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Making Lion Work Right For Me
July 30th, 2011

I did a clean install of Lion and in general, I’ve found that its defaults work great. Saying that, here are the settings that I needed to tweak before it worked right for me. Some are just personal taste but I think that all are justifiable.

Forget windows when quitting

The new “feature” of restoring previously open windows doesn’t sit well with me at all. Some people obvious like it, but me, I often quit an app because I want it to forget my open windows. Clean slate and all that. And when I restart the Mac, I especially want the clutter gone.

From System Preferences > General > Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps:

Don't Restore Windows

Disable moving left and right between spaces

Nothing against spaces but the shortcuts used for moving between spaces is also used in Xcode for moving the cursor backward and forwards between “subwords” and I’m not about to change the Xcode shortcut.

From System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Mission Control:

Disable Moving Between Spaces

Include related messages in Mail.app

When viewing an email, Mail.app now includes the ability to also display related emails. If you know how the Gmail web app works then you know what I mean. It’s a great feature and the one I was most looking forward to in Lion. It is also curiously disabled by default. So turn it on. Seriously.

From Mail.app > Preferences > Viewing:

Include related messages

Fix the keyboard repeat and delay until repeat

If you use Terminal.app, first thing you’ll notice on Lion (and, I think, any version of OS X) is that the keyboard repeat rate and delay until repeat are unusably slow.

From System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard:

Keyboard repeat rate

Un-hide the Library folder

I mean, come on; I tried, I really tried to avoid going into the Library folder but in the end, it was unavoidable. Yes, it’d be really great if we never needed to know the Library folder existed but since this isn’t yet the case, here’s how to un-hide it.

From the terminal:

chflags nohidden ~/Library/