Desktop Picture Transparency Hacks -- Every now and then I come across a site documenting something truly clever - not necessarily useful, but clever nonetheless. The French-language MacBidoulle site has been collecting pictures of computers - mostly Macs - whose desktop pictures have been very carefully manipulated such that it appears as though the monitor is entirely transparent. Some were clearly created purely as a joke, such as the desktop picture of a cat, with the real cat's tail snaking out to the side. But with others, such as the picture of wood panelling that makes its iMac blend into the wall behind, you get the impression that the creator really wanted to make the Mac fit into its surroundings. Next time you have a few minutes to burn, check out the Flickr set collecting all the images. [ACE]
Mysteriously Moving Margins in Word
In Microsoft Word 2008 (and older versions), if you put your cursor in a paragraph and then move a tab or indent marker in the ruler, the change applies to just that paragraph. If your markers are closely spaced, you may have trouble grabbing the right one, and inadvertently work with tabs when you want to work with indents, or vice-versa. The solution is to hover your mouse over the marker until a yellow tooltip confirms which element you're about to drag.
I recently came to appreciate the importance of waiting for those tooltips: a document mysteriously reset its margins several times while I was under deadline pressure, causing a variety of problems. After several hours of puzzlement, I had my "doh!" moment: I had been dragging a margin marker when I thought I was dragging an indent marker.
When it comes to moving markers in the Word ruler, the moral of the story is always to hover, read, and only then drag.
Published in TidBITS 821.
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Desktop Picture Transparency Hacks
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