From The Tips Box: Unsaved Work, Modifier Keys, Lion Mail

Readers offer their best tips for saving unsaved work from a crash, tweaking shortcuts in OS X, and jumping to the top of your inbox in Apple Mail.

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 favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Salvage Unsaved Work Before an App Crashes

Gobias lets us know one way to catch unsaved work during a crash:

Word just froze up on me. I knew I couldn’t count on it to auto-recover the document I was working on, so I took a screenshot of it before quitting. Sure enough, Word didn’t auto-recover, but I was able to copy my recent edits from the screenshot.

Java-Princess shares a tip that makes this even more useful:

I hope you used OneNote to do OCR!

Obviously you can use any OCR app, like OneNote, Evernote or our other favourites for Android and iOS.

Hold Modifier Keys for More Choices in OS X’s Shortcut Dropdowns

Jzone3 shares a lesser-known trick in OS X:

When setting a keyboard shortcut for something like switching spaces, hold the key you would like to use and the options will change. For example, I wanted to use Command+Option+[Arrow Key]to switch spaces, so I held the Option key and was given the ability to use it as a modifier.

It’s kind of hard to understand without seeing it in action, so head to System Preferences and try it for yourself. This should work in both Snow Leopard and Lion.

Jump to the Top of Apple Mail with an AppleScript

Pascal shares an AppleScript for making Lion Mail easier to navigate:

One thing that wished Lion had was a quick way to get to go to the top of the inbox of mail with a single keyboard shortcut no matter where I am in Mail, e.g. in send box, whilst searching, etc. To get around this I wrote a short AppleScript code that I placed into a service using Automator and then assigned it a keyboard shortcut combo, Command and =. Here’s the code:

tell application “System Events”
keystroke “2” using {command down}
keystroke “1” using {command down}
delay 1
key code 115
end tell

Use Commands to Call a Group in Skype for iOS

Jzone3 discovers a hidden feature in Skype for iPad:

In the Skype app for iPad (I have not tried it on iPhone), you can still use commands to call a group and add people. I do not know if this has been covered before. It is very useful because without using commands (see them all by typing /help into the chat) it is impossible to add people to a group or call a group.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply