When you open a PDF in Preview, it opens at actual size, which is usually too small for me on my desktop machine (at 1600x1200 resolution). Unfortunately, it's not very obvious how to make it bigger yet still fit the window size you'd like to use. You can't use the window resize widget, because it doesn't do anything. You can use Zoom In, but it zooms so much on the first use that you can't see a full page.
But once you've hit Zoom In, the window resize widget becomes usable. So when I open a PDF in Preview, I hit "Zoom In" (command-up arrow) twice, which makes it gigantic, then resize the window to my liking, and then select "Zoom to Fit" (command-equals). This resizes the page to fit the box I've defined, instead of forcing me into one of the predefined zoom levels.
The other option, which is what I've personally done now, is to change all PDFs to open in Acrobat Reader, which allows much easier control of zooming!
As a heavy Office user, one of the hardest things to get used to in Office v.X is the changes made to keyboard shortcuts that had become ingrained over the last few years. For example, command-H, which used to be "Replace...", is now given up to OS X for "Hide". And in Excel, command-K used to cut the selected rows or columns; now it brings up a hyperlink dialog.
Thankfully, Microsoft did a good job of re-assigning the shortcuts to semi-familiar positions. Although you won't see it in the menu, you can use control-H to bring up the replace dialog, and control-K to cut rows or columns. I haven't tested it extensively, but I imagine other "replaced" command-key shortcuts can also be reached with the control key.
If you don't like these keys, of course, you can reassign them yourself using the keyboard editor in the Office apps (eg Tools -> Customize -> Commands tab -> Keyboard... button in Excel).
check out Quitling 2.0 . it's a great app - two in one i might add. i have been using it since 1.0, when it was just a dockling. it has evolved into a Prefs Pane with a menubar icon. it is like ASM in that it puts an app swicher ala OS 9 at the top right of your screen, and i have had no problems with Quitling. the menu also (optionally) shows and lets you quit background processes.
there are also five definded keyboard shortcuts you can use. you can only choose four of them (based on using shift, control, shift-control, and normal clicks). the actions are: quit, force quit, relaunch, bring to front, and toggle visable. it's $10 and very worth it.
not a paid advert, just rather satisfied with the app.
[Editor's note: Quitling's other features are "AutoKill", which prevents any defined application (like Classic) from opening, and "AutoStart", which forces processes that have quit (perhaps the Apache webserver) to restart, thereby keeping them available at all times.]
I have several different iDisks and wanted to create scripts to automatically mount each iDisk. Here's what I came up with, and it seems to work well. Copy and paste the following into ScriptEditor, and replace the references to username and password with your iDisk account information. Save the script with a unique name, and each of your iDisks is now a double-click away.
tell application "Finder" mount volume "afp://idisk.mac.com/username" as user name ¬ "username" with password "password" end tell
[Editor's note: In case it doesn't come out correctly, the symbol after "as user name" is the Script Editor's line break symbol, entered with option-return. The 'mount' command is one line; it's broken up here for narrower display width.]
If you use the Network Utility to do 'whois' lookups, but prefer to use a whois server that's not listed in Apple's choices, there's no apparent way to add your servers to the displayed list within the pop-up list -- so you end up typing in your preferred whois server each time you run the program. But with just a bit of preference editing, it's actually quite easy to add your preferred choices. Here's how to do it.
Go to /Users/user_name/Library/Preferences.
Quit Network Utility if it's running.
Open com.apple.NetworkUtility.plist file in propertylisteditor (or TextEdit if you don't have the Dev Tools installed).
Open the NUWhoisServers key (in TextEdit, look for <key>NUWhoisServers</key>). Add/delete additional strings with the whois servers you would like to keep/remove permanently from the Network Utilities server list (in TextEdit, insert additional <string>whois.server.name</string> values into the list, or delete the ones you don't wish to see).
Save your changes and quit the editor.
Re-launch Network Utility and see the new list of servers
[Editor's note: This hint serves as a good example of my first rule of OS X tweaking - if you wish to change an application's default behavior, and you don't see a preference for the item you wish to change, check out the app's preferences file. There are typically values set there which are easily edited (as seen here), even if they don't have a user interface to those settings within the program.]
If you use AIM (America Online's Instant Messenger), you should give Adium a try. This Cocoa replacement for AIM has a nice feature set, is completely free, has source code available, takes up minimal screen real estate, and is updated regularly.
Thanks to WCityMike for reminding me about this great little program!
It was taking Entourage 75 seconds to quit on my TiBook 500 with a gig of RAM. The windows would close, but the Entourage menu bar would still be there and the little triangle would be in the Dock indicating it was running. I could switch to other apps, but the point was, what was taking so long?
I don't know, but it turns out the delay goes away if I close my PPP connection before quitting Entourage. Then it only takes a normal two seconds to fully quit.
After picking up Office v.X on Sunday afternoon, I'm in the midst of converting the source for the OS X Guidebook into Word (primarily to support higher res images, but also adding some new hints; look for a release by the weekend as a new PDF download). In working with Word (which I generally love, BTW), I've noticed that it's an extremely CPU-intensive application, even when just sitting in the background. With the Guidebook open (about a 3.5mb file), Word takes 40% - 60% of my CPU, whether it's in the foreground or the background. While working on the document, this isn't a problem, but it can be a bit of a problem when I've put Word into the background to do something else.
After some experimentation, I found a solution. It's not ideal, but it works. Simply close the document before switching applications. When I do this, Word's CPU usage drops to basically zero. It's also close to zero with a new blank document open. Somewhere between the blank document and my 3.5mb file, though, Word becomes quite CPU hungry -- and this is on a G4/733 with 1.2gb of RAM.
So if you want a responsive system, remember to close any large documents that you may have opened in Word before putting it in the background. I have not done any testing with Excel or PowerPoint to see if this same issue extends to those applications or not.
UPDATE: Based on an email from Philip D., I tweaked some settings and appear to have eliminated the problem (at least based on what's happening now). I have Word in the background with the 3.5mb file open, and it's using less than 1% of the CPU. What changes did I make? I turned off "Check spelling as you type" and "Check grammar as you type" in the "Spelling and Grammar" preferences tab. I also turned off "Show live word count" in the "Window" portion of the "View" preferences. This seems to have reduced Word's appetite for background CPU power to nearly zero.
In Entourage X, clicking on a URL in an email message launched Internet Explorer, even though OmniWeb was my default browser. I couldn't find a preference setting to change this -- if it's there, never mind the following workaround.
In the Finder, go to the Applications folder and temporarily rename Internet Explorer (I just added "xxx" to the end of the name so it became "Internet Explorerxxx").
In Entourage, click on a URL in an email message. It can't find Internet Explorer, so it uses (in my case) OmniWeb instead.
In the Finder, restore the name of Internet Explorer.
Henceforth, Entourage uses OmniWeb instead of IE, and I am happier. One reason, among many, is that OmniWeb has an option to open a new window when another application sends it a URL to open. IE reuses whichever window is frontmost.
[Editor's note: I have not tested this tip; I just installed Office v.X on Sunday, and have not yet launched Entourage. However, regarding IE, there's a prefs setting in Interface Extras where you can specify the behavior of the browser when answering requests from other applications.]