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Tricks & Tips for Taking Screen Shots in Mac OS X

via OSXDaily

A quick review of the two primary screen shot shortcuts these tips will apply to, for those who are less familiar:
Command+Shift+3 – Snaps a screen capture of the entire screen(s) and save it to the desktop as a file labeled “Screen Shot” followed by the date
Command+Shift+4 – Turns the cursor into a selection box that can be drawn on screen to snapshot items in the rectangle, also saves to desktop as a file
There are actually many other keyboard shortcuts for taking screen shots in OS X but they are really best covered elsewhere since not every one of them will be applicable to the tips here.
1: Create & Set a Designated Screen Shot Folder
Tired of screen shots cluttering the desktop? Me too, and the solution is simple: make a designated folder for screenshots to appear into and then set that as the new default screen shot location. I recommend making a subfolder in the ~/Pictures/ directory named “Screenshots”, then use the following defaults command to set that as the new save location for all screenshots:
defaults write location ~/Pictures/Screenshots/

Follow that up with a restart of SystemUIServer for changes to take effect:
killall SystemUIServer

Test it out by taking a screen shot, it’ll now save directly to the Screenshots folder instead of the desktop.
2: Change the Screen Shot Image File Format
PNG files are typically large and bloated and not the most web-friendly, if your screenshots are destined for the web you can dramatically reduce the file size and avoid the hassle of batch converting images by just changing the default screen shot file type to another image format:
defaults write type jpg

And again, restart SystemUIServer for JPG to be set as the new file type:
killall SystemUIServer

Take a screenshot to confirm. You can also choose GIF, TIF, PDF, or return back to PNG if you want the default setting again. Pick the appropriate format for your needs and this can prevent you from having to batch convert a huge group of images after they’ve been taken.
3: Take Impossible Screen Shots with a Timer
Launch the Grab app found in /Applications/Utilities/ and you can take screen captures on a timer, letting you screenshot things that would otherwise be impossible, like some menu pulldowns, system events, and splash screens.
From Grab, pull down the “Capture” menu and choose “Timed Screen”
The default Grab setting is 10 seconds, if you need to have a different time delay, use Terminal instead:
screencapture -T 3 osxdaily.jpg

Replace “3″ with how ever many seconds you want the timed delay to be.
4: Capture the Mouse Pointer or a Custom Cursor in Screen Captures
The aforementioned Grab app has a handy feature that lets you show the pointer in screenshots, and it’s actually customizable from a variety of pointer types. Here’s how to use it:
In the Grab app, open “Preferences” and select the desired cursor type”
Take a screen shot using Grab app to capture the mouse cursor

5: Disable Drop Shadows from Appearing on Window Screen Shots
OS X defaults to including drop shadows behind window-centric screen shots (not full screen captures), but these can be disabled with a simple defaults write command applied in the Terminal, launch it and enter the following commands to turn the shadows off:
defaults write disable-shadow -bool true

Hit Enter then kill the SystemUIServer for changes to take effect:
killall SystemUIServer

Exit out of Terminal and take a screen shot as usual, it will now be drop-shadow free and look a bit like this:


This can be reversed easily by applying the same command and flipping “true” to “false”, then killing SystemUIServer again to re-enable the wundowshadows.
6: Move the Selection Area from the Original Position
Command+Shift+4 allows you to take a screenshot with a selection box, but have you ever wanted to move it around after you’ve drawn that selection box? You can.
Hit Command+Shift+4 to draw the screen shot selection box as usual, then hit and hold Spacebar and click to drag the box

I’d never actually heard of this one before, but CultOfMac found this neat trick, cheers to them!
Got any other pro tricks for taking better screen shots? Let us know in the comments.


iTunes Match: Cosa fare se la libreria di iTunes supera i 25000 brani

via Spider-Mac

iTunes Match – almeno fino adesso – pone un limite rigido per le librerie iTunes: o si hanno meno di 25.000 brani (non acquistati da iTunes Store, in quanto le canzoni comprate non vengono conteggiate) oppure non è possibile accedere al servizio.
Sfortunatamente, iTunes non offre la possibilità di selezionare i brani che si desiderano utilizzare con iTunes Match e quindi l’unica soluzione è quello di creare una nuova libreria iTunes.
Il primo passo da fare è uscire da iTunes, poi premere il tasto Opzione (alt) e lanciare iTunes. Vi verrà richiesto di creare una nuova libreria o sceglierne una diversa. Selezionate l’opzione per creare una nuova libreria. iTunes si aprirà e non avrete neppure una canzone nella libreria.
Passate al menu Store in alto e selezionate la voce Attiva iTunes Match. Vi verrà richiesto di inserire il vostro Apple ID e la relativa password. Una volta inserite le proprie credenziali, click su OK e iTunes passerà a iTunes Match. Ora lanciate le Preferenze di iTunes e fate click sulla scheda Avanzate e togliete il segno di spunta all’opzione “Copia i documenti nella cartella iTunes Media quando vengono aggiunti alla libreria” e fate click su OK. Questo consentirà di evitare la creazione di duplicati in iTunes eseguendo il passo successivo.
Il “passo successivo” è selezionare “Archivio/Aggiungi alla libreria” e cercate le tracce che desiderate aggiungere a iTunes Match. Quando avete finito, dal menu Store selezionate Aggiorna iTunes Match, che apparirà nell’elenco di sinistra di iTunes Store. A questo punto, inizieranno le tre fasi di iTunes Match, e cioè raccolta informazioni sulla vostra libreria, ricerca dei brani corrispondenti, caricamento dei restati brani e artwork (se su iTunes Store non sono presenti alcune delle tracce).

É vero, Apple poteva offrire un sistema più semplice, ma al momento questo è l’unico modo per avere i vostri brani preferiti su iTunes Match. Una volta ultimata questa procedura, si può tornare alla libreria “normale” uscendo da iTunes, e rilanciandolo con il tasto Opzione premuto, e poi scegliendo la vecchia biblioteca. I brani musicali caricati sulla nuova con iTunes Match sono ora a disposizione di altri computer e dispositivi iOS.

How to Format a Drive for Mac & PC Compatibility

Via OsxDaily

Formatting a hard drive or USB flash disk to be compatible with both a Mac and Windows PC is extremely easy, we’ll walk you through the process in a few simple steps. Remember, formatting a drive erases all data contained on it so back up important files before proceeding.
Launch Disk Utility, found within /Applications/Utilities/
Connect the drive you wish to format for dual compatibility to the Mac
Click the drive name on the left side list in Disk Utility, and then click the “Erase” tab


Click the pulldown menu alongside “Format” and select “MS-DOS (FAT)”
Optionally, give the drive a name


Click the “Erase” button to format the drive for Mac & Windows PC compatibility
If you wish to boot the drive on a PC or use it with older versions of Windows, you may also need to set the partition scheme to Master Boot Record (MBR) for full Windows compatibility:
Click the drive, then select “Partition” tab
From the “Partition Layout” dropdown menu, select “1 Partition”
Click “Options” and choose “Master Boot Record” as the partition type, then click “OK” and “Apply”
Drives format very quickly, though the total time taken will depend on the size of the drive.
The resulting file system is compatible with all versions of Mac OS X, Windows 95, 98, Windows XP, Vista, 7, even Windows 8, it’s one of the most widely recognized and usable file system formats. This makes FAT an ideal file system to use for USB flash drives or external hard drives that are intended for use in environments with multiple operating systems. The primary downside to using FAT32 is the file size limit, which limits files on the drive to being 4GB in size or less. If you require single files to be larger than 4GB, use exFAT instead, though you will lose some compatibility with older versions of OS X and Windows.
If you only intend on using the drive on a Mac it’s recommended to format for Mac OS X use only using the journaled file system. Just be aware that the Mac-only formats are typically not readable by Windows machines.

Clear iMessage Chat History in Mac OS X


iMessage keeps track of chat history, providing you with a lengthy record of conversations in a scrollable chat log. Unlike iOS, there isn’t an in-app method to delete the chat history in OS X (yet), instead you will have to turn to the Finder or command line:
Quit out of Messages for Mac
Hit Command+Shift+G to bring up the “Go To Folder” window
Enter ~/Library/Messages/
Select all files in the Messages directory and move to trash, files will be named chat.db, chat.db-shm, chat.db-wal, etc
Empty the Trash and relaunch iMessages


You can also do this through the command line. Quit out of iMessage and open Terminal, at the prompt type the following:
rm -r ~/Library/Messages/chat.*

Relaunch iMessages and to find an empty chat history.
Remember that iMessages for Mac is currently in beta, there will probably be an easier way to delete chat history in the final version when it ships this summer with OS X Mountain Lion.
Thanks for the tip Kevin!