Instant Dictionary & Thesaurus Look Up

Old Dog, Old Trick, New Trick

A TUAW blogger recently posted about a ‘plug-in’ that provides the ‘missing’ thesaurus function on Leopard. Chuckling smugly with the self-satisfied knowledge that Mac OS X already had built in Thesaurus (and Oxford Dictionary, and Wikipedia), I scrolled down to the comments only to learn something new myself.

If you command-click (or right click) on a highlighted word you get a choice to look up the word in Dictionary (which also has tabs for Thesaurus and Wikipedia). But, what I didn’t know was that if you hover the mouse over any given word and hit control-command-d, you get this beautiful, useful pop up as seen below. What’s more, moving the mouse around will alter the content of the pop-up depending on which word the mouse is currently hovering on. It almost always seems the commenters have better suggestions than the blog itself…. *hint*. Big ups to TUAW commenter Michael Sternberg for besting the TUAW staff, and me too.

Maximize A Minimized Window.

One of the frustrating things about switching was that doing the alt-tab thing didn’t work on Macs. First, you need to quit using the alt key and switch to the Command key (squiggle). Second, if the window you are tabbing over to is minimized to the dock, Command-Tab won’t maximize the window. All praise blog A New Mac Tip Every Day for digging through the hints at MacOSXHints. Here’s the cheese at the end of the maze:

1. Press Command-Tab until you are on the application you want to switch too.  

2. Without releasing Command, press on Option and then release Command.

3. The window should maximize from the Dock.

Leopard Slickness.

In addition to Vista hate, Mac OS X Leopard’s new ‘help menu highlight’ feature makes switching so much more enticing for shortcut hounds. Where Tiger often left switchers poking around in menus, hunting for that quick way to print, switch tabs, or whatever menu item, Leopard gets there quickly and efficiently. In any Leopard ready application, to find that obscure menu item quickly and easily, hold down shift, command (the ‘squiggle’ next to the space bar) and the “?” key at the same time to access the ‘help’ menu. Now, type the first few letters of that menu item, for example ‘print,’ then cursor down for mouse free access to that menu item.



The really cool part is that you can access not only ‘standard’ menu items such as print, but also ‘recent’ documents items and ‘history’ items in Safari.


Safari History

Reformatting Text

Every litigator (who does at least some of his or her own typing) should know the basics for copy and paste… “shift/alt/command v” to paste and match style vs. plain old “command v.” (FYI the ‘command’ key is the squiggle next to the space bar).But, even the paste special sometimes leaves you hanging, literally, with a whole bunch of bogus line endings, all caps, mixed caps or some other horrid text abomination. Devon Technologies did everyone a favor by putting together an OS X service which reformats text in a snap… WordService 2.7 is a free ‘service’ plug-in that takes away some pain.Devon’s WordServiceWordService CapsOf course, to make your favorite WordService quickly available without too much mousing around, you should map a keyboard shortcut to it in System Preferences>Keyboard & Mouse>Keyboard Shortcuts. So, really it’s a two-fer’ tip here… because you can map any menu item you want to a particular keyboard shortcut, not just services items.Sys Preferences Keyboard Mapping

And the first hint is…

Add a recent documents stack item to your dock for quick access to all your recent documents.Recent Docs StackOpen Terminal and type: defaults write persistent-others -array-add '{ "tile-data" = { "list-type" = 1; }; "tile-type" = "recents-tile"; }'After that, type: killall Dock in terminal to restart the dock.Finally, control click on the new folder and choose “Recent Documents.”You can set the number of documents remembered in System Preferences, Appearance.via: