Saturday, October 27, 2007

More Goodies in Appleā€™s New Operating System

More details about Leopard's usability ...

"In today's Times, I reviewed Apple's latest operating system, Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard." I noted that Apple claims to have added over 300 new features.

Trouble is, if I tried to describe them all in my 1,280-word column, I'd have 4.3 words to describe and assess each one. I try to be concise, but that's ridiculous.

So I focused on reviewing the features that Apple hypes the most heavily.

But even Apple doesn't list every little change to this multi-gigabyte mass of code...and here and there, I found useful little tweaks that never get any press. Just as I did following my review of Windows Vista, I've decided to take advantage of this e-newsletter to mention a few of them.

* Find the Menu. You're floundering in some program. You're sure there's a Page Numbering command in those menus somewhere. But there are 11 menus and 143 submenus, and you're losing patience.

In Leopard, the Help menu has a search box that appears right in the menu bar. If you type "page numbering" (or whatever) into it, the search-results menu lists the names of any matching menu commands. It also opens that menu for you, and displays a big, blue, animated, floating arrow pointing to the command you wanted. You'd have to have your eyes closed to miss it. (This works in all programs.)

* Three-keystroke application launcher. Spotlight, the Mac's "instant-search" feature, has always been a good way to find and open programs entirely from the keyboard. Press Command-Space bar to open the Search box, type the first couple letters of the program's name, wait for the search results, and hit Command-Enter, which opens the first item listed, which is usually the program you want.

The trouble is the "wait for the search results" part. Spotlight is not instantaneous; if your drive is full, it can take five or six seconds for the results menu to finish building."    (Continued via New York Times)    [Usability Resources]

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