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Mac OS X

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Snow Leopard: hidden features

Check out this video from Matt from about what have changed in Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6) compared to Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5).

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Put your display to sleep at an instant

There are several reasons to put your display to sleep whenever possible:

  • Saves your display
  • Saves electricity
  • Saves power in a laptop battery
  • Saves private info on screen from preying eyes
  • Saves the whales

To put the display to sleep at an instant just press:

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Check zip files with QuickLook

QuickLook is a quick view application that is part of OS X 10.5 Leopard. It allows you to quickly see images, videos, text and other files without actually opening them. To active Quick Look just select the file and press space.

While QuickLook can read many file types, there is one common file type it can't preview — compressed files. See the image above of how QuickLook previews a compressed file. Not much useful information.

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Paste and match the style

When you copy and paste text using Apple-C / Apple-V you are not only copying the textual data but also the styling of the text. This is not a good thing most of the time as it would create a mix of different font types, colors, weights, etc. in your document and you have to manually reset to make it look consistent.

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Save your System Profiler info

system profiler

If you want to help a friend to fix a Mac or want to buy a used Apple machine you will need detailed and extensive information about the computer. The easiest and fastest way to create a document that can be emailed is to export a text document with all the details from System Profiler. Here are detailed instructions:

  1. Open Applications/Utilities/System Profiler application
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Warning: Deleting a account

deleting email account

When you move between mail servers or you want to get rid of old email accounts in, you should pay extra attention when deleting them.

When you remove the account not only the account details will be deleted but all the email messages that are associated with the account will be wiped too. These emails are gone forever. You can not retrieve them from the Trash.

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Control the volume of the startup sound

Control the volume of the startup sound control panel

If you want to adjust or simply switch of the default Mac OS X start-up sound, download this free control panel.

If you want to further customize your start-up experience, check out this post about changing the background image of the log-in screen.

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Delete large amount of OS X files quickly

terminal iconLet's say you want to delete a backup from an external drive you don't need anymore. This backup will be millions of files if it includes all the system files. If you want to delete such large amount of files using the Finder's Empty Trash command it may take you hours.

A simple trick in Terminal will reduce the time by 40% to empty your trash significantly. Carefully enter this command:
sudo rm -r

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Save a directory list to a file

terminal iconIf for whatever reason you need a list of files within a certain directory in text format you can do so using the ls Terminal command.

Just open Terminal, navigate to the required directory and then enter one of these commands to save the information to the directory.txt file:

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Pixel precise screenshoot

I'm sure you knows how to make screen shoots in OS X: press the Apple-Shift-4 (Cmd-Shift-4) key combo to select just a part of the screen.

However, you may not know that once you started dragging the cursor to select a rectangle you can press Space to move the starting point of the selection.

Also you can press shift to fix the horizontal or vertical dimensions and only resize the selection to one direction.


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