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5 ways to customize your Mac OS X

With every upgrade of Apple‘s Mac OS X the company makes the desktop operating-system look and feel more and more similar to the iOS. But taking into consideration the fact that about 66 million people still use desktop or laptop Macs, Apple has additionally included a lot of distinctive and easy to customize features. For instance, Stacks, Spaces, Launchpad as well as Expose provide versatility for a file, as well as for application management, while Versions allow you to retrieve prior versions of the document with the help of interface close to Time Machine.

These features are documented and well known, but there are some other features that aren’t so simple to find. OS X is packed with hundreds of unknown features; some are just not documented, while others need Terminal commands or even third-party utilities like TinkerTool, MacPilot or Secrets for activating them. Learn OS Here you’ll find some tips on How to customize your Mac.

Creation of Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts in mac os x mountain lion
Keyboard Shortcuts in mac os x mountain lion. Click on image to enlarge.

The ability to change shortcuts is the oldest trick for Macs but it’s still very popular. But it’s hidden from users in Keyboard preferences panel. If you want to access it, then you should open the System Preferences on your Mac, click “Keyboard” and then choose “Keyboard Shortcuts”.

To make a shortcut, click on plus to see a list of variants, pick the app from Application menu and then you need to enter the name of the action precisely in the same way it is in the Application menu (register counts). Then click the “Keyboard Shortcut” panel, enter the key combination you would like to use and after that click on “Add“. Having successfully added a new shortcut, it will appear near the menu item within the application.

Clearing of the Launchpad

Launchpad imitates the home screen of both iPhone and iPad by putting all of the apps front and center within the Finder. But the thing is that the display may be crammed with dozens of abandoned apps that are not used. Surely, you can remove the unused apps, but then you’ll delete the applications you have bought from the App Store. I think that you will agree that it’d be better to clear the whole Launchpad and remove the icons while leaving all your applications in the Applications folder, including those you purchased from the Application Store. In order to do that you should launch the Terminal and paste the following text in there:

sqlite3 ~/Library/Application Support/Dock/*.db “DELETE from apps; DELETE from groups WHERE title”; DELETE from items WHERE rowid>2;” && killall Dock

Then press Return key and you will see a clean brand-new Launchpad, which now you can organize according to your wishes by dragging apps onto the Launchpad icon in the Dock. If you encounter problems, revert your Launchpad to the default settings with the help of the following Terminal command:

rm ~/Library/Application Support/Dock/*.db

Personalize your Login Screen

Personalize Logon Screen in mac os x mountain lion
Loginox App screenshot. Click on image to enlarge.

Surely, usually you don’t look at the Mac’s login screen for long time (or hardly look at all), but still you may wish to see something different from the default background. In addition to that,you may want to add text or perhaps some image with your contact information – it may help you to get your stolen or lost computer back. In OS X 10 it was pretty easy to add text to the login screen. But you may do that in 10.7.4. version. In order to change the wallpaper and logo in your login screen, there is an app Loginox, which lets you tweak with Mac OS X Lion login screen. Try this one too. Create a .png image and name it “applelinen. png”. Then go to the Resources folder by choosing “Go to Folder” in the Go menu and paste this path:

/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/LoginUIKit.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/Log
inUICore.framework/Versions/A/Resources

Copy the current image to a different folder – you may want to go back to it later, replace the original image with the one you created and that’s it. To make it better, the image should be created with the dimensions of your monitor.

Launching Apps when logging in

Login Items
Login Items

If you usually launch certain applications when you begin the work on your Macintosh, for example, Mail or Web browser, you can make them start automatically when starting up a computer. To do that, you should open Accounts panel in System Preferences, then click the “Login Items” tab, unroll them by clicking the plus and pick the apps you want to boot when your session begins. “OS X 10. 6 Lion” makes this feature even better – you may use the Recover function if you want to open the application with the same tabs, windows or documents opened before your last quit the application.

Customize Desktop Icons

Regardless the changes of OS versions, the icons remain the same – a folder looks like a folder and drives a presented as the images of actual hard drives. With a simple copy-and-paste action you may change your own desktop and make stand out with the help of various online set of icons available on the Internet ir even with the help of the icons created by yourself.

If you wish to use an icon from another file, folder or hard drive, click the item in the Finder and select “Get Info” in the File menu. Then click the icon which is at the top of the Info window to choose it, and then copy it from the Edit menu.In case you want to use a picture, open it in Preview, choose “Select All” in the Edit menu and after that copy the pic. Now choose “Get Info” for that file, folder or hard drive whose icon you’d like to change and paste your new icon.