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From the Tips Box: Finding Cellphones, "Copy File Path" in Finder, and More Wave Filters [From The Tips Box]

17 Ott/09

Readers offer their best tips for finding lost cellphones when they’re on vibrate, adding a “Copy File Path to Clipboard” option in OS X’s Finder, and filtering public waves by language in Google Wave.

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About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons—maybe they’re a bit too niche, maybe we couldn’t find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn’t fit it in—the tip didn’t make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favorites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or email it to tips at lifehacker.com.

Get a “Copy Path to Clipboard” option in OS X

zimmerman1181 gives us an easy way to make a “Copy File Path” plugin with Automator:

I just found the following step by step on a macosxhints forum to add a “copy path to clipboard” functionality to right click using Automator to create a plugin.

If that’s all you need, this seems like a really easy solve:

Finder
Drag Get Selected Finder Items to the workflow (to position 1)

Automator
Drag Run Shell Script to the workflow (to position 2)
Change pass input to “as arguments”
Change echo “$f” to echo “‘$f'”

System
Drag Copy to Clipboard to the workflow (to position3)

Save as plug-in
Enter a name like Copy File Path
Save.

Now when you right click on a file (or a bunch of files), you should be able to select Automator and then the plugin you just created “Copy File Path”

Note that these directions only apply to pre-Snow Leopard versions of Automator. In Snow Leopard, this would go into the newly revamped Services menu. To make this plugin in Snow Leopard, when you start up Automator, choose “Service” instead of workflow. At the top of your workflow, make sure you select “Files and Folders” in the first drop-down and “Finder” in the second—this will make the service usable in Finder on those items by going to Finder > Services > Copy File Path in the menu bar.

Keeping Cell Phones Findable on Vibrate

Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Matt shows us how to keep your cell phone on vibrate without losing it:

I prefer to keep my cell phone on vibrate all the time. Its just easier for me. But it poses a problem because I tend to lose my phone a lot, so calling it to find it is pretty much pointless. What I’ve done is set all my default tones to no ring (calls, txts, etc), and turned vibrate on for all. Then I set a custom ringer on my skype number, so if I need to call it to find it I can, and it still makes a full noise, without annoying me the rest of the day.

Filter Waves by Language in Google Wave

Bruno explains how he makes searching easier in Google Wave:

This morning I was looking for public Waves and got tired of looking to so many waves in so many languages. So I decided to try a filter:

with:public lang:en

And there it was. A way to filter waves by the language. Other languages can be used like:

– Spanish: lang:es
– Japanese: lang:jp
– Portuguese: lang:pt

I tried this, and it didn’t work perfectly (there were still a couple waves that looked like they were in Spanish), but it did seem to be filtering a lot of stuff, which is nice considering there are a lot of waves in different languages.

Expanding StrokeIt’s Uses with AutoHotKey

Tyler sends in a tip on how to use StrokeIt in tandem with AutoHotKey (Warning: heavy AHK scripting ahead):

I’ve seen you guys mention AutoHotKey and StrokeIt before, and I thought I’d pass along a tip that involves using them both in tandem. The other day I accidentally created a “conflict” between the two programs where a mouse gesture from StrokeIt triggered a hotkey that was picked up by AutoHotKey, which then executed a bit of script. It wasn’t at all what I wanted at the time, but it got me thinking.

Although there are mouse gesture scripts available for AHK itself, I find StrokeIt’s gesture configuration less of a hassle to deal with, which is why I started running it alongside AHK in the first place. I didn’t use that many mouse gestures to begin with – mostly just forward/back in the web browser and to minimize or close windows, but once I discovered that you could configure StrokeIt gestures to send key combinations that AHK recognizes, I began setting up – and using – a lot more gestures.

For example, I originally had the down-and-to-the-left (/ Down) gesture in StrokeIt configured to hit Windows Key + M to minimize the active window. To improve upon this, I changed the keypress to Ctrl + Alt + Numpad1 (I thought it would be better to use obscure key combos in order to minimize conflicts with applications’ built-in keyboard shortcuts). Then in AutoHotKey, I setup a hotkey to catch that keypress.

^!Numpad1::
WinGetActiveTitle, tempTitle
WinMinimize,
return

This bit of code captures the title of the window into a variable before minimizing it, so that you can use it with other hotkeys which are themselves triggered by gestures. I next assigned the ( Up) gesture to send Ctrl + Alt + Numpad0. The AHK script sees this and activates the last window you minimized, regardless of how many other windows you’ve opened or closed since then.

^!Numpad0::
WinActivate,
return

StrokeIt does allow you to customize gestures on a per-application basis, but with this method you can also have gestures trigger different actions depending on where they are performed on the screen. Let’s say you have the generic (Left) gesture trigger yet another obscure hotkey, in this case Windows Key + Backspace. We can have AHK detect where the mouse is at the end of the gesture and act accordingly.

#Backspace::
; get mouse position
MouseGetPos, xvar, yvar

; next, figure out where the vertical middle of the screen is
if (yvar<A_ScreenHeight/2)
{
; do this if gesture ended in upper half of screen
Send, ^+{Tab}
; presses ctrl+shift+tab, which focuses the next tab to the left in Firefox
}
else
{
; do this if gesture ended in bottom half of screen
Send, !{Left}
; presses alt+left, which acts like the back button in Firefox
}
return

So if you do a (Left) mouse gesture it will focus the next tab to the left if the mouse is above the vertical middle of the screen, or go back one page if performed below it. You could take this a step further and divide the screen into quadrants, creating 4 different actions for each gesture, per application or globally.

Anyways, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface with what I’ve done so far and I’d be interested in seeing what you and your readers could come up with.


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