How to Make Your OS X Lion Purr Like a Snow Leopard

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Make “stuck” keys repeatable again. Hold down a key in Lion and what do you see? Yep, nothing (well, except for the ‘delete’ key, which seems to be exempt). Want keys to repeat as they did under Snow Leopard, so you can crank out words like yeeeeeoooooouuuuuch and the occasional run-on ellipsis with ease? You’ll have to bring up Terminal (in the Applications – Utilities folder), quit out of apps, then type (or paste) the following command, though—warning—how to turn it back on is unclear (hat tip: @mikeindustries and MacRumors).

defaults write -g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false

Deactivate new window zooming. Open a new window under Lion and it zooms out at you, doubtless consuming unnecessary CPU cycles. If you’d rather windows simply “pop” open, as in Snow Leopard, you can make it so by bringing up Terminal, then typing (or pasting) the following command (hat tip: @tomasf and MacRumors).

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool NO

(MORE: The Ups and Downs of Mac OS X Lion)

Switch Apple Mail back to its original top-bottom layout. In Lion, Apple Mail defaults to a two column-view: message previews on the left, full content on the right. To set things back as they were in Snow Leopard, first click the “show” button in Apple Mail’s upper-left menubar (to reenable folder views), then bring up Preferences, selecting the ‘Viewing’ tab, and checking ‘Use classic layout’.

Disable animations in Apple Mail. Lion loves animations, including various new bits and bobs in Apple Mail. If you don’t, you can disable these by bringing up Terminal and typing (or pasting) the following command (hat tip: @mikeindustries).

defaults write DisableReplyAnimations -bool YES

Stop unclosed app windows from reappearing each time you launch an app. In prior versions of OS X, closing an app meant closing an app. Under Lion, any app windows you didn’t close individually stick around when you close the app, magically reappearing when you relaunch it. The idea’s either to preserve your workspace, safeguard whatever you’re working on, or both. If you’d rather do things the old way, where terminating the app kills everything, you can do so by bring up System Preferences, tapping ‘General’, and deselecting ‘Restore windows when quitting and opening apps’ near the bottom. If, alternatively, you’d prefer to do this on an app by app basis, simply hold the option key down when selecting the app’s ‘quit’ option from Finder, and it’ll change to ‘quit and discard windows’.

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