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

10.7: Remove the Developer category from Spotlight results System 10.7
Lion added a 'Developer' category to Spotlight search results which isn't listed in Spotlight's System Preferences pane. It seems to list source code files (including HTML help files from various packages) from all over the system.

All those files can clutter Spotlight results. If, for example, you use Spotlight only to launch applications, disabling every category except for 'Applications' will still yield a few dozen 'Developer' entries.

Luckily, we can disable the 'Developer' category by editing Spotlight's preferences file.

This hint requires Xcode, which is available as a free (but large) download from the Mac App Store. As property list files have been binary since Snow Leopard, you'll need Xcode or another property list editor to open them.
  • Find and open ~/Library/Preferences/ In Lion, you'll need to use Go to Folder… to access your Library folder. You can also type:

    open ~/Library/Preferences/

    in a Terminal shell.
  • Inside the property list, find the orderedItems key. This is an array of dictionaries describing which Spotlight categories to display in the results of a search. If this key does not exist, try disabling a Spotlight category in Spotlight's System Preferences pane and re-opening
  • Add a new dictionary to the orderedItems array. Add two keys to the dictionary:
    • enabled: a boolean; set this to NO
    • name: a string; set this to SOURCE
  • Save and close
  • Log out, then log back in again to see changes in Spotlight results.
Credit goes to Keith Bauer for finding the right name value (using /usr/bin/strings /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle/Contents/MacOS/Search).

[crarko adds: I tried this, and it does indeed seem to eliminate source code files from the search. If you are a developer, you probably want those to be searchable via Spotlight, so this hint may not be for you. If you create the dictionary and want to see the Developer results again, change the boolean 'enabled' to YES.

Editing these in Xcode can be a bit painful if you haven't done it before. I suggest making a backup of before making any changes.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (15)  
  • Currently 3.00 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[11,435 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Restore Apple Hardware Test boot mode System 10.7
Unless you have a Mac released after July 20, 2011, Lion removes the ability to hold 'D' at startup to boot into Apple hardware test. Apple now recommends you simply use the disks that came with your Mac. Fortunately, it's an easy feature to restore.

First, you need an install disk. You have a couple of options:

Use the install disk that came with you Mac. Note this may be the 'Applications' Disk, and not the primary install disk. To find out which it is for your model go here.

NOTE: It's best if you use the install discs specific to each Mac you have to guarantee AHT will work.

Or you an use a Snow Leopard install disk. For this to work your Mac model will need to be older than that install disk, that's when it was introduced, not when you bought it. If it's an original Snow Leopard disk, that's older than Oct 2009, or if it's a more recent one, older than 10.6.3. If your Mac is old enough, you may even have success with a Leopard install disk.

In any event, try to use the most recent disk that would work with your computer. If you're not sure if a disk will work for you, try the hint anyway, it won't harm your computer.

So, insert your install disk and open Terminal. Type:
sudo cp -R /Volumes/[your disk's name]/System/Library/CoreServices/.diagnostics /System/Library/CoreServices
And that's it! Once the directory copies over, you'll just need to hold down the D key to startup your Mac. Sometimes, the process is a bit slow, so be patient. If it doesn't work, you can try a different disk.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. It's possible that some future Lion update will either break this hint, or more hopefully, restore the capability and render it obsolete.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (22)  
  • Currently 4.25 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (8 votes cast)
[60,150 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Improved Arrange By option in Finder’s column view System 10.7
This may be obvious, but I hadn't seen it anywhere. Lion's Finder has a new option in the View Options window for Column views: Arrange By.

This setting allows you to group items by name, kind, application, various dates, size, and label. Within these groups, you can still sort by name, date modified, etc.

[crarko adds: This actually appeared in Snow Leopard, but has been enhanced in Lion, including the addition of keyboard equivalents. I'll publish it to draw people's attention to the feature, which is super-handy if you live in Column view, like I do.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (5)  
  • Currently 2.83 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[4,604 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Enable HiDPI mode for higher resolution displays System 10.7
The earlier hint, "Signs of resolution independence" in Preview reminded me of another discovery that points to not necessarily full blown resolution independence but perhaps a compromise of making larger widgets on high-resolution displays.

To enable HiDPI mode, you first need Xcode 4.1 for Lion. It's a free download from the App Store. (Xcode 3 will not work.)

Launch Quartz Debug from /Developer/Applications/Graphic Tools, then enable the 'HiDPI' support. This setting is found under Window » UI Resolution. You'll be forced to log out and re-login to activate the change.

Now, check out the Displays preference in System Preferences. Some resolutions will now have '(HiDPI)' appended to their name. Choose one to see this feature in action.

HiDPI mode uses graphics (and fonts) that are twice as large as standard DPI mode, similar how how the retina display on the iPhone 4 works. If a high-resolution image is not provided, pixel doubling is used instead. While it might be a little large for daily use now (although I wonder if it would be useful on media centers or other 10-ft-UI devices), perhaps Apple is thinking about doing this in the future when displays catch up due to apparent difficulties vectoring and supporting arbitrary resolutions, which seems to have been in the works since at least 10.4.

[crarko adds: When I tried this on my MacBook the only HiDPI resolution enabled was 640x400, so I didn't go very far in trying to use it. If you do this with a large display please post your findings in the comments. Quartz Debug will be running when you login, so you can set it back to the old settings and then logout/login again, and things are back the way they were.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (7)  
  • Currently 3.50 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[25,417 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Dock gesture for App Exposé on non-running apps System 10.7
If you turn on the Swipe Down with Three Fingers gesture for App Exposé, you can quickly launch App Exposé for apps in the Dock.

Put the mouse cursor over the Dock icon of the app you want to run Exposé on, and then swipe down with three fingers. This will launch App Exposé for the app, even if it isn’t currently running! In that case, it will show a row of recently opened documents at the bottom of the screen, which you can click on to launch the app and open the document.

[crarko adds: It works, and it's kind of freaky in a cool way. For some reason, I couldn't make it work with the four finger swipe for App Exposé, but that may just be my fingers.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (6)  
  • Currently 4.00 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (5 votes cast)
[4,209 views]  View Printable Version
10.7 Four Finger Spread while in Mission Control System 10.7
If you do a spread with thumb and three fingers over clustered windows of an app while in Mission Control, the windows will spread out for a better view.

It makes good sense gesture-wise, but clashes with the system-wide Show Desktop gesture.

[crarko adds: I tried this out with a Magic Trackpad and it does work this way. It does make sense for Mission Control, where there isn't a single Desktop to show.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (12)  
  • Currently 1.83 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[4,320 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: How to download the OS X Lion Installer on Lion System 10.7
There's been a lot of talk lately how to get the OS X Lion Installer after you installed Lion. The main purpose of this may be to get the Installer dmg to create a bootable Installer disk, as described elsewhere. Many missed doing that before installation, me included.

But actually this hint will work to force download any purchase on the Mac App Store.

There's an easy method to force a download within the Mac App Store without any tinkering. It seems to be the official method, although I found no description of this in any of Apple's documentation.

So here's how to do it:
  • Open the Mac App Store.
  • Navigate to your Purchased page.
  • Hold down the Option key on your keyboard and click on your 'OS X Lion' purchase link (not on the 'installed' button).
  • You see the Lion product page. It should say 'Installed,' but that button is clickable. Hold down the Option key again and click on 'Installed.' If you don't hold the option key it will tell you there's already a newer version installed.
  • Enter your login credentials.
  • Download.
It's important to hold down the Option key twice. Once on the Purchased page, once on the Lion page. You also can't navigate to Lion directly, you need to open it from the purchases page. But if you follow this procedure you should find the Lion Installer within your Applications folder.

[crarko adds: I tried this with the Lion Installer and with TextWrangler, and it works as described. You will get the warning if you don't hold the Option key the second time. A handy thing to know.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (20)  
  • Currently 3.50 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (8 votes cast)
[46,124 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Fix issues with startup items accessing encrypted disks System 10.7
When logging in to an account on Lion the login items as well as any applications being resumed get launched right away; in my case, this happens before the system has had a chance to unlock the external encrypted disk that some of these programs need access to, resulting in various issues from unwanted dialog boxes to enter my passphrase to unlock the disk to the programs terminating. For the apps that are launched as a startup item at least there is a work around.

I'm running Lion on a machine with a small internal SSD drive for the OS and applications and a large external drive that holds data such as the iPhoto and iTunes libraries as well as my Dropbox folder. I chose to encrypt the external drive and have my keychain remember the password so that it is always available to me, however I've run into a real annoyance: When I first log in Dropbox is launched (it is a startup item) before the system has had a chance to unlock the external disk housing the dropbox folder. can't find the dropbox folder and it asks if I want to quit or relink.

The solution was to use this hint to add a short delay before launching Dropbox or other applications that would try to access the encrypted disk.

Unfortunately this only helps with items launched as a Login Item. If anyone has thoughts on how to avoid a similar problem for applications being 'resumed' to their previously running state prior to the encrypted disk holding their data files being mounted please let me know in the comments -- I'm finding this happening a lot with iTunes and iPhoto which I often have running when I log out.

[crarko adds: The older hint (which was submitted for Tiger) uses a script which is run at login that acts as a proxy for staring up the other items. You can set the delay to whatever is required.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (5)  
  • Currently 4.50 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (4 votes cast)
[8,255 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Some Mission Control keyboard shortcut tips and conflicts System 10.7
Mission Control includes keyboard shortcuts for each space which use the Control key (^) and Control+Option (^ ⌥). These keys can conflict with quite a few high end apps which use many keyboard shortcuts, and turning them off isn't so obvious.

In Spaces (Now 'Desktops,' which I suppose is more accurate) desktops numbered 1-10 are defined by Control+(1-0) and desktops 11-16 by Control+Option+(1-6). These are useful to know if you regularly use lots of spaces, and are easy to remember.

You can easily turn off ALL Mission Control shortcuts in System Preferences, but the Control Left-right keys are still quite useful, and don't conflict with many apps.

The trick is to have all the desktops active BEFORE you try to edit keyboard shortcuts if you want to edit just the ones for the desktops.
  • To turn off just the keys for each Space, first go into Mission Control.
  • Now you'll need to add the maximum of 16 desktops to remove all the keyboard shortcuts. (If the Control+Option shortcut is good for you, you can reassign all of them as you wish, but you'll be limited to only 10 numbered shortcuts.)
  • To add a space, keep clicking on the semi-transparent desktop in the upper right corner of Mission Control till it won't let you.
  • Now go into the Keyboard pane of System Preferences, and go to Keyboard Shortcuts » Mission Control.
  • Now you can turn them off as you wish.
[crarko adds: If you ever close a particular Space, you'll need to recreate its customizations. Seems like a lot of work, but if it's useful to your workflow, it should only have to be done once.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (0)  
  • Currently 2.67 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[23,873 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Quick Look in Stacks System 10.7
If you're browsing a Stack in the Dock, you can use the arrow keys to navigate the icons. And if you press the Space Bar while an icon is selected, Quick Look appears. You can also simply hover over the item and press Space.

It's similar to the new Quick Look feature in Spotlight.

[crarko adds: Ubiquitous Quick Look is a nice thing.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (5)  
  • Currently 3.14 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[4,009 views]  View Printable Version