As hints go, this one is more of a bug complaint than a hint, but the most recent version of Lion (10.7.5) introduced a bug in the Finder when in Column View which prevents you from resizing the last column/preview for files with long paths. I don't know if it is also a problem in 10.8, but in 10.7.4 there used to be a column separator on the right side of the last column containing the preview with a little area at the bottom that would allow you to grab the control and resize the preview. The preview would grow to fill as much space as possible.
In 10.7.5, that separator went away, which is fine for files that have a short path from the left-most column to the right-most column. You can still grab the side of the window and resize the last column. But for files with long paths (which introduce a horizontal scroll-bar), it sometimes becomes impossible to resize the last column. So here's a simple work-around.
Grab the right-most column separator (which is to the left of the last column) and drag it to the right, making the second-to-last column as wide as you want the last column to be.
Scroll all the way to the right
Grab the same column separator and drag it back to where it was. (Note the preview size does not grow when you do this.)
Slightly adjust the height of the finder window from the top or bottom and your preview will snap to the largest possible size to fill the space.
The utility of this hint is of course minor. One could always use quick-look as a work-around as well, but I find it quicker to adjust the last column's size, especially when switching back and forth between the Finder and other apps.
[crarko adds: I don't have 10.7.x around any more to try this, but it didn't seem to be an issue in 10.8.2.
Hi, all! Kirk is out this week so I am filling in in his absence. Nice to drop in, although I'm trying to remember all the little BBEdit shortcuts we use here, so please excuse me if things are formatted a bit oddly.
There are several ways to fast-forward and rewind in QuickTime Player so here is another one, that works on 10.7 or later. Clicking and holding the Play/Pause button for several seconds replaces the control with a slider. Drag the slider to the right to fast-forward and to the left to rewind. The speed, which is displayed in the upper left corner of the video, is controlled by how far the slider is dragged. Once the mouse button is released, fast-forwarding or rewinding stops.
[kirkmc adds: And if you have a trackpad, this method is even easier.]
It is possible to use Emoji in file and folder names. When typing a file or folder name, you can choose Edit > Special Characters, click on Emoji, and add the symbols you want to use. They will display in the Finder as part of the item’s name. If you use them at the beginning of a file name, they sort above numbers but below spaces.
[kirkmc adds: We had a hint last year about using Emoji in LaunchPad. I felt it was also interesting to point out that you can use Emoji in file and folder names. Personally, I wouldn’t want to put smileys on file names, but adding symbols can make certain folders stand out. You can even add folders to the Finder sidebar, and the Emoji will add some color to that drab gray area (whereas custom folder icons don’t display in the sidebar).]
When viewing Spotlight search results, there are a number of shortcuts you can use to quickly perform actions or your search or its results. Simply move your cursor over an item, or use the arrow keys to navigate, to select items.
View the search term in Dictionary: Command-D
View the search term in a Quick Look "look up" dictionary window: Command-L
View the search term in Wikipedia: Command-W
Perform a web search for the search term: Command-B
View a selected result in a Quick Look window: hover cursor over an item
Reveal selected result in Finder: Command-R
Open the Top Result: Command-T
Open a selected result: Command-O, or Enter, or Return
Display a Finder Info window for a result: Command-I
[kirkmc adds: Any others? I listed this as 10.7, but I'm not sure they all work in Lion; I know some of them do.]
You can rename folders in Finder window sidebars from a contextual menu. This also renames the folder that it links to, so use with caution. You can also drag a folder from the Finder sidebar to the Dock.
[kirkmc adds: This isn't new; renaming goes back at least to 10.6, but you can't drag a folder from the Finder sidebar to the Dock until 10.7. Nevertheless, it's not on the site, so it's worth mentioning]
If you use Launchpad, you can assign a keyboard shortcut to open it. Go to the Keyboard preference pane in System Preferences, then Keyboard Shortcuts, then Launchpad & Dock. Select Show Launchpad, press Enter or Return, and enter your shortcut.
[kirkmc adds: It's worth mentioning this because, oddly, there is no default shortcut for Launchpad. (This is the case for both Lion and Mountain Lion.) While we're at it, here are some keyboard controls you can use when in Launchpad. Command-right/left-arrow moves to a different page, and Command-down-arrow goes into a folder.]
If you're in Column View in the Finder, select a PDF and you'll see a preview of the file in the rightmost column. There are two next and previous arrows to switch pages, but you can also scroll using two fingers (or a scroll wheel on a mouse) to move through the document.
[kirkmc adds: This works with PDFs, but it doesn't work with Word documents, which seem to have recently inherited the next and previous buttons in Column View previews.]
You can create a folder from a selection of files, instead of creating a folder first, then moving files in. In the Finder, select any files you want to put into the same folder. You can do this in any Finder window, including the Desktop or from the results of a Spotlight search (not the Spotlight menu itself). Right-click on any one of the selected files, and the top menu item is New Folder with Selection (number of Items). When you choose that command, a new folder will be created, and the files literally leap into the folder (cute animation!). The new folder is called New Folder With Items, and you can change its name.
[kirkmc adds: This isn't new, it was added in Lion. But it's a nifty thing to be aware of; I use it often. My guess is that a lot of people don't know about it.]
If you leave certain applications running without any open windows, OS X will quit the application when it goes to the background. This happens with some Apple apps such as TextEdit and Preview, and perhaps others. There is no user setting to change this in preferences. Here is a Terminal command line to change this feature:
[kirkmc adds: What's interesting is when OS X kills an application using this feature, the app still shows up in Activity Monitor. Matt Neuberg has a good overview of this at TidBITS. This has been around since Lion, and I'm surprised there hasn't been a hint yet. The submission specified Mountain Lion, and it's possible that this "feature" is more aggressive in 10.8, but I found mention of this command from before Mountain Lion.]
Mac OS X now has a very basic, built-in font sampler, at least as of 10.7.3. If you don't care about having customized sample text, Font Book can do it without any add-ons.
Select the desired fonts in Font Book, choose Print from the File menu, and choose "Font Book" in the pull-down menu for printing options near the bottom of the dialog (the one that also says Layout, Paper Handling, etc.). If you don't see this menu, click on Show Details to display it.
You'll have the ability to choose from among three reports: Catalog (upper case, lower case and numbers, optionally grouped by font family and in a size of your choosing), Repertoire (a chart of every character that each font can print, also in a size of your choosing), and Waterfall (font details and the same basic sample in increasing font sizes of your choosing; seemingly one font style per page).
[kirkmc adds: I don't know when this was added, but this is quite nice. For most people, this will be more than enough. Note that this does not work with Mountain Lion; the Print command is dimmed when you select fonts.]