It's not an easy task to maintain our Mac system clean, healthy, and appealing with just relying on built-in applications. We will end up scratching our head just to delete some unnecessary binary files to clean our disk.
Therefore, we all here decided to make a good compilation of free system tools for Mac. With many varieties of applications, from system cleaner to system tweaker, from data organizer to system display manager, we have those all collected in this article.
Click on the application title to get to application homepage.
One of the missing yet necessary utility from our Mac Preview, though we've gotten many other extra features, is the ability to print document as booklet.
Unlike normal printing option, to print a document (or maybe, eBook) as booklet the order of the page is extremely important, e.g. order of the page for printing 8-Page document should be 8-1 2-7 6-3 4-5, which will consume up most of the time in the process of ordering.
Therefore, to create booklets of our documents, we will need…
Hearing music alone isn't enough; Hearing music and seeing the amazing visualizer are most satisfying. Not only we can throw our stress away but we can also kick off our boredom.
Apart from latest iTunes 8 Visualizer, there are still many others interesting iTunes visualizer that can be plugged in easily to enhance your iTunes. To run your iTunes visualizer, you can use keystrokes Command-T and keystrokes Command-F to toggle full screen mode.
Let's see some funtastic iTunes visualizers.
I love to use Quick Look and I believe other Mac users also love this nifty Leopard feature. Not only you can save your time previewing your documents with simple Space button but by installing several more QuickLook plugins, you can peek inside your ZIP files.
It's not limited to that, developers nowadays are still under high spirit to create even more powerful plugins to enhance QuickLook feature. Eventually, I hope we can QuickLook every type of files, including DMG files.
However, you will need to drag and drop your new QuickLook plugin, which comes in bundle *.qlgenerator, into folder Macintosh HD → Library → QuickLook to make it works.
Let's see what are the interesting QuickLook plugins we have here.
Most Mac users feel that Application launcher is the most essential Application for them to install. Application launcher can save our valuable Dock spaces and assist us in boosting our productivity.
There are several application launchers available on the net. They have their own uniqueness, advantages and disadvantages. I am sure you will stick to one Application launcher, just like other power Mac users.
But for the very first time, you need to choose amongst many Application launchers, which one you love the most.
Searching with Spotlight has long become my habit to search for certain cluttered of files which I usually forgot where I put them. Even sometimes my search result returns another cluttered of files that I will need to add certain criterias to limit the search. These criterias include limiting search by adding more keywords, limiting the scope of the search and adding specific attributes (eg. Kind is Images).
Though after adding these limitations I will easily find my files, yet for me it seems to be such a hassle to do it again and again. But, to be really exaggerating, Smart Folder saves my life!
Using Smart Folder, you can save your search criterias into one beautifully constructed purple gear folder - it's the icon. And to do the same search again, only single click on the smart folder is needed.
Exposé, one of the built-in Mac gimmicks that Windows doesn't have, has been doing great job on promoting Mac to Windows users. Personally, I will invoke my Exposé whenever I saw my Windowish friends approaching me while operating my Mac. It's just "Wow!" for them, though it's as simple as bread and butter for Mac users.
Besides being used for attracting attention, we, Mac users, usually use Exposé for the sake of productivity boosting.
Dashboard is one of the interesting things you can have in your Mac, and I think I've long forgotten it. However, thanks to James Powell on Mac Tricks and Tips, his discussion on Dashalytics (Dashboard widget for Google Analytics) reminds me that we actually have a lot of useful widgets.
And for today, I will add some more information regarding to Google widgets that are very useful, such as Dashalytics, Blogger Editor, Amazing Google, etc.
As a huge fan of Leopard Preview, I always try to do my image editing process with Preview. And I guess today is my lucky day, I discovered how to pick color from anywhere of your Mac screen with only Preview in hex format.
You could see the benefits here: Preview is fast, rarely crash and most importantly: it's free.
Here is the step by step tutorial on how to set up the color picker:
If you're connected to two or more displays, you can mirror your main display on the second display. Owning a MacBook, you will see your F7 key being embedded with icon showing two stacking blocks, that's the shortcut to activate mirror display.
Apart of that, you can also slowly set your Mac to mirror display via Display Preference Panes:
Inside Apple ▸ System Preferences under Universal Access, you can set your display to grayscale mode. But you cannot find any keystrokes to trigger grayscale display.
In my opinion, grayscale display is more important than good for nothing white-on-black display. You will need to make your display grayscale to your needs, such as printing files or designing web that can also be used by color-blind society.
I wrote a simple AppleScript Application and will share it with you. Here is what it looks like:
Now it's the time to secure your Mac from either data thieves or network hackers. These are the basic settings you can make to secure your Mac:
There are several things to be aware of when you're choosing options for your login items, such as disabling automatic login or hiding available usernames.
Here is the complete steps to secure your login:
If you've installed Adobe Reader, you'd notice that everytime you click a link containing PDF files, that file will automatically be opened in another browser tab with Adobe Reader instead of Preview.
And some Mac users don't like this behavior because Adobe Reader is more likely to crash than our lovely Preview. How to revert this opening PDF link behavior to its original, i.e. open PDF link in Preview?
There are times when you want to take screenshot of webpages, but obviously you can't use simple print screen which can only take part of the webpage as big as your screen display. So what should you do to capture the whole webpage?
Recently, I've found this nice Safari plugin called Saft, which is a Shareware. Saft gives you ability to have a screenshot of entire webpage and save it as a PDF file with a single click.
While resizing all my images, photos and wallpapers, I came into this great trick to easily batch resize images that I've never read somewhere else before; You can simply use Preview to batch resize images.
Wanna know more?
Reading article from ArsTechnica about next Apple plan: Mac OS X Code Named Snow Leopard, May be Pure Cocoa shocks me. It's only for Intel which means in the very near future, my beloved PowerPC cannot be upgraded.
Unlike in Tiger where you can do image sorting with simple Control-Click anywhere on the sidebar - as discussed in my earlier post Meet the Preview Ultimate Sort Ability, in order to perform images sorting in Leopard Preview you need to click on the gear button (to the left of the slider), expand the menu and choose Sort By.
Not long time ago (around 7-8 months), I've posted an article about How to Set Finder Background which teach you how to set custom image as your Finder background replacing the default solid white color.
Note: Don't see the cute icons, see the solid color background..
But, how if you want to set solid color as your Finder background?
Until now, I've already collected and posted around 60 Terminal commands that can be used to tweak your Mac preferences; There are :
Those are quite difficult to remember. But these next 5 Terminal command utilities must be easy to remember:
You can also customize the counter by clicking on the
i icon on the right hand corner of the widget.