Among third-party options like Chrome and Firefox, Apple's Safari browser for OS X offers a well-integrated and easy option for viewing Web content on a Mac. However, there are some default settings in Safari that, with a few tweaks, can offer some enhancements to your browsing experience.Set homepage options The first options are those you will see whenever you create a new Safari window or tab, and these are located in the General section of the Safari preferences. In here, you can choose to open new windows and tabs with an empty page, Safari's Top Sites view, … Read more
When you first attach a new external hard drive to your Mac, it should mount and be ready to use; however, before relying on it, consider first taking a couple of precautionary steps to ensure that the drive continues to work as expected.
One of the first things to take into account is that the drive is likely preformatted to FAT32 instead of a more OS-specific format. Since FAT32 is readable and writable on both Windows and OS X systems, this is quickest way for a drive to work on each platform; however, it does have some limitations, including the … Read more
The main preferences and settings-storage system in OS X is the "defaults," which saves values in binary- or ascii-encoded XML property lists. These are commonly seen in the user account's "Preferences" folder, but they exist in other locations and for other purposes in the OS.
The defaults for programs and system services are usually modified from within the program or OS settings panel, but common practice is to modify them by hand and then reload the relevant service or program to invoke the change. This can be done for standard settings, but is also useful … Read more
Spotlight is the indexed search routine Apple includes with OS X, which allows you to quickly locate documents, folders, and other items on your system both by name and by relevant content. While convenient for finding items on your computer, sometimes the search results may be a bit large.
To manage search results better, you can enable or disable categories in the Spotlight System Preferences, or rearrange them so that those you more commonly use are in a more accessible location. For example, if you use Spotlight as an application launcher, then moving the Applications category to the top of … Read more
Starting with OS X 10.7, Apple changed its method for resizing windows. In the Classic Mac OS and through the first six releases of OS X, you had to resize windows using the tab at the bottom-right of the window; however, with OS X Lion Apple changed this behavior to give resizing controls along all edges of application and document windows.
What this means is in most cases, instead of having to move the left and top sides of a window to a desired location and then resize the rest accordingly, you can simply resize from the left, from … Read more
Apple's iWork is slowly but surely getting back to its old form.
The company on Thursday updated its iWork suite with several features it took out of the latest launch. The biggest update is the addition of customized toolbars -- a feature power users enjoyed in previous versions but were sad to see go in the latest option.Apple was hit with user complaints recently after the company updated iWork without some of the features its long-time users had liked using. The company earlier this month posted a notice, saying that while some of the features in iWork '09 … Read more
OS X is filled with a number of links to documents, programs, and other items that may be regularly accessed. For instance, programs you place in the Dock are all simply links to the application files in your Macintosh HD > Applications folder. Likewise, items in the Finder sidebar are links to respective folders and documents you have placed there.
For all such locations (customizable or otherwise), if you click a link directly then, as expected, the system will open the targeted file, folder, or application. This may be the desired action in most cases, but you may instead wish … Read more
When you purchase a new Mac and set it up for the first time, you will have the option of choosing the layout for the keyboard that comes with it. In some cases, however, you might wish to change this layout after purchasing the Mac. For instance, if you originally purchased a laptop with a QWERTY keyboard by use it primarily with the French language, then you may wish to change it to a AZERTY layout.
For such transitions, there are two details to consider. The first is the logical layout configured in OS X, and the second is the … Read more
If you need to quickly launch a program or two in OS X, you can use the Launchpad interface, or, perhaps more quickly, find it in Spotlight, or use a link in the Dock. However, a third option that might be particularly useful for some utilities is to bind them to a hot key shortcut.
For instance, common utilities you may access when troubleshooting problems in OS X include Activity Monitor, Disk Utility, Console, and perhaps Terminal. If you regularly access these or other programs, then you might wish to have them available at your fingertips, so binding each to … Read more
When you install OS X, you may see a new folder at the root of your boot drive called "Incompatible Software," which may contain a program file or perhaps a folder of program components. Granted the folder name itself is pretty self-explanatory about its contents, but if you see it after installing a new version of OS X on your system, then you might wonder what is going on.
While there always will be small bugs and other incompatibilities with various software packages when run on a newly released version of an operating system, there are some instances … Read more