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I want to be able to lock the screen quickly, and and the hot-corner thing is slow and tricky.

Any ideas?

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Using Keychain Access's Lock Screen menubar isn't fast enough for you?

Activate it here:

keychain preference

Then lock.

keychain menubar

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How do you get to that first Preferences window? – Eric Wilson Oct 23 '09 at 16:01
    
I originally shy'ed away from this, since I wanted a keyboard-only approach, in the hopes that it would be faster than a mouse approach, but given the delay in my automator script actually running, this is a viable alternative. – pkaeding Oct 23 '09 at 20:26
    
Oh, and the first preferences window is in KeychainAccess.app's Preferences. – pkaeding Oct 23 '09 at 20:28

What version of OS X are you using? In 10.5, I used LockTight, but it didn't work very well for me in 10.6, so now I am using an automator script.

The automator script works, but there is a delay between when I hit the key-combination, and when it locks up, especially if the currently activated application is busy (and I usually like to start some big task, like a build, right before I walk aay from my desk).

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Control-shift-eject (or control-shift-power) puts displays to sleep and option-command-eject (or option-command-power) puts a Mac to sleep. Both lock the Mac if this option is selected:

Another way to lock a Mac is to log out to the fast user switching screen. You can assign a keyboard shortcut for it with Alfred:

Or just assign a shortcut to /System/Library/CoreServices/Menu\ Extras/User.menu/Contents/Resources/CGSession -suspend.

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Thanks. It has been 3.5 years since I've used a Mac, so I won't be able to test this, but it looks useful. – Eric Wilson Jan 27 '14 at 23:00

Both shift-control-eject and option-command-eject (or power if you don't have an eject key) will sleep the display. You can require a password to wake from sleep in the Security & Privacy system preferences.

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