Improving Mac OS X performance, including by reducing mouse usage

It seems to me advisable to share my personal experience of increasing productivity in Mac OS X (for example, 10.7), in particular, by maximizing the use of the mouse (through which we will come to many other ways).

What is the relevance of the problem?
1. Ergonomically aiming and getting into a small object with the mouse is always worse for time, fine motor skills and vision than using operations that do not require identification of small objects and “aiming” in them. For the most widespread example, it is enough to compare the number of people in Windows who switch keyboards with a combination of keys or the mouse in the corresponding menu on the desktop (which seems to be within reach too).

2. For mobile work, the big difference is whether to take a mouse with you or not. If in Windows many internal touchpads are not enough for full-fledged operation, then when you look at a MacBook with a mouse connected, cognitive dissonance arises - because some of the things for which a person took it with him on the road objectively has a more effective alternative solution if he gets rid of a certain paradigm of consciousness.

3. Less use of the mouse in OS X for Windows users can prevent a number of inconveniences and errors - in particular, the “red cross effect” and “single desktop syndrome”, as well as better understand the differences between windows and processes.

This is not about banal replacement of the mouse with keyboard combinations, but about more systemic changes that fundamentally change the organization of work.


I. What OS X internal resources more efficiently replace mouse use? Let's figure out why, after moving from Windows, first of all I want to use a mouse:
1. Minimize windows (so that they can be "taken out" of the dock later). Of course, Cmd + H is faster than aiming at the yellow dash at the top left of the window. But meanwhile ... why should they be minimized if you can create as many desktops as you like? Minimizing windows makes sense when working on a single desktop (but in that case, why use os x at all?). It makes absolutely no sense if we say you have 10 desktops. How it works?

Why is it convenient to have exactly 10 desktops? Because between them it is very convenient to switch combinations from Ctrl + 1 (table No. 1) to Ctrl + 0 (table +10).

We organize thematic desktops depending on what programs will be opened on them. We keep in mind that it makes sense to keep programs on the common desktop, between which it is supposed to move objects (for example, mail and explorer for dragging files) and which makes sense to see together, deployed side by side (for example, Word and Preview for simultaneous work pdf-based document). Most programs manage to configure opening always on a fixed desktop (MS Office under 10.7 is the only exception I noticed). However, all this can be combined as you like depending on the agenda, creating any combination of windows of any programs on any table: in any case, always move the desired window to the desired table by clicking on its frame and pressing Ctrl + number - let's say

Well, the simplest office example - there are 3 different projects (sales report in city A for the quarter - you need to simultaneously see and edit 2 Excel tablets, 1 Word, 2 Finder folders - this is table No. 4; write a vacation application in the form of someone else in the form scan - Word + Preview, table number 5; edit 2 interconnected presentations based on the wish list in Evernote - throw on table number 6 2 Powerpoint windows and one Evernote window). All these windows are deployed along each other - at least 2 windows even on screen 11 are quite possible to see at the same time. And when there are fewer simultaneous projects, a habit is developed - I need to work in Word and pdf, this is Ctrl + 4. I need something official-computer, such as Activity Monitor or Disk Utility - this is Ctrl + 8. Chats - windows of different messengers on the sides along each other - this is Ctrl + 2.

Note, however, that (depending on the amount of RAM) all of this can live in unlimited quantities and combinations for years, without requiring minimizing windows in any situations. You can always return to the desired project by pressing Ctrl + number, making the fully expanded windows. Note that the other desktops remain empty.

Further, you can always expose the desktop with your fingers spread on the touchpad (well, this is essentially like Win + G).

Further, I recommend that everything that is possible and everything that does not require joint consideration with the windows of other programs be taken to full-screen applications. This is at least Safari, iCal. Why does this make sense? Such programs will not occupy the desktop space at all. You simply can always get into them, but on the desktops they will not take the place of their windows. As a result, the convenience of a free desktop became so important for me that I put Mail in fullscreen and refused to drag and drop files (all the more so since it’s convenient to send a file by mail directly from the explorer, and it’s convenient to save it from Mail directly to the desktop). And what if you suddenly for some specific work need constantly constantly, for example, to see some browser tab on another desktop, laid out to the side of the window of another program, you can pull it out of full screen mode,

Well, why bother closing windows? It became clear that it was just a paradigm of life on one table, in which it was required to switch between the windows of all programs. The difference with multi-desktop organization is as a one-room apartment compared to a ten-room one.

2. Closing windows. Here, firstly, when moving from Windows, you need to clearly distinguish between closing the program window and terminating the process. Work has been completed with a specific presentation, a specific letter, a specific browser tab, a specific report - Cmd + W. Not completed - see paragraph 1 above, let yourself hang on your desktop at least 5 years open in the same place, the OS allows you to restore the state through all reboots. And processes (word, outlook, safari, excel, etc.) do not need to be killed by Cmd + Q, if there is a possibility that in the near future we will work with other similar documents. Why spend an extra couple of seconds to run the program and load it into RAM? Really, the program is no longer needed in the foreseeable future - kill it with Cmd + Q, but in relation to what we use daily, This command is not needed at all, if there is enough RAM. If it’s not enough, we look at the Activity Monitor and, if we don’t put new cards, we’ll think about someone to temporarily beat. Everyone forgot about the crosses.

3. Launch programs and reopen windows. Here at first glance the most obvious solution is dock. Right? Not! Poking the desired icon with the mouse when you have 20 programs open and 100 windows in them is unproductive. Take it away, it is not needed at all - make it invisible and reduce.
A) How to return to the desired windows? Everything is very simple, they are on the right desktop. Where is our quarterly report, Ctrl + 4? A vacation application, Ctrl + 5? Show all active program windows in a reduced form (the degree of reduction depends on their number and screen size) - palm down on the touchpad or F6. Immediately in a circle switch to other program windows - Cmd + ~.
B) How to return to the open program? Again, Ctrl + desktop. Or see the paragraphs below, especially D. Because under 10.7 some have noticed an unpleasant bug in the form of the disappearance of the display of active windows from the table, you return to the table, and there is nothing there until you enter the program or document (it should not be so, it’s just a very rare bug on the forums).
Q) how to start a new program? Ctrl + space + first 2-3 letters of the name in English. Or, if there aren’t a lot of them, to pinch the movement “pinching” on the touchpad — huge icons are more convenient to get into than a document, although as the installed programs increase, the value of Launchpad decreases and, for example, I don’t use it at all.
D) Show all open processes - Cmd + Tab.
D) And what is the easiest way to get into any programs with a minimum of body movements? And here we go to the tastiest, third-party launchers. I highly recommend Quicksliver, an extremely popular free program that hangs in the background and assigns a simple keyboard shortcut to any application. It is usually most convenient to do this through an ALT + letter or number, because ALT is least involved systemically. Thus, you immediately ask the 15-20 most frequently used programs easy-to-remember combinations - alt + s for safari, alt + m for Mail, alt + w for Word, alt + t for iTunes, etc. Of course, there should also be an instant call to system settings. With these commands you will either open them from scratch, or you will be taken to the last window left. And I still love the numbers associated with those desktops, on which these programs sat or are sitting at one time. Well, it’s so simple - to explain to a child or a pensioner how to “access the Internet” - just press ALT + 3! (if such a combination is assigned to this or that browser). Calendar look? ALT-1. Etc. etc. Note that there is no manipulation of windows at all, no mouse operation, in these examples of the program a fullscreen generally hangs and desktops do not occupy.

Et voila: we don’t need scrolling with windows, crosses and a dock. We have a lot of programs and windows, we easily, in one motion, switch:

1. between tables
2. meanwhile applications
3. between application windows.
4. Remember that the settings of any program are always cmd + ,.
5. Remember that cmd + c, cmd + v, cmd + z, cmd-d always work in the explorer (well, it's more common for me to call Finder). We are not looking for the “copy, move” mouse-like menus. The logic is simple - an object will always go to another disk while preserving the source, within one disk — the default is always moving. You need to leave the original - first cmd-d and already move the duplicate.
6. Remember the services context menu, accessible by right-clicking on an object. This is to say that through keyboard system settings arbitrary keyboard commands are configured for these actions. For example, with the file selected in Explorer, I can press Ctrl + s to create a new letter with it attached.
7. An experienced MacDVD likes to use “hot corners” to call dashboard, mission control, expose. However, this is not the most convenient solution if there are keys created for this, which is easier - press F3 / F4 / F6 or aim at the corner of the screen?
8. Let’s think once again whether it’s worth opening extra windows at all if you just need to look (Cmd + 3 mode in Finder with a wide right column, pressing the space bar from any program) or print (Cmd + P).
9. Who works with Microsoft Word - separately you can tear yourself away in tools - customize keyboard. And, contrary to some strange reviews, this works regardless of the current layout - at least in 2011. We noticed that compared to Word under Windows, where Win is busy systemically, we have added an extra modifier (you can assign Ctrl + A to Greek alpha, without losing the command "select all").
10. Driving 2 fingers up and down the touchpad is really much more convenient and faster than using a scrollbar. And to drive left-right on the touchpad in the browser is really much more convenient than aiming back and forth buttons. And Safari fulfills these gestures much smoother and faster than third-party browsers.
11. As a result, the mouse remains for us to get to the right places within the program window and to move objects. And this is exactly what it is intended for.

II. How can these resources be used even more productively?

1. MagicPrefs. A free program that allows you to create arbitrary finger gestures on the touchpad and mouse (separately! That's why, for example, on the aimak I have both of them separately) and, in particular, linking them to keyboard shortcuts. Here the possibilities are simply endless, just a few examples of your own: making a click with 3 fingers is perceived as a click with Cmd held down. Place 4 fingers at any place on the touchpad = Cmd + W at the same time, close the window or tab. Which is more convenient to aim at the cross, or just touch the touchpad with your palm? It will just be enough for him that the fingers lie at the same time 4. Put 5 fingers = Cmd + Tab, show running programs. Put 3 fingers on the mouse = Cmd + Backsace, delete the selection. Place 2 fingers on the mouse = Cmd + E, safely remove the disk. The fantasy is inexhaustible that who uses more often!
2. Griffin PowerMate, more likely for stationary work (few people will be able to carry this with Air). A beautiful wheel that binds the keyboard commands of the active program to 8 standard gestures (short press, long press, turn right, turn left, turn in one direction or another with one click or another - and that 3 turns in 2 directions and 2 clicks without turn) . Logical associations help here - for example, in my mail, turning the wheel to the left “will answer everyone”, to the right - will forward it, a short press will create a new letter, etc. In Finder, a short press will create a new folder, a long one will send the file by mail. In general, within each program, 8 gestures are translated into the keyboard commands of your choice. I especially recommend in cases where the keyboard shortcuts you often use are too cumbersome - roughly speaking,

III. A few words about Spoltlight. By and large, you can not use anything at all and just live in it. His power in terms of finding everything is unprecedented. Just press Ctrl + space and ....

1. Immediately open any folder, wherever it is? Please, just begin to enter the first letters of the name - already by the second the number of possible options will sharply decrease.
2. File - similarly.
3. Program - similarly
4. Letter - similarly
5. Event on the calendar - yes please.
6. Count anything without a calculator - always please, just enter numbers and signs, even he knows the number “pi”.

IV. All of the above is more effective the wider the screen and the more RAM. I have it all expressed to an extreme degree thanks to 32 gig of RAM and three 27'-screens in a row, which allows me to keep projects of any complexity always open at current places on 10 desktops for years indeed. However, in the same way I worked on Air with a single screen of 11 and 2 gigs of RAM. More precisely, the ideology is the same, the degree of convenience is different.

V. My personal experience - in a year and a half of extremely intensive daily office work at 10.6 and 10.7 on 3 computers, I never once used any of the crosses in the upper left corner of the windows. I used the dock just a couple of times. Oddly enough, I did not find the use of Mission Control - it is probably more relevant when the desktop is alone.

VI. And the last - I strongly recommend everyone to make their Finder more informative, it is always a win at least a couple of minutes a day - first, use the “column” view, stretching the right one to see the contents of the files. And secondly, do not forget that Finder paints any folders and files in different colors (by the way, like Mail - letters). Why not at the level of such basic visual impressions immediately give a signal about the degree of completion of the project, or about which counterparty it refers to, at least in color?

I believe that it makes sense to share anaogic experience both for multi-desktop Linux configurations and in terms of popularizing simple system keyboard commands in Windows that are little known to the average user.

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