Top 10 Mac Productivity Enhancements: Page 6

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6) OnyX

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Mac OS X includes lots of hidden features that can make common tasks much more convenient, but turning these features on (or off) normally requires doing some research and then typing just the right command into Terminal.

Better yet: just check a box or click a button. Onyx is one of several applications whose main purpose is to provide a simple interface for tweaking these secret settings, as well as giving you GUI control over several common Unix maintenance tasks.

Some of my favorite hidden features include putting both up and down scroll arrows at each end of a scroll bar; pinning the Dock to the bottom of the screen’s right edge (so that the Trash is always in the same place, regardless of how many items are in the Dock); selecting alternative file formats for screen shots (I prefer TIFF); and forcing incoming messages in Mail to default to Plain Text display.

These are just a few of the dozens of things Onyx can do, not to mention clearing caches, running periodic maintenance scripts, and resetting various system databases. Of course, all the same—and more—can be said of several competitors. But Onyx handles all the settings I find most important to my productivity, at a price that can’t be beat: free!

Runners-up: Mac Pilot ($20), Cocktail ($15), Tinker Tool System ($7 euros).

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