To use it you just hold the Option key and type four hex digits numbers , letters a-f , but of course this requires that you remember the 4-digit hex code for the symbols you want to type.
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If the Character Viewer is the only thing in the menu you find interesting, you may want to disable the input menu and use another method for opening the Character Viewer. You can easily drag this to the Dock or Finder sidebar. To create a keyboard shortcut for it, open up Automator in the Applications folder and create a new Service.
You can then add the keyboard shortcut from the Keyboard section of System Preferences. Normally when you are browsing the internet, Safari keeps a record of things like the pages you have visited, the files you have downloaded and the searches you have made. In most circumstances this is great as it can save time and help you retrace your steps.
However, in some cases you may prefer to leave no record of your browsing, for example when you are using a public computer. Enabling and disabling Private Browsing through the Safari menu can be a bit annoying, especially if you find yourself doing it often. Luckily there are a couple of ways to speed this up. In all menus in Mac OS X, an item followed by an ellipsis … means that action will be followed by a dialog box.
If you hold down the Option key while the Safari menu is open, you will notice that the ellipsis after Private Browsing disappears. Now when you click it, you will skip the dialog box.
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Just click this button to quickly exit Private Browsing mode and return to normal browsing. You can also create a keyboard shortcut that does the same thing. Open up System Preferences and go to the Keyboard section. Finally, choose your keyboard shortcut. I use Command-Shift-P. Now when you return to Safari, there should be a new Private Browsing item in the Safari menu, without the ellipsis and with your chosen keyboard shortcut next to it. Pressing these keys should quickly toggle Private Browsing on and off without you dealing with dialog boxes or having to go to menus.
Snow Leopard has the ability to automatically set your time zone based on your location. The map should become greyed out, and your Mac should determine your current location using CoreLocation. Of course this also works much more accurately in urban areas where there are lots of Wi-Fi networks around. This means that having nearby Wi-Fi networks is not an issue, but you do need to make sure you have GPS signal. Now when you travel with your Mac, the time zone should automatically update to your new location. Other applications can also use CoreLocation.
For example, Google Latitude asks for access to your location so it can share it with your friends. While an application must always ask your permission for access to your location information, some people still see this as a bit of a privacy and security risk. As of Snow Leopard, it is now possible to set a screen saver to run over the login window. You can navigate to it in the Finder, or just open up a new Finder window, press Command-Shift-G and then paste in the following line:.
This folder contains all the possible screen savers you can use. If you have 3rd party screen savers installed, you may have noticed that this folder only contains Apple screen savers, and none of the ones you have installed yourself. Then paste in the following:. The number on the 7th line is the time in seconds before the screen saver starts.
The file path on the 9th line is to specify the screen saver to use. Once you have set these values to what you want, choose Save As As before, you can navigate to this, or just press Command-Shift-G and paste in. Save the file as com. Now when you go to the login window, your chosen screen saver should start after the amount of time you specified. If you ever want to change the screen saver, you can just located this file and modify it to point towards another screen saver.
If you want to disable the screen saver, just delete the file. Text substitutions are a relatively new feature that were introduced with Snow Leopard. They allow you to set up certain phrases to get automatically replaced with something else as you type. Oddly, it seems that the only application that text substitutions are enabled in by default is TextEdit, and you need to enable them separately in every other application.
To do this, open up the application in question and right-click Control-click on any area where you can type. Doing this separately for every application is a bit annoying, especially if you want to enable text substitutions everywhere. Fortunately it is possible to enable text substitutions globally using a Terminal command. This will turn on text substitutions in every application that supports them, but you can still go into individual applications and turn them off on a per application basis if you want.
Here are some ideas for substitutions to set up.
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There are a couple of ways to get around this. Firstly, you can simply use Option-Return instead.
Option-Tab is also useful for inserting a Tab character. This is the quickest and easiest way, especially for short replacements like email signatures that only have a couple of lines. If you are creating a replacement that is more than a few lines, you may find it easier to write it in something like TextEdit and then copy and paste it into the list in System Preferences. All the line breaks will be preserved. One final use for text substitutions is to exclude words from spelling auto-correction. To get around this, just add it as a text substitution and make the text replacement the same as the original word.
Now the spelling auto-correction will never happen. Menu extras are the little icon menus that live over on the right-hand side of your menu bar. Most people will probably have the Volume and Airport menus, but there are loads more that you can enable. On top of this there are many more that come with applications like Evernote , QuickSilver and Tweetie and some that are small applications themselves like Caffeine , F. If you have a lot of menu extras, you can rearrange them by holding the command key and dragging them around.
To remove one, just hold command and drag it off the menu bar. One not so well known trick is holding down the Option key when clicking on the menus. For some of them this will reveal hidden settings and information that aren't normally shown in the menu. Here's what you'll see in the Option-click menu for some of the most common ones.
In Snow Leopard the Airport menu has already got a lot more informative with the new way the icon displays the current status. In the Option-click menu you'll see a lot of extra information about your current wireless network, including the protocol e. WPA2 Personal , the channel e. If you want to get some of this information about another wireless network in the list that you aren't using, just hold your mouse over it and a yellow tooltip will appear.
This menu normally just shows a slider for you to adjust the volume, but option-clicking shows some settings that you can normally change in the Sound section of System Preferences. It allows you to select different input and output devices, such as an external microphone or external speakers. If you have Bluetooth on your Mac, option-clicking the menu will show you the bluetooth version number. If you have the developer tools installed, it will also give you options to open Bluetooth Explorer and Packetlogger.
This one is just for laptop users. Option-clicking will add an item at the top of the menu that displays the condition of your battery. Clicking on this will open up a help page explaining what your condition means. You can find out more information about your battery here. A normal click on this menu gives the time of the last sync, but option-clicking gives a huge list of the last time each individual data type was synced i. Bookmarks, Calendars, Contacts etc. It also adds in an option to open Sync Diagnostics and iSync, as well as giving the option to reset sync services.
This brings up a dialog listing all the connected drives that contain Time Machine backups. If you do one thing this article suggests, this should be it.
Unticking just one checkbox will protect you from most of the few dangerous Mac exploits around on the internet. In Safari, choose Preferences from the Safari menu and then click on the General tab. Near the bottom, un-check the checkbox that says "Open safe files after downloading". Even if you only have one user on your Mac, requiring a username and password when starting up is great for security, especially if you have a laptop that can more be easily lost or stolen.
You can do this from the Security section of System Preferences, by checking the checkbox "Disable automatic login". While this isn't going to stop someone intent on stealing your personal data, regular thieves are more likely to just wipe the hard drive rather than going through all your personal stuff first. There are a couple of ways to make your Mac require a password when you leave it. The easiest way is to set "Require password after sleep or screen saver begins" in the Security section of System Preferences.
Here, you can also set a time limit so a password isn't required right away, but only after 15 minutes for example. If you would prefer a keyboard shortcut to lock the screen, you can create this yourself. Open up Automator in the Applications folder and choose a Service template. From the library choose "Run Shell Script" and drag it across to the workflow area. In the text box paste the following command:.
Finally, change the "text" drop-down menu above the workflow to "no input" and then save you workflow as "Lock Screen". To add the keyboard shortcut, go to the Keyboard section of System Preferences and click the Keyboard shortcuts tab. Select Services from the list on the left, then scroll down to the bottom of the list on the right to find "Lock Screen".
Double-click on the area to the right "Lock Screen", then press the keyboard shortcut you want. I used Command-Control-L. One of the problems with having lots of accounts on the internet is that for them to really be secure, they should all have a different password. For example, if you use the same password for your bank account, your email account and some shady disreputable website, you are asking for trouble. My solution to this is to use an application called 1Password to create and remember all my passwords for me. The only three passwords that I remember myself are my email password, my bank password and a master password for 1Password.
All the others - for Facebook, reddit, Amazon, etc - are randomly generated 20 character strings that are created and remembered for me by 1Password. When I go to one of those web sites, 1Password simply prompts me for my master password, then fills in the rest for me. Some of this functionality can be replicated for free using Keychain Access, but the real benefit of 1Password is its automation, and the fact that it works in Safari, Firefox and on your iPhone so you don't have to save your passwords separately for each.
Mac OS X comes with a built in firewall, but it is actually turned off by default. You can turn it on in the Security section of System Preferences. The Mac OS X firewall is really simple to set up - just click start to turn it on. Some applications will have trouble working through the firewall, instant messengers for example. If you find you start having connection problems with an application, just add it to the allowed list in the firewall preferences.
While a Firewall protects your computer from unwanted connections from the outside, Little Snitch does the opposite and blocks your private data from being sent out. If you start an application and it tries to send some data out to a server on the Internet, Little Snitch will inform you and ask if you want to allow it. Read more over at the Little Snitch site. It isn't entirely obvious how to password protect files or folders in Mac OS X but there are a couple of ways. If you just want to protect a single iWork or PDF document, you can do this from within the specific iWork application or from within Preview.
In Pages, Keynote and Numbers '09 you can choose "Require password to open" from the Document section of the Inspector window. In Preview, when choosing "Save As.. If you want to password anything else, you have to password protect an entire folder. The way this is done is using encrypted disk images. Once created these appear as a single file on your hard drive with a dmg extension. When you double-click on one, it will ask you for the password.
If you enter the password correctly, it will mount a disk image on your desktop. So while unlocked, the disk image is just like a temporary folder on your desktop. You can copy files to it and delete files from it, and as soon as you eject it, the contents will be password protected again. Personally, I don't use this option, but for those who want to be ultra-secure it is an amazing feature. It is similar to creating an encrypted disk image for some files, but instead it does this for your entire user folder.
It is much more straightforward and transparent than setting up an encrypted disk image too. Just turn it on the Security section of System Preferences, and all your files will be unencrypted and encrypted on the fly when you log in and out of your computer. I would say this is probably overkill for most users. If you have an encrypted disk image for your most sensitive files, then it is a bit redundant to then encrypt your entire user folder.
It also causes some problems concerning Time Machine backups, and also huge problems if you happen to forget the password…. More and more people now realise that when you delete something off your hard drive, it doesn't actually get physically removed from the disk. All references to it are gone, but it stays there until something else is written over it. For private documents this is a bad situation because someone with some special software can recover you supposedly deleted files.
To prevent this, you can use the "Secure Empty Trash…" option which is in the Finder menu. This takes longer than the normal trash emptying, because your computer is actually writing nonsense data over the top of your deleted files. If you have an old Mac you are thinking of selling or throwing away, it might be a good idea to securely erase all the data from it.
To do this you need to start up from the installer CD that came with your Mac by inserting it and holding the C key while the computer starts up. In the installer, choose Disk Utility from the menu bar. If the hard drive you want to erase is not your main hard drive, you can skip starting up from the install disk and just open Disk Utility from the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder.
In Disk Utility, choose the hard disk from the list on the left, click on the Erase tab, and then click on the Security Options button. Now you have four levels of security to choose from. Each higher level of security takes longer to erase, so the pass erase will take upwards of 24 hours and is only for the truly paranoid. Of course, if you are throwing away the Mac or even just the hard drive, nothing works better and is quite as satisfying than the physical destruction option. Just take the hard drive out of the Mac and completely destroy it with a hammer. I've mentioned GeekTool a couple of times before, and it has recently been updated to version 3.
The best thing about the update is how much simpler the interface is. Before the interface was a bit intimidating, but now it is much easier to use. These bits of information are called Geeklets, and they can be text, images, files, and the output of shell commands. It allows you to submit your Geeklets and vote on others to see which are most popular. If you are new to this, it also has a page for getting started with GeekTool. If you have overlapping Geeklets, you might find that the wrong one is on top. By default, GeekTool sets the refresh time to 0, which means it continuously refreshes as quick as it can.
It is best to avoid this as it can take a considerable toll on your system, hogging resources and slowing things down. For things that really have to be updated very regularly, consider a refresh time of 5 or 10 seconds instead. By putting your Geeklets into separate groups, you can quickly and easily enable and disable them based on their grouping. Note that Geeklets can be in multiple groups - as long as one of the is enabled, the Geeklet will be shown. GeekTool now has a menubar item that you can enable from the preference pane.
From here you can enable and disable groups, force a refresh on all Geeklets, disable GeekTool, and access the preference pane. Check out the Geeklets other people have posted to get some inspiration for your desktop. Vote up your favourites, and share your creations too. If you are looking to reduce the size of your Time Machine backup, it's quite easy to go through you backups and remove files.
Just enter Time Machine, locate the file you want to delete, right-click on it and choose "Delete All Backups You want to get rid of large files, but not those that are important. The best way to do this is to use an application called GrandPerspective. Pierce Wetter has created a modified version of this application specifically for Time Machine backups. It searches through your backups, and finds large files that have only been backed up once.
These will be the files that either constantly change by small amounts or were only on your Mac for a very short time. It then produces a nice "map" of your backup, so you can easily see which files are taking up the most space. Hold you mouse over one of large boxes, and make a note of the backup date and location, shown at the bottom. Then just enter Time Machine, go to the date, and remove the backup as usual. If you find that a lot of the files you are removing are in the same location, you might want to exclude that folder from the Time Machine backup.
To do this, just go to the Time Machine section of System Preferences, click the Options button and then drag the folder into the list. It comes free with every Mac, and it's great for figuring out what the problem is with a dodgy internet connection. Everything you can do in Network Utility you can actually do in a Terminal window using unix tools. But why go to all that effort when Apple have created a nice application that lets you do things much more easily. When you first open up Network Utility you will see nine tabs along the top [ Update: eight in Snow Leopard].
Here's a run through of what you can do in each tab. The first tab, Info, unsurprisingly gives you general information about your network. The Network Interface drop-down menu shows all the different ways your Mac can connect to the Network. Typically these are ethernet, wireless and Firewire. You will only have an IP address if that network interface is connected, otherwise it will say unknown. The Hardware Address, otherwise known as a MAC address, can be used to uniquely identify your computer even though it is possible to change it. One useful way to use the MAC address is when setting up your wireless router.
You can set most routers to only allow specific MAC addresses to join, meaning other people can't log onto your wireless and connect to the internet. Netstat is a tool that is really useful to network administrators for troubleshooting, but pretty useless to the average user. If you choose "Display routing table information" and click Netstat, you will get a list that contains all the computers on the network. If you choose "Display the state of all current socket connections" and click Netstat you'll see a list of your computer's network connections. For example, the first items on the list will correspond to any web pages you have open.
If you type the numbers under "Foreign Address" into Safari, the web page will sometimes appear. The AppleTalk tab is very similar to the Netstat tab, but specifically for Apple's proprietary protocol called AppleTalk. It was very popular in the early days of the Mac, but now has been pretty much abandoned and is unsupported in Snow Leopard. You can read more about AppleTalk on its Wikipedia page. Ping is a tool to check if an internet address is working. When you "ping" an address, you send a small bit of data which it sends back. You can use this to check if a website is down if it isn't loading in Safari.
Alternatively, if you think your internet connection is down, you can try pinging sites that almost never go down like google. Lookup allows you to get information about a web site or IP address. The drop-down menu allows you to choose from a number of different types of information. For example, performing a Name Server lookup on macosxtips. When you enter an address and click Trace, traceroute will show you the route taken by data sent between you and the server. It allows you to see all the servers that your data goes through along the way.
You can use this to troubleshoot connection problems by finding out the point where your data is being blocked. You can also use it when you are downloading a file and have multiple download mirrors in different locations to choose from. Just type the addresses of the mirrors into traceroute and you can get a good idea of which mirror is fastest. The Whois database gives you information about internet addresses and who has registered them. The default whois server whois.
You will get information like the registrant, their address, who they registered with, when their registration was started and and when it expires. Finger, created in , is one of the earliest forms of status updates that are now done using Facebook and Twitter. It's hardly used anymore, but you can use finger to check if your friends are online, and you can post. One of the best ways to use finger is to type in your username or the username of another user on your Mac.
Frequently Asked Questions
The final tab in Network Utility, Port Scan, is for scanning which ports are open at a certain address. These Network ports are a sort of virtual version of the ports on the side of your computer, and each port is for a certain type of network traffic. For example, port 80 is used for web pages. You can use Port Scan to test your own computer by typing in the name of your Mac followed by ".
You can find this name in the Sharing section of System Preferences. If you find that one of these isn't working, it might be because your firewall is blocking the port that it uses. Instead of turning off your firewall, you can just set it to open that port. Just run Port Scan with the application or sharing turned off and then again with it turn on to see which port appears. You can then set your firewall to open this port and allow network traffic through. Note that the built in firewall that comes with Mac OS X works on a per application basis rather than a port basis, to keep things simpler for the average user.
You can quickly remove preference panes from System Preferences by right-clicking or Control-clicking on them and choosing remove preference pane. Of course this only works on the preference panes that you have installed yourself, i. Depending on which you chose, the file could be located in the Library folder in Macintosh HD or the Library folder in your user folder. Just like if you were Trashing the file, System Preferences will ask you for your administrator password when removing preference panes for all users.
I have. It has loads of user-contributed Geeklets all in one place for you to download. However, it is more likely that you kept a copy the option with the big blue "OK" button. This copy is kept in the Users folder under "Deleted Users". You must be logged into an administrator account to have access to this folder.
Look in here for the name of the deleted user you want to recover, and double click it. This will mount a disk image on the desktop that essentially the deleted user folder. Hold option and drag this disk image from the desktop to the Users folder in your Hard Drive. Now you have restored the user folder, but you still need to create an account for it.
Skip down to "Recreating the Account" to do this. Users lost during an Archive and Install When you perform an archive and install without preserving users, your user folders are archived away along with the rest of the existing system files for your Mac. A new folder called "Previous Systems" is created in Macintosh HD that contains all the users from before the archive and install.
If you have done an archive and install multiple times, you will have a number of previous systems. Choose the one that contains all the users you wish to restore. In here is a users folder containing each of the deleted user folders.
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Drag the ones you wish to restore to the users folder in Macintosh HD. Now you have restored the user folders, but you still need to create accounts to be associated with them. Recreating the Account Go the Accounts section of System Preferences and click on the plus button to create a new account. You may need to enter an administrator password to do this. The "short name" of the new user must be the same as the name of the folder you just dragged to the users folder.
When you click OK, a dialog will appear asking if you want to associate this account with the folder that is already in the users folder. Click OK to do this. If you just want to retrieve certain files from the deleted user, you don't need to go through the hassle of creating a new user. From any administrator account you can open up the deleted user's disk image or Previous Systems folder and copy specific files from it. Luckily there is a keyboard shortcut to silence the volume changing beep on a case by case basis.
If you hold the Shift key while changing the volume, you will get no audio feedback, meaning you won't bother anyone with the clicking sound. You can also get this to work the other way round. If you turn off the feedback in the Sound section of System Preferences, the clicking sound will only play if you hold down shift before changing the volume. This is vaguely related to a previous tip - holding option before pressing the volume change keys will open up the Sound System Preferences.
If the audio file you want to use is in iTunes, select it and then click on the Advanced menu. This will bring up a dialog that will allow you to navigate to your audio file. Once the file is done converting, go back to the preferences and change the "Import Using" pop-up menu back to AAC. Open up your user folder, look in the Library for a folder called Sounds and drag the sound here from iTunes.
Your new alert should now be in the list in the Sounds section of System Preferences. Make your alerts visual An alternative to the audio alert is a visual alert, which is basically a screen flash. This will flash the screen as well as playing an alert sound. If you want to get rid of the sound and just have the flash, go to the Sounds section of System Preferences and move the Alert Volume Slider all the way to the left. Annoyingly, this will also mute the feedback you get when the volume is changed and the interface sound effects like when you move something to the trash. If you're fine with this then use the method above.
However if you still want these other sound effects, there is a better but more complicated solution. Mac OS X will also flash the screen if for some reason it is unable to play the selected audio alert. To make this happen, open up TextEdit and press Command-Shift-T to convert the document to plain text. Save this empty file as Flash. If a dialog asks you which extension to use, choose.
Now if you look in your alerts list in System Preferences there will be an alert called Flash that does exactly that - flash the screen. This is because Flash. When your Mac tries to play it and can't, it flashes the screen instead to make sure you still see an alert. The Ask a Question page that I recently added to the site has been surprisingly popular. Here's a few of the latest questions.
If you have a question or tip about Mac OS X use the corresponding link in the sidebar to send it to me. My one year old daughter attacked my wife's iBook, and has somehow changed the settings so that the computer has gone 'negative' — everything looks like a photographic negative — desktop background, icons, the dock, everything. Does anyone know how to get this back to normal? The "negative" effect is a feature of the Universal Access preferences.
To quickly reverse it, press Control-Option-Command You can change all the settings for this in the System Preferences, under the Universal Access pane. For more information on this, check out this previous tip on Universal Access. However, technically you would have to reinstall the entire operating system to get it back. I have a delightful neighbour who's 90 years old who uses the net daily.
She is sight impaired. I need to find a method of increasing the width of the scrollbars and their arrows to a size she can use. She recently switched from a PC to the Mac. She loves the Mac. It was easy to set the scrollbar size on XP. How can this be done on the Mac? There is an option here for zooming that zooms in on the cursor when you press a keyboard shortcut. However, this isn't exactly what you want and it involves learning a load of keyboard shortcuts. Another option is to change the screen resolution. Go to the Displays pane in the System Preferences and choose a lower number from the list of resolutions.
The drawback of this method is that everything gets bigger, and there is less room for viewing things like large photos. Change an application's default icon You probably know how to change an application's icon by opening up its Get Info window Command-I , clicking on the icon and pasting a new one over it. You can use the Cut tool Command-X to remove this icon and return to the default. To change this default icon, you have to delve into the package. The icon file is stored in the Resources folder within the package contents, and normally has the same name as the application with the.
You can replace this file with any other icon file, whether it is downloaded from the Internet or taken from another application. If you dislike the way the iCal icon always displays the date as July 17 when it isn't open, there is an alternative icon inside the iCal package. If you look inside the Resources folder you will find two icons - App.
To change which one iCal uses, simply rename App. Some people also dislike the iTunes 7 icon. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Asked 6 years, 5 months ago. Active 6 years, 5 months ago. Viewed 8k times. The word in question is "espresso" but if I type "expresso" it's not underlined in red. John C.
John C John C 2 2 silver badges 5 5 bronze badges. It was underlined in red for me. Hmm, interesting. What OS are you using? Any suggestions on where else the user dictionary might store words that have been added manually? If I highlight the word I don't get the option to "Unlearn Spelling" from the context menu.
I think that is a really good catch. Certainly submit as a bug report. I will do the same myself. So, you're right to flag it, it ought to be red underlined and it's not on my computer either. Not underlined on OSX Gilby Gilby 1, 6 6 silver badges 13 13 bronze badges. Some details needed to make an unofficial informed comparison: country, language, keyboard language and purchase origin. Just to be clear, neither word espresso or expresso is underlined as misspelled on my system either. It's not clear to me how this helps to edit the built in dictionaries to remove e.
macos - Edit System Dictionary on Mac OS - Ask Different
The other directories only contain words that the user added himself. You can't add a "misspelling" to your personal dictionary. All you can do is to teach OS X to stop treating a word as misspelled.