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Jump to the top or bottom of a List view window Desktop
This is a short and simple hint, but it is an undocumented feature, I believe...

If you have a Finder window open in List view and have an item selected, it is possible to easily jump to the first or last item in the list by hitting Option-Up Arrow or Option-Down Arrow, respectively.
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10.4: Group and sort Finder Spotlight search results Desktop
When you use find in the Finder (Command-F), you don't get the Spotlight side-bar that lets you control grouping and sorting of the search results.

You can, however, still group results by date or kind, and sort by name, date or kind within those groupings. You just need to have the View Options dialog visible. Control-click on any of the info icons (the circled 'i') to the right of the results, and select Show View Options from the contextual menu. Choose your Group and Sort options, and watch your results change.

[robg adds: Hiding in plain sight, I had no idea this was available for Spotlight's results in Finder searches. Now that I see it, of course, it's everywhere -- it's the standard Finder View Options dialog, so Command-J will show it (as will View: Show View Options and the Gear icon in the toolbar).]
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Enable 'cut items' in the Finder Desktop
I don't know how far back this goes, but while researching a feature request this weekend, I found an amusing pref in the Finder on Mac OS X 10.4.6. Open Terminal and type:
defaults write com.apple.finder AllowCutForItems 1
and then restart Finder. When files or folders are selected in Finder, the Cut command will be active in the Edit menu, and present in the context menu.

Unfortunately, all it does today is a move-to-trash, and there's no ability to paste and have the file retrieved and put in the active Finder window or selected folder. So I don't know if this is a feature half-done, a feature dead-ended, or just a redundant command disabled because it would confuse people.

I kind of hope it's half-done and will be available in 10.5. The move-to-trash as an interim step appeals to me, because while the superficial user experience is consistent with any other cut operation, it's less inherently destructive.

[robg adds: I tested it and it works (half works?) as described. If you want to disable it again, just repeat the above command but replace the 1 with a 0. This will leave the value in your Finder's preferences, but it will be disabled. If that bothers you for some reason, you can delete it entirely by typing defaults delete com.apple.finder AllowCutForItems. If someone can test this on 10.3, please comment -- I don't have a bootable 10.3 partition at the moment.]
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10.4: View a Finder slideshow with music without iTunes Desktop
I had downloaded around 100 images from my camera using Image Capture and was wanting to view a quick, lightweight Finder slideshow. About two slides in, I realized that pictures are kind of boring without music. I guess I could've opened iTunes, but I didn't want to bother, so I opened a new Finder window in Column View. I navigated just a few simple steps into my iTunes music library, found a song, and started playing it using the Finder.

I was fairly sure it would stop as soon as I clicked the Finder window with all of my pictures in it, but it didn't. I thought, "Surely, when I start the slideshow it'll stop...", but it didn't, and I was amazed. An ultra light-weight slideshow with music. No iTunes or iPhoto needed.

[robg adds: This only works if you use a separate Finder window for playing back the music; the Finder will stop playing as soon as you navigate out of the window containing the playing song. And yea, this is fairly standard OS X behavior, but combining two Finder functions into a new one is sort of unique.]
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10.4: Make a better Shared folder using ACLs Desktop
The /Users/Shared folder is setup by default with permissions such that anyone may add items to it, for the perusal of others (and only the person who added the item, or an Admin, may remove it). However, the default permissions of items created by users is 'Read & Write' for the owner, but 'Read Only' for 'Group' and 'Everyone.' This means that added items will not be writable by others, unless permissions are manually changed first, because standard permissions normally only apply to the item itself and are not inherited. This often goes against the expectations of prospective users of the Shared folder.

Access control lists (ACL) can also be used to control access to files and folders, based on who is trying to access them, and what groups they belong to. ACL rules apparently trump standard permissions, and unlike standard permissions, ACL rules can be set to be inherited, even on local volumes. These previous hints (1, 2) describe how to set up ACLs in 10.4.

The only thing this hint adds to the above is making use of the 'Everyone' group (gid=12), for which "Group membership [is] calculated by [the] system." This makes it unnecessary to create and add users to a common group, like 'Staff,' for example.
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Possibly use 'verification failed' CD/DVDs anyway Desktop
I use the CD/DVD burning feature of the Finder a lot. Sometimes the verification fails, but I found that it is worth it to try the 'failed' CD/DVD anyway. When this problem occurs, the CD/DVD has mounted correctly quite often. Of course, I verify it to make sure the data I added is all there and is correct.

Sometimes, it seems that the verification routine is a bit overzealous...

[robg adds: I've seen this exact situation on my machine, though very rarely. I probably wouldn't trust a CD/DVD that failed the verification step for long-term archival use, but for a simple file transfer or similar, as long as you confirm everything works, it should be fine.]
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An AppleScript to calculate item sizes in the Finder Desktop
After upgrading to a MacBook Pro, I discovered that my Calculate Size Contextual Menu item (which calculated total size of everything selected in finder) wasn't showing up, even though it was installed. After digging around for a few days, I made my first real AppleScript -- a substitute for the non-functional CM item.

I added the script to Butler's smart items with a trigger hotkey, and it works just fine. (I still haven't figured out why when added to OnMyCommand items it shows the alert more times than necessary). Hope this helps somebody.

[robg adds: This worked for me on my MacBook, also via a Butler Smart Item.]
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Easily create 128x128 PNGs from icons Desktop
I was attempting to make some new icons recently, and I wanted to start with an existing one, but modify it in a graphics program. I thought there was a way to copy the icon into the clipboard in previous versions of OS X, but each time I tried (Get Info, select icon, copy), I would only get a small version of the icon (about 32x32), and without transparency. But I wanted the larger version and with the transparency. I do realize there are some shareware utilities out there for this, but this should be do-able by the system itself. Turns out, it is.

So, here's the tip I found -- perhaps this has been reported before, but I couldn't find it.

Drag the item which has the icon you want to use into the Dock, then activate OS X's window capture screenshot feature -- press Shift-Command-4, then press the Space Bar. Now position the camera icon over the icon in your Dock and click. On your desktop will be a PNG file of the full-sized icon (128x128), with its transparency and nothing else. Easy!

[robg adds: I didn't realize the camera tool would see each Dock icon as a separate window; that's a pretty useful tip right there. When I tested this, though, I found that I only got good results when the icons in the Dock were as large as possible. Compare the two shots (of Butler's icon) seen at right. The leftmost one was taken with my Dock at its usual "smallish" setting. The one on the right was taken after removing all excess icons from the Dock, to make the Dock icons as large as possible. Although both captures are 128x128 (I shrunk them for display here), it seems OS X simply zooms the smaller capture up to the 128x128 size.]
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A script to provide Growl notices on folder modification Desktop
I keep my Public Drop Box folder and a Samba share online all the time when I'm on the college network, and occasionally someone will drop files into either. Sometimes I won't notice for a while afterwards, which is annoying if it's big or I need to organise the folder better. So I wrote this Folder Action AppleScript that pops up a Growl notification whenever a file is added to a folder.

Just add the script as a Folder Action on a folder that you want monitored, and it'll pop up whenever something is added. If one file is added, the icon of that file pops up in the Growl notification; if more than one are added, then that folder's icon is displayed.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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10.4: How to swap pairs of Finder keyboard shortcuts Desktop
Tiger only hintOver in the Macworld forums the other day, a reader lamented the switch in functionality of Command-N between OS 9 (new folder) and OS X (new Finder window).

It's been so many years since I switched over that I'd basically completely forgotten about that change -- and I make new windows more often than new folders, so I actually prefered the switch. Nonetheless, I was pretty sure we must have run a hint on how to swap the existing shortcut keys, which became possible with the release of 10.4. But all I could find when searching was this old hint I wrote about other ways to easily create new folders. It seems I never documented the method of switching the New Finder Window and New Folder keyboard shortcuts. So I did that yesterday in this Macworld tip writeup.

In a nutshell, you can make Command-N create new folders by first assigning the New Finder Window command to another key combo, then reassigning the New Folder command to Command-N (all done in the Keyboard Shortcuts tab of the Keyboard & Mouse System Preferences panel, of course). You can then switch New Finder Window over to Shift-Command-N, if you want to. If you need more detail, I went through the process step-by-step in the above-linked writeup.

But the more interesting version of this hint is the general one -- you can use this same technique to swap any pair of existing shortcuts. For instance, I swapped Command-I and Command-Option-I -- Command-I now gives me the Inspector window, and Command-Option-I brings up the Get Info window. I use the Inspector much more often than I use the Get Info window, and it's now but a simple Command-I away. To swap any existing combos, just do this, using my swap as the sample case:
  1. In the Keyboard Shortcuts panel, reassign the command (Get Info) whose shortcut (Command-I) you'd like to use to something else (I used Command-Control-I).
  2. In the Keyboard Shortcuts panel, assign the now-vacant combo (Command-I) to the command you'd like it to activate (the Inspector).
  3. Relaunch the Finder to activate the first swaps.
  4. Back in the Keyboard Shortcuts panel, change the temporarily-assigned command (Get Info, Control-Command-I) to the now-vacated shortcut from the other command (Inspector, Command-Option-I).
  5. Relaunch the Finder again to activate the change.
The last two steps are optional -- you only need to do them if you want to have the same two shortcuts as you had before.
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