Minimal Status Bar for Safari

February 27th, 2015

Minimal Status Bar for Safari:

This is an extension to provide a minimal (Google Chrome-like) status bar for Safari. It also has built-in longurl support to convert those pesky and opaque short urls to long ones again.

Minimal Status Bar

Neat.

[Via Useful Mac]

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LaunchBar

June 23rd, 2014

Reading Shawn Blanc's Command Space: A Review of LaunchBar and a History of Application Launchers, I could only nod in agreement:

Want to launch an app on your Mac? There is, ahem, an app for that.

Whenever I do a clean install of my Mac (which is less often these days), the first application I download is LaunchBar.

Because to me, my application launcher is how I get around my computer. Without LaunchBar installed it's like I'm at a friend's house, trying to navigate to the kitchen in the middle of the night and I can't find the light switches and I keep stubbing my toes on the furniture. […]

I've been using LaunchBar for 11 years and I hope still to be using it 11 years from now. It's the most solid, reliable and downright useful piece of software I've ever installed on a Mac.

I understand that for a lot of people the whole point of a GUI is that you don't have to use the keyboard to make things happen, but in practice there are times when dragging-and-dropping just isn't enough. The way LaunchBar teaches itself the abbreviations you type to select an application or action is just so much more efficient than selecting a file1 and picking options from the Services menu or the right-click pop-up menu.

The really sad thing is, I occasionally find myself trying to trigger LaunchBar when I'm at work, using a Windows XP computer. It's such a disappointment when I realise why that keystroke didn't do anything useful…

  1. Or block of text, or image, or pretty much any object you can select anywhere on your Mac.

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Hot Corners

June 25th, 2013

I really wish I'd known about this hint for Mac OS X users about five years ago: I shudder to think now much time I've wasted over the years backing out of accidentally triggered trips to Mission Control.

[Anyone …] who uses Hot Corners (which OS X refers to interchangeably as Active Screen Corners) triggers those mouse-controlled shortcuts accidentally sometimes. The solution is this: When you're choosing a Hot Corner setting from one of the drop-down menus, hold down your preferred modifier key or keys. You'll see the options change from, say, Mission Control to Option Mission Control" instead.

From then on, your corner will only work when you're also holding down the modifier key(s) you specified. Now, trips to the Apple menu won't trigger your Hot Corner shortcut – unless you're pressing your selected modifier key, too.

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1Keyboard

March 19th, 2013

Wiener Apps – 1Keyboard:

1Keyboard to rule them all!

1Keyboard is a virtual bluetooth keyboard application for OS X.

Turn your Mac into a Bluetooth keyboard that works with all of your devices, comfortably type on your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or game console.

I've only been playing with this for 5 minutes and I'm sold. There's a two day free trial, so I'm going to give this an extended try-out tomorrow evening and then I think I'll be sending Wiener Apps some money.1

[Via One Thing Well]

  1. Unless of course someone with more technical chops than me looks a bit more closely over the next 24 hours and discovers that it's a keylogger in disguise, in which case I'll feel very silly indeed.

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Dragging and dropping and kicking myself

September 17th, 2012

File under "I can't believe it never occurred to me to try this":

Like the iTunes Store, the Mac App Store strangely lacks tabbed browsing, despite the fact that they're both basically just websites. One way to work around this drawback hails from Josh Helfferich, who pointed out that you can drag and drop icons from the Mac App Store onto your browser. If you're doing a lot of looking around, this is a great way to look at a lot of apps quickly or keep multiple tab open to compare.

I knew you could copy the URL for an item. I even knew I could drag an App Store/iTunes Store icon onto my desktop and get a .webloc file to click on later. Somehow it never occurred to me to just drop the damn link on the web browser and see what happened.

[Via Mac OS X Hints]

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Dock launching

August 5th, 2012

One for the MacOS X users: Brett Terpstra has come up with a neat little script for Launching your entire Dock at once.

And just like that, he solves one of those issues that's been nagging away at me for ages. I'd been thinking in terms of saving a plain text list of applications that I could point a script at, but his approach of extracting the list of applications from the Dock's .plist is so much more flexible.

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Cobook

April 12th, 2012

Cobook looks to be a neat alternative interface to the standard Mac OS X Address Book.

Some of the features I won't benefit from1 but it still looks worth trying out for a few weeks to see whether it's noticeably more convenient than what I do now, which is use Launchbar to look up/act upon details of existing contacts.

[Via swissmiss]

  1. Most obviously, I'm not going to be having it scour my social graph for details of my contacts.

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Not Tetris 2

September 10th, 2011

Not Tetris 2. To quote the author:

It's got all the upsides of Tetris and all the downsides of physics

Available for Windows, Linux and MacOS X, and well worth a look IMHO.

[Via The Tao of Mac]

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Services Manager

September 8th, 2011

Services Manager is a free utility for users of Mac OS X versions 10.6 or 10.7 who want to take control of their Services menu.

The standard Keyboard control panel makes it almost impossible to figure out where a given service will show up: this program makes it a simple matter of selecting the appropriate checkbox. Seriously handy, especially once you start making services of your own using Automator.

[Via Mac OS X Hints]

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Text resizing by the numbers

March 25th, 2011

A neat Mac OS X trick from Minimal Mac:

This just in from the Department of Who Knew? You can resize multiple point sizes of text in Mac OS X by using mathematical equivalents in that little box just under "Size". In other words, if you select multiple items of different sizes and want to triple the size of all, just type *3 (times 3) and hit return. Other functions ( / divide, + add, – subtract) work as well.

I'm not sure how often I'd use it1 but it's worth knowing the option is there if I do have to quadruple the size of an entire block of text in one fell swoop.

  1. I'd tend to select the block of text and use Command + and Command - to achieve the same effect, albeit less precisely.

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