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by Jehuda Saar

Tips and tricks for using your Mac or iOS device. Updated regularly.


Addendum to my last tip

​While the "Save As..." menu choise has indeed been brought back as I stated in my last tip, it is important to note that there is a significant difference in the way that command used to work before OS X 10.7 (Lion) and the current version. To get the full story check out this VERY incisive piece by Christopher Breen of Macworld.


"Save As..." is back

​One of the things Mountain Lion brings back to the Mac is the "Save As..." command, but it is not immediately apparent if you don't know where to look. To make that menu choice appear miraculously go to the "File" menu of an app that uses a typical "Save" command, and while choosing it hold down the "option" key on your keyboard. You will see the "Duplicate" menu choice be replaced by the "Save As..." menu choice instead.


I'm In Love With Alfred


I finally come out of the closet: I love Alfred !!!

If there is one thing that has affected the way I use my computer even more than the release of OS X Lion, it is Alfred. How to best define this little app ? To call it simply a launcher would be an understatement. For those of you who are familiar with Quicksilver or Launchbar, you know what type of tool I am referring to. Without lifting your hands from your keyboard and simply by typing a shortcut you suddenly have access to pretty much anything on your computer or the web. It is a productivity app that lets you search  the web, browse or play music from your iTunes library, perform actions like copying or moving files, foders and name it. Last night version 1.0 was finally released and it has a lot of new features like Global Hotkeys, TextExpander style Snippets and other shortcuts. A typical and simple example of the way I have used Alfred till now: instead of opening my browser, going to and typing "Neal Stephenson" in the search box, I hit the hotkey for Alfred and I type "amazon neal stephenson". The result is immediate. Or if I need to access the subfolder called "Scrap" nested deep inside DropBox I just hit the Alfred hotkey and I type "find Scrap". Once again the result is instantaneous. With the addition of the 1.0 version refinements there is no telling how far I will be able to take this functionality. Alfred's effect on my daily workflows has been immense, and if you consider that the basic version of Alfred is free, as in GRATIS, zero dollars, I wonder why you're still on this page, reading these words, and haven't instead started downloading this gem of an app yet.


Perfectly useless

Here is a good one. An app that serves no purpose but to waste a lot of time trying to be creative with every day things. Within minutes of downloading MadPad for iPhone I was able to create this little "masterpiece". In essence the app records sights and sounds you encounter around you in everyday life and allows you to "remix" them to your heart's content. Yesterday the app was free. Today I believe it is at $0.99. Enjoy.


Funky Resize

One of the new features in Lion is the fact that you can now resize a window from any side or corner. That much is documented by Apple. But what is not immediately apparent is that if you hold down the "Option" key while resizing a window, you get a new behaviour. With the "Option" key down the window resizes from both the corner or side that you are dragging, as well as the opposite corner or side, simultaneously. Check out the screencast below to see this effect in action. 


Getting around the effects of Resume and Auto Save

Two of the latest changes introduced in OS X Lion are "Auto Save" and "Resume". Both do exactly what you think: "Auto Save" will automatically save what you're working on without you having to worry about it, and "Resume" ensures that when you quit an app, it will reopen precisely where you left off. While in general this can be a tremendous help in your daily workflow, there are occasions where you start an app and all you want is a blank document or a brand new screen rather than the last 4 PDFs you were looking at when you quit Preview the last time, or the multitude of Safari windows that were open when you quit the program last. 

One option you have is to click the close box of every open window in any app prior to quitting. This will ensure that the next time you open that app you will not have all that stuff popping up on your screen again. But as you will expect, there is a more elegant solution (especially if you have way too many open windows in any particular app open at the same time). You hold down the "Option" key before choosing "Quit..." and you will see that menu choice change to "Quit and Discard Windows" (you achieve the same thing by holding down the "Command" (⌘) "Option" and "Q" keys simultaneously). This will close all the windows at once, quit your app, and the next time you start that app you won't have any of the previously viewed windows appear automatically anymore.


Fancy Accents (OS X Lion tip)

Anyone who recently upgraded their Mac operating system to OS X Lion is aware of the big changes, the significant improvements or some of the controversial modifications to the way we use our favourite computer every day. But some of the changes are not immediately noticeable. We will try to describe some of these techniques, together with such equivalent tips on iOS devices, in this section of

For those of you who write in more than one language, or get to type foreign language words every once in a while, here is a cool little tip. You get to that fancy French word with a "ç" or a "ê" but you're not sure how to achieve that effect from your keyboard without accessing the "Special Characters" from the "Edit" menu. Apple to the rescue. It used to be that whenever you held down the lettet "e" on your keaboard you would get eeeeeeee until you lifted your finger off the keyboard. I personally can't think of a good reason anyone would want to do this in any real life situation. It seems someone at Apple had the same thought. Now in Lion, if you get to a letter that happens to have alternate versions, and you hold the key of that letter down, you are presented with a little "buffet" of options. You can do one of three things: (1) underneath every option there is a number, if you type in that number, you will get the associated version of the letter in your text, (2) you move your mouse pointer to the option you need and click it or (3) you use the arrows to select the required option and click "Return".

A perfect example of Apple doing someting so simple, yet so elegant, to solve a problem in a most pragmatic way, all the while eliminating an unnecessary feature that we have had since the early days of personal computing. It's little things like that that make you appreciate using this platform to get your work done.