Hyperbole and a Half is like the secret me inside of me amplified x6. A real unmedicated ADHD? Exactly.
Go check out the illustrated comic style stories this girl makes. I laughed a lot last night. It was enjoyable. It unlocked something primeval, one of those lucid times when I know exactly what to write. Resistance was crushed under my mental heel.
Alas, that was last night and now it is this morning. But I’m still feeling inspired. Onward, blogging desires!
On my old Windows laptop, I would hop into menus all the time with Alt-E, Alt-F, Alt-H, etc., and use the arrow keys to page through the adjacent menus and go down through the contents.
When I got my Mac, that was something of a problem. There is a shortcut mapped by default to focus on the global menu bar—Opt-F2. Seems okay if a bit of a reach, but there’s more to it because on Mac keyboards, the F keys by default perform a specialized function instead of sending the F keystroke; things like adjusting the screen brightness and pausing iTunes. That’s all great—in fact I envied the front media buttons on the higher end Dell notebooks from time to time when I used a 1501. But because of this, the Fn key has to be held down to send the F keystroke. Which means Opt-F2 becomes Fn-AltF2, a very awkward finger dance.
I’ve just now found out this is remedied by opening (working in OS X Lion here) System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts, selecting Keyboard & Text Input, and double-clicking on the shortcut for “Move focus to the menu bar” so you can press a different, easier key combo, like Ctrl-M (not to be confused with Cmd-M).
That sort of combo hadn’t occurred to me at first, though, so the key I am now happily using is Caps Lock. Here’s how to set it up.
Open System Preferences > Keyboard and press Modifier Keys. For Caps Lock, select No Action and press OK. Regular Caps Lock functionality is now disabled. Yay!
Download and install both KeyRemap4MacBook and its companion app PCKeyboardHack, restarting your Mac for both installations. Both will appear in System Preferences as extra prefpanes.
Open System Preferences > PCKeyboardHack > Setting. Check “Change Caps Lock”. Double click the keycode number and type in 110. This is for the PC application key, which isn’t present on Mac keyboards.
Open System Preferences > KeyRemap4MacBook > Change Key. Search for “PC application key”. Check a box for one the keys you don’t use. I chose F9, because I hardly ever use the F keys as F keys.
Press Caps Lock. You’ll see the Apple menu gain focus. Congratulations. For a change, Caps Lock is useful. From here you can run around with the arrow keys or press a letter to jump to the corresponding menu.
Now let me say, keyboard based launchers like Spotlight and Quicksilver seem to be all the rage these days. OS X has a version just for searching app menus, which is absolutely great for finding or quickly running that one function without digging through the menus. It’s triggered with Shift-Cmd-/ (Cmd-?). If you pause for a second once you’ve found and highlighted a menu item, the menu containing it pops down and a blue arrow wiggles to show you where it’s located. All this isn’t to bash on menus, though. They’re still great for exploring all of an app’s features. Like all those menus in Pixelmator.
I’m honestly very in love with OS X Lion’s new fullscreen mode. This is how fullscreen should be on a desktop OS. Eager for apps to support it.
The whole thing actually reminds me of an UI I imagined years ago where every window was maximized or in fullscreen and you could swap between them like how Linux multiple desktops or Mac’s Spaces have worked. I think I might have even tried it out on Windows using some virtual desktop app. It didn’t work out because I had to make and keep apps maximized manually.
Lion full screen is 1000% more elegant because each fullscreen app gets its own Space. This way, the fullscreen apps stay smoothly immersive but you can switch to another fullscreen app or desktop with just a swipe. And like everybody else is saying, this is for maximized screen space on notebooks.
So does this actually work? Yeah, pretty much. You do have more space and less clutter. You can smoothly switch to apps that aren’t in fullscreen. Given their own Space, apps that aren’t Lion enabled actually run very much the same. It’s not like Lion fullscreen is a revolution; just a welcome evolution.