Now that Mac OS X supports Emoji, they can be added to the title of a terminal window to help distinguish shell windows.
One application that has been updated in Mac OS X Lion is the venerable Terminal.app which finally supports 256 colors. While playing around with Emoji characters, I realised they were quite useful to mark different terminals. I typically have multiple windows open with local and remote shells, along with a python interpreter. Previously I used the background colour of the terminal to distinguish the various contexts, but now I also add an relevant Emoji in the title.
To add the character to a Terminal window's title, just go into Terminal » Preferences, select the Settings Icon and the Window tab. In the Title item, you can enter the emoticon in the title text by going to Edit » Special Characters and select the Emoji set. Double-click the character you want to insert.
Lion's iCal changes default behavior of new event creation in Month View and creates all day events by default.
The single behavior in Lion that makes me grumble the most is the behavior in iCal when creating a new event in Month View (things work as before in day and week views). In Lion, when creating a new event by double clicking on the day the event is automatically assigned as an all day event. In most instances where an appointment is being created this will need to be changed.
The solution is that in Month view double click on the day you want to make the event on and then type 'Steve 9am' and it will correctly define an event called Steve that starts at 9am and ends one hour later.
You can even get fancy and define an event's length in the title, e.g. 'Steve 9am-2pm' and it will correctly set an event that starts at 9am and runs until 2pm.
One hour is the default length for an event, however if you would like to redefine the default length of all new events the command is:
defaults write com.apple.iCal 'Default duration in minutes for new event' 15
This makes event lengths default to 15 minutes, but you can use whatever value you wish.
[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. Obviously to go back to the hour default length you can change the 15 to 60 in the above command.]
I came across this when I accidentally moved my finger on my Magic Mouse when playing back a video.
When a video is playing in Quicktime Player X if you swipe with with one finger on the Magic Mouse (or 2 fingers on the Trackpad) the playback speed can be altered.
Swiping from left to right speeds things up; right to left slows things down.
When you swipe the speed is displayed on the top left of the video and the controls popup is replaced with a simple arrow indicator with gradient lines at 2x, 4x and 8x speed up.
The speed change only happens as long as you have your finger on the surface; as soon as you release the playback resumes to 1x speed.
[crarko adds: When I tried this using the Magic Trackpad (with two fingers) what happened is that is would stop playing the video and scroll to a different spot in the timeline. But as with the Window-throwing hint, I'm willing to believe it's me fat-fingering things. Give it a try and post your results.]
Often, when you get a shipping receipt email for an online purchase, the shipper will provide the tracking number as a link, so you can easily see its progress. But this is not always the case. Fortunately, Lion's Mail app (and possibly past versions) can help.
Hover the mouse over the tracking number, and a dotted line should appear around it, along with a drop-down arrow on the right. Click that arrow, and, if a menu ensues, select 'Track Shipment.' A Quick Look panel will open with the shipment info (from the website of UPS, FedEx, etc.).
Mail will do this for you whether the tracking number is linked or not, so this hint can be helpful any time you want to check up on the shipment but don't want to switch to a browser to do so.
[crarko adds: I don't have any pending shipments to try this out with, but two people mentioned this feature works in 10.7. Will someone verify if it does or does not in Snow Leopard and post in the comments? Thanks.]
Right click on the display in Calculator.app and select 'Large Type.' An overlay appears with the number in large type so you can see it easily. Simple, but cool.
This works in the Lion version of Calculator.app. I don't know if it was there in earlier versions. It works just like the 'Show Large Type' feature for phone numbers in Address Book.
Here's some bonus Calculator.app trivia: Mac OS X 10.7's Calculator has 16 help pages.
[crarko adds: Also, when you right-click in Calculator the same pop-up menu gives you the option to change over to RPN if you prefer. I tried it in Snow Leopard and it's not there. It's always a nice touch when the older applications get some improvement.]
In Mail.app on Lion (and possibly on Snow Leopard as well) there are no obvious options to control out of office settings. For Exchange users, it appears the only option is to use Outlook Web Access (OWA).
However, there is a way to do this in Mail itself. Once the Exchange account is setup, right-click on any folder or sub-folder of the Exchange account and choose Get Account Info. Make sure the account in the drop down shows your Exchange account. Your second tab will say 'Out Of Office.'
Interestingly, mine shows the last OoO config that I had last setup in OWA meaning it read the data from the Exchange server (this is convenient when you want to keep the body of the message the same and only change the applicable dates). Options are included for different auto-replies to internal or external entities and the ability to set it to run only for a certain time period (so we don't forget to turn it off).
Basically all the functionality found in OWA is available in the Mac Mail client.
[crarko adds: I don't currently have an Exchange 2007+ account setup to try this with. Go ahead and post your results in the comments.]
The Mac App store seems to refuse to let you update existing apps if it can't find those applications in the Spotlight index. This affects any user who has turned off Spotlight completely, or has just turned off the indexing of the Applications folder.
This problem has been much discussed on the Apple Support Communities pages and the following solution has been mentioned by several people there (so credit is due to them rather than me).
If Spotlight indexing of your Applications folder is disabled then the 'Updates' tab of the Mac App Store will not list any updates. However, you will see those updates if you click on the 'Purchases' tab. If you try clicking on 'Update' button from this tab, an error message appears indicating that you are not signed into the correct Apple account.
In my case, I only have one account, so this message seemed to be erroneous. I tried signing out and back into my Apple account, but this didn't help. Note that this problem was not fixed by the 10.7.1 update.
Following advice in this Apple Discussion thread I checked my Spotlight indexing rules and discovered that I had turned off indexing of the Applications folder (see the 'Privacy' tab of the Spotlight preference pane).
Removing the rule on ignoring the Applications folder fixed the problem. I waited until Spotlight could now find all of my applications, and then reopened the Mac App Store and was able to update applications.
[crarko adds: This was suggested in the comments to this earlier Xcode updater hint, and this provides confirmation of that.]
The goal of this hint is to automate the process of re-creating an Equation Editor equation in Microsoft Word.
Note: This hint applies to equations created in Microsoft Word using Equation Editor. It does not apply to the new kind of equations that can be created in Office 2011.
We have many large documents that contain hundreds of equation objects each. When attempting to revise some of these documents in Word 2011, the equation objects appeard to be corrupted. Double clicking on them would open the object in Equation Editor, but changes were not reflected in the document. In addition, the baselines for each equation object did not line up with the surrounding text. The most frustrating part is that we had just invested several tens of thousands of dollars re-typesetting equations.
The only solution I could find was to open each equation object, select all of its contents and copy it, close Equation Editor, create a new equation object, and then paste the contents of the old equation. The new equation could then be edited, with changes reflected in in the document as expected. Also, the baselines were correctly aligned (although the character immediately after was usually messed up). Unfortunately, this meant that thousands of equations had to be updated.
Although Word 2011 can be controled by Visual Basic, Equation Editor cannot. Nor does Equation Editor support Applescript. I'm not a huge fan of Applescript, but in this case, UI Scripting came to the rescue. I have been able to automate the entire process.
Below is a script that I have applied to one of our documents, and it seems to work quite well. It could certainly be improved (such as updating equations in the current selection instead of the whole document), but it does what I need.
A few notes: There are a couple delays embedded in the script. These are necessary to make sure the script doesn't get ahead of the user interface. Maybe someone can come up with a more elegant solution. Also, Equation Editor doesn't seem to respond to the 'keystroke' command, so menu actions had to be used. If there are 'empty' equation objects in your document, Equation Editor will issue an alert that needs to be dismissed. I suppose the script could try to detect this situation (another opportunity for improvement). Finally, in my test case, lower-case 'phi' gets converted to an alternate form.
I hope this is helpful to someone else that runs into a similar situation.
tell application "Microsoft Word"
set myFrontDoc to front document
set idx to 1
set myField to field idx of myFrontDoc
repeat while (myField exists)
tell me to ReconstructEquation()
set idx to idx + 1
set myField to field idx of myFrontDoc
on ReconstructEquation() -- Assumes an equation object is currently selected
delay 1 -- Give Word a chance to update the menus
tell application "System Events"
set theEditMenu to menu 1 of menu bar item "Edit" of menu bar 1 of process "Microsoft Word"
set theEqnMenu to menu 1 of menu item "Equation Object" of theEditMenu
click menu item "Open " of theEqnMenu -- note the space
repeat until process "Equation Editor" exists
delay 2 -- Equation Editor process exists, but we need to give it a chance to open
tell process "Equation Editor"
set theEEFileMenu to menu 1 of menu bar item "File" of menu bar 1
set theEEEditMenu to menu 1 of menu bar item "Edit" of menu bar 1
click menu item "Select All" of theEEEditMenu
click menu item "Copy" of theEEEditMenu
click menu item 2 of theEEFileMenu -- Menu item name depends on the document being edited
-- For some reason, keystrokes don't work:
--keystroke "A" using command down
--keystroke "C" using command down
--keystroke "W" using command down
repeat while process "Equation Editor" exists
click menu item "Paste" of theEditMenu -- Overwrite the selected equation
[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one; I don't really have the type of document this applies to. I did make sure the script compiles without error in the AppleScript Editor.]
I cannot get the hang of 3-finger drag especially when trying to select a row(s) of text. The obvious method is to put the cursor at the beginning and drag, or hold down Shift as you select the last character. Here's a better way, I think.
Double-tap the first word (using two fingers) to select it, then hold the Shift key and double-tap the last word -- all is selected in between. Subtle but to me much better, and it requires much less finger coordination.
[crarko adds: This works fine with the Magic Trackpad; and also seems to me a bit easier than aiming with the 3-finger drag, although that works too with some practice.]