Alright, so I’m moving along with my migration from Windows XP to Apple’s OSX. I’ve been using Windows for so long that some of what I thought was “intuitive” no longer was. Close boxes on open windows, for instance. XP has them at the top right, but OSX has them at the top left. Also, double clicking the header of a window in XP makes the window get bigger, in OSX it minimizes the window. That’s still tripping me up. One difference that gave me fits for a while, and still kinda does, is the
alt tab window toggling in Windows. It’s not quite the same over here, but there’s another trick which is equally useful, but it requires all your windows to be open. You hit
F9 tab. Each press of the
tab key brings a new window into focus. A tap on
esc pulls you into that window. It works, but it’d be nice if it would also show minimized windows. I like to keep my hands off the mouse as much as possible.
Anyway, that’s not what I really wanted to write about. I really wanted to write about this thing that’s apparently a new feature with the ‘Tiger’ edition of OSX called “Smart Folders.” You can make a folder that contains search results. So, for instance, maybe I wanted to know where all my .pdf files are. I make a smart folder that only contains .pdf files and it displays them, regardless of where they’re located on my system. It gets much better than that, though. It’ll do smart folders for pretty much any file characteristic you can imagine. Every file in OSX has custom fields that you can add text to–what essentially amounts to a shorthand metadata or, in more modern language, tags. So I can “tag” any kind of file with a word and then build a smart folder that displays any file containing that tag. You can specify where to look, or where not to look if you don’t want to display everything throughout the system. I am so geeked about smart folders!