Mac Tips

Word Count of PDF Files

posted May 26, 2011, 8:02 AM by David Eagle

Open a terminal window and type:
ps2ascii myfile.pdf | wc -w
This will display the number of words in the file.

Jump to Beginning and End of Document

posted Apr 12, 2011, 1:15 PM by David Eagle   [ updated Apr 12, 2011, 1:19 PM ]

In non-Word applications: cmd-arrow down; cmd-arrow up
In Mac Word: fn-cmd-left arrow; fn-cmd-right arrow

Audio and Video Conversion

posted Feb 15, 2011, 8:44 AM by David Eagle

The best open source audio and video converter is ffmpeg. The easiest way to install is with Macports. A good introduction is found at

Memory Usage

posted Oct 25, 2010, 6:38 AM by David Eagle   [ updated Oct 25, 2010, 6:39 AM ]

Two ways to see how much memory is allocated to running processes:
Run: Applications\Utilities\Activity
Open a terminal window and type: top

Keyboard shortcut to get to the search bar in Chrome and Firefox

posted Sep 9, 2010, 8:26 AM by David Eagle   [ updated Sep 9, 2010, 8:28 AM ]

To get to the address bar in Chrome, just press Ctrl-L/Cmd-L and type your search. In Firefox, press and Ctrl-K/Cmd-K to get to the search bar.

Resize window (aka. maximize) or the little green plus

posted Jun 17, 2010, 7:07 AM by David Eagle   [ updated Jun 17, 2010, 7:08 AM ]

So, you want a keyboard shortcut to resize the window, eh? Here's the Applescript to do it. I bound this to opt-cmd-M through Butler.

tell application "System Events"
if UI elements enabled then
set FrontApplication to (get name of every process whose frontmost is true) as string
tell process FrontApplication
click button 2 of window 1
--button 2 is the green "zoom" button for all applications
--window 1 is always the frontmost window.
end tell
tell application "System Preferences"
set current pane to pane ""
display dialog "UI element scripting is not enabled. Check 'Enable access for assistive devices'"
end tell
end if
end tell

Minimize to application, NOT the Dock

posted Jun 17, 2010, 6:57 AM by David Eagle   [ updated Jun 17, 2010, 6:58 AM ]

It's a nuisance when you minimize windows and they all line up on the dock next to the trash. You can now minimize to the application icon on the dock.

The setting is under System Preferences > Dock > Minimize to application

Great Tip - Typing to find files and folders

posted Jun 17, 2010, 6:49 AM by David Eagle   [ updated Jun 17, 2010, 6:55 AM ]

To quickly launch an app, add the applications folder to your dock. Then when you click on it, a box with all your applications will appear.  Here's the cool part: start typing the name of the application and it will magically be highlighted! Hi enter and your done! Works on all folders, not just with applications.

List Size of Directories

posted Apr 29, 2010, 6:35 AM by David Eagle   [ updated Apr 29, 2010, 6:37 AM ]

Here's how to find out the size of various directories on your system. Open a terminal window and type:

sudo du -hd1 /

The "/" can be changed to another location if you only want to see the usage of a particular directory.

Attaching a Sparsebundle

posted Apr 19, 2010, 6:43 AM by David Eagle   [ updated Apr 25, 2010, 9:49 AM ]

Another backup option is Carbon Copy Clone, a donation ware program for Mac OSX 10.6.x.

To use this program to backup to a network drive, you have to create a mountable device on the network share. The best way to do this is to create a sparsebundle device (described in the previous post) and then attach it to your system as a device.

So, assuming that you've made the sparsebundle and copied it to you SMB share, you mount the share (this assumes an SMB share):

mount -t smbfs //user@server/sharename ~/share

This assumes you've created a directory called share in your home directory.

And then attach the sparsebundle:

sudo hdiutil attach /Volumes/Erador/ccc.sparsebundle

Now its a device you can select.

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