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Author Topic: Worth moving to Mac?  (Read 76263 times)
plugsnpixels
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« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2008, 03:52:42 PM »
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As far as I'm concerned, the Intel Macs have removed the debate. You get one and you run both OS-X and Windows (and/or Linux if you desire). Done.

I post screenshots and examples of both Mac and Windows-only software on my website, and I use only Macs to do it (Parallels option for running Windows). Works great, and the Windows system files can easily be copied/backed up to additional Macs as needed. No more installing Windows! Drag and drop files between the OS's; simply minimize or quit Windows when you're done with it.

I work in higher-ed IT and we have four Intel Mac labs, two with the option of running Windows XP Pro (via Boot Camp) for apps like EZNews and SPSS. In speaking with students who use Windows, I haven't found any who actually like Vista. Same with my Windows-using relatives, and even Dell whom I understand requested an extension of shipping their machines with XP installed. I think Vista looks way better than XP, but I haven't used it for any period of time yet (aside from the RC1). Customer reaction doesn't bode well for Microsoft's future, though they always seem to find a way around such things ;-).

So I can't imagine buying a Windows-only machine and being excluded from using OS-X (hacks notwithstanding). However, I do like the concept of building your own machine from scratch. If you have an older Mac (G4 or G5 tower), you can do this to some degree, but you miss out on the Intel advantages. I have a MacPro tower at work but haven't cracked it open to see what's expandable (seems fine the way it is!).
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« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2008, 03:55:02 PM »
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Not with Preview at least.
No mouse on location. And to get that function, I need to buy something??
I have only one delete key, under the F12 key. So OSX is intuitive?
The Betterlight files are huge and my usual procedure is to convert them to jpegs to do an intial selection. IrfanView does this quickly with great quality. It also reads many kinds of RAW files. I'm currently using Graphic Converter, but the quality of the jpegs isn't great.
It does have tabbed browsing. In Windows, there's an option to let you minimize a tabbed window by simply clicking on the tab. It then remains minimized until you want to see it again. Not so on the Mac.

Cheers,
Kumar
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Seems like Preview needs the scale (Actual Size, Zoom to fit, Zoom out etc) to be set large enough for the image to fill the screen before the green button will fill the screen (i.e. Application trumps OS).  It really is only intended to, well, Preview. Sounds like you should try to find an old copy of something like Elements to look at and convert your BetterLight files to jpeg with an Adobe(?) engine
Newer Apple mice have multiple buttons, non-Apple USB mice have always been usable with your "preferred" style - multibutton, scroll wheel etc. I have a [a href=\"http://www.targus.com/us/product_details.asp?sku=PAUM01U]MiniMouse[/url] ($20odd tiny USB optical twobutton scrollwheel retractable cord) Note that the trackpad can be updated to allow two-finger scrolling, option (I mean right-) clicking, tapping etc etc (look for something like SideTrack)
The issue with the "other" delete key is a limitation of the laptop not the OS  There are almost certainly keypad mapping mods out there if you need the "delete right of cursor". I'm by now used to rightarrow(to move the cursor)-delete

  I'm still not sure about the issue with tabs in Opera.  Click on another tab, does not the one you had open get minimized into a tab itself?  I just downloaded Opera and find it unintuitive on my Mac (   ) - my rightMouse click and keyboard option-click don't do anything (Sounds like an Opera thing, rather than an OSX thing)

It's really what you're used to, that you normally call "intuitive". If I ever tried to use a PC, I'm sure there'd be lots of things, even simple things, that it would take me a while to learn, just the way you will need to learn how to do them in OSX.  There are forums for using Macs just like there are photography forums (fora???) to help find these things out.  Just because a lot of folks feel more comfortable and at home with the OSX interface (and often say it feels more intuitive as a result) doesn't mean there is no learning curve.  BTW - I started on a Mac in '85 and never used a PC, so I have no grudge against their OSes just no experience     Hope these hints help

Andy
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plugsnpixels
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« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2008, 04:01:33 PM »
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Let me add that Apple and MS often borrow from each other, and I understand to do this is an actual legal agreement between them, stemming from '90s-era lawsuits regarding OS GUI intellectual property.

For instance, on the Mac you can app-switch by using Command-Tab. In XP you use Alt-Tab (IIRC). Maybe MS offered that feature first; I'm not sure. Apple's implementation is nicer, though ;-).

One thing I like about OS-X's Finder is the column view, which even Vista doesn't seem to have. I hate large icon views and don't like simple lists much either. Columns are easy to navigate quickly using the arrow keys.
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« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2008, 04:28:40 PM »
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You note "anyone can build a PC" but all your other posts have been mentioning laptops.  You really can't build a PC laptop, so this whole point is moot.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171899\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Duh! How is that moot, just because I happened to talk about laptops in previous posts? It certainly doesn't mean I was in this. And as I was talking about self builds it should be blindingly obvious I wasn't talking about laptops.

The point still stands, anyone can build a [desktop] PC, but you can only buy a complete Mac, so you don't get the problems associated with rubbish self builds which Apple like to attack, whilst ignoring that a Sony machine is as good as an Apple machine. Actually their laptops have better ergonomics/keyboards.
Now as Apple control the hardware and the software, then Macs should be much, much better than PCs, when it comes to bugs, software/hardware issues, yet the reality is there is no real difference, both are equally problematic, just in differeng areas.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 05:11:25 PM by jjj » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2008, 05:10:02 PM »
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Let me add that Apple and MS often borrow from each other, and I understand to do this is an actual legal agreement between them, stemming from '90s-era lawsuits regarding OS GUI intellectual property.
I believe Apple sued MS for stealing look and feel, but lost as they'd themselves nicked the attributes in question from Xerox PARC.
MS also helped prop up Apple financially when Apple looked like they were going down the tubes, as MS needed the competition to avoid being broken up by the Government. So that may have some bearing on it.

Quote
For instance, on the Mac you can app-switch by using Command-Tab. In XP you use Alt-Tab (IIRC). Maybe MS offered that feature first; I'm not sure. Apple's implementation is nicer, though ;-).
Apple borrowed from Windows as much as the other way around, though Apple would never admit it and deliberatly do it differently even if it's less efficient. Though the recent trackpad changes have finally caught up with 5 year old PC ones and surpased them with the more advanced gestures. Still not second button, which is easier than Apple's way of saving face by using 3 fingers rather than 1.  I find I have to use the mouse a lot more in OS-X than XP, a lot more. Generally I find Windows has the edge with er window's handling, 4 edges and 3 corners more in fact. Much easier + simpler to deal with.

Alt+tab for switching between apps was used in Windows first [Cntrl+Tab switches between windows in a Window's app]. And I prefer the Windows way as you can Alt+Tab between each iteration of a say Explorer, whereas you have to Cmd+Tab and then switch between windows using Cmd+' to get to separate Finder windows.
I quite like Expose, but I find Cmd+Tab quicker + easier. Expose is for those who can't work out Cmd+Tab, but with fancy graphics.

Quote
One thing I like about OS-X's Finder is the column view, which even Vista doesn't seem to have. I hate large icon views and don't like simple lists much either. Columns are easy to navigate quickly using the arrow keys.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172063\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Finder is still pathetic and clumsy in so many ways, including the column view. You need an enormous screen size to deal with deeply nested folders and long names. It's the antithesis of what Macs purport to be. Not easy or inutitive, certainly not good, simplistic maybe. I've also asked very basic questions about using  Finder in Apple stores and the 'Geniuses' there have no idea how to answer.
Oh and you can navigate Explorer using keys too, though I can't recall quite how as I've not used it for ages.
Finder + iTunes are the two worst programmes I can recall using. Though at least one doesn't have to use iTunes.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 05:16:37 PM by jjj » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2008, 05:34:04 PM »
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Agreed; I like Windows windows that can be expanded from the bottom or sides. It's such a minor but helpful thing; surely Apple will nick it sometime.

As for working in the Finder, I seem to handle that alright, though I'm aware of many peoples' complaints about it. I routinely have two Finder windows open at the same time so I can drag things between them in column view (in lieu of a large screen, just scroll sideways). When in Windows' Explorer, I feel constricted and have a hard time getting around (plus the need to open one just to locate/access your drives and mounted volumes).

When I first used Leopard I was shocked to find I couldn't compare two audio files with each other using the two-window method (checking back and forth along the length of the song to see which of two similar songs had the better sound, etc.). Leopard does not offer the audio file scrub view in the Finder itself, just a play button. But, if you hit the selected file with the spacebar, it opens in large scrub view (with album art too!)--but you can't easily A/B compare two files that way.

But when going back to Tiger I miss the QuickLook option I just described, which is useful for any file format, so I've gotten over it.

Oh, and did you know Leopard's TextEdit handles .docx documents now? I find that useful for students who use Office 2007/Windows at home and try to open their files in Office 2004/Mac in the labs (Tiger). I had been using DocXConverter (not free) and NeoOffice (free) to handle this.

Oh, and in a related topic--I've noticed the free email services (Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.) seem to reject students' Word document attachments due to "viruses" (even when initially created on the Mac). I've gotten around this by using TextEdit to quickly resave them as .doc, and all is well (??).
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 05:35:25 PM by plugsnpixels » Logged

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Kumar
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« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2008, 02:29:41 AM »
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Seems like Preview needs the scale (Actual Size, Zoom to fit, Zoom out etc) to be set large enough for the image to fill the screen before the green button will fill the screen (i.e. Application trumps OS).  It really is only intended to, well, Preview. Sounds like you should try to find an old copy of something like Elements to look at and convert your BetterLight files to jpeg with an Adobe(?) engine


I'll try this out with Preview. But IMHO, there's nothing to beat IrfanView for speed and quality.
 
Quote
Newer Apple mice have multiple buttons, non-Apple USB mice have always been usable with your "preferred" style - multibutton, scroll wheel etc. I have a [a href=\"http://www.targus.com/us/product_details.asp?sku=PAUM01U]MiniMouse[/url] ($20odd tiny USB optical twobutton scrollwheel retractable cord)

Like I said, no mouse on location.

Quote
Note that the trackpad can be updated to allow two-finger scrolling, option (I mean right-) clicking, tapping etc etc (look for something like SideTrack)  The issue with the "other" delete key is a limitation of the laptop not the OS  There are almost certainly keypad mapping mods out there if you need the "delete right of cursor". I'm by now used to rightarrow(to move the cursor)-delete

Buying software for things Apple left out doesn't cut it for me.

Quote
I'm still not sure about the issue with tabs in Opera.  Click on another tab, does not the one you had open get minimized into a tab itself?  I just downloaded Opera and find it unintuitive on my Mac (   ) - my rightMouse click and keyboard option-click don't do anything (Sounds like an Opera thing, rather than an OSX thing)

In Windows, there's an option for when you click on the tab you're reading, it gets minimized, and stays that way until you click on it again. This is great for stuff like reading mail or watching an auction. It doesn't keep popping up as you cycle through the tabs. On the Mac, it's keyboard control click to get the context menu.

Quote
It's really what you're used to, that you normally call "intuitive". If I ever tried to use a PC, I'm sure there'd be lots of things, even simple things, that it would take me a while to learn, just the way you will need to learn how to do them in OSX.  There are forums for using Macs just like there are photography forums (fora???) to help find these things out.  Just because a lot of folks feel more comfortable and at home with the OSX interface (and often say it feels more intuitive as a result) doesn't mean there is no learning curve.  BTW - I started on a Mac in '85 and never used a PC, so I have no grudge against their OSes just no experience     Hope these hints help

Andy


I guess you're right about "intuitive", but I thought it meant that most people would find it easy. Perhaps I'm in the minority  But right now my iBook is simply a more sophisticated Hyperdrive. I have no need for an IntelMac laptop to run Windows - I already have a PC laptop that does what I need. In the end it's each to his own!

Cheers,
Kumar
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« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2008, 03:55:57 AM »
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Agreed; I like Windows windows that can be expanded from the bottom or sides. It's such a minor but helpful thing; surely Apple will nick it sometime.
I doubt it, as that would be admitting they'd got it wrong all these years. Though if they could think of a way that involved core graphics or a fiddly gesture..... The same way they finally added alt click to the trackpad, or added right click to the mouse. But then hid the fact, so that most long term Apple users don't even realise these Windows features had been added.

Quote
As for working in the Finder, I seem to handle that alright, though I'm aware of many peoples' complaints about it. I routinely have two Finder windows open at the same time so I can drag things between them in column view (in lieu of a large screen, just scroll sideways).
A very clumsy and unnecessary workaround. Workarounds like that simply mean the programme is broken.

Quote
When in Windows' Explorer, I feel constricted and have a hard time getting around (plus the need to open one just to locate/access your drives and mounted volumes).[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Not quite sure what you mean by need to open one. ?
How do you find a tree directory hard to get around?
If you still use Windows, I cannot recomend this programme enough [a href=\"http://www.gpsoft.com.au/]D.Opus[/url] and an introduction to how powerful it is, can be found here Info
A very clever and powerful programme. Makes Finder seem even worse.
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« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2008, 04:05:52 AM »
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It's really what you're used to, that you normally call "intuitive". If I ever tried to use a PC, I'm sure there'd be lots of things, even simple things, that it would take me a while to learn, just the way you will need to learn how to do them in OSX.  [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172062\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Uninuitive Mac things - ejecting a CD by dragging to Trash. Eh? How unobvious is that. Invisble programmes -  you can see the desktop, but where's the damn window?
Uninuitive PC things - Hitting the Start button to stop it.

There are probably more for both, but cannot remember offhand
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« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2008, 08:46:21 AM »
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My pet hate with OSX is Finder. I absolutely loathe it. In Windows I use a programme called Directory Opus as my Windows Explorer replacement and it is so powerful, customisable and good at making life easy.

IF you want to be fair, and its OK to compare a Windows finder replacement, there are a number of Mac finder replacements too. You may want to look into Path Finder. Now we can get back to apples to apples (no pun intended) comparisons. Another product that's quite popular is DragThing.
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AJSJones
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« Reply #30 on: February 04, 2008, 10:07:59 AM »
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I'll try this out with Preview. But IMHO, there's nothing to beat IrfanView for speed and quality.
 
Like I said, no mouse on location.
Buying software for things Apple left out doesn't cut it for me.
In Windows, there's an option for when you click on the tab you're reading, it gets minimized, and stays that way until you click on it again. This is great for stuff like reading mail or watching an auction. It doesn't keep popping up as you cycle through the tabs. On the Mac, it's keyboard control click to get the context menu.
I guess you're right about "intuitive", but I thought it meant that most people would find it easy. Perhaps I'm in the minority  But right now my iBook is simply a more sophisticated Hyperdrive. I have no need for an IntelMac laptop to run Windows - I already have a PC laptop that does what I need. In the end it's each to his own!

Cheers,
Kumar
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172161\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
You are right, there are some useful programs out there that don't run on Macs - Preview is very good at what it was designed for - you need something else.
No mouse - seems like that's your choice/option, nothing to do with the computer!
You bought an older computer - the newer ones have what you're complaining is absent in the trackpad.
It is Opera that is the problem, not OSX - in Safari or Firefox you just click on tabs to access the window - no need to cycle anything
The iBook can do a lot more than you have learned but you are only using it as if it were just a Hyperdrive.  As I said, it would take me a long time to get to the same state of proficiency on a PC as I am on a Mac    It would take some effort on my part to learn, and a bit of shareware too, I suspect, if I bought an older PC laptop.
May still come down to your last comment : horses for courses
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« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2008, 11:30:54 AM »
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jjj, regarding the CD eject, you can:

1) Drag it to the Trash (this scares students when dealing with memory sticks!)

2) Right-click to invoke the contextual menu eject option (just like Windows)

3) Select the disc icon and use Command-E

4) Select the disc icon and use the File>Eject option

5) Push the keyboard Eject key

6) Hold the mouse button down during bootup

7) Use Roxio Toast's disc eject option

By "file tree" do you mean using the + signs in Windows to open-open-open-open-open nested folders until you arrive at the one you want? I prefer the OS-X column view where you can slide quickly from one level to the next, with no need to manually collapse everything when you're done.
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« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2008, 12:19:51 PM »
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jjj, regarding the CD eject, you can:

1) Drag it to the Trash (this scares students when dealing with memory sticks!)

2) Right-click to invoke the contextual menu eject option (just like Windows)

3) Select the disc icon and use Command-E

4) Select the disc icon and use the File>Eject option

5) Push the keyboard Eject key

6) Hold the mouse button down during bootup

7) Use Roxio Toast's disc eject option
Or far more intuitively [which was the point], simply push eject onCD/DVD player.  


Quote
By "file tree" do you mean using the + signs in Windows to open-open-open-open-open nested folders until you arrive at the one you want? I prefer the OS-X column view where you can slide quickly from one level to the next, with no need to manually collapse everything when you're done.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172249\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
No need to manually colapse folders as they can be spring loaded, so open when you want and close afterwards. And having them left open if you want means, you don't need a second window of Explorer open like you do with Finder at times.
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« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2008, 12:29:01 PM »
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IF you want to be fair, and its OK to compare a Windows finder replacement, there are a number of Mac finder replacements too. You may want to look into Path Finder. Now we can get back to apples to apples (no pun intended) comparisons. Another product that's quite popular is DragThing.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172203\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I've looked into Finder replacements and a common thing comes up, shame they aren't as good as Opus. The main problem is they try to be Mac like, which is the fundamental problem with Finder IMO.
I've heard good things about Drag Thing, though I seem to recall Leopard now did some of what DT does or there's an issue with Leopard. I forget now.
Though Finder is so much a major part of the OS it's still an Apple thing.

Cheers for the suggestions anyhow.  I was curious if anyone would mention that option. Once the builders have left and the house is usuable again, I shall be spending some worktime on computers rather than just using for email and the odd browsing inbetween site managing and Path finder is something on list of software to be trialed.
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« Reply #34 on: February 04, 2008, 12:48:29 PM »
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You are right, there are some useful programs out there that don't run on Macs - Preview is very good at what it was designed for - you need something else.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172219\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Preview is very annoying compared to the windows version as with windows viewer you can simply go to next picture in folder by cllicking buttons or using arrow keys. With Preview, you have to open each image individually. Very annoying and clunky to use if you want to scan through a folder of images.
Is there an easier way to look at all images in folders, that I've not yet found, not thumbies?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 12:55:34 PM by jjj » Logged

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« Reply #35 on: February 04, 2008, 02:42:51 PM »
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There are at least two cool things you can do to quickly view images in Leopard itself:

1) Select a folder and use the CoverFlow option, and flip through the contents like a diner juke box. The bigger you make the window, the bigger the image size is. Use the scroll wheel or arrow keys to browse.

2) Select all images in a folder, right-click and use the QuickLook option (you can choose full-size slide show or contact sheet formats).

Screenshots attached, in reverse order.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 02:45:32 PM by plugsnpixels » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2008, 03:20:05 PM »
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It is Opera that is the problem, not OSX - in Safari or Firefox you just click on tabs to access the window - no need to cycle anything
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172219\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What I mean is that in Windows, you can simply click on an open tab to minimize it, and it stays minimized until you click on it again. That's something I miss on the Mac.

Cheers,
Kumar
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« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2008, 03:27:55 PM »
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There are at least two cool things you can do to quickly view images in Leopard itself:


2) Select all images in a folder, right-click and use the QuickLook option (you can choose full-size slide show or contact sheet formats).


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172305\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Thanks - Kumar this works in OSX 10.4 too (also has a "fit to screen" or actual size option)
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« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2008, 06:31:51 PM »
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There are at least two cool things you can do to quickly view images in Leopard itself:

1) Select a folder and use the CoverFlow option, and flip through the contents like a diner juke box. The bigger you make the window, the bigger the image size is. Use the scroll wheel or arrow keys to browse.

2) Select all images in a folder, right-click and use the QuickLook option (you can choose full-size slide show or contact sheet formats).

Screenshots attached, in reverse order.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172305\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Duh, I'd forgotten about coverflow!  
I'm getting a new MacPro [with Leopard] in next week or so, hopefully after the 10.5.2 bug fix. The current Mac here is still OSX 10.4, so that's my excuse.
Didn't know about  tip 2 though. So ta for that. Still not as easy or as intuitive as Viewer on Windows!  
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« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2008, 01:08:58 AM »
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Don't forget Preview has Preference options for how large images display when first opened.

In Panther's Preview Preferences you can't get any more obscure with these instructions listed in the Image section...

Default image scale:

•Scale large images to fit display
•Actual size

•Respect image DPI for "Actual Size"...(Uh!? Is actual size considered large?)
•Scale down large images to fit printed page.

Large? How large?...Uh..I don't have a printer so what page size are you referring to?

The PDF section is just as clear.

I don't know how it is in Tiger or Leopard.

Why do I need to install more software to get the intuitive GUI experience I originally paid Apple to provide.
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