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Option-click to Hide Apps Quickly

This trick has been available in the Mac OS for years, but many people still don't know it. If you have too many windows cluttering up your screen, you can hide specific ones easily as you work. When you're in any application, hold down the Option key and click on another app's window, on the Dock, or in the Finder to switch to that other app and simultaneously hide all the windows in the previously current app.

 
 

TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 4 February 2013

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Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 12 -- Apple has released Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 12 for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, which updates Java SE 6 to version 1.6.0_39 in order to secure systems from vulnerabilities reported in Java 1.6.0_37. If you haven’t installed the Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 9 or any of the subsequent releases, the update configures Web browsers to not automatically run Java and deactivates it after no app activity for an extended time. This update requires Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or Snow Leopard Server 10.6.8. It’s available via Software Update and direct download, and Apple reminds you to quit any Web browsers and Java applications before installing either one. (Free, 72.7 MB)

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SMC Firmware Updates for MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air -- Apple has released three System Management Controller (SMC) firmware updates for its MacBook lineup: MacBook SMC Firmware Update 1.5 (494 KB), MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.6 (666 KB), and MacBook Air SMC Update 1.8 (982 KB). All three address a “rare issue” that caused laptops with a battery that had accumulated more than 1,000 charge cycles to shut down and possibly not boot back up again. According to this Apple support page, all MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models (as well as MacBook models from 2009 and later) have a lifetime expectancy of 1,000 charge cycles. As always with firmware updates, we recommend relying on Software Update or the App Store app to ensure you get the firmware update for your specific model, and be careful not to interrupt the update process. (Free)

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Microsoft Office 2011 14.30 -- Microsoft has updated Office 2011 to version 14.30 with a short but sweetly detailed rundown of fixes in this maintenance release. Most of the changes involve PowerPoint, including fixes for a display issue that affected collapsed sections in Slide Sorter view, an issue with hyperlinks that included hash tags not being saved correctly, a crash that occurred when using the Paste Special command, and an issue that prevented pasting of text from PowerPoint for Windows into PowerPoint for Mac. The update also fixes an issue in Outlook where invitation times from non-Exchange calendar servers were off by an hour during certain times of the year. (Free updates via the Office for Mac Web site or through Microsoft AutoUpdate, 106 MB, release notes)

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