Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Use a MacBook with the main display off Laptop Macs
I figured this out last night. Don't know if this is a known thing or not, but I was pretty psyched about it. If you want to use an external monitor with your MacBook in "clamshell" mode (but with the screen open), but don't have the peripherals, here's what to do:
  1. With your MacBook on and running, plug in your external monitor and turn it on (if the monitor isn't already on).
  2. Depending on the way you have your display prefs set, you'll either be in mirror mode or extended desktop mode. If in extended desktop mode, change to mirror mode. If in mirror mode, keep it that way.
  3. Close your MacBook. The whole system (including external display will go to sleep).
  4. Take any kind of USB device and plug it into the MacBook (I used an external media card reader). This will wake up the external monitor and the MacBook. You should have your desktop displayed on your external monitor at its full resolution (as long as it's equal to or less than the MacBook's highest achievable resolution, I think).
Now, you don't have an external keyboard and mouse, so how do you control the MacBook? Well, just open the MacBook up now. The screen will stay off (and it is off, not just dimmed), but the MacBook's keyboard and trackpad will be fully functional, controlling the pointer on the external monitor's desktop! Why would someone do this instead of just keeping the MacBook open in the first place while in mirror mode?

Well, I find having the external monitor and the MacBook's screen both on in mirror mode to be quite distracting. Since you are using the MacBook's keyboard and trackpad, you pretty much have to have it sitting in front of you. And, you pretty much have to have the external monitor sitting in front of you as well. With both the screens on, your eyes tend to wander from one to the other, even though they are both showing the same desktop (ie, mirror mode).

However, with the MacBook's screen off, there is no distraction. In fact, you can partially close the MacBook, keeping enough room for your hands to access the keyboard and trackpad, so you would have even less distraction. Another benefit is not having to worry about the MacBook overheating with it completely shut (clamshell mode), but on. With it open (either fully or partially), I'm sure it helps to vent heat away from the MacBook.

Anyway, I just thought I would share. Again, this may be a known thing, but it was completely new to me! I swear!

[robg adds: I believe this should work for a MacBook Pro, or potentially any laptop. I thought we had run something similar, but all I cound find was an older tip about iBooks. Apologies if this is a duplicate.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (36)  
  • Currently 4.48 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (46 votes cast)
[232,541 views]  View Printable Version
10.4: MacBooks can rotate external displays Laptop Macs
I attached my Dell 1703FP to my new MacBook (1.83GHz) via mini-DVI to DVI, and noticed a new option in the Displays System Preferences panel: Rotate. I tested it, and it works as expected.

Those integrated graphics that everyone is slamming seem to do the trick! I hadn't heard anything of this previously, so apologies if this is old news.

[robg adds: There's no mention of this on Apple's MacBook pages.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (17)  
  • Currently 2.80 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (5 votes cast)
[15,814 views]  View Printable Version
Add right-click to XP on MacBook and MacBook Pro Laptop Macs
If you've used Bootcamp to install XP on your MacBook or MacBook Pro, you might have been frustrated by not being able to right-click. While shift + f10 will usually work, you might be looking for something more familiar. Apple Mouse Utility will let you use Control-click to right click. Simply place it in your Startup folder, and call it with /s, so that it launches silently on startup.

Also, KeyTweak will allow you to remap your Windows keyboard, useful for reassigning modifiers like Control-C to the Mac's Command-C, etc.

[robg adds: Don't worry, we're not turning into Win XP Hints, despite old April 1st announcements to that effect. But if there are general tips that will help Mac users make their time in Windows more productive, such as this pointer to a couple of very useful apps, we'll run them. What we won't do, however, are run hints regarding using Windows XP itself ("How to configure a wireless connection in XP"). There are lots of places for such help, but we'll continue to focus on hints regarding OS X!]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (14)  
  • Currently 2.60 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (10 votes cast)
[190,426 views]  View Printable Version
10.4: Implement two-finger clicking on MacBook Pros Laptop Macs
I can in no way take credit for this, but I've heard the new MacBooks are able to right-=click with a two-finger tap on the trackpad. Some nice folks in the oxs86project forums have ported the solution to the MacBook Pro. I haven't had time to try out on my machine yet, but there's a thread on the MacBook Pro area of Apple Discussions, with many people being very happy. I've found some great hints here and figured this is something people here would be interested in.

[robg adds: I would expect Apple will enable this feature by default in a future software update. I have not looked at the above-linked package, so I'm not sure what it consists of. If it were my $2500 MacBook Pro, I might be inclined to wait for an Apple-released solution, but I'm a bit of a chicken about such things...though two-finger clicking is a very cool feature, based on my time so far with my new MacBook.

As an aside, this is also the first hint to use of one of our new hardware categories!]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (15)  
  • Currently 3.40 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (5 votes cast)
[11,922 views]  View Printable Version