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Macs, Movies, Games, Books, etc. The Rants of a Mad Man.

OS X Lion arrived; here’s how to fix it

July 21st, 2011 by Raj

Love it or hate it OS X Lion (10.7) arrived today and it doesn’t take long for you to notice (and loathe) many of the more subtle changes Apple have made in their infinite user interface (UI) wisdom. Fortunately a lot of the changes, which I personally find not to my taste, are quite easily fixed.

The issues & fixes:

“Natural scrolling” and how to disable it
Mimicking Apple’s iOS devices Lion implements a “natural” scroll direction, you would have noticed it as soon as you tried to read or do pretty much anything on your now Lion based machine. What it means is that when you scroll your mouse down the page moves up, which goes against any conventional mouse usage since its inception. In the words of Leo Laporte: “So. You spend 27 years teaching people how to scroll. Then you turn it upside down just for fun. I think Steve is laughing at us.”

How to fix it:
Jump in to System Preferences and select “Mouse”
On the first tab (“Point & Click”) the first option is “Scroll direction: natural”. Simply un-tick this.

Large font/icons in the Finder sidebar & Mail folder list
This one jumps out at you pretty quickly, everything, everywhere just looks BIGGER!

How to fix it:
Jump in to the “General” System Preference and look for the item “Sidebar icon size” seen below

Finder status bar missing
Are your Finder windows looking particularly thin? Missing some information about how many files/folders you have in the place you’re looking or perhaps a total file size for that folder? Well that’s because Apple have turned off the status bar leaving your Finder windows borderless on the bottom.

How to fix it:
Really simple this one. You can press Command + / on your keyboard or jump up to “View” > “Show Status Bar”

Startup disk missing from Finder sidebar
First of all the “Devices” section has been moved to the bottom of the sidebar, sorry no way to fix that one, but more concerning is that your startup disk has been removed from the list meaning the Finder is really only giving you quick links to your home folder. Sure there’s an icon on the desktop for your hard drive but that’s pretty lame if I have to go there to access it every time!

How to fix it:
Jump in to Finder’s preferences (either through the menu Finder > Preferences or by pressing Command + ,) and click on the “Sidebar” icon in the toolbar. Here you’ll see a list of items you can turn on & off in your toolbar. Down the bottom you can enable “Hard disks” if it is missing. If you have a “-” in the box next to it that means that it’s only displaying some of your hard disks in the sidebar, keep clicking it until it changes to a tick to get them all.

Library folder in home folder missing
The Library folder holds some very important information on how your applications will run and their settings. It’s also a commonly used folder by people who know what they’re doing to free up hard drive space, clean out old preference files for long deleted apps, fonts and much, much more. Apple have hidden the Library folder that’s in your home folder as (at a guess) a way of stopping people screwing up their application and OS installs. A fair move but for many they’ll want it back!

How to fix it:
This one’s a really simple one but it’s going to involve a little Terminal action. Pop open Terminal (Applications > Utilities) and paste in the following line:
chflags nohidden ~/Library/

Auto correct while typing
Further blurring the lines between desktop and mobile (iOS) experiences Lion introduces the popup predictive text box you’ve become acustom to writing all those text messages. Annoyingly it also enables the “auto correct” feature meaning that even if you type a word that you know is the one you want Lion goes ahead and places what it thinks in. As a programmer you most definitely do NOT want this function on I assure you.

How to fix it:
Another one squirrelled away in System Preferences. Open the “Language & Text” System Preference pane and select the “Text” tab.
Deselect the “Correct spelling automatically” option and I’ve found I needed to restart all the apps I had open or reboot to be sure.

Filed under Mac, Tech having 11 Comments »

11 Responses

  1. Mark Says:

    Nice work. Can you make Spaces come back now please??

  2. Brent Says:

    Thanks for these tips. It was driving me insane that I couldn’t find my Home Library folder.

  3. Chris Says:

    Many Thanks for these tips.

    I really, really miss the oval glassy aqua buttons. Any way of restoring them? I am not keen on the new ‘squared’ ones.


  4. amin Says:

    Raj…i have a question regarding the new LION OS… do you know how to “go back on a webpage” using mighty mouse, 2 finger swipe the way you did on Snow Leopard ? i loved using that feature & now it takes me straight to Dashboard…drives me nuts !
    i love your blog btw…good stuff m8 !

  5. Raj Says:

    @amin yeah it’s annoying but the way to do it now is just using the one finger and swipping all the way to the left to go back and all the way to the right to go forward.

    Unfortunately there’s no way to change it back to the old way that I’ve found :(

  6. Lindsay Says:

    @Mark – it’s still there, just called “hot corners” now.

  7. Ben Says:

    @amin and @Raj,

    I used to use three-finger swipe sideways to go forward and back in a web page or in a folder window etc,
    to get this back on Lion you go to Settings>Trackpad and under ‘more gestures’ you change the ‘swipe between pages’ option FROM ‘scroll left or right with two or three fingers’ TO either ‘swipe left or right with three fingers’ or ‘swipe with two or three fingers’

    either way it works for me, hope this helps!

  8. rimski Says:


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