Mac|Life - How-Tos en Easy Mac Hacks: Conserve Power by Putting Your Display to Sleep <!--paging_filter--><p><em><img src="/files/u12635/easy_mac_hacks_icon_flat_15.png" width="200" height="200" class="graphic-right" />Every Monday we show you how to do something quick and cool using built-in OS X utilities such as Terminal, Apple’s command line application. These easy hacks can make life better and simpler, and don’t require any knowledge of coding — all you need is a keyboard to type 'em out!<br /></em><br />Recent OS X updates have made our Macs more power-efficient, but it hasn't addressed the biggest power concern on portables: the display. In this article, we'll show you a few tips to get the most out of your battery life by putting the display to sleep when it's not in use.</p><h3>Putting Display to Sleep When Not in Use</h3><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/display_1_0.png"><img src="/files/u12635/display_1_0.png" width="620" height="458" class="thickbox" /></a></p><p>Ensuring that your display sleeps often when on battery power can help ensure you're conserving the most energy. Fortunately, OS X lets you customize these settings very easily. Simply navigate to System Preferences &gt; Energy Saver.<br /><br />Once here, set the slider for "Turn display off after" to the lowest setting you feel comfortable using. Once the computer has been inactive for the set time allotment, then the display only will turn off (this will not turn off your computer unless you have set the computer to sleep as well).<br /><br />Because the display drains the most power on your Mac during normal usage, then it is important to set it to sleep as soon as possible after you stop using your Mac. This will help ensure that you're preserving as much battery life as you can.</p><h3>Using Hot Corner to Put Display to Sleep</h3><p>If you know you're going to be away from your computer for an extended period of time, then you can set a hot corner (a place on your screen that performs an action when you hover your mouse over top).&nbsp;To do this, open System Preferences &gt; Mission Control &gt; Hot Corners.</p><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/display_2_0.png"><img src="/files/u12635/display_2_0.png" width="620" height="528" class="thickbox" /></a></p><p><br />In this view, pick a corner you wish to use as a Hot Corner, then select "Put Display to Sleep" from the action drop-down menu.<br /><br />Now, whenever you mouse down to the Hot Corner designated to put the display to sleep, the display will go to sleep, while the computer remains awake.</p> Columns display Easy Mac Hacks Hot Corners How to Mac power Tips Mac How-Tos Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:28:01 +0000 Cory Bohon 20559 at Ask: Massive iMovie Library Size <!--paging_filter--><p>Got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We have the answer. In this week's installment of Ask, we'll figure out what to do when you have a mysteriously large iMovie library for no apparent reason.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Question</h3><p>I make a bunch of videos for my kids’ sports teams using iMovie on my Mac. After I complete the projects and share the video, I delete the project and events in iMovie (the ’11 version). But in the Finder it still shows that my library is 176GB; I checked everywhere I can see and there are no files in iMovie. How do I get that size down?</p><h3>Answer</h3><p>In order to completely remove iMovie projects and original footage in the events library, you need to right-click (or control + click) on the project and choose the “Move Project to Trash” option. This will remove the project from iMovie and place it in the Trash where it can later be deleted from your Mac completely by emptying the Trash.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/imovielib_620.png" width="620" height="562" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>You’ll need to manually specify iMovie projects for deletion.</strong></span></p><p>If you’ve already removed the iMovie projects and events without deleting them, you can still remove the existing Events and Projects by using the Finder. To do this, follow these steps:&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1.</strong> In the Finder, choose Home from the Go menu.</p><p><strong>2.</strong> Open the Movies folder.</p><p><strong>3.</strong> Find the “iMovie Events” and “iMovie Projects” folders and drag them to the trash.</p><p>If your iMovie projects and events are stored on an external hard drive, just open your external hard drive, then find the “iMovie Events” and “iMovie Projects” folders and drag them to the trash. That’s all there is to it!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Ask is written by Cory Bohon, a freelance technology writer, indie Mac and iOS developer, and amateur photographer.</p><p>Got a tech question? Email <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> Ask file size iMovie memory tip trick Mac How-Tos Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:22:21 +0000 Cory Bohon 20659 at 4 Tips for Installing iOS 8 <!--paging_filter--><p>A lot of Apple fans have already upgraded to iOS 8 following the recent release of Apple's latest mobile operating system, but for those of you that haven't, here are a few quick tips to make the experience easier.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>1. Backup Your iOS Device!</h3><p>Theoretically it's perfectly safe to upgrade your operating system, but you never know when something is going to go wrong. Connect your iOS device to iTunes on your computer and perform a full backup by pressing the "Back Up Now" button before you begin the upgrade process. If the worst happens, it could save you a lot of heartbreak. Should something go wrong, you'll just have to restore your iOS device from the backup to get things running again, and you won't lose any of your precious photos in the process.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/step1.png" width="620" height="183" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>2. Upgrade via iTunes</h3><p>While you're already in iTunes on your computer, you might as well use it to perform the system update. For one thing, this method tends to be more reliable than updating your iPhone or iPad over the air; for another, it means you won't have to clear out nearly 6GB of free space on your device to perform the installation (which can be especially important if you have a 16GB device). After selecting your iOS device in iTunes, press the Check for Update button, then press "Download" or "Download and Update" to begin the upgrade process. If you choose "Download," you'll be able to come back later to finish the actual installation process.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/step2b.png" width="620" height="352" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>3. Software Update</h3><p>If you don't want to (or can't) go through iTunes on your computer, you can do it through the settings menu on your iOS device. A lot of people wait to update until they receive a notification from Apple (expect one soon if you haven't receieved one already), but you don't have to wait until then. Just go to Settings &gt; General &gt; Software Update. Your device will check for updates and then allow you to perform the upgrade.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/step3.png" width="620" height="458" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>4. If You Have an Older Device, Wait!</h3><p>iOS 8 should work great if you have a newer Apple device. But if you have an iPhone 4S or an iPad 2, you should probably hold off for now. iOS 8 is not optimized for older devices, and is likely to give you a notable big performance hit. Hopefully, Apple will improve performance for these devices with a future update.</p> iOS iOS 8 iTunes Tips tricks update upgrade iPad iPhone iPod How-Tos Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:22:28 +0000 Chris Hoffman 20656 at 50 iOS 8 Tips and Tricks <!--paging_filter--> Gallery guide iOS 8 Tips tricks Features iPad iPhone iPod How-Tos Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:01:47 +0000 Michael Simon 20642 at How to Edit Audio in your Videos <!--paging_filter--><p>The era of the silent film started in 1894, and finally ended in 1937. These days, it’s difficult to imagine a movie being made without sound. There are notable exceptions of course, such as Mel Brooks’ <em>Silent Movie</em> or the recent French film <em>The Artist</em>, but for the vast majority of movies, sound is a crucial component. In fact, the quality of the audio affects the viewers’ perception of the movie’s visual quality.</p><p>So it’s good to know that even though Premiere Elements is a consumer-grade video-editing application, it does offer some means of working with your clips’ audio. As you might expect, though, some of the necessary tools are only available in Expert mode, but the concept of those in Quick mode is the same — so once you understand how one works, you understand them all.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtoaudio_main.png" width="620" height="388" /></p><p>Not only that, but this software also comes with a myriad of sound effects that you can add to your movie to help create mood and ambience. You can, of course, add a soundtrack to your film, but Premiere Elements goes one better: it comes bundled with a series of musical scores that adapt themselves to the length of your project. That means there’s always a beginning, middle and end to the music, as opposed to having to mess around trying to fade it off because it’s too long, or loop back to the beginning if it’s too short. All you have to do to make it work is drag it onto your project and move it into the correct location.</p><p>So let’s have a look at how to ramp up the quality of the audio in your movie.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><span style="font-size: 1.17em;">1. Audio Tools</span></h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtoaudio_1.png" width="620" height="350" /></p><p>Click on a clip in your project to select it, then click on Adjust (top-right of the interface) to reveal a selection of tools. The last two are the ones we want: Volume and Balance. The latter affects which speaker the sound comes from, but we’re looking at the former.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>2. Sound Alteration</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtoaudio_2.png" width="620" height="378" /></p><p>Click on Volume to reveal a slider. Use this to adjust the volume of an entire clip. You won’t see that anything’s changed, but you can hear the difference when you play it back. Move the playhead somewhere else over your clip and alter the audio again.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>3. Change Over Time</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtoaudio_3.png" width="620" height="338" /></p><p>As you play back your clip, you’ll notice the audio volume isn’t constant any more. In fact, the levels change between the two values you manually set. That’s because the audio levels change depending on the playhead’s position. Now switch to Expert mode.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>4. Expert Explanation</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtoaudio_4.png" width="620" height="376" /></p><p>You can see what’s happening in the audio layer. There are two white dots, and the audio line changes between the two. It’s important to note that even in Quick mode, these audio tools create keyframes and alter the audio at specific points, not on the whole clip.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>5. Sound Effects</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtoaudio_5.png" width="620" height="316" /></p><p>Go back to Quick mode and select the Audio tab (lower right). Click on the Category bar and change it to Sound Effects &gt; Show All. You’re presented with a huge list of effects. Preview them by clicking on their play buttons. To add one to your project, just drag it in.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>6. Adding an Effect</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtoaudio_6.png" width="620" height="368" /></p><p>The audio appears as a yellow rectangle, which is found underneath your main video layer. From here, you can alter its duration by dragging its left or right edges inwards. You can also alter its volume, or even trim the clip using the playhead’s scissors icon.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>7. One per Track</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtoaudio_7.png" width="620" height="315" /></p><p>To include a duration-sensitive music score, open Audio and select Music Scores &gt; Show All. Drag one onto your project. In Quick mode, you can’t have a score overlapping an effect; adding music before an effect pushes the effect to the end of the song.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>8. Flexible Score</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtoaudio_8.png" width="620" height="388" /></p><p>The audio score comes with its own parameters. Tick the option Fit Entire Video &gt; Done. Agree to delete any other audio on the same track. The music then fits the video’s duration. Alter the duration and tick that box for the music to stretch or contract appropriately.</p> Adobe Audio Editing Premiere Elements 12 Tips tricks video Mac How-Tos Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:58:41 +0000 Steve Paris 20643 at Easy Mac Hacks: Find File Locations <!--paging_filter--><p><em><img src="/files/u12635/easy_mac_hacks_icon_flat_16.png" width="200" height="200" class="graphic-right" />Every Monday we show you how to do something quick and cool using built-in OS X utilities such as Terminal, Apple’s command line application. These easy hacks can make life better and simpler, and don’t require any knowledge of coding — all you need is a keyboard to type 'em out!<br /></em><br />Navigating the Finder is already pretty easy, but finding the exact path of a folder or file you're currently browsing can be a difficult task unless you're using the Column view in the Finder. Fortunately, there are two tricks that will help you determine the browsing path through the Finder, and we'll show you how to use both in this how-to. Continue reading to learn more.<br /><br />There are two ways to learn about the current path to a file or folder you're browsing. The first is to utilize the Path Bar. This is a toolbar that sits above the Finder status bar (which is at the bottom of the Finder window), and provides a full directory listing for all folders currently in the directory navigation hierarchy.</p><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/path_2.png"><img src="/files/u12635/path_2.png" width="620" height="419" class="thickbox" /></a><br /><br />However, this useful feature isn't enabled by default. To activate the Path Bar, open a Finder window and select View &gt; Show Path Bar.&nbsp;You'll see the Path Bar immediately appear. You can easily navigate back to any of the folders in the current structure by just clicking on them in the Path bar. This makes it super-easy to navigate when you're quite a few levels deep in a directory.</p><p>The second method of determining your directory path is to use a keyboard shortcut.</p><p><img src="/files/u12635/path_1.png" width="284" height="182" /><br /><br />To do this, hold down the Command key and click on the title bar in the currently open Finder window. You'll see a drop-down menu that lists (from bottom to top) the directory structure that you are currently navigating. Similar to the Path Bar, this lets you click any of the directories in the listing to immediately navigate to that particular folder.</p> Columns Easy Mac Hacks finder How to Mac Navigation Path Bar Mac How-Tos Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:55:03 +0000 Cory Bohon 20560 at Ask: How to Remove Unwanted Apps <!--paging_filter--><p>Got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We have the answer. In this week's installment of Ask, we'll help you remove old, unwanted, or useless applications from your Mac.</p><h3>Question</h3><p><strong>I have just upgraded my Mac to Mavericks using Migration Assistant. This is probably the fifth computer I have done this with, over many, many years, and many of my old apps have been rendered useless by switching to new operating systems. Is there a good method or a reliable app that will find and identify all of the useless files on my machine so I can remove them?&nbsp;</strong></p><h3>Answer</h3><p>Uninstalling apps on the Mac is fairly straightforward compared to other operating systems, but there are some caveats that you should know before starting the process. Applications created for the Mac have a “.app” extension to denote that they are an application. This “.app” is what’s known as an application bundle; it’s essentially a folder that contains all of the files related to the application that it needs to run. To remove these application bundles using the Finder:</p><p><strong>1.</strong> Stop the application from running, and if it has options to run at Login, &nbsp;disable these features.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2.</strong> Remove the application and any helpers from the Dock and Menu bar by quitting them and dragging them off the Dock.</p><p><strong>3.</strong> Locate the .app bundle in the Applications folder, or wherever you’ve been storing the app.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4.</strong> Drag the .app bundle to the Trash, and empty the Trash.</p><p>This is all well and good, but there could still be files lying around your system relating to the application that you just removed. It is a common Mac app practice that user preferences, and other files relating to the application, will be stored in various system folders across your Mac for safekeeping. Follow these steps to find and remove additional files:&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1.</strong> In Finder, search for the application you just deleted. (Ideally it will be &nbsp;something unique like “Firefox” or “Skype” rather than “Notes.”)&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2.</strong> You can narrow the search to specific folders, if you know where it might be, or to the entire computer.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3.</strong> Search using “File Name” instead of “Contents” to get better results (because we’re looking for files relating to the app, which usually have the name of the app in the filename).&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4.</strong> Click the + button to add a new search criterion, then select Other &gt; System Files; click “Don’t Include” and select “Include” instead.</p><p><strong>5.</strong> Sort by name, kind, date, and so on to identify components of the app; these might be folders, “.plist” files, cache files or other types.</p><p><strong>6.</strong> Delete all of the files and folders relating to the app, but be careful to not delete files that could be used by other apps that you still wish to use.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>7.</strong> Once you’ve determined that everything is still working properly, then you can remove the files in the Trash. You may need to reboot your Mac before emptying the Trash, and/or use Secure Empty Trash from the Finder menu.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/ask-uselessfiles.png" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Search for files relating to a specific application to help with removing them.</strong></span></p><p>Again, we stress that you should be careful when removing these items. If you accidentally delete the wrong item relating to another application, the other app may not work properly. If you are not comfortable with this process, then you can use an automated uninstaller application such as AppTrap (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>), AppCleaner (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>), and AppZapper (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>). Don’t expect these tools to remove all files associated with all applications, but they can do a pretty good job.</p><p>Ask is written by Cory Bohon, a freelance technology writer, indie Mac and iOS developer, and amateur photographer.</p><p>Got a tech question? Email <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> Apps Ask delete Mavericks Tips uninstall unwanted Mac How-Tos Fri, 12 Sep 2014 17:46:04 +0000 Cory Bohon 20623 at How to Get Better Macbook Battery Life <!--paging_filter--><p>Apple’s portable computers have become the company’s best-selling Mac models, which is no doubt down to them being thinner and lighter than ever before. However, this puts a limit on how big their batteries can be, and although the technology has improved, battery life in laptops is still an important factor. As good as OS X and Intel’s latest processors are at minimizing power drain, our expectations of how long we should be able to go between charges have also increased.</p><p>The good news is there are quite a few things you can do to squeeze as much as possible out of a single charge. It helps, for example, if you can install OS X 10.9 Mavericks, because this has many under-the-hood power-saving technologies, but even on older versions of OS X there are some great tips to know, as we’ll see.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>1. Lower the Screen Brightness</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtobattery-1.png" width="620" height="373" /></p><p>Even when the CPU is fairly idle, the screen still uses battery. Use the shortcut keys or go to System Preferences &gt; Displays and lower the brightness a little. Newer Macs have an “auto brightness” option you may wish to turn on.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>2. Cut Wireless Connections</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtobattery-2.png" width="620" height="362" /></p><p>If you’re not on a Wi-Fi network, turn Wi-Fi off from the menu bar icon at the top of the screen. If you are on Wi-Fi and have connected to remote drives, disconnect when you’re done, otherwise your Mac uses power to poll the network to check they are there. &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>3. Disable Power Nap</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtobattery-3.png" width="620" height="391" /></p><p>With the Power Nap system, newer Macs can perform certain functions when asleep. It should be deactivated while on battery power; go to System Preferences &gt; Energy Saver, click the Battery tab and deselect “Enable Power Nap while on battery power."&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>4. Remove any Optical Discs</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtobattery-4.png" width="620" height="296" /></p><p>Most newer Apple laptops don’t have optical drives, but many older ones do. Having a disc in the drive when you’re not using it causes the computer to periodically whip up the drive. The motion of spinning the disc uses quite a bit of battery power, so eject it.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>5. Clean out Your Login Items</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtobattery-5.png" width="620" height="373" /></p><p>Installing printers, scanners and other devices can cause helper apps to be placed on your system. Go to System Preferences &gt; Users and Groups and look at the Login Items. Remove any you don’t need, to speed up login and reduce power consumption.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>6. Minimize Active Apps</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtowindows_6.png" width="620" height="365" /></p><p>OS X 10.9 Mavericks has App Nap, to suspend apps not in the foreground. For earlier OS X versions, and as a general rule of thumb, it helps to quit any app which you’re not actually using in order to free up potential resources.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>7. Disconnect Peripherals</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtobattery-7.png" width="620" height="391" /></p><p>Both USB and Thunderbolt connections are able to carry power, and they’re often used to power external devices. If you’re working away from a power source, this power comes from your laptop battery, so if you’re not using a device, disconnect it.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>8. Use ClickToFlash</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtobattery-8.png" width="620" height="399" /></p><p>Safari Power Saver in OS X 10.9 disables parts of websites, such as Flash content, to use fewer resources when browsing. Simulate this in earlier OS X versions by installing the Safari extension ClickToFlash to block Flash content from playing automatically.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>9. Battery Info</h3><p>If you hold the Option key and click the battery icon in your Mac’s menu bar, you get an expanded display that reveals a report about the condition of the battery. This should say Normal, but it will report any problems, or indicate if the battery needs replacing when it’s older. Laptop batteries are not designed to be charging all the time; they should be run down at periodic intervals and then fully recharged. This “cycling” ensures better longevity, so don’t be afraid to use your laptop away from the mains.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>10. Switch to an SSD</h3><p>Almost all Apple laptops now come with a solid state drive (SSD) included, instead of a hard drive. This is because they’re smaller, faster, and lower in power consumption compared to spinning hard drives. However, even if you have an older laptop, you should be able to swap your original drive for a new SSD. Prices for these drives are coming down hugely online, so it pays to shop around. They give an older laptop a brand-new lease of life in terms of general performance, as well as improving battery life. However, remember to back up your data comprehensively before swapping out any hardware components.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>11. Fast User Switching</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtobattery-11.png" width="620" height="452" /></p><p>Fast User Switching can be really useful, because it lets one or more users stay logged in in the background while another operates a Mac under their own account. Be aware, though, that many processes started by the background user, such as Safari downloads, continue even when the Mac is switched to a new user, and can use battery power. Apps that have opened also stay open. Because there’s no real way of knowing which apps will be running in the background, the only way to ensure that a user is taking up no battery power at all is to log them out of OS X.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>12. &nbsp;Energy-Saving Options</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/howtobattery-12-annotated.png" width="620" height="408" /></p><p><strong>A. Graphics switching:&nbsp;</strong>Higher-end MacBook Pro models have two graphics processors. One is for simple tasks, such as email or web browsing, and the other for intensive processes, such as gaming or Photoshop work. OS X is smart enough to toggle between the two processors so it uses the less power-hungry hardware, but, when required, switches on the high-powered card (but only for as long as it is needed).</p><p><strong>B. Choose your setup:&nbsp;</strong>OS X can be set to work differently on mains power and battery power. When on mains, you don’t need to worry as much about CPU usage, screen brightness and display sleeping. Under the Battery option, you should have different settings, such as faster screen-dimming and a sleep option to preserve power.</p><p><strong>C. Display sleep:&nbsp;</strong>When you’re on mains power, you may well have your display set to go to sleep after a longer period. On battery power, it’s wise to have the screen sleep after a shorter time — we’d suggest five minutes. Remember the screen only sleeps when there’s no user input.</p><p><strong>D. Power save options:&nbsp;</strong>The “Put hard disks to sleep when possible” option is more applicable to older, spinning hard drives than new SSDs, since the latter have no moving parts and so use far less battery power. However, if you do have a hard drive, switching this option on is advisable, because over time it saves a decent amount of charge. The option to slightly dim the display while on battery power is also useful, because with every notch that the brightness is lowered, some battery power is saved.</p><p><strong>E. Power Nap options:&nbsp;</strong>Newer Mac laptops are able to check for email, iCloud, calendar and other updates even while asleep. As you might imagine, this requires the use of some power since the computer isn’t technically fully asleep. It’s fine to use on mains power, but it’s probably a good idea to check this is switched off for battery power unless you really want those updates.</p><p><strong>F. Energy usage monitor:&nbsp;</strong>If you click on the battery icon in the menu bar in OS X 10.9 Mavericks, you see a menu item that displays which (if any) apps are using significant energy. “Energy” can refer to CPU, disk access and RAM usage, all of which use up battery power to various extents. You can then quit the app if necessary.</p> battery energy saving laptop MacBook power Tips Mac How-Tos Wed, 10 Sep 2014 22:48:29 +0000 Hollin Jones 20614 at Easy Mac Hacks: Improve the OS X Dictionary <!--paging_filter--><p><em><img src="/files/u12635/easy_mac_hacks_icon_flat_14.png" width="200" height="200" class="graphic-right" />Every Monday we show you how to do something quick and cool using built-in OS X utilities such as Terminal, Apple’s command line application. These easy hacks can make life better and simpler, and don’t require any knowledge of coding — all you need is a keyboard to type 'em out!<br /></em><br />The dictionary in OS X provides typing and spelling-correction support (such as autocorrecting as you type, or the red lines under misspelled words). This dictionary service is important to helping users type error-free in OS X and applications, but did you know there's a way to train the dictionary so that it learns new words that it doesn't recognize? In this how-to, we'll show you exactly how it's done.</p><h3>Learning Words</h3><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/spelling_1.png"><img src="/files/u12635/spelling_1.png" width="587" height="478" style="border: 1px solid black;" class="thickbox" /></a></p><p>If you have turned on spell check as you type, then you'll notice that in most OS X applications that support it, misspelled (or thought-to-be-misspelled words) will appear with a red underline beneath them.&nbsp;Sometimes, though, correctly spelled words are marked as misspelled — this can commonly occur with uncommon words, names, and places of business.<br /><br />In these cases when the word is actually spelled correctly but OS X simply doesn't recognize it, you can easily add the word to the OS X dictionary so that it qualifies for autocorrection and spelling suggestions in the future when typing.&nbsp;To do so, right-click on the supposedly misspelled word and select the "Learn Spelling" option that appears in the contextual menu.</p><h3>Removing Learned Words</h3><p>If you no longer wish to have the word in the OS X dictionary, then you can easily remove it by typing in the word, then right-clicking on it, and selecting "Unlearn Spelling."</p><h3>Removing Multiple Learned Words</h3><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/spelling_2.png"><img src="/files/u12635/spelling_2.png" width="620" height="451" class="thickbox" /></a></p><p>If you have a lot of learned words that you'd like to get rid of, then you can manually open the plain-text file that stores these learned words. To do this, open a Finder window, then press Command + Shift + G (or go to Go &gt; Go to Folder...). Type in "~/Library/Spelling/" and click "Go."</p><p>In the directory that opens, you'll see a file called "LocalDictionary." Simply open this file in TextEdit, remove the unwanted words, then save the document. You can also reset the entire dictionary by removing the "LocalDictionary" file to the Trash, then emptying the Trash.</p> Columns dictionary Easy Mac Hacks How to learn Mac name names OS X spelling training unlearn Mac How-Tos Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:22:03 +0000 Cory Bohon 20558 at Ask: Using Apple Mail with Gmail <!--paging_filter--><p>Got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We have the answer. In this week's installment of Ask, we'll provide some tips for getting Apple's Mail app to sync better with Gmail.</p><h3>Question</h3><p><strong>Since Mavericks appeared, the new OS seems to have turned Apple Mail into a piece of junk for those of us who use IMAP versions of Gmail. Now it can take 10 minutes for Apple Mail to sync with Gmail. Apple’s updates don’t seem to have helped much. It’s sent me and others searching for Apple Mail alternatives. How about some external wisdom?</strong></p><h3>Answer</h3><p>Integrating Gmail accounts with most mail clients has long proven difficult, but Apple Mail seems to have special difficulties with the IMAP version of Gmail. Fortunately, there are some troubleshooting steps that we can go through to hopefully solve this particular issue.</p><p>For issues with syncing, it can be helpful to change a particular setting in Mail that controls when Mail checks for new messages. This is something that has worked for many people:&nbsp;</p><p>01. Open Mail &gt; Preferences.</p><p>02. Select the General tab.&nbsp;</p><p>03. Under the drop-down menu for “Check for new messages” select a time period to check (for example, every three minutes) instead the of “Automatic” setting.</p><p>04. Quit and relaunch the Mail application.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/09/ask_9-5-14_gmail.png" width="620" height="574" /><br /><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">Changing Mail to check at specific intervals instead of “Automatic” can help with mail synchronization issues.</span></strong>&nbsp;</p><p>Another tip that has helped others is to periodically quit Apple Mail, then launch it again. Many people have noted their mail messages immediately appear after the relaunch of the application. If you’re still having issues and a restart won’t help, then try clicking Mailbox &gt; Take All Accounts Offline, then click Mailbox &gt; Take All Accounts Online to “refresh” your mail.</p><p>Ask is written by Cory Bohon, a freelance technology writer, indie Mac and iOS developer, and amateur photographer.</p><p>Got a tech question? Email <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> Ask Email Gmail Mail syncing Tips tricks Mac How-Tos Fri, 05 Sep 2014 17:38:04 +0000 Cory Bohon 20585 at