Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

There is a feature in OSX where you can zoom in on the entire screen. It is very useful when you want to zoom in on small text or to have a closer look at a photo. I found this feature by accident, and found it very useful after I figured out how it worked.

There are a few ways to do use this feature. The first is with the mouse, the second is with the trackpad & the third is with the keyboard.

1) Using the mouse: I discovered this trick by accident of course. In order to use this trick with a mouse, a scroll wheel is required for this trick. All you need to do is press CONTROL while scrolling up on the mouse to zoom in. To zoom out, do the opposite by pressing CONTROL while scrolling down on the mouse.

2) Using the trackpad: This is a little tricky to do but becomes easier over time. To zoom in, you need to press CONTROL while placing 2 fingers on the trackpad one kept still with the second finger moving in an upward fashion. To zoom out, just do the opposite by pressing CONTROL while placing 2 fingers on the trackpad with one finger kept still with the second figure moving in a downward fashion.

3) Using the keyboard: This is my favorite as I find it the most convenient, as your fingers never leave the keyboard. For me, this function was not enabled by default and I had to enable it. To enable this functionality use the default key sequence, press "ALT+⌘+8". Then you can use the zoom functionality by pressing "ALT+⌘+'+'(plus/equal)" keys to zoom in and "ALT+⌘+'-'(minus/underscore)" keys to zoom out.

If you want to see the options for zooming in, or if it not working as explained above, go to Universal Properties from the System Properties. From here you are able to see whether the zoom functionality is turned on or not. Also, you have options to fine tune the zoom preferences.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

How do I quit an application? A frozen application?

There are several ways to quit applications. I will go through the ones that I use one by one. Some of the examples are very obvious while others are less obvious, hidden by using shortcuts.

1) Menu Bar

The most obvious one is from the menu bar and selecting Quit.

2) Right-Click Icon

Less obvious, Right-Click (Control+Click) on the application icon on the dock to bring up a menu where you can Quit from there. And even less obvious, is Click+Hold on the application icon for a few seconds to bring up the same menu where you can Quit the application.

3) Right-Click Force Quit

Similar to the previous example, you can Right-Click+Option and you will have the option to Force Quit the application. This is most useful when you are trying to close an application which has become unresponsive.

4) Force Quit Window

Another way to Force Quit an application is by opening the Force Quit dialog. This is done by typing "⌘+Option+ESC" key combination. From here, you just have to do is select the application and click on Force Quit.

5) My Favorite - Quit using the Keyboard Application Switch

In a previous Tips & Tricks, I explained how to switch between applications using keyboard shortcuts. For those that missed it, this can easily be done by pressing "⌘+TAB" key combination. But for this particular example, you can include the character "Q" to close the selected application. "⌘+TAB+Q"

By using this trick you can close several applications in just a matter of seconds.

6) The Windows Way

If all else fails (I have yet to do this yet, on purpose at least!), you can always power down the machine. Press on the power button for ~5 seconds. I do not recommend this in any way, but I leave this option as a last resort "just in case".
Important: by using this option, you will lose any unsaved data.

Hope these examples help to save you some time. Just be careful with the "Force Quit" as it can cause unsaved changes to applications to be lost.