I had no idea that you can make your dock icons transparent when you hide an app. In fact, I didn’t even know you can ‘hide’ apps….I always just either used ‘alt+tab’ to switch between apps, or minimized them. So I learned something!
To make your hidden app icons turn translucent in the Dock, all it takes is a simple Terminal command:
defaults write com.apple.Dock showhidden -bool YES
Then, you need to restart the Dock, which you can do using
To reverse this setting, simple run “No” instead of yes
defaults write com.apple.Dock showhidden -bool NO
Oh, and also the keyboard shortcut for hiding an app is “cmd+H”
A nifty edition to the git command line is autocomplete. First, get the git completion script:
curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/git/git/master/contrib/completion/git-completion.bash -o ~/.git-completion.bash
Then edit your
~/.bash_profile file to add the following code:
if [ -f ~/.git-completion.bash ]; then
(go here for help on editing your .bash_profile)
That’s it. Now you can type
git and press Tab twice to get an autocomplete list of commands.
Did you know you can open applications directly from the command line in Terminal? The command is
To open a url in the browser from the command line, use
You don’t need quotes around the url. This will use the default browser on your machine.
will open the Applications folder in Finder.
To open a specific application, use the path to that application followed by the
(Airdroid is a great application for transmitting files from your computer to phone wirelessly.)
If you want to open Sublime Text from the terminal, you can use the command
Will open the current directory in Sublime Text.
If you’re writing a ruby script, use these commands instead:
system("open", "/Applications/Adobe\ Illustrator\ CS6/Adobe\ Illustrator.app")
I accidentally found a really cool Terminal keyboard shortcut yesterday. You may already know that Terminal will autocomplete a file name or method name if you press tab after typing a portion of the word. For example:
You can see I typed
ls to list the files and folders in the current location. Then I started typing
cd Fi to change the directory to “FiveMinuteChinese”. As a shortcut I can now press the
Tab key, and Terminal will autocomplete the folder name:
Now what I just learned was that if you press the
Tab key twice, Terminal will show you a list of possible options. See the screenshot below:
Here I typed
cd C, then pressed
Tab twice, and Terminal gave me a list of all files or folders that start with the letter “C”. Pretty cool huh? If you’re using
irb or another console type environment, you can use this same shortcut to give you a list of possible methods or autocomplete method names.
Hope this is useful!
I love learning new keyboard shortcuts. Here’s a nifty one for switching tabs in Terminal.
Press Command-Shift-Left or -Right arrows to cycle through your open Terminal tabs.
Give a shoutout if you find it useful!
I love using the command line like a ninja, but its also really annoying when you don’t know the exact right command or option. I was trying to delete a directory the other day, and kept getting the annoying error “Directory not empty”
So here is how to fix it. I found the answer here, as I will outline below.
Use the ‘-R’ option with the ‘rm’ command to delete an empty directory. If the directory has relatively few files, I recommend using the ‘-i’ flag, as that will ask you to confirm each file to delete. See the screenshots below for an example:
Hope you found this useful!
I found this great blog post by Hawk iMedia that details a very simple utility to compress or compact your time machine backups. If you’re like me, Time Machine is way overkill. I just want one viable backup that is fairly recent. Not daily/hourly backups until my entire 3TB backup hard drive is full, as Time Machine will do by default. So I roll with automatic backups turned off, and just manually backup occasionally.
Anyway, the Time Machine backup file (.sparsebundle) was taking up 1TB on my Time Capsule drive, even though my Macbook Pro only has a 500GB SSD hard drive. So based on the aforementioned blog post, here is how to reduce the size of your Time Machine backup by compacting or compressing the .sparsebundle file.
Its basically just calling a “hdiutil compact” command on the sparsebundle file.
First, open Finder (or my favorite replacement, TotalFinder) and navigate to the folder where you’re sparsebundle file is located. Or in Terminal you can use the “ls” and “cd” commands to navigate through the folder structure. The “cd ..” command moves up one folder. Here is what my Terminal commands look like:
If like me one of the directories or folders has spaces or special characters in the name, this nifty trick will help you navigate to that folder. Now you also need to be root to run the “hdiutil compact” command, so sudo into root. You will need to enter your admin password. You should be aware that if you run the wrong commands in root, it is possible to mess up your system. However, just type in the commands directly and you’ll be fine.
And, you’re done! So easy! Now, I know that it shows “0 bytes reclaimed” on my system. But after I ran this command on both mine and my wife’s sparsebundle backup files and got that message, I checked my Time Capsule and found that it was reclaimed 800GB of free space!! So it definitely works. Try it out!
I’ve been trying to reduce the size of the Time Machine backup on my Time Capsule with a nifty trick that I’ll share in the next post. In the process I learned something very useful in dealing with Terminal commands, in particular with directories.
The name of the directory I was trying to ‘cd’ into had spaces as seen below. I used the “ls” command to show a list of drives in /Volumes.
If I simply type “cd /Andrew Cockerham’s Time Cap” it will give an error “no such file or directory”. So to get into that directory, the easiest way is to wrap it in quotes:
You can ignore the fact that I’m in ‘root’ to do this method, you do not need to be in root for it to work.
The second way to do it is using backwards slashes, ‘\’, before each space in the directory name:
Note also that back slashes must be in front of the special characters, in this case the apostrophe.
Now this leads me to the next trick. Typing out this long directory name with all the back slashes can be tedious, so a great shortcut is to simple start typing the first few letters of the directory, and then pressing the “Tab” key, and it will autocomplete the directory name for you, automatically adding the back slashes where need.
I love neat little keyboard shortcuts, especially in Terminal.
Hope you found it useful!