July 05, 2010

Mac Tweaks

This is just a rambling list of the tweaks I’ve made to my Mac, mostly to help me remember them if my Mac ever dies, but others might find them useful too.

Disable Spotlight arithmetic

Due to editorial work, I’m constantly using Spotlight to find filenames consisting of numbers like 2010-0021, for which Spotlight helpfully returns the top answer as 1989 (I prefer to use bc on the command line for such arithmetic). Since this is the top answer, if you press return it opens the Calculator program instead of the file you wanted. (ug).

Instead, you can just tell Spotlight not to do any such arithmetic by using this command in the terminal:
defaults write com.apple.spotlight CalculationEnabled NO

You need to kill Spotlight and have it restart to take effect. (While you’re supposed to be able to sudo killall ... to get it to restart, it didn’t work for me, and I just logged out and logged back in).

Force Preview to print at 100% (no scaling) by default

By default, when you print a document in Preview it will ‘scale to fit’. While this seems like a sensible thing, it bases the default scaling on the full size of what you’re printing and the printable area of the paper used. While this is sensible for a JPEG photo, it is idiotic for PDF document.

Finally I discovered that this behavior is easy to change. Just issue this command in a Terminal window

defaults write com.apple.Preview PVImagePrintingScaleMode 0

There is only one down side: If you then change “Images per page” to 2 or greater, the scaling is 100% and the image will be cropped. You just need to select “Scale to fit” (the previous default) and you’ll get the anticipated (appropriately reduced) result.

Prevent tar from saving extended information (resource fork) in ._ files

Set this in your environment:

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