Category Archives: Tips

Five Tip Friday ~ Tidiness tips for macOS


1/ Minimise apps into their icons — You can click the yellow pill button in the upper left corner of a window to minimize an app’s window into the Dock in macOS Sierra, but if you minimize a lot of windows, the right side of the Dock quickly becomes cluttered.
The solution is to minimise windows into their app icons.
Open System Preferences from the Apple menu and choose Dock. Check the box next to ‘Minimize windows into application icon’ (shown above). Now they minimise down into the originating app’s icon – click-and-hold on that in the Dock to see your files (below).


If you have a lot of minimized app windows, and have trouble finding what you’re looking for, control-click (hold down the Control key on your keyboard and click) the app icon to reveal a list of that apps minimized windows. Choose an item from the list and it will open.

2/ Group windows by application in macOS Sierra — macOS Sierra introduced system wide tabs for most (but not all) apps, allowing you to merge multiple windows into a single window or separate merged windows.
With two or more windows of a supported app open, go to the Windows menu in the Finder and choose ‘Merge All Windows.’ All windows of the same app will be grouped into a single window. Each file you have open will appear as a tab inside the single window.
To separate the merged windows into standalone windows of their own, select the merged window to make it active. Go to the Windows and click the ‘Move Tab to New Window’ option. Click it to move the selected tab to a separate window.
This won’t separate all tabs into windows of their own, but separate the current tab to its own window. All remaining tabs will remain grouped into a single window unless you separate them one at a time.
Click the close button on a merged window, and it will close all tabs you have open in it.

3/ Move multiple Events between Calendars — If you’ve got several events you need to move to a different calendar, change to month view by pressing Command-3 or click on the Month option in Calendar’s toolbar or at top-centre of Calendar.
Now find the events you’d like to move, hold down Command on your keyboard and click on each one to select them all in turn.
When your events are all highlighted, right- or Control-click on any one of them. From the contextual menu that appears, choose the ‘Calendar’ option and pick the one you’d like to move your selected events to. Simple.

4/ Multiple ways to move items to Trash — Trash is a To put item(s) in the Trash, once can simply drag the item(s) to the Trash icon, or move highlighted file(s) to the Trash using the keyboard combo Command-Delete. If you realize you made a mistake, you can Undo the operation by choosing File > Undo, or the keyboard combo Command-Z.
If you’d like to delete highlighted items immediately, you can hold down Option and select File > Delete Immediately…. Alternately, you can use keyboard combo Command-Option-Delete. Either way, you’ll received a confirmation dialogue that the operation is permanent and can’t be undone.

5/ Empty stubborn Trash items — ToIf there are files in the Trash, which you can confirm visually because you’ll see items in the Trash, you can empty it by either choosing Finder > Empty Trash…, or using keyboard combo Shift-Cmd-Delete. You’ll be presented with a confirmation dialog asking if you’re sure. You can also hold down Option and select Finder > Empty Trash, or use keyboard combo Shift-Option-Command-Delete. Notice that since there isn’t a trailing ellipsis after the choice, it will be done immediately without a confirmation dialogue. [If this still doesnt work, you need Terminal, as detailed here.]

Five Tip Friday ~ smarter Sends from Mail, Do Not Disturb, folders for Notes, text selection


1/ Automatically select best account to send from in Mac Mail — Apple Mail received a new feature in Sierra that automatically chooses the best account for you to send a new message from, based on who your email is addressed to and what mailbox and message you had selected when you started composing.
To turn this on (or off) open Mail’s Preferences from the menus at the top. Use the Composing Tab in Mail Preferences to access your settings for sending messages. Under the Composing tab, you’ll see a drop-down next to “Send new messages from.” Pick that to view your options.
You might almost always want to send from your work email address, but if you want to try out letting Apple Mail pick for you, then toggle that drop-down to “Automatically select best account.”

2/ Enable Do Not Disturb in macOS to silence notifications — Notifications can be a mixed blessing. For some they keep the chaos of communications down and allow for rapid response to an email or a Tweet, but for others they can be an annoying distraction.
You can silence notifications until midnight quickly, with a single click. To get that done, option-click (hold down the Option key on your keyboard while you click) on the Notifications icon in the upper-right hand corner of the desktop.
To show that Notifications are muted, the icon becomes greyed out. When the icon is greyed, you can still invoke the Notifications tray by clicking on the icon again — but this won’t un-mute them.
To do so, either pop open the Notifications tray and turn them back on with the toggle, or option-click on the Notifications icon in the menubar again.

3/ Who can and can’t bother you — If you want more precise control over what gets to bother you, delve into the settings of the feature itself.
Select System Preferences from the apple Menu (or from the Dock). In the upper right hand corner of the system preferences, select Notifications. From this menu, most parameters of Notification Center are set. Setting the schedule for notifications to not bother you at all during working hours is a good solution for the easily distracted.
There are other settings here, such as the ability to turn them off when the the display is being mirrored for a presentation, or to allow for a particularly persistent caller to break though your need to not be disturbed.
However, another option to quiet the tumult is to tell the most frequent offender to not pop up a notification. Select whatever app you wish to silence from the left hand column, and turn it off, or pare down when it will yell at you.

4/ Set folders in the Notes app — There aren’t a lot of ways to organize notes in Apple Notes, which became so much more powerful in Yosemite. But you can set folders and subfolders – clock the Elis icon at lower left in the Notes window to create a folder. There’s no obvious way to create a subfolder, but in fact all you do is drag one folder into another.
Keep in mind that if you delete a folder, then all of the subfolders and notes will also be deleted.
(Unfortunately, it’s not possible to create subfolders in iOS Notes.But if you create your subfolders on macOS, and do sync over to iOS.)

5/ Text selection tricks — Clicking anywhere within text in a document places your cursor there for deleting or adding to what you’ve written. While you can click and drag to select text, sometimes this means you miss a few letters. If you want to just select one word, it’s much faster to double-click it.
A triple-click selects the entire paragraph your cursor is on.
More sophisticated still: hold that final click and move your cursor – the selection jumps by full words or full paragraphs each time … no missing letters!

Five Tip Friday ~ Quirks and tips for Messages, Activation Lock Status


With the dearth of iDevice news today, here are five tips for iPhone.

1/ Use the full-screen camera — When you’re messaging with someone from your iPhone, you can tap the arrow next to the typing field to access your pictures with the little camera icon that’ll appear.
Once you’re in that camera mode, though, all you’ll see is a few of your recent images and a tiny viewscreen on the iPhone.
That small little viewfinder panel, however, lets you swipe from left to right (see that little left-punting arrow on the left, above?) to reveal another couple of options: a full-screen camera viewfinder and access to your whole Photos library (below). Now you can use your full-screen camera within Messages or look through your entire photo library on your device, so if there’s a picture from a few months back, you don’t have to switch apps to find it.

2/ Share your location — There’s a really quick way to share your location with someone you’re messaging, so he or she can route to where you are or know how long it’ll take to get to you. To do this, tap the small ‘i’ at the top of any Messages conversation…
Tapping the Info button in a chat reveals the Send My Current Location feature. That’ll immediately pass along your location info into the chat, and your recipient can then touch that map to get directions right to where you are.

3/ Draw on videos — To add lines, circles, arrows etc within Messages to videos and images, tap the arrow and then touch the heart icon. Tap the Video Camera button, and you can draw on your screen to highlight whatever you like.
You can either draw before you start taking a video, which will superimpose your drawing over what you record, or you can draw during video-recording to highlight something at a specific moment.

4/ See which number someone used — If you’re not sure which number or email address is the correct one to use for texting with a contact, you can tell within the Messages app by seeing which one he or she has used recently. Start by tapping their name at the top of your conversation to access their contact info.
When that appears, look for which number is marked Recent.
[These four tips came from Melissa Holt at the Mac Observer – this link has more pictures than I have published.]

5/ How to still check an iPhone’s Activation Lock — Apple deleted its iCloud Activation Lock status check tool from its website earlier this year. That tool was a simple yet effective method of checking whether a used iPhone, iPad, iPod or Apple Watch was stolen. But a newly discovered workaround promises an alternative online resource for buyers in the market for secondhand iOS devices [AKA iDevices].
Apple’s online checker involved entering an IMEI, so the tool served as an ideal source for generating valid serial numbers. It has been theorized that Apple scrapped the online resource to better protect its customer base.
But owners or potential buyers can still check Activation Lock status by IMEI through Apple’s own support pages. Be forewarned: the workaround’s success is spotty and it might be completely removed from Apple’s website at any time.
First, visit Apple’s Support website and select iPhone. Click on a search category related to hardware, for example Battery, Power & Charging or Repairs & Physical Damage, then select a specific problem like ‘Buttons not working’.
On the next page, you should see an option to Send in for Repair. If the item is not listed, go back and select a different device problem from the previous screen. Clicking through Send in for Repair will retrieve a page that allows users to ‘Enter your serial number, IMEI, or MEID’.
[These numbers, by the way, are in on your iPhone and iPad and iPod Touch under Settings>General>About. You should record these or take a screenshot of the page by pressing the Home and Sleep buttons at the same time and emailing the image your iDevice records to your Photos library to your Mac or PC.]
Enter the IMEI of a target device to check its Activation Lock status. It should be noted that the described method is not always successful. In some cases, Apple’s website will direct users to sign in with their Apple ID, which the company normally uses to facilitate service with linked iCloud devices.
The workaround seems to be a carryover from the days when iCloud Activation Lock status was a thing. It remains unclear how long the loophole will remain active in its current form, as Apple appears to be — slowly — transitioning the entire Support website to lead directly to users’ Apple ID accounts.

Five Tip Friday ~ Public Calendar, folder hierarchy, Safari tabs, Finder tabs


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1/ Configure a Public Calendar — Using iCloud, you can set up a public calendar. This is different from the typical iCloud calendar sharing in which all participants can usually edit and add events themselves. Depending on how you set the permissions, a public calendar will instead show anyone with its link all of its events but won’t allow them to make any changes. While this used to be only available to iCloud users, now PC users can also access these public calendars as long as they’ve got a program that supports iCalendar files (as Microsoft Outlook does).
Open the Calendar program on your Mac, then decide whether you’d like to use an existing calendar or create a new blank one. Keep in mind that anyone with the link will be able to view all of the events you add to this calendar, so if privacy’s a big concern, then I would start with a blank one to be sure you haven’t added anything in the past: File>New Calendar from the top menu. Name your creation within the sidebar and press the Return key to accept the name, then hold down the Control key on your keyboard and click on that calendar name in the sidebar to get the pop-out menu (shown above).
Click that, and you can set the calendar’s sharing.
Now you need to send the link that appears to the right of ‘URL’ to the people who might like to subscribe. You can do that by clicking that little Share Sheet icon to the right of the link, which gives you the usual choices for messaging or emailing that info, or you can just copy the link from that box and paste it in somewhere to send it.
hen your recipient clicks the link on a Mac, they will see something like ‘Allow Permission’. If permission is granted, Calendar will open and offer to subscribe to your Calendar. (There’s more about this at Mac Observer, although the writer may have been using an older version of Calendar as her prison are slightly different to the latest setup detailed above).

2/ See the hierarchy of your File Locations — Clicking on the name of a file may give you some options for what to do with it, depending on what program you’re in. However, you can also right-click, Control-click, or Command-click on title bar of a file in the Finder to see a hierarchical view of where that file lives. This works in tons of places around your Mac, too. When you’ve got that little box open, you can click any of the folders shown to jump right to it.
One place this is unexpectedly helpful is in Mail. If you’re one of those who double-clicks to open emails into their own windows, a simple Command- or Control-click of its subject at the top will reveal its full hierarchical location.
You can do this all around macOS, but Microsoft Office is an outlier. You can still see the same info using this trick in those applications, but not with a Command-click. Only a right- or Control-click will do.

3/ Mac Safari tabs — macOS has long had a keyboard shortcut for restoring Safari tabs. All you have to do is press the Command (⌘) key and while it’s held down, the Shift and while they’re both held down, the T key in old versions of OS X …but in macOS Sierra, you can hold down ⌘ + Shift, and press T multiple times to restore multiple tabs.

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4/ Folder tabs — If you’re happily using Safari tabs (and you really, really should be) why not do the same thing in the Finder? Each Mac folder window is capable of using a tabbed interface, perfect for juggling multiple open folders within the same window.  But because tabs generally don’t appear in a folder window unless you specifically add them, it’s easy to miss that Mac folders have tabs. Once you get used to them, though, you’ll love ’em.
If a folder contains any subfolders, right-click (of holed down the Control key and normal-click) on one of those subfolders, then select Open in New Tab.
When you do, a new folder tab will appear in your original folder window, just like a new browser tab would in Safari.
You can switch folder “views” (icon, list, columns, etc.) in one tab while keeping the folder views different in other tabs, and you can also navigate to a completely different folder within a tab.
Just drag a folder tab onto the desktop to turn it into its own window.
To re-arrange your tabs within a folder window, click and drag a tab, just as you would in a browser window.
To turn a tab into a separate window,  click a folder tab and drag it out onto the desktop; when you do, it’ll snap into its very own window.

5/ Use tabs to rearrange where files are — You can also drag files from one folder tab to another: click and hold a file in one folder tab and drag it onto the tab of another folder. When you do, the top of the second folder tab will flash briefly, and then the tab itself will open; once it does, just drop the file wherever you’d like it to go in the tab.

Five Tip Friday ~ macOS Safari


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1/ Quick website search in macOS Sierra’s Safari — In macOS Sierra’s Safari, you can enable Quick Website Search thanks to many websites offering their own integrated engine for searching within sites.
Safari provides shortcuts to these searches in some cases, allowing you to search said sites directly from the Smart Search Field. To see which sites your Safari installation currently supports for this feature, click on the Manage Websites button.
However, some sites don’t support this feature. Open Safari’s preferences from the Safari menu, then Search > Quick Website Search > Manage Website. From here, you can list which sites to exclude.

2/ Managing tabs — In Safari, you can create and open multiple tabbed windows so you can load more than one search result at a time, for example, or load a link alongside the link you are currently looking at. You can rearrange how they’re ordered, close them, or save a group of tabs as a bookmark that you can reopen all at once.
To add a new tab, press Command+T or click the plus sign at the far right of the Tab bar, or click a link with the scrollwheel if you have a scroll wheel mouse (yes, it clicks as well asa scrolls), or hold down the Control key on your keyboard, click a link on a page and choose Open In New Tab from the pop-out menu that appears .
To close a tab, move your cursor over the tab above the main web page window, and click the little X that appears on the left.

3/ To jump from tab to tab — Press Command+Shift+→ (right arrow) or Command+Shift+<– (left arrow – these keys are at bottom right of all Mac keyboards.

4/ Rearrange tabs — You can drag and drop a tab to the left or right of another tab to rearrange their order.
To move a tab to a new window. drag it underneath the Tab bar, then let go of your mouse button. Or you can right-click a tab and choose Move Tab to New Window.

5/ Save tabs as bookmarks — You can save every open tabbed window as a bookmark. Right-click any tab (or hold down that Control key and normal-click; or click the Bookmarks menu) and choose Add Bookmark for These Tabs.
You can also save the articles of every currently loaded tabbed window in the Reading List. Right-click any tab (or click the Bookmarks menu) and choose Add These Tabs to Reading List.

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Extra: Pin and Unpin tabs — Pinning a website puts the site’s icon in the top left section of the Tab bar (indicated above), allowing you to pull up the site with a click.
Pinned tabs are persistent across all Safari windows, even when you quit the web browser. Pinned tabs sync content across windows, including video. If you right click on a pinned tab, you can close all unpinned tabs. Here’s how to pin a tab: from the View menu, select Show Tab Bar.
Navigate to one of your favourite web sites, such as (ahem) AppleWorld.Today.
Right-click or control-click the tab bar, and select Pin Tab from the pop-up menu that appears. The current web site will be added to the pinned list, which is located at the far left edge of the tab bar.
To remove a pinned web site, make sure the tab bar is visible and right-click or command-click in the pin for the web site you wish to remove.
Select Unpin Tab from the pop-up menu.

Five Tip Friday ~ Siri’s Batman Easter Egg, AirPods volume control, save emails into PDFs


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1/ Siri has a LEGO Batman Easter Egg — Once these hidden little gems proliferated through Apple stuff but steve Jobs banned them. But sometimes you find them, and they’re even more precious now that they’re so rare. Press-and-hold your iPhone’s Home button to activate Siri, and get your Batman on by saying ‘Hey, computer’  and Siri respond with bat-appropriate comments. Cool huh? (This also works on Siri for Mac.)

2/ AirPods volume control is via Siri — Telling Siri to “increase/decrease volume” will land users at the nearest default level —0, 13, 25, 38, 50, 63, 75, 88 and 100 percent.

3/ Add percentages — You can add percentages from 0 to 100 percent onto the back of volume control commands. Granular changes within two percentage points are hardly noticeable, but tweaks above three points are surprisingly distinct.
For those who want greater control, Siri lets users set audio output volumes by percentage.
First, invoke Siri with a double tap on an AirPod, or say Hey Siri or long-press your iPhone/iPad Home button. Now say, “Set volume at 53 percent” or “lower volume to 23 percent.” Apple’s virtual assistant is capable of understanding a number of command variations including “raise/lower volume,” “turn sound up/down,” and “increase/decrease volume,” among others.

4/ What percentage are you at? To discover current listening levels, users can ask Siri, “What percent is the volume?” or “what is the volume?”

5/ Print PDFs from emails — There is another hidden feature in iOS – this one lets you print-to-PDF with any email. This doesn’t require a third-party app or another email client: you can do it inside Apple Mail with 3D Touch. Open Apple Mail on your iDevice (iPhone and iPad). Open the email you want to save. Tap the Reply button and a menu pops up with three options: Reply, Forward – and Print. Tap Print.
You’ll now see a screen where you can select a physical printer over Wi-Fi. But if you 3D Touch the email (press harder on the screen, a feature added from iPhone 6s), this message it will ‘pop’ and add a Share button at bottom right which lets you Share the email to PDF. This works for single page emails and emails with multiple pages. It’s a great way to save email receipts or important emails from VIPs.

Five Tip Friday ~ iOS Photo markup, Portrait mode, zoom, 3D touch


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1/ Quickly mark up Photos on iPhone — The stock Photos app in iOS has a great tool for drawing perfect geometric figures on your photos. With Photos you can draw shapes freehand, and the software can determine what shape you are trying to draw and, at the lower part of the screen, offer two options: your original shape or what the photo app thinks you are trying to draw.
Access the markup options by tapping on the three lines with circles located at the bottom of the photo. Then tap on the circle with the three dots and choose Markup.
At the bottom there are options for colour selection, and below that four options: drawing a shape, lens magnification, overlaying text, and undo.
Choose the colour you want – the drawing tool should be selected and in blue. If not, tap on the drawing tool which looks like a marker drawing a line. Now draw the shape on the photo. If you draw a shape closely resembling something the app recognizes, then, at the bottom, you will be given two choices: your drawing or a well-defined shape the app thinks you are trying to draw.
If you tap on the box to the right, choosing the shape the app suggests, you will have a perfectly formed shape with handles to resize or shape it further. You can press on the shape and move it to place it somewhere different on the photo. When you are finished, simply tap on an open space on the photo. If you like what has been done with the photo, tap “done”; otherwise tap “cancel.”

2/ Portrait mode in iOS 10.1 on iPhone 7 Plus — iPhone 7 Plus can utilise its Portrait mode, creating an effect known as bokeh where the background behind a subject is blurred automatically. Officially it’s still in beta but you can get some pretty decent results out of it.
Swipe across the photo modes to Portrait, then frame your shot. Your iPhone will tell you if you need to move further away or find more light.
Keep your composition as simple as possible, with your subject (living or inanimate) as clearly defined as possible to avoid blurring the wrong thing. Experiment with exposure levels by tapping on the screen then dragging up or down on the sun icon. This will make things brighter or darker.

3/ Digital zoom — If your phone doesn’t have a second physical lens for zooming, digital zoom is an option too, but this is inferior since it just enlarges and crops the photo. If you do want to use it, tap and hold on the zoom button then drag left or right. Just don’t expect super sharp results.

4/ Get up close with optical zoom — Zooming in with optical zoom on the iPhone 7 Plus, which has two lenses, is easy: tap the 1x button above the shutter button and hey presto, you’re twice as close to your subject.
Keeping your phone steady is really important, but this model of iPhone is actually having its lens move so it’s a sharp, details zoom rather than the artificial result all the other iPhones get, as above.

5/ 3D touch shortcuts — Since iPhone 6s, pressing harder on your screen gives you extra commands and abilities (this does not work on iPhone 6 and any iPhone before that).
Here are some good ones to learn:
When downloading an app, you’ll see its icon appear as a timer on the home screen. To prioritise a download, and put it to the front of the queue of all the apps currently being installed, 3D Touch (i.e., press harder on) the icon and choose Prioritize Download.
One of the key uses for 3D Touch is to expand notifications and get more details without having to actually open them – if you do this on an Uber alert, you’ll get information on the driver’s current location, plus the option to send a message.
The iOS Control Center is packed with 3D Touch shortcuts just waiting to be discovered and used, including one for the Flashlight icon, which lets you choose between three different levels of intensity for the light: low, medium, and high.
Do a hard press anywhere on the iOS keyboard and it grays out, which means you can then move your finger to adjust the position of the cursor in the text.
A shortlist of contacts you frequently communicate with appears with a 3D Touch on the Phone app icon.
With a light tap on a link in Safari you can get a preview of the page without actually navigating there. It’s one of the “peek and pop” uses of 3D Touch.

Want more? Check out this Gizmodo story.

Five Tip Friday ~ macOS tips for viewing files instantly, Smart Folders and Safari


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1/ Use Quick Look in macOS Sierra — Use Quick Look in macOS Sierra (and previous versions of macOS) to view photos, files, movies, sound files, PDFs, even Word files when you don’t have Word, without opening them – the view is in full resolution. You can use Quick Look for items in Finder windows, on your desktop, in emails, in messages, and other places. Select one or more items, then press the Spacebar on your keyboard or, with later apple trackpads, force-click items. A Quick Look window opens. If you selected multiple items, the first item is shown. You can manually enlarge the window by dragging its corners, click the Full Screen green button at top left, and to return to the previous size, click the Exit Full Screen button (that green button again).
To see the next or previous item, click the arrows on the left, or press the Left and Right arrow keys. In full screen, you can click Play to view multiple items as a slideshow.
To see the items in an index sheet view, click the Sheet View button on the left, or press Command-Return.
You can also open the file with its parent Application, which is listed at top right, to actually edit the file (in the example above, it’s the Preview app) and click the Share button on the right.
When you’re done, close the Quick Look window by pressing the Spacebar or force-clicking again, or click the Close button (red button at top left of the window).

2/ Play the video portion of a Live Photo — When you open a Live Photo (which you can only take with iPhone 6s or 7) in the Quick Look window, the video portion of the photo plays automatically. To view it again, click Live Photo in the bottom-left corner of the photo.

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3/ Create and modify a Smart Folder — Smart Folders automatically gather files by type and subject matter. They’re updated as you change, add, and remove files on your Mac.
In the Finder, choose File>New Smart Folder. To search for files, enter a topic, a phrase, or another parameter in the search field.
To determine whether the search should include only the names of files or their entire contents, choose ‘Name matches’ in the search suggestions that appear below the search field, then click Name, then choose either Filename or Everything.
To search for additional specific attributes, click the Add buttonbelow the search field, then make choices using the search attribute pop-up menus that appear.
The menus work in pairs; for example, to search for images, you choose Kind from the pop-up menu on the left, then choose Images from the pop-up menu next to it.
Click Save, then specify a name and location for your Smart Folder.
If you don’t want your Smart Folder to be in the sidebar, deselect Add To Sidebar.
You can’t use certain characters, including punctuation such as a colon (:), in folder names. If an error message appears, try using another name.
To change the criteria for a Smart Folder, open the Smart Folder. Begin typing in the folder’s search field, or click the Action pop-up menu , then choose Show Search Criteria.

4/ History in Safari — Want to see the sites you were looking at on your Mac yesterday? Easy. From the History menu, you can choose Earlier Today, or any of the six days preceding that.
Of course, this poses a security concern: anyone else can do the same thing on your Mac if it’s unlocked, to see where you were and to open any of those links – you’re bank account, for example, and if you let this automatically log in (a very bad idea), then you’re really asking for trouble. When you select the Clear History item at the bottom of the History menu, you get to choose just to delete the last hour’s sites, Today, Today and Yesterday or All. Be warned that any logins and auto-logins you went to will also be ‘forgotten’ and you will have to enter your details and/or auto- log in again.

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5/ Selectively delete history items — I had never realised you can much more selectively delete history items. When you choose Show All History, which is the very top item in the History menu, you get to click on any one item (or hold down the Command key on your keyboard to select several items) to highlight individual sites and press the Delete key on your keyboard.
You can clear everything with the Clear History …’ button and even search for that distant item.
Double-clicking on any line launches the site, which can also be very handy.

Five Tip Friday ~ macOS Finder view tips


1/ Set the view in the macOS Sierra Finder — The Finder in macOS Sierra offers four ways to view items in a window: List, Columns, Cover Flow and Icon. To choose a view, click your preferred View button at top-left of any Finder window.
In Icon view, each file or folder is represented by an icon (such as the Mac desktop). List view shows details about a file or folder, including its attributes.
Column view provides a visual trail of where you’ve been, and displays a hierarchical view of where a file is stored. Cover Flow is a modified list view that displays a thumbnail view of a file’s contents, which is great for folders of photographs, for example.

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2/ Didn’t know what those buttons were? Turn on the descriptions for them. With a Finder window on the desktop, hold down the Control key on your keyboard and click in the grey area at the top of the Finder window just to the left or right of the folders file name at op centre. From the pop-out that appears, choose Icon and Text, and all your buttons get labels (it’s worth trying this in other apps like Apple Mail and Preview).
Choosing ‘Customize Toolbar’ [sic, and shown above] lets you even select which icons appear in the top area of Finder windows at all, and also get rid of any you don’t require.

3/ More view customisation — There are additional ways to customise how your items are displayed: sort items, arrange icons, and resize columns. Settings for sorting and arranging items in a folder apply until you change them. For example, if you sort your Documents folder by Date Added, the next time you view your Documents folder, it will also be sorted by Date Added.
To sort items in any view, from the View menu in Finder select Show View Options. Now click the Sort By pop-up menu and choose the sort order: Date Modified, Name etc.
In List view and Cover Flow, move the pointer over the column name you want to sort by, then click it. Click the column name again to reverse the sort order.

4/ Arrange — To arrange items in Finder windows in any view, click the Item Arrangement button, then choose an option, such as Date Created or Size.
When arranging by name, you can keep folders (in alphabetical order) at the top of the list. Choose Finder>Preferences, click Advanced, then select the “Keep folders on top when sorting by name” checkbox.

5/ Resize columns — In List view, Column view, and Cover Flow, drag the hairline divider between the column headings at the top of the window, i.e. between Name and Date Modified.
To expand a column to show all filenames in their entirety, double-click the column divider.
Control-click (hold down the Control key on your keyboard and click) any column to view all columns available. Choose a column name to display or hide it (visible columns have a checkmark next to their name).

More — You can change the text size of file names and, in some views, change the size of file icons. Open a Finder window, select the folder you want to change, then click a View button: Icon, List, Column, or Cover Flow.
Have the folder always open in this view by selecting the ‘Always open in’ checkbox to set specific preferences for specific folders. To have subfolders also open in this view, select the ‘Browse in’ checkbox.
showviewIf a subfolder opens in a different view, select the subfolder, choose View>Show View Options, then deselect the ‘Always open in’ and ‘Browse in’ checkboxes. The checkboxes must be selected for the main folder and deselected for the subfolder.
You can change the icon size, grid spacing, text size, and more by choosing the Select Icon view options.
[These tips came from Apple World Today.]

Five Tip Friday ~ x2: 5 for macOS and 5 for iOS


I inexplicably failed to post five tips last week, for which I apologise – so here are 10 tips, 5 each for Mac and iOS.

spring2

1/ Open folders in new Finder tabs or windows in macOS Sierra — When you open a folder in the Finder (the default application for browsing your Mac’s files), the folder’s contents usually replace the current contents of the window. However, you can open a folder in a new tab or window, if you wish. Open System Preferences (from its icon in the Dock or from the Apple Menu), then click Dock.
Click the “Prefer tabs when opening documents” pop-up menu, then choose your option: Always, In Full Screen Only, or Manually. By default, documents open in tabs only when an app is full screen.

2/ Open folders in tabs or windows — Hold down the Command key on your keyboard while you double-click a folder and it opens in a new tab or window, depending on your Finder preferences. (If the Finder toolbar and sidebar are hidden, double-clicking a folder without pressing the Command key opens the folder in a new window.)
To open a new Finder window without opening a specific folder, choose File > New Finder Window or press Command-N. [From Apple World Today.]

spring13/ Spring-loaded folders — macOS Sierra, as with several previous versions of macOS, supports ‘spring-loaded folders’. These pop open when you drag something onto it while holding down the mouse/trackpad button. Spring-loaded folders work with all folder or disk icons in all views and even in the Sidebar.
Select an icon (not a disk icon) and drag the selected icon onto any folder or disk icon while holding down the mouse/trackpad button. The highlighted folder or disk will flash twice (very quickly), then spring open under the cursor. (You can press the spacebar to make the folder open immediately.) Subfolders wishing this first folder continue to pop open until you release the mouse button. when you release the mouse button, the icon you’ve been dragging is dropped into the active folder. That window remains open; however, while all other windows you traversed close automatically.
To cancel a spring-loaded folder, drag the cursor away from the folder icon or outside the boundaries of the sprung window. The folder pops shut.
You can toggle spring-loaded folders on or off by going to System Preferences > Accessibility > Mouse & Trackpad. (There’s also a setting for how long the Finder waits before it springs the folders open.) [Also from Apple World Today.]

grab4/ Taking timed screenshots — Hopefully you know the standard Mac screenshot commands (Command-Shift 3 for the whole screen, Command-Shift 4 to select an area with a crosshair). But Apple includes an application (program) in your Applications folder, then in turn in the Utilities folder, that can take them at timed intervals. Open Applications and launch Grab.
When Grab launches, it just waits there with its menus for you to do something. To take a timed screenshot, pick that option from the Capture menu or press Shift-Command-Z. A dialogue box will appear to tell you what’s what. Click Start Timer and as the dialogue box notes, you’ll have ten seconds to set up your screenshot. (If you find that Grab isn’t including your cursor and you’d like it to, select that option within Grab > Preferences and choose one of the cursors there to include it in your next timed screenshot, or if you would prefer no cursor to show up, choose the blank option at the upper-left.
After the screenshot is taken, you can save it out of Grab at its full size.

5/ Maybe a little obscure for some, but you can disable LinkedIn birthdays in macOS Sierra Calendar — There’s a Birthdays calendar under the Other category in macOS Calendar. Uncheck or delete that one, as it’s one LinkedIn uses. You can also disable LinkedIn in your Contacts’ Preferences > Accounts category.

Now, five for iOS:

1/ Enable Siri for third-party apps in iOS 10 — For third-party apps, Siri support is off by default, and has to be manually toggled on app-by-app for titles that support the technology. There aren’t many that do support Siri so far, but for those that do, open the Settings app from the iOS home screen, then scroll down to the Siri menu option. The next step is to tap on the vague App Support option.
To use Siri once you’ve turned it on for any supported apps, you have to mention an app by name. Saying “find men’s fashion pins on Pinterest” will generate results, for example, while saying “find men’s fashion pins” will not only fail to open Pinterest, but potentially create wacky consequences as Siri tries to interpret what you mean.

2/ Create your own live wallpapers with iPhone 6-7 — First, take a Live Photo by tapping the little circle icon at top centre above the viewfinder screen in the Camera app on any iPhone that supports 3D Touch.
In the app, select the photo you’d like to turn into a Live wallpaper.
Centre the image to your liking, then tap Next.
3D Touch the screen by pressing down in order to get a preview of the wallpaper.
Tap the wand icon in the lower left corner to choose between the animation effects.
Tap Save to export it to your Camera Roll.
Once the photo has been saved, go to Settings > Wallpaper > Choose a new wallpaper to find it (note that this is where you can set any image you took as a Wallpaper, for the Home and/or Lock screen). Note Live Wallpapers will only work on iPhone 6s or later – as long as your iPhone supports 3D Touch, this will work for you.
(An app called LivePapers can turn any photo into a Live Photo. It’s NZ$2.49/US$1.99 in the App Store. It lets you turn any still photo into a Live Photo, which you can then set as a wallpaper on supported iPhones.)

3/ Change the default search engine in iOS Safari — Most iOS users are blissfully unaware of the fact they can easily change the default search engine that’s used by the Safari browser on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. While the default engine is still Google, it’s also possible to change to Bing, Yahoo, or even DuckDuckGo. Here’s how to do it.
Launch the Settings app and scroll down to Safari (it’s near the bottom of the list of Apple pre-installed apps), tap on it, and the top item on the screen that’s displayed is Search Engine (see image below).
Now tap on the search engine you’d like to make your default (see image below). Now when you enter search text into the search/address field at the top of the Safari screen, the results that are returned are from the new search engine.

4/ Search in secret — As above, you can choose a search engine that doesn’t track and record your searches, say if you’re using a work phone or you simply don’t want to leave a trace. As above, just choose DuckDuckGo … it may not be as comprehensive with results as Google.

5/ Speed searches by turning off Safari Suggestions — Because the suggestion may take a split second longer to load than the search results below it, you may inadvertently hit the suggestion instead of the term you wanted. There is a really quick way to fix this, though, so let’s pop over to Settings and check it out, shall we? It’s under the Safari preferences.
Toggle off Safari Suggestions there, and now your search results will now not try to do anything fancy or extra.