Hidden goodies in Apple’s new Mac OS X Leopard

“Even Apple doesn’t list every little change to [Mac OS X Leopard’s] multi-gigabyte mass of code…and here and there, I found useful little tweaks that never get any press. Just as I did following my review of Windows Vista, I’ve decided to take advantage of this e-newsletter to mention a few of them,” David Pogue reports for The New York Times.

Pogue covers:
• Find the Menu
• Three-keystroke application launcher
• Menu-bar calculator
• Dictionary lookups
• Command-click a folder to bypass Stacks
• Grid spacing returns
• Telltale icons
• Three more Time Machines
• iChat alerts

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Hermann” for the heads up.]


  1. One little and not very significant detail which I just noticed even after having used the Beta version for over a month is that the iCal icon in the dock now shows the current date updating automatically.

    It used to be (if I remember correctly) that if you went into iCal the icon updated to whatever date you had selected but after the first refresh of the dock it reset to a specific date (in July I think?).

    Of course this is not a significant feature, but hey it adds a bit more polish to an already excellent OS.


  2. There’s no way to make the Dock show the complete list of folder contents anymore; nor can you stick your hard drive’s icon in the Dock and have complete, drill-down, hierarchical access to your entire computer, as you could before.

    That fscking sucks!! I have my Applications folder in my dock for a quick search through my apps. I like it that way.

  3. @LordRobin

    Have to agree, I’ll take some getting used to it as well.

    A minor thing I noticed straight away is that you lose the icon for any folder you drag into the dock – once in the dock it takes on the form of the first icon inside the folder. This really pissed me off and spoilt what should have been a good experience. So I have had to create “dummy” apps and docs inside folders to get the icons I want to display, at least until I figure out what is the easier thing to do. But how ridiculous that you should have to do anything…

    And can you believe the UGLY folder icons…my god what were they thinking…

  4. Did anyone else notice the effective use of screen real estate for several of these “hidden features”? The menu-bar calculator … no space used at all ! Built into Searchlight. OK, are these “new features”? Or “improved features”! I think the best answer is “they are features“. Spotlight has been improved and extended, just as the dictionary was for Tiger … call it what you will, as long as you call it an improvement.
    While I plan to make major use of Spaces, I will be working harder to get my wife to use Stacks. She has a major problem with keeping her Desktop neat, this could be the solution. Many writers have problems sorting the various documents they are working on at any one time, and she has several actually open at once. I’m thinking Stacks, with a “Current” and a “Recent” folder, will help. I can try.

  5. @ Money Talks: OMGWTFBBQ!!!! I totally turned on snap to grid in both Tiger and my actual desktop. I love that anything I put down — cups of coffee, letters, bills, and even small animals — are snapped into a nice neat arrangement on my desktop. Though my cat hates when she’s snapped over a couple inches because only a piece of paper was where she wanted to be.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.