Tag Archives: Five Tip Friday

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 ~ 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.

foltabs

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


batman

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 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.

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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.

Five Tip Friday ~ Transferring files iPhone to Mac, Hey Siri, prioritise downloads, sort Calendar spam


itfiles1/ Transfer files from iDevice to Mac via iTunes — There are various ways to transfer files from iPad/iPhone to Macs, but not all of them are reliable all of the time (like AirDrop). But iTunes file transfer is reliable for the apps that support it, and you’re not limited by file size.
Privacy is another benefit, since files you transfer aren’t uploaded to someone else’s servers (i.e., via cloud services): they go direct.
iOS devices don’t have an accessible file system like macOS does, but each app has its own document library. iTunes File Transfer lets you copy files to and from each app library.
Plug in your iPhone, iPod or iPad to a Mac with iTunes and the device shows up in the program. After clicking on the phone icon in iTunes (it appears as a little icon at top left), click on Apps on the left sidebar. Scroll down (make sure your cursor isn’t over a scrolling internal window, but over the main part of this interface) until you see the section File Sharing. There’s a list of apps currently installed on your device capable of transferring files.
If you made a movie with iMovie for iOS, for example, you can export it to iTunes. Then, using your Mac, you can open iTunes and save it to your computer. You can also do the opposite, and drag a video into iMovie using iTunes.

2/ Keep Siri from listening for Hey, Siri requests — One of the most convenient features of the newer iPhones is to have Siri always listening whether you have power connected or not. Any iPhone with the M9 chip can listen for the key words Hey Siri all the time to act upon any requests you give. But something that sounds like Hey Siri can activate Siri. Normally instances such as this are few and not a real issue, but this may not be the case in holiday season with lots of people about.
While you can disable Siri entirely by going to Settings > Siri > Siri, a much quicker way to avoid this is to quickly turn the iPhone on its face, since when the iPhone is face down, the proximity sensor stops Siri from listening. As long as the top front of the phone is blocked, Siri cannot listen. That’s why it’s very difficult to get Siri to respond while in a pocket or bag. It’s a low tech solution to a high tech problem.

prioritize3/ Prioritise app downloads — When downloading a number of apps on my phone, you may want to use one that’s in the process of being downloaded. In iOS 10 with an iPhone that supports 3D Touch (iPhone 6s, 7), you can choose to prioritise one download over another: with multiple apps installing, just press with a little force on the app you’d like to prioritise. When you do so, a menu pops up with that option.

4/ Get rid of Calendar spam — Some iOS and macOS users have received calendar invite spam, so if you began seeing invitations to an event in your calendar for Ugg Boots, Ray-Ban sunglasses and other products, thanks to spammers taking advantage of a long-available feature in iCloud that extracts invites from email and presents them as notifications in calendar apps.
In iOS, you can slide left and then choose Delete, which removes the invitation without providing a response (no similar option appears in macOS).
The best option, however, is to disable this automatic invitation parsing altogether. Go to your iCloud Calendar page via a desktop browser. (Apple doesn’t allow you to use iCloud.com via mobile Safari) – i.e., log into ww.icloud.com.
Click the gear icon in the lower-left corner.
Select Preferences.
Click the Advanced icon.
In the Invitations section, change the option from In-App Notifications to Email to iCloud Address.
Now spam invitations will appear in your inbox – or, more likely, get automatically marked as spam and never bother you.

5/ More Calendar spam flexibility — This is slightly inconvenient if you routinely received and wanted calendar notifications for invitations sent via email—you’ll have to look for these in your inbox and click to add them to your calendar.
If you have outstanding invitations that you can’t delete after making that change, follow these steps:
Via iCloud, iOS Calendar, or any calendar app in macOS, create a “spam” calendar.
Assign the invitation to the spam calendar without clicking Accept, Decline, or Maybe.
Delete the spam calendar. Click the Delete and Don’t Notify buttons when prompted.

Five Tip Friday ~ Find and open files quickly in macOS Sierra


recentitems

1/ Use Recent iItems — Under the Apple Menu at the upper-left of your screen is an option labeled Recent Items. Hovering over Recent Items (above) will show you the files and applications you worked with recently, and within a couple of seconds, you can open one. (And here’s another quick tip: hold down the Command key – there’s one either end of your Spacebar – while you’ve got that menu up to reveal where those items are in the Finder rather than opening them.

2/ ‘Spotlight’ your files — If you either click on the magnifying glass at the upper-right corner of your screen or use the associated keyboard shortcut instead (it’s Command-Spacebar), you invoke the Spotlight search window. Type in the name of the file you’re looking for or a keyword that appears within it, and you can open that file by just pressing Return if it’s the top result.

3/ Files from the Dock — Under modern versions of macOS, you can right- or Control-click (hold down the Control key on your keyboard and then click) on some programs’ Dock icons to see recent items that have been opened with that app.
Click on one to open it, and it opens.

4/ Ask for your files, literally — Sierra’s version of Apple’s voice assistant Siri lets you search for files using your voice. Just click on its colorful menu bar icon to get started.
Try “find files I opened yesterday,” or “show me Pages documents on my Desktop”. Siri is really handy for quick searches, assuming you’re not embarrassed to be talking to your Mac. When you find what you’re looking for, double-click it within Siri’s window and it opens.

5/ From within apps — Open almost any app (Nisus, Pages, Word, Numbers, Indesign, Photoshop, GarageBand …) and choose Open Recent form the File menu. This is handy if you’ve chosen Clear Menu from the Recent Items menu in the Apple Menu as above for any reason but you know you were working in any of the above apps and more – it’s always worth looking for this menu item.

Extra: How to show the User Library Folder in macOS Sierra — Apple likes to hide this as, be warned, it’s not something you should ever play with unless you really know what you’re doing. So this was well-intentioned, but frustrating for longtime Mac power users. There were still several workarounds to access or unhide the Library folder, but they weren’t immediately obvious or simple (like holding down the Option key when you drop the Go menu in the Finder).
Apple still hides the user’s Library folder by default, but in Sierra you can restore it with a single checkbox: launch Finder and navigate to your user Home folder (you can jump directly to your user folder by select Go>Home from the Finder’s menu bar or using the keyboard shortcut Shift-Command-H).
With your Home folder open, go to View > Show View Options from the menu bar, or use the keyboard shortcut Command-J.
At the bottom of the View Options window, check the box labeled Show Library Folder and then close the window with the red close button in the upper-left. You’ll now see your Library folder listed inside your Home folder, where it will remain unless you uncheck the aforementioned option.
(The handiest thing about this for non-pro users is being able to add your own picture the the Desktop Pictures folder so you can set your own pictures via System Preferences.)

Five Tip Friday ~ Safari tabs on Mac, and Mail


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1/ Reopen closed tabs in Safari — One of the most straightforward ways of reopening a tab in Safari is to click on the History button in the top-level menu bar, hover over Recently Closed then click on one of the displayed links. But you can also right-click (or hold down the Control key and normal-click) on the ‘Plus’ icon at the extreme right of the tab bar. A Recently Closed Tabs menu pops out and you can select your link from there.

2/ A key combo for last-closed tab — Mac owners have another advantage over (most) iPad owners in the form of a keyboard shortcuts. Shift-Command-T reopens the last opened tab —not so handy if you closed multiple tabs, but it can at least undo immediate mistakes.

3/ Closing tabs with swipes — Most Mac users know they can close a tab in Safari by either clicking on the tab’s small ‘x’ icon that appears on the left of a tab when your cursor is over it, or by using the keyboard shortcut Command-W (the universal Close Window command). But here’s a relatively unknown method for closing a Safari tab for multitouch gesture fans.
Note that the method described here doesn’t work in all situations. This tip involves a swipe gesture, so you’ll need to be using a MacBook’s built-in trackpad or a Magic Trackpad, but it also works on a Magic Mouse. The second caveat is that this only works for new tabs which launch automatically, for example, if you left-click on a website link that’s configured to open in a new page or a new browser window. This method won’t work for tabs that are launched manually by holding the Command key while you click or by using the right-click menu to Open in a New Tab.
If you click a link in Safari that opens in a new tab, two-finger-swipe back with two fingers to close the tab.
This is the same gesture you would normally use to go back to the previous page, and you would think it wouldn’t work in this case because there’s no “previous page” on a freshly opened browser tab. But, behold, if you’re working with a tab that launched automatically (as described in the caveats above), then this gesture closes the new tab and takes you back to your previous tab.

4/ Mailbox behaviours — To know how each of your email accounts (Gmail, iCloud, Comcast, Yahoo, etc) handles trash in the first place, look under Mail > Preferences. If you choose that and then pick Accounts from the following window, you’ll see a list of all of the email addresses you’ve set up in Mail on the left. Click one, choose the Mailbox Behaviors [sic] tab and you’ll see how often that particular account gets rid of its trash. You can set some, for example, to delete trash permanently when it’s a month old, which stops your Mailbox (which is on your ISP’s server) from filling up.

5/ Get rid of all Mail trash in one go — Click on the Mailbox menu and choose Erase Deleted Items. You can then erase the trash from all your accounts, or pick just a single one to clear out. But whichever way you go, you’ll then be rid of your old stuff. Make sure it’s not anything you actually need to keep, but if you run Time Machine backups this will all be safe anyway.

Extra tip — If you do have Time Machine, just running it does not make your Mail magically reappear. Here’s the trick: Boot Mail. Then boot Time Machine. If you do it this way, Time Machine becomes a dedicated backup server for just Mail, and all those deleted emails become available again.

Five Tip Friday ~ Messages in iOS


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1/ Hand-write your message — Give your replies that personal touch by crafting them using your own handwriting: from the Messages window, tap to compose a response then turn your iPhone (or iPad) around so you’re in landscape mode. A new handwriting button appears in the lower right corner.
Tap this to scribble. Your note will be saved for future use and you can if you wish pick from some example notes already stored in Messages. An extra line of text can be added to the handwritten message too. (Anyone not using Apple Messages gets an MMS image … you know, if they’re using that Google Haemorrhoid).

2/ Deleting hand-written Messages in iOS — When you rotate your iPhone into landscape mode in the Messages app (on iPad, touch the squiggly icon down at bottom-right on the keyboard to get to that same mode), you can send hand-written notes to your friends. Just start drawing with your finger or stylus in the large rectangular area, or tap a pre-drawn one from the selection below to send that.
When you send that hand-written message, it stays in memory (below the drawing area) for you to use again.
If the recipient is running iOS 10 too, they’ll see your writing as a little animation in their Messages thread.
To 
get rid of what you’ve drawn before, just press and hold on any of the drawings within this view on your iPhone. They’ll start wiggling about, and just touch the little X and it’s gone.
You can get rid of those pre-drawn ones, too.

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3/ Quick responses to messages — Another feature of iOS 10 Messages is the ‘tapback’: a quick pictorial response you can fall back on when you don’t have the time to type something out or aren’t feeling eloquent. Touch and hold on a message from them (with to send a tapback.
Available options include a thumbs up, a brief burst of laughter and a question mark. Your friends who aren’t using Apple Messages will get a plain text explaining the tapback instead: “laughed at…” for example. You can change and remove tapbacks with another long press.

4/ Filter unknown Message senders — If your cell phone number got discovered by someone who is now hounding you with promotional or other messages, open the iOS Settings app and look for the Filter Unknown Senders switch. You won’t see those any more. To give someone the all-clear for messages in the future, just add his or her details to your Contacts app.

5/ Oldie-goodie — sometimes an old-fashioned trick is better than all these pulsating, hand-drawing, gifs, stickers and goodness-knows what else (I’m kinda dreading iOS 11 already!). Luckily, you can still bang a photo straight into the Message, which can sometimes say everything you want to say most eloquently. Tap the Camera icon to the left of the Message field (where you type), snap a quick picture, and blat that to them instead.