Surely many of iSensei’s followers experience the same less-than-ideal web experience as he when it comes to type size online. Even on his own site, the preset styles appear to his wizened eyes as a “bit” too small. BUT, relief is actually easily obtained.
Okay, iSensei knows what you’re going to say: “GREAT copy and paste tips?!?”
Trust me on this one. Copy and paste is something you use every day and it can do things you never thought it could. Frankly, neither did I until I read this article. iSensei must express his extreme thanks to the wonderful Sharon Zardetto of our fave site, Macworld.com. These tips are very useful and I highly recommend you try a couple out soon as you finish this article. It will better cement them in your head and be more helpful. Some, like the icon-changer, are more fun than useful perhaps, but once you realize you can copy files and folders in useful ways you never thought, well, who knows, you might even start experimenting yourself! Maybe. Either way, enjoy. (For reference, this article originally appeared in Nov 2011, using the Lion operating system)
Editor Dan Miller posted an excellent, very short video that shows you how to get the most out of your iPad keyboard. Some of these tips will save you quite a few taps and even show you things you didn’t know you could do! (iSensei of course knew them all but he doesn’t like to brag… much) Check them out at Macworld.com
One of the simplest but most useful tricks on all Macs* is right before you… hidden. Just watch what happens when you select the little icon of a file on the Desktop and tap the Spacebar– Poof! You get a large blow-up of the document which is often enough to tell just what the file contains without having to launch its attendant program. You can just take a peek at this enlargement. A great timesaver. When you’re done, just tap the Spacebar again (or click on the ‘X’ in the upper left) and poof, it’s back in place. And, just to round it out, you can also close the preview by pressing the ESC (Escape) key in the upper left of your keyboard (the ESC key is also useful elsewhere. Experiment!)
QuickLook allows you to look at the contents of a file in the Finder at full or near-full size, depending on the size of the document. It can view files including, but not limited to: PDFs, HTML, QuickTime readable media, plain text and RTF text documents, Apple Keynote, Pages and Numbers, ODF documents, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint files and RAWcamera images. Aaaand… JPEGs, TIFFs, PSDs (Photoshop), AIs (Illustrator), etc etc. If it’s a folder, you just get a large icon of that folder… boo hoo.
Another item of note: at least since Lion, in the upper right of the popup window, there’s a button with the name of the program it will use to open the document. If it’s a folder, it will just open the folder. (oh, just discovered something myself just now– select a number of folders all at once and hit the Spacebar. See the additional options in the upper left! Fun!)
AND, here’s more: if you select the opposite facing arrows in the far upper right, it will show you the preview in full screen mode. (You see that option in a lot of windows, since Lion at least.)
Practice these tricks– right now! Try to use them often, and they’ll ultimately become second nature and you’ll be on your way to MacNirvana!
* OSX 10.5 Leopard, 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.7 Lion
iSensei knows some of you out there may think it’s silly to try and remember “abstract” keyboard command shortcuts, but it really does make a lot of sense. It prevents a lot of constantly switching back and forth from the keyboard to the mouse and enables you to work faster. Just employ a few of them for the functions you do repeatedly. So, without further ado, here are a handful that iSensei uses every day, usually multiple times, that help him out on his mission of teaching and guidance.
Command + Shift + A/U/D
These keyboard shortcuts are used to navigate around the Finder. To open the Applications folder on your Mac, press Command + Shift + A in the Finder; press Command + Shift + U to open the Utilities folder; and, press Command + Shift + D to open your Desktop folder in the Finder. These keyboard shortcuts can also be used when in an opened SAVE dialog to quickly navigate to these folders.
Command + Shift, Command + `
Command + Shift is a great way to cycle through all of the different applications and windows opened on your Mac, but what if you only want to cycle through the current application’s opened windows? In that case, use Command + ` (the ` is located on the key above Tab and next to the number 1 key). This keyboard combination will cycle through all of the opened windows in the currently active application.
Control + D – or – Function + Delete
In one of its few (only??) drawbacks when compared to that “Other” Operating System, the Mac’s “Delete” key doesn’t function as the Delete key does in Windows. On the Mac it instead functions as a Backspace key. But fear not, you can instead use either Control + D or Function + Delete in any text area on your Mac to delete from the front of the cursor.
iSensei hopes you can see why all this is a lot easier than it may seem at first and can be extremely useful over time. Try adopting one or two. You’ll thank me (I mean, you’ll thank iSensei).
And most grateful thanks to Cory Bohon over at the fantastic Mac|Life site (and print magazine and iPad app) for offering these up (and I hope he forgives me for my slight re-writing in places). You can check out more great shortcuts from Cory right here and follow (not stalk!) him @coryb on Twitter.