A few million Mac users devoted the weekend to installing and rummaging through OS X Lion, Apple’s latest and maybe last cat for Mac. Overall, impressions are good, but a few quirks caught my eye.
The first was Apple’s new idea of scrolling. Up is down. Down is up. The second problem I ran into was that Apple decided to hide the user Library folder. Look. It’s gone. Here’s how to get it back.
Quirks, Tips, And Tricks
If you’ve never dug into those scary Mac system files, then you won’t miss your Library folder. Your Mac has two such folders. One for the Mac’s system. One for you. Apple decided to hide your Library folder.
Your Mac and apps store files in the Library. Preference settings. Application Support files.
Things the apps need are stored there. Apple has decided you don’t need to see inside the Library folder.
What if you want to open your Library folder? There are two easy ways. The first is geeky. MacTrast explains it. Open terminal and enter the following code:
chflags nohidden ~/Library/
That should open the Library so you can see what’s inside (know that Apple doesn’t really want you to see inside). Even easier is the little app Lucien. It’s free and it toggles the Library folder on and off so you can see it or hide it.
Mac legend Aaron Faby has another easy and free way to find the user Library on Lion.
A third way to see the Library folder is use Go To Folder in the Finder (Command + Shift + G) and type ~/Library. That way you can go to the folder when you need to, but it can remain hidden if you don’t want to see it in your folder list.
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Yet another way, and maybe the best, is to use the Finder’s Go To Folder (Go > Go to Folder). Enter /Users/Your User Name/Library. The Finder will open the previously hidden Library folder. Then, drag Library to the Finder Sidebar and it stays put, unhidden.
More Fun With Lion
Lion has plenty of quirky little functions which are improvements over Snow Leopard, or simply new and different.
Alex Has Friends – If you like the Mac’s ability to speak written text, especially when using the Alex voice, you’ll love all the new voices available in Lion. But you have to hunt for them.
Open VoiceOver (in Applications > Utilities). Then click the Speach pane and select Customize. Now you’ll have a few dozen more voices to choose so Alex won’t feel so lonely.
Samantha is another voice favorite.
Add iCal Events – iCal has never made it easy to add events. Lion does. It’s the Quick Add feature and it works the way you work by using simple phrases to add an event. iCal understand what you say.
For example, click the Plus button beside the Calendars button in the upper left corner, and type in, Music Lessons Saturday at 2:00 PM. iCal knows what you want to do, and enters the new event accordingly.
Dictionary Fun – Apple made the Dictionary easier to use in Lion, including the addition of new multi-touch gestures. In the past, you’d select a word and right click to open the Dictionary.
Lion takes that to a new level. On Magic Trackpad or your Mac notebook trackpad, place the mouse pointer (cursor) over a word you want to look up in the Dictionary, then tap the word two times using three fingers. The word highlights and the new Dictionary pops up. The old way still works.
Folder Fun – The new fangled Finder has a few new tricks, too. Drag and drop items into a folder where items have the same name, and Finder prompts you to overwrite, stop, or merge.
Finder also lets you select files, then right click to Create Folder from ‘n’ Items. It creates a new folder with your selections.
Zooming Fun – More gestures with your trackpad. A very handy gesture will zoom in on images with a double tap.
Preview Fun – Add a signature to your Preview documents. That means you can drop in a handwritten signature (scanned, of course) into any supported document. Open Preview. Open Preferences. Click the Signatures tab.
Lion contains a few hundred new features similar to the above. So far, our experience with Lion has been very good. A few 3rd party apps still need to be upgraded, but no major issues to date.