MacOS X Tips

These are all things to type from the terminal.


Translucent Hidden Apps

defaults write showhidden -bool YES

Makes hidden applications' dock icons translucent. NO to reverse. translucent-icons-hidden-dock-applications

Dashboard Developer Mode

defaults write devmode YES

This allows you to drag widgets out of Dashboard onto the desktop. Requires the dock to be relaunched to take effect, so type "killall Dock" and press enter. Now, if you click and hold onto a widget in the dashboard and press F12 to return to the desktop, the widget won't disappear with the rest. Put NO at the end to reverse.

Expanded Save Dialogs

defaults write -g NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode -bool TRUE

Sets expanded save dialogs as default (showing column/list view of folders rather than a drop down menu). Replace TRUE with FALSE to reverse.

Hidden users on login window

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ HiddenUsersList -array-add shortname1 shortname2 shortname3

To remove accounts from the login window type this command with the short name of each account you wish to remove. More details here.

Safari Debug Menu

defaults write IncludeDebugMenu 1

Enables the debug menu in Safari. Type again but with 0 instead of 1 at the end to disable.

Finder Quit Menu

defaults write QuitMenuItem 1

Adds a quit menu item to Finder.

Sane Keyboard Mappings

Save the following to the following to a file named DefaultKeyBinding.dict:

    /* home */
    "UF729"  = "moveToBeginningOfLine:";
    "$UF729" = "moveToBeginningOfLineAndModifySelection:";   
    /* end */
    "UF72B"  = "moveToEndOfLine:";
    "$UF72B" = "moveToEndOfLineAndModifySelection:";
    /* page up/down */
    "UF72C"  = "pageUp:";
    "UF72D"  = "pageDown:";    
    /* Make enter (as opposed to return) always insert a new line */
    "U0003" = "insertNewlineIgnoringFieldEditor:";

In your Library folder, make a new folder called KeyBindings, and put this file in it. This will make your home, end, page-up, and page-down keys behave as they are suppose to, rather than the default broken macintosh way. Requires any running applications to be restarted before the new binding takes effect.

Login Window Text

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ LoginwindowText "If found, call +1-000-555-0000 or email"

Adds some text to the login dialog. This might be the only way someone can figure out how to contact you if your machine is lost.

LEOPARD: Disable automatic virtual desktop switching

defaults write workspaces-auto-swoosh -bool NO && killall Dock

Advanced and sometimes annoying

Show hidden files in Finder

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

Shows hidden files in the finder. Replace TRUE with FALSE to hide hidden files again

Disable Dashboard

defaults write mcx-disabled -boolean YES

Deactivates Dashboard. Requires the dock to be relaunched to take effect, so type "killall Dock" and press enter. Replace YES with NO to enable again.

Auto Accept Video Chats

defaults write AutoAcceptVCInvitations 1

Causes iChat to automatically accept video chat invitations

Just neato

Enable Wide-Area Bonjour support in iChat

defaults write UseGlobalDomain -bool YES

More information on using iChat with wide-area bonjour can be found here.

Screensaver Desktop Backgroun

/System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Resources/ -background

Displays the currently chosen screen saver to be shown as the desktop background. Press Control-C or Command-. to stop.

Slow Minimize

This is kind of pointless, but really cool. Hold down shift while minimizing a window. Go ahead. Try it.