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The Ultimate Guide for switching from a PC to a Mac
(Part 2 - coming soon)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Quickly spotting hidden applications!

The "Command - H" or Hide a certain application feature is very useful to keep a lot of stuff open without clutter. It is however not easy to quickly see what is hidden. There is a great feature that you can enable that will make every icon of a hidden application in the Dock semi-transparent. You can then quickly spot which applications are hidden. The easiest way to enable this feature is with the free third-party application called OnyX. It was just recently updated to work on both Tiger and Leopard. You can download OnyX here from MacUpdate.

To enable it:

1. Open OnyX and click on the Parameters tab.
2. Click on the "Dock" tab.
3. Check "Use Transparent icons for hidden applications".

In OnyX:



The result:

9 Comments:

Blogger Chris Lee said...

Yes, OnyX has some other really cool features too. Have a play around!

The only thing it won't do is disable the start-up chime. Does anyone know how to disable the start-up chime?

January 4, 2008 at 12:12 AM  
Blogger Emmett said...

turn the sound off before you shut down. It works for my macbook anyway.

January 4, 2008 at 1:42 AM  
Blogger g4dp said...

A free download of StartUpSound can be found at the Arcana Research site. I've been using it for several years. http://www5e.biglobe.ne.jp/~arcana/index.en.html

January 4, 2008 at 2:01 AM  
Blogger Ian Shrier said...

I am a long-time PC user and maybe I missing something. All you have to do is hold the CMD button down and hit the TAB button to see all programs that you have hidden. You can cycle through the programs by hitting the TAB button each time and then choose the application you want to use. This is similar to CTRL-TAB for PC users. As a side thought, I have been following the Mac tips for about 2 weeks now and find them more to be about marketing third-party software than helping new users. I'm hoping this is only temporary. If anyone knows a site where the focus is on quick tips to improve efficiency on the Mac, please let me know.

January 4, 2008 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Dominic P. Tremblay said...

Ian,

I don't think the author of the blog wants to sell third party apps. In this tip, the only reason he was recommending onyx was to avoid going through the terminal and typing the following command line: "defaults write com.apple.Dock showhidden -bool YES". If you prefer not using third party apps, you can always do it in the terminal.

Yes there are a few tips using third party apps, but most of them are free or almost free and make our macs more efficient.

January 4, 2008 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Clemens said...

The purpose of this hide-function would be to clear up your current view, right? However, ALL other apps, including those in other spaces (Leopard), are hidden. That completely destroys my "workflow" because once I move on to the other spaces they are all blank, and I have to unhide everything again. So there is clearly a bug in this function when working with spaces!

Does anyone know a solution to this, respectively, how can this be reported to Apple?

January 4, 2008 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger MacGeek said...

@Ian Shrier

Most of the third-party apps I presented are free. I talk a lot about quick shorcuts and tips that are right there in the system. It is just that sometimes, to do more advanced stuff, a free app is useful. I think the Mac environment would be very boring without the great third-party applications. I definitely wouldn't own a Mac if the only apps I could have would be from Apple. I think we see the same happening with the iPhone. Apple realized that they had no choice but to make room for iPhone development.

January 4, 2008 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger mjrmd said...

Like Ian Shrier, I am also a recent migrant from the PC world. I've taught the stuff for years. One of the big differences in the two environments is that there is such a wealth of freeware and shareware available for Mac users. Apple has always supported developers well and provided a large set of tools to play with.

The Mac community of developers is much more akin to the Open Source and Linux group than is the PC bunch. It's a joy exploring all the possibilities.

January 4, 2008 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger mark said...

Hi, i was wondering if i minimize an item, (for instance a firefox window) is there a shortcut to bring it back up from the dock without clicking on the item again in the dock. A shortcut that restores all items from the dock would also be helpful.

Ps, As a relatively new mac user i find your blog / widget very helpful.. Thank you..

January 7, 2008 at 3:22 PM  

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