Tag Archives: PowerTip

Power Tip #4: Showing & Hiding Hidden Files on a Mac


As a web developer I'm often working with .htaccess files in my projects. When I want to test a new .htaccess configuration for mod_rewrite I usually make an upload directly to the ftp server (not quite the best development cycle ;-) … I know).

Trying to locate the file in Finder I had no luck. The reason is that Mac OS an unix based operating system is and all files starting with a dot won't be shown in Finder.
One could however upload the file via Terminal with a command line, but that's not a solution to me.

There is a Mac OS command that reveals these hidden files:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
killall Finder

And you can hide them again with:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
killall Finder

It's important to kill Finder to apply the changes.


Now there is even a better solution without any command line typing: a widget for your Dashboard.

It's called hiddenfiles and you can download it directly from Apple's website.


Power Tip #3: Speed Up Mail Client on Mac


If you get a lot of emails or if you have an IMAP account you have maybe noticed that Mail gets slower and slower. The reason for the speed decrease is Mail’s Index file that grows with time. Deleting and moving mails causes gaps in that index file.  To speed up Mail you just need to send that index file on diet.

(before you continue here make as usual a backup)

  1. Quit Mail
  2. Open Terminal ( Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal )
  3. Run command: sqlite3 ~/Library/Mail/Envelope\ Index vacuum index
  4. Optional: automate it on a weekly basis

Now your Mail should be fast again.

Power Tip #2: Softer Volume Control on a Mac


This is another part of the Power Tip Series. Today I’d like to show you how to control the volume softer on a Mac.

Normal Volume Control

As you already know turning the sound volume up you press volume-up and respectively you press volume-down to turn the volume down. On your screen you see the current volume settings:


Now what can be sometimes annoying is the fact that the jumps from level to level are to strong. But there is a trick.

Soft Volume Control

When you press shift+alt together with the volume control keys you will notice that the volume will increase/decrease in smaller steps (usually one third of a box). So this is what you will see on your screen:


Power Tip #1: Forward Delete on a Mac


As of now I will post from time to time short articles with interesting hints on various topics. These articles will be to short to call them tutorials and that’s why I introduced today the Power Tip series.

Today’s power tip is about the forward delete key combination on a Mac computer. As I switched from Windows to Mac missing the Del key I thought this could be a good hint for people in the same.

To delete backwards you use the Backspace key on Windows and Mac the same way.

To delete forward you have the Del key on Windows PCs. On a Mac you won’t find such a key. The solution is to use the fn key together with Backspace.


By the way, I tested it with Sun VirtualBox where I run Windows for testing purposes and it worked fine as well. Just hit fn+ctrl+alt+Backspace to get the process list, to log out or to lock the screen.