Leopard Compatibility Notes

Leopard is finally in the hands of thousands of Mac owners who are now getting their “new Mac” set up the way they prefer. While some found frustration with the Upgrade install, I backed up my important stuff and performed a full Erase and Install, resulting in a fresh system with no lingering apps or tweaks from the previous system. So far, my experience with Leopard has been a great one, with only a few software updates required to make things run like new. Here’s a run-down of some of the notes I made while getting software working:

  • Backup
    Apple’s .Mac-bundled “Backup” application received a small update bringing it up to Leopard standards, meaning many users can now successfully retrieve backups created before installing the system. Since I erased my previous OS install, being able to bring forth my backups stored on my networked G4 fileserver was one of the first things I needed to accomplish — something I’ll hopefully only need to do once with the advent of Time Machine. (Thanks for the tip, Jaron!)
  • Adobe CS3 Compatibility
    I had read a number of reports concerning CS3 compatibility with Leopard, and was wary of even installing them again, but I was glad to find that Adobe CS3 seems to work just fine in Leopard. I’ve run Photoshop, Illustrator, and Bridge for a few hours now without issue!
  • VMware Fusion
    I’m a big fan of using VMware on Windows to try out software before actually installing it on the host PC, and couldn’t be happier with the implementation on the Mac side of things, as well. VMware Fusion for Mac just hit 1.1 RC, and is nearing the final 1.1 release. The update brings, among other things, Leopard compatibility which works great.
  • Transmit & Unison
    My two must-have utilities from Panic, Transmit and Unison, are now Leopard ready and run with nary a hitch. Way to go, guys!
  • Font icons
    Images, PDFs, and Keynote presentations aren’t the only icons branded with the actual content they contain. Font files’ icons are updated to show the actual typeface on right on the icon. How cool is that?

I’m sure there’s a mountain of other cool things in Leopard just waiting to be discovered, and software developers will be publishing Leopard compatibility updates for the next few weeks at least. Keep an eye on MacOSXHints.com, one of the best places to check for the latest Leopard tweaks and tips!

Leopard Compatibility Notes

10 Photoshop Selection Tips

Select a Layer Outline

Command-Click a layer thumbnail in the Layers palette to load a selection of its outline, including any anti-aliased (non-jaggy) edges. If your layer has an inherent opacity set (for example, if you opened a partially transparent PNG image), the opacity difference is included in the selection. Normal opacities set in the Layers palette, however, do not affect the selection.

Use Multiple Selections

Once a selection is made, there are a number of operations you can perform to modify your selection. Holding Shift and making an additional selection will add to your current selection, and Option will remove from it. Holding both Shift and Option will do something unique: wherever your two selections intersect will become the new selection.

Combine Layer Outlines

Using the first Command-click thumbnail hint with Shift, Option, or Shift+Option modifier keys, you can add, remove, or intersect selections using outlines of other layers. Your cursor will show +, -, or x to indicate which type of operation will be performed, respectively.

Move Selection While Dragging

While in the middle of dragging a selection, you can hold down the spacebar to move around the origin of the selection. This is extremely useful if you find that your selection is a bit off — Instead of re-making a new selection from scratch, you can make adjustments “on the fly.” When the spacebar is released, the selection seamlessly drops back into the default “grow” mode, using the new origin as the starting point.

Start at the Center

Hold down Option after starting a selection to expand from the middle, causing the outline to grow symmetrically in each cardinal direction. Add the Shift key into the mix Shift to maintain a square shaped ratio.

Fixed Ratios and Sizes

Using the selection tool options, you can set a fixed ratio or specific size, both of which are great for slicing out content with a pre-determined size, like that of a computer wallpaper. Using the ratio, you can select a portion of an image that would fit on your desktop. Once you have the portion selected, you can scale it down to the native resolution of your display, being sure that it will scale proportionally to the correct size.

Quick Mask Mode

By flipping into Quick Mask Mode, you can use paintbrush tools to “paint” the beginnings of a selection. When you leave Quick Mask Mode, the painted area becomes a selection which you can use right away or modify further.


Use the Select->Transform Selection command to distort the current selection. Note that this applies to just the selection outline, not the content within it. (To change the content, do Edit->Transform->pick a type).

Selection Paste Target

By making a selection and then pasting content into it, you can target exactly where the pasted content will land. Without a selection, pasted content simply gets dumped in the middle of the document.

Save Selections with the PSD File

Once you have your beautiful selection made and ready to use, you might consider saving for future use if it was particularly complicated to make, or if it’s a handy, reusable shape. Photoshop provides two simple commands for saving and loading selections. Choose Select->Save Selection to commit your selection to a given name. Retrieving it is as simple as picking the Select->Load Selection command, and choosing the name you saved the selection under earlier. Best of all, these named selections are included in the file, meaning you can save and re-open the document, and reload selections at a later date.

10 Photoshop Selection Tips