If you used Spaces under Snow Leopard, you may have noticed that switching between Desktops using Ctrl+arrow keys is much slower in Lion.
To make switching a bit faster, you can assign a shortcut key to each Desktop in the Keyboard section of System Preferences.
I used F16 - F19 to switch directly to Desktop 1 - 4 respectively. On the full-size (USB) aluminium keyboards these function keys go unused otherwise. Switching is now as fast for me as it used to be under Snow Leopard.
[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one, but it sounds like it should work fine with the appropriate keyboard.]
I am almost 99% sure that this is new in Lion. If you have a folder that is closed in Finder (list view), or even in Xcode. This folder is represented with a black triangle on the left side. So, if you click that triangle, the folder expands and shows its contents.
But if you click on the triangle with the Shift key pressed, you see that expansion/contraction in slow motion. This is one of those OS X hidden pearls.
[crarko adds: I tried is in Snow Leopard and could not reproduce the effect. Some Finder engineer at Apple must really get a kick out of the Shift key = slow motion effect model.]
You can change 'Keep Both Files' to 'Skip' when copying multiple files in Finder.
In Lion, one of the new features is to be able to 'Keep Both Files' when copying multiple files in Finder. While this is useful there are many times when the old 'Skip' behavior is better suited to the task. Well, the (now) obvious way to do this is to just hold the 'Option' key, and then 'Keep Both File' changes to 'Skip.'
Credit for this tip goes to a poster on the Apple Discussion Boards.
[crarko adds: Sometimes simple tips are the best. This is also serves as an example of good software design.]
I just discovered this, and I'm getting used to it. It is a bit unpredictable until you get the motion correct.
While swiping with four fingers through spaces in Lion, click the trackpad just as you begin the swipe. This will skip a space and move you over two spaces. It takes a little getting used to, but works great after a while.
Clicking the mouse while swiping with the other hand doesn't seem to affect this, so the whole action apparently needs to be done with the same hand on the trackpad. Only tested on a 2008 MBP.
[crarko adds: I couldn't get this to work with the Magic Trackpad, but it could be that configuration dosen't work, or maybe I'm just too sloppy on the gesture and timing. Give this a try and tell us your results in the comments.]
I do a lot of photography and video, so I prefer a simple, color-free Desktop background on my monitors. When I installed Lion, I fell in love with the basic linen texture of the login screen and decided that I need to replace that Tiger-era pattern I was using (which I had de-colored and flipped in Photoshop to give some symmetry to my dual monitors).
Opened it in Preview and made it just a little lighter (personal preference)
Saved it to my ~/Pictures folder
Brought up 'Change Desktop Background...' by right-clicking on the Desktop.
Selected the tile image in the Pictures folder and selected 'Tile' in the format drop-down (above the preview images).
That's it. I realize that this is just a window-dressing kind of hint, but is the best payback I can provide for all the valuable tips and fixes I've received from Mac OS X Hints over the years.
[crarko adds: Pretty straightforward. About the only thing I noticed was that I needed to either Export the file from Preview, or it also would let me make a duplicate using 'Save a version.' That's just because the file is owned by root, and read only to everyone else.]
The Dual Monitor full-screen app trick works with Multi-windowed apps like Safari and Xcode.
Specifically, this hint works also for Multi-windowed apps.
I used to be able to have the Xcode workspace in one window full screen on Monitor 1 and and its Organizer Documentation window in Monitor 2. But in 10.7 the documents window would slip behind the workspace when sending the workspace into full screen.
I tried the above hint using the same method. But calling the Documentation window by its hotkey. It worked. The documentation window popped onto the second monitor and it was not in fullscreen mode.
And the same thing happens with Safari. I just used the hotkey for New Window. I suspect this will work for other apps.
[crarko adds: I still don't have a dual-monitor setup to try this, but it sounds like a great follow-up to the earlier hint.]
System Preferences does not include any easy way to reset all desktop backgrounds throughout Mission Control; instead, each is changed individually. This hint offers an easier workaround than resetting each one-by-one or deleting and restoring them all.
In order to change all wallpapers, go to Desktop 1 and change its wallpaper through System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver. Then enter:
killall Dock in Terminal.
This will set all desktops to the same wallpaper.
The one caveat I've noticed: if you previously did set a wallpaper for an individual desktop, it will not change. This hint seems to only apply to desktops created through the plus symbol in Mission Control.
[crarko adds: I had a bit of difficulty making this work until I removed my existing Spaces (other than the first) and re-created them using the Mission Control plus sign, as mentioned in the hint.]
With the introduction of Lion we have full-screen mode, which is cool and all, but for users with multiple monitors, the spare monitor(s) are rendered somewhat useless with a fabric pattern background -- useful for only applications that spawn child windows, such as tool palettes, etc.
However, if you utilize the full-screen swipe gesture to move to a separate full screen and pause/stop in the middle with multiple Spaces in view and invoke another application (i.e. via Spotlight), the spawned application can reside in the 'fabric space' or anywhere else. It basically remains attached to that space.
Awesome news for those with multiple monitors!
[crarko adds: I don't have a multiple display setup at the moment to try this out. Please give this a whirl and post your results in the comments. It sounds a bit bizarre to me, but seems worth documenting, if it works.]