Mac|Life - How-Tos en Ask: How to Fix Blurry Text on a Mac <!--paging_filter--><p>Got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We've got the answer. This time in Ask, we offer solutions on how to fix blurry text when you're using an external monitor on your Mac.&nbsp;</p><h3>Question</h3><p>I’ve just switched from an iMac to a Mac mini, but on the cheaper monitor I'm using — a 27-inch Samsung LCD — the text is blurry and no changes in System Preferences seem to help. I have tried the monitor on a PC and it looks fine. What can I do?</p><h3>Answer</h3><p>There are lots of reasons why you might get a blurry image. The two most common are that the monitor is over- or under-scanning (there’ll be an option for this in the monitor’s own menu) and font smoothing (try typing <strong>defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2</strong> in Terminal, then log out and back in; click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> for more details).</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/ask_monitor.png" width="620" height="424" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>If your display is blurry, try smoothing fonts or run a script to convince OS X the monitor only supports RGB.</strong></span></p><p>There’s another possibility. Apple’s DisplayPort uses the YCbCr color-encoding scheme by default, and this can look weird on some monitors. You can fix it by running a script to convince OS X the monitor only supports RGB. Right-click and download the script at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and then type <strong>ruby patch-edid.rb</strong> in Terminal. This creates a folder in your home folder. Move the patch-edid.rb into /System/Library/Displays/Overrides and restart your Mac.</p><p>Got an Apple tech question? Email <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> Ask blurred DisplayPort monitor Terminal Text Tips tricks Mac How-Tos Fri, 30 Jan 2015 18:57:13 +0000 MacLife Staff 21244 at Find the Best Cloud Photo Storage <!--paging_filter--> Gallery Adobe Revel Amazon Photos App AppLife Apps Carousel by Dropbox cloud cloud storage Find the best cloud photo service Flickr iCloud images iOS Photography Photos Picturelife pictures shutter Storage ThisLife iPad iPhone iPod Mac How-Tos Tue, 27 Jan 2015 23:16:04 +0000 J.R. Bookwalter 21234 at Ask: Limit App Update Notifications to One User <!--paging_filter--><p>Got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We've got the answer. This time in Ask, we'll show you how to restrict app-update notification pop-ups to only a single user's account on your Mac.</p><h3>Question</h3><p>I have a user account on my iMac for myself, another for my wife, and a third for our children. Only my account has administrator privileges. Is there a way to ensure my account is the only one that receives pop-up notifications for app updates?</p><h3>Answer</h3><p>There's no built-in way to limit notifications to one account, but there's a workaround you can perform using AppleScript. Open up the AppleScript Editor (or simply Script Editor, as it's also called) located in Applications &gt; Utilities and type in the script below. (For best results, input it manually; don't just copy and paste.)</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>tell application "System Preferences"</strong></p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;activate</span></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;set the current pane to pane "App Store"</span></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: bold;">end tell</span></p><p><strong><br /></strong></p><p><strong>tell application "System Events"</strong></p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;tell application process "System Preferences"</span></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; tell window "App Store"</span></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;tell checkbox "Automatically check for updates" to if value is 1 then click</span></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; end tell</span></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;end tell&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: bold;">end tell</span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">tell application "System Preferences"</span></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;"></span><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;quit&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;"></span><span style="font-weight: bold;">end tell</span></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/ask_notifications.png" width="620" height="368" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>With this script, it's easy to ensure that only an account administrator receives pop-up notifications.</strong></span></p><p>Save this as an application called TurnOffAppNotifications and put it in the Users/Public folder, then add it to your account’s login items in System Preferences &gt; Users &amp; Groups. This turns notifications off. You can create an equivalent script with "if value is 1" replaced by "if value is 0" to turn the notifications back on; save it and name it something like TurnOnAppNotifications.</p><p>Changing App Store preferences requires admin privileges, so your wife and kids won’t be able to run the script. You have to turn the notifications on when you log in and turn them off again when you log out. This means putting the link to the script on your desktop and getting into the habit of clicking it before you logout or shut down.</p><p>Got an Apple tech question? Email <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> App Store applescript Ask notifications Script Editor System Preferences Tips trick Mac How-Tos Fri, 23 Jan 2015 19:34:52 +0000 MacLife Staff 21220 at 10 Advanced Yosemite Tips <!--paging_filter--> Gallery advanced OS X OS X 10.10 Tips tricks yosemite Features Mac How-Tos Thu, 22 Jan 2015 00:59:56 +0000 Michael Simon 21212 at Ask: How to Merge Contacts into an Existing List <!--paging_filter--><p>Got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We've got the answer. This time in Ask, we let you know how to add a new list of contacts to your existing contacts list on Mac.&nbsp;</p><h3>Question</h3><p>I'm in a Mac-users group, and I'd like to add a file with my fellow members' contact info to my existing contacts book. All the info has been exported as an archive, but when I try to import it, I get a warning stating that all existing contacts will be erased. How do I add the contacts without wiping out the old ones?</p><h3>Answer</h3><p>Instead of exporting the contacts as an archive, select all the contacts and click File &gt; Export... &gt; Export vCard. This creates a single VCF file with all the contacts in it. Import this to Contacts and the imported names are added to the existing list.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/ask_mergecontacts.png" width="620" height="373" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Instead of exporting contacts as an archive, you can export multiple contacts as a single VCF file, which makes for much easier merging.</strong></span></p><p>If you don’t have access to the original contacts list that created the exported archive, create a new user account and log in to that. Now import the archive to a clean Contacts list, select all of them and re-export it to create the vCard as before. Save this in the Public\Drop Box folder of your main account, log in to that account and import the file to the original Contacts list.</p> Ask Contacts Importing Tips tricks Mac How-Tos Fri, 16 Jan 2015 19:09:44 +0000 MacLife Staff 21196 at How to Quickly Change Image Formats <!--paging_filter--><p>Some tasks, such as changing an image file's format, are easy to do but eat up a lot of your time. In some cases, you can speed things up by using OS X’s Services — little extension tools available with just a right-click of your mouse. We’re going to build a basic Service that converts just about any image you select in Finder into the JPEG format, reducing its file size and making it ready for web use. It’s powered by Preview, meaning it can convert (and batch convert) just about any image that Preview can open.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/howtoconvert_main.png" width="620" height="347" /></p><p>To begin, open Automator (from the Applications folder). Create a new document, and choose “Service” as the document type, then click “Choose.” In Automator, the left side of the screen shows your available “Actions,” while the right side shows the workflow you’ve built and its options.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Make a JPEG Conversion Service</h3><p><strong>1. Start Your Workflow</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/howtoconvert_1.png" width="620" height="267" /></strong></p><p>At the top of the workflow on the right, change the dropdown after “Service receives selected” to “image files,” then the dropdown that says “any application” to “Finder.” Now, in the Library sub-menu on the left, choose “Photos.” In the Actions list just to the right of that, look for “Change Type of Images.” Drag this into the workflow screen and drop it anywhere.</p><p><strong>2. Get Specific</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/howtoconvert_2.png" width="620" height="280" /></strong></p><p>You'll get a warning about adding a “Copy Finder Items” Action to your workflow — click “Add.” This copies the files you’ve chosen to convert to your desktop (or any folder you choose) before they’re altered, so the originals are kept safe. Now, in the “Change Type of Images” Action below this, click the menu that says “TIFF” and change it to “JPEG.” (Alternatively, you can choose a different type of image file you'd prefer).</p><p><strong>3. Convert the Image</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/howtoconvert_3.png" width="620" height="213" /></strong></p><p>Use the File menu or press Command + S to save and name your Service — this is how it will appear in the right-click menu, so call it something like “Convert to JPEG.” That’s it! Quit Automator and right-click on any image file. Look at the bottom of the contextual menu and you should see “Convert to JPEG” as an option, just the way you named it. (Sometimes, it may be within a Services sub-menu.) Click it to convert. That's all there is to it!</p> automator image conversion jpeg jpg OS X Service Tips tricks Mac How-Tos Tue, 13 Jan 2015 22:45:51 +0000 Matt Bolton 21187 at Easy Mac Hacks: Get Faster Wi-Fi in Yosemite <!--paging_filter--><p><em><img src="/files/u12635/easy_mac_hacks_icon_flat_33.png" width="200" height="200" class="graphic-right" />Every Monday we show you how to do something quick and cool using with Mac OS X. Sometimes it's a tutorial on a lesser-known feature, other times it's a trick that uses built-in functionality such as Terminal — either way, these simple tips can make life better and easier, and they don’t require any special knowledge. All you need to do is follow the instructions!<br /></em><br />Have you been having a slow wireless experience on your desktop or portable Mac? With the advent of new AirDrop technologies in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, a feature called Apple Wireless Direct Link (AWDL) is to blame. This technology is used for AirDrop, AirPlay, and direct-play gaming connections. This could be a Bonjour and AWDL clash, but regardless, it can be a little annoying. To instantly see faster results, we've got a Terminal trick that'll make online surfing and network file transfers a little faster. Continue reading, and we'll show you how it's done.</p><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/awdl_1.png"><img src="/files/u12635/awdl_1.png" width="620" height="435" class="thickbox" /></a><br /><br />To begin, open the Terminal application on your Mac (located in /Applications/Utilities). Once there, you'll want to type the following command, followed by the enter key:</p><pre>sudo ifconfig awdl0 down</pre><p>You'll be prompted to type your password after entering this command to verify your administrator account. Once entered, you'll instantly have a faster wireless connection. However, this will also disable AirDrop on your Mac.</p><p>Note that some older Macs may not use AWDL to handle AirDrop/Handoff, in whiuch case using this trick may give you an error message such as "interface awdl0 does not exist." On the plus side, then you're not experiencing the related Wi-Fi slowdown issue to begin with.</p><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/awdl_2.png"><img src="/files/u12635/awdl_2.png" width="620" height="435" class="thickbox" /></a><br /><br />If you wish to have access to AirDrop, but go back to a slower connection, then you'll want to navigate back to the Terminal and type in this command:</p><pre>sudo ifconfig awdl0 up</pre><p>After re-verifying your password, your AWDL and AirDrop service will be restored and your Mac will function as normal.</p><p>We hope that Apple will figure out and fix this issue with an upcoming update, but until then, you can use this little trick to ensure that your Mac's network speed is operating at its maximum.</p> airdrop AWDL Columns Easy Mac Hacks fix fixing How to Mac slow Wi-Fi yosemite Mac How-Tos Mon, 12 Jan 2015 19:03:42 +0000 Cory Bohon 21157 at Ask: PDF Problems in Safari <!--paging_filter--><p>Got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We've got the answer. In this edition of Ask, we look into why PDFs might not be functioning properly in Safari for Mac, and let you know how to fix it.&nbsp;</p><h3>Question</h3><p>I run Mavericks on my iMac and MacBook Pro, but whenever I open any PDF file in Safari, it won’t print. In any other browser there’s no problem. Can you help?</p><h3>Answer</h3><p>This sounds suspiciously like a case of a misbehaving Safari plugin, but it's fairly easy to solve. In Safari, click Help &gt; Installed Plug-ins and look for “AdobePDFViewerNAPI.” That’s the most likely culprit.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/ask_plugins.png" width="620" height="415" /><br /><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">Check over at “Installed Plug-Ins” that your Safari plug-ins aren’t the reason your PDFs aren’t printing.</span></strong></p><p>If you can see it on the plug-in page, use Spotlight to search for the file (it has .plugin as the file extension). Quit Safari, drag this file to the Trash and restart your Mac. If that doesn’t fix it, have a look for Silverlight and iGetter — both of these can cause the problem, too. Delete them and wait until the next time you’re prompted before downloading the newest versions.</p><p>Got an Apple tech question? Email <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> Ask PDF plug-in Safari Tips tricks Mac How-Tos Fri, 09 Jan 2015 19:07:54 +0000 MacLife Staff 21172 at How to Run Windows Apps on Mac (for Free!) <!--paging_filter--><p>Need to run a Windows application on your Mac? There are several ways to do it, including partitioning your hard drive and installing Windows directly, but an alternative is Wine — a free tool that makes it possible to run many Windows programs, including ones that aren’t available for OS X. We’re using Microsoft Money here, but you might have any number of specialist applications or even games that you’d like to run — although intensive 3D games will likely have performance issues. You don’t need a virtual machine and you don’t need a copy of Windows. Wine “bottles up” everything you need into a single package (called a “prefix”) that looks – and in many ways behaves — just like a Mac app. It’s not always perfect. Some apps don’t work at all, while others don’t work perfectly. But in many cases, you can work around the glitches.&nbsp;</p><p>In this tutorial, we’re pairing Wine with another free program called WineBottler. All you need to do to get started is provide the installer file for the Windows app or apps you wish you use.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>How to Configure Wine</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/wine_annotated.png" width="620" height="388" /></p><p><strong>A. Tweaking the App</strong></p><p>If your app doesn’t work properly, open Wine and click its menu bar icon to access its main menu. Next, click the Change Prefix... item if necessary to select your program from the list.</p><p><strong>B. Configuration</strong></p><p>Make changes to the underlying Windows “bottle” using this dialog box — by creating a virtual desktop screen to fix display errors, say.</p><p><strong>C. Winetricks</strong></p><p>Additional Winetricks can be added to a prefix without repeating the entire install process. Check those your app needs here and click Apply.</p><p><strong>D. Installing Apps</strong></p><p>If something isn’t in Winetricks, download it. Add it using Control Panel &gt; Add/Remove Programs.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>How to Install a Windows App in WineBottler</h3><p><strong>1. Get Started</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/howtowine_1.png" width="620" height="349" /></strong></p><p>Download the latest stable version of WineBottler from <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Double-click the DMG file and drag both the Wine and WineBottler icons into your Applications folder. Find your Windows software; in our case, it’s Microsoft Money Sunset Edition.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Check Compatibility</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/howtowine_2.png" width="620" height="353" /></strong></p><p>Next, go to and type the name of your Windows software into the Search box to find out if other people have successfully installed the app, and what requirements need to be met. In the case of Money, we need to add two Winetricks: msxml3 and ie8.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Select Installer</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/howtowine_3.png" width="620" height="305" /></strong></p><p>Open WineBottler and switch to the Advanced tab. Leave “new prefix” selected under Prefix Template, click the “Select File…” button to browse to your program’s setup file — in our example, USMoneyDlxSunset.exe. Select “This is an installer, execute it.”&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. Choose Winetricks</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/howtowine_4.png" width="620" height="304" /></strong></p><p>Certain programs require additional Windows components, such as IE8 or the .NET Framework to run. You can include these in your application’s prefix, so it works properly. For Microsoft Money, use the Search box to find “msxml3” and “ie8,” then tick each one.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>5. Final Steps</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/howtowine_5.png" width="620" height="305" /></strong></p><p>Check “Include Wine binaries...” after reading the tip box. Change com.yourcompany.yourapp to match your program — for us, that’s com.Microsoft.Money. Leave “Silent Install” unchecked, then click Install. Choose where to save it, name your program and click Install.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>6. Install Your App</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/howtowine_6.png" width="620" height="310" /></strong></p><p>First the Wine bottle (or “prefix”) is set up and then WineBottler installs any Winetricks, followed by your app. If a “Profile creation aborted” error appears, read the log — typically it’s related to a missing Winetricks setup file, and you’ll be provided with a download link.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>7. Complete Installation</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/howtowine_7.png" width="620" height="352" /></strong></p><p>After resolving errors, you’re prompted to install Winetrick components followed by the program. If any Program Error boxes appear, keep clicking Close until they disappear and WineBottler moves onto the next component.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>8. Test the App</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2015/01/howtowine_8.png" width="620" height="388" /></strong></p><p>Open the program from the Applications folder — there might be a short wait. Now try it. In Money, we can’t use the setup wizard, so we need to adapt the sample.mny file by choosing File &gt; Open, and browsing to drive_c\Program Files\Microsoft Money Plus.</p> Free operating systems windows Wine WineBottler Mac How-Tos Tue, 06 Jan 2015 22:23:11 +0000 Nick Peers 21161 at Easy Mac Hacks: Subscribing to RSS Feeds in Safari <!--paging_filter--><p><em><img src="/files/u12635/easy_mac_hacks_icon_flat_32.png" width="200" height="200" class="graphic-right" />Every Monday we show you how to do something quick and cool using with Mac OS X. Sometimes it's a tutorial on a lesser-known feature, other times it's a trick that uses built-in functionality such as Terminal — either way, these simple tips can make life better and easier, and they don’t require any special knowledge. All you need to do is follow the instructions!<br /></em><br />With OS X Lion, Apple discontinued a service in Safari that many users liked and relied on: RSS reading ability. The Safari RSS reader was introduced in OS X Tiger, and was a nice addition that gave users a beautiful interface for reading any RSS feeds they stumbled upon during normal web browsing. With Yosemite and Safari 8, Apple has added this functionality back into the app, but it's a bit hidden. In this article, we'll show you how to use this feature to read RSS feeds on your Mac.</p><h3>Creating a Feed Subscription</h3><p><img src="/files/u12635/safari_1_2.png" width="532" height="265" /></p><p>To begin subscribing to an RSS feed in Safari 8, follow these steps:</p><ol><li>Open the website that contains an RSS feed that you wish to subscribe to.</li><li>Select the RSS button on the site.</li><li>In the popup that appears, select the "Add" button.</li></ol><p>In addition, you can use these steps for websites that are already in your favorites in Safari:</p><ol><li>Open the sidebar (or press Command + Shift + L).</li><li>Select the Shared Links tab.</li><li>Select the "Subscriptions" button.</li><li>Select "Add Feed."</li><li>Select a feed from the favorites list drop-down menu, then select "Add Feed."</li></ol><p>Once in this section, you can easily see all of your subscriptions and remove ones that you no longer wish to subscribe to.</p><h3>Reading an RSS feed in Safari</h3><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/safari_2_2.png"><img src="/files/u12635/safari_2_2.png" width="620" height="331" class="thickbox" /></a></p><p>Once you have subscribed to an RSS feed, you can easily view your subscriptions in the sidebar. With the sidebar shown, select the Shared Links (the "@") tab item.</p><p>In this section, you will see all of your subscriptions with the newest items shown at the top of the list. In the sidebar, you will see a part of the article along with the title. Clicking the item in the sidebar will load the article in the Safari web view.</p> Columns Easy Mac Hacks feeds How to Lion Mac Mountain Lion RSS Safari Safari 8 yosemite Mac How-Tos Mon, 05 Jan 2015 18:30:34 +0000 Cory Bohon 21156 at