Quick OS X tips

Some quick tips to using Mac’s OS X and some add-on products that new Mac users (like me) might find useful (I know I would have!).

Working with Windows (sans-MS):

  • [Apple]+H hides (not minimizes: hides) your current window. You can un-hide them using normal [Apple]+Tab window cycling.
  • A nice list of more keyboard shortcuts: http://lixlpixel.org/mac-keyboard-shortcuts/
  • Apple maintains a more exhaustive list: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75459
  • OS X’s built-in Exposé (System Preferences -> Personal: Exposé & Spaces) can be configured to show or hide all open windows with a keystroke or mouse click.
  • Witch is a nice window switching application that gives you access to all windows (hidden, minimized, or open).

MacBook [Pro] related:

  • InsomniaX allows you to disable sleep mode, so that you can close your laptop without it hibernating.
    You can also work with your laptop closed if you wake it from sleep or start it closed, but AFAIK, you can only close the lid during a running session with InsomniaX. Use this with care, though: I’ve heard that this can cause heat damage (although that may be completely unfounded).


  • Adium is a great alternative to iChat if you use multiple accounts and protocols (Yahoo!, AIM, Gmail, etc.).
  • TextWrangler is the best free text editor I’ve found (they also offer a pay-per editor that may be even better).
  • I use iTerm as an alternative to Terminal.
  • VLC plays just about any multimedia format (on just about any platform).

Feel free to add comments on these, and to add any additional tips or applications that you have found helpful to using your Mac.


One thought on “Quick OS X tips

  1. Thanks for the tips. The “hide” shortcut is something that I really use a lot (when I really stop and think about it). I’m a fan of VLC, Adium, and TextWrangler, too. Haven’t messed with iTerm that much. Terminal meets my console needs 🙂

    I just posted a screen cast of a few Finder OS X keyboard shortcuts/Mouse combos that perhaps you might find interesting.


    Eh, just throwing it out there.

    Blog on!

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