Mary’s X Files, August 2014

How to lock focus in the Camera app for iPhone and iPad
Sometimes when taking a photo, the Camera app can continue to re-focus itself which can add some lag between captures. Luckily, if your focal point isn’t constantly moving or changing, you can lock the focus to minimize lag and ensure that the focus is locked on what you want it to be.

How the lock the focus in the iPhone and iPad Camera app:

1. Launch the Camera app like you normally would to take a photo.
2. Press and hold on your focal point until you see an AE/AF Lock banner appear at the top of the screen.
3. Remove your finger from the screen and tap the shutter button when you’re ready to take your photo.
4. Unlock the focus and exposure again at any time by tapping anywhere on the screen.

10.9: Smart folders on the Dock
In OS X 10.9 Mavericks a smart folder (or a saved search) dragged to the Dock behaves like a folder (smart folders by default are saved under ~/Library/Saved Searches). Right click gives sorting, display and viewing options similar to ordinary folders dragged to the Dock. A drawer icon is shown if Display as Folder option is selected. In grid view Quick Look works, too.

How to take a photo while simultaneously shooting video with your iPhone or iPad
Sometimes you’re shooting a video with the built-in iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad Camera app and you find yourself wanting to take a still photo at the same time. Whether it’s an amazing moment amid the action, or just a great composition you want to capture in its won right, there are times when you’ll want to have your video and photo too! Luckily, Apple makes it easy to do.

How to shoot a still photo while simultaneously capturing video on your iPhone or iPad:

1. Launch the Camera app from your iPhone or iPad Home screen
2. Switch to video mode and start recording. (See: How to record a video with your iPhone or iPad)
3. Tap the take picture button to the left of the stop/start button.

The screen will flash white to indicate you’ve taken the photo. Every time you tap the take picture button, another photo will be saved to your Camera Roll, while at the same time your video will just keep recording.

Note: The pictures taken using this method are substantially lower quality than regular pictures. They’re 1280×720 (1.2mp/720p/16:9). Most modern iPhones shoot in 3264 x 2448 (8mp/4:3). What you gain in flexibility you lose in image size. (Though it’s still better than taking a screenshot of the video later, which results in 1136×640 (0.7mp/16:9).

Drag and drop the proxy
~ David Leon Leazenby. “Mavericks 101.” 
Let’s say I’m viewing an image in Preview and decide I want to edit it in Photoshop. I could open Finder and navigate to the file, before dragging it to the Photoshop icon in the Dock, but here’s a quicker way: just drag and drop the proxy icon onto the Photoshop icon in the Dock, which will then instantly open the file in the new app. The proxy icon is the little icon to the left of the filename in the document.

Mac 101: Using the keyboard viewer in OS X Mavericks
The keyboard viewer in OS X has been serving as a useful tool for a long time, allowing users to view keyboard characters with a few clicks of their mouse. Though Apple continues to include the utility in OS X, it has changed its location in the system preferences, moving it from “Language & Text” in Mountain Lion and earlier to the “Keyboard” preference pane.

To add the keyboard viewer to the menu bar in OS X Mavericks, you must enable this option in the system preferences as follows:

1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then click the Keyboard preference pane.
2. Click on the Keyboard tab and then select “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar” as shown above.

Once the Input menu appears in your menu bar as a flag-like character, click on this icon and then click “Show Keyboard Viewer” to display a virtual keyboard on your screen.

By default, you see the default keyboard characters, but you can easily view alternative characters by holding down the Option key, the Shift key or the Option-Shift key. When you see the alternative character you want to enter into a document, just click on it in the virtual keyboard or tap on the appropriate keys on your Mac keyboard, such as Option-Shift-K for the Apple “” icon.

Quickly close all tabs in iOS 7
As satisfying as the swipe to close feature in mobile Safari is, it becomes a bit of a chore to close more than a few tabs.

To close all tabs at once, tap the new tab icon (two overlapping squares), tap Private, and then Close All. Repeat the first two steps and tap ‘+’ (or the screen) to get back to an empty Safari in your preferred browsing state.

Betty’s Bookmarks, August 2014
Have fun learning about using colors on your Mac.
iPhone users concerned about privacy must read this.
Mac 911 comes to the rescue if you use Notes on your Mac and devices. If an important note gets deleted and you want it back – read this for a solution.
Learn how to be prepared with your iPhone to get those serendipitous moments. Submitted by Mary Nesset (SMUG and MIAMUG).
Follow this link and learn the best ways to share a web page (via Mail) in Safari.
This is a great article to use while learning to use Reminders on your Mac and device.
Wi-Fi problems happen to all of us. Learn how to troubleshoot the problem here.
We’re all waiting anxiously for Yosemite to arrive in the fall. Read what MacRumors has to say about our new operating system.

Mary’s X Files, July 2014

How to create a shopping list in the Reminders app and add items with Siri
1. Launch the Reminders app on your iPhone or iPad.
2. Tap the plus sign by New List at the top.
3. Title it Shopping.
4. Pick a different label color if you’d like and then tap Done in the upper right hand corner.
5. Now press and hold the Home but- ton on your iPhone or iPad to launch Siri.
6. Say something like “Add bread to my shopping list.” — you can obviously replace bread with whatever item you’d like.
7. Tap Confirm to add your item.

How to get Siri to add reminders to specific lists
1. Press and hold the Home button on your iPhone or iPad to launch Siri.
2. Say something like “”Add bread to my shopping list.”
3. Siri will show you a summary of the reminder and confirm the list it’ll be added to. If something looks wrong, tap the text to edit it, or start over.
4. Once everything looks right, tap Confirm and Siri will add the reminder to the list specified.

Remember too that if you have already created a reminder and confirmed it, just say “Move it to my shopping list.” or something similar and Siri can then move a confirmed reminder you just created to another list.

How to share your shopping list with iCloud
Sharing your shopping list with others in your house makes it incredibly easy to make sure nothing gets forgotten at the store. Just remind them to add anything they need before you head out to do your shopping. After you share your list, iCloud will sync all changes between both of your iPhones and iPads so you see what each other adds and ticks off in real time.

Unfortunately Reminders lists can’t yet be shared right from your iPhone or iPad, so for this step, you’ll need to open a web browser.

1. Go to from any web browser.
2. Log in to your iCloud account that contains the list you want to share.
3. Click on the Reminders icon once you’re logged in.
4. In the left hand navigation, click on the share icon next to the reminders list you’d like to share — in this case, the Shopping list.
5. Type in the iCloud email of the person you’d like to share the shopping list with and click Done.

That’s it! The person on the receiving end will receive a notification that you’ve shared a list with them and they’ll be able to accept it right on their iPhone or iPad. Once they do, both of you will have easy access to adding and checking off items in your shopping list! You can repeat this process any time you want to share a list with anyone.

Use Quick Look to create an instant slideshow from your photos
Did you know that OS X has a handy feature for easily previewing a bunch photos in a slideshow format? It’s a basic slideshow with no option to add music, but it is perfect if you want to quickly show a handful of your photos to your friends or family.

1. To use Quick Look to create a slideshow, you must first open Finder and select the photos you want to add to a slideshow.
2. Press the space bar on your keyboard to open all the photos in Quick Look with the first image displayed in the window.
3. Use the arrows in the Quick Look window or use your keyboard’s left and right arrow keys to navigate between the photos.
4. Switch between an index view of the photos and a slideshow view by clicking the button to the right of the arrows, or pressing Command-Return.

How to use Reader mode in Safari to simplify web pages for reading
It doesn’t take long to get annoyed by ads and images that clutter your reading space when you are trying to digest a long-form article on your iPhone or iPad. To clear your reading space and bring focus to the words on the page, you can activate Reader mode in mobile Safari in a single tap. When browsing a compatible web page, you can easily remove this distracting content by tapping the line- style icon in the left corner of the URL bar. This will enable Safari Reader, which removes all advertisements and extra images in the article’s content. You will be left with a single column of easy-to-read words. If you want to go back to the original webpage, just tap the icon again.

The biggest drawback to this Reader feature is that it is not available on all web pages.


Betty’s Bookmarks, July 2014
Review some information from Apple on batteries.
Beware! Read this and avoid being scammed by search engine ranking. Submitted by Mary Nesset (SMUG and MIAMUG). rss_all
Learn about what’s coming with iCloud. Submitted by Mary Nesset (SMUG and MIAMUG). html#tk.rss_all
Read about what we’ll enjoy in iOS 8. Submitted by Mary Nesset (SMUG and MIAMUG).
Here are 20+ iOS 8 features they didn’t talk about at WWDC.
You’ll love what Siri can do in iOS 8. source=macobserver&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss_everything
Here’s a simple method to reset your administrator password in Mavericks. medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss_everything
Here’s a good tutorial to help you clean up your Calendar app.
Good article for all Mac users contains 5 tips for better Mac security. medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss_everything
Problem syncing documents using iCloud between your Mac and devices? Here’s a simple resetting solution.

Mary’s X Files, June 2014

Mac 101: How to scroll quickly through a web page or long document
When you are reading a long document that does not have a text entry field, you can use the space bar to scroll quickly down the document. The space bar will jump you down the page in large increments and is a much faster method of scrolling than the page-down arrow, which moves you in smaller increments. When you reach the bottom of a document, you can use the shift-space bar combination to move back up the document in an equally quick manner.

The only caveat is the space bar option does not work when the document has a text entry field as you need the space bar to add spaces between your words. As a result, you cannot use this trick when you are writing a long blog post in a web page editor or using a desktop text editor to modify a long document. It works perfectly, though, when you are reading a long webpage or browsing a PDF in Preview.

How to edit Siri questions and commands on iPhone and iPad
1. Launch Siri by on your iPhone or iPad.
2. Dictate a request.
3. Scroll up to view the text you’ve spoken if it isn’t on the screen already.
4. Tap on the text you spoke in order to edit it.
5. Change anything you’d like and then hit Done on the bottom right of the keyboard.

Siri will re-process your request and give you new answers or results. In some cases, certain names and places can be frustrating and it’s much easier to correct one word than manually search for something in Safari or through your device. Just simply correct what Siri doesn’t understand.

How to pan and zoom in the Quick Look app on your Mac
1. Click on the file you’d like to use Quick Look on to highlight it and hit the space bar to trigger Quick Look.
2. Once the Quick Look Window opens, hold down the alt – option key on your Mac’s keyboard.
3. While holding down the alt – option key scroll around or zoom in and out.

That’s all there is to it. It’s somewhat of a hidden feature in Quick Look and one that one of our writers stumbled upon a while back on accident.

Paste an address and Contacts will parse it
I’m not sure how long this has been the case, but if you copy an address, say from a web site, and paste it into the first address field (street) in Contacts, Contacts will parse appropriately.

For example, try:
1234 Easy St
Pleasantville, CA 43402

When pasted into Contacts it will correctly place the City, State and Zip into the appropriate fields.

How to redeem a gift card with the App Store app on iPhone and iPad
1. Launch the App Store app on your iPhone or iPad.
2. Tap on the Featured tab in the bottom navigation if you aren’t there already.
3. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the Featured page.
4. Tap on the Redeem button.
5. You may be asked to sign into your iTunes ID, do that now.
6. Tap on Use Camera.
7. Align the code on the back of the card so the camera can see it. It should automatically grab it. 8. That’s it, your balance should now reflect the gift card.

How to redeem a gift card with the iTunes app on iPhone and iPad
1. Launch the iTunes app on your iPhone or iPad.
2. Scroll down to the bottom of any page except the search page.
3. Tap on the Redeem button.
4. You may be asked to sign into your iTunes ID, do that now.
5. Tap on Use Camera.
6. Align the code on the back of the card so the camera can see it. It should automatically grab it.
7. That’s it, your balance should now reflect the gift card.

Get 53+ High Quality Mac & Apple Hardware Icons Right in OS X
Here’s the path to where these icons are located:


Betty’s Bookmarks, June 2014
Learn to make your Mail messages look just the way you want them.
Don’t you just hate it when you go to a website and automatically you are subjected to distracting videos. Read this article and see what you can do to quiet them.
Get into your Contacts on your iOS device and your Mac. Make your contact cards more user-friendly by following the tips at this site.
Here’s a great tutorial for Pages users. You’ll learn how to find and replace invisible characters.
This is all about the update and new feature (Watchtower Service) in 1Password 4.4. Check out the MIAMUG and SMUG websites – Mary Nesset will be doing a 1Password demo at both club meetings in June. Don’t miss it!!!
Remember not to use or distribute others’ copyrighted photos without permission. With that being said, here are instructions for working with pictures in your web browser.
Here’s an extremely helpful lesson – it’s how to add a signature to a PDF. You’ll do in in Preview using the FaceTime camera. It’s fun and ever so handy. Do it now and your signature will be saved and ready for the next time you need to send a signed document electronically.
Some Mac users have been using Stickies forever. However, some haven’t. Check out this link and you may be sold on Stickies. Use it to keep those important notes. Those notes that you scribble on a scrap of paper and lose!

Mary’s X Files, May 2014

Low-power mode for
It’s possible to save power when using Maps to navigate in a car. It’s an obvious trick once you know about it, and easy too.

When you’re navigating with the Maps app, you’re probably used to it chewing through battery life. Even on a full charge my iPhone 5 doesn’t last more than 2-3 hours when navigating.

To eke out extra life, just press the Sleep button (top of the phone), once you’re on your way and are on a long stretch before the next turn/navigation point (i.e. on a freeway for 50 miles). The screen will blank, but the navigation will continue. The phone will briefly wake 10 miles from your next turn/navigation point, to tell you about it, and will wake 2 miles from it and stay awake until you get past it.

To switch back to non-power-saving mode, just swipe as usual to wake the phone. To be honest this doesn’t save a huge amount of battery life in my tests, but it’s better than nothing. For long journeys,you really need a USB power source such as those that fit into cigarette lighter sockets.

Adjust the volume or brightness in smaller increments
Recent MacBook Pro and Air models have a wonderful keyboard that allows you to quickly adjust the volume of the system and the brightness of either your display or backlit keyboard. When you tap these brightness buttons, the levels are adjusted in single increments between 0 and 16. This is useful, but what if you want finer control over your volume or brightness level?

Apple has provided a way on most recent versions of OS X to adjust the volume and the brightness levels in quarter increments using the Option+Shift keys. Just use the following combinations to make these finer changes:

  • Option+Shift+Volume Up/Down
  • Option+Shift+Display Brightness Up/Down
  • Option+Shift+Backlit Brightness Up/Down


The volume and display adjustments are easily heard and seen as you change them, while the backlit changes are much more subtle.

These keyboard tricks are available on OS X Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion and earlier. It was disabled for a short time in OS X Lion between version OS X 10.7 and OS X 10.7.3, but you can use an AppleScript to achieve a similar effect. These keyboard combinations were restored in OS X 10.7.4.

For brightness levels, there also is an auto-brightness feature that automatically adjust levels based on your ambient light levels. You view the settings for the display by opening the Apple menu > System Preferences. Then click on the Displays pane, and then click on the tab for Display. Select the option to turn on/off ambient light sensing.

The keyboard backlit option is similar, just go to Apple menu > System Preferences. Then click on the Keyboard pane, and then click on the tab for Keyboard. elect the option to turn on/off ambient light sensing.

How to make exported iPhoto image titles “sticky”
Reader Ed Dorroh, like many people, is perplexed by what goes on when moving images out of iPhoto. He writes:

“When I add a title to a photo in iPhoto and then drag that photo to the desktop, the file name reverts back to its original name—“IMG_0697.jpg” for example. Is there any way to title a photo in iPhoto and make it “stick” when I export it?”

There is, and you’ve unwittingly uttered the key word—export. As you’ve observed, when you drag a file from iPhoto to the desktop it retains its original file name. In the case of images that were originally in the JPEG or PNG formats, it also retains those formats. Raw images are converted to JPEG images. Any metadata you’ve attached to an image—title and description, for example—are lost.

Use a properly configured Export command to copy images with their titles and other metadata.

However, if you instead use the Export command (File > Export) you can choose to export images with this information. Choose that command and in the resulting Export window make sure the File Export tab is selected and from the File Name pop-up menu choose Use title. If you’d additionally like to embed title, keyword, and location metadata in the image, enable the appropriate checkboxes. When everything’s configured to your liking, click on Export. Selected images will be exported and each will bear the title you’ve assigned to it.

Betty’s Bookmarks, May 2014
Read this very comprehensive information regarding iOS battery drain. Submitted by Mary Nesset (SMUG & MIAMUG).
Here’s a great project for travelers – learn to create a travel itinerary map in OS X.
Make your visits to System Preferences faster and easier by streamlining the folder. Learn how to do it here.
Check this out and be prepared before you lose your iPhone or iPad. This could also save your life. Work around is taking a picture of a sticky note containing the necessary information. Submitted by Mary Nesset (SMUG & MIAMUG).
Do you know how to use the LOST MODE to find a missing iOS device? Learn about it here.
Excellent article to learn how to care for external hard drives.
Sleep or turn it off? What’s the savings? Check out Apple’s Environmental Responsibility Report page.
Add eject button to menu bar. You’ll love it!

Mary’s X Files, April 2014

How to enable multiple dictionaries in the define feature on your iPhone and iPad
The Define option in the iPhone and iPad text selector popup gives you dictionary definitions for most common words. It’s convenient because it can be accessed in only a couple of taps. But what if you’re in England and the U.S. dictionary keeps coming up? What if you also speak Italian or Japanese or Chinese and want to access those definitions as well? What if you’re traveling and want access to French? Luckily, iOS makes it easy to add and manage additional dictionaries so you can have the languages you want right where you want them!

1. Hold down on the word you’d like to define.
2. Tap on Define in the popup menu.
3. Tap on Manage in the bottom left hand corner of the Define section.
4. Tap on the Cloud icon to the right of the dictionaries you’d like to download.

Now try defining a word again and you should see all the dictionaries you have installed in iOS now.

That’s all there is to it. If you ever want to remove a dictionary just tap the “x” next to the dictionary name.

How to use a Bluetooth keyboard with your Apple TV
Typing in characters with the little [silver remote] that comes with the Apple TV can be painful. While the Remote app can help ease the pain, nothing beats a full blown keyboard when it comes to typing. As it happens, you can use a Bluetooth keyboard with your Apple TV. Here’s how to pair them:

Before beginning, keep in mind that not all Bluetooth keyboards will work. Most will but some keys may not function if they don’t use Apple’s layout. Mostly all Apple wireless Bluetooth keyboards should work just fine.

1. Make sure your keyboard is On and Discoverable.
2. Click on Settings from the main menu of your Apple TV.
3. Now click on General.
4. Now choose Bluetooth.
5. Your Apple TV should find your keyboard. Click on it in the list of Bluetooth devices your Apple TV finds.
6. A four-digit code should appear on the screen of your TV. Enter it on your keyboard.
7. If the pairing was successful, you should now see the word Connected next to your keyboard in the Bluetooth menu of your Apple TV.

That’s all there is to it! You should now be able to use your Bluetooth keyboard with your Apple TV.

Paste an address and Contacts will parse it
I’m not sure how long this has been the case, but if you copy an address, say from a web site, and paste it into the first address field (street) in Contacts, Contacts will parse appropriately.

For example, try:
1234 Easy St
Pleasantville, CA 43402

When pasted into Contacts it will correctly place the City, State and Zip into the appropriate fields.

5 iPhone speaker amplifiers that you already own
The speakers on the iPhone are fine for text tones and chirps from Angry Birds, but they don’t really fit the bill for high-quality music. If you don’t have your headphones handy but still want to rock out to some booming tunes, give these household objects a try. They work like a megaphone for your music, and you’ll be surprised by how much better your iPhone can sound.

A Mug
The old standby, tossing your iPhone in a mug is the most common way people add some muscle to their iPhone’s speakers. It’s handy, and you probably have one on your desk right now.

A Measuring Cup
Thick glass measuring cups are just as good, if not better than a simple coffee mug. The plastic versions don’t work nearly as well, so don’t bother with those.

Anything Ceramic
Ceramic pottery — like an unused vase or planter — will give add some serious “boom.” You want to make sure the object you’re using is at least as tall as your iPhone, as the effects aren’t nearly as noticeable in a shallow bowl or dish.

A Pringles Can
Don’t toss that snack sleeve out once you’ve enjoyed its tasty contents, just slide your iPhone in and enjoy the sweet sounds of louder, more crisp musical notes.

A Drawer
If you’re really in a bind and don’t have any of the above objects within reach, you may still be able to give your iPhone some amplification by using an empty drawer. Smaller drawers work better, and you’ll want to make sure it’s only open about half way. Oh, and don’t try this if you have a bunch of junk in the drawer, because it’ll kill any positive effects.

Mary’s X Files, March 2014

How to change what day your week starts on in the Calendar app for iPhone and iPad
While most of us consider Sunday as the official start of the week, there are lots of reasons some people would want the Calendar app to show differently. Whether you work a different schedule or just want to group your weekends together, the Calendar app can be changed to reflect whatever you’d like. Here’s how:

1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
2. Scroll down and tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
3. Under the Calendars section, tap on Start Week On.
4. Here you can change the day of the week your calendar starts on.

That’s it. Now just relaunch the iOS Calendar app to see the changes. The start of the week will now reflect the day you chose.

Tagging Items in the Finder (Mavericks)
Tags were a touted feature of Mavericks, allowing you to tag nearly any file across OS X for later reference. Tagging existing items in the Finder is fairly easy. Simply right-click an item (or use the Get Info panel), and select “Tags.” In this popup, you can see existing tags, or type in a new one to assign that tag to the file in question.

A PDF alignment trick so perfect, you’ll wish you’d thought of it yourself
When reading a PDF document in Preview, you may have discovered how hard it is to hand-adjust a page’s zoom and contents to provide a page-at-a-time display. The screenshot to the right shows how there’s almost always either clipping or a bit of the next page to worry about.

Don’t work so hard to manipulate your window. Use a few handy built-in features to better improve your reading experience.

  • Show just one page. Select View > Single Page (Command-2) to show just one page, perfectly centered, at a time. You can return to continuous scroll at any time by selecting the View > Continuous Scroll (Command-1) option.
  • Zoom each page to fit the window. Enable View > Zoom to Fit (Command-9) to ensure that the page expands as much as possible to fit the current window size. Now, instead of using the zoom-in and zoom-out options, you can just resize the window and the page size will follow suit.
  • View a page-by-page table of contents. For quick page navigation, enable an in-window contents display by selecting View > Thumbnails (Command-Option-2). A column of previews appears to the side of the page letting you move to the exact location you wish.

The first and third of these features are also available directly from the View pop-up that appears by default at the left of the window’s toolbar. The location of this feature, which looks like a rectangle with a line and two dots on the left, may vary on your specific installation because Preview allows you to customize the toolbar.

How to change settings on your iPhone or iPad with Siri on iOS 7
You can control general settings like Bluetooth, WiFi, and Airplane mode by hopping into the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, or through Control Center. But why if you can just ask Siri to enable or disable a setting for you? Here’s how:

1. Launch Siri by pressing down and holding the Home button on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 7 or higher.
2. Say something like Disable WiFi or Turn on Airplane Mode.
3. Wait for Siri to understand what you said and disable or enable the setting in question.

That’s all there is to it! Currently you can ask Siri to control Airplane Mode, Do Not Disturb, WiFi, Bluetooth, Rotation Lock, screen brightness, and volume. You can also of course ask Siri to launch any app you have installed too.

Using Flags in Mail for organization
Organizing your e-mail can be difficult. There are Smart Mailboxes, of course, but what if you would like more arbitrary control?

Apple’s Mail app includes seven flags of indifferent colors (a bit like the old Finder labels, ahem). But what if you can’t remember what each color represents? Once you have flagged a message with a given flag, you will see a mailbox for it appear under Flagged. Click on the triangle next to Flagged to see the mailbox associated with each Flag.

Each of the mailboxes may then be renamed by right-clicking on it. The new name for the flag will now appear everywhere that the flag’s name appears.