All items tagged with "system preferences"

Easily Access Launchpad With A Keyboard Shortcut [OS X Tips]

LaunchPad Keyboard Shortcut

Launchpad, the iOS-style apps launcher feature that appeared in OS X Lion, showed up without a keyboard shortcut enabled for it. Later Macs, of course, have the F4 key assigned as a Launchpad, well, launcher. You can use the dock icon, of course, and you can double click the Launchpad icon in the Applications folder, but if you have an older Mac keyboard, here’s how to enable the F4 key (or any other shortcut you want) to access Launchpad easily, with the touch of a keyboard button.

Read the rest of this post »

Keep Your OS X Mountain Lion Mac From Sleeping When You Need To [OS X Tips]

Keep Your OS X Mountain Lion Mac From Sleeping When You Need To [OS X Tips]

There are bound to be times when you would like your OS X Mountain Lion Mac to not go to sleep. You can set you Mac to Never sleep in the System Preferences, Energy Saver preferences pane, but that’s not always going to work. Even when it’s set to Never, your Mac may still, in fact, go to sleep. The other problem with the Energy Saver preference is that you only have the ability to set the sleep action to hold of foor three hours, or never. What if you wanted to keep it from sleeping for four hours? Or four and a half hours? Or eight hours?

With a neat little Mountain Lion-only Terminal command, you can set it to whatever you like. Here’s the scoop.

Read the rest of this post »

Get Rid Of Those Pesky Software Update Notifications [OS X Tips]

Get Rid Of Those Pesky Software Update Notifications [OS X Tips]

Doubtless by now, you’ve seen a few notifications on your Mac when there are software updates to be applied. They’re easy to temporarily get rid of, either by clicking ont he Close button, swiping them to the right, or disabling notifications for the rest of the day. This allows you to update your software when you want to, on your own schedule, with a lot less nagging.

But what if you want to not be bugged at all about a specific software update? With the first solution above, the notification comes back in a little while. If you turn notifications off for the day, they’re back at nagging you tomorrow. If there’s a particular bit of software you’d like to not update, or just are tired of being bugged, here’s how to keep it from re-occuring.

Read the rest of this post »

Make Better Use Of Your Time With Reading Lists In Mountain Lion And Safari 6 [OS X Tips]

Make Better Use Of Your Time With Reading Lists In Mountain Lion And Safari 6 [OS X Tips]

Safari 6, the web browser that comes with OS X Mountain Lion, added a ton of new features when it launched a while back, and Reading List is one of the cool ones. Reading List will let you save articles without having to bookmark them, thus avoiding all the hassles of organizing and/or synchronizing bookmarks. It’s a similar system to something like Instapaper or Pocket (formerly) Read It Later, but baked right in to your Safari browser.

Read the rest of this post »

See What Your Friends Are Tweeting In Your Contacts App [OS X Tips]

See What Your Friends Are Tweeting In Your Contacts App [OS X Tips]

Here’s a hidden little piece of OS X Mountain Lion: you can view your friends’ tweets from within the Contacts app, provided you’ve added your Twitter account to OS X, and then updated your Contacts with the social networking service. Now that Twitter is directly integrated within OS X, you can connect to the service with many different apps, like the Notification Center and Contacts.

Here’s how.

Read the rest of this post »

Make Your Mountain Lion Mac Announce The Time And Act Like A Town Crier [OS X Tips]

Make Your Mountain Lion Mac Announce The Time And Act Like A Town Crier [OS X Tips]

The Fred voice sounds like that Radiohead song.

Do you find yourself getting lost in activities on your computer, forgetting to check the time, missing appointments, even? If you get lost in a video game or Facebook surfing session often, you might consider having your Mac announce the time out loud, like a town crier in the days of old.

All it takes is a quick trip into the System Preferences. That, and the ability to have the sound up on your Mac while you’re working at it. Otherwise, if a Mac speaks the time in a speaker-off situation, does it really exist? Wait. Scratch that.

Read the rest of this post »

Decide For Yourself Which Apps Can Access Mountain Lion Contacts [OS X Tips]

Decide For Yourself Which Apps Can Access Mountain Lion Contacts [OS X Tips]

OS X Mountain Lion added some new security features to an already fairly secure operating system (not perfect, we know!). One of these features is an alert you get when you use an app that wants to access your Contact information from the Contacts app on your Mac. When you see this, you’re able to allow or deny that app access to your contacts – this is there to help make things a bit more transparent, and hopefully more secure.

Once you’ve given that access, however, that app gets tracked as one that can always access your Contacts info. If you want to change that access, today’s tip will help.

Read the rest of this post »

Enable Accessibility Options Anywhere In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Enable Accessibility Options Anywhere In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Built into every Mac are a host of accessibility options. People with visual disabilities may need to zoom into the screen, making everything on it bigger in order to see enough to use the Mac. Individuals who experience blindness can use VoiceOver, which has the Mac speak everything on screen, including menus and dialog buttons. Other people with visual impairments may need to invert the Display colors and adjust the contrast to help them with eye fatigue as well as seeing the items on screen.

Read the rest of this post »

Display Menu Lets You Quickly Switch Resolutions From Your Mac’s Menu Bar — For Free [Updated]

Display Menu Lets You Quickly Switch Resolutions From Your Mac’s Menu Bar — For Free [Updated]

The quickest way to switch resolutions on your Mac.

Display Menu is a simple yet incredibly handy little app that just hit the Mac App Store. It allows you to quickly switch display resolutions and change display settings from your Mac’s menu bar — negating the need to navigate the System Preferences options — for free.

Read the rest of this post »

Revert Mission Control To Exposé-style In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Revert Mission Control To Exposé-style In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Put it back the way you found it!

In Mac OS X Lion, Expose merged with Spaces and became Mission Control. When you tapped the default F4 key on your laptop (or F9 or use a three fingered swipe up on your trackpad) to launch Mission Control, you’d get the image on the top left in the screenshot above: all the windows of un-hidden open apps at once.

OS X Lion changed things up by grouping all the windows from each app together in Mission Control, like the image in the lower left corner of the above screenshot. This new style, continued in Mountain Lion is intended to be an easier way to find the specific window you’re using. If that doesn’t work for you, you’re not out of luck, provided you’re running the latest big cat OS.

Read the rest of this post »