Apps Of This November (Part 1)

12/10/2012 3:45:18 PM

Pinch to Zoom in TextEdit, Preview, and Safari

You can use two-finger gestures to zoom in and out in TextEdit documents and in Preview: Spread you fingers apart to zoom in, and pinch them together to zoom out. This also works in Safari, as long as you have only one tab open. If you have multiple open tabs, this gesture does something different; see “View and Select Tabs with Two-Finger Pinch,”

Quickly Change Outgoing Email Accounts

Prior to OS X Lion, you could create keyboard shortcuts for switching outgoing mail accounts. That ability vanished in Lion, but it’s back in Mountain Lion.

To implement it, go to the Keyboard pane of System preferences, and click on Application Shortcuts. Click on the plus-sign button (+), and choose Mail from the Application menu. Then enter the name of your account exactly as it appears in the From pop-up menu when you create a new message. It will look like this: first_name last_name my_email@my_host. Make sure to include the angle brackets that enclose the email address, and put a space before the first bracket. Choose a shortcut, and then click Add. To use your new shortcut, create a new message in Mail. If the default account isn’t the one you want to use, press your shortcut to select another account.

Collect RSS Feed URLs from Mail

Mountain Lion removed RSS functionality from both Mail and Safari. To transfer your feeds to another RSS reader, you can collect all the URLs of your subscribed feed by running the following command in Terminal: pubsub list client

This produces a list of your feed names and their URLs. You can then copy the URLs for those feeds and add them to your chosen RSS reader app.

Use Quick Look to View Inline Graphics in Messages

Previously in iChat, you could open the iChat File Transfers window, select a graphics someone had sent you in a chat, and then press the spacebar to preview it in Quick Look. In Mountain Lion, this no longer works. You can, however, click on the graphic in the Messages window, and then press the spacebar to view the image in Quick Look. You can also double-click the image to do the same thing; in iChat, this would open the image in Preview.

Add Default Fonts to Notes

Add Default Fonts to Notes

Out of the “box,” Notes offers only three default fonts (Noteworthy, Marker Felt, and Helvetica), and there’s no option in the app’s preferences or menus to change them or add others. There is, however, another way to add fonts.

Control-click (or right-click) on the Notes application, select Show Package Contents, and navigate to Contents/Resources/en.lproj/DefaultFonts.plist. Open this file in a text editor and look for three sets of text that each look like this:



                        <string>Noteworthy – Light</string>




Copy one of those sections, paste it below those three sections, and edit its text to include your preferred font and size. (You can consult the lists in Font Book to get the names of your fonts.) Note that you can specify weight as part of the name: -Light, -Bold, and so on. Save the file (you’ll probably need to provide your administrator credentials), relaunch Notes, and then choose your new default font form Format à Font à Default Font.

Any PDF with Lines and Rectangles Acts Like a Form in Preview

Any PDF file with horizontal lines and rectangles can be filled in as if it were a PDF form, even if it wasn’t originally intended to be used that way. Clicking on a line opens a text field that’s the same width as the line. Clicking on a small rectangle toggles a checkmark; a rectangle large enough for text entry is treated not as a checkbox but as a text field the same width as the box. After you enter text on a line or in a text box, you can move the text elsewhere in the document and retain its formatting.

If you want to create an actual PDF form with entry lines and boxes, create a new document I Pages or Word, and add lines and rectangles. Try different sizes to see how they work. Press ¨-P, click on the PDF button at the bottom of the Print dialog box, and choose Save As PDF. Open the PDF and start typing above horizontal lines and inside rectangles.

Quick-Edit Reminders Details

You can edit the name of a reminder by double-clicking on it, as you would any bit of text in a word processor or text editor. But you can also edit its details by double-clicking somewhere in the title line other than on the title text; that will open the item’s Inspector window. You can, of course, also select a reminder and press ¨-I or click on the i icon to summon the same window.

You can edit the name of a reminder by double-clicking on it, as you would any bit of text in a word processor or text editor

You can edit the name of a reminder by double-clicking on it, as you would any bit of text in a word processor or text editor

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