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21 gripes with Apple Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

Leopard's good, here's how to make it great

Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system upgrade is full of good stuff, but there's room for improvement. Lots and lots of it. We asked Harry McCracken - editor of PC Advisor's US sister title PC World, and an avowed Mac fan - to list his gripes, requests and puzzlements.

6. Once you've clicked through to the Help window, it's an oddball one with undersized minimise, maximise, and close buttons, and it stays on top of other windows. Presumably, that's supposed to make it easier to read while working in an application, but it's pretty ungainly in practice. If there's a way to turn off this force-to-top feature, I haven't found it.

7. QuickLook, the new feature that lets you get a preview of almost any document by pressing the spacebar is an unquestionable boon. And when it works perfectly, it's... well, delightful in a way that OS X often is and Windows Vista almost never is. But let it be known that for some documents - some of my Microsoft Office ones, for instance - QuickLook isn't so quick, and doesn't render the document perfectly. Even then, it's pretty darn handy.

8. Fooling around with QuickLook, I discovered that if you leave a QuickLook preview open and then click on another item in a folder, or move to it with the cursor keys, the open QuickLook window updates to display the new item. That would be a speedy way to preview multiple documents, but the QuickLook window doesn't adjust size to fit the item you moved to - it just cuts the image off at the edges if it doesn't fit. This feature would be a heckuva lot more useful if the window resized itself intelligently as you browse through items.

9. Stacks is (are?) just okay. I love the idea of being able to drag folders onto the Dock, where I can click into their contents quickly - actually, I'm startled that it's taken Apple this long to make this happen, since the Dock has never been a good tool for managing more than a small number of items.

But I found the process of getting folders into the Dock so counterintuitive that I ran down the hall to seek tech support from my colleague Macworld editorial director Jason Snell.

You've got to place them over on the righthand side of the Dock. Stacks are, in part, a way to place more applications on the Dock without making it burst at the seams, so I wish I could place a Stack anywhere on the Dock.

10. When you're dragging a folder into the Dock to turn it into a Stack, you need to shove it practically past the edge of the screen before the Dock notices it's there. At first, I didn't push forcefully enough, and couldn't figure out what was wrong.


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