I’m a bit behind on my Mac tip of the week entries and these two tips won’t really make up for it but they’re interesting all the same.

First one is that you can manage applications from the application switcher. By pressing command tab you can then tab to different applications. Once an application is highlighted you can issue other command+? commands like command+q to quit or command+h to hide an application.

The second tip involves iCal. iCal in Snow Leopard now officially supports synchronizing with Google Calendar. Adding new accounts is simply done in iCal’s preferences area but adding addition calendars you have access to isn’t as obvious. To add additional calendars simply click on the delegates tab when editing your iCal accounts in preferences.

I have two keyboard shortcuts that I just found. Keyboard shortcuts are of course always shown in the menus of applications but I thought I’d mention these two.

Here’s the first one. If you have a folder as a stack item on your dock, command clicking it will immediately open the folder instead of doing the usual stack animations.

The second one is, if you select a file anywhere on the desktop or in a finder window and press command+shift+T you’ll add that item to the dock as a direct link to that file or as a stack if it is a folder. Command+T itself will the selected file as a sidebar item in Finder.

Since about 2005, Apple laptops have had a feature that allows the laptop to sleep and wake quickly, but also be able to deal with the situation where the battery runs out of power or is removed. Basically the laptop writes out a hibernation file before going to sleep but then doesn’t actually enter hibernation. If the laptop is able to it will simply wake quickly from ram and mark the hibernation file as old. If the battery runs out of power or is remove, then the laptop will boot from the hibernation file instead. This is a fantastic feature because it nearly guarantees you won’t lose work if you’ve put your laptop to sleep.

There are times however that you might not want to use this feature. For example, I was out of town this weekend and my Macbook was spending a lot of time in sleep. Even though sleep uses very little power, it still uses more than it would if the power was completely off. In this situation I prefer that the laptop simply hibernate when I close the lid.

You can tell an Apple portable what kind of sleep mode to use using the command line tool called pmset or, better yet, you can use the very simple preference pane called SmartSleep. SmartSleep is a simple frontend to the pmset command allowing you to choose between a number of different sleep options. Best of all the utility is free and is available at http://www.jinx.de/SmartSleep.html

It’s possible to create a keyboard shortcut to nearly any menu item for any application. For example, lets say you’d like to create a keyboard shortcut to show extensions in Google Chrome.

To do so start System Preferences from the Apple menu in the upper left. Next, click the keyboard option and then click the Keyboard Shortcuts button.

Click the plus to add a new keyboard shortcut. Search for the application, enter in the name of the menu item, the keyboard shortcut you want to assign and click Add.

The shortcut will now have been added. You may need to close and reopen the application before it appears.

In at least Snow Leopard, and possibly older versions, hot corners are nearly always hot. For example, if you setup a hot corner to show the desktop you can drag a file from a finder window to that hot corner and cause it to fire allowing you to place a file on the desktop or a folder on the desktop easily.

Like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox over Safari? Make sure links that you click in other apps such as Mail open up in your browser of choice by visiting Safari’s Preferences and choosing your Default web browser on the General page as shown below

This is a bit more advanced but I find it really useful. Open a terminal window and type in or copy paste the following and press enter:

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add '{ "tile-data" = { "list-type" = 1; }; "tile-type" = "recents-tile"; }'

Then type:

killall Dock

to restart your Dock. You will have a new stack item on your dock allowing you to access the ten most recent applications.

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