Posts tagged os x tips

Enabling click-to-dial on Snow Leopard


As a follow up on my Dialectic article, I thought it may be necessary to post some information on how to enable click-to-dial in Snow Leopard.

The problem is that Mac OS X 10.6 no longer supports contextual menu plug-ins, so any plug-ins that you had will stop working after you upgrade to Snow Leopard.

Replacing this functionality is a much improved Services support and this can be used to dial selected phone numbers from most applications.

After installing Dialectic you can do the following to enable it:

  1. From the System Preferences application, select the Keyboard preference pane.
  2. In the Keyboard preference pane, select the “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab and scroll down to the “Services” item from the list box on the left side of the window.
  3. After selecting “Services”, scroll down to the “Text” Services group on the right and enable the “Dial Selection” Services item (see the screenshot below).
  4. Dial-Selection.png

    Works like a charm.

Tweak Quick Look to See What Files Are Inside a Folder


At first I thought this might be very gimmicky, like many of the OS X window manager tweaks that are out there in the wild. This one I however found very useful. I’ll state up front that if you don’t often use quicklook, then feel free to ignore the rest of this article.

So what does X-ray mode do for Quick Look?

Instead of just seeing the regular folder icon in Quick Look, the folder icon will be semi-transparent, with previews of the folder’s contents visible in the Quick Look window. What’s more, the preview images will rotate automatically, moving through each item in the folder.

Desktop Bin.png

You can enable X-ray mode for Quick Look in a couple of ways, but the quickest and simplest way to do it is to simply turn on X-ray mode with a simple Terminal hack.

Fire up Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/ and paste the following:

defaults write QLEnableXRayFolders 1

Hit Return, then Alt+right-click on the Finder icon in your Dock and click on Relaunch. X-ray mode should now be enabled. Hit the spacebar when you’ve selected any folder in Finder to test it.

Click-to-dial from the Apple address book


I’ve been using an IP softphone on my Mac for some time, but there has been no integration between the softphone and the Apple address book. It wasn’t the biggest issue for me, but I became really tired of copying the numbers I looked up and pasting them into the softphone to be able to dial.

After trolling the interweb yesterday and finding a few address book plug-in scripts (that no longer work with Snow Leopard), I came across Dialectic from JN Software.


It works with pretty much every softphone and web-based VoIP service I’ve come across. You can customize dialing rules based on the type of call (local, long distance, international etc etc) as well as your location.

There is actually a lot more power under the hood when you consider that it can hook into Apple Scripts as well.

While I was playing with the preferences, one setup that I thought would be particularly useful was to have all my in country calls route via my softphone and all my international calls route out via Skype, which is easily done with Dialectic. Nice work.

It looks slick and will only cost you $25 if you decide to keep using it after your trial period expires.

Get it.

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