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TextEdit is one of those applications on the Mac that you don’t hear a whole lot about. In the past I have been using TextWrangler and Smultron for my text editing. By text editing, I mean coding with HTML, CSS, PHP, and more. When I first opened TextEdit, I immediately knew how to make simple documents and change the text and format. After some messing around, I came across an easy configuration that would make it possible to code in TextEdit:

  1. Open up TextEdit from the Applications folder in Finder.
  2. Go to Preferences under the TextEdit menu.
  3. Once the Preferences window pops up, go to the Open and Save tab.
  4. Under the “When opening a file:” section, put a check mark in the “Ignore rich text commands in HTML files” checkbox.
  5. After you have done that, go back to your Textedit document and look under the Format menu for an option called “Make Plain Text”.
  6. Now you can code anything from HTML to Javascript inside of TextEdit.
  7. One tip before you start coding, make sure you add “.html” to the filename when you save it.

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As I have mentioned before, Safari is the web browser that I use the most. I really wished it’s tab feature worked like other browsers do, where you can switch between the tabs. I prefer using tabs when I’m in Safari because it saves lots of screen space. When I use tabbed browsing, I want to see each tab, so I just click on the individual tab itself to view it. That can become a nuisance, especially when I’m visiting multiple websites. To do tab switching in Safari:

  1. Open up Safari.
  2. Go to Preferences under the Safari menu.
  3. In the Preferences window, go to the Tabs section and make sure “Enable Tabbed Browsing” is checked off.
  4. Use the Shift and ⌘ (Command) keys with the “[” “]” keys or use Control + Tab to switch between browser-tabs.

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These past few weeks I’ve been noticing on forums that many Mac users are losing their passwords and can’t use their Mac. If you ever lose your password to your Mac, you don’t need to worry because the Mac OS X Install Discs have a hidden utility called Reset Password. Here’s how to use Reset Password.

  1. Go ahead and insert Mac OS X Install Disc 1.
  2. Restart your Mac holding down the “C” key.
  3. A few moments later you will get a window asking which language you use.
  4. Once you get past that, look up at the menubar for a menu called Utilities.
  5. Inside the Utilities menu, look for Reset Password.
  6. It should open up with a window showing an icon of your hard drive.
  7. Type in your new password, save it, then quit the Installer Disc.
  8. Restart and your Mac will load up with the same files as before, just a different password.

Being a Mac user for some time now, I have gotten used to how the system works and everything. One part of Mac OS X I don’t really understand is why the background of the login window has to be the default Aqua background. Apparently, it was pretty easy finding a way to customize the login window background. To change the login window background to your liking:

  1. Open up Finder.
  2. Go to the folder called Desktop Pictures inside of the Macintosh HD Library folder.
  3. You should see a file called “Aqua Blue.jpg”.
  4. This is the default background that shows up in the login window screen.
  5. Change the name of this file to something like “aqua” to keep as backup if you need to restore later on.
  6. Then, drag the picture you want to use as the background into the Desktop Pictures folder and rename it “Aqua Blue.jpg”.
  7. You can also use an image you made, but make sure it matches the screen size.
  8. Next time you login in you should notice a different background.

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Every once in a while, Dashboard can become a little too “buggy”. It will use up a lot of memory at times causing a widget not to work as well as it should be. When I browse the web and a page is having loading problems, I usually just click the refresh button and it fixes things up. Well, there isn’t exactly a refresh button for Dashboard, but by holding down the ⌘ (Command) and “R” keys, the widget will refresh itself. This is also a useful feature for a developer who is making a widget and wants to make sure it is working correctly.

screenshots: Click here for a screenshot

I always like to find out more and more about Mac OS X Tiger each day. Not only does it help other users when they have questions, but it is also helpful for me if I am experiencing a problem. The other day, I was using Safari and was curious to see if there was anything hidden to the naked eye. Well, sure enough, there was. The Debug menu. To enable it:

  1. Go into Terminal which is located in Applications >Utilities folder.
  2. Once you open up Terminal, type in:
    defaults write com.apple.Safari IncludeDebugMenu 1
  3. The next time you open up Safari, you will see the Debug menu right next to the Help menu.
  4. If you are a developer or a regular Mac user, looking to get more out of Safari, then I recommend checking out the Debug menu.
  5. I use the Debug menu to look at how other sites were created, to change user agents, and to edit advanced settings.
  6. To hide the Debug menu, follow step , just replace the 1 with a 0.

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There are many hidden features inside of Mac OS X that require some good “detective skills” to find. One of which is adding an eject button to the menubar. In apps such as: TinkerTool or OnyX, there are options to add an eject button to the menubar, but I like to figure these “hacks” out myself rather than use an application. So, to add an eject button to your menubar:

  1. Go to the Menu Extras folder, which is located in System >Library >CoreServices.
  2. Once you find the Menu Extras folder, look for a file called Eject.menu.
  3. Double click on it, and it will immediately show up in the menubar.

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Every once in a while when I am working on a something difficult, there’s nothing I love more than shortcuts. One time, I had to summarize a 3 page article from the web. Here’s how I did it:

  1. First, open up Safari, and highlight some text you would like to summarize.
  2. Then go to the Services menu located under the Safari menu.
  3. In the drop-down menu, you will find a lengthy list of services, including Summarize.
  4. Clicking on Summarize will bring up a window with the text you highlighted.
  5. You can adjust how much you want the text to be summarized.
  6. Besides summarizing, there is much more you can do in the Services menu.
  7. Check out the Speech service.
  8. With any highlighted text, click on Speech > Start Speaking Text to hear the text out-loud.
  9. Then select Stop Speaking Text to stop it.
  10. There are some other Services that you should experiment with because they can save you a lot of time when you’re working on difficult tasks.

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Google is a great tool for searching anything on the universe. It’s so great, Apple put a Google search bar in Safari. The Google search bar is helpful and all, but it just takes too long to get your results. Well, with Inquisitor, you don’t wait for results, they’re instantaneous. Inquisitor replaces the Google search bar, while still using Google’s search engine. Once you enter your search query, up to 6 results will show up beneath the Inquisitor search bar. A must-have app for anyone who uses Safari a lot!

screenshots: Click here for a screenshot

When you buy your first Mac, the first thing you probably are going to do is connect all of your peripherals with it. The first peripheral that I connected was my printer. Mac OS X makes it incredibly easy to add a printer:

Adding A USB Printer

  1. If you’re using a USB printer, just connect the USB cable to the USB port on your Mac.
  2. From there, open up Printer Setup Utility in Applications > Utilities folder.
  3. When it loads up, you should see an Add button. Once you see it, click on it.
  4. Once you click on that, a window should pop-up with a list of all of the printers connected to your Mac.
  5. Select the printer that you connected and click the Add button in the bottom right corner of the Printer Browser window to add the printer.

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Adding A Printer On A Network

  1. If you are using a printer with an AirPort Express/Extreme, read my tutorial.
  2. To setup a printer that is on a network, open up the Printer Setup Utility.
  3. Then, click on the Add button and the Printer Browser window should come up.
  4. At the top of the window, there are two tabs: Default Browser and IP Printer.
  5. Click on IP Printer.
  6. Since I have an HP printer that is on a network, I used the HP Jet Direct – Socket under the Protocol field.
  7. In the Address field, type in the IP address of the printer.
  8. Then, in the Name, type in a suitable name for the printer (ex: “HP Laser”).
  9. Skip the Location field.
  10. For the Print Using field, find the maker of the printer (ex: HP), then select the model of the printer.
  11. Click the Add button and you’re done!

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