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



Pick an apple! 
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


QuickTime Tips

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Mike O'Connor, author of Navigator and programmer extraordinaire, passes along some QuickTime tips of interest.

Here is a user interface command I'll bet nobody knows. In any QuickTime movie window that uses the standard movie controller you can hold down the Control key and click in one of the single step buttons at the right end of the controller. A tiny slider bar appears which you can then drag to play the movie at variable speed forward or backward!

Here is some other control stuff that works in standard QuickTime movie windows.

Double-click on image = play
Single-click on image = pause
Shift-double-click on image = play backward
Left, Right arrows = single step
Up, Down arrows = volume
Space, Return = toggle play/pause
Option-click on speaker icon = toggle sound mute
Shift-drag the play bar = select section of movie

Finally, a good, little-known way to select a section of a movie is to first position yourself at the start of the selection. Hold down the Shift key, and type Space or Return. The movie starts playing, selecting the played portion as it goes. When you release the Shift key, it stops playing and the played portion is selected.

Wild, wacky stuff! -Mike

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Mike O'Connor --


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