Mary's X Files

January, 2020

Create Text Shortcuts in System Preferences on a Mac
~Mac Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks
If you go to the Keyboard pane in the Mac’s System Preferences and then click on the Text tab, you will be able to create your own text shortcuts. This means that if you regularly type the same words or phrases, you could save yourself a great deal of time by setting up a shortcut.

Simply click on the ’+’ icon to add a new shortcut, then type in the chosen shortcut (a much shorter version of what you intend to type), followed by the actual text you want to type.

This is also a useful feature for saving time filling in application forms that require your name, title and address.

Set your Mac to Sleep
~Mac Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks
Our Macs can use quite a lot of power on a daily basis, which is why it’s important to put it to sleep while not in use. However, if you are called away from your desk unexpectedly, then you may not think to put your Mac to sleep before leaving, which is why the Energy Saver pane in System Preferences is worth checking out. Here you can determine when your computer and the display winds down and goes to sleep after a predetermined period of inactivity.

Create a Favorite in Safari on a Mac
~Mac Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks
The quickest way to create shortcuts to favorite pages in Safari on a Mac is by clicking on the ‘Favicon’, the small icon next to the web address in the top bar, and drag it into your Favorites. This helps you to avoid navigating through Settings, and it only takes a few seconds to complete. The only problem you may have is that it is now so easy to bookmark websites, it’s possible to add too many and clutter your Favorites menu. So, make sure you remove favorite pages when you no longer need them. You can also bookmark a site by pressing Cmd+D.

Understand Flagging in Mail on a Mac
~Mac Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks
To ‘flag an email as important, right-click on any email in the messages column and then click one of the colored flags. This flag will immediately be applied to the email and will be visible in the Preview pane. You can now click ‘Flagged’ in the Mailboxes column in order to see all of the emails that have been flagged in the past.

Better still, they will be grouped by color, allowing you to categorize your flagged mail. This is extremely useful for managing emails with minimal effort.

iOS 13 Improvements to Apple Maps
~iCreate Magazine
Apple Maps has received a variety of visual and usability improvements which are likely to be improved further over time. The coverage of Maps has grown and there appear to be real efforts being put into making it a genuine rival to Google Maps. In some areas in iOS 13, Maps is already streets ahead of the competition.

Smooth scrolling - When you tap on the main Look Around map view you will be taken to a place ahead in the smoothest of manners. It feels a world away from Google Maps in terms of animations.

The info panel - All of the detail you need is presented in a panel that pops up immediately when a market is tapped. It is big enough to see the detail, but still does not obstruct the main view of the map.

Useful pins - Tapping a marker will bring up the information required to navigate to the location, contact the establishment direct or read reviews on the business. Complex content is presented very simply.

An added bonus - As an added bonus you can always see which direction you are pointing thanks to the tiny, but useful compass. Care has been taken to ensure that the features never get in the way of the main maps view.

Improved Photo Searching in iOS 13
~iCreate Magazine
Finding a specific photo within thousands is a real needle in a haystack task, but not so with iOS 13. You can now use multiple search terms, separated by commas, to focus in on an exact photo and you will likely be stunned by the results. Just two objects could be enough for you to identify one photo.

Auto Play Videos in iOS 13 Photos App
~iCreate Magazine
Videos will play automatically in silence which brings much depth to the experience. If anything it is the single most impressive visual change in the entire iOS 13 Photos app. These changes alone make iOS 13 worth trying.

December, 2019

Show the Status Bar in MacOS

~Mac Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks

While in Finder, select ‘View’ from the menu at the top and then click ‘Show Status Bar’. This will pop up a small bar at the bottom of the Finder window which details important information, such as the number of files in the current folder and the amount of free memory available to you.

It’s a very simple feature, but one that you will likely glance at whenever you use Finder, because it can highlight potential memory problems. A handy shortcut for selecting this feature is to press ‘Command’ and the backslash’/’ button.

Formatting Signatures in MacOS

~Mac Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks

When you create an email signature in Mail (Mail Preferences>Signatures) and start typing in your details, it looks as though the main field is plan text only. However, if you right- click within the box, you can then choose which font you want to use, so you can make it look like a handwritten signature. You can also add colors to specific text and even add hyperlinks. An email signature can be stylish and effective if you take your time.

This feature can also save you a lot of time in the long run, as you’ll never need to write your name in an email again.

Mark up Email Images in MacOS

~Mac Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks

When you include an image in an email, you may wish to draw attention to a particular detail. To do so, hover your mouse over the image and a small arrow will appear in the top, right-hand corner. Click ‘Markup’ to display the image alongside a set of tools at the top for you to use. You can now add annotations and arrow points to your images, which may stop you from having to jump between apps. This is an handy feature for creating tutorials in an email or highlighting something that’s particularly important.

Remove Duplicates in MacOS

~Mac Tips, Tricks Apps & Hacks

It’s fair to say that your Contacts app can look a bit messy at times, especially if you’re dragging in information from multiple email accounts and services. Some of this is wasted data, but you can find duplicate contact addresses very simply. In Contacts, go to Card>Look for Duplicates and your Mac will have a hunt around and offer to merge them for you. Your Contacts app will look much better organised as a result. This also means that all of the information possible comes up every time.

Annotate a Web Page, Save, Markup, Share in iPadOS

~iCreate Magazine

The new tool palette in iPadOS is an excellent tool if you own an Apple Pencil, but Apple has taken the idea further and enabled you to markup a webpage, the entire webpage, and save it as a PDF for sharing with others. When you first use it you instantly realise that the potential uses here are huge!
1. Just one tap - When viewing a webpage simply tap the share icon and select ‘Markup’ to begin. It’s certainly not obvious what this feature does at first glance.
2. A new palette - The tool palette will appear indicating that you can now add notes and indicators to the webpage. It has effectively become a single sheet to work on.

3. Scroll down - Use two fingers to scroll down, at which point you will see that the ‘entire’ webpage has been saved, and use the Apple Pencil to add notes anywhere.
4. Save the page - From the sharing icon you can select ‘Save to Files’ and then choose a location. This will automatically save the PDF file for you to use as you so wish. 5. Easy to spot - The PDF file is smartly displayed as a thumbnail with an image embedded and you can now share it with others for them to review. It is a brilliant feature!

Use a Mouse with New iPadOS

~iCreate Magazine

You have been able to use a keyboard with an iPad for some time, but it has never truly felt like a laptop or a desktop experience. With the latest accommodations in iPadOS you can now take things even further, especially alongside a Mac, to make an iPad work any way you like.
1. It’s in Accessibility - To use a mouse with your iPad you need to go to Settings>Accessibility and look for the ‘Touch’ option. It’s not an obvious place to find the mouse feature. 2. Look for devices - Tap ‘AssistiveTouch’ and then look for the ‘Devices’ option and tap it to continue. You will now see ‘Bluetooth Devices...’ as the only option. Tap it and wait. 3. Wait to connect - Now make sure that your Bluetooth mouse is enabled and in a connection state and then wait for it to connect. You can now adjust the settings as required.

November, 2019

Enter Dark Mode Instantly in iOS 13

~iCreate Magazine

Dark Mode is a headline feature in iOS 13, but it may not be something that you want to enable all of the time and it is open to being turned on and off multiple times on any given day. There is a way to make sure it is always just a swipe and a click away.
1. Add the button - Go to Settings>Control Centre> Customise Controls and tap ‘+’ next to Dark Mode near the bottom of the screen. You can now position it where you need it.

2. A new control - When you swipe down the Control Centre the Dark Mode button will now be presented to you. Tap it and your iPhone will immediately go dark. 3. An instant change - This movement will quickly become second nature and will let you go dark in poor lighting conditions or when you are in an app that suits the environment better.

Optomized Battery Charging in iOS 13

~iCreate Magazine

This new feature may only look like a small setting in the Battery area, but it could potentially keep your iOS device running at peak performance for longer. It will only charge past 80% when you really need your device to have this much power which should help to reduce long- term battery aging – got to be a good thing.

Full-screen Interactive Lyrics in iOS 13

~iCreate Magazine

Apple has completely changed how lyrics are displayed in iOS 13 and added a feature which is brilliant fun from the first time you use it. The time-synced lyrics appear in big and bold lettering which really does keep you more interested in the track than you may have been otherwise. It’s a true highlight of Apple Music now.
1. One simple option - Tap the bottom-left speech bubble icon to instantly pop up the lyrics in any song that is playing. They really do appear without any delay at all.

2. It really works - The synchronization with the song is brilliant and in our tests they stay in time throughout every song we tried. They add a lot to the Apple Music experience.
3. Check them all - Tap ‘...’ and then ‘View Full Lyrics’ to see them all in a handy list. There are multiple options to play with and they are all worth checking out.

The QuickPath Keyboard in iOS 13

~iCreate Magazine

Swipe keyboards are not new and Apple is late to this game, but the new QuickPath feature works so well you would think that the company had been developing it for many years. It may have derived from a third-party company, but you really can just start swiping and then watch the text magically appear. It could easily become your most used new iOS 13 feature.

Make Safari Text Bigger on MacOS

~iCreate Magazine

If you know Safari then you’ll know that clicking on the ‘View’ menu presents options to zoom in and out. However, this enlarges everything, including the images, so if you just want to bump up the size of the text then there is a neat trick. Just hold down the Option/Alt key while clicking on the ‘View’ menu and then zoom options will change to ‘Make Text Bigger/Smaller’.

Delete Old Apple Watch Backups on iPhone

~iCreate Magazine

To conserve storage space on your iPhone, old Apple Watch backups can be deleted by going to Settings>General>iPhone Storage and then scrolling down to the ‘Watch’ entry. Tap this and you will probably see a list of Watch backups at the bottom of the screen. Now simply swipe to the left on one and the option to ‘Delete’ should appear. Tap on this to remove the file, but aim to keep the most recent, just in case.


October, 2019

What Can I Do if I’ve Forgotten my iCloud Password?
~iCreate Magazine
The process varies depending on whether you are using two- step verification or two-factor authentication. Here we’ll guide you through the process of using two-factor authentication.
1. Visit webpage - Go to in any web browser then enter your Apple ID email address and click ‘Continue’. Now enter the phone number that is associated with your Apple ID.

2. Switch devices - A message with instructions will then be sent to all of the devices where you are signed into iCloud. So switch your attention to one of these devices and tap ‘Allow’.

3. Enter passcode - Enter the code that you use to unlock your device to reset your Apple ID password and then type in the new password. This will then be saved and used to sign in from now on.

How are iCloud Photos and My Photo Stream Different?
~iCreate Magazine
The key difference is that iCloud Photos uses iCloud and My Photo Stream doesn’t. Photo Stream just sends images that you take on one device to your other devices, no edits will be synced and it won’t use any of your iCloud storage. The iCloud Photos service, however, will store versions of every photo that you take in iCloud in their original format and you will be able to download these to any of your connected devices.

Emergency Bypass for Calls on iPhone
~iCreate Magazine
If you have Do Not Disturb set, what happens if there is an emergency? Can anyone reach you? Yes, if you set Emergency Bypass. Open a contact and tap ‘Edit’. Tap ‘Ringtone’ and select the one you want from this person. Swipe down to reveal a hidden setting at the top, Emergency Bypass, and enable it. This person’s calls are not blocked.

Adjust Volume & Brightness in Small Increments on Mac
~iCreate Magazine
You need to hold down the Shift+Option/Alt keys and then press the F1 or F2 keys to increase or decrease the screen brightness in small increments or the F11 or F12 keys to make subtle adjustments to the master volume. By doing this you can make one quarter adjustments.

Is it Possible to be Notified when I Receive a Reply to an Important Email?
~iCreate Magazine
1. Open email - If you are urgently awaiting a response from a particular person, start off by opening the email thread from that person and then turn your attention to the icons.

2. Tap the flag (reply arrow in iOS 13) - At the bottom of the screen will be a row of icons, including that familiar one to share. In this instance, tap on the flag icon to bring up a menu of options relating to the email thread.

3. Tap to notify - Now tap on the ‘Notify Me...’ option (you may have to scroll down aways) and you will receive an alert whenever anyone in that particular email thread replies. Handy to ensure you never miss a crucial reply.

Mac Compatibility for MacOS 10.15, Catalina
~MacFormat Magazine
You’ll be able to upgrade most Macs currently running macOS 10.14 Mojave. For notebooks, Apple lists the MacBook 2015 and later, which means all configurations of the recently discontinued 12in model; the MacBook Air 2012 and later; and all MacBook Pro models from 2012 or later. On the desktop, the Mac mini 2012 and later, iMac 2012 and later, iMac Pro (all models) and Mac Pro 2013 and later are compatible, plus the new Mac Pro when it ships.

Just because you can install Catalina, you won’t necessarily benefit from all it offers. For example, Macs with a T2 chip gain Activation Lock, protecting their contents from thieves – but that’s only a small proportion of models. And while Apple’s Metal graphics API continues to gain features, not all of them work on all GPUs, so you may only see improved game graphics or video editing performance on more recent systems.

September, 2019

HOW TO Set up Time Machine
~MacFormat Magazine
1. Choose a disk - Choose a disk to use for your backup and connect it to your Mac. If you’re not asked if you want to use the disk for Time Machine, go to System Preferences > Time Machine or open Preferences from the Time Machine menu bar item.

2. Choose a disk - Choose a disk to use for your backup and connect it to your Mac. If you’re not asked if you want to use the disk for Time Machine, go to System Preferences > Time Machine or open Preferences from the Time Machine menu bar item.

3. Copy disk data - If your disk isn’t properly formatted for Time Machine, you’ll be prompted to erase it, so make sure you’ve copied its data elsewhere before agreeing. Choose Backup Automatically to start regular automatic backups.

HOW TO Restore files in Time Machine
~MacFormat Magazine
1. Find the date - Click on the Time Machine menu bar item and choose Enter Time Machine. When it launches, use the arrows or the slider at the right of the screen to navigate to the date you’re looking for. Then navigate to the file or folder.

2. Restore file or folder - Once you’ve found the file or folder you want to recover, click Restore to put it back in the same location. Or, click on the gear icon in the Finder toolbar and choose ‘Restore to’ then navigate to where you want to put the file.

3. Restore Mac - To restore your Mac from Time Machine, restart while holding Command+R. When you see macOS Utilities, choose ‘Restore from Time Machine backup’. Click Continue until you see a list of backups. Choose one and click Continue.

HOW TO Migrate backups to a new drive
~MacFormat Magazine
1. Format the drive - Plug in the new drive and erase it in Disk Utilities, formatting it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) GUID. Select the new drive and press Command+I. In Sharing & Permissions, deselect ‘Ignore ownership on this volume’ if it’s selected.

2. Copy backups - To briefly turn off Time Machine, go to System Preferences > Time Machine and uncheck Backup Automatically. Now copy the folder ‘Backups.backupdb’ from the old drive to the new one. Type in an admin name and password.

3. Old and new - Go back to System Preferences > Time Machine. Cick Select Disk, choose the new one then tap Use Disk. You can now turn Time Machine back on and subsequent backups will be saved with the old ones on the new disk.

Smart searches
~MacFormat Magazine
When you enter Time Machine and navigate to the date you’re looking for, the Finder window behaves just like a regular Finder window. That means you can use it to search for files. One neat trick is to create a Smart Search and save it, making sure the ‘Add To Sidebar’ box is checked. Now, when you use Time Machine, the Smart Folder with the search results will be accessible in the Finder sidebar. The results will update according to what was on your Mac on that date and you’ll be able to select files in the folder as you would any other file.