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10.5: Create a simple contact sheet Desktop
It's trivial, but convenient: create a quick and dirty 'contact sheet' of images using Quick Look, three simple keyboard shortcuts, and one mouse-click:
  1. Open the folder containing the set of image files.
  2. Press Command-A, Command-Option-Y, click the Index Sheet button, then press Command-Shift-3.
Just that easily, and you've made a contact sheet from the Quick Look display -- you'll find it on your Desktop, in a file named Picture 1. With a very little bit of coding, you can turn this into a simple script, too.
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Automatically clean up Finder's Recent Folders menu Desktop
Some of you might be using the hidden setting to control the number of entries in the Recent Items menus (as in this hint or via TinkerTool) to disable the menus entirely, for example on shared computers or other situations.

Unfortunately, the Finder has a menu of recently-accessed folders in the Go menu that nobody has yet found a way to disable. In case you really need to get rid of this feature, here is a crontab line that will clear the menu every minute:
* * * * * osascript -e 'tell application "System Events" to click menu item "Clear Menu" of menu of menu item "Recent Folders" of menu of menu bar item "Go" of menu bar of process "Finder"' >&/dev/null
It works by clicking on Finder's Recent Folders » Clear Menu menu item every minute. The nice thing is that it does so in an invisible manner, without bringing Finder to the front or otherwise disrupting your workflow, and it wastes only a few milliseconds of processor time every minute. This is a generic technique that may be applied to all sorts of needs: just look at the string of menu labels, and adapt to your needs.

You will need to enable access for assistive devices in the Universal Access System Preferences panel for this to work.

[robg adds: If you need help with crontab, this older hint provides a decent starting point.]
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Create an iPhoto-like folder view in the Finder Desktop
To create an iPhoto-like size-adjustable icon view of a folder, just put "" (with nothing inside the quotes) in the search box in a Finder window. Set it to the folder of interest, and to search by name, and choose icon view.

Now you can see a view with the zoom scroller on the bottom right. Very useful to see images or videos on folders.

[robg adds: This is a variation on this older hint, which used a smart folder to display a narrow range of results with the slider; this method just opens it up to all files within a folder. Alternatively, as noted in the original hint, you could just opt to leave the View Options window open instead, as it contains a slider for icon size (as well as grid spacing).]
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10.5: Full screen browsing in Quick Look in 10.5.6 Desktop
I offered this comment in response to a query in this hint's comments, but I couldn't find a hint update for 10.5.6, so here goes.

When using Quick Look in full screen mode in earlier OS versions, you could us Command-Tab to change from the Finder to another application and then back to the Finder. After doing that, you could then use the arrow keys to scroll to other files. (Otherwise, you could only switch between whatever files you may have selected prior to opening Quick Look.) This no longer works in 10.5.6, but there is a similar approach, but why this one works is a mystery.

In 10.5.6 when in full screen mode in Quick Look, hit Command-Tab and navigate to Safari, and make sure you can also see a bit of a Finder window. Click on the Finder window in the background to take you back to Quick Look; clicking the Finder in the Dock won't work. After doing this, you can use the up/down arrows again. It doesn't seem to work if you switch to any other application first, and I'd be interested in any explanations.

Of course, you can still use the other standard, documented (and foolproof, if there is such a thing?) way to move between files in full screen Quick Look, by selecting all the files you want to view in the Finder and then go to full screen view (Option-Command-Y). This is the Slideshow mode but you can move through the files easily using the left/right arrows in this case, and scroll within a file using the up/down arrows. Strangely, the above hint works here too so you can go beyond the files you selected.

[robg adds: I think you can use this trick with any application, not just Safari. The key seems to be where you click in the Finder window. If I click in the window itself, I still can't browse with the arrow keys. If I click in the toolbar portion of the Finder window, however, then I can browse at will -- regardless of which application I switched to via Command-Tab. One other side effect is that this seems to disable the Escape key as an exit for Quick Look; I had to click the "X" button on the screen to get out of Quick Look after using this trick.]
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10.5: Easy full-screen QuickLook 'Index Sheet' view Desktop
I really like QuickLook's Index Sheet view. I often find myself selecting everything in an image folder (Command-A), going straight into full-screen QuickLook (Command-Option-Y), and then clicking the Index Sheet button. So I wrote a simple AppleScript program to stick in the Finder's toolbar to simplify the process.

It essentially just does a Command-A and then a Command-Option-Y (you have to still click the Index Sheet button yourself), but it's better than nothing. The project is hosted on Google Code (quicklook-fullscreen-gallery), and I welcome any help with making it even simpler.

By following these steps, you can make this program from scratch yourself, without downloading anything. First create the script. Open Script Editor (in Applications » AppleScript), and enter the following script. (This is a modified version of the script Minimize all Finder windows at login via AppleScript, posted by meanbone.):
activate application "Finder"
tell application "System Events"
  tell process "Finder"
    keystroke "a" using {command down}
    keystroke "y" using {command down, option down}
  end tell
end tell
Next, before saving and proceeding to the next step, test the script to make sure it works.
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10.5: Customize those boring blue folders using Preview Desktop
Are you fed up with those boring 'embossed' blue folders for Documents, Music, Pictures etc? No problem -- just make your own!

Navigate to /System » Library » CoreServices, and view the contents of the CoreTypes.bundle bundle (Control-click and select Show Package Contents). I recommend copying the Generic Folder icon file to your desktop for easy management, but if you look at the other .icns files in there, there's a whole host of goodies!

One thing I've done is copy an image on top of the generic folder using Preview. Just select the image and use copy/paste to paste it onto your generic folder. Because these icons are 512x512 and properly masked, you get a nice overlay with transparency, too (for some, at least). You can move also move the pasted image around like a layer in Photoshop.

Once the image has been modified to your liking, click on the image again in Preview -- this will flatten it. Then use copy and paste to change the icon in the Get Info window of your boring blue folder ... straight from Preview; no other software needed.

One nice example is having a folder with the green "downloads" icon on it that you see in the sidebar -- good for easily recognizable stacks. Have fun!
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Permanently disable Dock icon bouncing Desktop
Certain applications have a very annoying (to me) feature -- they bounce their Dock icons. I keep my Dock hidden, mainly because I don't use it all that much, and I find the bouncing icons quite annoying. Some programs allow you to control Dock bouncing via their preferences (iChat comes to mind), but for others, control of the bouncing is out of the users' hands.

Thanks to a simple Terminal command, however, you can permanently prevent Dock bouncing by any application. In Terminal, enter these two commands:
$ defaults write no-bouncing -bool TRUE
$ killall Dock
When the Dock restarts, you won't see any icon bouncing again, ever. An ideal solution would be a per-application setting, because there may be apps for which you want a bouncing Dock icon. Lacking that, though, I'll take the no bouncing solution. To reverse this, just repeat the command, replacing TRUE with FALSE, and then kill the Dock again.

For an easier method of implementing this feature, see this hint.
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Collect files in new folder via AppleScript and a plug-in Desktop
The Group in New Folder script in the Big Cat Scripts Plug-in was my favorite Finder tool for a long time, and I was very upset when it was broken in Leopard. I have managed to hack togather something that can be activated using AmScriptsCMX(UB).

Here is my script. To use it, first nstall AmScriptsCMX(UB) and put the below script in ~/Library/Scripts. Warning: I am not an AppleScript wizard; this script works for me as is, though. Usual disclaimer applies. Please do let me know if this script can be improved. Thanks to part of this hint that I referred to, and also to BigCat's original script, for making the revised version possible.
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Open Finder Inspector panel at login Desktop
I really love Finder's Inspector window, specially on a large screen like an iMac's, but I'd prefer to have it open when my Mac starts. (Yes, it is just three keystrokes, but I prefer to have it already on automatically.) So, as Finder doesn't have this option, I've created an AppleScript to do it:
  tell application "Finder"
  end tell
  tell application "System Events"
    tell process "Finder"
      tell menu bar 1
        tell menu bar item "File"
          tell menu "File"
            click menu item "Show Inspector"
          end tell
        end tell
      end tell
    end tell
  end tell
end try
Paste the above into Script Editor, save it as an application, and then I add it to your login items. You must have enabled Access for Assistive Devices, which can be found in the Universal Access System Preferences panel.
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Create a new folder in the current list-view directory Desktop
I work almost exclusively in Finder's List View, which has an annoying folder creation "feature" that I dislike. Once you've used the Right Arrow to drill down into a few subfolders, when you hit Command-Shift-N to create a new folder, that folder will be created at the root folder of the Finder's current view, instead of in the folder you're looking at.

What I wanted to do was select any folder, press a keyboard combo, and have a new folder created inside that currently-selected folder. Similarly, selecting a file and hitting a shortcut would create a new folder where that file is located. So I set to work with AppleScript; here's the code
  tell application "Finder"
    set selectedItem to selection
    set currentPath to ((the first item of the selectedItem) as alias)
    set parentPath to ""
    if (currentPath as string) ends with ":" then
      -- it is a folder
      set the parentPath to currentPath
      -- it is a file
      set {od, AppleScript's text item delimiters} to {AppleScript's text item delimiters, ":"}
      set the parentPath to (text items 1 thru -2 of (currentPath as string)) as string
      set AppleScript's text item delimiters to od
    end if
    set newFolder to (my createFolder(parentPath))
  end tell
on error -- no folder or file is selected
  tell application "Finder"
    set the currentPath to (folder of the front window as alias)
    set parentFolder to currentPath
    set newFolder to (my createFolder(currentPath))
  end tell
end try

on createFolder(folderLocation)
  tell application "Finder"
    set thisFolder to make new folder at folderLocation
    set selection to thisFolder
    tell application "System Events"
      keystroke return
      quit -- if i don't do this system events seems to hang???
    end tell
    return thisFolder
  end tell
end createFolder
(Please note: I'm no uber-scripter, so there may be simpler ways of doing this.) There does seem to be a bug where Finder will not select the newly created folder. Also, to make this work via the keyboard, you'll want to use something like Spark to hook up a keyboard shortcut to this script.

[robg adds: I tested this using Butler, and it worked as described. This much older hint explained how to create a new file in the currently-selected folder via AppleScript.]
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