Top 10 Leopard Features You Aren’t Using

Leopard Features IconAlright so You have installed Leopard. You’ve started using Spaces, Time Machine, Stacks, and (my personal favorite) QuickLook. Wait a second though – didn’t Apple say there were 300+ new features?

If you look closely there are really tons of features in this cat that got lost in the crowd. I’m talking about the little enhancements that aren’t flashy or revolutionary, but are useful, fine-tuned, or actually improve or enhance the user experience.

Right after the jump is a list of ten that you might not have come across yet.

  1. iChat Recording. After getting your buddy’s permission, video and audio chats can be recorded and saved.
  2. iChat Invisibility. This was the only thing keeping me using Adium. Go online and talk only to the people you want to. No more getting bombarded with chats from people you’d rather not waste your time with.
  3. Preview PDF Manipulation. Now you can add or remove pages from a PDF document by simple drag and drop. Especially useful for merging several documents together.
  4. QuickLook Multiple Files. Select a few files and hit the spacebar. Especially useful for videos and pictures. You can go through them like a slideshow, or click on the Light Table view to see them laid out in a grid.
  5. Mosaic and Collage Screen Savers. Leopard has some great new screen savers. Core Animation has allowed them to do some crazy things with your photos. Mosaic shows you one photo, and then zooms slowly outwards from a grid of other photos that make a second photo, which in turn is part of a third one, and so on. If you don’t understand it take a look at this.
  6. Drag and Drop Tabs in Safari. Not only can you rearrange tabs, but you can also drag them in and out of the window itself. Drag one away to make a new window, or into another window to add it.
  7. Space Bumping. Drag a window all the way to the edge of a screen to “bump” it into the adjacent space.
  8. Spotlight Calculator. Type anything from simple arithmetic to logarithms and it’ll give you the answer right below. It even knew that sin(pi)=0 and ln(log(1)) = -infinity. Also type a word in Spotlight and it’ll define it for you.
  9. Autosave in TextEdit. Pick an interval to automatically save your work as you go. I can’t say I’ve ever wished I had this option as I don’t think TextEdit has ever crashed on me, but it’s certainly nice to have.
  10. Scrolling in an unselected window. Position your cursor over any window, selected or not, and you can scroll through with your mouse’s wheel. This may sound trivial, but try it once and you’ll be using it constantly. I used it myself to type this article, scrolling through Apple’s page while typing in a separate window.

What Leopard gems have you found? What is the biggest change Leopard has made in the way you use your Mac?


22 Responses to “Top 10 Leopard Features You Aren’t Using”

  1. Austen Saltz on January 24th, 2008 10:15 am

    Feature I can’t wait for: TAB BUTTON IN SAFARI. I don’t care if you can do command-t, I want a freakin’ tab button!

    However, good list. I have to agree about the mosaic screensaver, very cool.

  2. Dave on January 24th, 2008 10:54 am

    Austen there’s already a tab button in Safari, you just have to add it to the toolbar.

  3. Dave on January 24th, 2008 11:12 am

    Actually I was wrong sorry, I forgot I had SafariStand installed which adds that button.

  4. something2sea on January 24th, 2008 5:03 pm

    featue i can’t live without: without a doubt QuickLook, that’s the one i use the most and the first thing i’ll moss if i had to go back to tiger (other than the UI polishings like metal throughout and that blab).

  5. Fraser Drew on January 24th, 2008 5:55 pm

    Quick Look is awesome. Period. It’s that killer feature no-one predicted would be any good. It’s Just Apple. It just works. (Can you tell I like it)

  6. Brett on January 24th, 2008 10:55 pm

    If you want to change what windows are in what spaces, click and hold any part of the window that allows you to move it and then move to a window using the keyboard shortcut. This works with my macbook that runs dual desktop as well. 8 spaces actually show up, but I can still only toggle through 4.

    I didn’t even notice the scrolling through nonactive window thing even though I was already doing it.

  7. fridge on January 25th, 2008 5:29 am

    Only thing that stinks with doing calculations in Spotlight is that you cant copy the result to paste in another app without launching Calculator. I will continue to use Calq for my quick calculations.

  8. jc on January 25th, 2008 2:22 pm

    Hey, how do you add a “new tab” button in Safari 3 ???

  9. Blog of Blogs » Blog Archive » Top 10 Leopard Features You Aren't Using | MacApper on January 31st, 2008 10:04 am

    [...] Top 10 Leopard Features You Aren't Using | MacApper [...]

  10. jarratt on February 1st, 2008 12:23 pm

    This is just too good not to share in case anyone is scrounging through old macapper comments. Press cmd+shift+/ to open the help menu. then type the name of any menu item in the current application. press the down arrow to select it and hit enter.

    Quicksilver’s current application>show menu items used to be good for this, but has been glitchy since Leopard. Now Leopard can do it. Incredibly useful.

  11. Silla on February 5th, 2008 9:11 am

    Adium also has invisibility.

  12. matt on February 7th, 2009 2:54 am

    a good feature i discovered on macbooks was activating ‘right click’ with two finger clicking. its not called right click, but alternative click or something. but its a lot easier than having to press command and clicking every time :)

  13. Jase on February 8th, 2009 1:23 pm

    I found a feature to make any shortcut for safari tab switching:

    Don't you love the simplicity of switching tabs in Firefox? (CTRL Tab) – where as Safari is a total bitch and a half to switch tabs (Apple shift arrows) – that's almost you're whole left hand and 1 right hand finger – To much if you are anything like me you would have 20 tabs open and you would want to switch to them quickly.

    well I did a little digging on the internet and found a solution for safari:

    If you go to Preferences> Keyboard & Mouse, you can set the shortcut to be whatever you want in the Keyboard Shortcuts menu.

    Click the +, set the application to Safari, enter Select Next Tab as the menu title, and then enter your preferred keystrokes and now you can use Cmd-Shift-2 to go to the next tab! – I use (Apple & ~) – I find it much more convenient switching tabs than any other keystroke. You can also Repeat for Select Previous Tab

    With Glims and this keyboard switching trick – Safari is now Complete.

    To read the whole article I wrote it can be found here:

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