Category Archives: OSX

Get More from the Textedit App

(See my other Tech Tip related posts) – We have all used the Textedit App on our Macs. But do you know all that it can do for you? The article “10 Things You May Not Know You Can Do With TextEdit On a Mac” helps to fill in some of the gaps in our Textedit knowledge.

I like this short (11:30) video from MacMost which explains some of the features of Textedit. MacMost uploaded the video to YouTube in April of 2020.

I have used Textedit for years, but I learned a few new things from watching this video. Their tagline for the video is:

TextEdit seems like a simple text editing tool, but it actually has some pretty rich features. You can do things like set document properties, edit code, define and use styles, insert images, audio, and video, and even export HTML documents.


See my other Mac and macOS related posts


 

Improve Your Productivity by Remapping that Windows Keyboard

IMG_9455

(See my other Tech Tip related posts) – I recently traveled again to Henderson, NV to visit family. I knew that I would be here for a while, so I brought my Mac Mini. Its size and solid-state drive make it easy to travel with.

I have a monitor available at the location I was headed to but I will need a keyboard and mouse. I chose not to bring the keyboard and mouse from my desk at home. I had secured the cables for those under my desk. I brought along instead a generic keyboard. This Windows keyboard works well, but the key layout isn’t the same as my Apple keyboard at home.

The video above is from the suggested Further Reading

There turns out to be a simple solution for this. Remap the keys to the more familiar Mac layout. I followed the procedure outlined in the video. Now the keyboard layout is Mac-friendly and much easier for me to use.

The desire is to remap the Modifier Keys. On a Windows keyboard those keys on the left-hand side are in the order:

Control Command  Option

On an Apple keyboard the order is:

Control Option  Command

I have been using the Apple keyboard for a decade. It is difficult to change typing behavior. By remapping the Modifier keys my typing becomes more efficient. This also means that I become a fraction more productive.

Further Reading

  1. How-To: Remap Windows keyboards to match the Mac keyboard layout

See my other Mac and macOS related posts


 

Save Email as a PDF with three simultaneous keystrokes

 

(See my other Tech Tips ) – I am always looking for ways to improve my productivity on the Mac. I wanted a method to save an email as a PDF in the easiest way.

If you are in the Mail App you can do this by clicking on File => Export as PDF… I wanted to shorten this process. I set up a keyboard shortcut as described by David Sparks above.

Now when I am reading through my emails, I can save any as a PDF by hitting the Option-Command-P keys. Later I will come back and apply  Tags to those files to organize them.


See my other Mac and macOS related posts


 

Zevrix Solutions Microsoft Office Output Automation Tools on Sale

bodoc-pdf-mas

(Product Announcements )  – Zevrix Solutions of Toronto (ON), Canada announces a spring sale on all products including output automation tools for Microsoft Office. The company offers a 50% discount until April 3. Zevrix BatchOutput Office Suite is a collection of output automation apps for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint for macOS. The only automation tool for Microsoft users on the Mac market, the software streamlines printing and exporting of Office documents to PDF through batch processing with time-saving output options.

BatchOutput Office Suite can be purchased at half price for US$30 from the Zevrix website until April 3. The suite’s applications – BatchOutput DOC, BatchOutput XLS, and BatchOutput PPT – can be also purchased separately for $10 (USD) each. The trial is also available for download. The sale also applies to all other products and upgrades. BatchOutput Office requires macOS 10.8 – 10.15 and Microsoft Office 2008-2019. InDesign and Illustrator solutions require Adobe Creative Cloud CS6 – 2020.

 

Customizing your Mac Mail Signature

I thought that this short video (06:06) from MacMost was a good start to customizing your mail signatures under macOS.

You can actually do far more than that. The Mail signature files for macOS Catalina are found in /Users/[your user ID]/Library/Mail/V7/MailData/Signatures/. This is an HTML file, so you can take advantage of that to further customize your signature. 
 
Select a signature file to customize. Apple’s naming convention for signature files is not intuitive. I recommend that you create a new signature file.
  • Open Mail then go to Preferences > Signatures > enter “+” to add a new signature
  • Type in the text you want to appear
  • Close Preferences
  • Quit Mail
Now in your Finder go to /Users/[your user ID]/Library/Mail/V7/MailData/Signatures/. Select the file with today’s date and open it for editing.  I use BBEdit for this.
 
The file is larger than you might expect. Insert the HTML you want for customizing the signature. I added a table with one row and two data fields. The field on the left has artwork, the field on the right now has my text. Save the file. 
 
In Finder select the updated file and Right-Click (or Control-Click) on it. Select “Get Info”. Now click on the “Locked” box. If you do not do this, Mail will overwrite the changes you made to the Signature file. 
 
Now open Mail and you will find the updated signature is ready for use. One of my signatures now looks like the image below. It now identifies the topics I most often post about on my Blog – Mac & iOS, WWII, and Books. Those interests are also reflected in a simple image.

Screen Shot 2020-03-15 at 3.46.14 PM


See my other macOS posts


 

Revised and Expanded FREE iOS, tvOS AND macOS Software List for 02/2020

software

I have been publishing a list of free software for iOS, tvOS and OS X each month for some time. 

macOS software is now being compiled in a large, cumulative table. Many titles were appearing repeatedly in this list. I think the directory will both take less time for me and provide users with a better way to discover Mac software. 

The macOS Software directory is updated frequently and currently contains more than 460 entries. More than 170 of those entries are available for FREE download.

Please give me feedback if this expanded list is valuable to you.

This is NOT a curated list. All I know about these titles is what you see below. None have been tried or tested by me.

February 2020

  1. Games – Astral World LP is proud to announce the release and availability of The Astral World 1.04 for the iPhone. Technically a fitness application, Astral World puts the typical process far beyond what is accustomed thanks to the augmented reality technologies. Astral World 1.04 is free ans is available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. Convenient in-app purchases are available. Download from the App Store
  2. Health & Fitness – Independent developer, Nikolay Iliev today is proud to announce the release of Rina 90 Day Diet 1.4.0, an important update to his popular weight loss app developed exclusively for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. 90 Day Diet is a quite simple and functional mobile application that can be used by anyone. Even the persons who never kept a diet in their entire lives can use this user-friendly weight loss app. This app is based on the extremely popular 90 days challenge diet. Rina 90 Day Diet 1.4.0 is Free (With In-App Purchases) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Health & Fitness category.  Download from the App Store
  3. Social Networking – Today, Alexandre Colucci is proud to announce the release and immediate availability of Clatters 1.0, an app exclusively designed for the iPhone and iPad. Clatters makes it easy to monitor in one place a brand name, product name or any other keyword on social networks – Twitter, Reddit, HackerNews and even comments on the iOS App Store. Thanks to on-device sentiments analysis, users get insights into the audience emotions and can quickly take actions: retweet, like or reply with a predefined message. Clatters 1.0 is free to download and use. It is available worldwide exclusively through the iOS App Store in the Social Networking category. Clatters Pro unlocks a range of advanced features and is an optional paid subscription. Monthly subscription: $2.99. Yearly subscription: $29.99 (USD). Download from the App Store
  4. Navigation – There is excellent news for truckers across the USA who wish there was a quick and easy way to find trucking jobs! The TruckBook app, launched by California-based TruckBook Inc, is a comprehensive platform for truckers to check and apply to jobs across the country, find real-time information related to maps, routes, roadside assistance, and truck stops. TruckBook: Jobs Maps Repair 2.7 is currently available for Free at the Apple Store  under the ‘Navigation’. Download from the App Store
  5. Lifestyle – Pixite, Inc. is pleased to announce Zinnia Journal 1.0, the newest in a line of best-in-class creativity apps, is available for pre-order now. Zinnia is a journaling app that incorporates the creativity of a sketch pad with the practical features of Bullet Journaling(R). Zinnia will be a daily companion that will encourage mindful activities such as sketching, planning, collaging, and tracking the things you want to do today and in the future. It’s a great way to document activities with friends, what you’re reading, your daily routine and anything else going on in your life. Zinnia Journal 1.0 will be Free (With In-App Purchases) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Lifestyle category. Zinnia also offers an optional subscription to Zinnia Premium which gives you access to unlimited journals and pages. Download from the App Store
  6. Games – MADFINGER Games has announced that Shadowgun War Games, the latest release in their critically-acclaimed mobile games franchise, is now available on iOS and Android devices. Earlier entries in the series, including Shadowgun, Shadowgun: Deadzone, and Shadowgun Legends, have been enjoyed by 50 million mobile players worldwide. Players can get in on the action by downloading the game from the App Store or Google Play Store today. Shadowgun War Games is now available as a free download on the App Store. Download from the App Store
  7. Games – For those of you who wish to be soccer superstars but find yourself stuck in a rut – OM Entertainment, a company based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that specializes in games and entertainment – has released a high-octane soccer-themed disc game that will give you the thrill of competing in premier soccer leagues around the world on your smartphone. Fans of Soccer version 1.0.11 is available for Free with In-App purchases on the App Store in the Games category. Download from the App Store
  8. Business – Cynapse is updating Numerics: the KPI dashboard app exclusively designed for the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch – with 2 new cloud service integrations, Teamwork Projects & Jamf Pro. The new version also empowers the Help Scout integration by adding new KPIs to now present stats for chats, phone, docs along with overall company performance.  Numerics 6.1 is a universal app for iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. It is available as a free download exclusively on the App Store with many free services including custom data sources like CSV and JSON available for users to track their KPIs. Numerics Pro is an in-app subscription with a monthly and annual option. Pro unlocks access to all integrated services, allows adding of unlimited dashboards & widgets. The in-app Pro subscription comes with a 7-day trial that can be canceled at any time. Download from the App Store
  9. Travel – CrossAxis Inc. is very pleased to announce the release of OodyMate 3.1.1, an update to their social travel app developed for all travelers and foodies. This social travel app provides the opportunity to meet other foodies, anywhere in the world. OodyMate is not an itinerary recommendation app, nor is it a dating app. Female solo travelers with safety concerns can request to meet with other women only. OodyMate 3.1.1 is completely free of charge (free from advertisements) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Travel category. Download from the App Store
  10. Games – Indie game developer, Toward Inc. is proud to announce the release of The Witch’s Forest 1.1.9, an update to the company’s fun-to-play Black Forest casual RPG title for iOS and Android devices. Version 1.1.9 offers minor bug fixes with optimaized performance. Featuring a beautiful and unique graphic design, The Witch’s Forest offers a unique style of gameplay. Players only grow the world tree The forest was beautiful and tranquil due to the World Tree and the witch, the sources of magic. The Witch’s Forest 1.1.9 is Free (With In-App Purchases) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. Download from the App Store

Preview has many hidden capabilities for PDF files

(See my other macOS related posts) – I have posted about MacMost before. Today I watched this video “12 Things you may not know you can do with Preview”. I had been familiar with some of the abilities of Preview, but I learned a few new things from this video.

For me, I particularly like the ability to merge PDF files and annotate them with highlights and notes. As I write various articles, this is very handy.

Preview has so many abilities that few people are aware of. Instead of buying Apps, Preview often will give you what you need directly from Apple. You just have to take some time to familiarize yourself with the App. MacMost does a good job of that in this video.


See my new macOS Software Directory and find what software is available for the Mac!

Learn the macOS Command Line

(See my other macOS and Linux related posts) – While “Unix for the Beginning Mage” is not new (the sources I have found date back to 2005) it is still relevant today.

You may, or may not, know that by using a Mac with macOS, you are using a system based upon the Unix operating system. When Apple acquired NeXT in 1996, it also gained the use of the NeXTSTEP operating system. NeXTSTEP had its roots in an earlier Unix system, BSD. Apple released macOS (then called Mac OS X) in 2001.

Now one of the notable things about macOS is that instead of using the traditional user interface to the operating system, NeXT had infused NeXTSTEP with a number of innovative GUI (Graphical User Interface) features which made the system far more user-friendly. For most user operations, they rarely, if ever, need to open up a Terminal and interact with the system through the command line.

This short book is for anyone who wants to open up a terminal and give commands to their system through just the keyboard. The book is only 100 pages long, so it is not an in-depth look at using the command line. It is enough to get someone started and guide them through the essentials.

You can download the free PDF at Unix for the Beginning Mage. As you might expect from the name, the book takes a bit of a tongue-in-cheek approach to learning some of the basic features of the Unix shell.

If you found this of interest you might also be interested in my CLI (Command Line Interface) page.

 

Video Tutorials from MacMost – learn something new in about 10 minutes

Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 1.20.36 PM

(See my other Mac and OS X related posts) – I have been an email subscriber to MacMost for quite a while. That delivers an email once a week with links to a handful of their video tutorials.

The featured 10:46 tutorial this week (released 2/14/20) is “8 Better Alternatives to Sending Large Email Attachments”.

I don’t watch all of their tutorials, but there are several that I have found very interesting. If you visit their website and the Video Tutorials page, you will find more than 60 categories and more than 1800 individual tutorials. Another option is to visit their channel on YouTube.

Either way, you want to approach them, MacMost has a wide selection of tutorials that will enable you to know more about your Mac! Most of these are only 5-15 minutes in length so it is easy to allocate time during your day to watch at lease one.

Revised and Expanded FREE iOS, tvOS AND macOS Software List for 1/2020

software

I have been publishing a list of free software for iOS, tvOS and OS X each month for some time. 

macOS software is now being compiled in a large, cumulative table. Many titles were appearing repeatedly in this list. I think the directory will both take less time for me and provide users with a better way to discover Mac software. 

The macOS Software directory is updated frequently and currently contains more than 420 entries. More than 150 of those entries are available for FREE download.

Please give me feedback if this expanded list is valuable to you.

This is NOT a curated list. All I know about these titles is what you see below. None have been tried or tested by me.

January 2020

  1. Games – Newly formed EdTech start-up KalamTech has just announced the launch of its latest game Human Heroes Counting Fun, available now for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Fresh off his latest outing in Human Heroes Einstein’s Clock, which has been downloaded 20,000 times across both the App Store, Albert Einstein is back on the stage, now equipped with a balloon pump of magic and wonder to help children of all ages learn about counting seconds. Human Heroes Counting Fun 1.1.3 is free and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. Download from the App Store
  2. Entertainment – Sincere Apps SIA is pleased to announce the release of Piano Chords and Scales 4.0, an important feature update to their popular music app developed for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. Piano Chord and Scales allows you to understand all the piano theory related to chords, scales and song composing. The true goal for creating this app was to lower the barrier for an individual to start playing and understanding piano. How all the theory comes together and how songs can be composed. Piano Chords and Scales 4.0 is Free (With $7.99 in-app purchase to unlock more content) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Entertainment category. Download from the App Store
  3. Games – If you’re a base building fanatic, you may already be familiar with the space-age, resource pirating, hero ship piloting game Fleets of Heroes. Think of some of the barbarian village builders you may have played, add some upgrade/resource complexity, put yourself in space, and you won’t be too far off. After a relatively quiet release and slow-burning soft launch phase , Inner Hero LLC has officially released its anticipated v2.0 update, kicking Fleets of Heroes gameplay into high gear as of January 16, 2020. Fleets of Heroes 2.0 is Free (With In-App Purchases) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category.  Download from the App Store
  4. Business – U.S. Publications, Inc. today is proud to announce the release of GoNGet for iOS and Android. With GoNGet, it’s easy to get any work done by the right person with the right expertise. Need your driveway shoveled? Want to get an in-home massage? Need your car detailed? Just post a job, list your price and professionals will start applying immediately. Developed by U.S. Publications, Inc., GoNGet User and GoNGet Service Provider apps is a match that works. Both GoNGet apps (GoNGet 1.1) are free and available through the App Store in the Business category. There is no subscription or dues required. The user is in control. It’s like having a personal assistant at your fingertips – just tap the app.  GoNGet Users on the App Store
  5. Entertainment – The Clash Soft today is proud to announce the release of TVSofa, its new tv show and movies tracking app developed exclusively for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. Powerful and intuitive to use, TVSofa helps anyone manage all movies and tv shows that they are watching, has watched or is pending to watch. The app also provides the user the opportunity to watch any movie or tv show on their favorite streaming providers, such as Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu… TVSofa 1.0.3 is Free (With $2.99 premium upgrade In-App Purchases) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Entertainment category.  Download from the App Store
  6. Games – MansaPlay, has recently launched the latest version (7.2.8) of their mobile strategy game app, Numfeud – Rummy, Okey, Sudoku for iOS and Android devices. Numfeud is packed with the power of highly engaging and challenging turn-based multiplayer board-games with the benefit of playing it on your smartphone against worldwide users, whenever the mood strikes! Numfeud 7.2.8 is available for Free with In-App purchases on the App Store in the Games category and also available for Free with In-App purchases.  Download from the App Store
  7. Games – Flowmotion Entertainment Inc. is proud to announce the release of Cooking Crush: Restaurant Dash 1.0.6 their game for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. The game sets a new standard for innovation within the cooking game category. Inspired by the industry-leading cooking games, it allows players to push beyond the kitchen into control of an entire restaurant. Cooking Crush: Restaurant Dash 1.0.6 is free and is available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. Download from App Store

    See my new macOS Software Directory and find what software is available for the Mac!