Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Tips & Tricks’ Category

by Tom Nelson

Mission Control, originally released with OS X Lion, allows you to organize your windows, apps, and virtual desktops, as well as run small apps known as widgets, in a dedicated space. If it sounds like Mission Control is the Mac’s built-in window manager for users, you’re on the right track, but Mission Control does a good deal more.

A Bit of Mission Control History

Mission Control is actually a conglomeration of three earlier OS X Technologies: Dashboard, Exposé, and Spaces. Exposé, the oldest of the features, dates back to 2003, and the introduction of OS X Panther.

  • Exposé allows you to hide documents and app windows, or just as easily expose a window, app, or document you need to work on.
  • Spaces lets you create and manage virtual desktops, allowing you to organize activities to specific desktops, and then switch between them as needed.
  • Dashboard is a dedicated desktop that can run mini-apps called widgets. These small apps were based on web technologies: HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

Mission Control united these similar technologies under a single roof, or in this case, a single preference pane, to control, configure, and make use of the windows and desktop management system.

What Mission Control Does: The Basics

Mission Control’s main task is to help you de-clutter your desktop and be able to work more efficiently, even when you have dozens of apps or windows open.

There are six key tasks that Mission Control allows a user to do:

  • View all open windows: Display all windows as thumbnails to ensure every window can be seen at the same time.
  • View all windows of a specific application: Displays all windows used by a single app. If needed, the windows will be displayed as thumbnails to ensure all of the app’s windows can be seen at once.
  • Hide all windows and display the desktop: All windows are hidden, revealing the underlying desktop.
  • Manage windows across multiple monitors: Allows windows to be moved to additional displays.
  • Manage apps and windows across multiple virtual desktops: Multiple desktops can be created, each having its own set of apps and windows assigned to it.
  • Manage Dashboard widgets: Controls how Dashboard widgets are displayed.

Mission Control uses a combination of keyboard commands, gestures, and mouse shortcuts to control its various capabilities. Learning the various shortcuts is the basis for making effective use of Mission Control and its ability to help you manage the workflow on your Mac.

Mission Control allows you to find any open window no matter how many other windows it may be hiding behind. Clicking or tapping one of the thumbnails will switch you to that window. Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Setting Up Mission Control

The heart of Mission Control is its preference pane, which you can access using the following method:

Launch System Preferences by clicking or tapping its icon in the Dock, or by selecting System Preferences from the Apple menu.

In the System Preferences window that opens, select the Mission Control preference pane.

The Mission Control preference pane allows you to configure basic options as well as assign shortcuts to the various functions.

Place a checkmark in the box to enable any of the following functions:

  • Automatically arrange Spaces based on most recent use: If you’re going to use multiple virtual desktops (Spaces), this allows the most recently used desktop to be the easiest to access.
  • When switching to an application, switch to a Space with open windows for the application: This rather convoluted description just means that if an app you want to use is already open on a virtual desktop, it will switch to that desktop.
  • Group windows by application: When viewing all windows in Mission Control, have the windows organized by app.
  • Displays have separate Spaces: If you have multiple monitors you can assign each monitor its own virtual desktop.
  • Dashboard: This dropdown menu controls how the Dashboard feature is used. You can find out more in the Rocket Yard guide: Get Dashboard Up and Running Again in macOS Mojave. Although the article was written for Mojave users, its information is general enough for understanding the Dashboard options.

The Mission Control preference pane lets you customize shortcuts and adjust options. Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Besides configuring the basic options, you can also set up shortcuts to use Mission Control by selecting a shortcut from each dropdown menu. You may have one or two dropdown menus for each item listed below. The second dropdown menu allows you to assign an alternate shortcut for the specific function. The alternate options are usually present when you have input devices with many I/O options, such as a multi-button mouse:

  • Mission Control: Use the dropdown menu to assign a shortcut to open Mission Control and display all open windows.
  • Application window: Set the shortcut that will be used to open Mission Control and display the windows of a selected application.
  • Show Desktop: This shortcut you assign will hide all windows and display the current desktop.
  • Show Dashboard: If Dashboard is enabled (see the option, above), this shortcut will display the Dashboard.

You’re not done assigning shortcuts to access Mission Control yet; you can also assign the corners (Hot Corners) of your display to be shortcuts to access Mission Control, as well as a few other functions of your Mac. Hot Corners are activated when you move the cursor into the corner of the display. If a Hot Corner is assigned for that corner, the function is activated.

Use Hot Corners to assign Mission Control features to the four corners of your monitor. Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Click or tap the Hot Corner button in the Mission Control preference pane.

A sheet will drop down, displaying a thumbnail of your desktop with dropdown menus at each corner.

Use the dropdown menu to assign a function to any of the corners. The available functions are:

The first three are Mission Control options; the remaining ones involve other Mac OS features that are dependent on the version of the operating system you’re using.

Make your selections; you can then close the Hot Corner sheet as well as the Mission Control preference pane.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

The Notification Center was added to the Mac with the release of OS X Mountain Lion in the summer of 2012 and was meant to corral a stampede of push services that was threatening to inundate users with uncontrolled notifications popping up everywhere, or at least so it seemed.

The Notification Center unified how notifications are handled, displayed, and controlled by the user. It does such a good job of containing and controlling notifications that some users may not be aware of how they can exercise control over the service.

In this Rocket Yard guide, we’ll look at how to make use of the Mac’s Notification Center.

Accessing the Notification Center

The Notification Center resides along the far right side of your display. Normally the Notification Center is hidden, so as not to take up desktop real estate, but you can quickly access it using one of these techniques:

The Notification Center includes a menu bar icon located at the far right corner of the menu bar. Clicking or tapping the icon will cause the Notification Center panel to slide out, or slide back to its hidden state.

The Notification Center showing today’s notices and the highlighted menu bar icon used to access the feature. Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

You can also use Mission Control’s Hot Corner feature to pick a corner to automatically activate the Notification Center when you move the cursor into that corner:

Launch System Preferences, and select the Mission Control preference pane.

Click or tap the Hot Corners button.

A sheet will drop down, with a dropdown menu positioned at each corner of an image of your desktop.

Pick the corner you wish to use by clicking or tapping on that corner’s dropdown menu and selecting Notification Center from the list.

Click the OK button when done.

Managing Widgets and the Today Tab

The Today tab is where active Notification Center widgets are displayed. Widgets are usually extensions that allow apps you’ve installed on your Mac to display additional information, via the Notification Center Today Tab. Some examples of widgets you’re likely to use, or at least come across, are Weather, Calendar, Social Media, and iTunes.

You can add, remove, and rearrange Today tab widgets:

Open the Notification Center using one of the methods outlined above, and select the Today tab.

The red circle icons are used to remove a widget, while the green circle icons are used to add a widget to the Today tab. Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Press the Edit button at the bottom of the Today tab.

  • Remove Widgets: Widgets present in the Today tab will have a minus sign within a red circle. Clicking the minus sign associated with a widget will remove it from the active Today tab and return it to the list of available widgets.
  • Add Widgets: The list of available widgets is shown in the far right pane. Each widget will have a plus sign within a green circle. Clicking on the plus sign will add the widget to the active widgets displayed in the Today tab.
  • Rearrange Widgets: You can rearrange active widgets by grabbing a widget by its title bar and dragging it to a new position within the active widget list.

Adding New Widgets to the Notification Center

You’ve probably noticed that many apps have Notification Center widgets that can be added to the Today pane of the Notification Center. But there are also third-party widgets, such as scientific calculators, delivery-tracking widgets, mini calendars, even an iStat Menu add-on for monitoring your Mac’s performance, all available from a specially curated section of the Mac App Store.

The App Store has a collection of Notification Center widgets you can add to your Mac. Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

To add additional widgets, open the Notification Center and select the Today tab.

Select the Edit button at the bottom of the Today tab.

Click or tap the App Store button at the bottom.

The App Store will launch and display all Notification Center widgets that are available.

If you add a widget, it will appear in the Notification Center’s widget list, where you can add it to the Today tab (see Add Widgets, above).

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

Menu Bar apps sit in your Mac’s menu bar and provide access to an array of features and services, all with just a simple click or tap of the app’s menu bar icon. They can bring additional productivity, utility, or security, or add useful information to your Mac’s menu bar.

The basic menu bar with Apple-supplied menu items shown. Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Our list of 15 menu bar apps is by no means all-inclusive; there are so many apps available that it would take quite a while to combine them into a single list. Instead, I’ve gathered a list of menu bar apps that I’ve either used or are popular in the Mac community, and are worth trying out.

Let’s start our list of favorite menu bar apps with ones that enhance your productivity.


Calendars

Yes, your Mac comes with its own Calendar app, which does a pretty good job of keeping track of dates and notifying you of upcoming events. But to add, edit, and view the calendars, the app needs to be running. That’s where menu bar-based calendar apps shine, letting you work with your calendars directly from the menu bar.

Fantastical

Currently at version 2, Fantastical started life as strictly a menu bar app but has grown into a full-fledged Mac app. Thankfully, the folks who make Fantastical didn’t abandon the menu bar; version 2 has all the original benefits of a lightweight menu bar app, as well as the power of a full app when you need it.

Fantastical provides easy access to your current calendar and upcoming events. Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Fantastical supports multiple calendars, and calendar sets, which can automatically switch their active/inactive states depending on your location. This lets you set up calendars for work as well as home, and automatically switch between them.

• Fantastical 2 is $49.99, with a 21-day free trial.

Itsycal

If the Mac’s Calendar app is performing well for you, and the feature you’re really missing is access to Calendar from the menu bar, Itsycal is the menu bar app for you. Itsycal can display a monthly view of your Calendar app’s information, including showing events that are scheduled. If you need additional information, you can open the Calendar app directly from Itsycal.

• Itsycal is free.


Contact Managers

There are a number of contact managers for the Mac but most are full-fledged apps, with only minimal, if any, menu bar support. One of the exceptions is the app below.

Cardhop

Cardhop is the preferred way to access, edit, add to, and just work with the Mac’s Contacts app. For many Mac and iOS device users, Cardhop is the only method they use to manage their contacts; that’s how powerful this menu bar app is.

Cardhop can show upcoming events and recent contacts, as well as all of the cards in the Mac’s Contacts app. Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Cardhop makes use of a powerful search capability that allows you to find contact information based on just about any detail that may be present in a contacts card. Search by name, address, birth date, or any criteria; it’s as easy as clicking or tapping the Cardhop menu bar item and starting to type. Cardhop will display any matching cards it finds.

Adding or editing contacts is just as easy; just enter the name and details and Cardhop takes care of the rest. Cardhop also includes the ability to add note fields, to enter personal details about your contact, and a timestamp field to create a history of your contacts.

One of the best features of Cardhop is its ability to act on a contact you select. If you need to send an email or make a phone call, Cardhop can launch the appropriate app to send an email or connect to your Bluetooth phone, use Wi-Fi calling, or get the macOS Continuity feature to make calls for you.

• Cardhop is $19.99 and is available with a 21-day free trial.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

The Mac Pro has long been the choice of both amateur and professional content creators and developers who expect performance and the ability to customize their workstations. Beginning with macOS Mojave, Apple started paring back support for some Mac Pro models, leaving many to wonder if it’s time to consider updating to a new workstation.

While there may be a bit of a thrill in updating to something new, the truth is, at least in this case, if you’re using a 2010 through 2012 Mac Pro, or the newer 2013 and later models of the Mac Pro, you may find that instead of updating, upgrading may be a better choice. With just a few changes, you can upgrade your Mac Pro and ensure it’s compatible with macOS Mojave; you can also increase its performance to meet your needs.

Mac Pro models from 2010 and later can all be upgraded to increase performance and ensure compatibility with macOS Mojave and later.

Memory Upgrades

The 2010 through 2012 versions of the Mac Pro were available in single and dual processor configurations that supported up to 12 processor cores. Each processor supported up to 4 DIMM (Dual-Inline Memory Modules) memory slots, resulting in the Mac Pro having either 4 or 8 memory slots that could be populated with DIMM modules.

The tricky bit about upgrading the 2010 through 2012 Mac Pros is that while there are 4 memory slots per processor, there are only 3 memory channels available to each processor. Memory channels are the means by which the processor or memory controller communicates with the RAM module. With a single processor Mac Pro, memory slots 1 and 2 each use a discrete memory channel, while slots 3 and 4 share the remaining memory channel. The same architecture is used for Mac Pros with dual processors; memory slots 1, 2, 5, and 6 are each connected to their own dedicated memory channel, while slots 3 and 4 share one of the remaining channels, and slots 7 and 8 share the final memory channel.

The way the memory channels are divided up has implications for how you add memory to your Mac Pro. To achieve the best available memory performance you should follow this sequence for installing RAM modules:

In a single processor Mac Pro:

  • 2 DIMMs: Install in memory slots 1 and 2
  • 3 DIMMs: Install in memory slots 1, 2, and 3
  • 4 DIMMs: Install in memory slots 1, 2, 3, and 4

For best results, all DIMMS should be of the same size and speed; this is especially true when using both slots 3 and 4 since they share a memory channel. The slowest module will dictate the speed at which a memory channel operates. Placing a slow module in slot 4 will cause slot 3 to operate at the same speed.

Memory module for use in 2010 through 2012 Mac Pro models.

In a dual processor Mac Pro:

  • 2 DIMMs: Install in memory slots 1 and 2
  • 3 DIMMs: Install in memory slots 1, 2, and 3
  • 4 DIMMs: Install in memory slots 1, 2, 5, and 6
  • 6 DIMMs: Install in memory slots 1, 2, 3, and 5, 6, 7
  • 8 DIMMs: Install in memory slots 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, 6, 7, 8

Once again, it’s best to use the same size DIMMs in all channels, and especially important to make sure DIMMS in slots 3, 4, and 7, 8 use the same size and speed.

OWC offers memory for the 2010 through 2012 Mac Pro in 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, and 16 GB sizes, allowing you to install up to 64 GB in a single processor Mac Pro and 128 GB in a dual processor model.

The 2013 cylindrical Mac Pro has a total of four memory slots, two on each side. Apple recommends that memory slots be populated with identical DIMMs in the following configurations:

  • 12 GB: 4 GB DIMMs in slots 1, 2, and 3
  • 16 GB: 4 GB DIMMs in slots 1, 2, 3, and 4
  • 32 GB: 8 GB DIMMs in slots 1, 2, 3, and 4
  • 64 GB: 16 GB DIMMs in slots 1, 2, 3, and 4

While the configurations suggested by Apple will provide the best overall memory performance, you’re not limited to these configurations. As an example, you could create a 20 GB system by adding an 8 GB DIMM in the open fourth slot in the standard 12 GB configuration. Or, you could create a 24 GB configuration by removing the 4 GB DIMM in slot 3 of the 12 GB system, and adding two 8 GB DIMMS in the two open slots.

The only real restriction for the 2013 Mac Pro is that UDIMMs (Unregistered Dual Inline Memory Modules) can’t be mixed with RDIMMs (Registered Dual Inline Memory Modules). Generally, the smaller size DIMMS will be of the unregistered variety, while larger ones with be the registered type.

OWC offers memory upgrades for the 2013 Mac Prousing 4 GB UDIMMs, and 8 GB, 16 GB, and 32 GB RDIMMs.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

For many of us, the Mac’s Mail app is the most often used app in our collection. It has so many features that for most of us, we only touch the surface of what it can do. In this Rocket Yard guide we’ll check out seven features that are often overlooked, most likely left in the default setting, or simply not used.

If you’re a Mac Mail user, take a look at our Mail tips and give them a try.

Set How Often to Check Mail

Has Mail become a distraction? It either rarely or never updates, leaving you wondering if Mail is actually working, or it updates too often, flashing notifications that distract you from your work. In most cases, the problem is the update interval that Mail uses to check for new messages.

You have a few choices in setting the mail check interval, from Automatic to Manual; there are also quite a few preset times, from every minute to every hour and lots of times in-between. The following steps will let you set the interval to use for checking mail:

You can set how often Mail checks for new messages in the preferences. Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Launch Mail, and select the Preferences option from the Mail menu.

In the Preferences window that opens, click or tap the General button.

Look for the “Check for new messages:” item. You’ll find the following options in a dropdown menu:

  • Automatically: (Default) According to Apple, Mail will vary the time frame for checking messages based on whether the Mac is plugged into a power source or using batteries. I’ve found that if someone is using an Exchange mail account or an IMAP account that supports the “Idle” command, Mail will deliver messages as soon as they become available on the server. Otherwise, new mail checking is performed at 5-minute intervals when your Mac is connected to an AC source.
  • Every minute
  • Every 5 minutes
  • Every 15 minutes
  • Every 30 minutes
  • Every hour
  • Manually: Checks for new messages when you click or tap the Get Mail button in the mail toolbar. Additionally, if you’re using IMAP or an Exchange-based mail account, it will check whenever you click or tap an IMAP or Exchange mailbox in the sidebar.

Select the check mail interval you wish to use from the dropdown menu.

You can close the Mail preferences window.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

Have you found that some websites are using text that is too small or too big, forcing you to either squint to see the text, or perform excessive scrolling to take in the entire site?

Most browsers have methods to allow you some control over how a website appears, including adjusting the size of the web page’s text and images. In this Rocket Yardguide, we’ll look at how to use the Safari browser to adjustfont size and zoom levels for the site you’re currently viewing, and for all sites you view, as well as only for a specific site, whenever you stop by for a look.

Web developers spend a good deal of time designing their websites to appeal to most of their users, but it can be difficult to always get the size right, what with so many different devices and screen sizes viewing the website. If you’re having difficulty viewing text or images on a website, you can try these various tips to get a site looking just the way you like it.

Safari Zoom

Safari has long had the ability to zoom in or out of a web page, letting you see more of the page at one time, or get in close to see details. Safari’s zoom feature normally affects both text and image sizes, but you can also choose to just expand or decrease the text size, leaving the images alone.

Keyboard zoom commands:

  • Zoom in: Press the command and plus (+) keys at the same time.
  • Zoom out: Press the command and minus (-) keys at the same time.

If you would like to just increase or decrease the text’s font size while leaving the images at their original size, give the following a go:

  • Zoom in, text only: Press the option, command, and plus (+) keys at the same time.
  • Zoom out, text only: Press the option, command, and minus (-) keys at the same time.

Note: If the zoom function isn’t working as expected with the keyboard commands, chances are the keyboard shortcuts are being used by the Accessibility preference pane, to zoom the display in or out. You can change the Accessibility settings, if needed, by following the instructions in the Rocket Yard guide: macOS 101: Using Accessibility’s Vision and VoiceOver Options.

Menu zoom commands:

  • Zoom in (menu): From the Safari View menu, select Zoom In.
  • Zoom out (menu): From the Safari View menu, select Zoom Out.

OS X El Capitan and earlier included an option in the View menu to force the Zoom command to only apply to the text on the page, leaving everything else at the original size. To set this option, do the following:

From the Safari View menu, select Zoom Text Only. This will place a checkmark next to the Zoom Text Only menu item, indicating that any subsequent use of the Zoom menu item will affect only the text on the website.

  • Zoom in, text only: From the Safari View menu, select Zoom In.
  • Zoom out, text only: From the Safari view menu, select Zoom Out.
  • macOS Sierra and later did away with the Zoom Text Only item in Safari’s View menu; instead, you can use this trick for increasing or decreasing only the text size in a web page:
  • Zoom out, text only: Hold down the option key, then open Safari’s View menu and select Make Text Smaller.

Safari Toolbar Zoom Options

Safari’s toolbar does not show any zoom options by default, but you can add the zoom capacities using the toolbar’s customization options.

Open a web page in Safari, and then right-click or control-click on an empty area of the Safari toolbar.

From the popup menu, select Customize Toolbar.

A sheet will drop down, displaying a number of buttons that can be added to the Safari toolbar.

Drag the Zoom buttons to an empty place on the toolbar, and then click the Done button.

The Zoom buttons in the toolbar affect the entire webpage, increasing or decreasing the size of both text and images.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

Forty-nine years ago, April 22, 1970, Earth Day was born, at a time when many cities in the US were covered in hazy smog. Pollution in many forms was contributing to environmental problems, causing health concerns, and many species were becoming lost to us, not to be seen again.

On the first Earth Day, many of us spent the day cleaning up roads, rivers, or ocean beaches. The spirit of that first Earth Day helped move forward the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

This Earth Day we can celebrate the recovery of many species and their habitat. Our cities generally have much cleaner skies, and our dirtiest rivers have become places where life now thrives.

Earth Day reminds us there is always more to do, and not everything requires large-scale projects. In many cases, just like during that first Earth Day, individuals can bring about large-scale changes with small, simple commitments.

Earth Day at OWC
OWC believes in environmental stewardship and has worked to build sustainable practices at all levels of its business. Wind power, geothermal heating systems, and solar are just some of the green power sources that OWC makes use of. Recycling, conserving water, reducing product-packaging size, and reusing shipping material all help contribute to a low environmental footprint.

How to Help Reduce Your Environmental Footprint
There are many ways you can reduce your environmental footprint, but an easy place to start is to consider this three-point system whenever you need to replace an item, such as your Mac or iOS device:

  • Upgrade your electronics where possible.
  • Reuse your products when you can.

Recycle your electronics when the time comes.

Upgrades
Upgrading can allow you to increase the productive lifetime of your favorite device, keeping it out of the landfill for as long as possible. For the Mac users amongst you this can take the form of:

RAM upgrades, which can allow your Mac, the macOS, and its apps to perform better, be more responsive, or simply let you run more apps at one time. In many cases, the performance increase seen by adding more RAM can remove the need to replace an older Mac.

If you have a Mac that allows additional RAM to be added, this can be a very cost-effective way to lengthen the life of your Mac. Check out the My Upgrades Guide to see if you can add more RAM to your current Mac.

Storage upgrades not only let you store more data locally on your Mac, they can also bring about a performance improvement by freeing up space for the macOS and its apps to make use of.

But that’s only the beginning of what a storage upgrade can do. If you’re using older, spinning disks as your primary storage environment, you’re missing out on the big performance increase you can get by upgrading to SSDs. Solid State Drives come in many forms and performance levels. You can replace a basic 3.5 inch or 2.5 inch rotational drive with an SSD equivalent and see an immediate improvement.

You can also make use of some of the newer storage technology to really put your Mac on the fast track, by replacing what may be a slower internal drive with a super fast Thunderbolt-based external storage system that will blow the doors off your Mac and bring new capabilities to it, whether it’s a desktop or laptop.

Of course, don’t forget you can reuse the older storage system you’re ‘re-upgrading’ as part of your backup or archive system, or perhaps as slower speed bulk storage. The point is, don’t toss out your old drive, place it in a new external enclosure and use it with your Mac or other hardware.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

iCloud is a fantastic way to share calendars, contacts, reminders, bookmarks, and files, including photos, among your devices. The macOS and iOS take care of keeping all of this important information in sync, ensuring that what you see on one device is the same as when you connect with another.

However, from time to time you may discover that you accidentally deleted an item on a device, and now it’s gone from iCloud; it’s likely to be missing from your other devices as well. Getting the information back used to be a problem that required a lot of finagling. But Apple added the ability to restore your data from iCloud’s own internal backup system, giving you peace of mind and an easy way to get the data back.

If you’ve deleted the wrong file or event, you may be able to get the missing information back using these techniques.

Recover Data From iCloud
iCloud backs up most of the data stored on it using its own internal backup system. And for the few items it doesn’t actively back up, it will keep deleted items around for a limited time, just in case you change your mind. If you accidentally remove an item, you can probably take advantage of iCloud’s backup system to recover your data.

The method for recovering information from iCloud differs slightly, depending on the type of data you have lost, but in all cases it starts with accessing the iCloud website from one of your devices. We’re going to demonstrate how to perform the recovery using a Mac, but the process is similar enough that it should work for any of your Apple devices.

Start by opening your browser and accessing the iCloud website at www.icloud.com.

You will likely need to sign in using your Apple ID.

Warning: If you’re using a web browser that is not under your control, perhaps a browser at a public location, or on a friend or colleague’s machine, be sure not to set iCloud to remember you and login automatically.

Once you’re logged in you’ll see the iCloud home page, with icons for all of the iCloud services. Scroll down until you find the Settings icon.

Click or tap the Settings icon.

Scroll down, if needed; you’re looking for the Advanced setting at the bottom of the page. At this point in our guide, you can jump to the appropriate section below for instructions on recovering your data.

Recover Data From iCloud
iCloud backs up most of the data stored on it using its own internal backup system. And for the few items it doesn’t actively back up, it will keep deleted items around for a limited time, just in case you change your mind. If you accidentally remove an item, you can probably take advantage of iCloud’s backup system to recover your data.

The method for recovering information from iCloud differs slightly, depending on the type of data you have lost, but in all cases it starts with accessing the iCloud website from one of your devices. We’re going to demonstrate how to perform the recovery using a Mac, but the process is similar enough that it should work for any of your Apple devices.

Start by opening your browser and accessing the iCloud website at www.icloud.com.

You will likely need to sign in using your Apple ID.

Warning: If you’re using a web browser that is not under your control, perhaps a browser at a public location, or on a friend or colleague’s machine, be sure not to set iCloud to remember you and login automatically.

Once you’re logged in you’ll see the iCloud home page, with icons for all of the iCloud services. Scroll down until you find the Settings icon.

Click or tap the Settings icon.

Scroll down, if needed; you’re looking for the Advanced setting at the bottom of the page. At this point in our guide, you can jump to the appropriate section below for instructions on recovering your data.

Recover Deleted Files
In the Advanced section of the iCloud settings, click or tap the Restore Files item.

iCloud will scan its internal backups, looking for recently deleted files. The results will be displayed in a list, with each file including its name, the app that may have been used to create the file, the size of the file, and the date it was deleted.

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Look through the list to find the file(s) you wish to restore, and then select the file by placing a checkmark next to its name.

Once you have all the files you wish to recover checked off, click or tap the Restore button.

The selected files will be restored.

Click or tap the Done button to close the restore window and return to the iCloud settings window.

Note: Files are kept around for 30 days after they’re deleted. If you’re looking for an older file you may be out of luck, at least with the automatic iCloud recovery system.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

Smart folders and the Dock just seem to be made for each other. You can configure a smart folder to display just the files or folders that meet your specific criteria. Need a folder that just shows the image files you worked on this week? Or perhaps a folder that only shows new music you’ve added to your Mac? Add these smart folders to the Dock, and you’ll have a quick way to view and work with their files without having to browse through the Finder to find them.

If you’ve been following Rocket Yard guides, you may remember that you can use the Terminal app to create Recent Items stacks for the Dock that can show recently used apps, documents, and servers. And while the premade recent items stack is helpful, it doesn’t allow you to use your own search criteria to create the items in the stack.

Smart folders give you all the power of the recent items stack, but with complete control over what the content of the smart folders will be.

Creating Smart Folders
Let’s start the process by exploring how smart folders are created. For an example, we will create a smart folder that displays image files you’ve worked with over the past week.

Start by having the Finder as the active app; you can do this by clicking on the desktop or opening a Finder window. Once the Finder is the front most app, follow these instructions:

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

From the Finder menu, select File, New Smart Folder.

An empty smart folder window will open. In the window’s toolbar, make sure Search is set to This Mac.

At the far right of the window, click or tap the plus (+) sign. This will display filters you can use to build the smart folder’s search criteria.

Use the first dropdown menu to select “Date Last Opened,” and the second dropdown menu to select “this week.”

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

 

The smart folder will be populated with any files or folders that meet the above requirements of being opened in the last week.

To further refine the search, click or tap the plus (+) sign at the far right of the window.

A second search filter will open. Set the first dropdown menu to “Kind,” and the second dropdown menu to “Image.”

A third dropdown menu will appear that you can use to select the type of image  (JPEG, TIFF, GIF, PNG); for this example, select the “All” option to display any of the image file types.

At this point, you’ve created a basic smart folder that will show any image file you’ve opened in the last week. And while this may be all you need, there are further refinements to the search filters you can make.

Hold down the option key. You’ll notice that the plus (+) sign has changed to display ellipses. Click or tap the ellipses to add additional restrictions to the current search criteria. You’ll see two filter sets appear.

The first allows you to select Any, All, or None, if the following conditions are true. The second criteria set allows you to set the conditions that are being tested. As an example, if you don’t wish to have any PNG image files included in the smart folder, you would set the menus as follows:

Set the first dropdown menu to None.

Set the second group of menus to Kind, Image, PNG.

You’ve created a smart folder that will display all of the image files you have opened during the last week, except PNG files.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

Read Full Post »

by Tom Nelson

With the release of macOS Mojave, the ability to take screenshots underwent a bit of a change. Gone is the old Grab screenshot utility; in its place is the new and improved Screenshot app. And while the new Screenshot app brings new capabilities, the old keyboard shortcuts that you’re used to using are still present, and work as expected.

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

That makes transitioning to the new Screenshot app a fairly easy task.

In this Rocket Yard guide, we’ll look at how to take advantage of the new Screenshot app, with a number of tips and a few tricks.

Screenshot App
Let’s start with what hasn’t changed. Although the app has a new name (Screenshot), it’s still located in the /Applications/Utilities folder. If you used to have Grab installed in the Dock, you can drag the Screenshot app to the Dock as its replacement.

All of the keyboard shortcuts you used for screen capture will still work as expected.

Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Command + Shift + 3: Captures the entire screen.
  • Command + Shift + 4: Captures selected area.
  • Command + Shift + 4, and then tapping the spacebar when the cursor is over an item, captures the selected window, menu, Dock, or other UI element. The element you wish to capture needs to be present on the screen before you invoke this keyboard shortcut.
  • Command + Shift + 5: Launches the Screenshot app.
  • Command + Shift + 6: Captures the Touch Bar, if your Mac is equipped with one.

So far, from a keyboard shortcut perspective, the Screenshot app isn’t much different from its predecessor.

Screenshot App: The Basics
Let’s take a look at what the Screenshot app can do. Launch the Screenshot app by using the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 5, or navigate to /Applications/Utilities and double-click or tap the Screenshot app.

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

The Screenshot app will open, with a floating palette positioned just above the Dock. The palette contains 8 buttons that perform various tasks. Starting from the left-hand side and moving to the right, the buttons are:

X: Close or quit the Screenshot app.

Image of a screen: Capture the entire screen. When clicked or tapped, the cursor will change to a camera icon. Clicking or tapping again will grab a screen shot of the entire screen.

Image of a window: Captures a selected window; when this button is selected, the cursor changes to a camera icon. As you move over various UI elements, such as the desktop, window, menus, or dock, each element will be highlighted. Clicking or tapping will take a screenshot of the selected element.

Image of a dotted rectangle: Captures a selected area; when clicked or tapped, a selection rectangle will appear on the screen. You can then use the handles on the rectangle to resize the selection as needed. You can also drag the selection rectangle about by placing the cursor within the rectangle; once the cursor changes to a hand, you can move the selection about. To take the screenshot, use the Capture button in the Screenshot palette.

Image of a screen with a round camera lens in the corner: Records the entire screen. You can start the recording by selecting the Record button in the Screenshot palette.

Image of a dotted rectangle with a camera lens in the corner: Records selected portion. Use the same methods as outlined in dotted rectangle, above, to select an area to record. When ready, click or tap the Record button in the Screenshot palette.

Options: Provides a menu to select various Screenshot options, such as where to save, timer delays, or Microphone selection for video recording. Options should be selected before taking a screenshot or recording the screen.

Capture or Record: This button’s name will change depending on the Screenshot function you’re using: Capture for taking screenshots or Record for taking video. The button can also be absent when it’s not needed.

Screenshot App: Advanced
Most of the advanced features can be found within the Screenshot app’s Options button. The items listed under Options will change, depending whether you’re taking a screenshot or a video recording.

Read more on Rocket Yard, The MacSales.com Blog

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »