Five Tip Friday x a few ~ for Mac and iOS


Why not build your own custom on-screen buttons for iPhone and iPad?
Why not build your own custom on-screen buttons for iPhone and iPad? There are 13 more actions available when you tap that Plus button.

Right-oh, I’m off overseas from next week for on month, going on an adventure (a battlefield tour and some historical research), so not only will there be very few Mac NZ posts after Tuesday, there will be no tips on Fridays until the week of April 5th and not even a MagBytes magazine. Sorry! So here are a few extra tips to help you cope, and the April MagBytes will be bigger than usual.
First, some Mac tips.

1/ Copy and paste addresses in a single step in El Capitan’s Contacts — If you have a full address copied, you can now paste it all in, in one step, instead of street into the street field, suburb to line 2 etc. Insert the cursor on the Street Address field and paste: everything now goes where it should go in one fell swoop.
As noted above, when Apple added data detectors in Mail – and to a much lesser extent Safari – I didn’t have to do the copy/paste dance as often, but every once in a while, you’d still get an address you needed to add to Contacts by copy/paste.

2/ Smart Folders in the Finder’s sidebar — We used to have ‘today, yesterday, last week…’ on the Finder sidebar. These pre-fab options disappeared a couple of releases ago but you can recreate the feature. In the Finder, choose File>New Smart Folder.
In the upper-right corner, click the + sign. A row of choices appears. Select Created Date from the first menu, then Yesterday from the menu following the word “is.”
Click Save, name it “Yesterday” and leave the Add To Sidebar box checked.
Click Save.
Now that set of matches appears as a smart folder you can click in the sidebar. In this case, I chose Created Date, since that’s the most likely criterion you want to find files from yesterday.
If you want to use a different way of determining that something happened to a file or other item, from the first field, select Other, then choose Date Added, Date Last Viewed, Last Modified Date, or other criteria. It can be instructive to try different date selectors to see which one fits best.
You can always add additional criteria to that smart folder, if you want to exclude email messages or other items from your yesterdays. (From Macworld.]

3/ Cleaning up your Finder’s Sidebar — If you never use AirDrop, All My Files, or iCloud Drive, you shouldn’t need to see them whenever you open a Finder window. You can drag some individual items out of the list to remove their shortcuts.
Secondly, hovering over any of the subsections (like Favorites, Devices, or Shared) will let you hide the items within it without removing anything.
Finally, you could also go to Finder>Preferences>Sidebar and uncheck anything you don’t want showing up.This way you can always turn them back on.
Additionally, you can hide the sidebar completely under the View menu if you wanna. This is kind of the ultimate cleanup, isn’t it?

4/ Change your Mac’s default Web browse — If you’d like to change your Mac’s default browser, open System Preferences (look in the Apple menu if you don’t know where to find it), then click General. Next, find the pop-up menu labelled “Default web browser:” Click it, then choose whichever browser you’d like to use as your default.
But be aware that the Default web browser menu lists any app on your computer that can open Web pages, even if they aren’t necessarily a Web browser, per se.

5/ Change your Mac’s default email app — To change your email client, you still need to do so through Apple’s Mail app. Open Mail, then choose Preferences… from the Mail menu. Click General, then select a new email app from the Default email reader pop-up menu.

6/ Remove app purchases from iTunes — Apps associated with an iTunes account should only appear there if they were obtained for free or purchased. But it’s possible that you or someone in your family selected apps by unintentionally clicking, or the apps are from so far in the past, you forgot you ever bought them. Or maybe they’re so old you just wouldn’t use them any more anyway.
In iTunes for OS X, choose Store View Account, enter your account password, and then scroll down to select See All under Purchase History. (These receipts don’t show the device they were bought on, though. For that purpose you have to consult your original emailed receipt.)
To remove, you can hide them from appearing. Here’s how in iTunes for OS X:
In the upper bar near the right, click your name and select Purchased.
Enter your account password if prompted.
Click Apps at the upper right and then, in the middle, click All (as opposed to On This Machine).
Hover over any app, and an X will appear in its upper-left corner.
Click the X, and you’ll be prompted to hide the purchase.
Repeat 4 and 5 as necessary.

7/ Delete photos in iOS when the trash can icon is greyed out — There seem to be a few different causes for this problem, which typically arise if an iOS device has been synced to iTunes – either the iOS device with the trash-can issue or a different one that was backed up and restored to that problematic device. In both cases, you may need to erase the current contents of the iOS Photos library in the steps that follow, so you should make sure you have a complete backup of all the multimedia you want to save. (If you’re already syncing photos with iTunes on a Mac or PC and you’re sure you’re up to date, that’s likely what’s preventing you from deleting images in iOS.)
If you’re not already using iTunes, use iPhoto, Photos, or Image Capture to retrieve all the images from your device, even if you only need to do that temporarily. After being sure your photos are completely backed up onto your Mac …
Connect your iOS device via USB to iTunes on a Mac (or PC).
Authorize the device if prompted.
Select the device in iTunes, and then click the Photos item in the Settings navigation bar.
Check the Sync Photos from the box and click Apply at lower right. (If Sync Photos is already checked, see below.)
You’ll be prompted to replace the library on your mobile device. Agree, but please recognise this wipes out all the photos in iOS.
This will clear whatever state was stuck related to the iOS device. If you don’t want to continue using iTunes for syncing photos, uncheck Sync Photos, click Apply, and the iOS device should be free of that unwanted burden.
If you’ve synced with iTunes in the past, follow steps 1 and 2 above, but in step 3 you should see a checkmark next to Sync Photos. If not, check it and click Apply. Some iOS users report that this seems to update sync status without prompting a warning – that is, their device was previous syncing via iTunes, but not reporting it correctly, and checking the box doesn’t warn them that the library will be wiped from iOS.
You can now uncheck albums and other kinds of photo items in iTunes and click Apply to delete those items; or uncheck Sync Photos, click Apply, and liberate iOS. I, for example, just sync one album to my iPhone: Family, so I can show people pictures of my favourite people when I’m travelling. (Apple has more detailed instructions on general use of this feature.)

8/  Using ‘Paste and Search’ in Safari fir iOS — If you’ve copied some text on your iPhone or iPad and you’d like to search the Web for it, there’s a little-known feature that’ll let you do that very quickly. All you need to do is go into Safari, tap the search bar at the top if it’s not already visible (like if you’ve scrolled down on a page), then press and hold there for a moment to get a new menu to pop up.
Tap the Paste and Search option that appears, and your copied text becomes your new Web search. (If what you copied was a URL, though, the command will read ‘Paste and Go’ instead.)
That menu will also let you copy what’s in the search bar or have your device speak its contents aloud.

9/ In iOS, add quick shortcuts and an on-screen Home button —
If your iPhone’s Home button is broken, you can enable Assistive Touch from Settings>General>Accessibility and you get a floating button which persists wherever you are in the system (though you can drag it around out of the way). Tap it, and you get access to a special pop up menu of options, one of which by default is the Home button.

10/ Build your own palette of useful shortcuts — You can even defining custom gestures, and if you have an iOS device that supports 3D Touch, you can define an action for a hard press on the floating button. Again go to Settings>General>Accessibility, turn on Assistive Touch and tap Customise Top Level Menu. Under Create New Gesture you can really go crazy, including adding Force Touch actions.

I hope that holds you, and once again, apologies, and I hope you’re New Zealand autumn is mild. 

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