Category Archives: Tech Tip

Keyboard Shortcuts – Quit App


This is probably the keyboard shortcut that most users know about, but I wanted to include it in my list. I use this keyboard shortcut multiple times each day. This is the Quit App shortcut:
CMD + q.

When I finish using an App, even if I am coming back to it later in the day, I typically quit it to free up resources. I could use the Quit in the Menu Bar, but using the keyboard sequence is a little more efficient.

This will not save you a huge amount of time, but again it is one of those quick keyboard sequences that will save you a few seconds each time you use it. Every little bit helps when you are trying to make your day more productive.

See my other Mac and Keyboard Shortcut articles



Keyboard Shortcuts – Bookmark Current Page


One of the keyboard shortcuts that I use multiple times each day is to bookmark the currently viewed page while in Safari:
CMD + d.

As I read the various articles in my RSS Client, Vienna, I often want to add a bookmark of the page for later reference. Using the keyboard sequence of CMD + d is faster than clicking through the menu bar.

This isn’t a huge time savings, but again it is one of those quick keyboard sequences that will save you a few seconds each time you use it. Every little bit helps when you are trying to make your day more productive.

See my other Mac and Keyboard Shortcut articles


Keyboard Shortcuts – Close Window or Tab


One of the keyboard shortcuts that I use multiple times each day is Close the current window or tab. The keyboard sequence in the case is:
CMD + w.

I use this most often when in Safari with lots of tabs open to articles I have loaded from the Vienna RSS client. As I look at those I have selected to read a quick CMD + w will close the current tab and let me move on to the next I have open.

This works, as far as I can tell, on any application. If you are in a App window, CMD + w will close it too. This isn’t a huge time savings, but again it is one of those quick keyboard sequences that will save you a few seconds each time you use it. Every little bit helps when you are trying to make your day more productive.

See my other Mac and Keyboard Shortcut articles



Keyboard Shortcuts – Select All


One of the Keyboard Shortcut commands I use almost every day is Select All. The Select All sequence is CMD + a. This will select all of the objects in the current container. If you are in a Finder window, all of the files will be selected. If you are in a text field, all of the text selected. Once the content is selected it can be Copied or Cut as needed. It can also be dragged and dropped as a group of objects.

Using the keyboard instead of the mouse to select multiple objects for manipulation can save you time and make you more productive. Now I know we are only talking seconds, but over the course of the week in the office on you Mac, these add up into minutes saved.

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 7.44.48 PM

One of the ways I use this is when I review RSS feeds I subscribe to in the FOSS RSS client Vienna. Once I have checked out the post titles and delved into those I think need more attention, I make sure the emphasis is in the article window (the right side above) then hit CMD + a. Now all articles are selected and I can delete them.

See my other macOS and Keyboard Shortcut articles



How to Remotely Access Your Mac – Part 2

In the last article of this series “How to Remotely Access Your Mac – Part 1” I described how you can access your Desktop Mac from a MacBook when they are both on the same network. But what if you are at work, or in the neighborhood coffee shop or on vacation half way around the world?

There are ways to set up your Mac so that you can access it. The easiest way to set up remote access is through the use of “Back to My Mac”. This is approach uses software that every Mac has and iCloud. Both Macs must be using the same iCloud account. If either of the Macs are behind a firewall, it must be configured to allow the remote connection.

Screen Shot 2018-02-23 at 5.34.21 PM

Rather than go into the details of how to set up and use this method, let me just summarize. A detailed configuration written up by Apple [See Reference 1 below] is available. Basically all you have to do is go into the iCloud Preferences pane on the target machine and select Back to My Mac. On the client Mac, open a finder window and use the sidebar under Shared to select the Mac you want a remote connection to.

I have not been able to test this method myself. More on that in a moment. From what I have read, this method has a spotty history of working. If you can set it up, you might want to try this as it is an all Apple solution, but read the warning paragraph below first!

WARNING – So why couldn’t I try this? Well, the router behind which the target Mac sets must have UPnP or NAT-PNP enabled. In my case, my home router supplied by AT&T Uverse will not allow either of those settings, and that is for good reason. Having UPnP turned on is a security risk. Most security experts agree with this sentiment, so even if your home router allows UPnP to be turned on, it is NOT a good idea to do so.



  1. Free, part of macOS



  1. Macs must be OS X Lion 10.7.5 or later.
  2. Both Macs must be using the same iCloud account
  3. Firewall reconfiguration may be required
  4. Required router settings open a security risk
  5. literature reports mixed success



  1. Set up and use Back to My Mac

Read my other macOS articles



How to Remotely Access Your Mac – Part 1

Those of us with a Mac desktop system at home often find ourselves wanting to be able to connect to it remotely, whether we are in the next room or hundreds of miles away.

This first article in my ‘Remote Access” series deals with accessing your Mac from another Mac on the same network. This satisfies the scenario of having a Mac in your office and wanting to access it from your MacBook while setting in the living room watching TV. In this scenario both machines are on the same network.

This remote access method uses the Finder to share a screen between two Macs.

Configuring your Mac Desktop for Remote Access

You have to enable remote access on your Desktop Mac. To do that follow these steps (instructions shown below work for OS X High Sierra 10.13.3):

  1. Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 3.54.02 PM
    Access System Preferences by clicking on Apple => System Preferences
  2. Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 3.54.16 PM
    Click on Sharing
  3. Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 4.05.25 PM
    You will first have to click on the “lock” in the bottom left hand corner to unlock the settings. Once the panel is unlocked click the check-box for “Screen Sharing” then on the “Computer Settings” button.
  4. Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 4.10.20 PM
    Click on the check-box for “VNC” and then set the remote access password. Finally click on the “OK” button.
  5. Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 4.17.07 PM
    Now specify which users of the Desktop Mac can remotely access it. The “All Users” button will do just that, allow all users on that Mac with a separate account to access it remotely. Alternatively you can select “Only These Users” then pick those you want to allow access to from the list.
  6. Close the Sharing Preference window

Now your Desktop Mac is configured for remote access.

Configuring your MacBook for Remote Access

Now you need to configure your MacBook so that it can access your Desktop Mac. This configuration is even easier:

  1. Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 4.37.07 PM
    Open a Finder window.
  2. Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 4.40.03 PM
    The sidebar of the Finder window should display a list of shared network resources (in this case the name of my Mac Mini shows up).
  3. Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 4.47.14 PM
    To connect to the Desktop Mac, select it from the list of Shared resources. This will open up a new pane in the Finder window.
  4. You now have access to the disks on the Desktop Mac. You can click on them, navigate through them and drag-n-drop files between them and your MacBook.
  5. You can click on the “Share Screen” button in the right top part of the window. The sharing will use your iCloud ID for the connection. I have blocked mine from view in the image above. Once the connection is established, you will have a window on the MacBook screen that is your Desktop Mac display. You can mouse around the display, type, etc. just like you were setting at your Desktop Mac.

I find this method very useful for accessing my Desktop Mac at home while watching TV in the living room.



  • Easy to configure
  • Software already included with every Mac



  • This method is limited to accessing only local Macs on the same network
  • when a Mac is turned off, the Shared list sometimes doesn’t update itself to show that the Mac is no longer online leaving “phantom Macs” in the list

See my other Mac OS X articles



Keyboard Shortcuts – Paste and Match Style


One of the Keyboard Shortcuts that I use on a regular basis is “Paste and Match Style”. The shortcut for this is CMD + OPT + SFT + v

What it does is past the content of the clipboard but drops any formatting and uses the format of the location where you are pasting the text. In other words it strips any formatting from the text and applies the formatting of the destination.

Screen Shot 2018-02-15 at 1.35.40 PM

I find this very useful when I am copying and pasting text from reference articles into an article that I am writing, or into an email that I am writing. In the example above using standard Paste and Paste and Match Style are shown in Yellow highlight.

Read my other macOS and Keyboard Shortcut articles



Control Your Dongles

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Tech Tip – We all have so many dongles, cables and other accessories these days to carry along with our phones, tablets and laptops. It is often difficult to control all of these small items. Certainly there are several solutions that you can buy that are designed for the purpose, but we often have unused items laying around the house that offer a ‘free’ alternative.

For so many of us over the age of 40, the most likely option is an old eyeglasses case. But there are other containers that will fill the need – small boxes, jewelry boxes and various bags. While I was first introduced to this idea by my wife who was using an old eye glass case for her cables, I have seen the ‘life hack’ idea elsewhere since then.

IMG_1101 2

While these containers are on the small side, they will contain and control a variety of items that you want in your computer bag. In the photo above I am using an old jewelry box, a plastic cream cheese container from The container Store and the box that my AirPods came in. It is much easier to find one of these containers than digging through your computer bag trying to find a specific dongle or thumb drive.


Some Features of iOS 11

Tech Tips – A friend of mine from CapMac, Nathan Lott,  just published this video on some of the new features of iOS 11. If you have updated your iPhone or iPad, or are considering it, you will find it well worth your time to view this 12:29 video.

I saw a lot of new features there that I can immediately put to use.

See my other iOS articles



Will Your iPad Take iOS 11?

Tech Tips – iOS will be generally available on September 19, but not all iPads are compatible. Officially Apple declares these models compatible: all models of iPad Pro, the iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 5th generation and iPad mini models 2-4 [1].


if you don’t know what model of iPad you have, you can look at the back of the iPad. At the bottom beneath iPad, in very tiny print, is your model number. I found it difficult to read, so I used the camera on my iPhone to zoom in on the text, take a photo and then read the model number through the resulting photo. Apple lists the model numbers for each iPad [2] and I identified mine as an “iPad Air 2” which is eligible for the upgrade.

What’s important in iOS 11 [2,3]?

  1. New Dock
  2. New App Switcher and Control Center
  3. Being able to open a second task (for multi-tasking) directly from the Dock
  4. The New Files App – almost a filesystem
  5. Drag and drop text, photos and files between applications
  6. A native screen recorder
  7. Improved password management
  8. iPad Pros will get document markup using the Apple Pencil
  9. Inline drawings for Notes and Mail
  10. Document scanning
  11. Indoor maps



  1. iOS 11 – A giant step for iPhone. A monumental leap for iPad.
  2. Identify you iPad Model
  3. 11 Ways iOS 11 Makes Your iPad Even Better

See my other iOS articles