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

10.7: Accessing ~/Library while keeping it hidden System 10.7
Some want to keep the ~/Library folder hidden and some may want to keep the Library unhidden, but there is also an in-between way.

Once unhidden, place the Library directory in the Finder's Sidebar, then hide the Library folder again.

The Library directory is now available to you via the Sidebar but hidden otherwise.

[crarko adds: This is for 10.7 only in the sense that it applies to the hidden User Library folder. The general method works for any hidden folder, like /Private and goes back at least to Tiger, and probably before that if memory serves.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (9)  
  • Currently 2.14 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[4,699 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Multi-user Screen Sharing System 10.7
When using screen sharing in Lion if another user is logged into your computer you will be asked if you want to run a 'virtual display' with your desktop.

[crarko adds: This was one of the features of Lion I was all excited about, and haven't actually had much chance to work with it. I wonder if the virtual display is treated as a Space owned by the other user. Have any of you worked with this much, and if so, what do you see with performance when multiple users are logged in?]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (9)  
  • Currently 3.00 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (5 votes cast)
[21,978 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Changed behavior in replying to Sent Mail messages System 10.7
In pre-Lion versions of Mail, replying to a message in the Sent mailbox created a message window that would be setup to go to yourself. Logical, if not necessarily useful. in 10.7 adopts a feature that Gmail has long had, and now replying to a message you've already sent will automatically be configured to go to the previous recipient.

For those running pre-10.7 systems who would like similar functionality, an AppleScript was submitted a few months ago to replicate this behavior. And for those who are curious, this feature does not extend to iOS 5.

[crarko adds: I'm OK with the new handling, but using the referenced script from the earlier hint lets you choose how to have Mail deal with this. There may be cases when one behavior or the other is more desirable.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (5)  
  • Currently 3.22 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (9 votes cast)
[4,384 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Use iCloud to automatically sync files across Macs System 10.7
iCloud's 'Documents in the Cloud' doesn't let you do much except upload iWork files for use with iOS devices. To use those documents on another Mac, you have to download the file using the iCloud web interface.

Poking around in the ~/Library folder, you can find a 'Mobile Documents' folder that is used for syncing iWork documents. But it turns out you are not limited to iWork files if you just want to sync between Macs (i.e. no iOS use).

If you are using iCloud and have the 'Documents & Data' option selected in the preference pane, you can navigate to ~/Library/Mobile Documents. Depending on whether or not you've used iWork and synced documents to iCloud, you may or may not find folders there for each of the iWork applications (e.g. com~apple~numbers).

This doesn't really matter. What is of use is that any files put into the ~/Library/Mobile Documents folder will automatically upload to iCloud and push to any other Mac you have that is signed in to the same iCloud account and has the 'Document & Data' iCloud preference checked. Lion even notifies you of version conflicts and allows you to resolve them when you open the document.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one, not using iCloud and all. This sounds like a pretty useful hint, but also tells me iCloud is still a work in progress.]
[Dan Miller adds: Ted Landau wrote about this trick in his Bug & Fixes column on last week, and he noted then that there are some risks associated with it: There is a possibility that you'll lose files/folders placed in ~/Library/Mobile Documents. So proceed at your own risk.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (14)  
  • Currently 4.25 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (8 votes cast)
[41,738 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Change the default Arabic font System 10.7
I found a little trick through which you would be able to change the default Arabic font in OS X. I have only tested it Lion so, I don't know if it would work in 10.6 and earlier versions. This trick should probably work for other languages too; with English you can just use TinkerTool.

The default OS X font for Arabic is Geeza Pro which is more like Times New Roman is for English. I wanted to have a better looking font, the one I had in mind was Tahoma. I discovered that when you disable Geeza Pro, OS X automatically sets the next available font that supports Arabic as the default font. And since the fonts are organised alphabetically, the next available font was Arial.

Like I said I wanted to use Tahoma as my default font, so I had to modify its name to something like AAATahoma, so that its the first available font when Geeza Pro was disabled.

Modifying the name, the way you would change the name of any file in OS X will not do the trick, since there are other names embedded in the font that also need to be modified. In order to achieve that you will need to use a font editor to modify the PostScript name, full name, and family name of the font, so that OS X recognises it as a new font, otherwise you will have a duplicate conflict with the original Tahoma font.

A friend of mine had Fontlab studio, and it was fairly easy to modify the name. Fontlab is a paid app, but I think you can use the free Fontforge app to do the same thing. Once the font name was modified to AAATahoma and AAATahoma Bold, I exported it and then added it to Font Book and there was no conflict with the original Tahoma font.

Now all you have to do is disable Geeza Pro and then restart your machine, or just restart the apps that you want to use the new default font.

I have been using this for a couple of days now and I haven't had any issues with all of my apps except the official Twitter app, which has become a bit unresponsive, and at times the fontd process jumped to 98% CPU usage for a few seconds when there were a couple of Arabic tweets to load. Other than that, all of my apps, like Chrome, Safari, TextEdit, WriteRoom, Finder, Mail etc are working absolutely fine.

Note: some apps like the iWork suite will not support some Arabic fonts other than the ones provided by Apple.

Here is a screen shot of both Tahoma and the New AAATahoma fonts in Font Book.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. Let me know if it works on earlier versions of OS X and I will edit things accordingly.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (2)  
  • Currently 3.75 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (4 votes cast)
[7,349 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Command+Tab now stops at the end of the bezel System 10.7
I think this is new in 10.7. When holding down Command+Tab to switch applications, the selector now stops at the last application in the row. To loop back around, you need to release Tab and press it again. This is useful if you know you want the last application in the row because you don't have to worry about overshooting it.

[crarko adds: Is this new?]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (30)  
  • Currently 3.80 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (10 votes cast)
[4,862 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Change an application's category System 10.7
Lion provides a new feature in the Finder: the ability to sort your applications by (App Store) category.

But category is not always accurate, or is not set for many non-Apple applications.

To add or modify a category, you have to open the application bundle ('Show Package Contents', the under the folder Contents open the file 'Info.plist').

You then can change the existing category by changing the key called 'LSApplicationCategoryType' (or create the category by adding a child named accordingly).

The list of available categories seems to be restricted to the ones provided by Apple here.

[crarko adds: As far as I can see, the category does indeed seem to only be included in programs downloaded from the Mac App Store, so you might want to add it. It's quite possible that when you update the program, the info.plist file could be overwritten and the change lost.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (7)  
  • Currently 3.67 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[9,301 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Quickly unhide the User Library improved System 10.7
If you like to have the Library file visible under Lion, you'll find that every update resets the folder to hidden status. Here's a quick way to always change that back after an OSX update.

in Terminal type the command:

pico .profile

This opens your hidden profile file under OS X's Unix underpinnings. Type in:

alias library="chflags nohidden ~/Library"

Type Control+x and save the file.

At the terminal prompt type:

. .profile

That's period-space-periodprofile to active the changed .profile file.

Now, whenever you get a new Lion update, all you have to do to unhide the Library file is to open the Terminal and type the word 'library' and then press the Enter key, and your Library file will be back the way you want it.

[crarko adds: This takes the method given in this earlier hint and makes it a bit easier to remember and use.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (19)  
  • Currently 2.83 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (12 votes cast)
[7,204 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: A possible workaround for VNC issues System 10.7
Here's a workaround for some VNC issues that may appear with Lion.

A quick search will show a growing list of users having issues with VNC in Lion. See, for example, this Apple Discussion thread.

These same issues do not exist with Leopard or Snow Leopard. In testing to make sure our network wasn't part of the problem, we tried to VNC to a system over our VPN from outside our office. Lo and behold, it worked. The same laptop on the local network would get absolutely unworkable performance on the local wired or wireless network, but would work just fine over our Cisco VPN (but using the builtin VPN options for the Mac, not the Cisco VPN client) from outside our campus. That caused us to try having the system connect to our VPN while on the local campus and sure enough it worked as well. There appears to be something about the virtual interface that's created that works whereas using the default en0 (wired) or en1 (wireless) interfaces are problematic.

We haven't deduced the actual problem just yet, but we think we're onto something related to either the virtual interface and/or the statefulness of the VPN connection.

In any case, if you're having performance problems using VNC to access another system (Mac, PC, or Linux) from a system running 10.7 and you have a VPN, try connecting to it and see if it resolves your issues.

[crarko adds: I use Apple Remote Desktop and have not observed this. Judging from the results of the search above, it does seem to be a widespread issue for VNC clients. It looks like there was a bug report files with Apple on it, but it's not clear if the issue is still present in 10.7.2. Give it a try and let us know in the comments. Also, give the proposed workaround a try if you can and see if that helps. There's an awful lot of new networking code in Lion and it's become clear that it will take some wringing out in the field before it's all working as intended.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (9)  
  • Currently 3.22 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (9 votes cast)
[25,489 views]  View Printable Version
10.7: Magic Mouse and Mission Control in 10.7.2 System 10.7
I just noticed that you can double tap the Magic Mouse with two fingers to enter Mission Control. If that feature was present before 10.7.2 it slipped under my radar. I find this new feature kinda handy; it speeds my workflow quite a bit.

[crarko adds: I don't have a Magic Mouse to try this; I'm guessing it's analogous to the two-finger swipe up with the trackpad. Try it out and let us know if it worked; also if it's around in 10.7.1 or earlier.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (7)  
  • Currently 3.17 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[4,630 views]  View Printable Version