Category Archives: gtd

TextExpander Stopped Working? Try this.

Suddenly I noticed that my beloved TextExpander just stops working/expanding for no apparent reason. Restarting the app didn’t work, but what does work is restarting Firefox.

I guess there’s some conflict between Firefox version 3.6.x and the TextExpander engine. So the quick fix seems to be to just restart Firefox when this happens.

Evidently, this isn’t fixed in TE3 – so no need to upgrade with hope of this getting fixed (at least not of this writing).

Cheers!

UPDATE January 4, 2011:
It has been pointed out in the comments that closing Chrome can also fix the problem – thanks folks!

Handy Mac OSX Keyboard Shortcuts

The less I use my mouse, the happier my hands are, and as a bonus, once you have these committed to finger memory, they seem to make everything faster.

I’m going to start off the list by focusing on some key combos that maybe aren’t as well known, as they have been carried over from the Linux Emacs editor (which I’m only vaguely familiar with). I find these particularly useful because they allow the hands to remain in the standard keyboard position without having to reach for the arrow keys.

These shortcuts work in the majority of Mac applications. However, be careful when using any cursor moving shortcuts in a web browser, as browsers often default to other shortcuts and you can easily loose what you’ve been typing. I’m not covering the more obvious ones, like Apple + S = Save, and such (however, you might now know that Apple + D = Don’t Save). Those you can pick up just by looking at the menus, as most have the shortcut right next to the menu option. Also, here’s a full page of the “official” Apple keyboard shortcuts. For the shortcuts I find most handy, I write them on my shortcut sheet, which I keep on my desk. Here are some of them:

The Obscure

Ctrl + d Delete character to right
Ctrl + k Kill to end of line
Ctrl + p uP a line
Ctrl + n Next line
Ctrl + a beginning of line
(like beginning of alphabet)
Ctrl + e End of line
Ctrl + b Back 1 character
Ctrl + f Forward 1 character

The Less Obscure

Apple + arrow right end of line
Apple + arrow left beginning of line
Option + arrow right right 1 word
Option + arrow left left 1 word
Option + delete (small) Delete word to right
Option + delete (big) Delete word to left

Firefox

Apple + l Put cursor in Location bar
(that’s a lowercase L)
Apple + k Put cursor in search bar
Apple + t new Tab
Option + Apple + arrow left or right jump tabs
Apple + w close current tab

If you like staying off the mouse and haven’t heard of the incredibly useful, and unbelievably free, Quicksilver, you should check it out. It’s an application launcher, mail checker, iTunes controller, Twitter sender, folder browser, search tool, etc. It’s become one of the most useful apps I’ve ever used. Anyways, hope this was useful, cheers!

This just in: Exhaustive list of keyboard shortcuts, obscure and all!

Google Docs Bar for Firefox

google docs logoI’m becoming a fan of Google Apps. In particular, it’s handy for the mobile office. Whether I’m at my desktop or laptop, it’s nice to know that things are there without having to worry about syncing and what not.

For me, the “mobile” possibilities all started with Apple Mail and .Mac. I’m a huge fan of these programs. For email, by using IMAP (which stores email on the server) instead of POP (which downloads mail to your computer) for my main account, all of my email and email folders are there, as I left them, no matter which Mac I’m on. Nice. And with a .Mac membership (cheaper on Amazon), my calendars, email rules, signatures, and accounts are all synced up between desktop and laptop. Again, nice. But, while Mail has a nice RSS reader, that feature doesn’t sync. Bummer.

So, I started using Google Reader – very nice. And there’s no need to sync. That got me wondering about other Google Apps.

I’ve been messing around with Google Docs. Google Docs can handle your spreadsheets, Word-type documents, PowerPoint presentations, etc. and keep them all in one place, no matter where you are. With your docs, HTML jockeys can easy hack away at the code that generates them. You can also create/export PDFs as well as the HTML (however, you cannot upload PDFs for storage). With the the less than stellar reviews of the new Microsoft Office coming out (both pc and mac), I’ve been pursuing other “Office-like” avenues.

Getting Stuff into Google Docs

Now, there’s the rub. Every time you want to open or upload something, you have to first navigate to Google Docs, log in, find what you’re looking for – or navigate to the upload section. Well, not with the handy, free Firefox plugin Google Docs Bar!

Not only does it auto-file your docs away by type, but it offers easily accessible, tabbed navigation to your docs, spreadsheets, and presentations, and has a nice search/filter feature (additionally, you can search by author if you share).

gdocs bar in action

To upload a file, simple drag in onto the blue “up” arrow (lower left, screen shot). To top if off, there’s a revision history which shows who did what and when, and you can easily revert to a previous version. And tons more.

So if you’re getting fed up with Office, or just want to play with something new, I would definitely check this out.

P.S. Yes, I got out of the ticket (see screen shot).

P.P.S This is a classic example of generating “organic” search engine traffic. The authors of this handy little app came up with something extremely useful (whether it be a product, a tutorial, etc.), made it free, and in turn will generate tons of traffic from blog entries and articles, much like this one.