Small McMUG Logo Mid-Columbia Macintosh Users Group Tips and Hints

Tips & Hints

Various odds and ends of information for interacting with your Mac.
Print this page so that you will have it available in case of trouble.

(hold down keys listed)
During Startup  
Bypass startup drive and
boot from external (or CD)
Boot from CD
most late models)
Boot from specific
SCSI ID # (# = SCSI ID number)
Disable extensions SHIFT
Rebuild Desktop CMD-OPT
Start without finder
windows open
Boot with Virtual
Memory off
Trigger extension manager
at boot-up
After Startup  
Dialog box for
Eject a floppy disk COM-SHIFT-1,-2, OR -3
Force current application
to quit (if Mac is frozen
always restart)
Unconditionally reboot CTRL-CMD-POWER
Fast shutdown CTRL-CMD-OPT-POWER
Put late models to sleep CMD-OPT-POWER
Picture of entire screen SHIFT-CMD-3
Picture of your choice
of a portion of the screen
Picture of selected window SHIFT-CMD-CAPLOCK-4
Create an alias CMD-OPT and drag
icon to desired location


highlight the icon and use CMD-M

Look in the Menu bar of your computer for Shortcuts - in OS 7.6 it is in the Apple Guide on the right side of the Menu bar. In OS 8.x, it is over towards the left under Help. You will find all the above shortcuts plus many dealing with window, icons, and various miscellaneous topics.

Another good source of information is Extensions Overload. This little item is shareware but well worth the price.

In OS 8.5 and higher, the dotted vertical line next to the finder icon near the right edge of the Menu bar, can be adjusted to show only the active icon or the icon and the name of the active application. You may also drag the finder box to some more convenient location.

OS 9 has occasional problems. The solution to an inaccessible folder is Package First Aid. An uncompressed version is found in the Utilities folder of your OS 9 CD - it may not be readily apparent and it does not load when you install OS 9. The StuffIt compressed version is: OS9Fix

Word processing don'ts: Computers are not typewriters:
Don't press Return at the end of a line unless you're ending a paragraph.
· Don't use double spaces after a sentence since it is unnecessary with most typefaces except mono-type (Courier or Monaco). [But don't worry about it if that is how you were trained when you learned to type. In any case, be consistent - on't use single space some of the time and double sometimes! Usually your word processor can be set to warn you when you use the wrong one, however you define it.]
· Don't press Tab to indent the first line of a paragraph. Instead, set a first line indent which automatically indents each paragraph.
· Don't use tabs to center a title on a page; use a center paragraph alignment.
· Don't use multiple spaces instead of tabs. If you change the size or font of the text, the size of the spaces also change. Also repositioning tabbed text is easier than working with spaces.
· Don't use multiple tabs to get somewhere on a line: set a tab where you need it. The exception is when you've set tabs for columns of text and you have to leave a blank in one of the rows.
· Don't hyphenate unless it is abolutely necessary. If you do and then change font, the hyph-enated word may appear in the middle of the sentence.

Alias option trick When you are in an Open/Save dialog looking at a list of files, if you hold down the Option key while double-clicking an Alias in the list, you will be transferred to the folder that holds that item. It does not open the file or folder. Note: An Alias is italicized in a list so you can recognize it as one. Also, in attempt to look like Windows™, Apple has added a little arrow to the alias icon.

Pronounced "Pee-ram," not "pram" is short for parameter RAM, a portion of memory that stores some basic but important information that your Mac uses. It can get corrupt, then you need to ZAP it. That can be done by holding down the Option, Command and P and R keys while rebooting the computer. Let it flash on and off 3 or 4 times, then let go of the keys to continue booting up. A freeware utility called TechTool will also Zap your PRAM with less hassle. The thing you need to realize after zapping the PRAM is that some of your settings will go back to the original defaults; date and time, volume setting, modem and printer port settings, virtual memory, and so on. You might even have to go to Page Setup and open, then close it to get something to print after having zapped the PRAM. It isn't something that most people have to do often, but when nothing else helps, it doesn't hurt to try it.

Disk Cache
You find it in the Memory Control panel and it is pronounced "cash", not "catch" or "cashey" is memory set aside to provide faster retrieval than if the computer always has to access the hard disk. Things that make it faster to have a larger cache set aside are things that you use over and over where you are asking for the same instructions in one program or if you are retrieving data from a CD-ROM, since its contents are static. If you are running several applications at the same time and switch around from one to another frequently, having a large cache doesn't help you. Prior to System 7.5, the guide-line was to set your cache giving 32k for every meg of RAM you have. If you have a later system, then you can give more cache because it has been improved to run more smoothly.

These tips are from The Macintosh Bible 7th Edition.

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