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Springy Dock Tricks

If you drag a file and hover over Dock icons, various useful things happen which are similar to Finder springing. If it's a window, the window un-minimizes from the Dock. If it's a stack, the corresponding folder in the Finder opens. If it's the Finder, it brings the Finder to the foreground and opens a window if one doesn't exist already. But the coolest (and most hidden) springing trick is if you hover over an application and press the Space bar, the application comes to the foreground. This is great for things like grabbing a file from somewhere to drop into a Mail composition window that's otherwise hidden. Grab the file you want, hover over the Mail icon, press the Space bar, and Mail comes to the front for you to drop the file into the compose window. Be sure that Spring-Loaded Folders and Windows is enabled in the Finder Preferences window.

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When I first used Boomerang 2.0, I was in second heaven. Finally, a utility that watched what I did and helped out on its own later! I immediately whipped off an article for the local users' group praising Boomerang to the skies and went on to use Boomerang happily. By then Super Boomerang was almost ready to be released and I suffered through the dilemma of whether to send in my shareware fee for Boomerang or to purchase the Now Utilities 2.0 which included Super Boomerang. Now solved my dilemma by sending me the Now Utilities complete with Super Boomerang to review, and I settled into Super Boomerang even more happily than before. I don't know if the shareware upgrade path still applies, but if not, Super Boomerang is only available as part of the Now Utilities, a collection of system enhancements that we reviewed in TidBITS-045.

Just before I published the Now Utilities review, Ken Hancock and I had put together a comparison of the major compression programs, including Aladdin's StuffIt Deluxe. When the nice people at Aladdin read our review, they asked me if I wanted a copy of StuffIt Deluxe to test (Ken had done all the testing for that issue) and while they were at it, would I like a beta copy of ShortCut 1.5? Like most of you, I am almost completely incapable of turning down software, especially from a company as classy as Aladdin, so I said, sure, send them along, it can't add significantly to the confusion.

When I received the beta of ShortCut, I immediately installed it and almost as quickly uninstalled it because it was still a bit unstable, being in beta release. A couple of months later, Aladdin sent me the release version, which I again installed immediately and which has been running quite happily ever since even with Super Boomerang also installed. So now I found myself in the position of having to choose between two extremely useful utilities, either of which I would have been happy with alone. Yes, I know, I get no sympathy, but there is strong emotional pressure to say nice things about software that you get for free. I'm going to yield to that pressure happily and say nice things about both programs, but I must admit that I have to give the nod to Super Boomerang at the moment, but that's only because I don't use StuffIt archives all that much other than to send out files to the nets. I'm anxiously waiting to see Aladdin's SpaceMaker, since that might increase my usage of StuffIt-format archives, although I'm sure Lloyd Chambers of Salient will have AutoDoubler more or less done by then too.

After I'd had Super Boomerang and ShortCut for a little while, Kiwi Software sent along a copy of KiwiFinder Extender, yet another SFDialog (Standard File Dialog box, the dialog from which you open and save files) box extender. In addition, DFaultD, a shareware SFDialog enhancement utility recently made its way to my Mac, so I'm including it as well. Gee, and this was supposed to be a quick issue. :-)

John Nixon, one of the people who responded to our request for comments on these utilities, included a whole list of utilities that modify the SFDialog box, and although we don't have time to review them all, here are the utilities he mentioned. Greg's Buttons is a $10 shareware product that makes buttons appear in 3-D but has some incompatibilities. Escapade is an excellent freeware utility from Christopher Wysocki that enables Cut, Copy, and Paste in dialogs, and allows the user to hit a single key to answer a dialog. Finally comes Open-wide from James Walker, a "postcardware" utility that expands the size of the SFDialog box so you can see the entire name at all times. Also mentioned by Jonathan Brecher was the old SFScroll INIT, which implements only the "Rebound" feature of Super Boomerang and ShortCut and which apparently still works under System 7.


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
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