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View tracks in an iTunes Genius Mix playlist Apps
There is an easy way to view and manage tracks in an iTunes Genius Mix playlist.
  • Find the Genius Mix you are interested in.
  • Start playing it.
  • Click on the small Genius symbol that is in the right of the small window in the middle of the iTunes menu bar.
  • Now you can view, manage, refresh and save the playlist.
[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. This sure wasn't obvious, at least to me.]
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Restore behavior in the InDesign polygon tool Apps
Here's how to restore the old method of adding sides and changing star inset to the Polygon Tool in InDesign CS5.

I have previously used the Polygon Tool to create star shaped objects in InDesign, and I like the old way of changing the number of sides and the star inset of the shapes dynamically while drawing the shape.

In every version of InDesign until version 7 included in the CS5 package, you could change the number of sides by pressing the up- or down-arrows on the keyboard, and change the star inset by pressing the left- or right-arrows.

Adobe, however, in InDesign version 7 introduced the very clever option of drawing multiple shapes simultaneously by using the arrow keys while drawing a shape, and the only official way to change the polygon is to double click the Polygon Tool before drawing or with the polygon selected. While this is useful, you have no preview of the result before applying.

Today I got annoyed enough to start looking for a way to get the old behavior back, and finally stumbled on a solution. The trick, it turns out, is to press the Return or Enter key while you are still drawing the shape (without letting go of the mouse button). You can then use the arrow-keys just as in earlier versions to change the shape while drawing. It also turns out that the Return- and Enter-key work as toggles, and by pressing one of them again you return to the new multi-object mode and can add or remove shapes again.

I hope you find this as useful as I did.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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Adobe Bridge CS5: Keep folders on external volumes in favorites bar Apps
One of my favorite parts of Adobe Bridge CS5 is the Favorites panel, which lets you pin favorite folders to a sidebar for easy access. However, one of my few gripes with Bridge is that if you click a folder in your favorites and that folder can't be found, the folder is removed from your favorites.

That was a problem for me because I keep folders in my favorites that are on external drives, which I sometimes accidentally click when that drive is unplugged.

I found a workaround that lets me keep folders on external volumes in my favorites that aren't removed like that. Just find the folder you want to use on the external drive, right-click it in the Finder, and choose 'Make Alias.' Move the alias to an out-of-the-way place on an internal hard drive and give it a nice name. Navigate to that alias in Bridge, and drag it to your favorites bar.

When you click it, it takes you straight to the folder you want (just like adding the actual folder to your favorites). And if you click it while the external drive isn't available, no problem. Bridge just stays wherever you were already navigated to.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one, but it seems quite logical.]
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Starting foreign language Acrobat on English OS X Apps
Acrobat 10 doesn't accept serial numbers for international versions of Acrobat (or the CS suite) if the operating system is running in a different language than the purchased one. This hint discusses a few workarounds.

Acrobat comes with several language packages and runs by default with the language of the operating system. In this case however it doesn't accept serial numbers which are bound to a specific language. As it seems there are three work arounds (the first two are also mentioned by the Adobe support team):

The obvious one: Run OSX in the same language as Acrobat was purchased in. At least in my case not an option.

Use a program such as Language Switcher. I have not tried that but it probably does the same as option 3 below, only temporarily.

Remove the English language package (of course at your own risk): Open the Acrobat package, navigate to Contents/Resources and remove the folder 'en.lproj.'

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. I'd vote for option 2, I think. If you try option 3 be prepared to restore form backup/reinstall if you want to use English again.]
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Quickly open two instances of the same PDF in Preview Apps
Sometimes you need to have two views of the same PDF document (e.g. to have a quick access to the list of references in a thesis without the need to scroll to it and then back to the text). However, Preview does not allow a file to be opened twice.

The quickest solution would be to hit Cmd-P and select 'Open PDF in Preview.' You'll have a temporary copy of your PDF where you can select the second view and have both views handy for easy switching.

When you're done, just hit Cancel in the temporary document.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. A nice workaround; I looked and didn't find any duplicates of the hint.]
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Bulk delete entries from Mail.app Previous Recipients using sqlite3 Apps
My company changed its name recently. This meant I was left with hundreds of username@oldname.com entries in Mail.app's Previous Recipients list that I wanted to delete, and a GUI that didn't want to help me do that.

Mail.app does provide a window for viewing and editing the list (Window » Previous Recipients), but its search function only matches against the beginning of names and email addresses. You can't search for substrings, which is what I needed to do in this case.

It turns out, though, that the previous recipients list is just an SQLite v3 database that's stored here:

~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook/MailRecents-v4.abcdmr.

After inspecting the database using the sqlite3 command in Terminal, it transpired that the table you need to modify is called ZABCDMAILRECENT, and the field containing the email addresses is called ZEMAIL. So to delete all the entries whose email address ended with @oldname.com, I simply typed these commands (bold parts are what I typed, non-bold is terminal prompt/output):
[bash-3.2$] sqlite3 ~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook/MailRecents-v4.abcdmr
SQLite version 3.6.12
Enter ".help" for instructions
Enter SQL statements terminated with a ";"
sqlite> select ZFIRSTNAME,ZLASTNAME,ZEMAIL from ZABCDMAILRECENT where ZEMAIL like '%@oldname.com';
This will show a list of records that will be deleted, for visual confirmation. If it looks right, continue with the next SQLite command:
sqlite> delete from ZABCDMAILRECENT where ZEMAIL like '%@oldname.com'; 
sqlite> .quit
And boom... they're gone. Obviously with some knowledge of SQLite commands you can delete other combinations of entries, or even add new ones (although that would be a bit odd). There is of course potential to delete things you didn't mean to, so make sure you have a backup of the MailRecents-v4.abcdmr file before you start.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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Use iPhoto to change the sorting of events in iTunes photo sync Apps
When syncing photos to my iPhone using iTunes, I've long been frustrated by the order in which the list of photo Events was sorted.

Quite by accident, I discovered that the sort order is set from within iPhoto, with a twist.

If you open iPhoto and select Events, then change the sort order using the View menu, the order will also change in iTunes, but - and this is the actual hint I guess - you have to quit and restart iTunes to see the differently-ordered list. (Not really up to Apple's usual standards of transparent useability!)

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described.]
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Fix an iPhoto '11 slowdown Apps
As I've been adding photos to iPhoto '11 (9.1.3), it's been getting slower and slower. On Friday, it ground just about to a complete halt, such that even force quitting took about 20 minutes to accomplish.

According to Activity Monitor, there was no CPU activity and no network activity to speak of, which stumped me because I was assuming it was Faces or Spotlight laboring mightily away in the background.

After many trials and errors, I determined that the problem was due to my entries in the Accounts preference. I had MobileMe (times two), Facebook, Flickr, and six other e-mail accounts registered there. About a minute after each launch, iPhoto had been attempting unsuccessfully to connect with at least one of the accounts, which brought iPhoto, Finder, and any other open programs to a screeching halt.

As luck would have it, I was one of the lucky ones hit with MobileMe's latest outage, but after I deleted all the Accounts preference entries, iPhoto sprang back to life.

I subsequently determined that it is normal behavior for iPhoto to attempt indefinitely to connect to services listed in the Accounts preference, with no time-out or notification to the user about what is going on.

If you find yourself in this predicament -- iPhoto open but utterly unresponsive -- you may be able to shorten the time it takes your Mac to return control to you by severing all network connections (Ethernet, Airport, etc.), at which point iPhoto is supposed to detect the lack thereof and stop trying to connect.

[crarko adds: I have not experienced the issue, so I can't test that this fixes it. Sure sounds worth trying if you do, though.]
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A script to find Dropbox conflicts Apps
Dropbox has become my favorite method of syncing files. The one thing I don't really like about it is how it handles the times when multiple computers report new versions of a file. Dropbox decides to keep both, and adds the words Conflicted Copy and some other info to the filename of the one it's not sure about. I got tired of regularly having to manually hunt for such files, so I wrote a script to do it for me.

This AppleScript uses the find command to find the affected files. It opens Finder windows with each file selected so they're easy to find and deal with. I hope this script is as useful to you as it has been to me.

Paste this into AppleScript Editor and save it as an Application. Run it whenever you want to find conflicted copies.
set conflictedFiles to do shell script "cd ~/Dropbox; find -L . \\( -path \"*.dropbox*\" -prune \\) -o \\( -name \"*conflicted*\" -print \\)"
set fileList to paragraphs of conflictedFiles as list
repeat with currFile in fileList
  set currPath to (path to home folder as string) & "Dropbox" & POSIX file (characters 3 thru -1 of (currFile as string) as string)
  tell application "Finder" to make new Finder window to currPath
end repeat
Note: I've tried a few different versions of the shell script, but this is the one that's been the fastest for me. If you tweak this script and it runs faster, please post in the comments! I'm always eager to see my scripts made better.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described, as far as I can see.]
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A quick Office hint, and a request Apps
I just encountered a bug at one of my clients' place that looks a whole lot like a really super-old bug (like from the time when megabytes of RAM made a big difference in price).

The bug, in itself, is insignificant: the first version of MS Office for the Mac had a limit on the number of documents it could handle without quitting, but the problem was that each save counted as a new document, so Office apps would lock up pretty quick.

The same thing seems to be happening now with the newest version of everything involved.

The hint to get rid of the MS Office apps no longer saving is to quit them often, then re-launch as needed. Yes, it's a bit simple-minded, but sometimes that's what you need to do.

And now I'm writing you with a request:

With MacFixIt now gone as an effective service for me, there is no longer a communal memory of these quirks and hiccups. I think this site need a new side-line in which you discuss common bugs (rather than hints--which, generally being solutions, are at the other end of the spectrum).

Well, that was just a thought from a really really old timer (once hinter) and just a great fan!

[crarko adds: Actually, we already have such an area, the MacOSXHints forums. Are people here generally aware of these? I'll take advantage of the opportunity to put in a plug for them, as they serve the requested function quite well, I think. And it's a more appropriate venue to work on problem solving than here. I urge people who have questions to sign up and post them there. Note that the user databases are separate, so a separate registration is required.]
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