Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get the most out of their computers every day.

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Speed up your Mac by tweaking your fonts

One often-overlooked tweak is to clear out the font caches and trim the number of fonts you have installed on your Mac.

While it may seem like a minor thing it can actually have a big impact on how fast and responsive applications are. For example, every time Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word or QuarkXPress starts, the application scans your fonts and builds a preview for you. After this, every time you want to change the font the application has to load these previews and display them to you, which in Microsoft Word can takes up to five seconds from the clicking the font menu until it actually displays the font list.

By disabling unnecessary fonts you can speed up applications quite significantly. As an example a quick scan of this computer shows that there are over 450 fonts installed, but typically only 20-30 are ever used. By disabling some of the extra fonts we can reduce the time applications have to spend on managing fonts.

So how do you disable fonts? You can use the application Font Book that comes with your Mac (you find it in Applications). Give it a few seconds to load your fonts then go through the list and disable the ones you don’t use by selecting Disable from the Edit menu. Damaged or duplicate fonts can also slow down your computer so while you are in Font Book select Validate Fonts from the File menu and verify that the fonts you have installed are okay. You can automatically disable duplicates by using the Look for Enabled Duplicates (or Select duplicate fonts on Snow Leopard), followed by Resolve Automatically option (or Resolve Duplicates option in the Edit menu on Snow Leopard). It is also a good idea to enable Automatic font activation in Font Book’s Preferences as it lets OS X re-enable fonts when an application needs it.

It is worth noting that the font caches themselves can become corrupted and cause slowdowns or crashes on your Mac so if you experience problems because of this it is a good idea to force OS X to rebuild the font cache. Cocktail makes this easy: open Cocktail and go to Preferences > Caches > User and select Font Caches. Next time you clear the caches Cocktail will make clear out the font caches too and force OS X to rebuild them.

Pin an iCloud enabled note to your desktop

The Notes app in OS X lets you tear off notes and to float over the OS X desktop. You can think of this as the Stickies app on steroids, and not only does it look better, but you can share directly from the Note. Best of all, if you have iCloud set up with OS X and iOS the pinned note will automatically update when it's edited from an iPhone or iPad via the iOS Notes app.

Here's all you need to do to stick a Note on the Mac desktop:

• Launch Notes app in OS X and double-click the Note you want to tear off
• Position the floating note on the desktop and then close the primary Notes app window

Super simple to get the Note onto the desktop, but now for best part:

• Grab an iPad, iPod touch or iPhone and launch Notes app
• Locate and edit the same note, it will automatically sync and update on the OS X desktop

Access hidden files

Have you ever wanted to access a hidden file from an Open window or a hidden folder from a Save dialog? You can easily toggle hidden files by hitting Command+Shift+Period in any dialog window.

Terminal tricks

Here are two less-known tricks for those who use the Terminal a lot.

Ordinarily Terminal doesn’t obey the usual Option (Alt)+Delete keystroke that deletes a word behind the cursor in other apps. To make Terminal do so, hit Escape, then hit Delete. You will need to do this for each word you want to delete - Escape, then Delete; Escape, then Delete; etc.

If you’re editing a file in nano, emacs or vim, you can hold down Option (Alt) then click anywhere in the file to move the cursor there. It works at the command line too - you can jump to anywhere in the line you’re currently typing by holding down Option (Alt) and clicking there.