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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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DealBITS Drawing: Billable

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18 years ago, before Tonya and I started TidBITS, I was working as a Mac consultant and tracking my time with a program called Timeslips (see "Slip Slidin' Away," 1992-02-17). I remember it as having more features than I needed, features which consequently made using the program somewhat clumsy. Timeslips exists only for Windows now, but there's a brand new Mac OS X-native program called Billable that looks clean and easy to use. With Billable, you can set up clients with individual hourly rates, track the services you perform for those clients on an hourly or flat fee basis (Billable includes a timer for tasks performed at the Mac), and generate PDF or plain text invoices based on the services you've performed.

Billable 1.0 was initially released in September 2006, and the new Billable 1.1 makes it possible to add taxes, generates invoice numbers according to your scheme, increases the customization options for invoices, and automatically saves and backs up data. You can export the data to XML, making possible communication with other applications, such as your accounting package. Billable is worth a look for any Mac user earning a living billing by the hour; be sure to check out Clickable Bliss's well-done screencasts explaining Billable's operation and features.

In this week's DealBITS drawing, you can enter to win one of four copies of Billable 1.1, each worth $24.95. Entrants who aren't among our lucky winners will receive a discount on Billable, so be sure to enter at the DealBITS page linked below. All information gathered is covered by our comprehensive privacy policy. Be careful with your spam filters, since you must be able to receive email from my address to learn if you've won. Remember too, that if someone you refer to this drawing wins, you'll receive the same prize as a reward for spreading the word.

 

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