Mac|Life - How-Tos en Ask: How to Stop Spam <!--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 put a stop to spam email.</p><p><strong>Question: I receive hundreds of spam emails per day. Is there a way to easily add the sender to my “delete email from this sender” rule or otherwise make the spam easier to block using my Mac?</strong></p><p>Answer: The built-in Mail spam filtering that is included with Apple Mail is good (and it has definitely gotten better over the years), but it’s still not the best that’s available. However, there’s an easy-to-use plugin that is available for Mail that allows for better email spam filtering.&nbsp;</p><p>The plugin is called SpamSieve, and it’s available from the developer’s website (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>) for $30. It provides a blacklisting feature that allows you to block a sender’s email address and catch all of the emails from them. Plus, SpamSieve includes a Bayesian spam filter that can learn from your emails and color your emails based on how spammy each message is by parsing the language in the email.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/askspamsieve.png" /></p><p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Blocking emails with SpamSieve is a piece of cake, and it ensures that 100 percent of the blacklisted email will not get through to you.</strong></span></p><p>After installing SpamSieve, navigate to Filter &gt; Show Blocklist (or press Command + 4). Here, you can blacklist the sender of a message by pressing the + button in the toolbar, then entering the email address of the sender. When using a smart spam filter like SpamSieve, it’s a good idea to read the manual and train it on each of your messages until it begins to learn from your habits.</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 Mac spam spam blocker spam filter How-Tos Fri, 18 Jul 2014 18:05:00 +0000 Cory Bohon 20340 at 10 Tips for Using Time Machine <!--paging_filter--> Gallery ethernet Mac Mac macbook pro OS X Preview thunderbolt time machine Wi-Fi How-Tos Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:20:16 +0000 Matthew Bolton 14618 at How to Turn Books into Audiobooks <!--paging_filter--><p>Audiobooks are great because they mean you can enjoy a book while doing something else — or just because it’s always nice to have a book read to you! With Siri on the iPad offering voice control and dictation, you might think you can “convert” your books into audio books by enlisting the help of Apple’s virtual assistant, but sadly, it can’t help. While Siri can speak out individual passages from iBooks, you can’t just sit back and let it read out the whole thing.&nbsp;</p><p>However, all is not lost. There is a great app available called Natural Reader that reads out the text from all kinds of documents, including Word files, PDF documents, and ePub digital books — you can even use it with web pages. This means work documents or reference material can be read out loud while you work on projects or reports. It’s also great if you’re studying and need to take in lots of information. Think of Natural Reader as turning long-form online writing into a kind of podcast to listen to at your leisure.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/audiobooks_opener_0.png" /></p><p>We’ll show you how easy it is to set up Natural Reader so it can then read out your stored iPad documents, as well as online text, whenever you like.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. Import a Book</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/audiobooks_1_0.png" width="620" height="378" /></p><p>Once you’ve downloaded Natural Reader onto your iPad (, you need to put text into the app. This can be a digital book (such as epub, the format used by most digital books), text document, Microsoft Word, or PDF file. Perhaps the easiest way to add files is through Dropbox (; upload the files using your Mac, then tap on the Dropbox icon in Natural Reader to retrieve them. Alternatively, you can connect your iPad to a Mac and copy the ebook using iTunes.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Open the Book</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/audiobooks_2_0.png" width="620" height="466" /></p><p>When you open the book in Natural Reader, it appears in the main window. (It’s also copied and stored locally in the Natural Reader app.) Tap the next-page button at the bottom to move to the page where you want to start listening, then press the play button in the bottom-left corner. A Setting Up Stream pop-up appears and the audio starts playing. The iPad needs to be connected to the internet to translate the text.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Listening to Audio</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/audiobooks_3.png" /></p><p>As Natural Reader starts speaking, the text that’s being read out appears highlighted in blue on the screen. Tap on any paragraph to hear that portion. If you’ve missed what was said, you can quickly repeat the last sentence by tapping on the Previous icon in the bottom-right of the window. You can also skip forward through the chapter by tapping on the Forward icon, which skips forward by 15 percent of the chapter.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. Adjust the Language</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/audiobooks_4_0.png" width="620" height="502" /></p><p>The settings icon (top right) lets you adjust the voice. Tap Settings and Language to choose from US English, UK English, French, German, Spanish, or Italian. This works with any book, no matter the language, although a foreign accent with an English-language title makes the voice somewhat difficult to follow. You can use the settings to adjust the text display using Font, Size and Paragraph. You can also purchase offline voices to use Natural Reader without an Internet connection.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>5. Voice Settings</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/audiobooks_5.png" width="620" height="394" /></p><p>You can also choose from a range of male and female voices by tapping on settings and then Speaker. You can further fine-tune voices by tapping Speed, and choosing a value from -4 (slow) to 10 (fast). This changes the speed but not the pitch, so it’s possible to listen to books very quickly. When you’ve finished listening to a book, tap Library (top left) to return to the main library. Tapping on settings pauses the playback, so press the play/pause button to carry on.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>6. &nbsp;Read from the Web</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/audiobooks_6_0.png" width="620" height="466" /></p><p>Natural Reader can read out web pages as well as digital books and files. Tap on Web in the sidebar of the main library window and tap on the URL field. Enter the address of a website and tap Go. Pick a web page and tap on Read Now in the top-right of the screen, then Play. You can use this to read books displayed as web pages, such as on Project Gutenberg, but it’s also great for reading online articles. Just go to any site and choose the article you want to hear — it’s as simple as that.</p> audiobooks Books iPad Natural Reader Reading How-Tos Tue, 15 Jul 2014 22:16:21 +0000 Lou Hattersly 20318 at Easy Mac Hacks: Run OS X applications without their Dock icon <!--paging_filter--><p><em><img src="/files/u12635/easy_mac_hacks_icon_flat_8.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 />You may have come accross applications that run in the menu bar without cluttering your Dock with an icon, but did you know that&nbsp;<em>any</em>&nbsp;OS X app can be made to work this way? Continue reading and we'll show you how.</p><h3>Hide the Dock Icon</h3><p>Start the process by quitting any open apps that you want to perform the trick on.&nbsp;Next, you must locate the app's associated .app package. Find the app itself (it's usually located in your /Applications folder), then right-click the application icon and select "Show Package Contents" from the menu.</p><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/dockicon_1.png"><img src="/files/u12635/dockicon_1.png" width="620" height="403" class="thickbox" /></a><br /><br />Locate the Info.plist file in the Contents folder that appears. (To be on the safe side, you may wish to make a backup copy of the file, since altering it incorrectly could make the app inoperable.) Open the Info.plist file with the TextEdit application, then add the following two lines of XML into it:</p><pre>&lt;key&gt;LSUIElement&lt;/key&gt;</pre><pre>&lt;true/&gt;</pre><p>These two lines of code need to go inside the ending "&lt;/dict&gt;" that's just before the line ending with "&lt;/plist&gt;" for this trick to work. In other words, place these new statements above the last two lines; if you place them anywhere else in the file, then the hack won't work.</p><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/dockicon_2.png"><img src="/files/u12635/dockicon_2.png" width="620" height="433" class="thickbox" /></a><br />Save and quit the file, then open the application that you applied this hack to and you'll notice that the Dock doesn't display the app icon, saving a bit of space.</p><h3>Codesigned Applications</h3><p>There's one more step to the process if the developer has signed the application with an Apple Developer Certificate — and that includes all Mac App Store applications. Without this step, you'll likely get a crash when opening the app. To prevent this, you'll need to re-sign the application using the following command in the Terminal:</p><pre>sudo codesign -f -s - /path_to_app/</pre><p>Replace "/path_to_app/" with the path and the application name that you just tweaked the Info.plist for. After doing this, press enter, and enter your password. The application will be re-codesigned and you should be able to launch the app without any issues.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/codesigning.png" /></p><h3>Re-show the Dock Icon</h3><p>To undo this change, simply re-open the "Info.plist" file you made the changes to and remove the two lines of XML you added. Restart the application, and the Dock icon will begin appearing again when the app is running.</p><h3>Some Caveats</h3><p>As with all hacks, there are a few caveats you should know when using this method to run applications:<br /><br />Hiding the dock icon also disables the top menu-bar controls for the app, so unless you know the keyboard shortcuts or the app runs in single-window mode or resides in the system tray, you may want to think twice about performing this trick. Additionally, this hack may be overwritten whenever you update the application, and you will be required to perform the steps above again. Also, even though it doesn't look like it, the application is still running, and still taking up system resources. If you do this to enough apps you may notice your computer slow down a bit, and you will need to quit apps to bring the Mac back up to speed.</p><p><em>Cory Bohon is a freelance technology writer, indie Mac and iOS developer, and amateur photographer. <a href="">Follow this article's author on Twitter</a>.</em></p> Columns dock Easy Mac Hack Easy Mac Hacks hidden Hide How to icons Mac OS X Terminal Terminal 101 How-Tos Mon, 14 Jul 2014 21:54:41 +0000 Cory Bohon 20266 at Ask: Getting High-Quality iTunes Album Art <!--paging_filter--><p>Got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We have the answer. In this week's installment of Ask, we'll explain how you can get high-quality album art for your iTunes music.</p><p><strong>Question: I have iTunes-purchased music and music from my CD collection that I ripped to my iTunes Match account. iTunes-purchased album covers are crystal clear, but the ripped CD collection album artwork is fuzzy. I have tried everything, including contacting Apple, but haven’t found a solution yet.</strong>&nbsp;</p><p>Answer: iTunes-purchased music has artwork that is specially designed to be crystal-clear on all of your devices because it was purchased directly from Apple. Depending on when you ripped your music, the Apple server may or may not have been around to provide you with crystal-clear artwork for your library. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to resolve this issue.&nbsp;</p><p>The first step is to select all of the music belonging to a particular album, and then press Command + I (to bring up the Get Info window). In the Get Info window, select the artwork tab, then delete the artwork for the album. Finally, press the OK button to save the changes.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/album_art1.png" /><br /><strong>Deleting the Album artwork manually will force iTunes to find and fetch it again from the iTunes servers.</strong></p><p>You’ll notice that your artwork disappears, but fear not: Select File &gt; Library &gt; Get Album Artwork. This will send all of your album data to the Apple iTunes servers, which will match up your music to the proper, crystal-clear album artwork that is the same that you would get if you had purchased your music directly from the iTunes Store. If iTunes cannot fetch artwork for a particular song, you will be notified when the album artwork fetch has completed.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/album_art2.png" /><br /><strong>Selecting Get Album Artwork from the File &gt; Library menu is the easiest way to kick off a fetch request for iTunes to fill in the missing artwork.</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/album_art3.png" /><br /><strong>If iTunes cannot fulfill the request for artwork for some of the songs, you will get a notification after it has finished processing your library.</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 <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> album artwork iTunes iTunes Match Mac Tips tricks How-Tos Fri, 11 Jul 2014 17:10:34 +0000 Cory Bohon 20298 at How to Use Transitions in Premiere Elements <!--paging_filter--><p>When filmmaking was in its infancy, making transitions was a tricky prospect. You had to do it all “in the real world,” so to speak, by superimposing two projected videos and recording the result. Needless to say, it was hard work and only used in specific parts of the film — such as the end of a scene — but once the effect was done, it was done. If it was off by a few frames, unless you could afford to reshoot the transition, that was that.&nbsp;</p><p>These days, with the advent of digital desktop video editing, the process is infinitely simpler. You can choose where to apply the transition, alter it as you please, and even replace it with a different one that’s more to your liking. In comparison to what you had to work with before, your options are practically limitless, and it’s all fairly easy to do, too.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/howtopremiere_main.png" width="620" height="388" /></p><p>As you’d expect, you’re not limited to a basic cross-dissolve with Adobe Premiere Elements 12. In fact, you can choose between no less than 53 different types of transition (nine of which are available in Quick mode; the rest you’ll find in Expert mode) to make your project as visually stimulating as possible. Remember to use them sparingly, though. There is such a thing as too much sparkle, and this could end up distracting your audience from the story you’re trying to tell.</p><p>This month, we show you where to find the transitions and how to use and alter them to suit your needs. The methods detailed work just as well in Quick and Expert mode, but we work in Quick mode for the purposes of this exercise.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. The Transitions Menu</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/howtopremiere_1.png" width="620" height="293" /></p><p>Open or create a project with at least two video clips in it. The transitions are located in the bottom toolbar, in a menu appropriately called Transitions. Click on it to see the various options at your disposal. You can resize the menu by dragging its top edge up or down.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Previewing Transitions</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/howtopremiere_2.png" width="620" height="403" /></p><p>You’re presented with a series of thumbnails, each bearing a title describing the transition. It’s often hard to get an idea of a motion effect with a static thumbnail, though, so click on one to get an animated preview of the transition. You can only animate one at a time.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Drag and Drop</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/howtopremiere_3.png" /></p><p>Drag the transition onto your project. As you do, the menu closes and a thick green line appears along an edit point. Keep moving your cursor until that line is between the two clips you want to apply a transition to. Once you’re there, release the mouse button.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. Timing</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/howtopremiere_4.png" /></p><p>A menu called Transition Adjustments appears over your chosen edit point. You can choose the transition duration in seconds. If one second is too long, you can forgo the up/down arrows and type in a value such as, say, 0.5, to give you a half-second transition.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>5. Alignment</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/howtopremiere_5.png" width="620" height="394" /></p><p>The alignment determines when the transition starts and ends. Left Clip means the transition takes place at the end of the first clip; Between Clips, the transition’s duration is spread between both; Right Clip means the transition is only over the second clip.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>6. Square Display</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/howtopremiere_6.png" /></p><p>Select an alignment and click Done. Depending on the alignment chosen, there’s a small thumbnail square on the left clip, half a square on either side, or one on the right clip. Move the playhead a little to the left and tap the spacebar to see a preview.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>7. Alteration</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/howtopremiere_7.png" width="620" height="357" /></p><p>Obviously, it’s only when you play it that you see whether a transition works. If you’d like to make changes, double-click the small square mentioned earlier. This reopens the Transition Adjustments window so you can make alterations. Click Done to preview your changes.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>8. A New Transition</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/07/howtopremiere_8.png" /></p><p>To see what another effect looks like, select a new one from the Transitions menu and drag it to the same edit point. The duration and alignment settings are preserved from your previous transition, but the new look takes precedence. Click Done to see what it looks like.</p> Adobe Premiere Elements 12 Editing Film Mac Movie Premiere Elements transitions How-Tos Tue, 08 Jul 2014 23:31:34 +0000 Steve Paris 20283 at How to Remove "Other" Data from Your iPhone <!--paging_filter--><p>Whenever you plug an iPhone or iPad into a Mac and check its data storage in iTunes, a chunk of space is always mysteriously taken up by "Other." If you've ever wondered exactly what that data is and how to get rid of it, you've come to the right place!</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u324771/other_1.png" width="620" height="294" /></p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The "Other" space is reserved for application data and settings.</strong></p><p>On an iOS device, the “Other” space visible in iTunes is used to store things like documents, settings, caches, and a few other important items. If you sync lots of documents to apps such as GoodReader that read external files, your storage use can skyrocket. Thankfully, ever since iOS 5 it's been easy to see exactly which applications are taking up the most space.</p><p>In iOS 7, simply head to Settings &gt; General &gt; Usage. After a few moments a list of your apps will appear, showing how much space each one is eating up. You can tap an app to get detailed information such as, say, how data is split between various podcast subscriptions in Apple's Podcasts app. You can remove a storage-hogging application and all of its data directly from this screen, or manually remove the data by opening the app.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u324771/other_2.png" width="320" height="566" /></p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Applications that store large files will use more of the Other storage space.</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-weight: normal; text-align: start;">That's all there is to it! By periodically checking the Usage screen, you can keep your device from becoming bloated with extraneous data, and create extra room for more important things like duckface selfies and cat videos.</span></strong></p> iOS iPhone iTunes Other Removing Other Day How-Tos Mon, 07 Jul 2014 22:23:22 +0000 Cory Bohon 13156 at Easy Mac Hacks: Disable Modifier Keys in OS X <!--paging_filter--><p><em><img src="/files/u12635/easy_mac_hacks_icon_flat_9.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 />How many times have you accidentally hit Caps Lock or another modifier key while typing and wish that the key in question simply didn't exist? Well, you can have you dream come true with a little-known feature of OS X that lets you remap the modifier keys on your keyboard to make then function differently, or perhaps not function at all, if you wish. Continue reading and we'll show you how you can change this setting to your heart's desire.<br /><br />To begin customizing the modifier keys in OS X, you'll want to open System Preferences &gt; Keyboard &gt; Keyboard.<br /><br />Once in the Keyboard tab of the Keyboard System Preference pane, select the "Modifier Keys..." button in the lower right-hand corner of the window.</p><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/modifierkeys_1.png"><img src="/files/u12635/modifierkeys_1.png" width="620" height="565" class="thickbox" /></a><br /><br />After doing this, a dialog box appears that allows you to select the action that happens when a modifier key is pressed on your keyboard. Besides being an obviously good April Fool's joke, this section can be used to remap the modifier keys on your keyboards.</p><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/modifierkeys_2.png"><img src="/files/u12635/modifierkeys_2.png" width="419" height="256" class="thickbox" /></a><br /><br />The modifier keys are "Caps Lock," "Control," "Option," and "Command." You can remap any of these keys to any other modifier key, which could prove beneficial when typing. The best part is that you can also remap a key to "No Action," causing nothing to occur when the modifier key is pressed.<br /><br />Note that in this preference pane, the selection of the modifier keys only affects the keyboard that is selected (if multiple keyboards are currently connected). You can also always restore the keyboard keys to defaults by going back into this Modifier Keys panel and selecting the "Restore Defaults" button. Select "OK" to save the changes.<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> caps caps lock Columns command disable Easy Mac Hack Easy Mac Hacks lock Mac Mac modifier keys option OS X remove Shift Terminal Terminal 101 How-Tos Mon, 07 Jul 2014 18:32:54 +0000 Cory Bohon 20267 at Ask: Hi-Res Mac Display, Sharper Fonts <!--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 get your Mac's display (or at least the text) looking sharper than ever.</p><p><strong>Question: I was so happy to read the “Get a Crisp Non-Retina Display” article in your April 2014 issue. However, after using the technique listed there for switching to HiDPI mode, text didn't look as sharp as I expected; is there anything else I can do?</strong></p><p>Answer: Enabling the Hi-Res item in the Display Preferences is done by going to the Terminal (located in /Applications/Utilities) and typing:</p><pre>sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ <br />DisplayResolutionEnabled -bool true</pre><p>However, this feature that may or may not be fully compatible with your external display. If the display is not a hi-res display, then you may encounter an issue where fonts look jagged. That being said, you can enable font smoothing, which may either help or worsen the situation, but is worth a try if you wish to keep the hi-res feature enabled on your external display.&nbsp;</p><p>To enable global font smoothing on all displays that the MacBook is connected to (including its own internal display), you’ll want to open the Terminal application and perform the following commands (on one line), followed by the enter key after entering each command:&nbsp;</p><pre>defaults -currentHost read -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing&nbsp;</pre><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/06/fontsmoothing_1.png" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>If you read the setting for Apple Font Smoothing and get an error, this simply means that the variable was not set before.</strong></span></p><p>Depending on if it’s enabled or not, you’ll get a message such as “The domain/default pair of (kCFPreferencesAnyApplication, AppleFontSmoothing) does not exist." This is actually OK; it tells us that the font-smoothing feature of OS X is not enabled, and could be to blame for your fuzzy fonts. To enable font smoothing, enter the following command, then the enter key:&nbsp;</p><pre>defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2&nbsp;</pre><p>If, after entering this command, you don’t see any difference, or the font smoothing looks worse, the you may want to adjust it by re-entering the above command replacing the 2 with a 1. You can completely remove this setting by typing the following command into the Terminal:&nbsp;</p><pre>defaults -currentHost delete -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing&nbsp;</pre><p>This should solve any troubles with fuzzy fonts. Note that to see any changes to the font smoothing, you may need to log out of and then back into your OS X account between entering the commands.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/06/fontsmoothing_2.png" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>After entering the command to set Apple Font Smoothing, you should see a change; if not, then log out and then back into your OS X account.</strong></span></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> fonts hi-res HiDPI Mac monitor Terminal How-Tos Thu, 03 Jul 2014 16:30:00 +0000 Cory Bohon 20227 at How to Power Up Quick Look <!--paging_filter--><p>Quick Look is an under-appreciated OS X gem. Before its arrival, you had to laboriously open a document to see what it contained, often after first launching the app it was created in. Imagine! But in the last few versions of OS X, you merely select the file in Finder and tap the space bar to get a preview.</p><p>This much you’re probably familiar with, but Quick Look has a slew of hidden tips that can power up previews on your Mac. Keyboard shortcuts can provide fast access to functions and hidden information, and Quick Look’s extensibility means that if it can’t properly preview a file, chances are someone’s written a plug-in to get around that problem.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/06/quicklook_main.png" /></p><p>The technology is also dotted around OS X, providing the means to save you time. For example, you cannot open items in the Trash—OS X first wants you to drag them elsewhere. But if you just want to check that you’re about to destroy the right thing, you can use Quick Look. And in Mail, attachments can be previewed using the Quick Look button, but you can also hover the cursor near any link and then click the little arrow that appears to get a preview of the associated web page. The remainder of this tutorial shows many more hints and tips to make the most of Quick Look.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. Preview Images</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/06/quicklook_1.png" width="620" height="388" /></p><p>Drag a large photo to Finder and use Quick Look to preview it. The cursor keys can be used to navigate the Finder window in the background, to view other images. Hold Option in OS X Mavericks to zoom the image to full-size. Use two-finger drags to scroll the zoomed photo.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Check Multi-Page Docs</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/06/quicklook_2.png" width="620" height="467" /></p><p>Preview multi-page docs, such as a PDF of Mac|Life or a Pages file, to read and two-finger swipe between pages. Or, click a thumbnail to go to a page. On the keyboard, this works with Page Up/Down keys (fn + up/down on keyboards without a number pad).</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Try to Preview a Zip</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/06/quicklook_3.png" /></p><p>Although Apple has added support for lots of file types, Quick Look doesn’t accommodate them all. Try previewing a Zip archive in Quick Look and you’ll only see a massive icon, the file name, the archive’s size, and its modification date.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. Install a Plug-In</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/06/quicklook_4.png" /></p><p>Quick Look plug-ins are here to help. Go to and download the plug-in. In ~/Library (Option-click Go in Finder to access it), create a folder called “QuickLook” (no space) and copy the plug-in to it. Zip previews now display more.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>5. Find More Plug-Ins</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/06/quicklook_5.png" /></p><p>Many plug-ins are available. Some you pay for, such as Code Line’s Art View ( for Adobe Creative Cloud, but many are free (see To remove one, delete it from the QuickLook folder. To install one for every user, put it in /Library/QuickLook.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>6. Text Copying</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/06/quicklook_6.png" width="620" height="428" /></p><p>Quick Look is read-only, but you can use Terminal to allow you to copy. Open the Terminal window, then type this:</p><pre>defaults write QLEnableTextSelection -boolean true</pre><p>Then type the following to reset the Finder:</p><pre>killall Finder</pre><p>You will now see the selection bar when you hover over text in a previewed item. Type the same statement into Terminal but ending with “false” instead of “true” to revert back to read-only mode.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>7. Preview from Spotlight</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/06/quicklook_7.png" /></p><p>Hover over a Spotlight results list item to get a Quick Look preview. This isn’t as full as the standard one, but you can still navigate multi-page documents by swiping. Hover over the preview and hold Command and Option to display the path to the document.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>8. Use the Trackpad</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/06/quicklook_8.png" width="620" height="461" /></p><p>You can use the Trackpad, with any modern Mac, to bring up Quick Look. Go to System Preferences and click Trackpad. In the Point &amp; Click tab, note the gesture for Look up. Return to Finder, perform that action on a file, and Quick Look activates!</p> finder Mac Mavericks OS X Quick Look Tips tricks How-Tos Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:30:00 +0000 Craig Grannell 20223 at