Friday, November 04, 2005

Apple Tiger Tips: Go Slow Mo

Not only does Tiger have a number of fantastic features like and built in, but the animations used to render these features are beautifully executed. With Exposé, windows gracefully rearrange themselves; with Dashboard, widgets zoom into view, fading in as they come. Even the humble genie effect, used when minimizing a window to the dock, puts Windows to shame. But did you know that you can see all of these animations in fuller glory by holding down the shift key before you launch them?

So shift + F12 will launch Dashboard in slow motion, shift + F9 or F10 or F11 will do the same for Exposé, whilst holding down shift before you click the minimize icon on a window, or on an already minimized window in the dock, will carry out the animations at greatly reduced speed.

Is there any serious purpose in this? No, not really. But it looks cool and it’s great for showing off Tiger’s attention to detail. Windows users may also be impressed — although since XP runs in slow motion most of the time, as far as I can tell, some of the novelty may be lost.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Apple Tiger Tips: Check that Word

Those of you prone to semantic absent-mindedness may appreciate this little known feature of Tiger. In Apple applications like , , or you can check the meaning of a word by simply pointing to it with the mouse and pressing the Apple key (Command), CTRL and D.

The pop-up dictionary window is no one-trick pony. If you keep the three keys pressed, you can move the mouse to point to other words and see their meanings as well. You can also choose the thesaurus instead of the dictionary from the menu at the bottom-left of the pop-up window (again, you'll need to keep the three hot keys pressed).

Finally, you can look up the meanings of parts of words by highlighting just the relevant letters before pressing Command-CTRL-D.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Apple Tiger Tips: Return of the Favourites

Before Tiger came along, Apple provided a handy icon in windows called "Favourites". This took you straight to a folder in which you could place shortcuts to your, er, favourites — documents, programmes, movies etc. that you opened regularly. However, once the sidebar in Finder windows came along, Favourites were demoted. But if you liked that handy folder and its bold red heart-shaped icon, you can easily restore it in Tiger.

Open up a Finder window and navigate to the Library folder in your home directory. Lo and behold, lurking in its depths is the missing Favourites folder. Drag that to the Sidebar and the red heart-shaped icon will grace your sidebar once again. You can now fill it with shortcuts to your heart’s content (no pun intended).

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Apple Tiger Tips: Quit Programs from the Application Switcher

Seasoned users of Tiger will be familar with Application Switcher, the utility that pops onto your screen when you press the Apple (Command) key and tab. But did you know that you can quit applications directly from it?

To perform this trick, simply launch Application Switcher, highlight the application you wish to kill (by pressing tab repeatedly, or by pointing to it with the mouse). Once it is highlighted, simply press Q and the application will disappear to silicon heaven.