OS X Tips and shortcuts

This is a discussion on OS X Tips and shortcuts within the OS X How-To's, Tutorials, Tips & Tricks forums, part of the Mac OS X category; Skeumorphism seems to be here to stay, but if you’re bent on ridding OS X apps like Contacts (Address Book) and Calendar (iCal) of any ...

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Thread: OS X Tips and shortcuts

  1. #231
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    Remove Leather UI from Contacts & Calendar in OS X Mountain Lion



    Skeumorphism seems to be here to stay, but if you’re bent on ridding OS X apps like Contacts (Address Book) and Calendar (iCal) of any traces of the stitched leather appearance, Mountain Tweaks makes it as easy as a couple of clicks for OS X Mountain Lion users.

    Get Mountain Tweaks free from TweaksApp

    Mountain Tweaks is a free download, just look for the tiny ‘here’ text on the page rather than clicking the blue download/pay button.

    Download and launch Mountain Tweaks, click the “Mountain Lion” tab, and then click the “Yes” buttons for both of the Leather entries. Restoring back to the leather appearance is as simple as clicking “No” under the same tab.



    If MountainTweaks feels familiar it’s because it’s the sister app of LionTweaks, which serves the same leather UI removal purpose for apps in OS X Lion.

    As of now there’s no way to remove the skeumorphic interfaces of Notes or Reminders, but it’s pretty likely those will be modifiable too once someone figures it out.


    7-27-12

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  3. #232
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    Fix the “App can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer” Error in O

    Since OS X Mountain Lion, the Mac defaults to preventing applications from unidentified developers or sources from being launched. You’ll discover the message in OS X 10.8 when you try to launch a Mac app that didn’t come from a verified source or from the Mac App Store, and you’ll get an alert dialog that says “[App name] can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer”.



    This new security feature is called GateKeeper, and it doesn’t mean you can’t run those unverified apps on the Mac, you just have to either temporarily skirt the security blanket of GateKeeper, or turn off the app limitations entirely.

    Temporarily Get Around “App Can’t Be Opened” Alert Message

    This is probably the best option for most users, since it maintains some security:

    Right-click (or control-click) the application in question and choose “Open”

    Click the “Open” button at the next dialog warning to launch the app anyway

    You can do this with any third party app that gives you this warning dialog and open it anyway.



    If you get tired of constantly right-clicking apps to open them, return to pre-Mountain Lion levels of app security by turning off Gatekeepers app verification completely.

    Disable GateKeeper’s Unidentified App Developer Prevention Completely

    This is generally best for advanced users who know what apps to trust and not to trust:

    Launch System Preferences from the Apple  menu

    Choose “Security & Privacy” and then click the “General” tab, followed by clicking the lock icon in the corner to unlock the settings

    Look for “Allow applications downloaded from:” and choose “Anywhere”

    Accept the security warning and allow

    You can now launch any app from any location or developer


    Ya Gotta Love this One For Sure, I Know I Sure Do!!




    7-27-12

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  4. #233
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    How to Remove Dock Icons in OS X Mountain Lion



    Removing app icons from the Dock has been the same since the very beginning of Mac OS X: grab an icon and drag it off the Dock into a poof of dust, whereby the icon is no longer displayed in the Dock. That behavior has changed slightly with OS X Mountain Lion, presumably to prevent accidental deletion of Dock apps. There are still two easy ways to remove Dock icons in OS X 10.8 though, pick either approach that works best for you.

    2 Ways to Remove Dock Icons in OS X Mountain Lion

    1: Click, drag away from the Dock by about 5cm, and hold for a second or two until the “poof” icon appears and then release

    2: Drag and drop the Dock icon into the Trash


    For the impatient, the drag to Trash method is the quickest and it’s demonstrated in the video embed below. It works for any icon in the Dock, be it for an app, folder, shortcut, or otherwise. You cannot remove active applications from the Dock, however.


    7-28-12

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  5. #234
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    Get Old Exposé Back on the Mac with OS X Mountain Lion



    With OS X Lion, Exposé merged with Spaces and became Mission Control, as a result the behavior of one of many peoples favorite window management features changed; you could no longer see all windows from all apps in a single screen. Instead, app windows were grouped by application and stacked atop one another. That incredibly useful old Expose feature of seeing all windows is back in OS X Mountain Lion though, and you just have to enable it to see everything from a single screen again:

    Open System Preferences from the  Apple menu

    Click on “Mission Control”

    Uncheck the box next to “Group windows by application”

    Do a three-fingered swipe up (or hit F9) to see the traditional Expose-style window manager




    With Mountain Lion, you can also continue to perform the app-specific Expose style window view by hovering over the apps Dock icon and performing a three-fingered downward swipe.

    Mission Control is very powerful, check out 9 great tips for Mission Control or view our archives on the topic for more.


    7-30-12

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  6. #235
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    Easily Edit Hosts File in Mac OS X from a Preference Pane




    The hosts file maps hostnames to IP addresses, it’s present in virtually every OS in some form or another and in Mac OS X it’s stored at /etc/hosts, which requires administrative privileges to modify and generally a jump to the command line. Editing the hosts file allows you to do a variety of things like set local test domains, block websites and IP’s, downgrade iOS, troubleshoot weird iTunes errors, and much more.

    If you need to edit your hosts file but you’re not savvy with Terminal and you’d rather avoid the command line entirely, check out the free Hosts preference pane. The third party Hosts panel lets you add, edit, and remove host files easily. If an item is checked, it’s stored in the hosts file, if it’s unchecked, it’s removed rather than commented out but continues to be stored in the preference panel for future use. Simple, easy to use, low maintenance, and should be perfect for anyone who needs to modify /etc/hosts but doesn’t want to get their hands too dirty with nano or vi.

    Download Hosts Preference Panel free from GitHub

    Hosts works with most new versions of Mac OS x, including OS X 10.6.8, 10.7+, and 10.8 Mountain Lion.

    Ideally the Hosts preference pane would include the management and multiple hosts file juggling that GasMask provides, but perhaps that’ll come in a future version.

    Update: if changes aren’t taking effect, manually flush dns cache with dscacheutil.


    7-30-12

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    Improve Tab Completion in Mac OS X Terminal



    Tab completion is a wonderful feature of shells that make power users lives easier, letting you automatically complete commands, paths, file names, and a variety of other things entered into the command line. It works great as is but you can make it even better by enabling a few features; ignore caps lock and casing of commands when completing, remove the necessity to double-tap the Tab key if something is ambiguous, and last but certainly not least, cycle through a menu of all possibilities rather than dumping a humungous list if there is ambiguity.

    If you don’t regularly use the OS X Terminal (or a linux terminal) you probably don’t have a use for this tip.

    Launch Terminal and be in the home directory to get started:

    Using emacs, nano, vi, or whatever your favorite text editor is to edit .inputrc, we’ll use nano for the walkthrough:

    nano .inputrc

    Paste in the following three rules on unique lines:

    set completion-ignore-case on

    set show-all-if-ambiguous on

    TAB: menu-complete

    Hit Control+O to save changes to .inputrc followed by control+X to quit

    Open a new Terminal window or tab, or type “login” to open a new session with the rules in effect

    Start typing a command, path, or something else and hit the Tab key to see the improvements firsthand

    This has been tested to work with bash shell and should work with any version of Mac OS X. If you enjoyed this, don’t miss our other command line tips and tricks.

    8-2-12

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    Set Up Outlook.com Email with Mail App (or Any Desktop POP3 Client) iOS



    Microsoft recently unveiled Outlook.com as a free email service, it’s primarily web based as some sort of Hotmail rebranding, but because of the new domain you can still get fairly decent email addresses if you want one. As webmail you can obviously use any browser to check mail, but you can also use it with the Mac OS X Mail app or any other standard POP3 email client. Setting it up is pretty easy but there can be a hiccup or two with the automated process from Mail app, so we’ll walk through the manual settings to make sure everything works.

    Outlook.com Mail Servers

    If you’ve set up mail accounts before and just want incoming (pop3) and outgoing (smtp) mail server addresses for Outlook.com, here’s what you’re looking for:

    Incoming Mail Server (POP3): pop3.live.com

    Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP): smtp.live.com

    For the outgoing server, use SSL, and port 25, 465, or 587. I’m not sure why Microsoft is using Live IP’s for Outlook, but whatever.

    Setting Up Outlook.com with Mail App

    We’ll assume you already signed up for a free outlook.com email address, if not head over to Outlook.com and make one.

    Launch Mail app and pull down the “Mail” menu to select “Preferences”

    Click on “Accounts” tab and then click the + icon to add a new account

    Enter the full name you want attached to the mail account, enter the email address, and password, click “Continue” to start the automatic setup

    For the incoming mail server, choose “POP” as account type, and set the incoming mail server to pop3.live.com

    For the outgoing mail server, use SMTP outgoing mail server smtp.live.com, and set to default ports

    With the setup finished, create and send a new email message to verify that everything works.

    You could also set this up in iOS using the same outbound and inbound mail servers, though unless you want a new address there isn’t much reason to choose Outlook over any existing account setup through Gmail, Yahoo, etc.


    8-3-12

    OSX Daily

  9. #238
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    Send an Alert to Notification Center from the Command Line in OS X



    Using an excellent third party tool called terminal-notifier, you can post alerts and messages to Notification Center directly from the command line. This has a myriad of potentially valid uses, but one fantastic use-case is along the same veins of verbally announcing when a command has completed or sending a badge alert, but instead posting the notification to OS X Mountain Lion’s Notification Center.

    Installing Terminal Notifier

    Assuming you have ruby on the Mac, you can easily install terminal-notifier using gem:

    sudo gem install terminal-notifier

    For those without ruby, you can download a pre-built binary from GitHub but to run terminal-notifier you have to point it to the binary inside the app bundle as so:

    ./terminal-notifier.app/Contents/MacOS/terminal-notifier

    If you go the latter route, you’d best off creating an alias in bash_profile. For the purpose of this article we’ll assume you installed it through ruby.

    Using Terminal Notifier to Post to Notification Center

    Once installed, using the command at it’s most basic core is as follows:

    terminal-notifier -message "Hello, this is my message" -title "Message Title"




    Posting a message after a command has completed is easy, just append terminal-notifier as so:

    ping -c 5 yahoo.com && terminal-notifier -message "Finished pinging yahoo" -title "ping"

    These post a noninteractive notification, but digging deeper you can launch applications, execute terminal commands, and open URLs too.


    Making Notifications Interactive: Opening URL’s, Applications, and Executing Terminal Commands


    Even better though are the -open and -activate commands though, which let you either specify a URL or an application to activate when the Notification is clicked. For example, this will open osxdaily.com when clicked:

    terminal-notifier -message "Go to OSXDaily.com, it's the best website ever!" -title "osxdaily.com" -open News, Tips, and Reviews for Mac, iPhone, and iPad - OS X Daily

    The notification posts to Notification Center, and if clicked it will open osxdaily.com in the default web browser.


    The next example will open TextEdit if you click on the notification:


    terminal-notifier -message "Time to braindump into TextEdit" -title "Braindump" -activate com.apple.TextEdit


    You can also execute terminal commands if the notification is interacted with:


    terminal-notifier -message "Time to run your backups" -title "Backup Script" -execute backupscript

    That’s just a few examples, but there are obviously infinite uses for such a thing. Considering how useful this is I’m surprised Apple didn’t include a way to do this into OS X, though that could change some day. In the meantime enjoy terminal-notifier, it’s a great tool.


    8-3-12

    OSX Daily

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    Bring Retro Macintosh Sound Effects to OS X



    If you’ve been using the Macintosh platform long enough you’ll undoubtedly have fond memories of the classic Mac OS system sounds like Quack, Wild Eep, moof, Boing, Droplet, Monkey, Laugh, and Logjam. Those sound effects from the wee old days of System 6, System 7, and System 8, echoed throughout many school computer labs throughout the world in the 1980′s and 90′s, but now you can add them to modern Macs running OS X (even Mountain Lion) if you’re in the mood for a retro blast.

    Download the old school classic Macintosh OS sound effect pack from here and unzip it

    From the OS X Finder, hit Command+Shift+G to bring up “Go To Folder” and enter the path to ~/Library/Sounds/

    Open another Finder window and locate the sound effect pack you unzipped, open the AIFF folder inside and drag and drop all the .AIFF audio files into the ~/Library/Sounds/ folder

    Open “System Preferences” from the  Apple menu, choose the “Sound” panel, and find all the retro system sounds under “Sound Effects”




    Notice the system sounds must be placed in the user library folder, which is hidden from Lion and Mountain Lion onward.

    The sound pack also includes a bunch of .m4r ringtone files, so if you want to set them as custom ringtones per caller or text tones, you don’t even need to convert the audio to ringtone format yourself, just import them into iTunes and bring that classic Macintosh sound with you on the go.

    8-23-12

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    Navigate & Flip Through Open Browser Tabs with Gestures in Safari 6



    Safari 6 has a great new way to quickly navigate through open browser tabs using gestures. To access the new tab preview screen, click the little box on the far right of the tabs:




    Once in tab previews, use a two-finger gesture left or right to flip between open tabs. Click on any preview to immediately open that tab.




    You can also hit Command+Shift+\ to get to the same tab view, and then use the keyboard arrow keys to navigate between the tabs.

    This feature is new to Mac OS X but it’s fairly similar to how Safari on iPhone behaves when you’re switching between tabs and should be familiar to anyone who comes from an iPhone background.

    Safari 6 comes with OS X Mountain Lion and is available for Lion users as well.

    8-24-12

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