Category Archives: Mac OS

Make Your Mac’s Help Window Behave

This is among the most disruptive aspects of Mac OS X, especially for switchers: the Help window that stays on top of all the other windows, no matter what. I cannot understand why this is the default behavior. Good news, however, from Macworld:

Fortunately, its possible to switch the Help Viewer to whats called Dev Mode, which makes its window behave like any other window in OS Xif you switch to another app, the Help Viewer will recede into the background.

Hooray for Mac OS X Hints, or more precisely, its reader vczilla, for figuring out how to change this to sensible behavior. I saw it there, and Macworld reposted it to reach a wider audience.

New 64 bit Final Cut Pro? | Philip Hodgetts

Will FCS go 64-bit, and what will that mean?

Philip Hodgetts, long a Final Cut authority, asks if the rumors about a new 64 bit Final Cut Pro might be true and speculates on what that would mean. It’s only speculation, and the comments include lots of wishful thinking, but it’s informed speculation. After the unveiling of the new iMovie for iPad and the praise it’s had, there’s apparent reason for anticipation.

Regain the Timeline in iMovie ’11

iMovie keeps improving

Well, here’s some good news. It’ll only work on the latest iMovie announced yesterday, which means a $49 upgrade or the purchase of a new Mac, but it’s good nonetheless.

When Apple radically changed iMovie between the ‘06 and ‘08 releases, one of the biggest criticisms was the abandonment of the traditional editing timeline. [] Well, if you’ve been pining for a “real” timeline, it’s time to re-evaluate iMovie ‘11. With a couple of clicks, you can have it back. Here’s how.

This is very welcome. The difficulty of adjusting to the no-timeline interface, and its audio limitations, has meant that I install the older iMovie on all the newer Macs I configure. That may no longer be necessary. I’ll have to get my hands on iMovie ‘11 and play with it to know for sure though.

Via TidBITS Media Creation for posting this.

Peachpit: Automator for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: Working with Actions > Locating Actions to Do What You Want

This cute little robot represents an app that can make your life much easier. It's Automator.

I’m looking for a good batch file renamer for my photo workflow, and bingo here’s a how-to for Automator from the auuthoritative folks at Peachpit Publishing. They publish terrific instructional books on all kinds of applications.

Via Peachpit’s Automator for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Working with Actions Locating Actions to Do What You Want

Tabs in Safari

I do not like Safari’s keyboard shortcuts to move among browser tabs.

??{ or ??} Command+Shift+Curly Bracket

^?? Control+Shift+Tab

I much prefer the standard in the two other browsers I use most: Firefox and Camino:

??? or ??? Command+Option+Right or Left Arrow

That is all.

Paintbrush, A Free Painting App for Mac

Paintbrush is free and offers a lot

I didn’t know Paintbrush existed. From the site:

Paintbrush can open and save to most major image formats, including BMP, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, and GIF. Full support for transparency is available for image formats which support an alpha channel (currently PNGs and GIFs). You can also paste images copied from many common Mac applications, including Microsoft Office and Apple iWork.

Target Disk Mode Saves the Day Again

Helping a student burn a DVD on a laptop that for some reason wouldn’t accept the blank DVD. I hooked the MacBook up to an iMac in the lab with a firewire cable, booted the laptop while holding down the T key, and voila! The MacBook’s drive mounted on the iMac’s desktop, and I could access the DVD project and start burning. The latest MacBooks don’t have firewire any more :( but the Pro series and desktops do. Useful.

Converting AVCHD files for iMovie

iMovie and AVCHD shouldn't need so much help

Macworld’s Chris Breen offers valuable info in Converting AVCHD files for iMovie. The lack of direct support for AVCHD in out-of-the-box iMovie stinks though. Camcorder manufacturers often include Windows-only conversion utilities, and one commenter suggests installing them using VirtualBox, a free Windows operating system virtual machine. That’s a lot of hassle for an increasingly common video format that will rapidly become ubiquitous.