Five Tip Friday ~ Mac picture security, searches, Mission Control in El Capitan

1/ Remove location info from your photos —  If you have posted photos online, those shot with iPhones , iPads and some cameras include data about precisely where they have been taken, depending on how you shared them. With privacy in mind, you should know the policies of any apps and services you use to share pictures and whether they automatically strip off Exif data when you upload. Facebook, for example, strips it then offers back the ability to indicate the general area, only, of where it was taken: ‘Masterton’, for example, rather than the GPS coordinates of your lounge. If you don’t know or can’t find out, though, Apple’s Mac Preview app can take that stuff right off of any images you want to share.
First, to check to see if an image has stored where it was taken, you can click to select it in the Finder and press Command-i. This’ll open up the item’s “Get Info” window, and you’ll see that listed if it’s included.
Open the picture you’d like to share into the built-in Preview program to get started; to do so, you may just need to double-click on your photo, as Preview is typically the default image editor on the Mac. If that doesn’t work, go to your Applications folder, launch Preview, and then either click “Open” on the window that’ll appear or choose File>Open from the menus to select the photo you need to work with, or simply drag-and-drop the image over the Preview icon in the Dock.
With the picture open, click on the Tools menu and choose Show Inspector. Underneath the ‘i’ tab, the Inspector window will show a GPS option if that data is present. Choose it and click Remove Location Info to do just that.
When you save your changes, your image will be ready to share. Of course, a very savvy person could probably still use something like a reverse image search to narrow down the possibilities for where you took anything you upload, but there are levels of paranoia even I don’t sink to. Most of the time, anyway.

2/ Photos has some Exif abilities too, now — When viewing a picture in Photos you can, in El Capitan, now click the info button to edit geotags as well. Simply relocate the pin to a new spot by clicking and dragging it. If your picture doesn’t have a location yet, you can choose Assign a Location to add this data yourself.

3/ Spotlight now uses natural language — It’s not just Siri that has become more intelligent. With Spotlight, the search engine built into Mac OS X, you used to have to turn on all sorts of fields, like ‘file size’, do do detailed searches, and you can still do that (try Command F while in the Finder) but now Spotlight also has the natural language features. Spotlight interprets meanings to give you more accurate results, such as files you worked on a week ago when you want to continue a project. A small but very welcome improvement is that you can also move the Spotlight window around and, once the window is showing results, you can resize the window’s height to show more, which is important now that Spotlight can search many more sources, including some online services like live weather.
On your Mac, Spotlight can now understand, for example, a search query like “Get Mail from Brian about football” and it will bring up exactly what you’re looking for.

4/ Smarter Notes even tracks flights — Notes really got beefed up in Mac OS 10.11x ‘El Capitan’, letting you drag in images, links and sketch directly. But it also makes it easy for fliers to track flight information. All you have to do is type your flight number into the Notes app, hit enter, and it will be highlighted in orange. Click the link and it’ll show you a map of your flight path and estimated arrival time. (Here’s the full walk-through on how to use it.)

5/ Instant Mission Control — You’ve probably done this by accident in El Capitan. Here’s how and what’s happening: a new gesture for opening Mission Control cuts the number of steps for moving a window to a new space. Now you just drag it past the top of the screen.
The Spaces bar at the top of the screen has changed to initially display only the names of your desktops and full-screen apps. This gives more space for the window previews underneath. Moving the pointer up to the top of the screen reveals graphical previews of each space, as does dragging a window. As in previous versions of OS X, dropping a window onto another desktop moves it there.


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