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Dragging Items To Folders in the Dock Desktop
When you've got a folder in the dock, and you want to drag an item into that folder, does anybody else find it disconcerting to have that folder MOVE OUT OF THE WAY for a second because it thinks you're trying to add something to the DOCK instead of to that folder?

Well, my absolute favorite Mac OS X tip is if you hold down the COMMAND key when you drag an item to a folder in the dock, the folder will NOT slide out of the way -- it will just sit there waiting for you to drag stuff into it!
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Copy and Paste files with keyboard shortcuts Desktop
In a previously published hint it is stated that you can copy and paste files in the Finder by using contextual menus.

I don't know if it's new to 10.1.3 or if you could do this before, but you can also copy and paste files in the Finder by using the Command+C and Command+V keys similar to Windows.

[Sudo Editor's Note: I am pretty sure this hint was never published before, correct me if I am wrong, I know you will :-). This just goes to show that even the most simple of hints is worth mentioning.]
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Change the Finder's shortcut keys Desktop
When you use the Finder's shortcuts often, you may want to change some of them to better suit your needs. For example, I did not like the shortcut for the 'back' button in a Finder window. By default it is command [, and I wanted to change this to command B' which is the current shortcut to hide or show the toolbar.

Read the rest of the article for a quick how-to on editing Finder shortcuts...

[Editor's caution: Although not overly difficult, if you're not yet comfortable with the terminal, root privileges, and UNIX file permissions, I would recommend holding off on this hint. You do not want to mess up key files used by the Finder! I have not tried this hint myself.]
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Easily change your desktop picture Desktop
I must change my desktop picture 3-4 times a day (I'm easily bored!!), so I have found a way to do this with ease.

Using ChangeDesktop 1.3.1 (freeware), I've set up the "Preferences Application" with the "Change then quit" option ticked.

Next - using Dragstrip (Aladdin Systems Inc), I've set up a hot key for the ChangeDesktop application (not the Preferences application).

Now simply hit the hot key in any application, and the desktop changes. Keep hitting that hot key until you get a desktop image that you like!

I have also set up a folder of favorite desktop pics which I intermittently alter by throwing in duplicate copies of my currently favorite pics. This is the only folder I have selected in the ChangeDesktop preferences, though you can choose several folders if you like. For me it works better than OS 9's random selection at bootup.

[Sudo Editor's Note: If you do not happen to own DragStrip, it should be possible for you to do this with similar apps or even the dock!]
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Proxy settings for fink Desktop
If you would like to use 'dselect' to install and/or upgrade your fink installation on a computer that is behind a firewall, you can do one of two things:
  1. Run 'fink configure' and when asked for proxy setting, type in your proxy information in the following format:
    http://username:password@proxyserver:proxyport
  2. Edit /sw/etc/fink.conf, and add the following line:
    ProxyHTTP: http://username:password@proxyserver:proxyport
[Editor's note: I have not tried this myself, but it seems straightforward!]
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Invert current Finder selections Desktop
If you have several items in a folder selected, you can quickly alternate the selection in icon or column view. Think "shift-cmd-I" with selections in Photoshop. I found this handy for picking out newly-added files from an already crowded folder.

When viewing by icon, hold down command or shift and drag a selection box around all of your icons. The selected ones will lose their hilight, and vice versa.

I was surprised to find that it works in column view, too: Give youself some space at the bottom of a pane, hold down command or shift, and drag to the top of the window.
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How to paste custom icons over custom icons Desktop
While this tip isn't on par with some of the fantastic tips on this great site, I nevertheless thought I'd offer it up, as I've not seen it here. [Editor's aside: All tips are equals here at macosxhints.com! After all, there's a wide range of experience levels out there, so every hint probably has some value to someone in the audience.]

When pasting a custom icon in the OS X Finder, make sure that the given volume (or folder or file) does not already have a custom icon. If it does, you will get a blank icon, requiring you to either log out and in or re-launch the Finder.

The way around this is to first cut the custom icon, thus reverting the icon to its original default state. Now you can paste away!
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Create an 'Empty at reboot' toolbar widget Desktop

While reading the docs for PStill (which from the docs looks like a pretty sweet PDF converter), their use of a "Temporary Folder" (/tmp/foldername/) got me thinking. The Finder by default will hide hidden and system files (unless you use Tinkertool to coerce it). Would it show me /tmp if I selected Go -> Go to Folder? Yes, it shows /tmp and all of its ugly contents.

So I dropped the /tmp folder onto my Finder toolbar for easy access. Now I can easily throw all my flotsam and jetsam into /tmp via the toolbar, and the system will delete it for me the next time I reboot.

[Editor's note: Be careful with /tmp; as noted, anything in it will be erased at the next restart. There are no second chances, unlike the trash can!]

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Escape to approve extension name changes Desktop
Are you annoyed each time you change a file extension (like from .avi to .mpg) when you have to click on "add" to approve the new extension?

Simply hit escape, which normaly defaults to "cancel", but in our case corresponds to "add", and voila! I guess this hint works for all kinds of dialogs setup like ok-cancel templates.

[Editor's note: I"m not sure if this is a bug or a feature, but it definitely works as described and saves a trip to the mouse. I could not, however, get it to work in other Finder dialogs.]
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Recreate the OS 9 desktop folder Desktop
As shipped, OS X includes an alias to the OS 9 desktop folder. However, it's relatively easy to accidentally delete, which makes finding the original OS 9 desktop a bit more problematic. An anonymous reader sent in an easy one-line fix in the terminal:
ln -s /"Desktop Folder" ~/Desktop/"Desktop (Mac OS 9)"
This will place an alias of your OS 9 desktop back on your new OS X desktop.
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