TIP: What DVD formats can your Mac handle?


There’s a plethora of DVD formats: DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, double-sided, dual layer… Unless you have a new-ish Mac, which can handle almost anything you throw at it, how can you tell which DVD formats your Mac can write to? Read the rest of this entry »


TIP: Jump to the Finder from an Open Dialog


I love it when I discover something in the Mac interface that’s probably been lurking there for almost ever, and I just didn’t realize it. I don’t even know what prompted me to try this, but the spirit moved me and now I have another trick in my arsenal.

You’re in an Open dialog and you’ve selected something in the list—but is that the item you really want? You’d rather move to the Finder and peruse the folder the item’s in. It’s in a deeply nested folder, though, and you’ll have to do some digging. Or not: with an item selected, press Command-R (mnemonic: “Reveal”) and you’re moved to the Finder with the item’s folder opened.

TIP: Extract Embedded Fonts from iDVD


Apple’s iDVD program (part of iLife) comes with embedded fonts that are available only to iDVD, an inexplicably parsimonious approach by Apple. Some of them overlap the short list that comes with iLife, which are installed in your User Fonts folder. Most overlap with those that come with iWork. But maybe you don’t have iWork, and maybe you’d like the few that are exclusive to iDVD. You can un-embed them and put them in a Fonts folder. Read the rest of this entry »

TIP: Fractional keyboard volume control


Okay, so you don’t know what the heck this title means – let me know if you come up with a better one! Controlling the volume from the keyboard means using a function key with the volume icon on it (usually F11/F12, but F4/F5 on older MacBooks). This raises or lowers the volume a full step at a time, but you can exercise finer control. Read the rest of this entry »

TIP: Put the Character Palette in the Input menu


While this is a standalone tip for anyone who doesn’t know how to activate the Input menu and put Character Palette in it, I was moved to post this specifically to support an Excel tip (Make Excel in-cell graphs look like bars). And, of course, I was then impelled to create the tip on accessing Character Palette without using the Input menu—but that works only in Apple and very-Apple-compliant programs. Read the rest of this entry »

TIP: Access the Character Palette without the Input menu


You may or may not have the Input menu activated in your menu bar (it’s the one with the flag icon, the flag representing the language of your current input setting); you may or may not have the Character Palette listed in the menu. But you can open the Character Palette from an application’s Edit menu, or with a keyboard command whether you have the Character Palette in the Input menu or even if you don’t have an Input menu at all. Read the rest of this entry »

TIP: Retrieve a disappeared Spotlight menu


Okay, first: I know “disappeared” is not an adjective – but it conveyed my meaning, didn’t it? Next: I use the Spotlight menu more than the average bear. And, almost weekly it will up and disappear from my menu bar. I don’t know why it leaves, but here’s how to get it back:

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