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Enable 'Change Application' button Desktop
If you go to change the default application to launch a file with a specific filename extension, say ".jpg", and you find that the "Change Application" button is disabled, you can fix this from the terminal as follows.

Note: you'll need the developer tools installed.

Let's say you have a directory of .jpg files that you want to fix.
cd my_jpeg_directory
foreach filename (*.jpg)
/Developer/Tools/SetFile -c "" $filename
This removes the "Creator" attribute from the file and this enables the "Change Application" button in the Finder's "Show Info" panel (command-I). To fix just one file use...
/Developer/Tools/SetFile -c "" filename
[Editor's note: There are also GUI apps that can delete creator codes; check macosxapps or versiontracker and search on 'creator']
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Auto-complete filenames in Finder Desktop
Some of you may be familiar with the tsch shell's (the default shell in Terminal) auto-complete feature. When typing a file name, simply hit tab after enough of the name has been specified to be specific. Example: typing "De" in your home directory and hitting tab gives you "Desktop".

This feature also works in the Finder! By selecting the Go -> Go To Folder menu item, you bring up a message box. By typing, for example: "/user/hoff/De" and hitting TAB, you get "/user/hoff/Desktop"! This can be usefull if you wish to access folders with long names.
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Make a completely transparent dock Desktop
Although it's relatively simple (by editing three PDF files) to change the background of the dock, it still retains a dark-colored border line. There's been some discussion on various forums about how to eliminate the border, and it appears that this has now been accomplished!

'kfel' has posted TransparentDock, which will give you three different transparency settings for your dock, including completely transparent. Make sure you visit kfel's home page for some important notes about TransparentDock, as well as some links to other useful utilities he (she?) has written.
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Hide any program's dock icon Desktop
Thanks to the recent version of Launch Bar (IMHO the finest App Switcher+ I've ever had the pleasure to use), their instructions for hiding the icon in the Dock appears to work for any application:
In order to get rid of the dock icon, you must modify the file named 'Info.plist' inside the Application's package (i.e. Open this file in your favorite text editor and add the following section (if it's already present simply change the 0 to a 1 in the string tag:
NOTE: I substituted the standard square brackets for the purposes of posting here; you must substitute the angle brackets when editing. So far I've hidden my Sherlock and System Preferences icons. With the System Prefs you will have to write-enable the 'Info.plist' file by changing the permissions in a Terminal window:
sudo chmod 464 /Applications/System

Panther broken!
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Partial control of apps in the background Desktop
I just noticed that it is not only possible to move background windows by pressing the Command (Apple) key and move it with the mouse, but you also can partially control them. For instance, it is possible to disconnect your dial-up internet connection without bringing the InternetConnect app to the foreground, by command clicking the disconnect button.

I don't really know the use for this, but thought I share it anyway...I also noticed that it doesn't work in all apps, it seems to work only in Cocoa apps

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Move items from one drive to another Desktop
Most everyone knows that if you option-drag an object in the Finder, you'll make a copy of it. And if you command-option drag an object, you'll create an alias. Both of those actions work the same way in OS 9 as they do in OS X.

However, in OS 9, there's no easy way to move an item from one volume to another. You first copy it, then remove it from the source. In OS X, however, if you hold down the command key while dragging from one drive to the other, you'll actually move the object in question. The progress bar (if it shows up - move something BIG) actually says "Moving" instead of "Copying", even though the window title still says "Copying".

Thanks to 'dcipjr' on the MacWorld Operating Systems forum for discovering this very cool tip!
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Command-release dock submenus Desktop
If you command click an item in the dock, it reveals that item. But I noticed that this also works if you are inside a folder's popup menu in the dock and command release on an item. It will reveal that menu item in the Finder.
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Preview pane for icon and list views Desktop
I always thought the Column view was cool, especially because of the preview pane that comes up when you click on image or movie files. I was bummed that this preview was only available in column view, as I thought it would be useful in list and icon views as well.

Well, it turns out that this feature already exists!

When viewing a folder in icon or list view, click on a file and get info (Cmd-I). This brings up the info window. Select Preview from the popup menu in the info window, and volia! Click on different files to see a preview of each one. Neato.
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Keyboard-based restart and shutdown Desktop
Haven't seen it before, found it somewhere:

On the new Pro keyboard try control-eject, you have a fast way to restart or shut down your Mac.
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Undo in the Finder Desktop
hmmm, came across this by accident. Probably most of you already know this but if not....

I moved some files to a folder thinking that I had copied them but errrr .... they moved, out of reaction (I was jsut using a text editor) I hit apple-z ... It was like magic, the files zapped back to where they came from.

oh well, if this is old news what can I say, it's new to me :-)
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