Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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Avoid Long Hierarchical Menus

If you right-click (or Control-click) on some item, such as a file in the Finder, and one of the sub-menus has many options (Open With is a frequent culprit), it may take several seconds to open, even on a fast machine, which is annoying if you did not actually want that sub-menu.

The trick is to not pull the cursor through the menu, but in a curve around it, so the cursor does not touch any menu items until lower on the list where you wanted to go.

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Eolake Stobblehouse

 
 

iMac Graphic FW Update 3.0

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Apple has quietly released the iMac Graphic FW Update 3.0, saying only that it “fixes a graphics issue that may cause an iMac to hang under certain conditions.” It’s conceivable that this will play a role in resolving the video-related crashes new iMac owners were experiencing under Mac OS X 10.7.0 Lion, though most of those seem to have disappeared with 10.7.1 (see “Video Viewing in Lion Freezes New iMacs,” 4 August 2011). Apple does indicate that this latest firmware update requires Lion, though the company doesn’t say which iMac models are affected. Frankly, though you can download this from Apple’s Web site, we recommend letting Software Update get it for you, since then the download will appear only if it’s relevant for your iMac. As with all firmware updates, be careful not to power down your Mac during the update. (Free, 482 KB)

 

New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as “Tx” for “TextExpander”. With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <http://smle.us/tetouch3-tb>