Mac|Life - How-Tos en Ask: How to Fix Mac Desktop Icons <!--paging_filter--><p>If you've got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question, we've got the answer. In this week's Ask, we'll let you know what to do when the icons on your Mac aren't showing up properly.</p><h3>Question</h3><p>After updating to iWork 13, I've noticed that document icons for Pages and Numbers don't show the new icon previews, even when that option is selected and older Pages and Numbers docs show previews. Is there any way to alter these apps to show previews in the icons?</p><h3>Answer</h3><p>As you use your Mac and install multiple versions of applications onto the system, there can come a day where the icon association that the operating system stores for use with applications gets corrupted or is incorrect and out of date. Fortunately, this is a fairly easy fix, and it only requires moderate mucking about in Terminal (or if you prefer, a dedicated application like Cocktail or TinkerTool).&nbsp;</p><p>We’ll use the Terminal to make the fix, since it’s fairly easy and requires no additional downloads or software that you’ll probably only use infrequently. To fix the problem, open the Terminal application (located inside the /Applications/Utilities folder), then type in one of these commands, followed by the Return key.</p><p>If you are on OS X 10.5 or later, then execute this command (all in one string):</p><p><strong>/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/<br />LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local <br />-domain system -domain user</strong>&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/ask_fixicons.png" width="620" height="220" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small; font-weight: bold;">Executing this command will rebuild the system’s icon association database, and will restore order in OS X with regards to how apps’ icons appear in the Finder.</span></p><p>If you are on OS X 10.4 or below, execute this command (all in one string) instead:</p><p><strong>/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/<br />LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system <br />-domain user</strong></p><p>When you press Return, the command may take a few minutes to execute. Don’t close the Terminal window until you’re returned to the Terminal (with a flashing insertion point). Once returned and you see the flashing insertion point, then you can exit the Terminal application.&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 desktop icon previews icons OS X tip trick Mac How-Tos Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:19:15 +0000 Cory Bohon 20972 at How to Add Cloud Sync to Any App <!--paging_filter--><p>If you’ve used any reasonably recent Apple gear along with iCloud, you’ll know how valuable and convenient cloud-based data syncing can be. Instead of manually copying contacts and calendar appointments to individual devices, everything’s up to date within seconds of you opening the relevant app. This line of thinking extends through email when using IMAP, open browser tabs in Safari, online passwords if you’ve set up iCloud Keychain, and app-specific documents when using products that can save to the cloud.</p><p>The main problem with iCloud is that it’s not (yet) universal. Many apps and games lack any kind of cloud sync at all. There are, however, ways around this, involving tinkering in the OS X Library folder, a cloud-based sync service such as Dropbox (which we’ll use for this tutorial), and symbolic links, otherwise known as symlinks. Symlinks are conceptually similar to aliases, which you might have used before to create a shortcut in Finder to a folder or file that’s located elsewhere on your Mac. However, whereas an alias points to a file or folder regardless of its location on your Mac, a symlink is effectively a text file that denotes a specific, unchanging path.&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoaddcloudsync_main.png" /></p><p>Move whatever it’s pointing at and the symlink won’t resolve, which seems like a disadvantage; however, symlinks tend to be transparent to applications and sync services (whereas aliases aren’t always), meaning you can use them to essentially “trick” an app into saving its files and preferences into a non-default location on your Mac.</p><p>This means we can set up a scenario in which the location of certain system-oriented files is shifted to Dropbox, even though the apps think they’re saved in the normal location. With identical symlinks subsequently created on multiple Macs, all with your Dropbox folder synced, you can use the same set of app data with multiple machines, effectively providing cloud-based sync for apps.&nbsp;</p><p>There are, however, some things to bear in mind. Importantly, don’t simultaneously work with synced data on multiple machines, and ensure when data is changed that it’s fully updated on Dropbox before you launch the app it belongs to. It’s also not always apparent where apps save data. Some will save to a specific or user-defined folder in ~/Documents. In ~/Library, you might find databases and other documents in Application Support, and settings in Preferences. For Mac App Store apps, items are (mostly) stored in ~/Library/Containers.</p><p>Mac App Store apps complicate things further by not enabling you to make symlinks of individual files within the folders found in ~/Library/Containers. During testing, however, we found you can move the app’s entire directory within Containers to Dropbox and symlink that. Also, recent versions of OS X such as Mavericks now cache preferences files, so if you use this tutorial’s technique to keep app set-ups identical across multiple Macs, you’ll need to flush the cache before launching your app after any preferences have changed. This can be done in Terminal using <strong>killall cfprefsd</strong>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. Backup First</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoaddcloudsync_1.png" width="620" height="394" /></p><p>To be on the safe side, ensure you’ve taken a full backup of your Mac before proceeding with this tutorial, and/or archive to ZIP a copy of anything you’re about to delete. It never hurts to be careful!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Start Dropbox</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoaddcloudsync_2.png" /></p><p>Ensure Dropbox is running (you can get a free account from, and create a new folder inside the Dropbox folder. Within that, create a named folder for each app you want to sync (this isn’t strictly necessary, but it’s smart to be organized with important files).</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Access the Library</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoaddcloudsync_3.png" width="620" height="346" /></strong></p><p>Next, locate the files you’d like to sync. We’re going to sync saves from a Mac App Store game, Year Walk. Mac App Store app files are housed deep inside the hidden Library folder, which can be accessed by holding Option, clicking the Go menu, and selecting Library from the drop-down list.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. Find the App Folder</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoaddcloudsync_4.png" width="620" height="326" /></strong></p><p>Inside Containers is a list of folders, most named using the convention In the case of Year Walk, it’s com.simogo.yearwalkmac. To keep a copy of this safe, right-click and select Compress, then drag the original folder to the Dropbox one made in step 2.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>5. Create a Symlink</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoaddcloudsync_5b.png" width="620" height="416" /></strong></p><p>Open Terminal, type ln <strong>-s</strong> then a space, and drag the folder you moved to Dropbox into the Terminal window. You’ll see its path added, with a space after it. Drag the Containers folder in too (that’s where we want the symlink to be), hit Return, and the symlink should be created.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>6. Test Everything</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoaddcloudsync_6.png" width="620" height="388" /></p><p>Launch your app, use it, close it then open it again. If it resets to defaults, something may have gone wrong, and you should try recreating the symlink. With Mac App Store apps, ensure you’ve copied the entire folder from Containers, and not just a single file.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>7. Work with Other Macs</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoaddcloudsync_7.png" width="620" height="300" /></p><p>You can now use much the same process to have the synced data work with other Macs. Just archive and delete relevant files/folders on the other Macs, and set up symlinks as per step 5. Ensure you only run any app using this data on a single Mac at once, though.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>8. Revert to Single-Mac</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoaddcloudsync_8.png" width="620" height="385" /></p><p>If you decide you no longer want to sync your data, reversion is simple. Delete the symlink file on your Mac, then copy the folder from Dropbox back to the location where it was originally housed. The app the data belongs to should pick up the latest saved settings.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>9. Restore a Save</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoaddcloudsync_9.png" width="620" height="386" /></p><p>Another advantage of using Dropbox is it retains older versions of your files. On the Dropbox website, right-click any document and select “Previous versions”. Select an older version and click Restore. (It’s also an idea to copy/archive your latest version, just to be extra safe.)</p> could Dropbox Sync trick Tutorial Mac How-Tos Tue, 18 Nov 2014 23:47:31 +0000 Craig Grannell 20957 at Easy Mac Hacks: Sign PDFs with Trackpad <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u12635/easy_mac_hacks_icon_flat_23.png" width="200" height="200" class="graphic-right" /></p><p><em>Every Monday we show you how to do something quick and cool using with Mac OS X. Sometimes it's a tutorial on a lesser-known feature, other times it's a trick that uses built-in functionality such as Terminal — either way, these simple tips can make life better and easier, and they don’t require any special knowledge. All you need to do is follow the instructions!</em></p><p>Ever had to sign documents quickly and return them to a sender? No matter the type of document that you're trying to sign, if you can avoid the print, sign, scan, and send workflow, it's always appreciated. Mac OS X's Preview application has long allowed for digital signatures, and now in Yosemite you can sign your documents using the trackpad, too. Continue reading, and we'll show you how this feature works, and how you can put it to use to sign your PDFs in the future.</p><h3>Creating a Signature with the Trackpad</h3><p>To create a new signature using your Trackpad, open the PDF that you wish to sign in the Preview application (located in /Applications, and included on every Mac). Once opened, perform the following steps to create a new signature using the Trackpad or Magic Trackpad on your MacBook or Mac desktop computer:</p><ol><li>Click View.</li><li>Click Show Markup Toolbar (or press Command + Shift + A on the keyboard).</li><li>Choose the Sign button in the toolbar that appears, then click "Create Signature."</li><li>In the Signature popover that appears, choose the Trackpad option, and click the "Click here to begin" button.</li></ol><p>Once in this mode, you'll want to begin signing your name using your finger on the trackpad. There's no need to depress the trackpad button.</p><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/signature_a.png"><img src="/files/u12635/signature_a.png" width="620" height="437" class="thickbox" /></a><br />When you are done with the signature, press any key on the keyboard to exit editing mode, and then press the Done button in the popover to save the signature in Preview.</p><p>Of course, you can get a signature without the trackpad, too, just as you could in previous versions of Preview. To do so, follow the same steps as above, but choose the Camera option in step 4. Create a physical signature using black ink on a white piece of paper (for best results), then hold this signature up to the iSight camera on your Mac. For older versions of Preview, follow the instructions <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p><h3><span style="font-size: 1.17em;">Using the Signature</span></h3><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/signature_b_0.png"><img src="/files/u12635/signature_b_0.png" width="620" height="437" class="thickbox" /></a></p><p>When you are ready to use the signature in your document, perform these steps:</p><ol><li>Click View.</li><li>Click Show Markup Toolbar (or press Command + Shift + A on the keyboard).</li><li>Choose the Sign button, then click on one of the saved signatures that appears in the list.</li></ol><p>Once you do this, you'll see the signature inserted into the document. You'll be able to resize and move the signature around on the PDF to make it look just right and fit over the signature area of the document you need to be signing.<br /><br />Note that because the Camera and Trackpad options here create a vectorized version of your signature, you can scale or shrink the image without any distortion. You can store multiple signatures, then choose with one you want to use from this menu. If you have iCloud sync enabled, then your signatures will be synchronized in Preview between all of your Macs.<br /><br />Now all that's left is for you to save the signature inside of the document using Command + S (or get advanced save options by pressing Option + Command + Shift + S to open the Save As... panel).</p> Columns Easy Mac Hacks How to Mac PDF Preview sign Trackpad Mac How-Tos Mon, 17 Nov 2014 18:54:41 +0000 Cory Bohon 20949 at Ask: How to Print Captions in iPhoto <!--paging_filter--><p>If you've got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question, we've got the answer. In this week's Ask, we explain how to add captions to printed photographs in iPhoto.</p><h3>Question</h3><p>Using the latest version of iPhoto in Mavericks, how do I print a photo with a title or caption printed below it? This was possible to do this in earlier versions — I could do it in Mountain Lion — but I can't figure out how to do it in Mavericks.</p><h3>Answer</h3><p>You can still print captions on pictures when printing photos from the iPhoto application in Mavericks. The process, however, is a bit different than it was in previous versions of iPhoto.</p><p>To begin, select a photo, and then click File &gt; Print (or press Command + P with a photo selected). Once you’ve done that, select the Contact Sheet option from the print theme panel. This will give you the ability to place various items of metadata associated with the photo in the captions area that appears below the printed image.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/ask_captions.png" width="620" height="440" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>In iPhoto 9, select the Contact Sheet option in iPhoto to get access to the captions panel and add text beneath your printed photos.</strong></span></p><p>To edit what shows up in the caption section, click on the Captions button that appears below the drag handles that adjust the photo’s size. In this panel, you’ll be given control over exactly what photo metadata is added when you print the picture.</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 Captions iPhoto Photography Tips tricks Mac How-Tos Fri, 14 Nov 2014 19:28:59 +0000 Cory Bohon 20938 at How to Get AirPlay on Older Macs <!--paging_filter--><p>AirPlay is a technology created by Apple that lets you stream the display signal from your Mac to your second- or third-generation Apple TV. As well as beaming movies and music from iTunes, more recent Macs let you use AirPlay mirroring to extend or duplicate your Mac’s desktop to your TV. Mirroring can be really useful, letting you show presentations, slideshows, or movies on a big screen without the need for wires; or you can use your HDTV as a second computer monitor, again without wiring. Older Macs, however, can’t stream AirPlay video out of the box, because Apple restricts mirroring to newer models, citing hardware requirements. &nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoairplay_main_0.png" width="620" height="386" /></p><p>AirParrot is an inexpensive app ($9.99) that unlocks the ability to mirror audio and video over AirPlay on a wide range of older machines (see below), and it even offers features that Apple does not. It lets you, for example, mirror a specific app to the TV while still using your Mac desktop as normal, and also lets you set variable video quality and framerates so you can tailor the connection. On older, less powerful Macs, this means you should still get good results by dropping the data rate down a little. There’s nothing to stop you using AirParrot even on a newer AirPlay-compatible Mac, of course. You can purchase AirParrot <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p><p>Note: AirParrot will run on any Core 2 Duo or higher Mac with OS X 10.6.8 or later. If you have one of the following Macs or newer, you can do AirPlay mirroring natively in OS X: iMac (Mid 2011), Mac mini (Mid 2011), MacBook Air (Mid 2011), MacBook Pro (Early 2011), Mac Pro (Late 2013).</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. Connect to the Apple TV</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoairplay_1.png" width="620" height="342" /></p><p>After installing the app, its icon will appear in the menu bar. If you have an Apple TV device on your wireless network, it should appear under the Devices section in the menu. Click on the Apple TV device and your Mac should begin mirroring the desktop.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Extend Your Desktop</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoairplay_2.png" width="620" height="343" /></p><p>The Display section shows information about connected displays and built-in screens. If you choose Extend Desktop, your TV will become part of the desktop, at a higher resolution in our case, above. You should be able to move the cursor from Mac to TV.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Extend Just One App</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoairplay_3.png" width="620" height="356" /></p><p>Using the Specific App option, you can send an app’s window to the Apple TV and thus to your television, and leave your Mac’s desktop working as normal. This is ideal for sending a presentation or slideshows to a screen while still working on your Mac.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. Choose a Document to Mirror</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoairplay_4_0.png" width="620" height="319" /></p><p>AirParrot will only send an app to your TV when that app has a window open on the screen. If the app is hidden or has no open windows, it won’t appear. With some apps onscreen, click on the Specific App option and you’ll see you can choose specific open documents.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>5. Install the Audio Driver</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoairplay_5.png" width="620" height="243" /></p><p>Any sound you play will come out of your Mac and not the connected TV. To change this, go to Enable Audio. The first time you do this, you will be prompted to install the driver and restart your Mac. Clicking Enable Audio will then stream both sound and video.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>6. Tweak the Quality/Data Rate</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoairplay_6.png" width="620" height="356" /></p><p>In the AirParrot menu, go to the Preferences option to open the preferences window. If you get choppy streaming, experiment with lowering the video quality and framerates. Bear in mind that dropping the framerate too far makes viewing video more difficult.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>7. Stretch Apps to Fill the TV</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoairplay_7.png" width="620" height="350" /></p><p>In the Preferences menu is an option to force the streamed output to 720p resolution if streaming to a third-generation Apple TV at 1080p is slow. You can also stretch apps during streaming to fill the Apple TV screen, if the aspect ratio of the screens mismatch.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>8. Tweak for Presentation Mode</strong></p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoairplay_8.png" width="620" height="366" /></p><p>The final options are Compatibility Mode, which helps fix glitches on some OS X 10.6-based systems, and the option to hide the Notification Center in the streamed signal. This is important if you’re giving a presentation. You can also hide the mouse cursor here.</p> AirParrot airplay Apple TV mirroring streaming Tips tricks Mac How-Tos Tue, 11 Nov 2014 23:00:16 +0000 Hollin Jones 20922 at Easy Mac Hacks: Three Yosemite Spotlight Tricks to Make Life Easier <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u12635/easy_mac_hacks_icon_flat_22.png" width="200" height="200" class="graphic-right" />OS X Yosemite brought some much-needed love to a utility on the Mac that has barely changed at all since its introduction in OS X Tiger (OS X version 10.4): Spotlight. The little indexed search engine that could gained some powers that even long-time Spotlight lovers (or even haters) can't help but adore. In this article, we've delve into the top three new features of Spotlight in Yosemite and show you how to take advantage of each.</p><h3>Unit Conversions</h3><p>When we do unit conversions, it's often a convoluted process whereby you need to leave your current application, open Safari, go to Google (or other favorite search engine), and try to find the result. Surely there has to be a better process, right? Well, there is, and it now involves Spotlight on OS X Yosemite.</p><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/spotlight_1_1.png"><img src="/files/u12635/spotlight_1_1.png" width="620" height="424" class="thickbox" /></a><br /><br />To quickly find the unit conversion from one particular unit to another (works with major currencies, weights, measurements, and more), simply open Spotlight and type in something like&nbsp;"100 euros."</p><p>When you do this, Spotlight will go out to the Internet and find the current value of the euro and offer up a few other currency calculations that you might be interested in. If it's not one that you're interested in, be more specific — for example&nbsp;"100 euros in yuans."</p><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/spotlight_2_1.png"><img src="/files/u12635/spotlight_2_1.png" width="620" height="424" class="thickbox" /></a><br />This will locate the price of euros and instantaneously convert that to the current price of Chinese yuans. This is a pretty nifty feature, right? You can also use this to convert weights, measurements, power, and even more units right at your fingertips without ever leaving your current application.</p><h3>Check Out the Latest Headlines</h3><p>Sure, you could open your favorite browser and type in a search term into any major news site to get the latest headlines about that search term, but what if you could do it from your fingertips in Spotlight, without ever leaving your current application?</p><p>Well, you can, and here's how to do it:</p><ol><li>Open Spotlight by clicking on the icon in the menu bar, or by pressing Command + Space on your keyboard.</li><li>Enter a search term.</li></ol><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/spotlight_3_0.png"><img src="/files/u12635/spotlight_3_0.png" width="620" height="424" class="thickbox" /></a><br />If there is news available for that search term, then a new "News" item will appear under the hits list. Clicking on one of the news headlines will show a snippet of the news article in the new Spotlight file viewer. Click "See Full Article" below the article snippet to open the full article in your default web browser.</p><h3>Search for iBooks and Other Media on the iTunes Store</h3><p>You can also now use Spotlight to find books, movies, apps, and more on the iTunes and Mac App Stores. Simply type in your search term into the Spotlight field, and you'll see the results listed under the appropriate headings in the search sidebar.&nbsp;</p><div><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/spotlight_4_0.png"><img src="/files/u12635/spotlight_4_0.png" width="620" height="424" class="thickbox" /></a></div><div><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/spotlight_4_0.png"></a>This is especially nifty for those times when you search for an application to launch on your computer, but realize that it's not installed. This can provide one-click access to the App Store where you can instantly download it again.</div> Columns Easy Mac Hacks EMH headlines How to Mac Hacks news search itunes store spotlight Tips tricks unit converstion Mac How-Tos Mon, 10 Nov 2014 18:37:22 +0000 Cory Bohon 20915 at Ask: How to Disable Autocorrect <!--paging_filter--><p>If you've got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question, we've got the answer. In this week's Ask, we let you know how to turn off autocorrect so it stops putting the wrong words in your mouth. Or at least in your docs and email.</p><h3>Question</h3><p>I am using OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and want to know how to turn off autocorrect in the body of an email. Changing language dictionaries would also help, but at least if I can turn off the autocorrect feature, that would be a start.</p><h3>Answer</h3><p>You can turn off the autocorrect feature in Mavericks system-wide or on an per-application basis. To turn it off system-wide, perform these steps:&nbsp;</p><p>1. Open System Preferences.</p><p>2. Click on the Keyboard preferences icon to open the menu.</p><p>3. Click the Text tab.&nbsp;</p><p>4. Uncheck the option for “Correct spelling automatically.”&nbsp;</p><p>With this option checked, text fields across the whole system will automatically provide text corrections as you type. By unchecking “Correct spelling automatically,” you'll disable this feature for all apps. Also, while you're in the Text tab of Keyboard preferences, you can change dictionaries by clicking on the "Spelling" drop-down menu.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/ask_autocorrect.png" width="620" height="555" /><br /><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">Disabling the auto-correct feature in System Preferences will affect its behavior in all applications.</span></strong></p><p>In addition, can also disable autocorrect on a per-application basis within many apps. Follow these steps to disable it in Mail:&nbsp;</p><p>1. Launch Apple Mail.&nbsp;</p><p>2. Open a new message window, and place the text insertion point in the body of the email.</p><p>3. Click Edit &gt; Spelling and Grammar, and then click the option for “Correct Spelling Automatically.” Doing this will remove the adjacent checkmark, which indicates the feature’s activation state.</p><p>Now, when you compose a message in Mail, the auto-correct feature will no longer amend your misspellings. Instead, you can use Edit &gt; Spelling and Grammar &gt; Check Document Now to manually find and correct mistakes.</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 autocorrect Columns dictionaries Email Language spelling Tips tricks Mac How-Tos Fri, 07 Nov 2014 19:19:20 +0000 Cory Bohon 20903 at How to Reduce Eyestrain from Your Mac Monitor <!--paging_filter--><p>If you’re ever forced to use your Mac late into the night, you need f.lux. This free tool automatically changes the color temperature of your monitor’s display as the sun sets and night approaches. It’s designed to help relax your eyes, so you’re less wired after a long day’s work and better able to get some sleep.</p><p>You can download the app from <a href="" target="_blank"></a> — extract the application from the zip file and copy it to your Applications folder. Launch it, then set your current location so f.lux is able to correctly calculate sunrise and sunset times for your area and the time of year. This can be done automatically using AirPort, or you can enter your zip code to pinpoint it on a map.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoeyestrain_main.png" width="620" height="388" /></p><p>The only other bit of configuration you need to do is set your wake time — it’s 8am by default, but you might prefer to set it earlier if, say, you’re in the office by then. Once done, all you need to do is preview the changes made to your display; the Daytime button is set to the current temperature, but you can reduce the slider if you wish to dim it slightly. Click Sunset and you see it drop to 3400K (Halogen) levels, while Bedtime reduces it further to 1900K (Candle). The colors may look weird in the daylight, but while you can customize these settings, it’s best to wait and see how they look when the sun actually goes down before making any changes.</p><h3>1. Set a Personal Profile</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoeyestrain_1.png" width="620" height="388" /></p><p>To configure f.lux to match your lighting, open the Preferences window using its menu bar icon. Click on Recommended colors &gt; Custom colors. Click each button — Daytime, Sunset, and Bedtime — in turn and set the slider to your choice of temperature for each part of the day.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>2. More Customizations</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoeyestrain_2.png" width="620" height="388" /></p><p>“Customize” allows you to tweak the time settings — fade quickly to bedtime at sunset, for instance. “Color Effects” allows you to optimize the screen for watching movies or choose a darkroom-like effect (black and red), which may prove easier on the eyes late at night.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3>3. Selective Disable</h3><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/11/howtoeyestrain_3.png" width="620" height="388" /></p><p>The Disable menu lets you switch off f.lux for an hour or until the next day. You can also disable it for individual apps — make sure the app is open and in focus, then click the f.lux menu bar icon and choose Disable &gt; by current app. Click Close to confirm.</p> eyestrain f.lux monitor reduce eyestrain tip Mac How-Tos Tue, 04 Nov 2014 23:45:58 +0000 Nick Peers 20888 at Easy Mac Hacks: Record Your iOS Device Screen with QuickTime Player <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u12635/easy_mac_hacks_icon_flat_21.png" width="200" height="200" class="graphic-right" /><span style="font-style: italic;">Every Monday we show you how to do something quick and cool using built-in OS X functionality such as Terminal, Apple’s command line application. These easy tricks can make life better and simpler, and don’t require any special knowledge of coding — all you need to do is follow the instructions!</span></p><p>QuickTime Player received a new feature in OS X Yosemite that makes it extremely easy to view and record your iOS device screen by connecting it to your Mac. This is great when you want to show off something on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch when giving a presentation, or if you need to record something on your device to show off later or upload somewhere online.<br /><br />Previously, you'd need to hack around with AirPlay and install additional utilities on your Mac, then suffer through sub-standard video quality (since AirPlay compresses the video). You'll be happy to know that video captured through QuickTime Player is full quality, and more than superb: it's amazing, high-quality video that comes over the Lightening cable directly into your Mac.<br /><br />Here's how this process of capturing your iOS device screen works.</p><h3>Recording Your Device</h3><p>To begin, connect your device to your Mac using the Lightening or 30-pin USB cable that came with your iOS 8-capable device. You probably don't use this cable for much more than charging, so be sure to find it, then dust it off before use.<br /><br />Next, you'll open QuickTime Player on your Mac running OS X Yosemite. This won't work with QuickTime Player on previous versions of OS X — it's a feature unique to OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.</p><p><img src="/files/u12635/quicktime_1.png" width="570" height="491" /></p><p>Once opened, do the following steps in QuickTime Player:</p><ol><li>Select File.</li><li>Select New Movie Recording...</li><li>In the window that appears, select the small downward-facing arrow to the right of the record button, and then select your device from the Camera and Microphone selections.</li><li>You can optionally set your video quality from the same menu.</li></ol><p><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u12635/quicktime_2.png"><img src="/files/u12635/quicktime_2.png" width="213" height="350" class="thickbox" /></a></p><p>At this point, your iPhone screen will appear in the QuickTime Player preview area, and you could use this setup as a way to present your device screen from your Mac. But, if you wish to record, then you'll want to click on the big red button to start the recording. Click the same button when you're done recording.</p><h3>Saving the Video</h3><p><img src="/files/u12635/quicktime_3.png" width="620" height="338" class="thickbox" /></p><p>The video can be saved and used for various purposes — put the recording in presentations, or do what Apple intended and capture videos for iTunes App Store video previews.<br /><br />To save a video captured in QuickTime:</p><ol><li>Click File &gt; Save (or press Command + S on your keyboard).</li><li>Enter a filename.</li><li>Select an output location.</li><li>Click Save.</li></ol><p>Your video will be saved in the location that you've specified, and will be available for your viewing pleasure.</p> airplay Columns Easy Mac Hacks How to iOS iPad iphone iPod touch Mac QuickTime Record Screen Mac How-Tos Mon, 03 Nov 2014 18:25:52 +0000 Cory Bohon 20881 at Ask: How to Archive Mail <!--paging_filter--><p>If you've got an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question, we've got the answer. In this week's Ask, we'll show you how to archive old email so you can keep your inbox clean and organized.</p><h3>Question</h3><p>In Apple Mail, I've created iCloud mailboxes to organize emails by topic. Once a topic is completed, and no longer actively needed, is there a way to archive all of these communications and emails for future reference and then have the freedom to delete the originals forever?</p><h3>Answer</h3><p>Once you have all of your important messages corralled into a mailbox (smart or otherwise), then it’s very easy in the OS X Mail application to export the enclosed messages.</p><p>1. Select the mailbox in the sidebar of OS X Mail.</p><p>2. Right-click on the selected mailbox.</p><p>3. Choose “Export Mailbox.”&nbsp;</p><p>4. Choose a location to export the mailbox in the destination chooser.</p><p>5. Click Choose.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/ask_mail1.png" width="339" height="342" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Exporting your mailboxes is as easy as right-clicking on the mailbox.</strong></span></p><p>Once you’ve done this, all of the messages, attachments, and directory structure will be exported to your chosen location. The export will happen to an industry-standard .mbox format that almost all modern email clients can read. The entire exported directory can be copied over to an external drive, disk, or Dropbox folder, and the originals in Mail can be removed.</p><p>When you decide that you want to import your messages back into Mail in order to read them again, perform these steps:&nbsp;</p><p>1. Launch Mail.</p><p>2. Select File &gt; Import Mailboxes.</p><p>3. Choose “Files in mbox format” from the import window.</p><p>4. Choose the .mbox files that you exported previously.</p><p>That’s it! After doing this, the imported mailboxes will be displayed in the sidebar under the “On My Mac” section, as the email messages physically reside on your computer instead of in your email account.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/ask_mail2.png" width="620" height="467" /><br /><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">When importing your mailboxes into Mail (or any email client), you’ll need to specify the “mbox” format.</span></strong></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> archiving Ask Email Export inbox Mail OS X tip Mac How-Tos Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:40:20 +0000 Cory Bohon 20871 at