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Cool Mac tricks

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I wanted to start a thread where people can share the cool little shortcuts and tricks they've learned on their Mac.  I'll start with this one:

If you hover over a word and hit ctrl-cmnd-D a small pop-up window gives you the dictionary definition of the word.  (Works in native Mac applications.)

#1 - February 07, 2008, 09:53 AM

I'm a new Mac user. I love the system.

I've found shortcut keys are faster with a Mac. (I often write words in foreign languages and this ease is appreciated.)
The best summary of these shortcuts is here: http://www.adobe.com/type/pdfs/characcessmac.pdf

I'm interested to see all the Mac tricks that writers use.

Which program do you use the ctrl-cmnd-D in?
Most of my time is spend in Word (for Mac) and Mozilla.
#2 - February 12, 2008, 01:49 AM
Sarah Blake Johnson, MFA
http://sarahblakejohnson.blogspot.com/
Crossings (2017, Cedar Fort)

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I use the little dictionary trick in Text Edit and in StoryMill.  I believe it works in all native mac apps.  I'm not sure it works in Word. 

My husband taught me another cool trick the other day.  If you hit Shift-Cmnd-4 a little "scope" appears, click and drag it out into a square; when you let go your computer will take a picture of what was in the square.  It's kind of cool for when you just want a snippet of info on a website or something.
#3 - February 12, 2008, 11:01 AM
« Last Edit: February 12, 2008, 03:12 PM by gla »

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I tried that but couldn't SEE any picture...  how do you access the "photo" you took?
#4 - February 12, 2008, 02:26 PM
Verla Kay

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It should show up on your desktop with a label "Picture 1" or "Picture 2" or something, Verla.
#5 - February 12, 2008, 02:36 PM
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VAMPIRINA AT THE BEACH (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
PIGLOO (Henry Holt, 2016)
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Oooh, it did! It did!  I didn't think to look on the desktop. :bangcomputer  I was trying to use copy/paste to put it onto a word processor page. :duh
#6 - February 12, 2008, 02:53 PM
Verla Kay

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Everybody probably already does this, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway.  Have you set up hot points?  I love this.  When I have more than one document or application open, all I have to do is drag my pointer/cursor to the lower right corner and all my pages appear in mini on the desktop so I can pick the thing I need next.  It's awesome when I'm comparing documents or jumping between email and Word.

Go to:  System Preferences.  Click on Dashboard & Expose'.  You will see a box with "Active Corners" at the top.  You can choose which corner will be your hot corner.  You can also choose which functions it will do.  You can set up other shortcuts as well in this window.

Way Cool!   :typing   :bananadance
#7 - February 12, 2008, 03:12 PM
"If you don't get it right the first time, just get it written." ~J. Thurber
http://thebrokentree.blogspot.com
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Yes, it should end up on the desktop.
#8 - February 12, 2008, 03:35 PM

soniag

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That photo trick is amazing!  Thanks so much for pointing it out.

I love my Mac, but sometimes I feel like I understand about 5% of its functions, so keep these tips coming!

 :thanks

#9 - February 12, 2008, 03:39 PM

skarab

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Oh my, the little picture taking function is awesome!  :applause

Thanks for sharing.

#10 - February 12, 2008, 04:18 PM

richmond8

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Maybe this is a Word tip rather than a Mac tip, but when you open your Word document, if you first hit shift+F5 (at the top of the keyboard), it will go automatically to the spot you left off at when you closed the document last.  This is handy in a big document.

Now was that a tip or did everyone already know that!

#11 - February 12, 2008, 07:48 PM

Jaina

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Want to freak yourself out?

Press control, option, open apple (these three are in a row on the bottom left of your keyboard) all at the same time, and then (while keeping them down) hit the number 8 key (not F8).

That happened to me by accident a few years ago--my daughter did it.  I called Apple in a panic and they assured me it was something you could do on purpose (and undo just as easily).  WHY? I said.  Because some people find it easier on the eyes.  Oh.  Okay.
#12 - February 13, 2008, 04:19 AM

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That photo trick is amazing!  Thanks so much for pointing it out.

I love my Mac, but sometimes I feel like I understand about 5% of its functions, so keep these tips coming!

 :thanks



Me, too! I feel like a VW driver with a Lamborgini  :duh
#13 - February 13, 2008, 04:54 AM
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Here's another Word bit, though everyone probably already does this:  Open a navigation pane, and every time you start a new chapter, type your chapter title and format it as a "Heading".  Then when you open your file, you will see each chapter heading listing on the left in the navigation pane and you can just click on it to go to the chapter you want.  Great when your bouncing between chapters 10 & 18!
#14 - February 13, 2008, 05:32 AM
"If you don't get it right the first time, just get it written." ~J. Thurber
http://thebrokentree.blogspot.com
http://gglightandshadow.blogspot.com

momadigan

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Maybe this is a Word tip rather than a Mac tip, but when you open your Word document, if you first hit shift+F5 (at the top of the keyboard), it will go automatically to the spot you left off at when you closed the document last.  This is handy in a big document.

Now was that a tip or did everyone already know that!



I knew there had to be a shortcut to do that, but I didn't know what it was!!!

Thank you!
 :love



#15 - February 13, 2008, 06:21 AM

Zuzus Petals

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This is a great thread. I bought my imac last December and feel like I am on a long steep learning curve as I was a Windows user for years and years. Now that I have Leopard, I am still learning :)
#16 - February 13, 2008, 06:38 AM

I love the photo trick.    :wow
I didn't know about dashboard or expose.   :wow   :wow

I need to play with my mac. (Another way to procrastinate writing.
I have the Leopard, and it is cool.

Keep the hints coming.   :thanks
 I  :love my Mac.
#17 - February 14, 2008, 04:41 AM
Sarah Blake Johnson, MFA
http://sarahblakejohnson.blogspot.com/
Crossings (2017, Cedar Fort)

momadigan

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Darn!

My MacBook won't go to the last place in Word when I hit Shift+F5. It's the quick key to increase audio volume. So all that happens is ... my audio increases.

Anyone?

Anyone?

Bueller?
 :eh2

#18 - February 14, 2008, 06:32 AM

Laurie

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Has anyone used iweb to set up a website?  I keep looking at it but haven't had time to play around.

Laurie
#19 - February 14, 2008, 08:01 AM

soniag

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Has anyone used iweb to set up a website?  I keep looking at it but haven't had time to play around.

Laurie

I did and found it easy to work with.  (This doesn't mean I didn't spend HOURS on what little I have -- but they were mostly fun hours rather than frustrating ones.)

Some of their templates are a bit busy for me, but they're not too hard to manipulate.

I'm still trying to figure out how to add photos to a blank page.  I love their boxes that you can drop photos into -- is it possible to add these to a blank page?
#20 - February 14, 2008, 08:08 AM

Jaina

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My current author website (link at the bottom of this post) is done on iWeb (I messed around with the template).  I've made lots of iWeb pages at one time or another. 
#21 - February 14, 2008, 08:15 AM

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Sonia, I think you just drag and drop a photo from iPhoto on to a blank page. 
#22 - February 14, 2008, 09:51 AM

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I just wanted to add that shift+cmmd+3 takes an instant picture of your whole screen, without the drag and release cross-hairs. You get a cool snapshot noise to know it worked.

 :paint
#23 - February 17, 2008, 09:31 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
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Want to freak yourself out?

Press control, option, open apple (these three are in a row on the bottom left of your keyboard) all at the same time, and then (while keeping them down) hit the number 8 key (not F8).

That happened to me by accident a few years ago--my daughter did it.  I called Apple in a panic and they assured me it was something you could do on purpose (and undo just as easily).  WHY? I said.  Because some people find it easier on the eyes.  Oh.  Okay.

Yikes! Even with the warning this freaked me out!  :ahh
#24 - February 17, 2008, 09:36 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
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Laurie

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Sonia & Jaina (Susan!),

Your sites look great.  I'm still trying to figure out which one would work best for me.  Susan, you said you messed around with the template... can you move things around and delete parts of the template or did you do some fancy hocus pocus?

Laurie
#25 - February 17, 2008, 09:59 PM

Gina Black

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This is a GREAT topic. I've been using a Mac since the beginning of time and I just learned some new things.

Okay . . . here's one for everyone. On a MacBook, if you drag two fingers at the same time on the trackpad it will scroll the screen.

Gina
#26 - February 17, 2008, 10:32 PM

Darn!

My MacBook won't go to the last place in Word when I hit Shift+F5. It's the quick key to increase audio volume. So all that happens is ... my audio increases.

Anyone?

Anyone?

Bueller?
 :eh2
I think you might have hit the "function" key instead of shift

pj
#27 - February 18, 2008, 03:45 PM
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 05:37 PM by Verla Kay »
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Jaina

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Laurie, I didn't do anything fancy--just messed around with the "blank page" on a template.  Wiped off most of what iWeb had on there and fiddled with the background, etc.  I'm satisfied for now, but if I get to a more "pro" stage in my career, I think I'll try for a site that's not quite so "homemade" looking.
#28 - February 18, 2008, 04:27 PM

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This isn't exactly a secret, but I think it's worth mentioning. If you have OS 10.5 (the latest one) you have Time Machine. This is a backup utility that will automatically keep a designated backup disk (I just ordered a little 4GB flash drive for $25) up to date with everything you want backed up.  If you are like me, and both paranoid about your hard drive crashing and resentful of taking the time to do a backup by hand, this is great.

I am really looking forward to getting the flash drive and setting it up.
#29 - February 18, 2008, 05:38 PM
Harold Underdown

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Oh, oh, oh!  One more reason for me to get Leopard.  <grrr>  Guess I'll have to break down and order it soon.
#30 - February 18, 2008, 05:48 PM
Verla Kay

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