Feb 9, 2010 David Lang

Classic Mac Goodness Worth Remembering

In general, I think OS X is a huge improvement over the classic Mac OS. That said, every long-time Mac user knows that not everything in OS X has been an improvement. For example, OS X has some incredibly cool typographic capabilities, yet it still cannot italicize text in a font which does not have an italic version. The classic Mac OS would use the italic version of a font if it existed, but if there was no italic version, it would simply use an algorithm to slant the text. You can see this if you open an Accordance text or tool with italic text and change the font to something like Lucida Grande. The italics will seem to disappear, because Lucida Grande does not have an italic version of the font. I have no idea why Apple doesn't just slant the text algorithmically, but they basically just pass the onus for italics back onto the font designers.

Here's another bit of classic Mac coolness which seems to have been lost with OS X: the Tile Windows command. Why do so few programs have a Tile Windows command? In case you're unfamiliar with this little bit of windowing magic, selecting Tile Windows will automatically arrange multiple windows so that they appear neatly side-by-side on the screen. I don't know if developers have just gotten lazy or if they just think users will rely on Exposé and Spaces to manage multiple windows, but it's an incredibly helpful way to avoid resizing and moving windows around on your screen. Even Apple seems to have left this useful feature behind. Thankfully, Accordance has not.

In yesterday's post, I showed you how to detach a tab from a workspace (though I forgot to mention the keyboard shortcut command-option-T). Try detaching a tab or two and you'll see that the new windows appear "stacked" on top of your workspace. That is, they cover the workspace and are staggered slightly so that you can click each window's title bar to bring it to the front. If you want to see all of these windows at once, you could move and resize each one manually, or you could choose Tile Windows from the Arrange submenu of the Window menu (or use the keyboard shortcut command-I). Doing the latter will automatically arrange the windows to make the best use of available space.

If you've cut your teeth on Mac OS X and have never used the Tile Windows command, you owe it to yourself to become familiar with this bit of classic Mac goodness. Accordance has it. Most other programs don't.

Bookmark and Share

Archived Comments

R. Mansfield

February 09, 2010 2:59 PM

There are so many times I try to tile windows and most programs do not have the ability. Very thankful that Accordance does.

R. Mansfield

February 11, 2010 10:08 AM

By the way, MS Word for the Mac will still italicize any font, including Lucida Grande. 

See an example here: