Mac OS X Tips & Tricks

Are you looking to get the most out of Mac OS X Leopard?  The following article houses all of the information you’re ever going to need to have the optimum productivity with your Mac OS X Leopard system.  Note that some of these tips were also tested on OS X Tiger, so even if you aren’t ready to make the move to Leopard (what’s stopping you?) you can still get the function you need with the space and energy saving techniques listed in this article.

1 – Organize Photos With Smart Albums
Creating a Smart Album enables iPhoto to automatically create folders based on specific photo criteria such as rating, date, title or even more shutterbug-intensive stats like camera model or focal length. Simply click the Add button located in iPhoto’s bottom-left-corner, and click New Smart Album.

2 – Push content from space to space
Want to move an open window or program from one Space to another without going into the bird’s-eye view? Simply drag it to the edge of the screen and hold it there for a split second. When the Spaces icon appears on the screen, you’ll know the relocation was successful.

3 – Merging Safari Windows
Web surfing can leave your Dock cluttered with multiple instances of Safari 3 running, as sites often open clicked links as separate windows. Consolidate by clicking the Window heading in the menu bar, and then Merge All Windows to combine multiple windows into one with a tab for each page you had open.

4 – Find a previous version of a file
Start Time Machine and key in a file name in finder. Click the Back in Time arrow and Time Machine will automatically search and stop at the point when the file was last changed. If you want to restore a previous version of a file with the same name, you’ll be asked if you want to keep the current item, restored item, or both.

5 – Export iMovie content to YouTube
From the iMovie menu, select Share in the menu bar, and then YouTube. Next you’ll key in your YouTube user name and password, tag the video, choose a file size, and upload it for all (or the people you specify) to see.

6 – Expand vocabulary with dictionary screen saver
Looking to become a master of wordplay? Click System Preference, Desktop & Screen saver, and select “Word of the Day” from the screen saver options, in the left column. The next time your screen saver kicks in, you’ll be presented with a new word and definition from the New Oxford American Dictionary.

7 – Spice up email with stationary and photos
When you’re crafting a new message in Mail, click Show Stationary and then select the Photos option. Not only will the body of the e-mail be filled with a slick design, but there will also be placeholders for dragging and dropping in your own photos for adding that personal touch.

8 – Send iCal reminders to your cell phone
If you never want to miss another important appointment, birthday or anniversary, this is the tip for you. Simply add your cell phone’s text message address to your Address Book’s vCard, and you can choose it as a contact option in iCal. Just remember to keep your Mac powered on.

9 – Create new stacks
Stacks is a cool way to keep your desktop free of clutter, but by default you’re limited to just one. To create a new Stack simply drag a folder onto the Dock. Then right-click on the newly created Stack to determine whether it opens in the Fan or Grid view.

10 – Add Images and Video backdrops to iChat
Within iChat, select Preferences, and then Audio/Video; iChat will show your image and current surroundings. Click Choose a Video, then Show Video Effects to pull up a library of preinstalled video backdrops. To add your own, click the arrows until you see frames labeled User Backdrop, and then drag a video or an image into the application to set it as your background.

11 – Screen sharing in iChat
If both you and a buddy (or your mom) have migrated to Mac OS X Leopard, you can share computers using iChat. Select a contact from your buddy list and check Share My Screen to invite a friend to your desktop, or click Ask to Share to request making a connection with a friend’s desktop. You can copy files between the two desktops via drag and drop or help the other person troubleshoot.


A thirty-something code ninja + web diva. Former New Yorker who's passionate about web development, HTML/CSS, beautifying things and marketing.

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