I like to have more than one Gmail account open at the same time. As you can't have more than one in the same browser, I use Firefox's ProfileManager flag to manage one profile for each Gmail account. Type in terminal:
The first time you do this, you'll create a new profile, one for each of your Gmail accounts. Launch this command each time you wish to open a new account. The Dock will display multiple Firefox icons, one for each open profile. If you wish, you can check "Remember me on this computer." As Firefox passwords are not managed by Keychain, you can store one for each of your accounts. You can also do this in Safari. Type in terminal:
Each time you launch this command, a new instance of Safari will open. You can then login to a different Gmail account in each. If Safari is not your default browser, use a gmail.webloc file instead of a URL:
I often need to restart my computer or quit Firefox to free up RAM, but don't want to lose all my open tabs. I find the following solution by accident: Force quite Firefox (Cmd-Opt-Esc), and the next time you launch Firefox it will ask you if you want to restore your session, and will load all the tabs and windows you had open before the quit. A hack, yes, but a useful feature not implemented in the normal interface!
[kirkmc adds: I'm not a regular Firefox user, and can't find any other way to do this in the help. Is there any other way?]
Safari's "AutoFill Form" (Cmd-Shift-A) function is useful for quickly entering name and address details in a web page from your "own" address card in Address Book, but it fails to complete what we call the "postcode" in Australia. Probably because it's looking for a field labelled "zip code", I assumed, and Australian web forms have this labelled "post code" or "postcode". So I wondered if this was configurable.
I found the solution it in Contents/Resources/English.lproj/ABAutoCompleteMappings.plist within the Safari.app package. To open this in the Finder, right-click (or Ctrl-click) on Safari.app in the Applications folder, select "Show Package Contents", then navigate to Contents -> Resources -> English.lproj. Make a backup of ABAutoCompleteMappings.plist (Cmd-D does this nicely), then open ABAutoCompleteMappings.plist in Property List Editor (if you have Developer Tools installed) or any text editor.
If you are using a text editor, you will find the following starting at or around line 134:
If using Property List Editor, add the extra entries to Root-> Mappings-> 11-> FieldLabels.
Save the file, restart Safari and test. This works for Mac OS X ver 10.4.9. Other versions may vary in the details.
[kirkmc adds: I haven't tested this. Obviously, this may also be useful for people in other countries, or working in other languages. Also, you may want to check some of the other keys in the file if you find that, in your country or language, you often have fields that don't auto-fill.]
As was mentioned here before, you can look up words in Dictionary if you have your dictionary already up and running. But what if you don't? Here is a quick way to call the Dictionary.app from Safari.
Bookmark a web page; say this one that you're reading right now. Then go to your bookmarks and find the URL that you have just bookmarked. Replace the text under the Bookmark title with something relevant, like Dictionary, and the URL under the Address with dict:///. Now add your modified URL into the Bookmarks Bar, at the leftmost position.
Now hit Command-1, and there is your Dictionary. Simply start typing your query.
[robg adds: Command-1 works, for those who don't know, because Safari automatically assigns Command-1 through Command-9 to your first nine non-folder bookmarks.]
Not too long ago, I was toying around with one of the many third-party tools that allow you to modify how your Mac works. During my testing, I enabled a setting that made those little yellow tooltips pop-up every time I hovered over a URL in Safari. Ugh. Within a week or two, I couldn't take it anymore, and wanted to turn them off again. However, I could not locate the program that I had used to enable them -- I probably had trashed it shortly after trying it out.
So, a little Unix juju to the rescue. First, I had to find where that option was set; it's not a regular preference, as far as I could find. After quitting Safari, I typed this at a Terminal prompt:
I use Firefox on my laptop. When I'm at my desk, I have a second monitor plugged in. I've long been annoyed at how poorly Firefox handles multiple monitors. Specifically, if you do this...
Unplug the second monitor.
Plug in the second monitor.
Move your Firefox window to the second monitor.
Type an m (or any other character -- I chose m because it will auto-complete to macosxhints.com) in the URL bar.
...then the auto-complete drop-down menu will appear on the edge of the first monitor, instead of directly underneath the URL bar in your Firefox window on the second monitor. Form field auto-complete drop-downs behave in the same bad manner.
This annoying behavior doesn't go away until you restart Firefox, which results in a loss of all of your open windows. This morning, I came up with a workaround to make this restart a little less annoying. Instead of quitting Firefox normally, Option-Control-click on Firefox in the Dock and choose Force Quit from the pop-up menu. Then restart Firefox. Firefox will believe that it crashed, and give you the option to restore your session with all of the windows and tabs you had open previously.
[robg adds: I think a more elegant solution would be to install one of the many available session saving extensions for Firefox. With something like Session Manager or SessionSaver .2 installed, you can have Firefox automatically reopen all windows and tabs that existed when you last quit the program. Note, however, that I haven't tested these solutions with the specific two-monitor problem listed here, but I think they should work fine.]
Though opinions seem to vary, I'm squarely in the "annoyed by the backspace in Firefox" camp. By default, the backspace key triggers a 'Back' action, sending you to the previous page in your history. You'd need an Xserve to count the email, messages, and form values that I've lost to this redundant, misappropriated shortcut. Fortunately, the solution can be found in the Firefox's about:configBrowser.backspace_action preference.
How to block the backspace action:
Open a new Firefox window
Enter about:config into the location bar. Press Enter. The about:config page will open. It's a huge list of Firefox configuration properties.
Enter browser.backspace into the filter. This will bring the 'Browser.backspace_action' preference into view.
Contrl-click the 'Browser.backspace_action' Value column, and choose Modify from the pop-up menu, then enter a new value of 2.
That's it! You're done! Fear the backspace key no longer! Of course, you can still use Command-] and Command-[ to go Back and Forward. If you ever want to restore the backspace action, simply change the value of the 'Browser.backspace_action' preference back to 0, using the above process.
Sometimes I need to test a site that's protected with basic authentication with several different users. Safari, unfortunately, does not have a logout function, to forget about basic authentication credentials. To work around this issue, just insert the login and password of the new account directly in the URL, just after the http://. For example, if your URL is something like http://some.protected.site/, use this:
Safari will then switch to the new_user, and it will remember the switch in future visits.
If QuickTime logos containing a question mark appear in Safari after installing the latest version of RealPlayer for Mac OS X, examine the preferences file for the QuickTime internet plug-in (com.apple.quicktime.plugin.preferences.plist) in the user's Preferences folder for repeated occurrences of the qt and mov strings in the the WebPluginExtensions array of the video/quicktime key. Remove repeated string values and relaunch Safari, and the problem should be fixed.
Typing keywords into the URL entry field in Firefox will take you to the top hit of a Google search -- the same thing you'd see if you clicked the "I'm feeling lucky" link on Google's search page. I discovered this by accident, and didn't think much of it at the time, and not certainly worthy of a posting, but I've found myself using it more and more. For example; finding info on a product, where I don't care which vendor site I go to, I just want the specs, a picture, and a ballpark price. So in the URL bar, I type akg 414 or mackie 1202.
For a quick reminder of details, try ortf or FM synthesis or John cage. Need the IRS' 1040ez form? Just type 1040ez into the URL bar. Also try things like art institute hours, babel fish, car talk london review of books, performance audio, and of course, apple store. Or try some software sites, like menumeter, amadeus ii, quickeys, or starquiz. Each of those take you to their site faster than doing a Google search and then clicking the top hit.
Not very fancy, but I love tricks that save me a click and four seconds.
[robg adds: I'm not positive this always runs an I'm Feeling Lucky search; a couple of examples I tried just led to Google's search results page. If I tried those same examples with the I'm Feeling Lucky button on Google, though, then I went directly to a given site. So I'm not quite sure what's going on...]