Mac|Life - How-Tos en How to Master iOS Pages <!--paging_filter--><p>It wasn't that long ago that the only viable option for word processing was on desktop or laptop computer. But writing apps have made great strides on tablets in recent years — with the release of iOS 7, Pages even got a thorough makeover and is available to new-device owners for free (along with the other iWord apps). Pages for iOS is a powerful portable publishing tool, but it does have a bit of a learning curve. Fortunately, this guide is here to get you up to speed on everything you need to know.</p><p>Using Pages on an iPad is a much more pleasant experience than on an iPhone because of the screen size, and creating documents on your iPad is straightforward, largely thanks to the templates provided and the effective use of touch controls.</p><p>Start by choosing one of the 63 available templates, and then customize it until it fits the bill precisely. Don’t like the headline typeface? Change it. Size and color? You can change those, too. Images can be replaced with photos from your Photos app, and there are dozens of shapes available for you to add to documents. We particularly like the image masking feature, which lets you choose which parts of an image to display or hide.</p><p>The range of style options for objects is huge, and text formatting options are also diverse. When you’re done creating, your work can be sent wirelessly to an AirPrint-compatible printer, saved to iCloud, or shared using email.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Learn the Basics</h3><p><strong>1. Undo/Redo</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_further1.png" width="620" height="327" /></strong></p><p>If you delete something by mistake, or if you’ve mistyped something, you’ll want to be able to roll back your changes. There’s an Undo button at the top-left corner. Tap and hold it to reveal the Redo option. On an iPhone, you can simply shake the device to bring up the Undo option.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Adjust Margins</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_further2.png" width="620" height="333" /></strong></p><p>Tap the wrench icon and choose Document Setup. The view changes to a vertical page preview that shows the page’s margins. Adjust these by tapping and dragging the arrows. Alter the paper size by tapping Change Paper Size at the bottom of the screen.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Image Watermarks</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_further3.png" width="620" height="300" /></strong></p><p>To turn an image into a watermark, add the image, then resize it to fit where you want the watermark to appear. Tap the Paintbrush icon, choose the Style tab, and then choose Style Options &gt; Effects. Drag the opacity slider to the left. Options to add a shadow or reflection are also found here.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. Create Tab Stops</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_further4_0.png" width="620" height="326" /></strong></p><p>Bring up the ruler by tapping on some text. Select the text you want to adjust, and then tap on the ruler to insert tab stops. Double-tap a tab stop to change its type: a diamond indicates center-aligned, a triangle pointing left is right-aligned, while a circle is decimal-aligned.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>5. Headers and Footers</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_further5_0.png" /></p><p>With your document open, tap the wrench icon and then choose Document Setup. At the top and bottom of the page you can type a header and a footer in the boxes. The text you type is added to the Section Master, so the header and footer appears on every page.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>6. Page Numbers</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_further6.png" width="620" height="276" /></strong></p><p>To add page numbers, follow the same route as for headers and footers, but when you tap on either the header or footer box, select Page Numbers from the pop-up menu that appears until you start typing. Select a presentation style from the menu, and then tap Done at the top left.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>7. Tidy Up</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_further7.png" width="620" height="317" /></strong></p><p>Tap Documents at the top left to see your files. Tap Edit and then tap all but one of the documents you want to put in a folder. Tap and drag one of the selection and the other items will follow it. Drop the selection onto the remaining, unselected document to put them all in a new folder.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>8. Find Text</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_further8.png" width="620" height="298" /></p><p>While viewing a document, tap the wrench and choose Find to reveal a search bar. In it, enter the text you want to find. Instances of that text are highlighted, and the arrows at the right step through them. Tap the cog on the left to find and replace text, and for stricter matching options.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>9. Import Attachments</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_further9.png" width="620" height="367" /></strong></p><p>You don’t have to use iTunes on your Mac to get existing documents into Pages on your iPad. You can send Pages or Word documents as an attachment to an email. On receipt, tap and hold the attachment’s icon in the email and select Open in Pages from the options that appear.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Make Pages Within Pages</h3><p><strong>1. Getting a New Page</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_pages1.png" width="620" height="373" /></p><p>Sometimes, Pages’ minimalist interface can be irritating. Here’s a case in point: you could spend a long time trying to work out how to get the app to start a fresh new page in a multi-page document, when the command to do this is hidden in plain sight behind an icon. With the keyboard showing, simply tap the + button at its top-right corner to reveal the options you need for inserting line breaks, column breaks and the all-important page breaks, as well as footnotes and comments.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Adjust Page Margins</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_pages2.png" width="620" height="283" /></strong></p><p>To adjust the size of your document, you can manipulate the page margins by using the ruler. To show the ruler, tap the wrench icon at the top of the screen and enable Settings &gt; Ruler. To align your text, set the tab stops along the ruler to align text on the left, right, center or decimal point. Tap on the ruler to place an insertion point, or hold and drag a tab stop icon until it’s in the correct position. You can insert as many tab stops as you want. To hide the ruler and the keyboard, tap the bottom-right key.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Edit Text Like a Pro</h3><p><strong>1. Selecting Text</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_edit1.png" /></strong></p><p>It’s not obvious how to select text in Pages. You can double-tap to select a word, or triple-tap to select an entire paragraph at once. To select all the text, either tap and hold, then choose Select All from the menu that pops up, or use Command + A on a paired Bluetooth keyboard. To adjust the selection, tap one of the blue handles to grab it, and then drag your finger forwards or backwards through the document.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Using Spellcheck</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_edit2.png" /></strong></p><p>Suspected misspellings are shown with a dotted red underline. To correct them, double-tap on the mistake, then tap Replace and pick the correct word from the suggestions. If there’s only one available suggestion, you’re shown this as soon as you tap on a word, and you can tap to accept it. This menu also tells you if the spellchecker is totally stumped and has no replacement word available.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Undoing Text Errors</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_edit3.png" width="620" height="247" /></strong></p><p>Sometimes you move an image accidentally or make a mistake while you’re typing. This is easily fixed in the iPhone version of Pages by simply shaking your phone and then selecting either Undo or Redo, as appropriate. If this doesn’t work, make sure you’ve tapped Done or finished your current task and then try shaking your phone again. On the iPad, tap the bottom-left key to reveal an Undo key.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>Make Documents More Interesting</h3><p><strong>1. Anchoring Images</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_interesting1.png" width="620" height="451" /></strong></p><p>Images and shapes can be anchored so they move with the text – this is usually referred to as an inline image – or made to float above the text, with the option of wrapping text around the graphic. Tap the + at the top of the screen to insert an image, and then tap the Paintbrush icon at the top of the screen. Tap Arrange &gt; Wrap, and choose your anchor and wrap options. Icons help to describe their effects.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Cropping Pictures</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_interesting2_0.png" /></strong></p><p>If the picture you want to use is the wrong shape for your page’s layout, you can use the Edit Mask command under the Image tab in the Paintbrush menu. This lets you crop images, as well as zooming and panning the picture inside the mask. It’s a bit like moving a huge poster around outside a window, except you can alter the size of the window, and the size of the poster as well.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Skim Long Documents</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/pages_interesting3.png" width="620" height="372" /></strong></p><p>Even with flick gestures, it could take you a long time to scroll through a big document. Thankfully, Apple has thought about this: tap and hold for a split second at the right of the screen, and up pops the navigator. Slide your finger slowly up and down the screen, and you will see thumbnails of your document’s pages to the left of your fingertip. Lift your finger to jump to the displayed page.</p> Editing iOS 7 Pages Tips tricks Tutorial word processing iPad iPhone iPod How-Tos Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:55:41 +0000 Christian Hall 20500 at Easy Mac Hacks: Easily Encrypt PDFs <!--paging_filter--><p><em><em><img src="" width="200" height="200" class="graphic-right" /></em>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 />Securely storing certain information in the universal PDF format can be a good thing — after all, your bank, insurance, or other personal information could be contained within PDF documents. That information, if it got into the wrong hands, could compromise your personal security. Lock down your PDF documents using this simple trick in the Preview application.</p><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/pdf_1_0.png"><img src="/files/u12635/pdf_1_0.png" width="620" height="418" class="thickbox" /></a></p><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/pdf_1_0.png"></a>To begin encrypting a PDF document that you've already created, open the file with the Preview application. Next, perform these steps to encrypt the PDF document that you just opened:</p><ol><li>Hold down the option key.</li><li>While holding down option, click the File menu. Note that Duplicate has changed to Save As.</li><li>Click Save As.</li><li>Check the option for Encrypt, then enter and confirm your password to encrypt the document.</li></ol><p>This is the easiest way to encrypt a PDF document that you have already created or have lying around on your disk.</p><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/pdf_2_0.png"><img src="/files/u12635/pdf_2_0.png" width="620" height="621" style="border: 1px solid black;" class="thickbox" /></a><br /><br />The next time that you attempt to open the document with Preview, you'll see that you're now required to enter the password that you saved the document with before the contents of the PDF are visible to the reader. This adds an extra layer of security when emailing documents or storing them on an unencrypted computer.</p><p><em>Follow this articles author, <a href="" target="_blank">Cory Bohon on Twitter</a>.</em></p> Columns decrypt Easy Mac Hacks encrypt How tos Mac PDF PDFs Preview secure Security Terminal Terminal 101 Mac How-Tos Mon, 18 Aug 2014 18:25:05 +0000 Cory Bohon 20416 at Ask: Why Won't My Mac Sleep Properly? <!--paging_filter--><p>Got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We have the answer. In this week's installment of Ask, we'll take a look at issues that may prevent your Mac from properly entering sleep &nbsp;mode.</p><p><strong>Question: I have a late 2012 iMac running Mountain Lion, and I’ve been having trouble with my computer entering sleep mode recently. It’s supposed to go to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity, but sometimes it simply doesn’t do it. Other times it wakes up from sleep mode automatically, and I come home to discover that the computer has come to life without me doing anything. Any ideas?</strong></p><p>Answer: There could be several things that are causing your Mac to wake up, or not go to sleep, and it can be a bit difficult to troubleshoot this issue to find out what that cause might be.&nbsp;</p><p>Apple does, however, provide a Knowledge Base article on the issue. This is an attempt to help users pick the solution for their particular situation and ensure that all settings are properly enabled. It should help your computer to both sleep properly and stay asleep when you want it to. Here are some of the highlights of the note:&nbsp;</p><p><strong>&gt;</strong> Energy-saving preferences could be set improperly. Ensure that when you go to System Preferences &gt; Energy Saver, that the slider for setting the computer’s sleep setting is set the way you wish.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>&gt;</strong> Other users could be waking the machine remotely using shared resources. Ensure that if you connect to your computer using network access that you disconnect in order for the computer to go to sleep. You can disable network wake by going to System Preferences &gt; Energy Saver, and unchecking the option for “Wake for Wi-Fi Network Access.”&nbsp;</p><p><strong>&gt;</strong> Bluetooth devices such as keyboards and mice can wake your computer if a key or button is pressed. Try switching off these Bluetooth peripherals when your Mac is not in use.&nbsp;</p><p>You can view the full list of troubleshooting steps by visiting <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/ask_sleep.png" width="620" height="430" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>One solution is to disable "Wake for network access" (or "</strong></span><strong>Wake for Wi-Fi network access" on older versions of OS X)&nbsp;</strong><strong>to ensure that connected computers don’t accidentally wake your Mac.</strong></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</p> Ask Mountain Lion OS X Sleep Tips tricks Mac How-Tos Fri, 15 Aug 2014 17:32:24 +0000 Cory Bohon 20473 at Ask: Stop Unwanted Cloud iTunes Syncing <!--paging_filter--><p>Got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We have the answer. In this week's installment of Ask, we'll let you know how to prevent unwanted music from syncing to your iOS device from the cloud.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Question: When I got my new iPhone 5s, I did a sync to iCloud. However, there was music on the cloud that I don’t want anymore. How can I get rid of iCloud-stored music so it doesn’t re-sync every time I sync back up with the cloud?</strong></p><p>Answer: There are two ways that music could sync to your device, and we’ll cover both of these ways and show you how to get rid of the music that has synced to your device.&nbsp;</p><p>The first way that music can get onto your device is through a feature of iTunes in the Cloud, which is that previous purchases will show up and can be streamed to your device. You are not able to get rid of music from this section since music purchased from your iTunes account is linked to your account for the life of the account. To disable iTunes in the Cloud purchases, visit Settings &gt; Music, and disable the option for “Show All Music.” Disabling this feature will ensure that all music that has been downloaded or that is stored in iCloud will no longer be shown in the Music app.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/icloud_music.png" width="620" height="570" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>iTunes in the Cloud purchases can be disabled in settings.</strong></span></p><p>Another feature that could be at issue is iTunes Match. This paid feature allows music that you’ve stored in your iTunes library on your computer to sync over the air to your iOS devices. This option can be disabled By going back into Settings &gt; Music, and disabling iTunes Match.&nbsp;</p><p>This will, of course, cause all songs (not just the ones that you don’t like) to stop showing in the Music app. At this point, unfortunately, Apple does not provide finer-grained controls for picking which music is synced to your mobile devices through iTunes Match.</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 cloud iCould iTunes Music Sync Tips tricks iPad iPhone iPod How-Tos Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:05:00 +0000 Cory Bohon 20440 at How to Secure Your Mac <!--paging_filter--><p>When you first set up your Mac, the only security measure that’s enforced is that you add a password to your user account. The Setup Assistant makes no mention of extra measures you might want to enable, even though several are built into OS X. The features we’re about to look at are defenses against local attacks, rather than protection against online attacks. The measures are particularly important if you work in an open environment, such as a library, an office, or a café, and if your Mac is stolen, because they help to keep your data under lock and key.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/securemac_main.png" width="620" height="512" /></p><p>One thing that isn’t covered here is FileVault, which encrypts everything on your Mac so it’s unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have your password. It’s what you might call a nuclear option, though, and carries a risk: if you lose both your password and backup recovery key, which lets you reset your password, you’re forever locked out of your files. You can store your recovery key with Apple, but three questions must be answered precisely for access, so this also carries a risk. FileVault is extremely secure, but its seriousness means we don’t recommend it for everyone.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. Turn Off Automatic Login</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/secure_01.png" width="620" height="371" /></p><p>Automatically logging into a user account on startup is risky. After holding down the power button to turn off the Mac, a restart is all you need to gain access. Automatic login can be disabled under Login Options in the “Users &amp; Groups” preferences pane.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Obfuscate Login Details</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/secure_02.png" width="620" height="373" /></p><p>The login window shows account names by default, leaving passwords to be input. Under Login Options, switch to “Name and password” so both details need to be entered. Changing Fast User Switching to show an icon stops names being read from the screen.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Restrict Your Abilities</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/secure_03.png" /></p><p>Daily, it’s safer to use a Standard account, but an admin is needed for system changes. Create a new admin in the Users &amp; Groups pane, log out, then into the new account. Select your regular account and clear "Allow user to administer..." to reduce its rights.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. Fully Protect</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/secure_04-fullyqt.png" width="620" height="386" /></p><p>To protect critical settings, log in from an Administrator account, open the Security &amp; Privacy pane, click General, then click the Advanced button and ensure "Require an administrator password to access system-wide preferences" is checked.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>5. Request Password to Wake</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/secure_05.png" width="620" height="394" /></p><p>Waking a Mac from sleep gives access to whatever account was left signed in. Under “General” in the Security &amp; Privacy pane, turn on the option that requires a password to wake, and set how soon it’s needed. Longer than the “5 seconds” option is risky.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>6. Tighten Keychain Security</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/secure_06.png" width="620" height="347" /></p><p>Your password also protects your Keychain, giving access to its contents to Safari’s AutoFill feature, for example, just by logging in. To require separate consent, open Keychain Access, right-click “login” in the Keychain list and choose “Change Password...”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>7. Sharing Services</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/secure_07-sharingqt.png" width="620" height="416" /></p><p>Features in the Sharing pane allow you to log into a Mac remotely or simply copy files. In particular, review the options under Screen Sharing and File Sharing to ensure your Mac and its contents can’t be accessed by just anyone connected to the same network.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>8. Lock the Keychain</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/secure_08.png" width="620" height="367" /></p><p>In the same menu, choose “Change Settings...” for options that lock the Keychain upon sleep or after inactivity. In the app’s preferences, you can add a menu bar icon to show Keychain status and to lock it. When locked, system services may prompt you for access.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>9. An Unplugged Hole</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/secure_09.png" width="620" height="420" /></p><p>Without a firmware password, Recovery Mode gives the unfettered ability to reset any account’s password from Terminal. The Keychain password is unaltered by this, so an intruder won’t be able to read website logins, but they will have access to local files. That's why you should set a firmware password, as detailed in the next step.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>10. Set a Firmware Password</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/secure_10.png" width="620" height="315" /></p><p>Restart your Mac and hold Command + R at the chime. Choose Utilities &gt; Firmware Password Utility from the top bar. Set a password and don’t forget it — you’ll need it on rare occasions such as restoring your Mac from Time Machine, and to use other startup key combinations.</p> OS X password Security Tips tricks Mac How-Tos Wed, 06 Aug 2014 00:06:36 +0000 Alan Stonebridge 20429 at Easy Mac Hacks: Stop Power Button from Activating Sleep <!--paging_filter--><p><em><img src="/files/u12635/easy_mac_hacks_icon_flat_12.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 />Have you ever accidentally pressed the power button on your MacBook, only to find that you now have to go through the process of awakening your computer? While your Mac will awaken faster than any other computer on the planet, it's still an annoying process. Fortunately, you can change the behavior of the power button so that it displays a dialog instead of powering down your computer. Continue reading to learn how to do this.</p><p><img src="/files/u12635/sleep_1_0.png" width="620" height="381" class="thickbox" /><br />In order to change the power-button behavior, you'll want to open the Terminal application (located in /Applications/Utilities), then type in the following command, followed by the enter key:</p><pre>defaults write PowerButtonSleepsSystem -bool no</pre><p>When you enter this command, you'll want to restart your Mac to ensure this new preference is loaded into the system.<br /><br />Once entered and restarted, whenever you press the power button on your Mac for a second or two, you'll be prompted to specify whether you want to sleep, restart, shut down, or cancel. No longer will your Mac choose to sleep automatically.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/08/shutdowndialogue.png" /></p><p>If you decide that you no longer wish to have your Mac do this, then you can easily reverse the command by opening the Terminal and typing in this command:</p><pre>defaults write PowerButtonSleepsSystem -bool yes</pre><div><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/sleep_2_0.png"><img src="/files/u12635/sleep_2_0.png" width="620" height="388" class="thickbox" /></a></div><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/sleep_2_0.png"></a>When you restart, your Mac will be returned to its normal behavior, automatically putting the system to sleep when the power button has been pressed.</p><p><br /><em>Follow this articles author, <a href="" target="_blank">Cory Bohon on Twitter</a>.</em></p> Columns Easy Mac Hacks How to Mac notify Options power button press Sleep Terminal Terminal 101 Mac How-Tos Mon, 04 Aug 2014 18:10:06 +0000 Cory Bohon 20415 at Ask: Recover Missing OS X Applications <!--paging_filter--><p>Got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We have the answer. In this week's installment of Ask, we'll teach you how to recover missing applications that are built into OS X, including utilities.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Question: I believe that I have accidentally deleted some of the default applications that came with OS X, and I’m not sure how to reinstall them. I’m missing my entire Utilities folder under Applications. How can I get these applications back onto my computer system?</strong></p><p>Answer: The default applications bundled onto your system usually requires messing around with the Terminal to remove them, and even then, they can be difficult to remove. If they've been removed, however, you can get them back by simply reinstalling your version of Mac OS X.&nbsp;</p><p>If you are running OS X Lion or later, then you can start up your computer while holding down the Option key, and select “Recovery HD.” Selecting this option will boot your computer into the Recovery partition. From here, select “Reinstall OS X,” then follow the instructions to reinstall.&nbsp;</p><p>When reinstalling OS X, none of your content should be be overwritten, but it's best to always create a backup beforehand just to be safe. Once reinstalled, the default applications, including the Utilities folder, should reappear on your Mac.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/utilities.png" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Reinstalling OS X is the only way to get back the default applications once they have been removed from your system.</strong></span></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> applications help missing applications OS X Tips tricks Utilities Mac How-Tos Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:05:00 +0000 Cory Bohon 20405 at How to Create Your Own Podcasts <!--paging_filter--><p>You’ve got a microphone. You’ve got some web space. And you have a great idea for a podcast. Now, it’s onto the fun bit — the recording. Even if you've had a couple of false starts, don't worry — &nbsp;this is completely normal, especially if you haven’t had much recording practice. If you're ready to get serious, though, you've come to the right place. This step-by-step tutorial will help you master the art of making your own podcast.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcast_opener_620.png" width="620" height="413" /></p><p>Before beginning to record, and whatever your specific equipment, take time to prepare and give yourself the best chance of a good-quality recording. Ideally, use a room that has plenty of space for you to work and that contains primarily soft furnishings — this cuts down dramatically on echoes/reverb, which can’t really be removed in post-production. If you don’t have such a room, don’t fret. Luckily, podcast audiences don’t demand anything like the level of audio found in music, voice over, or radio work. A little echo is no big deal as long as it’s not unpleasant to listen to, and many people even add some in to provide a more booming radio-voice sound. Even a cupboard-style room with hard walls and wood flooring can be made usable by turning the microphone sensitivity down a little, or, if it really is a problem, hanging up a blanket helps dampen the sound. It’s also possible to invest in a microphone screen/vocal booth for between $100–$270 that essentially wraps acoustic foam around the back of your microphone. Save your money unless you’ve no other option, or are setting up a more general studio.</p><p>Now that you have the setup sorted out, it’s time to do a little groundwork — especially if you’re recording with another person and working without a script. Have a list of topics you want to cover, and have a clock or timer running (we use our iPad) to serve as a visible reminder. It’s easy to lose track of time while recording, and to get sidetracked. While a podcast can be any length you like, fifteen minutes is a good length to talk about one subject within a podcast, while half an hour to an hour is a reasonable period for the entire show. Remember, most people listen to podcasts on the move rather than at their computers, and too many breaks and subject changes gets jarring and makes it hard to remember what’s already been said. On the other side, anything under five minutes will be too short for people to invest in, and not worth your effort, either.</p><p>Good things to decide and practice in advance include how you’re going to introduce your podcast, as well as the order you plan to introduce guests and how to finish it. Plus, you need to think of a name for it.&nbsp;</p><p>Giving the link to your website/podcast host is the obvious starter there, as well as reminding listeners to rate you on iTunes — though this is best saved for a couple of podcasts in. You can ignore other podcast directories at this point.</p><p>Finally, don’t forget about yourself. Podcasting can be extremely hard on the voice, especially early on. Always have room-temperature water on standby, and hydrate yourself in advance. As you approach the recording session, avoid soft drinks, milk, coffee, and tea for the sake of your voice and the quality of your recording. And it goes almost without saying — if talking starts feeling uncomfortable, take a break. You can always pick it up later on.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. Prepare to Record</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_01.png" width="620" height="399" /></p><p>If you need recording software, download Audacity from <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. It’s an easy tool to use. In the top left, you’ll find the playback controls, and next to those, your main tools — the most important being the Selection tool for selecting a point, the two arrows for moving an audio file around, and the zoom control. Click with the latter to zoom in, Shift-click to zoom out. Volume settings are in the top-right, and not to be confused with the ones by each track. The first just determines how loud you hear everything. The second, how loud the track actually is. Most of the other buttons you can safely ignore.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Volume Control</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_02.png" width="620" height="483" /></strong></p><p>Make sure your microphone/mixer is plugged in over USB (directly, rather than via a hub) and make sure it’s set as the recording device in Audacity — here, we’re using a Rode Podcaster. Next, use Spotlight to find an app called Audio Midi Setup and select your microphone. Under Input, the Master slider controls the recording input level. The higher it is, the more sensitive your microphone will be. It’s possible to control this using the slider in Audacity, but this is a consistent place to check whatever app you’re using, and one where the volume is given as a number rather than just a basic slider.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Test Your Volume</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_03.png" width="620" height="429" /></p><p>Set the volume to 1.0 initially. In Audacity, look for the volume settings in the middle of the screen, click the arrow by the microphone, and pick “start monitoring.” Now, talk into the microphone in your normal voice, a little louder, and finally, more excitably. The volume indicator should go nearly, but not quite all the way across — capping somewhere between -6 and -12. When you shout, it’s going to spike — to compensate, move your head farther from the microphone. The actual volume level can be changed later. If it reaches 0dB during recording, though, the audio will be clipped and unpleasant.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. Begin Recording</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_04.png" width="620" height="396" /></p><p>Save the project, giving it a name, and click the big red record button. If you need to pause the recording, press pause rather than the stop button. If you stop, pressing record creates a new track and goes back to the start. Pausing and unpausing continues where you left off. If you find yourself doing a lot of takes, try a big loud clap into the microphone to separate sections — this gives you an obvious peak in the waveform to find. Also, at the end, sit absolutely silently for about 10 seconds, so that the microphone can record some ambient noise to help clean things up later.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>5. Prepare for Editing</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_05.png" /></p><p>To zoom in, use the magnifying glass tool. You should also drag down on the bottom of each audio track to see the waveform more clearly. This makes it easier to target bits of noise, and see any coughs, etc. To select part of the waveform, choose the caret-shaped tool from the top and click and drag. This marks the selection in blue. You can also select each side and nudge it, and to deselect it, click outside the selection. Don’t edit straight in your recording, though — &nbsp;create a new file, then cut and paste the bits you want into it. Press Command + X to cut a selection in the recording. Click where you want it on the new timeline, and tap Command + V to paste.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>6. Combining Recordings</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_06.png" width="620" height="356" /></p><p>For Internet recording, you can record directly from tools like Skype, but the professional way is for everyone to record their own side with a microphone/headset combination and the editor to merge them together as multiple audio tracks. To get the two recordings in sync, start each recording with a “3…2…1…” and loud clap. Once imported, this makes it easy to see where they should overlap. In your edit file, after aligning them, choose “Sync Lock” under the Tracks menu. Now, cuts and added silences affect all equally. To fix the inevitable volume differences, tweak the sliders on the left-hand side.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>7. Snap, Crackle, and Pop</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_07.png" width="620" height="433" /></p><p>Your microphone picks up a lot of noises, and your audience doesn’t want to hear all of them. Put on your best headphones. Crank up the volume. Zoom in using the magnifying glass. Start listening to each track, ready to hit stop when you hear noises such as sharp breaths. Use the Selection tool to select these moments and either kill them with Command + X, or replace them with silence with Command + L. Don’t be tempted to use a filter to do this for you. It’s better to go through it methodically, in order to avoid damaging the rest of your audio.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>8. Precision Editing</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_08.png" width="620" height="360" /></p><p>For problems that can’t just be silenced, like a sudden slurp in a section you don’t have a better take to drop in, select the Pen tool. Zoom into the track until the waveform is replaced with a series of dots. You can now draw volume changes onto the wave directly, creating troughs that get rid of the worst of the unwanted noise without the harsh snap of a cut or silence. As well as controlling the level of the volume drop, this lets you control the speed of transition. You don’t have to remove sounds entirely this way, just dull them. Option-clicking smooths the wave. Holding Control after clicking just affects a single dot.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>9. Noise Removal</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_09.png" width="620" height="465" /></p><p>Thankfully, little noises are an easier matter to sort out. Select the silence from the end of the recording, then from the Effect menu, choose Noise Reduction. Click “Get Noise Profile.” This tells Audacity what the ambient in your room is — the hum of plugs, or your gentle breathing, for instance. Now, you can tweak the settings underneath to get rid of it. This takes tweaking for each recording. Focus on the top two options: how much to reduce noise, and what the threshold for it is. Both should be as little as you can get away with. Use Preview until it sounds about right.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><hr /><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>10. Leveling</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_10.png" width="620" height="367" /></p><p>While we’ll look at a more flexible way shortly, Audacity offers a “Leveler” tool designed to reduce the gap between loud and soft audio, and produce a more consistent volume. This compensates for moments when your head was slightly farther from the microphone, or you simply spoke a little more softly, during a section. It’s not a miracle worker, and if the Light or Moderate settings aren’t enough, the higher strength ones are likely to cause a hit to your sound quality. If you’re planning to do more detailed mastering, don’t do this. As a quick way to make a podcast sound better, though, it’s fine.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>11. Volume Control</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_11.png" width="620" height="340" /></p><p>Volume is handled in dB, and you always deal in negative numbers. When setting volume, you’re actually adding “gain”; the definitions don’t really matter for now, but that’s how it’s described. To avoid blowing out an unwary listener’s ears, a podcast should max out at around -12 to -6dB, bottoming out at around -24. For a single track, this is easy — the Amplify Effect lets you pick a peak volume and adjust accordingly. For multiple tracks, use the Normalize tool instead, bringing them to the same peak (“maximum amplitude”) level. The overall dB is based on all tracks together, though, so experiment to find a good balance.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>12. Adding Music</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_12.png" width="620" height="457" /></p><p>Music should be added as its own track, its volume adjusted to complement the spoken word tracks rather than vice versa. Basic Fade In and Fade Out effects are in the Effect menu, as is an Adjustable Fade with more options. Audacity also offers an “Auto Duck” tool. This automatically dips one track (usually music) when another is making noise so that it’s more prominent. You can pick the amount and how harsh the effect should be. For podcasts, though, you’re generally only going to be using music as an intro and as breaks. Having it run throughout is distracting, unless, of course, it’s a dedicated music podcast.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>13. Extra Time Spent</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_13.png" width="620" height="398" /></p><p>This is actually enough editing for most podcasts, for a number of reasons: they’re not expected to have been through the hands of a professional audio engineer, chances are they’re going to be listened to through less-than-amazing headphones, and most importantly, because the more advanced things you can do are a great way to destroy your sound quality. Done properly, though, they can add a lot, compensating for weaknesses in your equipment, and providing what’s usually referred to as “radio sound” — that booming, full-throated resonance that sounds like it should be declaring, “This is World News Tonight.”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>14. Deepen Your Voice</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_14.png" width="620" height="454" /></p><p>This is one of the easiest but most obvious edits, especially if using a budget microphone, the sound from which is often tinny and hollow. Go to Effect/Change Pitch and drop it by just a little — about 5 percent or so at most, so it still sounds like you. You can also get good effects in the Reverb tool by using the Vocal presets (click the Load button) or turning down the actual Reverberance and Pre-Delay to sound just full-bodied rather than actually echoing. Male voices especially can also benefit from a bit more bass, courtesy of Bass And Treble. All of these options are in the Effects menu.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>15. Compression</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_15.png" /></p><p>Compressors reduce the audio range of your sound, which allows it to be amplified without the louder parts being clipped — much as we did with Leveler, but with more control. Audacity’s Compressor unfortunately doesn’t have presets, but its standard options are sufficient for podcasting. Select Compressor in the Effects menu, then untick “make-up gain” and adjust Noise Floor to around -20. Now, using Amplify or Normalize gets it as loud as you need, without spikes causing a problem. That said, most podcast editors are fine just using the one-click leveler and won’t notice any meaningful difference.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>16. Equalization</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_16.png" /></p><p>Equalization is the processing of frequencies, and if you choose it in the Effects menu, you see it has a few handy presets. It’s not as complex as it looks, though, with the left side of the curve handling bass, the right treble, and the middle affecting the overall sound. In the presets, select “bass boost” to see how that looks — for these purposes, that’s the most important to play with. Also, try Telephone and Walkie Talkie to see how easy it is to apply a quick effect to your sound. These can be very handy if your podcast is going to include skits of any sort, or you want to simulate someone phoning in to your show.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>17. Fixing P-P-Plosives</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_17.png" /></p><p>Plosives come from air being sharply expelled into the microphone, primarily from the letter “p.” The best way to deal with them is not to record them, which can be done by using a “pop filter” in front of your microphone, or speaking just above it. After that, you can cut them directly, as with other noise. Alternatively, use the Equalizer, puling down gently from around the 200Hz point and bottoming out at around 40Hz as in the picture. This may take some experimentation, and it won’t get rid of the sound entirely, but it dims it to the point that it shouldn’t offend your audience’s ears.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>18. &nbsp;Final Export</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/podcasts_18.png" /></p><p>MP3 is the official podcast format, and for the most part, you don’t need to worry about the settings. When you’re also including music, though, it’s worth jumping into the Options and boosting the quality from its default 128kbps to 192kbps. One thing to be careful of is your audio sources — if you use both mono and stereo, it can sound strange in the final edit. You can separate or turn a stereo track mono in the Tracks menu. You can also drag the L/R sliders on your mono tracks to move from one ear to the other. Don’t go all the way to separate multiple voices; a little is effective, a lot is unpleasant.</p> audacity Podcast Podcasting Tips Tutorial Mac How-Tos Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:37:22 +0000 Richard Cobbett 20388 at Easy Mac Hacks: Disable App Nap <!--paging_filter--><p><em><img src="/files/u12635/easy_mac_hacks_icon_flat_11.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 />In OS X Mavericks, Apple introduced a new feature called App Nap. This feature was designed to cut CPU and other computer resources to power-hungry applications when those applications are not currently in use. It's one of several OS X features that has helped increase the battery life on Mac portables, but unfortunately, this feature isn't without downsides. If you're noticing that applications don't complete their tasks in a reasonable amount of time, then it could be due to resources for those apps being cut when they are backgrounded or left unattended. Following this guide will show you how to disable App Nap when these issues arise.<br /></p><h3>Disable App Nap on a Per-app basis</h3><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/appnap_1.png"><img src="/files/u12635/appnap_1.png" width="379" height="650" class="thickbox" /></a></p><p>If you're noticing that only one application is having difficulties with App Nap, then you can easily disable it by locating the application in question and pressing Command + I (or choose "Get Info" from the contextual menu). In the Get Info window, check the option to "Prevent App Nap" and you're done. App Nap will no longer affect this application. (Not all applications offer this option.)<br /></p><h3>Disable App Nap system-wide</h3><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/appnap_2.png"><img src="/files/u12635/appnap_2.png" width="620" height="435" class="thickbox" /></a></p><p>If issues still persist with your applications and App Nap, or you don't worry about system resources being utilized resulting in battery life issues (such as on a desktop Mac), then you may want to disable App Nap system wide on your Mac.<br /><br />To disable App Nap on your Mac completely, simply open the Terminal application (located in /Applications/Utilities) and type in the following command followed by the enter key:</p><pre>defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAppSleepDisabled -bool YES</pre><p>To completely disable this feature, you will need to log out of your account, then restart your Mac.<br /></p><h3>Re-enabling App Nap system-wide</h3><p>If you realize that you want App Nap again on your system, open the Terminal application again, then type in the following command, followed by the enter key:</p><pre>defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAppSleepDisabled -bool NO</pre><p>To re-enable this feature, you will need to log out of your account, then restart your Mac.<br /><br /><em>Cory Bohon is a freelance technology writer, indie Mac and iOS developer, and amateur photographer. <a href="" target="_blank">Follow this article's author on Twitter</a>.</em></p> App Nap Columns disable Easy Mac Hack Easy Mac Hacks How to Mac remove system-wide Terminal Terminal 101 Mac How-Tos Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:29:05 +0000 Cory Bohon 20269 at Ask: Merge iPhoto Libraries <!--paging_filter--><p>Got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We have the answer. In this week's installment of Ask, we'll tell you how to combine multiple iPhoto libraries into one.</p><p><strong>Question: Somehow I’ve created many iPhoto libraries, some of which are nested within other iPhoto libraries. How do I make it so that I have just one iPhoto library? I get the feeling there is more to it than just dragging the contents of one into the other.</strong></p><p>Answer: You are correct — this process is a little more complicated than simply copying one iPhoto library into another. You can do it manually, but it’s usually error-prone and will typically leave you with duplicate photos. The easier way to merge multiple iPhoto libraries is by using the iPhoto Library Manager, which is available for $29 at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p><p>Using the iPhoto Library Manager, click on the Merge Libraries icon in the toolbar. Here, you will be prompted to drag-and-drop all of the libraries that need merging into the “Source Libraries” section. After doing that, drag-and-drop the library that all of the sources should be merged into using the Destination Library section. We’d advise merging into a new, empty library, and choosing your Desktop as its location.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/askiphoto.png" width="620" height="396" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>One of the tasks that iPhoto Library Manager can perform is automated library merging.</strong></span></p><p>Next, you should choose what happens when the application encounters duplicate files in the “Duplicate Handling” section, and set a few other options in “Options.” When you are done, click “Preview,” and if you are happy with the changes, you can then go ahead with the merge.</p><p>After you’ve verified the merge worked and all of your photos are intact, then delete all of the source libraries from your home directory’s Pictures folder, and move the newly created library from your Desktop to the Pictures folder in the Finder. Your new library should load when you fire up iPhoto; you may need to hold down the Option key while starting iPhoto, then select the iPhoto library you wish to open manually.</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 Columns combine iPhoto merge photo libraries Photography Photos pictures Tips tricks Mac How-Tos Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:05:00 +0000 Cory Bohon 20341 at