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Useful keyboard shortcuts

Two of our most commonly used Safari shortcuts are Command+Down Arrow and Command+Up Arrow. What do these shortcuts do?

The first scrolls you all the way to the bottom of the page you're on; the second puts you at the top. So if you need to move in either direction, you don't have to actually scroll at all. For those of you who use Chrome or Firefox, this works in those programs, too.

This little shortcut is good to remember, as you can use it in other places around the Mac. In document-creation apps (like Pages or TextEdit), those shortcuts mean "jump to the beginning or the end of the text". So you don't have to scroll in those programs, either.

Finally, if you add Shift to those shortcuts, it means "select all the text between where my cursor is and the beginning/end". So if you place your cursor in the middle of a document (or select some text on a webpage), Shift-Command–Up Arrow will select everything between your cursor and the beginning of the document; Shift-Command–Down Arrow will select things between there and the end. We use this as an alternative to click-and-drag to select text, and it's more controlled than Select All.

Merge all open windows into tabs in Safari with a keyboard shortcut

Posted in Safari Tips & Tricks

It's easy to find yourself in a sea of open web browser windows, but with Safari there's a great feature that lets you merge windows into tabs; just pull down the Window menu, select "Merge All Windows" and Safari will merge all the open windows into tabs, even if the open windows have their own tabs. To take that nice little feature a step further, you can turn it into a keyboard shortcut, that will let you instantly convert an ocean of windows into a single Safari window with just a keystroke.

• Open System Preferences from the Apple menu
• Click on "Keyboard" and select the "Shortcuts" tab
• Choose “App Shortcuts" from the list on the left, then click the [+] plus icon to add a new shortcut
• Select "Safari" from the Application pull down list, then type "Merge All Windows" as the menu title
• Finally, set the keyboard shortcut to use, we went with Control+Command+W as a variation of the common close windows command
• Click "Add" then go back to Safari, open a few windows, and hit your keyboard shortcut to verify it worked

If the keyboard shortcut didn’t work, you may have chosen a keystroke that conflicts with another function, or you may have not entered the menu title properly. Custom keyboard shortcuts are case sensitive, so be sure to use the proper capitalization and exact spelling.

Color flag your emails

Posted in Mail Tips & Tricks

Although it's handy to be able to flag an important message in Mail, there is a more eye-catching method.

• Click to select a message

• Open the Colors window by pressing Command+Shift+C

• Choose your preferred color, and it will be applied to the message's background

To remove color applied to a message, choose white as a new color. You can set the background color of messages in rules (Mail > Preferences > Rules) as well.

Move a file by using the window title bar

Posted in Finder Tips & Tricks

Longtime Mac users are accustomed to moving files around in OS X by dragging and dropping them between folders and directories. Both of those methods work just fine to relocate files and move things around, but another lesser known option to move a file can be done when that file is currently open, just by using the files window title bar.

This is a fairly hidden feature in OS X, so if you've never seen file relocation done entirely through the documents active window titlebar before, don't be too surprised. Hidden or not though, you'll find it useful and a cinch to use.

• With a file open, click on the files name in the window title bar to reveal a contextual menu (be sure to click on the text name itself, not the little document icon).

• Click on the pulldown menu alongside “Where” (the location shown is where the file is currently located).

• Select the destination you want to move the file to from the list (including iCloud) or choose “Other...” to browse the file system and select somewhere specific.

• Click away from the title bars contextual menu to hide it and resume work within the document as usual.

That's it, the document has moved. Simply changing the “Where” selection will move the file to the chosen destination instantly. There's no confirmation, no dragging and dropping, nothing else is necessary to relocate the file, it will move immediately as the window title bar action is taken, to the location specified by “Where”.

Backing up to multiple Time Machine drives

Despite constant encouragement these days to push our valuable data into "the cloud", there is still a genuine need for offline backups. Since its introduction in OS X Leopard, Apple has improved the Time Machine drastically. Within OS X Mavericks, Mac users can not only enjoy encryption and improved notification support but also backup disk rotation. This means that you can now choose multiple drives for Time Machine to use, and it's easy to set up!

To add extra drives to your Time Machine backup routine, do this:

• Open System Preferences from the Apple menu and click "Time Machine"
• Click "Select Disk..."
• Choose the volume you want to add to your backup routine, then click "Use Disk"
• Click "Use Both" to add the new drive to your backup schedule.

Your Mac will rotate its backup schedule to include all of the volumes you add to Time Machine, which is great because that means you can easily have separate backups at work and home simply by keeping different hard drives at each location. It's also great for automatically backing up to more than one Time Machine volume at the same location. For example, you can backup to a Time Capsule on your own network, and have a second backup on a hard drive connected directly to your Mac.

Time Machine will show you files from the volume it most recently used for backing up content. If you need to see files from a different backup location, just press the Option (Alt) key and choose "Browse Other Backup Disks..." from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar.