Two useful things

First Useful Thing:

How often do you use your capslock button intentionally? If you’re like me, you hit it by accident now and then, look up to find you’ve typed a WHOLE SENTENCE IN SHOUTY CAPS, swear a little, delete, and re-type. I recently read a tip somewhere telling how to turn off the the darn caps lock button on your mac! Here’s a little tutorial for you:

1. Open System Preferences. The easiest thing to do is click the little apple up in the top left-hand corner of the screen:

Dock

2. Once you’re in System Preferences, click “Keyboard and Mouse”:

System Preferences

3. On the “Keyboard” tab, click the “Modifier Keys” button:

Keyboard & Mouse

4. Now set Caps Lock Key to “No Action” in the drop-down box, and hit “OK”:

System Preferences

Now sing and dance, ’cause you’ll never type an accidental string of shouty caps again!

Second Useful Thing:

Did you notice all those nifty little screenshots up above? I made those with a wonderful new little program called Skitch for OS X. It’s a free beta right now. It’s hard to describe how useful it is, but I’ll give it a shot.

So, you run the program and you get a little empty window, surrounded by a frame with a few familiar tools on it — pencil, eraser, color choices, text, paint bucket, etc.

Skitch

There’s a “Snap” button on the frame. Click it, and you get crosshairs, and the Skitch window disappears so you can take a screenshot of whatever window is now on top. You can click to take a picture of the whole window, or click and drag the crosshairs for a selection. There’s a timer option too. Once you’ve taken your screenshot, Skitch pops back up with your shot in its frame. Now you can manipulate the little image however you want — draw on it, drag the lower right corner of the window to enlarge or reduce the whole image, drag inside the window to crop, add text, select and drag elements you’ve added, whatever. When you’re done fiddling, hit the “webpost” button at the bottom of the frame and Skitch uploads your little image to your own “Skitch” page. Every image has this little box on the right side of its page:

System Preferences

The “copy” buttons copy whichever url you choose to your clipboard, and then you can go paste it in to your email or your blog post or your forum post or whatever. The default privacy setting is “secret” but you can change that.

So this one little app lets you easily take screenshots, edit them, upload them, and share them. I need to take a lot of screenshots to explain things to LibriVox volunteers, and boy oh boy does Skitch make it easier! It’s got lots more fun and/or useful features — for instance, you can take a snap via photobooth (or a webcam?) and give yourself a fancy hat and a moustache and a bow tie and some party balloons:

Cam

Go install Skitch! What are you waiting for?

Category: Blog, Tech 4 comments »

4 Responses to “Two useful things”

  1. Soozan

    You are TOO cute and happy happy birthday!! xoxoxox Soozaaan

  2. aaron

    great tip #1. This will save me tons of typing.

  3. Annie

    LOL, that’s a snazzy look for you Kara! So is today the day?? If so, happy birthday!

  4. Eli Ruggles

    Hey Kara!
    Great tip! Being a programmer (and old unix/linux geek) I use my control key a ton, so I actually switch my caps-lock key to be another control key and have trained myself to use it with my pinky instead of the awkward reach for the “real” control key.

    I’m so happy that you like Skitch! It is definitely one of my top three OS X apps.

    Fantastic post!

    -Roogles


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