New features that make your Mac easier to use are always welcome, and is packed with plenty of them, but it also changes a few things that can be hard to adjust to.

Many of them can be rolled back in System Preferences and in applications’ preferences. In addition, there’s a bunch of covert settings that can be amended by typing commands into Terminal.

So, if you’re finding it hard to settle in with Lion, here’s how to restore a sense of normality to many aspects of OS X.

The first thing that will hit you is what calls ‘natural scrolling’. It makes moving around a document or website more like pushing a piece of paper around your desk, rather than making you interact with artificial elements like scrollbars and a viewport onto a document. Essentially You push the paper away from you to move down, instead of dragging the scrollbar down the side of the document, like you used to.

Worry not. You can set this method of navigation back to normal in System Preferences. Untick the box under Mouse > Point & Click > Scroll direction: natural.

The same setting appears in the Trackpad pane. If you’ve got a Magic Mouse and a trackpad, their scroll direction can be set independent of each other. If your mouse isn’t a Magic Mouse, look for Move content in the direction of finger movement when scrolling or navigating at the top of the Mouse pane.

You may not see this option if third-party software, such as IntelliMouse, is installed. Remove that software and reopen System Preferences, and reinstall the software after changing the setting.

Scrollbars only appear when you begin to scroll. Make them always visible by selecting System Preferences > > Show scroll bars > Always. Lion’s scrollbars have a subtler appearance than the old Aqua blue style. They’re also narrower, which makes them harder to grab if you don’t have a scrollwheel, and the arrows that moved pages in small amounts are no longer available.

However, the positive repercussion of bringing back scrollbars is that they serve as a way to orient yourself in a document, which is particularly helpful in creative apps.

Sizeable change

You’re not imagining that the traffic light buttons are smaller. This is baked into the system, but the buttons aren’t as small as they seem. Their hit areas extend a little way above their tops, providing some leeway if you move the pointer too far.

Conversely, items in the Finder’s sidebar are larger than before. There’s a new system-wide setting for sidebar icon and text sizes, although not every app adheres to it at present. The Finder and Mail do. Items can be made smaller again, or larger, in System Preferences > General > Sidebar icon size.

There’s no longer a special section in the Finder’s search bar for saved searches, or smart folders. Save a Spotlight search and it gets placed under ‘Favorites’.

The old set of default searches are still embedded in the Finder app, but adding them to the sidebar displays a mundane document icon. Recreating them yourself gives them a cog icon that’s more distinguishable.

Another quirk of Lion is that automatically takes you the new All My Files folder every time you open a new Finder window. That’s fine for new Mac users who are unfamiliar with the way that the OS X works, but it’s frustrating if you’re used to seeing your Home or Documents folders instead.

Luckily a fix is very easy to find: just go to Finder > Finder Preferences and select your preferred destination from the New Finder Show drop-down list.

OS X has long provided visual hints to give you a sense of continuity – the Genie effect that indicates where to find a window you just minimised, for instance. Animation is used more extensively in Lion. Create a new window in Safari or TextEdit and it zooms into view from the distance.

Similar cues direct your eyes to dialogs (such as when emptying the Trash) and pop-outs (like Safari’s new Downloads list). If you prefer instant appearance, enter this in Terminal:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimations Enabled -bool NO

To reverse this, substitute YES for NO. Applications will pick up the change after they’ve been quit and reopened, and the Finder will after logging out.

Slip and slide

Mail has a similar visual trick when you reply to a message. That’s governed by a different setting. In Terminal, type

defaults write com. apple.Mail DisableReplyAnimations -bool YES

When Mail is running in windowed mode, the reply window will simply appear. In full-screen mode, it will slide into view from the bottom, the same as when composing a new message.

The differences in Mail run far deeper than that. Its two-pane layout frees up space for reading messages by hiding the list of your mailboxes. Just click Show in the Favorites Bar, just above the list of messages, to bring them back. Space is taken from the message pane to accommodate this.

The Favorites Bar can be useful even with mailboxes visible, or it can be turned off if you don’t want it by selecting View > Hide Favorites Bar. If the three-column layout doesn’t work for you, choose Mail > Preferences > Viewing > Use classic layout. This stacks the messages list above the message viewer.

Even then, messages that are part of the same conversation are grouped under the most recent reply. There might be times when you need to establish the exact order of messages that are part of separate but related conversations. In the View menu, make sure there isn’t a tick next to Organize by Conversation so that messages are listed individually and chronologically.

The new-look iCal and Address Book are controversial, and not just because of their brightly textured windows. Address Book’s skeuomorphic design has come in for criticism because it’s confusing and unwieldy. Unfortunately Apple has removed an option reported in prerelease versions that switched back to the classic three-column view.

The author of the MacNix blog has created replacement files that restore a more subdued appearance to both apps. They can be found here . Keep backups of the apps and restore those versions before installing system updates. Also be aware that this amends the app in a way that can cause problems that are tricky to pinpoint. A case in point is the technical explanation which can be read here .

Safari 5.1 has a new behaviour when you hold Option (or use the right-click menu) to open a link in a new tab. It opens immediately to the right, which matches the way Firefox and work. If that’s difficult to get used to after so long, grab the OpenAtEnd extension to go back to tabs appearing at the far right of the bar.

Mission Control

Mission Control makes desktops (previously called Spaces) a mainstream feature. They can’t be avoided if you’re going to use fullscreen apps. They’re organised in a long row, which Mission Control sorts so that the desktops you’re using most often move to the left.

That works well if you use and the left and right arrow keys to jump between apps on adjacent desktops. Things get confusing if you’ve upgraded from Snow Leopard and have memorised numeric shortcuts to take you to specific apps, or have enabled them in a fresh copy of Lion in System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Mission Control.

You can get into the situation where +6, for example, actually takes you to Desktop 3 because that has been moved to sixth position in the row. To stop this happening, turn off System Preferences > Mission Control > Automatically rearrange spaces based on most recent use.

One thing that will grate for heavy users of Spaces is the removal of an overview of app assignments. A less friendly summary can be seen by opening /Library/Preferences/ in TextExpander or Xcode (both free from the App Store) and looking within the app-bindings key. The values aren’t expressed as simple desktop numbers, which makes them difficult to read, but this confirms which apps have assignments.

Worried about editing the file directly? Temporarily add an app to the Dock, right-click it and look under Options to amend its setting.

An intuitive way to type accented characters is one of the best adoptions from iOS. Hold down the relevant key to show a pop-up listing the various forms. It comes at the expense of being able to hold a key down to repeat a character. You can get that back as long as you don’t mind forfeiting the new shortcut by typing this into Terminal:

defaults write -g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false

Replacing -g with an app’s bundle identifier (found by right-clicking it in the Finder, choosing Show Package Contents and opening Contents/info.plist) allows an individual application to override your choice, so you can retain the helpful shortcut in your word processor.

Lion can spell

Wondering why your last tweet or status contains a word you didn’t type? Lion’s automatic spelling correction probably kicked in.

Its inclusion in iOS inspired the mocking website. If you find that it grates after a while, you can disable it in System Preferences > Language & Text > Text > Check spelling automatically.

Lion remembers what was open when you quit many apps, including Safari and QuickTime, and brings it back the next time you use the app. You can force it to forget things by quitting with Command+Option+Q instead. The feature can be turned off in System Preferences > General > Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps.

That setting doesn’t affect Resume, which restores things the next time you log in. This feature works great with an SSD, but not so well with a hard drive and many open apps. It can be suppressed by unticking a box when logging out, restarting or shutting down via the Apple menu, but that option doesn’t appear if you use Command+Ctrl+Eject or Command+Option+Ctrl+Eject to restart or shut down.

If so, create a new Service in Automator. Set it to receive no input from any app. When you’re ready to log out, first click the application menu > Services > Quit All Apps to ensure Resume won’t bring anything back.

How to access Safari’s Downloads list from the keyboard

01. Get FastScripts

Safari’s Downloads list now pops out of the toolbar, but there’s no keyboard shortcut to quickly show and hide it. Red Sweater Software has made a workaround. Download FastScripts from and put the app in the Applications folder.

02. Download the script

Get the script from here . In the Finder, hold Option and choose Go > Library. If a Scripts folder doesn’t exist, create it. Inside that you’ll need another folder called Applications, and another inside that called Safari. Put the script here.

03. Configure FastScripts

Open FastScripts from the Applications folder. It will ask whether you want it to be added to your login items. Allow it to make this change so that the shortcut you’ll set up in a moment will always work whenever Safari is the foreground application.

04. Check it’s installed

FastScripts sits in the status area of the menu bar. With a Safari window in front, click it and check you can see Toggle Downloads Popover in the list, then choose FastScripts > Preferences…. The script needs a keyboard shortcut if it’s to be useful.

05. Assign a shortcut

Click Script Shortcuts. Two folders will be listed below. Expand the one for your user folder until you see Toggle Downloads Popover. In that row, double-click in the Shortcut column and press the combination you want to use. Previously it was Command+Option+L.

06. One more thing

In System Preferences > Universal Access turn on Enable access for assistive devices. Switch to Safari to check that the shortcut is set up correctly to reveal or hide the downloads list. You can now monitor downloads in progress without moving the pointer.

d76989f2a7470 75.jpg 450x337 Tutorial: How to make OS X Lion like Snow Leopard

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Tutorial: How to make OS X Lion like Snow Leopard