Lion Secrets (OK -Sweet, non-Obvious Features)

There are so many major improvements in Lion that everyone is talking about. There are also many little things behind the scenes that are really great that people are not talking so much about. Here are a few I think are just wonderful features that I know I will be using….

Screen Saver interaction – I have enjoyed watching pictures fly by in my screen saver – in fact sometimes I let it run during band rehearsal too, the students get a kick out of seeing themselves float by. Of course we have an understanding that if the pictures prove to be disruptive that the pics will go away. It’s fun to watch the students reaction to those pictures – they constantly surprise me. The new feature though is a welcome one. I have many times wished I could pause the screen saver or go back a picture and see it one more time. Now we can! Simply hit the space bar while the pictures are on the screen and there are three controls that pop up – a left/right arrow to go backwards or forwards in the pictures and a play/pause button.

Digital Signatures in Preview and Annotations– This app just became way more useful with Lion. The annotations have many more options than I have ever noticed. In fact I will actually use them now! The best addition though has to be the Capture Signature feature! It is pretty well hidden and if you did not know about it you very well will miss it! Load up a PDF, go to the view menu and select Show Annotation Toolbar (Shift, Command A). Then you will probably need to take a look at this screen shot….
 See the green arrow? That is where you find the signature tools. You will need to write your name with a BLACK pen on a real piece of paper, click on the little arrow next to the S with a line under it which will then pop up the menu you see in this screen shot. Select the Create Signature option – follow the instructions and soon you will have your very own, handwritten signature in digital format! After the camera takes a snapshot you will simply click on the PDF where you would like your signature to appear, resize and you’re done!

The red box and green arrow are a few of the other tools found in the annotation toolbar now. Along with speech/thought bubbles, text, highlighting, adding comment sticky notes on the side, and even creating hyperlinks to a different page or the internet!

Built-in Dictionary – You are going to have to decide, as am I, if the new auto-correct feature in Lion is going to be something we love or hate. But I do absolutely like the ability to tap with two fingers on a word to bring up this menu….

a three finger tap brings up this menu – and I especially like the fact that Apple decided to give me immediate feedback that what I have done actually is working by turning the word yellow!

I hope you enjoy these little tidbits. Leave comments about your “secret” features and we will I am sure appreciate yours as well!

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