Monday, December 04, 2006

It's the little things...

A major portion of my day is answering questions about the "little things" that people are sometimes "stuck" on. Someone said I should publish a tip book, but I don't think anyone would actually read it... I'm sure I would still get calls. So, I thought I would do the next best thing and publish a few pearls of wisdom here.

Soft Paragraph Return
Many computer users are unaware of this common "Word Processing" feature. A soft return is explained on Wikipedia as: "one can manually enter a soft return by pushing shift and enter instead of simply enter." (On the Mac, that would be Shift + Return.) A major benefit of a soft return is to begin typing on a new line, without starting a new paragraph. In most cases, you would want a new paragraph, but if you were using the bullets and numbering feature in Word for example, sometimes you would like to itemize your thoughts without starting new bullets or numbers. Try it!!

Lost House, a.k.a. ... There's No Place Like Home!
(File this one under OSX tips). Someone recently explained how their "House" on the dock accidentally got "poofed" when attempting to move a file to the trash. Efforts to restore the House on the Dock by dragging it from the left shortcut pane in the Finder only made it "poof" from there as well. Where is your House when you need it?

Your "House" is your home directory in OSX's file structure. It can be located by opening (double-clicking) the Macintosh HD and then opening the "Users" folder. Every user who logs into the computer has his or her very own "house." Drag the House from the Users folder to the dock (to the right of the vertical line) for a new shortcut. You can drag it into the left window pane for an instant shortcut there too!

Your Window Doesn't Look Like My Window?

This is a tip for PC users who are unfamiliar with navigating on the Mac. The small "bubble" that is at the top right corner of every Mac "window" (technically called a widget -- but not the same as the Widgets available in Dashboard), when clicked, will hide all the tools or shortcut icons at the top and left panel of a window. Go ahead, click it now in your browser! When you want your tools to return, click it again. PC users intuitively click here to close a window and then wonder, "What happened?"


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