Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Grab text with Stickies service Apps
At times you'll want to grab a selection of text different apps for any number of purposes. For example, you may be viewing a post in this "Tips" forum and want to keep a particular paragraph within a particular post.

Previously, you would have selected the text and dragged it to the desktop as a "clipping." This still works, but it clutters up your desktop.

Here's a better way:

Select the desired text -- in any Cocoa application -- and choose "Services" and then "Make Sticky" under the menu with your applications title in it (the menu just to the right of the Apple menu; it will have the same name as the application you're in). Stickies will launch if it's not already running, and create a new note with your selected text.

[Editor's addendum: In my opinion, system-wide services are one of the coolest and probably least publicized features of OS X. Take a look at the Services menu (under the application's name in the menu bar) for examples of what you can do.

Most services seem to be available even if the service app is not running; the application will launch when the service is selected. "Grab" services appear broken, at least in my 10.0.3 - it doesn't work with or without Grab running.

At present, only Cocoa apps can take advantage of services; hopefully, Carbon apps will gain the ability at some point in the future. I personally think services could turn into one of the most useful features of X]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (7)  
  • Currently 1.43 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[4,828 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
Option-click window widgets Apps
Thanks to macosxhints' user 'louisdeboer' for pointing this one out. If you option-click on any of the window widgets at the top left of an application window (most Carbon or Cocoa apps, it seems), it behaves just as though you option-clicked a widget in the old Finder - the action is passed to all open windows. Want to minimize all of OmniWeb's open windows? Just option-click the minimize button. Similarly, option-click the close button, and they all close.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (2)  
  • Currently 2.57 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[3,340 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version and sendmail Apps
[Editor's note: See Geoff's comments; apparently this only works the first time you try it! There's an alternative suggested in the comments which may work better.]

I have managed to get to handle sendmail mail by cheating... I am assuming that you're running sendmail OK but have been using mail or pine or somesuch to read mail.

Do this:

in the terminal, copy the folder heirarchy of another of your mailboxes (in ~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes).

Switch into the newly created directory, and instead of mbox, do:

ln -s /var/mail/user_name mbox

where user_name is your username. Restart and you should now be able to manage mail downloaded from sendmail in

If anyone knows a better way, preferably from within instead of silly hacking, please let me know!!!

Geoff Saulnier - Mac, *NIX, perl, hack!!

[Editor's note: I'm not running sendmail locally, so I have not tried this myself]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (5)  
  • Currently 2.29 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[4,019 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
Show rulers in TextEdit Apps
I just discovered this. Command-R shows a MacWrite like ruler in TextEdit. I looked for help on this topic but found nothing. Don't know how to make the different tab types work but the added functionality is a welcome discovery.

[Editor's note: I'd overlooked this one myself, as I usually use TextEdit in plain text mode. To enable the rulers, you must first make sure you're in Rich Text mode (Edit -> Make Rich Text). Once you've done that, you can, indeed, show the rulers.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (3)  
  • Currently 2.57 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[4,701 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
Use an unsupported burner in iTunes Apps
(this trick has been around for OS 9.1 before, but I adapted it for OS X)

If you have a CD burner similar to one supported by Apple (for instance a MATSHITA CD-RW CW-7585 which is the same as the CD-RW CW-7586, apart from the maximum cache RAM), it's very easy to have it seen by iTunes 1.1.1.

First log in as root. Then go to:

[Editor: Broken onto two lines for narrower width; enter as one path]

and find the plugin for you CD burner maker (here "MatshitaCDR.device-plugin"). Make a copy of the file for safety. Then open the file with an hex editor and locate the string with the supported CD burner ID (here "CD-RW CW-7586"). Change it for your CD burner ID ("CD-RW CW-7585"). Save the file. Reboot and you're done!

  Post a comment  •  Comments (13)  
  • Currently 2.29 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[19,225 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
Resize open/save dialogs Apps
Hopefully everyone has realized you can resize the Open/Save dialogs in all OS X apps (including Classic, but it's not as useful there). Set the column width view to three or four columns to make navigating the dialogs easier.

What's interesting is that the settings for the Open/Save dialog are saved with each app, so you can (for example) have a wider width on BBedit than you do on I use a three or four column view in most places; this makes navigating much easier.

Thanks to Wilson N. for reminding me about the resize features!
  Post a comment  •  Comments (0)  
  • Currently 1.86 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[2,116 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
Finding X-friendly CD burners Apps
Apple has updated their iTunes web page to show which third-party drives are currently compatible with iTunes 1.1.1 in OS X. You can see the list here:
  Post a comment  •  Comments (1)  
  • Currently 2.00 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (8 votes cast)
[1,902 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
Installing AppleWorks on international systems Apps
The AppleWorks 6.1 native X upgrade will only work if you have a U.S. installation of AppleWorks 6.0.4. It didn't like my British one.

Fair enough, I thought, I don't mind being American for a bit - I'll go back to MacOS 9 and install the U.S. version of 6.0.4 instead. But the installer wouldn't let me - it told me off for trying to install a US version on an International system.

However, there is a way to make it proceed. Don't use the 'Easy Install' route. If you select the Custom option it doesn't give you this warning and you can happily install the US version. Then switch back to X, and you can install the upgrade happily.

  Post a comment  •  Comments (0)  
  • Currently 1.86 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[2,906 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
Remove the "Upgrade QuickTime" screens Apps
Tired of the annoying "Upgrade to QuickTime Pro" screens that pop-up whenever you just want to watch a movie? The simple solution gets rid of the begging screen once and for all (you also don't get the Pro features, but you'd pay for that if you need it, right?)

This may be an old hint, but I'm always surprised by the number of people I meet who don't know this.

- Go to the System Preferences
- Click on Date & Time
- Under the NETWORK TIME tab, Turn OFF Time Synchronization. (This is just a precaution)
- Under the DATE & TIME tab, SET THE YEAR to 2002
- CLOSE the System Preferences
- OPEN the QuickTime player (you may still get the blurb for QT Pro. If so, click it away and then CLOSE the Player
- Go back to System Preferences, Date & Time panel and move the year BACK to 2001. Go to the NETWORK TIME tab and turn Time Synchronization back ON if it was on previously.
- CLOSE the System Preferences

That's it! The QuickTime Pro begging screen tastefully times-out after a year. Setting the clock ahead kills the pop-ups for good (BTW - this has worked since QuickTime 3)
  Post a comment  •  Comments (1)  
  • Currently 2.57 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[5,236 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
Remote control of X from any system! Apps
If you have fast network access, there's now a quick and easy way to have total remote control over your OS X box, including the GUI. A protocol known as VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is the key, and it offers servers and clients for nearly every platform.

There have been a couple of clients for X released (which allow you to connect to other VNC servers), but there hasn't been a server (well, there's one you can run if you install X Windows on X first, but that's a big project in itself!). There is now, however, an OS X VNC server package available which runs native under Aqua, and takes about 30 seconds to get running.

If you look closely at the screenshot (or look at the larger image), you'll see that it's my Aqua desktop being viewed from a Windows98 machine. Over my LAN, this was nearly as fast as working locally on my desktop. To work remotely, though, you'll want a fast internet connection on your X machine.

Getting this working is incredibly simple. Here's how:
  1. Update: is no longer a Mac-related website; the domain expired and it's now run as a porn site! Do not try to visit there!]

  2. Install the program and launch it.

  3. Get a client (viewer) for another machine (or even for your OS X box). You can pick a viewer for common platforms or less common platforms. You could also try searching macosxapps or VersionTracker for VNC clients for OS X.

  4. Launch the viewer and enter the IP number and port of the server. You should now have remote control over your OS X machine!
For more information on the server (including a script to launch it at startup and some speed tips), visit [see Update note above!]. With VNC and SSH, I now have complete remote control over my OS X system, from nearly any platform available -- cool!
  Post a comment  •  Comments (6)  
  • Currently 2.50 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[8,278 views] Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version