If you save an attachment from an e-mail message, and later need to find exactly which message it came from but cannot remember which it was, it can be done with a little bit of work.
First, select the file in the Finder and open its Info window by pressing Command-I. In the More Info section, you should see the file's "Where from" information. This will list the sender's name and address and the subject line of the message that the file was originally attached to. You can first use this information to try searching in Mail for the message. Many times, that's all you'll need to do.
However, if that doesn't cut it for you - for example, you have multiple revisions of a file that were sent back and forth in a series of messages, and you need to determine which came from which - there is one more bit of metadata in the "Where from" information that can solve that for you.
Copy the part of the "Where from" information that looks something like this:
Switch to Safari and paste that into the address field. Mail will activate and show you the message (assuming it still exists).
[kirkmc adds: Nice hint, but it doesn't always work for me. The Where from information is often truncated, and I can't copy the entire path as shown above. However, there's another way to do this: in Terminal, type mdls, press the spacebar, then drag the file to the Terminal window and press Return. This displays all the Spotlight metadata for the file. You'll find the Where from section near the bottom, and you can copy it in its entirety there, then paste it into Safari.
And I'm thinking that someone should be able to create an AppleScript that parses this information with a bit of grep, then sends it to Safari, hence making it possible to create a droplet which will do the trick. Anyone?]
If you close a tab in Google Chrome by accident, there's a keyboard shortcut to reopen it. Just press Command-Shift-T. This works for multiple tabs, though I didn't test to say how many Chrome remembers.
If you have a link in a Mail message that you're composing (this is in rich text mode, after selecting a link, pressing Command-K, then adding the URL), the link will be blue and underlined, but if you click it you won't get taken to the link's page. This is so you can edit the visible text of the link.
However, if you Shift-click on the link, you will be taken to its page. I don't know whether this is new to Mountain Lion, or whether it's been there all along.
[kirkmc adds: I'd never noticed this, but I don't use rich text mode in Mail.]
We recently ran a hint about displaying just one calendar quickly in OS X Calendar. A commenter said, "Anyone know how to show just one calendar and then go back to the group of calendars that were previously checked? That would be awesome."
It turns out that Daniel Jalkut of Red Sweater Software came up with a way to do just that . Using AppleScript and GUI scripting, he found a way to toggle to a single calendar and back to all calendars. Have a look at his blog post and download the script, edit it for your calendar names, and you're in business.
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.]