If you type in a language that requires accents (such as Spanish), OS X provides a quick way to make them and delete them without changing your keyboard layout. To make an accent, hold Option then press E, and you will see the accent character. Then press any other key, such as A, E, I, O, or U, and it will place that character beneath the accent. You can also make other characters such as ñ with Option-N then N or ç with Option-C. But most of you probably knew that already.
If you want to delete the accents easily, however, OS X provides a very useful shortcut: Control-Delete. Try typing an accented character and then using Control-Delete instead of just plain Delete. When you do, OS X will convert the accented character into a normal character. I do not know if this works for other characters other than the ones I know from Spanish and Portuguese, but I do know that it works in 10.4 and 10.5.
[robg adds: This won't work in absolutely every spot in OS X. In text input boxes in Safari and Camino, for instance, nothing will happen with Control-Delete. But it seems to work most everywhere else.]
In the Media Browser -- the floating media chooser found in 10.5's Open dialogs in some apps, or in the iLife and iWork apps -- you can Control-click in the lower pane to show a contextual menu. From that menu, you can choose to either Display as List or Display as Icons, as well as other options.
Once you've switched to list mode, you can Control-click again in the lower pane and use the Show Columns sub-menu to pick which columns to show. You can also open a media file in its respective app, or show it in the Finder.
[robg adds: I had no idea there was a contextual menu hiding in that portion of the Media Browser. Once in list view, you can also click on column headings to sort the list by that column; click the same heading again to switch the sort order.]
This is a non-rebooting workaround for the situation where your login screen gets locked up because you mis-entered your login password three times while trying to log into an account on a Mac that has set a master password for FileVault (it does not matter if the account uses FileVault or not). The login box displays the error 'Type the master password to reset this user's password and to unlock FileVault. Master Password hint: ...', with no ability to log in as the correct user with the correct password, or to log in as another user or back out of the FileVault password.
ssh enabled on the locked-up Mac.
Administrator user name and password known for the locked-out computer.
Someone noted earlier that Apple DVD Player now accepts ripped VIDEO_TS folders. But you have to drag the folder to the application to play the movie. You can't just double-click it, because that would only show the contents of the folder in the Finder.
Solution: Display the folder containing the VIDEO_TS folder (the one you probably named after the movie title). Click on the name to change it, and add .bundle to the end. The movie is now displayed as a generic bundle file. Press Command-I, then Open With, Other, and select Apple DVD Player -- uncheck the 'recommended applications' option to be able to select it). Finally, select Always Open With this Application, and click Add.
Now if you double-click this bundle, Apple DVD player will launch and play the movie. You can, of course, choose to hide the extension, and paste a movie frame onto the icon (both in the Finder's Get Info window). The only problem: it does not work with Front Row. Front Row does recognize ripped folders, but not bundles. So the bundled movies will not show up in the Front Row menu.
[robg adds: Queue user fds notes that you should probably use the .dvdmedia extension instead of .bundle. This will automatically associate the folder with DVD Player, and add a nice DVD icon as well.]
Have you been frustrated with how the slightest touch on the trackpad causes the text cursor to jump to a different line when you're typing away, especially when you're in mid-thought and wanted to capture everything? (This only applies, of course, if you've enabled trackpad clicking.) Have you been even more frustrated when the Ignore accidental trackpad input setting within the Keyboard & Mouse preferences still doesn't work 100% of the time?
I've been very frustrated with that, and went looking for a Mac Gem or AppleScript that would allow me to disable the trackpad with a keyboard (similar to the PC laptops that have an extra button near the trackpad). I couldn't find anything out there (yet), but as it turns out, Apple has something built-in that allows you to accomplish something very close. And surprisingly, it's actually very effective.
Just visit the Universal Access System Preferences panel, click on the Mouse & Trackpad tab, and enable the Press the Option key five times to turn Mouse Keys on or off option and the Ignore trackpad when Mouse Keys is on setting.
Now, whenever you press the Option key five times, you'll enable Mouse Keys, and at the same time, disable the trackpad! Type away, and have no fear of the cursor jumping around. Then when you're done, and want to use the trackpad again, just press the Option key five more times, and you've got the trackpad back.
The best part is that the enabling of Mouse Keys doesn't take over your arrow keys, so you can still use the keyboard arrows to move the cursor around your document, etc. You can move the mouse using the keyboard, but you'll have to hold down the function (fn) key, and use the "cursor" keys on the number pad. If someone has a single (or combo) keystroke (through AppleScript etc.) to enable/disable the trackpad, I'd love to know about it, too. Thanks!
[robg adds: A decent macro program, such as QuicKeys or Keyboard Maestro should be able to script the pressing of the Option key five times. This older hint includes an AppleScript to disable trackpad clicking, which should also make the problem less troublesome -- the cursor would move, but not the insertion point. The AppleScript could be easily bound to a keystroke.]
With FileVault turned on and logged in as that user, Spotlight would not find all file matches in my search. I have two computers that hold sensitive medical information, so FileVault is a necessity if I want to use Macs.
Symptom: Files located in the Documents folder, or any other standard folder that should be getting indexed by Spotlight, are not found in a typical search. It doesn't seem to matter if you search for exact file names or for text inside the documents. I found the error with Word files, but upon further research, it also affected PDFs and GIF files, and probably others.
It seems to occur for files that were created prior to activating FileVault. Modifying files in some way will fix that particular file and allow Spotlight to index and find it. However, doing that to all your files may not make sense. In this case, you should reindex just your FileVault Home folder. Do not reindex the entire drive because this will not fix the error.
I reindexed my FileVault home folder by dragging the Home folder icon into the Privacy box of the Privacy tab of the Spotlight System Preferences panel. Once it shows up in the Privacy box, select it and hit the minus button to remove it. This will trigger the reindexing; once it finishes, Spotlight should have indexed all your files properly and return proper search results. This was tested on a Tiger and Leopard system suffering from the same error and it worked in both cases.
[robg adds: I don't use FileVault, but would be interested in knowing if others have seen this issue as well -- please comment.]
Somehow my FileVault image became corrupted, and I could not login. The following steps helped me get things working again.
First, login as the root user -- you'll need to enable root (Pre-10.5, 10.5). On your hard drive, find this file: /Users » username » username.sparseimage; it might instead be found in /Users » .username %raquo; .username.sparseimage, where username is the short username of the user with the corrupted image.
Make a copy of this fiel for back up purposes, in case something goes wrong. Of course you can try to mount it, repair permissions, etc., but I was not able to do this.
Next, reboot your machine from the DiskWarrior CD. In the DiskWarrior window (in the pop-up list), you should find the user's FileVault image; choose Rebuild on that image. After diagnostics, you should look at report. In my case, it saw all of the folder structure, but no files inside the folders. So I rebooted again, logged in as root, and then ran DataRescue II.
I switched to Expert mode and enabled 'Show Virtual (.dmg files) devices,' then selected my user.sparseimage file. I ran 'ThoroughScan' (Quick Scan gave no results). After quite some time (it takes about three to five minutes per GB), I saw a report showing many found files. I was extremely happy to see all my files (.doc, .xls, pictures, movies, etc). From the list, select files you need then choose Recover, and voila!
As the Data Rescue II is a bit costly, all things (except recovery) can be performed with a demo copy. If you are satisfied with the results in the report, you can then decide to purchase the program.
One more thing: DiskWarrior 4 is not fully compatible with Leopard. If you don't have a DiskWarrior boot disk, run all above steps on a Tiger system (with a copy of the sparseimage). Hope this helps someone!
[robg adds: We also have this older hint with some different things to try.]
I have found that having an installer DVD with me at all times can be very useful. I don't like to actually carry the DVD with me, so I made a 10GB partition on my boot disk (MacBook Pro). I restored the Leopard DVD to this partition. Now all I have to do to boot from the 'Install DVD' is to use the Option key when I boot.
That's not the tip, however; this is. I may want to launch an application other than the ones found in the Utilities menu. Since Terminal is there, I tried to use Terminal to launch (using the open command) other applications. open, however, is not on the Install DVD, but it will still work if used from another partition. For example (assuming system is my regular boot volume):
But what if the regular boot partition is shot? The answer is to copy the open command from the regular boot partition to the installer partition:
cp /usr/bin/open /Volumes/installer/usr/bin/.
Now I can use the open command from Terminal when booted from the installer partition. When DiskWarrior comes out, and the other commercial disk repair tools, I will copy them into /Volumes/installer/Applications, and be able to launch them when booted from the installer partition. Note that this may work in Tiger, but I haven't tried.
The new Mosaic feature screen saver in 10.5 is amazing, and I wanted to have a screen capture of it. Of course, when you try to screen capture, it exits the screen saver. The way around this is to press Command-Shift first, then hit the Test button in the Screen Saver panel of the Destkop & Screen Saver System Preferences panel.
Then wait for the shot you want (still holding Command and Shift), then press 3. For some reason, this doesn't end the screen saver until you let go of Command-Shift, so you can press 3 as many times as you want.