Remember that classic scene from the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in which Scotty picks up the mouse on a Macintosh and tries to talk directly to the computer? Since the very early days of the Mac OS, Apple has included some form of speech recognition in its computers. Snow Leopard continues to […]

Your Mac Talks Back!

Mac OS X is great at listening to your speech, but the fun doesn’t stop there . . . your MacBook can talk to you, too! By using one of the many available voices — including the default Snow Leopard voice, Alex — you can make your computer talk or even sing. (Not as well […]

Writing and Conversing with Your MacBook

Topic 3: In This Topic Using handwriting recognition to control Mac OS X Speaking to your MacBook Having your laptop speak back Using VoiceOver to provide feedback in Snow Leopard If you’re a hunt-and-peck typist — leaving you certain that there must be some better way to get information into your computer — you’ll be […]

Using Ink with a Tablet (MacBook)

Typing on a keyboard can be a tedious and error-prone experience for even the best typists. To help out, Apple added some useful handwriting features to Mac OS X. Based in part on some of Apple’s handheld software for the Newton (one of the first personal digital assistants [PDAs] and a product released before its […]

I Summon Automator — the Silicon Programmer! (MacBook)

Okay, perhaps I’ve watched too much “Iron Chef” over the years. Anyway, Snow Leopard features Automator (as shown in Figure 2-6) — he’s your own personal robotic AppleScript assistant. In fact, Automator can help you create custom applications that can handle your repetitive tasks. Again, you’re creating workflows here, which are sequential (and repeatable) operations […]

Help Is at Your Fingertips (MacBook)

If you want to explore AppleScript further, you have many resources on hand. Sometimes the easiest way to use AppleScript is to copy existing scripts and modify them as necessary; other times, it’s a good idea to read the documentation included in Apple’s Help system. Whichever approach you use, with a little practice and guidance, […]

One Step Beyond: AppleScript Programming (MacBook)

Creating AppleScripts can soon become very involved, bordering on programming. Don’t let that term programming scare you away, though. You needn’t be a software developer to take advantage of AppleScripts. Apple provides a lot of help to get you started along the AppleScript trail. Grab the Dictionary Perhaps the greatest resource for AppleScript novices and […]

Running a Script (MacBook)

The easiest way to get started with AppleScript is to use some scripts that others have written already. Scripts are small files that contain a list of commands; this list of commands tells your Mac what function to perform and when to perform it. Fortunately, Apple is kind enough to provide you with several completed […]

Writing Your Own Simple Scripts (MacBook)

Using someone else’s scripts is fun and all, but the real joy of AppleScript comes when you create your own. Not only can you customize a script to your own needs and desires, but saving all those keystrokes can really produce a feeling of euphoria. (Okay, perhaps just Snow Leopard power users will actually experience […]

What's So Great about AppleScript? (MacBook)

If one word could describe what AppleScript is all about, it’d be automation. AppleScript is a technology for automating practically any action that you perform with your MacBook, including both common tasks in the Finder and those that you perform in other applications. Automate common tasks in the Finder If you’ve ever found yourself repeating […]