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Yesterday we had the great pleasure of getting an in-depth Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Demo from Sr. Apple System Engineer Dave Marra. Once again, Dave provided a wealth of fantastic hidden Lion tips and tricks. They were coming a mile a minute. Although I have had Lion installed on my MacBook Air since day one, I haven’t had time to dig deep into what’s really there in this new OS. With that in mind here are 10 things I took away from Dave’s presentation that I had no idea were there:


1. Quick Look in Spotlight Search Results

When you hover over an item in your Spotlight results, Lion will give you a Quick Look of that item.


2. Hold down the Option-Key when Quitting

This is one that I was glad to find out. By default when you quit an App in Lion and then later relaunch it, it relaunches with all the documents that you had open the last time. While that my be a productivity boost for some it actually drives me nuts because I’m usually done with the document I last worked on and don’t need it to open again. If you like it, but sometimes don’t want it just hold down the Option Key when you quit and those open documents will not reopen the next time you launch the App. Great! Side tip: you can turn off the default for this in the General System Prefs.


3. Browse History in Safari by swiping

In Safari we all know about the back button to go back to a previous page you were looking at. In Lion you can also do this with a Two finger swipe. Slick! Yes it works going forward too.


4. New Folder with Selection

I’m often grabbing a bunch of files in the folder and wanting to put them in a new folder. With Lion you can do it all in one step. Select two or more files, right click and choose New Folder with Selection.


5. AirDrop works anywhere

I just assumed that AirDrop only worked if the two Macs were on the same network. Apparently AirDrop will still work even if there is no WiFi/Network available. It will create a temporary ad-hoc network and connect the two Macs automatically to transfer the files. Cool!


6. QuickTime Player in Lion lets you combine movies

QuickTime Pro has always offered basic editing features. Many of those features went away in QuickTime X. In Lion’s QuickTime Player you can now combine two or movies into one by simply opening the first movie and dragging additional movies into the window.


7. Drag links to Add them to Your Reading List

Safari has a reading list feature in Safari to keep links handy that you want to go back and check out later. You can add to this list by opening the panel and clicking the Add button or an easier way is to just drag links from the page directly to the Reading List icon on the toolbar.


8. Double Tap with 3 Fingers in Safari on a Word to Look it Up

In Safari you can bring up an interactive dictionary, thesaurus, Wikipedia and Apple Dictionary by double tapping the word with 3 fingers.


9. Merge Folders in the Finder

If you drag a folder to a location and there is an existing folder with the same exact name, but different contents you can have Lion automatically merge all the contents of both folders into the destination folder. In order to get this dialog box to show I had to hold down the Option Key, but Dave didn’t. Not sure why?


10. Preview can open and print native Powerpoint, Office & iWork documents

Mac OS and iOS have been able to Quick Look various file types even if you didn’t have the applications installed. Now it appears that Preview in Lion can go a few steps further in working with files for Apps you don’t have. For example, you can open a PowerPoint file in Preview, navigate the slides, search the text and print it all without having PowerPoint (or Keynote) installed on your Mac.


Thanks Dave for a GREAT Lion Preso!

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5 Responses to 10 Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Tips

  1. I thought I was the only one who is leery about Lion. I find it full of gingerbread and window dressing and the result for me is just visually too noisy. There is not one new thing that will enhance my work flow. Snow Leopard is perfect. The old story….if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

  2. Chita says:

    Thanks for this summary.

    Addition to TIp #7:
    Shift-Click the link and it will automatically add it to the Reading LIst.

  3. Many of his tips had trackpad gestures. Is it possible to have both a wired mouse & trackpad attached to a desktop machine (Mini in my case) if you have enough USB ports?

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