1/ How to Force Quit an unresponsive app in macOS Sierra —Of course, try quitting it in the normal way first by choosing Quit from the app’s menu in the menu bar, or press Command (⌘) and while it’s held down, the Q key, or click-and-hold on the app’s icon in the Dock and choose Quit from the pop-out menu that appears.
But if a Mac app acts up and you have to stop it running, you may have to force it to quit so you can relaunch it. Here’s how you use Force Quit in macOS Sierra:
Choose Force Quit from the Apple () menu, or press Command-Option-Esccape (Esc at top left of your keyboard) all together. (This is similar to pressing Control-Alt-Delete on a PC.)
Select the app in the Force Quit window, then click Force Quit.
2/ Automatically select the best email account in macOS Sierra —You can have Mail in macOS Sierra automatically select the best email account for a new message based on who the email is addressed to and what mailbox you selected when our began composing your new email.
With Mail up and running, click Mail, then Preferences from the top menus.
Click on the Composing tab.
There is a drop-down next to Send new messages from. Choose that to view your options.
3/ Archive information out of the Contacts program — In Apple’s Contacts app, Choose File > Export > Export vCard. This works for any individual card you have selected, but also for entire groups if you select one on the left, or All Contacts for all of them.
Once you’ve selected File > Export > Export vCard, your Mac will ask you where you’d like to save it, and you’re done! This’ll create a .vcf file in your chosen location, and if at any point you’d like to bring back those people, just double-click on the file to reimport their cards.
4/ Check for malicious extensions in Safari — If you find that your browser is still acting weird, you may need to look to see if the adware you picked up added an unwanted extension to Safari.
Safari extensions are software programs you can install to customise the way your browser works. For example, extensions can show news headlines in a bar below the toolbar, change the appearance of web content, or add buttons to the Safari toolbar.
In order to provide these features, extensions may access the content of the webpages you visit. It’s good practice to check which extensions you have installed and make sure you are familiar with what they do.
To check, open the program, then click on Safari > Preferences from the menus at the top. Choose the Extensions tab at the top, and you’ll see the list of what’s been installed. If you see something in your own list you’re unfamiliar with, you can either disable it by deselecting the checkbox I’ve indicated above or remove it completely using the Uninstall button.
5/ Open a playlist in a new window in iTunes 12.6 on macOS Sierra — With the release of iTunes 12.6 on macOS Sierra, Apple restored the ability [YAY!] to open a playlist in a new window. Why this feature was ever removed shall forever remain a mystery. But here’s how you can open a playlist in a new window.
Control-click or right-click on the playlist you want to open and select Open in New Window. That’s it.
1/ Recover lost tabs and windows in Safari — Some users have a lot of Safari tabs open all the time. For some folks, open tabs are apparently a way to remember to follow up on things or purchase items. It’s much more sensible to use Bookmarks but hey, we’re all different. But if you close a tab and didn’t mean to, the menu item to recover them is under History at the top of your screen.
Within that menu (above), you will see Recently Closed, which will show you tabs and windows you may have dismissed accidentally. Click any single item to reopen that one page.
2/ Reopen Last Closed [Window/Tab] —This does just what it says, and Reopen All Windows from Last Session, which is handy if Safari didn’t restore your tabs after it was quit for whatever reason. (These options may look a little different or say slightly different things depending on exactly how many tabs you closed, for example, but if you’re looking to get back what you lost, this History menu is very handy.
Of course, if all you want is to undo accidentally closing a tab right after you did it, you’d just press Command-Z like you would anywhere else in any Mac operation to undo your last action. You can also press this key combo multiple times to get back several tabs if you went on a closing frenzy and then came to your senses.
3/ Uploading files from a browser via iCloud — Log into iCloud.com on the computer you’d like to upload files from. Head to Photos if you want to upload images to your iCloud Photo Library or iCloud Drive for all other types of files.
In either place, you’ll see an Upload button at the top of your browser window (indicated above). Choose that, and you’ll get the familiar file-picker dialog box, from which you can navigate to the items you’d like to upload.
How long your upload will take is dependent on the size of the file(s) you select and your internet speed. If you signed in to your iCloud account on a machine that isn’t yours, make sure to log out before you walk away.
The beauty of this trick is most apparent if you’re using iCloud Photo Library or the Mac’s Desktop and Documents syncing feature. In the case of photos, for example, anything you upload to iCloud.com will be immediately distributed to all of your devices if that syncing is turned on.
For iCloud Drive, though, whatever folder you’re looking at online will be where the files you upload end up. So you could navigate to iCloud.com, open iCloud Drive, double-click to view your Desktop folder, and then upload files there. When you get back to your Mac, you’ll see the stuff you uploaded, already on your Desktop and ready to go. [From the Mac Observer.]
4/ Connect to a remote Mac in your Back to My Mac network with macOS Sierra — With macOS Sierra’s Back to My Mac, you can connect to your other Macs securely over the Internet. This is an iCloud feature that lets you set up a network of Macs that you can access remotely. After you set up each Mac or AirPort base station, you can connect to it remotely.
From the Finder menu, choose Preferences, and click the Sidebar tab.
In the Shared section, select Back to My Mac.
Open a Finder window, and look for the Shared section in the sidebar. If you don’t see any shared computers or base stations, place the pointer over the word Shared and click Show.
Select the remote computer or base station that you want to access and click Connect As. (To share a screen with your remote Mac, select the Mac and click Share Screen.) If you don’t see the Mac or base station that you’re looking for, click All to see a list of available Mac computers and base stations.
5/ Remove a Mac from your Back to My Mac network on macOS Sierra — You can turn off Back to My Mac whenever you want (here’s how you set it up). When you do, you’ll remove that Mac or AirPort base station from your Back to My Mac network.
Follow these steps:
Choose System Preferences from the menu, then click iCloud.
In iCloud preferences, deselect Back to My Mac to turn it off. You also can click Sign Out to log out of iCloud completely.
To remove a base station, follow these steps:
From the menu bar, choose Go > Utilities and double-click AirPort Utility.
Select the AirPort base station that you don’t want to use anymore, and click Edit. If you don’t see the base station, click Other Wi-Fi Devices to see a list of available base stations. You might need to choose a different Network Interface from the pop-up menu.
Enter the base station password. This password is different from your iCloud password.
Select the Base Station tab.
In the Back to my Mac section, click the – (minus) button and enter the Apple ID you use with Back to My Mac. The green status indicator should disappear, showing that Back to My Mac is turned off.
Click Update to save your changes.
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.
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.
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.
I inexplicably failed to post five tips last week, for which I apologise – so here are 10 tips, 5 each for Mac and iOS.
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.]
3/ 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.]
4/ 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.
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.
1/ Set up and use Universal Clipboard — The new Universal Clipboard feature in macOS Sierra and iOS 10 allows you to copy content, including text, images, photos and video from one Apple device and paste it in another. For example, you can browse a recipe on your Mac and paste the ingredients right to the grocery list on your iPhone. In theory, all you have to do is make sure all your Mac and iOS devices are on the same Wi-Fi network and that Bluetooth is enabled on your iPhone and/or iPad. Copy on one, choose Paste on the other … but if you can’t make this work (and there can be a lag between the cCopy then the ability to Paste), try signing out of iCloud on all of your devices, and then signing back in.
2/ Use Markup in macOS Sierra Photos — If you’re editing your images within Photos, you can apply filters, remove red-eye, crop things and so on. But macOS Sierra added Markup to Photos, which lets you add text boxes, shapes or drawings to your images.
Select the picture you’d like to annotate, then click the edit button in the toolbar (it looks like a set of sliders). In edit mode, you’ll see a list of tools along the side. Click on Extensions and the Markup option appears. Click this and you can add circles or stars around people, insert text boxes and more.
3/ Reopen recently used tabs in Safari — Launch Safari for Mac and in the Mac’s menu bar for Safari, and the obvious way is to click History. From the list of options with the History menu item, slide down to select Recently Closed. Hovering over this menu item produces a new contextual menu that shows all recently-closed Safari tabs. Select the item that you wish to reopen and click on it. You probably – hopefully! – knew that, but there’s a faster way to do it:
4/ Reopen recently used tabs in Safari (2) —To the right hand side of any open tab in Safari there is a Plus(+) icon. Clicking this opens a new Safari tab window. However, if you right-click (or hold down the Control key on your keyboard and normal-click) on the Plus(+) icon, a new menu appears that shows all recently-closed tabs. Select one to launch it.
5/ Turn Flash off for sites except for some — Flash sucks – it’s a resource hog, can allow malware in and it’s generally unpopular for good reason. So let’s take control of it. First, open any sites where you know you still need to use Flash (which allows those little web animations to play.) There are alternatives to Flash, and many sites including YouTube, have switched to the much better, higher resolution and faster HTML5. But if you’re stuck with needing some sites that still use Flash, read on.
On your Mac, open Preferences>Security>Plug-in Settings… and choose Adobe Flash Player. Set ‘When visiting other websites’ to Off to cause all other servers to send you HTML 5 instead (this is faster, more secure) content when available. But you can choose from among your open sites to give them permission to use the Flash plug-in and Safari will remember your choice for your next visit.
The next OS for Mac (macOS 10.12 Sierra) is in development and some public and developer testers already have it – but it won’t officially ship till (probably) September, so there’s still lots to learn about OS 10.11. Here are some tips for Safari.
I’ve said this many times, but unless you’re using tabbed browsing for your searches and other tasks in Safari, you’re not getting the best from your online experience. I’m not going to go through that again here, but here’s a nice easy How To to get you up and running if you’re not using this yet.
1/ Close other tabs — When you’ve got multiple tabs open, click on the File menu and find Close Tab – now hold down the Option key on your keyboard: Close Tab switches to Close Other Tabs. If you’ve opened up lots of links in tabs and just want to get rid of everything except the tab you’re currently viewing, this does it in one go. (The keyboard shortcut for this action is Option-Command-W– Command W being the standard and ubiquitous Close Window command).
You can also hold down the Option on your keyboard and click on the ‘x that appears on your tab (the little Close button each tab has) when you hover over it. A little tooltip will show up when you do so, warning you of what’s about to happen.
2/ Undo the closing action — If you’re playing around and accidentally close a tab, remember you can press Command-Z (Edit > Undo Close Tab – actually, XCommand Z is the universal and ubiquitous – and lifesaving, sometimes – Undo Last Action command and well worth learning anyway, as it works almost everywhere) to bring it back.
3/ Pinning sites —There are several ways to save sites you use a lot: add to favourites, bookmarking … but El Capitan’s Safari added ‘site pinning’. Pinning a site is easy – choose Pin Tab from the Window menu to move it’s button, while resizing it smaller, to the left side of your Favourites bar, or click on a tab’s title and just drag it all the way to the left of the tab. You can also hold down the Control key ion your keyboard (it may be labelled ‘Ctrl’) and click a tab, then choose Pin Tab from the pop-out menu.
The tab will become a small square on the left side of the tab bar, as in the thumbnail on the left here: it just shows a site icon. Pinned tabs remain open when you close and reopen Safari, and the sites in them run in the background, so you’ll hear sounds such as message alerts or videos running if they’re on that site.
4/ Safari keyboard shortcuts — Some of Safari’s keyboard shortcuts changed for El Capitan. Previously, [Command]+1, [Command]+2 and so on opened bookmarks from corresponding positions in the Favorites Bar; now these shortcuts switch between tabs you have open, including the pinned ones.
These shortcut actions can be reversed by turning off ‘Use [Command]-1 through [Command]-9 to switch tabs’ in Safari>Preferences>Tabs.
5/ Shutting things up — Some sites (bloody Macworld!) have videos that auto launch and noisily run even when they are in tabs that aren’t expanded (the ones you’re viewing the contents of). Now, Safari displays a speaker icon in the browser bar to mute any audio, as well as in the affected tab, letting you pick which tab to silence. Just click it.
1/ Quick address changes — If you’re looking at one site and you wish to visit another, you don’t have to click within the address bar, highlight it and then delete the existing address. Hold down the Command key, and while it’s held down, press the L key and it highlights the current address. Immediately enter the new one.
It’s also unnecessary to enter ‘http://’ or ‘www’. Simply enter the domain, such as macworld.com, and then press Return to go to that site.
(If you want to always see the full address, choose Safari > Preferences> Advanced and then turn on Show full website address, as Safari no longer shows this by default).
2/ No squinting necessary — If the web page content is too small to read, you don’t have to squint; you can enlarge it by pressing and holding Command and then tapping the + key on your keyboard (Command – [minus or dash] reduced size).
To enlarge the text but not the images, choose View > Zoom Text Only.
To specify a minimum font size for Safari to use, choose Safari > Preferences > Advanced and enter a larger size in the Never use font sizes smaller than field (it’s visible in the screenshot above). Anything over 14 will be eminently readable.
3/ Using Reader View — Ads are necessary to the monetary health of many websites, but they can make it difficult to focus on reading — especially when they blink or talk back to you. Happily, you can eliminate all that by clicking the icon at the far left of the address bar (it looks like four tiny lines). Then Safari enters Reader View.
4/ Share web pages easily — To share a page with somebody else, choose File > Share > Email This Page and Safari opens a fresh email, puts the headline into the subject field and inserts a link to the page in the message body. (Safari helps you send additional webpages to recent recipients by adding their names to the bottom of the Share menu.)
In the email message, use the Send Web Content As menu to choose between sending a link, the whole webpage, a PDF, or the webpage in Reader View. (The last three options keep your recipient from having to click the link to see the content.) Reader View sends a distraction-free webpage to your recipient. (These tips came from Lesa Snyder at Macworld. There are a couple more on the page.)
5/ Keep losing your cursor? No more — The current display trend is towards much higher resolutions: 4K and 5K displays. At these native resolutions , everything is crisp, clear and .. tiny. It’s all too easy to occasionally lose track of the cursor whether or not you have El Capitan’s ‘Shake Mouse Pointer to locate’ enabled. (It’s found in System Preferences > Accessibility > Display.)
By making the cursor just a bit bigger to begin with, one doesn’t have to engage quite as often with that (delayed) magnified cursor.
1/ Tabbed Browsing in Safari —You haven’t lived if you’re not using Tabbed Browsing in Safari, which lets you boot links from search pages into tabs along the top that you can then inspect at your leisure – way more efficient than going backwards and forwards trying to find the correct link from a search.
Assuming you are using tabs, here are some navigation tips. The pre-El Capitan option to use Command-1 through Command-9 for favorited bookmarks remains; after El Cap it has shifted to Command-Option plus a number to go beyond the first 9 tabs; the Command key by itself plus a number moves among the first nine tabs open.
2/ Jump a tab —You can use Control-Tab or Command-Shift-] to move from left to right among open tabs, one at a time, and Control-Shift-Tab or Command-Shift-[ to move from right to left. This includes pinned tabs (which sit at extreme left) which is a new feature introduced in El Capitan.
3/ Show All Tabs — Press Command-Shift-\ to review all open tabs (or click the button that’s by default in the upper right corner of the Safari window), which are grouped by sites for adjacent tabs that have the same domain (like docs.google.com). Press the keystroke, click the button, or press Escape to exit the Show All Tabs view. Show All Tabs can be slightly more useful, too, if you enable Safari in the iCloud system preference pane and Settings>iCloud on two or more of your devices logged into the same iCloud account. Then, Show All Tabs will reveal all tabs open not just on your Mac, but also on other devices down at the bottom of the scrolling window. This isn’t part of Handoff, but a separate feature, and useful in a different fashion. (These tab tips came from Macworld.)
4/ Fixing double initial letters — DO you do THis? I do. To automatically make the second letter into a lowercase letter, Microsoft Office has a setting, but OS X offers this ability system-wide as part of automatic spelling correction. This works in all of Apple’s programs and is available in other apps that take advantage of it. This autocorrect will drop in what OS X thinks is the ‘correct’ replacement as you type — it may sometimes be the wrong one if you’re using a specialised term or a special spelling, but generally, it’s the right choice.
In System Preferences, you can enable autocorrection in the Keyboard pane under Text. Check the Correct Spelling Automatically box. In individual apps, like TextEdit, Pages, or Mail, use the Edit > Spelling & Grammar sub-menu to make sure both Check Spelling While Typing and Correct Spelling Automatically have checkmarks. Many third-party apps have the same settings, picked up from the system.
OS X 10.11.4 Beta lets you protecting your Notes with a Password — One of the features in the beta of 10.11.4 is the ability to password-protect items in Apple’s Notes program– in other words, this will come to the public release of OS 10.11.4 once it’s available. In the Notes app for the Beta, there’s now an option to do so under the File menu. Select a note and click on that, and you’ll be asked to set a password and (optionally) add a hint.
There are a couple of important caveats here. The first is that any password-protected notes won’t show up on devices that don’t meet the requirements. So don’t add a password to a note you desperately need to sync to your iOS 9.2 iPhone as it will vanish from that device. Also, the password you’re setting isn’t just for the one item you had selected, but applies to all of the notes you password-protect from then on. The next time you try to apply a password to a particular note, you may be asked to enter the master one you set. And of course, you’ll need to put in that password whenever you want to actually read those notes in the future. So don’t forget it! A couple more tricks: if you need to take off the protection for a particular note, that option’s under the File menu; it’ll be labeled “Remove Password.” Also, under the Notes menu, you’ll find some useful choices like Set Shared Password.
There you can change the password you set, or you can reset it (which means that notes going forward will have a new password without changing the one you applied to previous notes).
You could also use the “Notes” menu to lock the already protected items.
1/ Use Text Replacement to type faster — Using iOS 9’s Text Replacement feature, formerly called keyboard shortcuts, you can greatly speed up input of commonly used phrases, sentences, or text that is challenging to punch in on the iPhone keyboard. I, for example, use ‘mw’ to type out my full @vodafone email address, which is a long one.
Go to Settings>General, find Keyboard and choose Text Replacement. Tapping on Text Replacement presents a screen with a few preconfigured shortcut options arranged alphabetically, as well as a search bar for navigating previously created pairings.
To create your own shortcuts, tap the Plus sign in the upper right corner to open a screen with two entry fields. In the top field, Phrase, enter the text you want to quickly retype in other places on iOS. Below that, enter a text shortcut that will subsequently be recognised by iOS 9 and automatically replaced with the longer phrase you just entered.
For instance, you might regularly tell family, “I just left my beloved place of work after an especially difficult day and expect to be at my esteemed place of residence shortly. Please contact me on my mobile telephonic device me if you need anything from the specialty sports good outlet store that sells the baseball gloves you particularly like.” You can enter that into the phrase field and supply an easy-to-remember shortcut, perhaps “jlw” for “just left work.” Now, in message, email or other text fields, you can simply type “jlw” and hit the space bar to invoke that much longer phrase.
Select a shortcut trigger that is not only easy to key in, but is unlikely to be used in regular conversation. If you use a common word, like “left” for the example above, the longer phrase will override the trigger and be inserted instead.
However, if Auto-Correction is activated in Settings>General> Keyboard>Auto-Correct, a text insertion bubble will appear just above the shortcut. Clicking on it will cancel input of the longer phrase, while hitting the space bar invokes the Text Replacement operation. Similarly, activating QuickType (Settings>General> Keyboard>Predictive) will show both the common word shortcut and the longer phrase as selections above iPhone’s soft keyboard.
To edit existing shortcuts, tap on Edit in the bottom left corner of the Text Replacement window, or directly on a Text Replacement phrase. Shortcuts can also be deleted by swiping left on each entry. Text replacement works across iOS 9, including built-in apps like Messages, Reminders, Safari, Calendar and Mail, as well as third party apps such as Gmail and Twitter.
2/ Easier Desktop Site — There is a new quick link feature in mobile Safari to request desktop site by simply tapping and holding on the refresh icon in Safari located to the right of the current URL in the search/address bar. Safari now brings up a prompt (shown above) asking the user if they want to request a desktop version of the site.
3/ Reopen earlier-closed tabs — Another somewhat hidden feature in the iOS 9 browser is the ability to reopen recently-closed tabs in Safari. Press and hold the plus button when in the tabs view in the mobile browser.
4/ Up Next in the Music app for iOS — Now you have a trio of playback options to choose from when it comes to iOS’s Music app: Play, Play Next, or Add to Up Next. (plus Start Station to create a streaming playlist based on a song, artist or album.) Up Next does a great job of letting you create on-the-fly playlists, perfect for perusing your tunes without abruptly jumping from one song to another. Up Next also keeps track of all your recently played tunes, and best of all, Up Next stays out of the way when you’re not in the mood.
An Up Next playlist is already up and running on your iPhone or iPad. To take a look, open the Music app, pick any song, album, playlist, or artist, press Play, then tap the Music mini-player (the thin strip near the bottom of the screen that displays the track name) to reveal the main playback controls. To the right of the Back, Play, and Skip buttons, you’ll see a button marked with stack of three bulleted lines. Tap it to open your Up Next list. At the top of the list, you’ll see the song that’s currently playing, while the the following tracks will be the remaining songs from the same album or playlist. Scroll up, and you’ll see a (probably) huge list of songs that you’ve playing in the recent past. (This also works in the Podcasts app, by the way.)
If you go back to your library and press Play on another song, the remaining tracks in its album will be added to your Up Next list, replacing the tracks from the previous album or playlist.
5/ Select a song to Play Next — Scroll up a bit on the Up Next list, find a favourite track in your playback history, tap the little three-dot button to the right, then tap Play Next. Once you’ve selected a song to play next, it’s queued up for playback after the track that’s currently playing.
A helpful icon will appear, which looks like a stack of items with an arrow pointing toward the top. What you’ve done, basically, is queued up the song you picked: it will begin playing as soon as the current track is finished.
Just below the track you chose to play next, you’ll see the original album you started playing, with a Resume heading just above the album tracks.
6/ Select an entire album, artist or playlist to your Up Next list — Tap the three-dot menu to the right of the artist, album, or playlist name in your music library.
7/ Add a song to Up Next — Scroll up again to your track history in Up Next, tap the three-dot button next to a song, then tap Add to Up Next. Tap the Add to Up Next option to add a track to the bottom of your manually selected Up Next songs; notice the tracks of the album that was originally played, under the Resume heading. Again, an icon will pop up, but this time the arrow will be pointing to the bottom of the stack rather than the top. The idea here is that instead of queuing up a song to play directly after the currently playing track, the song will play after the last song that’s on your Up Next list.
8/ Press Play on a new song in your library — When you have a couple of songs queued up and ready to play in your Up Next list, what happens if you head back to your music collection and press the Play button on a random song? You’ll be asked whether you want to keep your Up Next songs or clear the list.
A pop-up asks ‘After playing this, do you want to play the song you’ve added to Up Next?’ appears. Tap the Keep Up Next button, and the songs you previously added to your Up Next queue will scoot just below the track you just started to play. Tap Clear Up Next, and those old Up Next songs will disappear.
9/ Rearrange your Up Next tracks — Head back to your Up Next list (swipe up on the Music mini-player to reveal the main playback controls, then tap the button with the three bulleted lines), then check out the little virtual “handles” to the right of each queued-up song. Now tap and slide a handle to the right of a track to rearrange it in your Up Next list. Unfortunately there’s no way to grab and slide an entire batch of songs at once; you can only drag them one at a time.
10/ Get rid of your Up Next tracks — If you’re ready to go back to playing songs the old-fashioned way, there are a couple of ways to wipe your Up Next list and start fresh. One is to simply press Play on a new song; as we already covered, a pop-up appears with an option to clear your Up Next list. You can also go straight to your Up Next playlist and tap the Clear button next to the Up Next heading. If you’d like to nix a specific song from your Up Next list, swipe it to the left to reveal a Remove button. Tapping that just removes it from the Up Next queue, not your music collection. (These Music Up Next tips came from Macworld.)
Video of Steve Jobs introducing the Think Different campaign to Apple employees — It’s September 23rd, 1997. Jobs has been back at Apple for “8-10 weeks.” He’s in the processing of slashing the product line and getting Apple refocused on making great products. He’s wearing shorts and a mock turtleneck and looks very tired, yet excited because he was up until three in the morning the night before working on the campaign and this employee presentation.
Apple releases Safari 8.0.6, 7.1.6, and 6.2.6 to fix WebKit vulnerabilities — Apple has released Safari 8.0.6, a minor update of the Mac browser, concentrating primarily on fixing security holes discovered in the software.
How to use Spotlight in Yosemite to search for files, apps, web info, and more — Spotlight, Apple’s Mac search technology, has been available on Macs since Mac OS X 10.4, back in 2005. For many years it remained relatively stable, offering no new features. But with OS X Yosemite, Apple added a slew of new search results to Spotlight. It can even be extended with Flashlight, an open framework for extending Spotlight functionality. Here’s how it works: You install a plugin, and then you can use Spotlight to perform an action.
Chrome extension helps colour-blind users see the web — Google has a new Chrome extension to make the web a friendlier place for people with partial colour-blindness. Called Color Enhancer, the new add-on by the Google Accessibility team is a “customizable color filter that applies to all webpages in order to improve colour perception,” according to Chrome evangelist François Beaufort.
I know, I know: I missed two Five Tip Fridays in a row. The first one was both Good Friday and my birthday so I took the day off, and the second I was overseas with terrible internet.
So I’m making up for it today.
1/ Lock your iPhone camera’s exposure — You can force the Camera app to ‘keep’ an exposure setting, say if you want a certain part of the picture to be perfectly exposed but then you want to move your composition without the camera auto-refocusing/exposing. Hold your fingertip down on whatever object you’d like to focus on instead of tapping on it (tapping sets your exposure/focus point). If you hold for a couple of seconds,’AE/AF Lock’ appear at the top of your camera window in yellow.
No matter where you move your device, the app will keep the same exposure and focus that you set (and won’t attempt to adjust for, say, changing light conditions) until you tap the screen again to turn the lock off.
2/ Set recurring alarms on iPad and iPhone — Open the Clock app on your iOS device, and then make sure you’re on the Alarm tab at the bottom. Now tap Edit at the top and touch an existing alarm, or select the plus button to configure a new one.
Here you can make changes as you see fit: rewrite the label to something that makes sense to you, switch up what sound (or song) plays when the alarm goes off and so on. But for this tip, tap Repeat. Here you can pick as many days as you want, and the app is smart enough to spell out what days you’ve chosen properly.
Now when your alarm goes off and you slide on your device’s screen to shut it up, it’ll wake you again the next time it’s configured to (rather than turning the alarm off completely, as will happen when it’s not set as recurring). So you shouldn’t have to turn on your alarm each day, but if you’re paranoid, a quick swipe down on your screen to access Notification Center will confirm that it’s ready to go.
3/ Disable password requirements for free Apps — One of the new settings in iOS 8.3 is the option to not require a password for the “purchase” of free apps in the App Store. This means even with a passcode set you don’t have to bother with a password in iTunes for updates or free apps, only if it will actually cost you money. This is another convenience of the App Store that makes it easier to use, once you turn it on.
If you have Touch ID enabled, none of the settings will show up at all, so you need to go to Settings>Touch ID & Passcode to disable Touch ID. This is only temporary. Once Touch ID is off, go to Settings>iTunes & App Store>Password Settings (it’s right under your Apple ID) and you’ll see a new section on that page called Free Downloads. If you haven’t walked through these steps already, the option is likely green (for on) but also faded since you don’t have access to change it.
There’s a toggle there that says ‘Require Password’ and the text below it points out what the setting does. If you have it on, it says your free downloads will use the same password restrictions as purchases and In-App purchases (usually that means a password is required). If you turn that off, it says you won’t be asked for your password when you are downloading a free item. Yes!
4/ iOS Action buttons — When you’ve shared a web page you’re reading on your iPad with your Facebook friends, or zapped out an iPhone snapshot via iMessage, your first tap has probably been that little square button with the upward-pointing arrow – this is the Action button, and it comes in handy whenever you want to share, print, save, or otherwise interact with something on your iPhone or iPad, from photos to Notes to PDFs or click-worthy articles.
You can also choose which sharing and “actionable” buttons you want to appear. If you’re not interested in, say, Reading List you can easily tuck the Add to Reading List button out of sight.
Scroll a bit further on either row, though, and you’ll see an additional button: More. Tap it, and a new window will slide into view, displaying each Action button in a list.
To the right of each button, you’ll see a handle (it’s the button with two short horizontal lines). Tap and hold a handle, then slide it up or down to rearrange the buttons in the list—perfect for, say, scooting the “Add to Reading List” button to the very end of the row.
5/ Turn Action buttons on or off — Also under the More button, look for Action buttons with little switches next to them. Flip off a switch and that button disappears from the Action menu. Or flip on the switch for a button you haven’t discovered yet – for example, Save to Dropbox in the Photos app. (Not all Action buttons have switches, unfortunately.)
6/ Context-Sensitive Action buttons — The more apps you have, the more Action buttons are added to your Share Sheet. Dropbox users, for example, won’t see a Dropbox button when they tap the Action button in Safari because that’s irrelevant to Dropbox.
7/ Assign photos to contacts — When you receive a phone call from a friend or relative, why not see at a glance who is who’s calling? In your Photos app, tap the Share button at bottom left, and select Assign to Contact. Your contact list appears – just tap the name of the person you want to assign the contact to. Not you can spread your fingers apart to zoom in to some extent and, which your fingers, ‘move around’ in images to pick individual faces out of group shots.
You can change this in the Contacts app at any time: tap the Edit button at upper right, and tap Edit Link just below the image.
(By the way, any images you assign to contacts will also be picked up and displayed by your Apple Watch, should you end up with one.)
8/ For OS X: Get the size of Mailboxes — One of the downsides of email is that, if you’re not diligent about keeping your mailboxes tidy, you end up with a lot of old stuff. Those emails take up space both on your computer if you’re using Mail, and on the server (at your Internet Service Provider) that your messages are passing through. However, Mail has a pretty handy way to see which mailboxes are using up the most space.
Open Mail and then click the gear icon in the lower-left corner. Choose Get Account Info from the menu that appears.
In the subsequent window, you’ll see a drop-down menu at the top. By default, the account chosen will be from whatever server-side mailbox you had selected in the sidebar in Mail before clicking the gear icon. I find it’s easier to just choose the correct one from this dialog box, so swap that drop-down to the account you’d like to get the sizes for, then select the Quota Limits tab (or Messages on Server if you’re using Exchange).
You’ll get a neat list of the mailboxes associated with that account and their sizes. You can click the headers at the top of the list to sort by name, size, or number of messages, too.
9/ See OS X Messages delivery times — As you may know, you can tap, hold, and pull to the left within Messages under iOS 7 and iOS 8 to see what time any specific text was sent. If you also use the Messages app on your Mac, though, there’s a way to get your dates and times there, too: simply hover your cursor over any text within Messages and a tiny tooltip appears with the info.
10/ Sort Messages conversations manually — Choose Sort Conversations from the View menu and you can change it to Manually instead of By Time. Once chosen, you can just drag the conversations up and down in the left Conversations pane of Mac OS Messages. Now you can keep your Messages threads from jumping around and arranging themselves by date, and keep the most important conversations at the top.
11/ Numbers — A great Numbers feature (apart from that it can both open and write Excel files) is being able to select cells and see stats on my selection at the bottom of the window. Numbers, in case you didn’t know, is Apple’s spreadsheet app and it’s already on every new Mac produced in the last year.
You can customise what functions appear by clicking on the gear icon at the bottom of the window and choosing from the menu that’ll appear.
You have to have more than one cell selected to see this option, so if the bottom of your window appears blank, click-and-drag to select a few cells first. One thing you can do with those quick calculations is pick them up and drop them into cells to add the chosen formula there.
12/ Customise your Finder icons — Icons in OS X can be anything you want. Do you want famous race cars to represent all your folders? No problem. Have a research project where each file should be represented by celebrities? OK. Once you’ve found an icon you’d like to use, here’s how to use it on your Mac. These instructions work in all recent versions of OS X, including Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion, and even earlier.
First, find the image you want to use and open it in Preview. Go to Edit>Select All (the shortcut is Command-A), then Edit>Copy (or Command-C). Now that image is on the clipboard (you can also choose part of the image by ragging, then choose Command C to copy).
Next, switch to the Finder and click once on the folder/app/file you want to change. Go to File>Get Info and the info panel will pop up, displaying the icon in the top left corner of the panel.
Click on the small icon at top left, and then go to Edit>Paste. Your icon will be updated. This works on folders, files and even drives.
But where to find those icons? Actually there are a lot of sources. Notable is the icon section of Iconfactory.
13/Colourise folders really easily — This is more a cheat than a tip, as it requires buying an app, but I really like the little, cheap, easy-to-use Folderol app (NZ$4.99) which lets you colourise folders behind the limited Finder Tag selection. You just drag-and-drop a colour onto a folder, and you can customise the colours.
14/ Apply filters in the new Photo app — Open Photos, double-click on an image, and tap on Edit button at top right. Amongst the tools that appear you’ll see the Filters option. Click the filter form the list at right that appears and click Done. Done.
15/ Previewing Safari links — If you’re using a trackpad on your Mac and you have System Preferences>Trackpad>Point & Click>Look Up toggled on, you can use a three-finger tap on a link to preview it in Safari. This is handy in Google searches, as you can preview the site results to figure out how relevant they are before you navigate away from the search page.
After you check out the preview window, just click it to open the page in a new tab, or click away to dismiss it and move on to something else.
It’s been a while, since I have been travelling, so here’s a double dose to help make up for it.
1/ iCloud Drive — iCloud has been vastly improved in Yosemite, turning it more into a Dropbox and Google Drive competitor. iCloud Drive is in the Finder, and it works in a very straightforward way: drag a file into iCloud Drive and it’ll be available on other iOS devices, as well as via the web. Make changes to a Pages document on your iPad and it’ll be there when you get back to your Mac.
You get 5GB of free storage, but for NZ$1.29 per month you can bump that up to a decent 20GB. For NZ$4.99 monthly you’ll get 200GB, and 500GB will set you back NZ$12.99 a month, and for NZ$24.99 a month, 1TB. (To buy more, which I never do, preferring to manage my storage, open System Preferences, select iCloud and click Manage Storage.) This Apple Insider post takes you into more detail on iCloud Drive across all devices.
2/ Turn Dashboard back on — By default, Dashboard, the area widgets where used to sit, is turned off in Yosemite. But it’s easy to turn it back on. Open System Preferences, then Mission Control and flick Dashboard to ‘on’.
3/ Get Enhanced Dictation — Apple still hasn’t built Siri into OS X, but the Dictation tool is handy for taking down quick notes with your voice. In Yosemite, not all the Dictation features come pre-installed; you have to download them. It’s simple enough, though – open System Preferences, click the Dictation tab and tick the Enable Enhanced Dictation box. The 422MB download allows offline use, plus continuous dictation.
4/ Use Dictation Commands — With this feature, you can control quitting programs, selecting words, and moving your cursor around with just your voice.
First, enable Enhanced Dictation as above, since the commands won’t work without that on. Now in System Preferences choose Accessibility and scroll down to click on the ‘Dictation’ tab from the left-hand list. You will see the ‘Dictation Commands’ option in the right-hand pane. Click on that to see what choices you’ve got.
Whenever you invoke Dictation under Yosemite (which you’ll do by pressing the shortcut for that, listed under System Preferences> Dictation & Speech> Dictation), you can speak those listed commands to do things like select text, copy and paste, undo an action, and so on. And if you tick the checkbox labeled “Enable advanced commands” at the bottom of that window, you can switch between apps, quit programs, minimise windows, and more!
5/ Change your Mac’s Facetime ringtone in Yosemite (OS 10.10x)— Yes, it’s possible! With 10.10 on your Mac and iOS 8 on your device, your Mac now ‘rings’ when your iPhone does. Open FaceTime (if it’s not in your Dock, it’s in your Applications menu) and from the menus at the top of your screen, choose FaceTime> Preferences.
In the Preferences window, the ‘Ringtone’ drop-down is near the bottom of the ‘Settings’ tab. Switch that to whatever you like, there are loads to choose from.
If you’ve set specific ringtones for any of your contacts, they will override this default preference, but everyone else will trigger the sound you picked here.
2/ What’s playing? Apple integrated Shazam into iOS 8, which means that you can have your iPhone name tune (most tunes, anyway – it’s not so good with stuff like Captain Beefheart) you hear playing.
Start up Siri (press and hold the home button) and say something like ‘What’s the name of this tune?’ or ‘What’s playing?’ – and let Siri listen. Provided the tune is clear enough, and there’s not too much foreground chatter, your iPhone should establish what’s playing and provide a link to the iTunes listing.
3/ Siri can direct you home — Boot up Siri by holding in the Home button for a few seconds, then say ‘Take me home,’ and it’ll use Apple Maps (which is totally fixed and useful now, please note) to get turn-by-turn directions back to your house.
You’ll need to ensure you have an address listed for Home in your Contacts app, but even if you don’t, Siri will offer a shortcut to do so.
4/ Photos before and after — When editing photos in the Photos app (choose a photo and tap the Edit button at top right) , tap and hold the image to see how it looked originally. Release to snap back to your current edit – a great way to compare and contrast what it was to what it will be.
5/ Quickly complete web addresses in Safari — Press and hold the full stop key on the keyboard in Safari when inputing an address and you’ll bring up a list of internet address suffixes, like .com, .co.uk, and the like. Release your thumb over the one you want to insert it into the address.
—Business-boosting tips — Do you want your business boosted by giving your workers greater productivity? Book me for my 60 Mac tips in 60 minutes, or 60 iOS tips in 60. It’s a fun presentation, it’s over in 60 minutes and everyone walks away with a tip sheet they can refer back to. Groups up to 50, no problem. This will revive workplace productivity and make your devices more fun, less threatening and raise the knowledge of your staff.