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10.7: Turn off zoom effect on new windows System 10.7
Love the new Lion operating system but hate that gratuitous zoom effect when opening a new window? Well, you can turn it off with a hidden preference setting.

Open a Terminal window (/Applications/Utilities/ -- which curiously doesn't suffer the window zooming issue anyway) and enter the following command:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool NO

You can either logout, restart or simply quit and relaunch each app for it to take effect. It's amazing how much faster everything feels without the zoom effect. It probably isn't actually any faster, but it certainly feels it!

[crarko adds: Should you desire to re-enable the animations run the same command but change the NO to YES. A few people submitted this hint, but this one was the most complete.]
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10.7: Automator Services for multi-language speech System 10.7
OS X Lion now has many different languages available to install in your speech preferences. This is something I've wanted for a long time, because I have long aspired to learn Korean and Japanese. Being able to easily hear things spoken in those languages would really help out.

The problem is that Lion will only speak selected text using the voice that you set as default. I have Alex set as default and when I try to have it speak text using the built-in context menu item, it does nothing.

There is a way around this by using Automator.

First you need to go into the Speech preferences and install any languages that you want to use. Next, open up Automator and make a new Service that receives the selected text in any application. Then add the 'Speak Text' action to the workflow and choose the voice that you want. Finally, save the service with a name that tells you what language it can speak.

Next time you come across some text in that language that you want to hear, select it and right click. The service you made will be in the context menu and you can click it to hear it speak the text you selected.

[crarko adds: You'll need to make a separate Service for each voice you want to use, or write a script that lets you select a voice and use it in the Service instead.]
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10.7: Key repeating System 10.7
The default key repeating behavior in Mac OS 10.7 has changed.

Holding down certain keys in Mac OS 10.7 by default no longer repeats the key, it either brings up a little choice box of variations on that letter (such as various accents and so forth), or does nothing but type the key once. I have not found a place in the GUI where modifying this behavior is exposed, but the following defaults command turns it off:

defaults write -g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false

Of course, changing it back to true, or deleting the key restores the original behavior. I haven't investigated this fully, but it appears that any running application must be quit and re-launched for the changed behavior to activate.

[crarko adds: This is basically the same thing as this earlier hint, but in a different context, so I'm putting it in to make life a little easier for people who search, and several people submitted this idea.]
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10.7: Change the login screen background image System 10.7
You can customize the Lion Login screen background image. This hint shows where to find it.

After doing some research (thanks to 'EasyFind' that looks inside packages), I found the original file that is used for the login texture background image in Lion.

The file is called NSTexturedFullScreenBackgroundColor.png, and the path to get to it is:


It is a 256 ◊ 256 PNG image, so if you want to try replacing it that's what you should use. I uploaded a screenshot of the path to the file here.

[crarko adds: Have a bit of caution when changing a file like this used by the system. Mostly make sure you have a good backup around, and don't be too surprised if some software update reverts back to the original image.]
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10.7: App Exposť shows list of recent documents System 10.7
Using App Exposť (which can be enabled from the Trackpad pane of System Preferences) allows you to see a list of recent documents in supported apps.

Go to System Preferences » Trackpad » More Gestures, and check the box to enable App Exposť. When you perform the gesture (swipe down with three or four fingers) in a supported app, you will see the expected Exposť behavior, but now you can also see a scrollable list of recent documents along the bottom of the screen.

This works with Apple apps such as iWork, Garageband, iChat, and Preview, and also with at least a few third party apps. I tested with Acorn and Pixelmator which both worked, but my copies of Adobe Reader and Sibelius 6 did not.

[crarko adds: Feel free to note other applications which do (or don't) work with this in the comments as you discover them.]
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10.7: Combine Resume with Restart after crash System 10.7
Here's a way to make full use of Lion's new Resume feature.

In the Energy Saver System Preferences pane on some Mac models is the setting 'Restart automatically if the computer freezes.' Enabling that setting and leave 'Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps' enabled in the General System Preferences pane.

Combined these make for a much more pleasant experience when a crash happens, as a reboot occurs followed by everything opening up as it was, with the exception of services (web pages, and some other apps/services) that may need to be logged in again.

[crarko adds: I imagine this is one of the reasons for the addition of the auto-restore feature. Making things less painful is always a good idea, as long as it doesn't restore you to the state that caused the crash in the first place.]
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10.7: Enable the FTP server System 10.7
Apple seemingly dropped the FTP Server support in Mac OX Lion. Only the GUI has been removed and the FTP Server can be activated.

You can still enable it with the command line. To start it type the Terminal command:

sudo -s launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ftp.plist

To stop it:

sudo -s launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ftp.plist

[crarko adds: So if you need FTP, it's still available. It should easy enough to make an AppleScript to toggle this on and off. I'd probably turn it off while not using it. And of course if you turn on Remote Login (ssh), that will make SFTP available.]
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10.7: Install Lion on an unsupported Mac with an upgraded processor System 10.7
I know this is not a common scenario, but for the few people that upgraded a Mac originally equipped with a Core Duo processor to a Core 2 Duo processor, here is the procedure. I have an iMac version 4,1 that I upgraded years ago, and it worked. The person who found the solution had an upgraded Mac Mini. You will need a second computer that is Lion capable for this tip to work.

As always, Make sure you have a backup of the original install! This worked for me, but always be prepared for the worst.

I made, and used, a Lion Mac OS X Install ESD on a thumb drive. Instructions to make one can be found all over the Mac centric web sites. Then follow this procedure:
  • Put the unsupported Mac in Target Disk mode and plug it into a Lion supported Mac.
  • Run the Lion installer and make sure to choose your unsupported Mac's hard drive. Let the install finish.
  • Boot back into the supported Mac's OS, and put the unsupported Mac back to target disk mode.
  • Delete the PlatformSupport.plist at /System/Library/CoreServices on the unsupported Mac's hard drive.
  • Reboot the Unsupported Mac and it should boot into Lion normally.

[crarko adds: I don't have the equipment to try this, but it seems plausible. As recommended in the hint, have a complete system backup handy in case something goes awry.]
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10.7: Gestures for back/forward in the Finder System 10.7
I missed the 3 finger swipe to go forward and back through the Finder's history after the upgrade to Lion. 3 fingers now move between spaces. I even tried switching that to 4 fingers, but no joy.

However, I deployed the old Mac favourite -- try the Option key -- and swiping returns to the Finder! It has crashed the Finder a few times, but it seems to work.

From now on, it is Option+3 finger swipes for me.

[crarko adds: OK, I can see I'm going to have to pony up for a Magic Trackpad to be able to try out the new gesture family.]
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10.7: Window resizing options System 10.7
Lion's window edge resizing includes additional behaviors governed by modifier keys.

Holding down the Option key while dragging window edges resizes the opposite edge as well.

Holding Shift resizes the whole window, retaining its proportions. Adding Option to that resizes the window around its center.

[crarko adds: I find it hard to contain my joy over finally having some choices in how to resize windows. It's only taken 27 years.]
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