Command-Tab is certainly handy (especially since I came from the Windows world where Alt-Tab does the same thing—for switching applications only).
However, there’s an added tip: if you use Command-~ (or technically Command-`, since you don’t press the Shift key), you can cycle between open windows in the current application. For example, say you have Word open with a couple different document windows. Using Command-~, you can cycle through the various open windows in Word without having to use the Window menu bar item or manually selecting them with your mouse. Very handy, indeed.
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I thought that no tip or trick could still surprise me after years of using my Mac, yet the inspector in the Finder and being able to quit or hide applications while using Command-Tab were completely new to me. Thanks for these helpful shortcuts!
God, I’m hooked! Keep putting out this great comic strip!
As the developer of a MIDI Player I hope to eventually provide the facility to produce ringtones in the manner that you describe. However, I have to disagree with your assertion that MP3 ringtones will make MIDI ringtones obsolete. Sure, MP3 ringtones will probably take a large part of the market but MIDI can do lots of things that MP3 can’t. Say you really like a riff but the singer’s voice is dominant. There is no easy way to remove the singer’s voice in an MP3. Finding the best way to cut out a section of music could also be a problem, requiring fade in, etc. which doesn’t strike me as a very effective ringtone. Also, with MIDI, you can change the instruments to suit your liking. You can be creative and generate a unique ringtone of your own. Sometimes a musical “idea” expressed in a different way can be more effective than the original music.
Does this application require Application Enhancer (APE)? I can’t imagine installing a hack that is always running and then toys with my system when I need to occasionally run an audio application. Are there any other audio recording applications that are similar, don’t use APE and work well?
No, WireTap Pro doesn’t use an APE. It is a combination of a front-end application and a kernel extension. —Eric Blair
Excellent as usual, Ted. Thanks for including requested applications that aren’t primarily outliners but use some outlining features nonetheless. Perhaps your and your readers’ attention to their outlining features will prompt some of the developers to beef up their outlining feature sets.
I’ve tried each of these applications over the last few months, and while each of them are promising and cover certain niches, I really like Daylite and Merlin the most; they’re the most robust of the lot in my opinion. I bought Daylite and am considering buying Merlin. Daylite has adopted a plug-in approach and is encouraging developers to create plug-ins to it, which bodes well for its rapid growth as a platform. They have a handful of plug-ins available already, including one that integrates with Apple’s Mail and a third party plug-in that integrates Daylite with Parliant’s PhoneValet telephony application.
Like many of your readers, I also use DEVONthink (and am waiting for their upcoming Professional version), OmniOutliner, and am looking into the promising Flow and ActionItems applications. So I’m looking forward to your upcoming column on workflow integration to help tie them together.
A request is that you cover how well various applications conform to the XML and OPML open standards formats for data longevity and portability. To state the obvious, this seems to be the essential glue to creating a viable workflow system. In fact, a larger systems approach is the main criteria for how I’m evaluating individual applications for functional fit, for they don’t just stand on their own as separate isolated feature-set islands, but form integral parts of a larger information management system.
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It shouldn’t matter to you which one because your world will differ.
You can’t just say that! Your attention to detail makes me value your opinion highly, so which one was it?
And of course thanks again for a great article.
— Richard Chamberlain
Sorry. I promised myself early in the game that I wouldn’t promote my own usage patterns to readers. If you don’t have respect for your readers, you shouldn’t be writing.
One of the tenets of ATPO is that outlining is a technique, not a product. Another is that ATPO readers are clever individuals worthy of finding environments that fit their unique minds. What I use is pretty irrelevant, and I hope ATPO helps readers find good fits for how their imagination is shaped.
I want to write about XML transfer, workflows, and scripting. Beyond that, reader interest may wane. In a final column, perhaps I’ll get personal about my own environment. —Ted Goranson
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Thank you very much for the superb articles and comments. I’m waiting to see DEVONthink Pro and for another sale (or academic pricing) from Tinderbox.
Currently I mainly use Daylite, Near-Time Flow (1.5 EA), and OmniGraffle Pro, but have tried many of the programs mentioned here. Each program has its strengths. I really like Tinderbox’s approach and graphical displays of the information, and DEVONthink’s management/preview of a variety of files has been quite useful since I have hundreds of PDF files for part of one project. Unfortunately there’s not one program to cover all my needs. For now Flow seems to offer a good balance between my need to store different files in an organized manner, a simple text editor with options to make specific information easily accessible (e.g., using markers, colors, styles), and more.
By the way, Near-Time now also has Current, which seems to be like Flow but without the collaboration features.
Years ago I used Idea Keeper from Plum Island Software, but unfortunately development seems to have stopped years ago. It was pretty good.
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I hope that as you continue this very useful series, you will find time to look at the latest beta of Hog Bay Notebook. It has evolved and improved noticeably even since you first mentioned it, is easy and satisfying to use, is inexpensive (important for some of us!), has rapid and excellent support, is scriptable, and has a growing wiki site. Because it is so easy to import into, to export from, and to clip into, and offers itself to so many different uses, I have given up using its direct competitors. With DEVONthink and Richard Schreyer’s wonderful Notes, I have a great deal of flexibility for outlining, compiling, data-linking, note-jotting, journaling, to-do-ing, and trying to keep track of what I am doing on the computer and why. I appreciate applications like HBN that make my computer time easier rather than more complicated.