Wednesday, January 18, 2006

It's About Getting the Right Info

The "Get Info" function in Finder is a very handy tool in Mac OS X. It gives you very extensive information of the files in your computer.

Opening the Info Window in Finder

First of all, you need to select a file or a few files. Then you will need to open the "Info Window" of the selected files. There are four ways to open the Info Window of the selected file(s) in Finder.
  • From the menu bar, choose "File"->"Get Info"
  • Click the Action button on the top left corner of the Finder window, and choose "Get Info" from the drop-down menu.
  • Right-click or ctrl+click on the selected file(s) and choose "Get Info" from the drop-down menu.
  • Type the shortcut key "command+i", my personal favorite.

More than just seeing information

The Info Window allows you to modify the metadata and many other attributes of a file. Depending on the file types, there may be different options for you to see and change. Typically, you can change the default program in which a file is launch, the ownership and access right of a file, the icon etc. If you are using Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4), you can assign descriptive keywords as "Spotlight Comments" which helps Spotlight pinpoint a specific file or a number of files by those keywords.

Seeing collective information of multiple files

You may have noticed that using the "Get Info" command on a number of files will open just the same number of Info Windows altogether, one for each file. Such a behavior is awfully ugly, especially when you just want to see collective information like the total file size.To see the collective information of the multiple-selected files in one Info Window, just hold the ctrl key when you execute the "Get Info" command. E.g., hold the ctrl key when you mouse-click the "Get Info" or when you type the "command+i" shortcut key.

Yet another Mac tip is on the web!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Post-holiday iPhoto Dilemma

Photo taking with digital camera is fun until you start tagging the photos in iPhoto. There are two aspects of the job that I personally find painstaking:
  1. typing repetitive keywords into the titles and comments of a collection of photos
  2. moving focus/selection to another photo while manually adding comments to the photos

Adding keywords to a collection of photos

I always like to add descriptive keywords to a set of photos for archiving and quick searching purposes. For example, I would add "Christmas 2005" at the beginning of the titles of all the pictures I took in the last holiday season. To do this, the "batch change" function found in the "Photo" menu comes in handy.
  • Select a set of photos and click the batch change function.
  • In the new pop-up dialog, you can modify or append to the title, date and comments of the selected photos. If you are modifying the title, you can even tell iPhoto to add a number to each photo.

A number is added to the tail of the title "Christmas 2005". Numbers are added in ascending order, i.e. 1, 2, 3...

Moving between photos while tagging

When you are editing photo info manually, you would rather have your hands staying to the keyboard instead of moving over to the mouse just to navigate the photos.
  • To move to the next photo, click command+]
  • To move to the previous one, click command+[

Yet another Mac tip is on the web!