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.]
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!]
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.
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!
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!]
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.
While looking at Matt Gray's page (he authored the PALifier program mentioned in a recent tip), I noticed that he's also created a program called MenuPics. MenuPics allows you to quickly and easily change the default icons for Apple's menubar extras (Airport, Displays, Battery, etc.).
Although there have been tips here in the past on how to do this yourself, it required using the Terminal. Matt's freeware program does it all via the GUI and includes some sample icons to get you started. So if you want a very easy way to change your menubar icons, check out MenuPics!
This hint allows you to change your current displayed time format of the menubar clock to anything you like, i.e. instead of "1:40" you can have "13.02. 13:40" or "13 Feb 13:40". Compared to the modification mentioned above, this really allows full customization of the displayed time/date.