General Mac tips

General Mac tips

Managing desktop

Use Expose to help access open windows: System Preferences…Dashboard & Expose.  I use the upper left corner of the screen to show all windows and the lower left corner to view desktop.

Keyboard shortcuts

<fn><delete> will do a forward delete
<fn><option><delete> deletes word to right of cursor
<Left Arrow>/<Right Arrow> to open/close folders in finder
Cmd+[, Cmd+] to move backward and forward in finder history

Secrets Preferences Pane – turn on showing of hidden files in finder and much more

How to Print Screen to a file on the desktop in Mac OS X

The basic functionality of taking a screen capture of a window or desktop in Mac OS X takes an image and dumps it to a file on the Mac desktop. Each uses the pressing of Command and Shift keys concurrently as the basis for execution, followed by a number:

  • Command+Shift+3: takes a screenshot of the full screen (or screens if multiple monitors), and save it as a file to the desktop
  • Command+Shift+4: brings up a selection box so you can specify an area to take a screenshot of, then save it as a file to the desktop
  • Command+Shift+4, then spacebar, then click a window: takes a screenshot of a window only and saves it as a file to the desktop

How to Print Screen to the Clipboard on a Mac

This functions a lot more like Print Screen in the Windows world. If you want to do the equivalent of Print Screen to the clipboard so that you can paste it into another app, these are the commands you’d want to use:

  • Command+Control+Shift+3: take a screenshot of the entire screen (screens if multiple monitors), and saves it to the clipboard for pasting elsewhere
  • Command+Control+Shift+4, then select an area: takes a screenshot of selection and saves it to the clipboard for pasting elsewhere
  • Command+Control+Shift+4, then space, then click a window: takes a screenshot of a window and saves it to the clipboard for pasting

Show hidden files

Open Terminal window and type:  defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

Delete folders recursively:

find . -type d -name '.svn' -print -exec rm -rf {} \;
Relaunch Finder. You can use: killall Finder
If you want to hide hidden files again (those preceded with a .) and go back to the default Mac settings, you can just type the following:
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
* UpdateSince the release of macOS Sierra, when in Finder, it is now possible to use the shortcut:

 CMD + SHIFT + .
Press once to show hidden files and again to hide them.
Copy files skipping files that exist
Normally you are only giving the choice to Replace/Stop/Keep Both
By  holding down the <Option> key when you drag and drop, Replace is “replaced” by Skip
Change default location for screenshots
  1. Create new folder in finder.
  2. Open up terminal and type in:  defaults write com.apple.screencapture location
  3. Making sure there is a space after “location”, drag the folder you created to the terminal window to append the folder path
  4. Hit Enter
  5. Type killall SystemUIServer and hit enter

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