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Category: Macintosh

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
Cmd+<Up Arrow> to navigate up the folder hierarchy

Copy file path to clipboard

While in the right-click menu, hold down the OPTION key to reveal the “Copy (item name) as Pathname” option, it replaces the standard Copy option

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

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

  • Create new folder in finder.
  • Open up terminal and type in:  defaults write location
  • Making sure there is a space after “location”, drag the folder you created to the terminal window to append the folder path
  • Hit Enter
  • Type killall SystemUIServer and hit enter

Show hidden files

Since 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.

Locked up Application on the Mac

Locked up Application on the Mac

Jane experienced her first locked up Mac application.  The mail program was  "continously beachballing" as they say.  She asked what the equivalent of

<Ctrl><Alt><Delete> was and I didn’t know.  Now I do:

A mini-guide to Mac OS X for new Mini owners.

If you have an unresponsive application (e.g., continuous beachballing), you can kill it with the combination of Command-Option-Escape. That will bring up a list of running programs from which you will be able to select the offending applications and force-quit it. You can also kill an application from the Dock, by clicking, holding down the mouse key, and selecting Force Quit. On rare occasions, neither of those methods will work, but you can still kill it by opening up Terminal (located in /Applications/Utilities), running top to find its process ID, and then typing kill -9 .

Problems importing Address Book to the Mac

Problems importing Address Book to the Mac

After Internet Access and Mail, the next important item in moving Jane from Windows to the Mac is importing her Address Book.  This did not go smoothly.  I exported her contacts in a comma separated values file (.CSV) as instructed and sent it to the Mac.  During importing of this file the Address Book program did nothing when OK was pressed.  Not even a message.   Checking the Apple Support site, It was obvious that others were having the same problem.  I did not see a response from an Apple Representative in the discussion forums, but did find various complicated workarounds.  One person hinted at what the problem was:

I opened the txt file in AppleWorks spreadsheet and there were new line characters at the beginning of every record. I did a search and replaced them with nothing. Another wrinkle was the insertion of paragraph EOL by the source application into the address fields for the second line of the address. So I had to manually adjust those records. (I don’t know where it came from since a buddy sent it). Saved a text file from AppleWorks and the import worked.

Seems the Address Book Importer is not very robust.  I hold Apple to a higher standard because
that’s what they demand.  How could they have dropped the ball on such a basic function?

The source of our .CSV file was Outlook Express 6.0.  It did not offer any other export format.  I ended up importing the .CSV on a computer that had Outlook installed and exporting them as VCARDs which I then emailed as attachments (all 240 of them) to our Mac Mini.  The Address Book was able to import the VCARD files without any problem.

Score: Computers 2 Joe User 0

Latest cool feature Jane will love on her Mac:  Stickies Widget.