Firefox Settings + Tips for New Mac Users

Thought I’d gather in one place, a series of mac tips and mac settings changes I make whenever jumping on a new machine in the labs. These are mostly general computer settings for convenience, but I’ve also included some Firefox settings as so much of our semester’s work will be done inside this browser, so it’s worth making it as ‘comfortable’ as possible.

Mac Adjustments:
– Turn hiding on, for the dock. [Gives more screen space.]
{ choose apple logo top left of screen, then dock, and turn hiding on }

– Set keys for ‘showing desktop’, showing ‘all open windows’, and ‘all open windows in one app’ [
{ Go to System prefs > Expose + spaces > Expose. Set these to function keys eg F16 / 17 / 18 etc }
Optional: Set ‘Active Screen Corners’ to start these functions by mousing over a screen corner.

– Make sure mouse is tracking fast enough. [ Laser mice and the desk surfaces often cause bad / slow / annoying movements ]
{ Adjust using – apple logo menu > system prefs > keyboard and mouse > adjust tracking speed }

Mac Tips:
command + tab = change between applications [ Instead of shutting lots of documents down, to see something in another application – just jump between applications, then back again. No need to shut all down, then re-open all again. ]
{ note – keep command pressed down, just press tab once, then click on preferred app icon. }

– command + ` ( found beside the 1 key ) = change between documents in use within one application. Useful when you have many documents open in one application (eg building webpages), and need to browse through them.

– shift + command + 3 = screenshot of entire screen
– shift + command + 4 = crosshairs that allow choosing a portion of the screen for screenshots
{ These are saved as png files to the desktop }

– Force Quit an application { command + option + esc }

Firefox Settings
– Add any often used sites ( eg your blog / webmail / / rmitmusic etc) to your toolbar, by dragging the icon to the left of your URL to the toolbar.
( Delete any unwanted items on the toolbar by right-clicking on it and choosing delete )

– Install the delicious plugin, allowing easy one button bookmarking of sites. This will place two buttons on your Firefox browser – one for taking you to your delicious homepage, one for adding bookmarks. It’s much, much easier to appreciate the benefits of Delicious with this installed on your lab and home computers.

Tab Mix Plus plugin – if using lots of tabs, this has a few useful features.

– The Feedly plugin provides a very clean, visual one-page view of your google reader RSS feeds.

There are also a few useful plug-ins in the web developer section of the Firefox plugins site, such as FireFTP and FireBug. Their usefulness will become more evident as we learn about webpage building.

The whole Firefox plugins site is worth having a browse to see what other add-ons might be useful for you.



4 Responses to “Firefox Settings + Tips for New Mac Users”

  1. Firefox settings and Mac tips « make + create + interwebs Says:

    […] galore which may help make your web browsing more functional. Start here for some Mozilla Firefox tips: (Thanks to Mr. Sean for […]

  2. Design Studio Week 1 « Rmitmusic09′s Blog Says:

    […] TIPS: First up, some useful tips and shortcuts for using the macs in the lab. – For those new to apple computers, some ‘switching’ tips and tutorials. – Have a […]

  3. Week 1: What Am I Doing Here? | RMIT Design Studio Says:

    […] TIPS: First up, some useful tips and shortcuts for using the macs in the lab. – For those new to apple computers, some ‘switching’ tips and tutorials. – Have a browse […]

  4. Week 1 for Concept Development, 2011 « Rmitmusic Blog Says:

    […] please read the posts about it from last semester, starting from week one, where you’ll find useful tips and shortcuts for using the macs in the lab, some ‘switching’ tips and tutorials, and the tutorial site (important to […]

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