This is a wonderful feature for those of us that our vision isn't what it use to be. Small text can now be made readable.
The zoom value is determined by the cursor location when double clicking/tapping. Make sure to have the cursor over the text you want to fit on screen. The width of the paragraph helps to determine the zoom value. Having the cursor over a blank area on a web page will likely generate unexpected results.
When done with the zoom, or if the cursor placement caused an unwanted zoom, double-click/tap to get back to full zoom.
[crarko adds: In the interest of fair play, you may consider this hint to be a rebuttal of what I said about yesterday's hint. To me, it just shows the wonderful differences in how people make use of their Macs.]
Use Spotlight in partnership with a cheap handheld scanner, plus some OCR software, and you can achieve the "paperless office" dream with remarkably little effort.
I explain more about this on my blog, but here are the basic steps. I use the excellent yet dirt-cheap Skypix TSN410 handheld scanner.
Scan in the document using the TSN410. Scan at the default 300 DPI to a PDF file (remember that the TSN410 defaults to JPG each time you turn it on). Remember too that there's often text on BOTH sides of the paper with bills.
Connect the TSN410 via USB and import the PDFs to a special folder within your Documents folder. Note that I don't change the filenames, which remain in the style of IMAG0009.PDF; I am relying totally on Spotlight to find each document as as when I need it based on its contents.
Check each PDF to ensure the scans have been successful. This can be done ultra-quickly using Quick Look. Select the first PDF in Finder, hit Space to Quick Look it, then hit the down cursor key to move down the list of files and view the others.
Use Adobe Acrobat's Recognize Text feature to OCR the documents. Acrobat can process many files at once although you'll have to open one of the files to get the option to recognize text, however. Acrobat adds the OCR'd text to the PDF itself, so I have both a scanned image of the document, and cut-and-pastable text (which Spotlight will index instantly once the PDF is saved).
You can use other OCR software but the Mac software market is weak in this regard. I couldn't find ANY OCR software that isn't costly.
Save the files back to the folder where they're stored, overwriting the originals.
Delete the files from the TSN410.
Destroy the original paperwork by shredding or burning to avoid identity theft. (It feels weird destroying bills that have just arrived!)
That's all that is needed. If in future I want to find electricity bills I can use Spotlight to search with a term such as kind:PDF electricity, although some creative thinking might be needed: kind:PDF energy might produce more results. I use Spotlight's Quick View pop-out window to see if the document is likely to be the one I want. The kind:PDF modifier tells Spotlight to only return PDF files.
[crarko adds: I'm guessing many of us have tried some variation of this type of workflow at some time. This tip is a nice example and is a good use of Spotlight.]
Safari occasionally zooms right in on a web page. It's quick to return to the actual size, but you can also disable this behavior if desired.
Myself and friends/family who I support were being bothered by Safari occasionally zooming right in on a web page. Pressing Command+0 (zero) undid it, but it was still disconcerting.
I found this is caused by Safari on OS X trying to emulate Safari on iOS: a double-tap on the mouse zooms the page to the current column.
Take a trip to System Preferences to disable this behavior: it will be either Mouse » Point & Click, and turn off Smart zoom, or Trackpad » Scroll & Zoom, and uncheck Smart zoom.
[crarko adds: This is one of those things I never see since I disable Smart zooming as a matter of course on all of my systems. I have met a number of people who do encounter this phenomenon, and asked what to do about it. So it's not an earth-shattering hint, but perhaps less obvious than it seems. I do think pinch zooming on a trackpad is useful and a logically consistent thing to do. Do folks here make a lot of use of double-tap Smart zooming on a Mac? Knowing the circumstances where it proves useful would be a nice addition to the tip given here.]
I have Console monitoring some log files, but found it wasn't always scrolling the log window automatically to display the latest entry.
It's not obvious, but down the bottom right of the log windows are some controls for Earlier/Later/Now. The Now button is actually a toggle; if you click it until it highlights in blue, the log window will always automatically scroll to the latest entry.
[crarko adds: I can confirm this in Console.app in Mountain Lion, and that there is no 'Now' button in Snow Leopard. Probably it's also in Lion, but perhaps someone can check and confirm that for us.]
In Reminders you can view the count of completed To-Do items for one or more lists.
After selecting one or more lists in sidebar, scroll down the main window. The count of completed tasks will appear at the top of the list. You can click on it to get a detailed view of completed To-Do items from selected list(s).
[crarko adds: I admit I'm one of those people who does not use Reminders.app very much, so I didn't know about this. I suspect if you are a regular user, this will be old news for you.]
This isn't a hidden feature, but it's one that many people may not know. I found it recently when I discovered that I had dozens of duplicate contacts in my Contacts app, caused by quirky iCloud syncing. If you find that you have two cards for the same contact, you can select them, then choose Card > Merge Selected Cards. This will copy all unique information into a single card.
There is also a Card > Look for Duplicates command, but when you invoke it, Contacts will tell you how many duplicates it has found, and ask if you want to merge them, but won't tell you which cards were duplicates before you merge them; I'd rather do this manually so I don't lose any information.
Even though iTunes is my bailiwick over at Macworld, I've found the new Up Next feature to be quite confusing. It's taken me a while to suss out all its details and I've figured it out, but I find it quite confusing.
In updating my Take Control of iTunes: The FAQ ebook, my editor, Michael Cohen, noted a useful keyboard shortcut for working with Up Next. If you press Command-. (that's a period), this stops playback and clears the currently playing track from the iTunes LCD. I haven't yet found a way to clear the Up Next queue from the keyboard, however. If anyone's spotted a shortcut for that, feel free to post it in the comments or submit it as a hint. (As a reminder, you can display the Up Next queue by pressing Command-Option-U.)
If you choose to sync music by selecting specific playlists, you select your iOS device, then click the Music tab to check the playlists you want. I do this for my iPhone and iPod touch. I have found, however, that with iTunes 11, any playlist that is empty gets unchecked.
Here's why this is a problem for me. I have a few playlists that I use for listening to new music or podcasts. I manually place tracks in these playlists, when I have something to put in them. However, there are times when I sync my iOS devices that they are empty. In the past, this didn't matter; the next time I added something to the playlists, they would sync. But in iTunes 11, they become unchecked in the Music tab, and I have to manually go back and sync them again.
My solution is to add a very short silent track to the beginning of each of these playlists.Some time ago, I made these silent tracks to be able to use them as pauses in playlists, and posted them on my blog. The shortest one is .1 second, which I created for this hint. Just put the silent track anywhere in the playlist, but remember not to delete it, so the playlist never becomes empty.