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A simple way to box some text in Pages Apps
If you use Pages, you may occasionally want to put a border and/or colored background around some text. There are a few ways to do this; you can insert a graphic object and put text in it, but this then requires positioning, and you can't easily edit it with your other text.

You can also use the More tab of the Text inspector to add borders and background colors; for borders only, this method works great (as long as you want a full-width box). But if you add background color (to the paragraph, not characters), you'll find it's not quite right–the color doesn't fill to the edges, and spills out slightly at the top and/or bottom.

So what's the solution, if you don't want a full-width border, or you want a background fill in your box? Select the text to be boxed, and choose Format > Table > Convert Text to Table.

You'll get a one-column-wide table, over which you have complete control of colors, borders, spacing, etc.
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Send SMS to Messages and run commands with AppleScript Apps
It is possible to send an SMS command to your Mac using an AppleScript. I've made one which takes a picture when I send the command /photo to iMessages on my Mac.

The script is very simple; it must be set up Messages' Alerts preferences. Choose Event > Message Received, then check Run an Apple Script. This will check each message you get for the command; in this case, /photo.

The script will turn the volume all the way down (and up again) before taking a picture with PhotoBooth so it does not make any noise.

Then you can make a symbolic link from the PhotoBooth folder to your Dropbox so you can check the photos from your mobile device.

Here's the script:
using terms from application "Messages"
	on message received theMessage from theBuddy for theChat
		
		if (theMessage begins with "/") then
			
			if theMessage begins with "Photo" then
				beep 3
			else
				set volume 0
				
				tell application "Photo Booth"
					
					activate
					
				end tell
				
				tell application "System Events"
					
					tell process "Photo Booth"
						
						delay 3
						tell application "Finder"
							set visible of process "Photo Booth" to false
						end tell
						tell menu bar 1
							
							tell menu bar item "File"
								
								tell menu "File"
									
									click menu item "Take Photo"
									
								end tell
								
							end tell
							
						end tell
						
					end tell
				end tell
				delay 5
				tell application "Photo Booth"
					quit
				end tell
				set volume 3
			end if
			
		end if
		
	end message received
	
end using terms from

[kirkmc adds: Note that this only works with iMessages (I tried for a while to get it to work with regular chats, and it wouldn't). It's worth noting that the ability to send a text message and set off a script is something very useful, and I can imagine plenty of scripters figuring out other types of remote commands they can send to their Macs. Feel free to submit them as hints.]
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iTunes smart playlists with nested rules Apps
I was adding a Smart Playlist to iTunes (10.7) and could not find the option to add nested rules... until I held down the Option key and the plus icon became an ellipsis which then provided the ability to add a nested rule.

[kirkmc adds: This isn't new in iTunes 10.7, but rather iTunes 10. However, I see that it's not on the site, so it's worth mentioning. Apple has a technical note about smart playlists, and they call the ellipsis button the "Nest" button.]
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Resolve Mac App Store download issues by removing cache folder Apps
I've occasionally seen issues where Mac App Store downloads failed, with a message saying "The product distribution file could not be verified. It may be damaged or was not signed." Topher Kessler writing at CNET showed a way you can resolve this issue.

When this download problem occurs, it is generally the result of a corrupted file in a cache folder. If you run this command in Terminal:
open $TMPDIR../C/
a folder will open in the Finder showing a number of cache folders for different applications. Delete the com.apple.appstore folder, then quit and relaunch the App Store application and try the download again.
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Delete a podcast that won't go away on iOS device Apps
I recently tried to download an episode of a podcast on my iPhone, but the download failed. Nevertheless, the podcast was listed on my iPhone, with one episode, but trying to play that episode did nothing. There was no way to delete it. When I deleted it from within the Podcasts app, it seemed to go away, but when I deleted the Podcasts app to use the Music app for listening to Podcasts, it was still there.

I tried turning off syncing of podcasts in iTunes, syncing, then turning it back on, but it was still there. There was no obvious way to delete this "phantom" podcast.

I finally tried going into Settings > General > Usage > Music, and saw the podcast listed in the Podcasts list. A swipe to the right on its name, a tap on the Delete button, and it was finally gone.
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Copy and paste Calendar events in text form Apps
If you use Calendar (née iCal), you can copy all visible events in any view and paste them in text form into any application. For example, if you're in Day view, you can copy all your events and paste them in an e-mail to send to someone, to show them your schedule. Press Command-A to select them all, then Command-C to copy them.

The name of the event will be in bold, and the date will display like this:

scheduled October 5, 2012 from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM

Calendar will warn you if you are copying repeating events that only the currently visible event will be copied.

Unfortunately, this doesn't work with my calendar application of choice, BusyCal.

H/t ThomasWoodrowWilson on Reddit.
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Close Duplicate Finder windows Apps
I sometimes have several duplicate Finder windows open at the same time. I wrote this AppleScript which quickly closes any duplicate windows, leaving only one of each open.
script pruneDupFWins
	-- tested 07/09/12
	-- Enhanced to consider Spotlight windows 09/09/12
	-- Optimized for speed 10/09/12
	-- © McUsr 2012 Parts made by Nigel Garvey
	property parent : AppleScript
	property scriptTitle : "Close Duplicate Windows"
	property FinderIcon : a reference to file ((path to library folder from system domain as text) & "CoreServices:Finder.app:Contents:Resources:Finder.icns")
	on run
	local wCount, i, res, res2, fail, prevApp
	script o
	property wlist : {{}, {}}
	property slist : {}
	property klist : {}
	property dlist : {}
	end script
	set fail to false
	try
	tell application id "com.apple.systemevents"
	set prevApp to (name of every process whose frontmost is true and visible is true) as text
	tell application process "Finder" to set o's slist to name of every window
	end tell
	tell application id "com.apple.finder" to activate
	set sCount to count o's slist
	if sCount = 0 then return 0
	
	tell application id "com.apple.finder" to set o's wlist to {name, id} of (every window)
	
	set wCount to count item 1 of o's wlist
	set o's wlist to reverse of my transposeList(wCount, item 1 of o's wlist, item 2 of o's wlist)
	set o's slist to reverse of o's slist
	set i to 1
	repeat sCount times
	set res to my getSingelton(o's wlist, item i of o's slist)
	if res = null then
	else
	if o's klist ≠ {} then
	set res2 to my indexOfItem(item i of o's slist, o's klist)
	if res2 = 0 then
	set end of o's klist to item i of o's slist
	else
	set end of o's dlist to res
	end if
	else
	set end of o's klist to item i of o's slist
	end if
	if i < wCount then set o's wlist to items 2 thru -1 of o's wlist
	end if
	set i to i + 1
	end repeat
	
	set wcl to count o's dlist
	repeat with i from 1 to wcl
	tell application id "com.apple.finder" to close Finder window id (item i of o's dlist as integer)
	end repeat
	
	
	on error e number n
	-- Chris Stone
	set {cr, sep} to {return, "------------------------------------------"}
	set errmsg to sep & cr & "Error: " & e & cr & sep & cr & "Error 
	Number: " & n & cr & sep
	tell application id "com.apple.systemuiserver"
	activate
	try
	display dialog errmsg with title my scriptTitle buttons {"Ok"} default button 1
	end try
	end tell
	set fail to true
	set wcl to 0
	end try
	
	if not fail then
	if wcl > 0 then
	if wcl = 1 then
	set msgText to "I closed " & wcl & " window!"
	else
	set msgText to "I closed " & wcl & " windows!"
	end if
	else
	set msgText to "Nothing to do!"
	end if
	
	tell application id "com.apple.systemuiserver"
	activate
	try
	display dialog msgText with title my scriptTitle buttons {"Ok"} default button 1 with icon my FinderIcon giving up after 1.2
	end try
	end tell
	end if
	tell application prevApp to activate
	return wcl
	end run
	
	to transposeList(ctr, list1, list2)
	-- tested 05/09/12
	script o
	property newL : {}
	property m : list1
	property n : list2
	end script
	local i
	set i to 1
	repeat ctr times
	set end of o's newL to {contents of item i of o's m, contents of item i of o's n}
	set i to i + 1
	end repeat
	return o's newL
	end transposeList
	
	on indexOfItem(theItem, itemsList) -- credit to Emmanuel Levy 
	local rs
	set text item delimiters to return
	set itemsList to return & itemsList & return
	set text item delimiters to {""}
	try
	set rs to -1 + (count (paragraphs of (text 1 thru (offset of (return & theItem & return) in itemsList) of itemsList)))
	on error
	return 0
	end try
	rs
	end indexOfItem
	
	on getSingelton(the_list, item_a)
	set astid to AppleScript's text item delimiters
	-- Nigel Garvey's with a name change
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to return
	set the_list_as_string to return & the_list & return
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to return & item_a & return
	if (the_list_as_string contains result) then
	set p to (count paragraphs of text item 1 of the_list_as_string)
	if (p is 0) then set p to 1 -- Catch modern paragraph count for empty text.
	set p to p mod 2
	try
	set otherItem to paragraph (p * 2 - 1) of text item (p + 1) of the_list_as_string
	on error
	return null
	end try
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to astid
	
	return otherItem
	else
	return null
	end if
	end getSingelton
	
end script
tell pruneDupFWins to run

[kirkmc adds: Looking at the script, I really don't understand much, but I tested it and it works.]
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Resolve problem with iTunes not recognizing iPhoto library Apps
A number of people, including some I know, have had a problem with iTunes not recognizing their iPhoto libraries, and not being able to sync them to their new iPhones. It turns out, as explained in this Apple support forum thread, that extraneous ampersand characters (&) are causing the Album Data2.xml file to be parsed incorrectly. One friend showed me that in his case it was an & in a song title. Removing the & characters seems to fix this. So if you're having problems syncing photos, this may be the reason why.
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Add your phone number to OS X Messages Apps
Glenn Fleishmann, writing for TidBITS, had a problem getting his phone number to work with Messages on Mountain Lion. He tried a number of things to get it to work, then finally found out that he had to log out and back in on his iPhone. He tapped Settings > Messages > Send & Receive, and then tapped Apple ID. He then tapped Sign Out, then tapped Use Your Apple ID for iMessage, and logged back in.

If you have this problem, try the above. And see the original article for more details and screenshots.
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Search the iTunes Store and Mac App Store from a browser Apps
Following yesterday's hint about dragging Mac App Store and iTunes Store icons to web browser for easier browsing, I realized that we don't have a hint about using Google to search for content in the iTunes Store or the Mac App Store. Since Apple provides all this content on the web, it's easy.

Search as follows: search_terms site:itunes.apple.com. For example, Einstein on the Beach site:itunes.apple.com. You'll get a number of hits, for the different countries where the iTunes Store or Mac App Store are available. If you want to limit the search to a specific country, you can do so like this: Einstein on the Beach site:itunes.apple.com/us/, where the two letters between the slashes are the code for the country where you're searching.

I have a LaunchBar search template set up as follows: http://www.google.com/search?q=*%20site:itunes.apple.com. You can do this in other programs as well.

Follow-up: I removed the link above; for some reason, it looks lIke I can't create a link to a Google search from here. I'll look into it.
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