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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Disabling the Front Row shortcut!

There is one shortcut that I find annoying in Mac OS X and it is the Front Row shortcut. The reason why I hate it is because I often accidentally set it off and it makes my Mac feel unresponsive for a few seconds until Front Row appears. It is possible to disable the "Command - Esc" shortcut however. It is done by unchecking the "Hide and Show Front Row" shortcut in the Keyboards Shortcuts section of System Preferences. What is great is that even if you disable the shortcut, you can still load Front Row with the Apple Remote or by directly loading the application from the Applications folder (you can also add the Front Row icon to the Dock).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Last chance for the MacUpdate bundle!

Today is the last day of sale of the MacUpdate bundle so if you want to get it, it is your last chance... Link to the bundle here.

Internet Sharing!

It is possible to set your Mac so that it shares a wired internet connection over WiFi. So it really lets you use your Mac as a wireless router. It is so useful to share wired internet over to another Mac or to an iPhone (or iPod Touch). You can enable it in the sharing section of System Preferences.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Neon Tango added to the bundle!

The game Neon Tango was just added to the bundle. If you already purchased the bundle, you should receive your serial number soon. Link to the bundle here.

Adjusting contrast!

It is possible to adjust the contrast on screen using a rather complicated shortcut. The info about the shortcut is located in the Keyboard Shortcuts section of System Preferences. The shortcut to increase contrast is "Ctrl - Option - Command - . ". Decreasing contrast is done with "Ctrl - Option - Command - , ".

Sunday, April 27, 2008

GPS coordinates in pictures!

A great tip by Nessuno:

Many of us don't know that image readers like Mac OS Preview can read coordinates saved within our photos so we can track the exact position of the place where that photo was taken. When you open a photo with the coordinates saved in, go in the image Inspector and click on GPS and you'll see the coordinates of the place where the photo was taken; click on Find button (within the Inspector panel) and your browser will open Google Maps with the exact place where the coordinates points to. To add GPS coordinates to your photos you can use GPSPhotoLinker, it's easy to use (using the command Manual Coordinates) and it's free. You can find it here:

Some cell phone (like some NOKIA and LG) and some Pocket PC or smartphones (HP or HTC) adds GPS coordinates automatically when taking a photo (only if supported by the operator).

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Full Screen in QuickTime!

I don't know if this is exclusive to Leopard, it might be, I haven't tried it in Tiger. It is possible to have QuickTime stay in full screen even if you switch to another application. This is very useful for using instant messaging while watching a video full screen. The feature is "Remain in full screen when player is inactive".

Friday, April 25, 2008

Parallels is now unlocked!

The best part of the bundle is now unlocked, Parallels Desktop. If you have already purchased, you should receive your serial number soon. The full 10 applications bundle is available here.

Hiding applications on start up!

In Leopard, you can access a list of all applications that open at login in Accounts that is in System Preferences. From there you can also choose if you want a specific application to automatically hide as soon as it is loaded at login. This is very useful for instant messaging applications (MSN, Skype, iChat, etc) that you want to always have running in the background.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The "Front/Back Matter" in the dictionary.

In the dictionary included with Mac OS X, there is a feature called "Front/Back Matter" in the Go menu. This really completes the "dictionary experience", offering what traditional paper dictionary all have. From there, you can access a bunch of guides with relevant information. The feature will only be accessible when you are in the dictionary and not in the thesaurus.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

BannerZest is now unlocked!

BannerZest has just been unlocked and Parallels Desktop will be at 6100 bundles sold. You can learn more about the bundle or buy it here.

Sound Studio now unlocked!

Sound Studio is now part of the MacUpdate bundle. We also now know that BannerZest will be unlocked at 4600 bundles sold. You can get more info about the bundle or buy it here.

Don't forget to check out the tip posted earlier today.

Always Open With in the Finder!

There is an Open With command in the Finder that lets you choose with which application you want to open a file. If you hold down Option however, the command changes to "Always Open With". This will let you quickly change the default application used to load a specific kind of files.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Review: Hazel!

Hazel is part of the MacUpdate 10 applications bundle. Hazel is an application that helps keep everything organized on your Mac without running in the background or having any icon in the Dock or the Command - Tab dialog. It hides in the System Preferences. It basically lets you keep everything organized using rules. It includes defaults rules that you can enable as soon as you install it and it really gives you a good idea of what it does. An example of what it can do is automatically add color labels to downloads according to the kind of files (movies, music, pictures, etc). You can also choose to automatically empty the trash at a preset interval. The application is extremely flexible and lets you do a lot without a more complicated interface like automator. If you don't know if it is an application for you, the best thing is to check out the trial version. You can learn more about the bundle, try out the applications or buy the bundle here.

Don't forget to check out the tip posted earlier today.

The Finder Inspector!

The Finder has a slightly modified version of the "Get Info" window that is the Finder Inspector. What the Inspector basically does is it stays open even if you click on other files. It really displays the same information than the "Get Info" window does. What happens is that when you click on another file, the info displayed switches to the info of the other file. The Get Info command in the Finder's File menu switches to "Show Inspector" when you hold down Option. The shorcut is "Option - Command - I".

Monday, April 21, 2008

WhatSize is part of the bundle for the first 3500 sales!

There is an additional incentive to buy the MacUpdate bundle early, it was now announced that WhatSize will be included in the bundle for the first 3500 sales. There are now nearly 2500 bundles sold, so don't wait if you want WhatSize. More details about the bundle or buy it here.

Review and tip: Leap!

Leap is part of the MacUpdate 10 applications bundle (learn more about the bundle or buy it here). Leap is the kind of application that I had no idea I needed, but once I started using it, I started referring to it every day. I think the standard Spotlight is great for a quick search, but Leap is so much more advanced. It is hard to describe exactly what it does, the best way to understand is simply to check out the trial. Apart from that, the interface is very nice and it has the shiny iTunes look. The experience of browsing through files is simply remarkable. You really feel like you are using something part of the system as Quick Look works and simply double-clicking a files loads it just like the Finder would. A cool feature that I have found is that if you press "Option" and move the mouse over files, a loupe similar to the one in Aperture appears. It is also possible to customize the loupe in the preferences.

Don't forget to check out the tip posted earlier today.

Chapters in DVD Player!

It is possible to get a list of all the chapters without going back to the DVD chapter menu. Using the built-in DVD Player interface is much quicker than using the standard DVD menu. The shortcut is "Command - B". The feature is located in the Window menu.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Removing wireless networks from your preferred list!

Like I posted on my Facebook page, I was stuck on dial-up for a week and the way I handled it is I retrieved my old airport extreme and set up dial-up on a second network. Since then, every time I restart my Mac, it automatically logs on to the Dial-Up network which of course has no internet access right now. The best thing to do in that case is to remove that network from your preferred list of networks. That can be done in the airport section of System Preferences. From there, you click on Advanced. A list of preferred networks will then be displayed in the Airport tab.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Review: DVD Remaster Pro!

DVD Remaster Pro is part of the MacUpdate 10 applications bundle (more info about the bundle or buy it here). I didn't think I needed this application before buying the bundle, but I must admit, it surprised me. I was already relying on free alternatives like Handbrake, but this application is quite different. It does has features similar to Handbrake, but apparently, you can choose to have a faster encode than what Handbrake lets you do. There is another feature that is particularly interesting. One of the big reason why I needed Toast is for DVD-Rom (UDF). It is not possible to burn a DVD-Rom with just the Finder. It is however possible to do so with DVD Remaster Pro. Another feature that it does is it replaces DVD2OneX, it lets you compress a DVD so it fits on a single layer DVD.

The Web Inspector!

I remember years ago when I first studied HTML, the "View Source" feature was the way that I studied. If I wanted to know how someone had done something, I'd check out the source. Of course, nowadays, all the websites use scripts and CSS to achieve what you see on screen. "View source" is now nearly useless. The new Develop menu in Safari has something that I think is pretty cool however. It is the Web Inspector. It does pretty much what "View Source" used to do. It separates everything that is on the website into the following categories: Documents, Stylesheets, Images, Scripts and Other. You can find the Web Inspector in the Develop menu. The Develop menu can be enabled in the Advanced tab of Safari's preferences.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Getting rid of MenuCalendarClock's icon in the Dock!

MenuCalendarClock is part of the ten applications bundle currently on sale at MacUpdate (learn more about the bundle or buy it here). There is one thing that I didn't like about MenuCalendarClock and it is its icon that is always in the Dock and in the Command - Tab dialog. There is no option to get rid of it easily in the Preferences either. It is however possible to easily solve this using the freeware Dock Dodger (more info or download link here). The application still works exactly like it is supposed to, but without the Dock icon.

Don't forget to check out the tip posted earlier today.

Tabs in Camino!

Camino 1.6 was released today and it introduced a new way of dealing with tabs. All the web browsers by default show a pop up menu when there are more tabs in the tab bar than can be displayed. The new version of Camino has arrows on both sides instead. It is not really easy to explain how it works in text, but I think it is a much better way of doing it than Safari. It is definitely worth checking out. The pop up menu is still available in the new version of Camino.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Review and tip: MenuCalendarClock!

MenuCalendarClock for iCal is one of the ten applications part of the MacUpdate bundle (Get more info or buy it here). I just started playing with this application and I have to say I am pretty impressed (that is what is great about bundles, discovering applications that I didn't know existed!). What it really does is it gives you a quick read-only access to everything that is in iCal. What makes it even better is the hotkey. It lets you launch it with a quick shortcut without even using the mouse and that in any application. It is by default "Ctrl - Option - Command - C".

Tip: Switching months.

It is possible to switch months when the calendar is loaded using the shortcut "Command - Left Arrow" or "Command - Right Arrow".

Don't forget to check out the tip posted earlier today.

"Arrange in Front" in Safari!

This is a hidden feature from Safari's "Window" menu. By default, it is "Bring All to Front", but when you hold down "Option", it switches to "Arrange in Front". What it seems to do is align all Safari windows in an ordered manner.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The MacUpdate bundle is back!

The MacUpdate bundle is back with ten great applications (once they are all unlocked, it is currently 7 applications). The ten applications usually retail for a total of $474.76 and the bundle is for sale at $64.99. Included in the bundle is Parallels Desktop, Hazel, Art Text, MenuCalendarClock for iCal, Leap, StoryMill, Typinator, DVDRemaster, Sound Studio and BannerZest. I will feature many additional tips this week with tips specifically about the applications in the bundle. The applications that are currently locked are Sound Studio, BannerZest and Parallels Desktop. You can learn more about the bundle or buy it here.

Columns in Mail!

I already knew that it is possible to customize the toolbar in Mail but what I didn't know is that it is also possible to modify what columns are displayed. You can choose what columns are displayed by right-clicking on any column (From, Subject, Date Received, etc). A column in particular that I added is the Attachments column because it makes it so much easier to find emails.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Switching Spaces with the mouse!

It is already possible to switch from one space to another using the mouse if you are also bringing a window with you. If you just want to switch however, you have to use the keyboard (or F8). What if you could just bring the mouse to the edge and it would switch to the other space like a dual display setup. It is very easy to make this possible with an application called Warp. I thought that was cool at first, but it just got too easy and I ended switching accidently. The feature that made it worthwhile is the modifier. You can decide that you need to hold down a modifier like "Command" to switch. I think this makes switching from a space to another much easier. The best is that the application doesn't run in the background, it is totally integrated to System Preferences. You can learn more about Warp or download it here on MacUpdate.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Getting the dream desktop!

The best desktop ever is really a desktop with nothing on it. That never really happens to me, I actually run out of icon space (even on a 23" ACD). Still, a desktop without anything is really great, but the only way to achieve this is by getting rid of the "Macintosh HD" icon as well as the external drives and CD/DVDs. I never got rid of these before because it was the way I loaded new Finder windows. It really isn't as necessary anymore because the Finder sidebar that is included with Leopard already covers all the shortcuts you need. With these icons gone, you can simply load a Finder window with "Command - N" when you are in the Finder. These icons can be disabled in the Finder Preferences (Command , ).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Split screen in Microsoft Word!

Okay, I have to say that I am not an expert in Word Processing, far from it. A lot of people might think this is obvious, but I was so amazed when I discovered this feature last week. It is not new as it is also part of Word 2004. It doesn't seem like Apple brought it to Pages yet though. It is the "Split" feature that is in the "Window" menu. What it does is it lets you browse the same document at two places at once. This can be very useful because opening the same document twice is not really an option.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Solving .Mac synching issues!

Synching is great, but it seems no one actually figured out how to make it work, even Apple. .Mac is pretty good, but it still has synching issues. When everything just doesn't work (you accidentally deleted all your calendar events, you have a bunch of duplicates, etc), it is possible to resolve it by choosing to replace all the data on your computer or all the data on the .Mac server. Apple doesn't really makes this obvious, but it is in the dotMac preferences, under "Sync" and in the Advanced section. From there, you select "Reset Sync Data...". It will let you choose which info to keep and which one to replace (your Mac or dotMac).

Friday, April 11, 2008

The standard sidebar of the Finder!

The new sidebar that is part of the Finder in Leopard is entirely customizable, but what if you removed some of the defaults and you want to get them back. You could just drag them back, but there is an easier way. In the Finder preferences that I mentioned yesterday, you can check or uncheck the defaults of the sidebar in the "Sidebar" tab. It also lets you choose whether you want computers on your local network or on Back to my Mac to appear in the sidebar.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The warning when emptying the trash!

It is actually possible to get rid of the warning when emptying the trash in the Finder preferences. Most people don't realize that the Finder actually has a separate preferences window. I guess we always assume that everything about the Finder is done in System Preferences. "Preferences..." is actually right there in the "Finder" menu. That is where you can disable the empty trash warning in the "Advanced" tab. It think getting rid of this warning really makes sense now that everything is backed up and fully recoverable with Time Machine.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A quicker force quit!

Holding "Shift" changes another shortcut in the Apple menu. It is the "Force Quit" feature. The standard shortcut is "Option - Command - Esc" and loads the Force Quit window. Adding "Shift" will modify the shortcut and let you directly Force Quit the application that you are currently in. It bypasses the Force Quit window.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Shortcut to System Profiler!

The System Profiler is the application that has all the info about the hardware and the software. You can already access it through "About This Mac". You can however load it directly from the Apple menu. If you hold down "Option", "About this Mac" will change to "System Profiler...".

Monday, April 7, 2008

Load "pages that load in a new window" in a new tab!

This probably exists in other browsers, but I know about it and use it in Camino. Some websites have links that open in a new window by default. Even if you have tabs enabled, it won't open in a new tab. There is a feature in Camino that can change this however. It is "Open tabs instead of windows for" "Links that would open new windows" in the "Tabs" tab of Camino's preferences.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Controlling the minimum speed of fans!

I had issues with my graphics card lately and it is usually fine, except when I am working in really graphics intensive application such as Motion. I read a lot about it online and apparently, replacing the card won't do much good. The reality is that it is overheating. The recommendation were to increase the minimum fan speed when I am working in these applications. A really cool third-party application called smcFanControl lets you increase the minimum speed of the fans. What is great about it is that it is still fully automatic. It will still let the system go above the speed that you set if it is needed. I haven't had any problems since. This application only works on Intel Macs however. You can learn more about smcFanControl or download it here on MacUpdate.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Previews on the iTunes store!

Apple has a feature that lets you choose to have previews from the iTunes store fully downloaded before they start playing. According to Apple, the only use of this is if your internet connection is slower than 128kbps (the encoding of songs). It isn't really useful for me because my high-speed connection is fast enough for audio, but video is not always so great. I didn't always realize it at first, but video previews don't always play for the full thirty seconds because the buffer is not large enough. Enabling this feature solves this, because it lets the full thirty seconds load before starting to play.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Photobooth export to Flickr and YouTube!

Apple isn't the best at adding web export to all their applications and it really makes thing easier. The only web export that is implemented everywhere is dotMac. A third-party application somewhat solves this for Photobooth. It is called FlickrBooth 2.1. It adds both Flickr and YouTube export. It only works on the Leopard version of Photobooth. What I really like about these plugins is that it is so well implemented. Once it is installed, it really looks like it is part of the OS. You can learn more about it or download it here from MacUpdate.

DVD Player on top of other windows!

This is a pretty cool feature of DVD Player that ensures that the DVD Player window is always on top. I really don't know if it is Leopard exclusive because it is the first time that I even notice it is there. It is called "Viewer Above Other Apps" and it is in the "View" menu. What I really like about it is that even when it is enabled, you can still hide DVD Player.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Time elapsed or remaining!

This is Leopard only. This is a very cool tip that I found out on the video podcast. What it does is it lets you toggle between the time elapsed and the time remaining for a video in QuickLook. It is so simple that I don't really know why I didn't figure it out before this. To switch, you simply have to click on the time elapsed. You can click again on the time remaining to switch back. Thanks to for the tip.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Volume adjustments without the sound!

A great tip posted in the comments by Louietwoie: Volume adjustments without the sound! I didn't know about this until it was posted in the comments and I think it is pretty cool. It is really useful in presentations. The shortcut that lets you do this is simply "Shift" with the volume adjustments keys.

Also, a note about past tips. A lot of comments were about the fact that it is with the "Alt" key instead of the "Option" key. On the Mac, the "Alt" key and the "Option" key are actually the same.
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