16 Coolest New Features In Mac OS X 10.5 That You Didn't Know About

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16 Coolest New Features In Mac OS X 10.5 That You Didn’t Know About

By now, everyone has heard about the major new features in Apple’s new operating system, Mac OS X 10.5 — code-named Leopard. However, there are several little known new features that are actually quite cool. I’ve compiled a list the sixteen coolest little known new features of Mac OS X 10.5.

1. OpenDocument and Word 2007 Formats

Take advantage of TextEdit support for the Word 2007 and OpenDocument formats for reading and writing.

2. Workspaces

Save the configuration of all your open windows as a workspace. The location, window settings, and shell configurations of multiple windows can then be recalled instantly.

3. Mac Sync for System Preferences

Get yourself a .Mac account and your System Preferences can stay in sync across all your Macs. No matter what Mac you use, you’ll feel right at home.

4. Guest Log-In Accounts

Allow anyone to surf the web and check email as a guest on your Mac. When they log out of the guest account, Mac OS X purges the account, removing any trace of their activity. So each time someone logs in as a guest, he or she gets a fresh, unused account.

5. Grammar Check

Let your grammar set a shining example. A built-in English language grammar checker helps ensure that you don’t make errors in grammar.

6. Scroll Non-Active Windows

Scroll any open window, even if it’s not active. Simply position your mouse over the target window and scroll.

7. Printer Drivers via Software Update

Make sure you always have the latest printer drivers. Download directly to your system using the familiar capabilities of Software Update.

8. PDF Manipulation in Preview

Re-create your PDF as you like. Move individual pages around, or remove pages altogether. You can even combine PDFs with a simple drag and drop.

9. Self-Tuning TCP

Let Leopard adjust TCP buffer size automatically. Get optimum application performance, especially in high-bandwidth/high-latency environments.

10. Archive Mailbox

Create an archive of your mailbox to back up important messages or to transfer your mail to another computer.

11. SMS Forwarding

Register for AOL’s Mobile Forwarding service and receive instant messages on your phone when you’re away from your computer.

12. Event Dropbox

Share the information you need for a successful meeting. Simply drag photos, video, or any kind of document into an event. Send email invitations to attendees and your attachments go along for the ride.

13. Font Auto-Activation

Automatically activate fonts as you need them. When an application requests an installed font that’s currently disabled, Leopard activates that font and keeps it active until the requesting application quits.

14. Instant Screen Sharing from the Finder

Start an interactive screen sharing session with other Macs on your network. Just select the Mac from your sidebar and (if authorized) you can see and control the Mac as if you were right in front of it. Change a system preference, publish an iPhoto library, or add a new playlist to iTunes.

15. Wikipedia in Dictionary

Harness the power of Wikipedia when you’re connected to the Internet — built right into its Dictionary. You get a great Mac OS X user interface with super-fast searching and beautifully laid out-results.

16. Synchronize with Yahoo!

Synchronize Address Book on your Mac with your Yahoo! address book. Just enter your Yahoo! account information in Address Book preferences to get started.

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  • drx1

    AFAIK, Apple built on NeXT’s “display Postscript” which was expensive to license (but NeXT’s workstations & servers were expensive anyway).

    I think Apple worked out a way to get around this, but the Apple PDF is not always the same as the Adobe PDF … also the Apple stuff wont give you nearly as many options as Adobe Acrobat Standard or Pro (though maybe there is a way around this too?)

    Sometimes this is good… as Acrobat CS3 was giving us some issues (Acrobat 8 Reader, Pro). And sometimes its not as good… like if you have a 10.3 or 10.2 machine, the PDF is pretty old (so rendering can be an issue).

    I’m guessing MS would try to muscle its way into PDF… but Apple is PDF (since OS X anyway).

    GO WIKI IT!

  • Tim

    Ben: “If you can’t do this, you must be a moron. It has been in Mac OS for YEARS (at least back to Mac OS 9, maybe before that).”

    Well, I guess I’m a moron then… I started with a Mac Plus years ago and never heard of this feature in all these years.

    Right now, I’ve got Tiger and an old machine running Panther and every time I command-click on a background scroll bar, as described here, it just brings the window to the foreground. I guess my Macs are morons too because they can’t even do it.

  • Asaf

    Yes!

    Grammer Check!

    Finally!

    As someone who didn’t grow up speaking English, I NEED this.

    I hope it works well as the grammer test on MS Word.

    Thanks Apple!

  • Dan

    X-mouse is a great feature! We use Solaris boxes at work and I’ve used that feature for years! Windows even had that feature available for at least XP (and if I remember correctly, 98SE) through one of the Power Tools downloads. I was surprised when I bought my iMac that it didn’t support X-mouse. Yet another thing to look forward to in Leopard!

  • http://www.cyclelogicpress.com Neil Anderson

    Excellent list. Thanks! Have placed my preorder for Leopard. :)

  • http://www.decaturspirits.com/wine Wine

    I think number 11 is a current feature of AIM, not a new feature of iChat.

    http://dashboard.aim.com/client/65
    “Don’t waste your text messages. Send IMs directly to your friends’ cell phones using AIM! That way, you’ll never miss an IM. Forward messages to your cell phone when you go offline. Staying in touch just got sweeter.”

  • http://www.decaturspirits.com/wine Wine

    Does the Guest account get access to another user’s iTunes library?

    I always figured that would be an option, but don’t see it mentioned.

    Imagine you’re hosting a party and want to play music using iTunes. And you want to let other people play DJ from time to time. Shouldn’t they be able to do so without having full access to your personal account?

  • Darkelve

    What about the new features for Automator? They look pretty useful/powerful.

  • Marc J. Driftmeyer

    Regarding DPS/DPDF:

    When we merged from NeXT to Apple the renegotiation for DPS had to change. We sold Openstep User for $799 and Openstep Developer Tools for $4999 with WebObjects 4 varying in pricing.

    The price for co-developing DPS was $10/license.

    DPDF was negotiated to always be 1 revision behind the current revision sold by Adobe.

    With Adobe preparing to release PDF 1.7 as an Open Standard [clearly the threat from Microsoft is being taken important by Adobe] whatever is in that Standard is no longer barring Apple from contractually not being allowed to do.

    http://www.adobe.com/devnet/pdf/pdf_reference.html

    It’s clear that PDF 1.7 is released.

    Adobe most certainly wants to leverage the broad developer community and distinguish itself and the UI and implementation angles.

    They’ve got enough invested in PDF that having it be the print standard will guarantee their Pre-Press and backend services are top tier.

  • http://ryosaeba.wordpress.com ryosaeba

    Tom: Scrolling an INACTIVE window DOES work. You have to HOLD DOWN the COMMAND KEY on your keyboard. Then click on the scroll bar of an inactive (background) window and scroll it. You can also click on the title bar and move the window around… all while KEEPING THE WINDOW IN THE BACKGROUND.

    doesn’t work “universally” on tiger. i’ve tried with firefox at the foreground and thunderbird at the background.

  • Mati

    AMAZING!!!

  • http://www.reanimality.com Marc Driftmeyer

    And these features aren’t even the really cool ones.

    Paramount, yes. It’s what you can do with the other features, combined with these system wide services that one can really make new applications to only strengthen Apple’s platform and foothold into all markets.

    UNIX Certified, 64 Bit clean, OpenDocument and OOXML (Federal Governments the world over but importantly the US Government requires OpenDocument) and more will make so many doors open.

    OS X Server has a ton of features for the IT Departments to drool over.

  • Ernest Phillips

    Apple licensed PDF ages ago when they first built OS X. The entire GUI is built on PDFs.

  • Rob Saunders

    The most exciting new feature of Leopard isn’t even on Apples list… Resolution Independence at last!

  • Justin Bur

    > Unless I can finally export my contacts into a CSV (or such) file, Address Book still a useless application…

    Address Book has had an Export vCard function for a long time now. vCard is the standard contact info exchange format; CSV is a feeble fallback if nothing else is available.

    (I’ve had the problem that it creates the vCard file in UTF-16 even if my preferences specify otherwise, but you can easily convert UTF-16 to UTF-8 using TextEdit.)

  • http://projects.tynsoe.org/ Yann

    John Mc : Bunch of tools can do that, check out versiontracker.com or macupdate.com

  • tmjdisorder

    Regarding PDFs,

    The old NEXT systems used Display PostScript, which iirc was very expensive to license. I believe that they switched to PDF because it is an open standard that anyone can use. I don’t believe they have or require Adobe’s permission to do this.

  • http://www.wrongforum.com/ wrongforum

    Hey… want to stand in line with me at the Apple store in Green Hills next friday? We can be sick fanboys together.

  • John Mc

    Unless I can finally export my contacts into a CSV (or such) file, Address Book still a useless application…

  • Brian

    Yes, You can hold the command key and then drag the scroll bars on inactive windows, however this is not the same as what’s coming in Leopard. By holding the command key, you are telling the window to not activate because you still have to click and drag on the scroll bar. Doing this without the command key would obviously select and activate the window.

    In Leopard, you can use the scroll wheel/ball on your mouse and just mouse over the window and scroll, without any holding down of keys or clicking.. This is a NICE feature..

  • lookmark

    ^^ Er, what’s with the rudeness?

    Yes, you can command-drag or command-scroll (and sometimes even command-click-through) inactive windows for a long time now, but scrolling via the scroll-wheel in inactive windows is new. Minor, IMO, but nifty.

    Nice list.

  • Bill

    Ben (40):

    It only works sometimes – try opening iTunes as a background window and the doing this with Safari at the front – it doesn’t work. However, make iTunes the focus, and put Safari in the background and the trick works. Maybe Leopard just irons out the inconsistencies…

  • Chris

    “You cannot currently scroll an INACTIVE window. You can only scroll it if you make it active first. Mac people used to be smarter than Windoze people.”

    I never noticed until reading this thread, but the Finder offers this ability today. You can scroll a background Finder window by simply putting the cursor over it and scrolling. Leopard, apparently, is offering it for all apps.

    As for holding the command-key–that’s different.

  • brianus

    The command key scrolling trick works in Safari, but it doesn’t work on Finder windows — the window is activated regardless of whether you hold down command or not. In fact, I just tried it on Thunderbird and it doesn’t work there either. Furthermore, this inconsistently applied trick is obviously an obscure keyboard shortcut that isn’t printed in any menu, so how is one a “moron” for not being aware of it?

  • Chris

    “If you can’t do this, you must be a moron”

    This type of comment is not needed or helpful.

  • http://bengarland.com Ben

    Tom: Scrolling an INACTIVE window DOES work. You have to HOLD DOWN the COMMAND KEY on your keyboard. Then click on the scroll bar of an inactive (background) window and scroll it. You can also click on the title bar and move the window around… all while KEEPING THE WINDOW IN THE BACKGROUND.

    If you can’t do this, you must be a moron. It has been in Mac OS for YEARS (at least back to Mac OS 9, maybe before that).

  • Mateo

    @Tom:
    The trick described by Paul works great (I forgot thet you could do that)

  • Mateo

    @xxdesmus:
    Since the neginning PDF has been the underlying rendering system of the whole Mac OS X system. That’s why it’s so easy to “export” any kind of document to PDF (by using the “Print” window). Apple and Adobe have an agreement!

    @MikeZ:
    TextEdit has been able to open Word documents fo a long time! The new TextEdit can open the new OpenDocument and Word (2007) formats.

  • regeya

    # xxdesmus Says:

    “Apple on the other hand, will allow editing, manipulation, and saving to PDF format…and Adobe doesn’t say a damn thing. What a joke!”

    Adobe has taken steps to make PDF an open standard, which it is. Some people feel that they finally realized they’d lose money when they realized the biggest software company was going to use the “open standard” PDF.

    Also, iirc Apple has an agreement with Adobe wrt Display PDF.

  • Tom

    Paul: That doesn’t work. What’s wrong with you?

  • Paul Donovan

    >You cannot currently scroll an INACTIVE window. You can only scroll it if you make it active first. Mac people used to be smarter than Windoze people.

    Yes you can – hold the Command key and then drag the scrollbar of an inactive window. This feature has been in OS X for as long as I can remember – looks like they’ve just made it easier to do.

  • Joe

    Yes, we need gmail sync

    Joe,
    info@steamteam.ca

  • Eric Monse

    Interesting what they’ve finally nailed down.

  • http://mezic.com Scott

    While the Yahoo address book syncing is awesome… why didn’t Apple include the obvious and practical Gmail address book syncing?

  • Milhouse

    Adobe has stated that they’re going to (apparently already have) make PDF an open standard, which probably why apple can modify PDFs now

  • Capcorn

    You cannot currently scroll an INACTIVE window. You can only scroll it if you make it active first. Mac people used to be smarter than Windoze people.

  • McLovin

    you can already print a PDF from the printer chooser, so apple must have paid Adobe to be adble to use the PDF feature

  • http://web.mac.com/lowededwookie Loweded Wookie

    I’ll be happy about the Dictionary only if it has languages OTHER than US English which only US people use.

    If the dictionary ties in with the Regional settings then that would be cool.

    Grammer checker is a have anyway.

  • Pingback: MacBasement()

  • http://explodingpickle.org Daniel Ringwalt

    MikeZ:

    Since NeXTstep, TextEdit was just a frontend for the builtin RTF support. Hopefully, ODF (OpenOffice) and MS Office support in Leopard TextEdit means it’s builtin just like RTF, and it will show up in iWork, etc.

  • http://svg.startpagina.nl stelt

    Leopard also introduces SVG support, among others in Safari. Learn more about this nice standard at http://svg.startpagina.nl

  • Mike

    Yahoo address bar? Who cares

  • Bryan

    My personal favorite new addition is the time slider in DVD Player, I have used VLC to watch DVDs just because there was a time slider, I am stoked for that.

  • CFoo

    I wonder…

    Why Yahoo address book?

  • Steve

    I think the coolest little known feature in OS X 10.5 is Resizable Partitions in Disk Utility!!! This is a killer feature fully cementing Disk Utility’s bad ass.

  • Nick

    “This already exists.
    Why on earth is apple listing this feature when it already works in 10.4
    6. Scroll Non-Active Windows”

    It doesn’t have full support under Tiger. Try opening a finder window and then trying to scroll Safari in the background. Doesn’t work.

    Leopard builds this in universally.

  • http://swxruby.org meekish

    be: “…Why on earth is apple listing this feature when it already works in 10.4…”

    You must be using a different version OS X 10.4 than me.

  • Dan

    You must not be using the new Grammar check feature, because “it’s” should not have an apostrophe in item 15.

  • Bruce Wayne

    thats a really useful comment mate, enlightened us all ;)

  • http://xxdesmusxx.net xxdesmus

    The funny thing is that when Microsoft tried to do anything with Adobe’s PDF format (i.e., enable save to PDF from Office 2007) they are threatened with lawsuits and all that ridiculous BS.

    Apple on the other hand, will allow editing, manipulation, and saving to PDF format…and Adobe doesn’t say a damn thing. What a joke!

  • Rob

    Nice work! The vast majority of this list I had no idea about.

  • MikeZ

    I think that is big that you can open word documents in text edit, i wonder why they didn’t do that before?

  • http://blacksundae.shannonhubbell.com Shannon

    #2 is great!

  • http://bombay-potatoes.com Russ @ bombay potatoes

    Wiki in in the dictionary will be great, afterall I’m always connected to the net.

  • http://www.joesapt.net/ JD

    Right on! I’m going to find plenty of use for much of the above.

    Readers – check out the rest of the features at apple.com.

  • http://www.tvscifi.com Steve

    Grammar checker! SMS forwarding! Mac OSX just keeps getting better. Scrolling non-active windows doesn’t sound like much, but you’ll be surprised how often you need it.

  • Derek

    “Harness the power of Wikipedia when you’re connected to the Internet — built right into it’s Dictionary.”

    “its”. Not “it’s”.

  • be

    This already exists.

    Why on earth is apple listing this feature when it already works in 10.4

    6. Scroll Non-Active Windows

    Scroll any open window, even if it’s not active. Simply position your mouse over the target window and scroll.

  • James

    Any word of A2DP (Blutetooth stereo) support? I hope that made it!

  • http://freetube.110mb.com/?f=1 Television Online

    I didn’t know there was wikipedia support, I’ll have to check that out sometime.