Mac Users Guide brings you a series of Mac OS X Qucik Tips via its feed on Audioboo.fm. In the next phase of Mac Users Guide we are opening iLearn by Mac Users Guide, a training program designed to bring valuable information through hands-on instruction. The workshops are designed to expand on the concepts and how-to articles found on Mac Users Guide and offer you, the user, the opportunity to learn with a real Apple professional who can answer your questions about Apple’s Mac OS X and wide range of equipment and applications. We offer 1-hour private classes or weekly 2-hour group classes that focus on specific applications and help beginners get started or experts deepen their knowledge of Apple hardware and software concepts. Learn more at http://iLearn.MacUsersGuide.com
The following are a series of Mac OS X Snow Leopard quick tips that we will be covering in our upcoming workshop.
Language and texts in Snow Leopard
Ever run into needing a symbol shortcut…like lets say the copyright symbol. I do almost on a daily basis. To solve this problem simply open System Preferences, choose Language & Text. In Leopard a new tab was added called Texts and it has a Symbol And Text Substitution feature. For instance type ( c ) and you get © among other commonly used symbols. You can also make your own custom shortcuts! Like type “awesome” to substitute it for Carl Berkeley! Also comes in handy for your name or address.
Selecting Multiple Files
Most of us long time Mac users know that if you want to select something you just click on it to open or move it. What if you want to move or open more than on file? To select groups of items select the first item in a folder and while holding down shift select and click on the last one. If you want to be more specific hold down Command and Click on only select items in a folder. While selecting items in this manner you can also select groups of items next to one another. Simply hold the Command and Shift buttons down at the same time as you click. With a little practice you will be a power selector!
Set a poster frame in iTunes
What is a poster frame? It is a still based frame taken from your video. You can add them to new movies and TV shows in iTunes or iTunes automatically creates an image to display as that video’s icon. What if you want to customize this image? I have had a a studio logo come up or the auto select landing on something not very descriptive. A simple solution to this problem is to choose another frame of the movie to use as the poster frame. To do this, just start the video playing in iTunes, go to the frame you want to use and then pause it. Then just right-click on the video and choose “Set Poster Frame.”
Cisco VPN Support
If you work from the road, or from home, you know how important Cisco VPN is. Did you know that Snow Leopard has it built right into the OS. To set up your VPN start my getting your setting from your IT Department. Next navigate to System Preferences > Network. Click on the small plus sign (+) in the lower-left corner. Choose VPN in the Select Interface drop-down. This is much better than opening a third-party application to get on the office server from home.
Image Capture Device Control
Image Capture transfers images between your digital camera, iPhone or scanner and your Mac for use in iPhoto and other applications. You can download all or any portion of the contents of your digital camera, crop images to a variety of sizes, and delete unwanted pictures from your camera. You can also set iPhoto to open for one device, and Aperture for another… or nothing at all.
One “ooooohhhh, aaaaaahhhhh” feature in the Snow Leopard is that you can simply click and hold an icon in the Dock to trigger Exposé to show all of the select application’s windows. This way you can avoid having to use a keyboard shortcut. This can be especially useful if you’re trying to quickly sort through all your Finder, Web browser, or word processing windows.
If you’ve secretly suspected that your MacBook’s battery isn’t working correctly, Snow Leopard can tell you what your geek senses have known all along. Now in the menu bar you can not only check the status of your battery but also see if it needs service. Just hold down Option and Click. Hopefully you not see the “Service Battery” warning
Screen Saver Photos
Here is a quick way to customize your Mac. As Apple users we have always had the option to shuffle through different Desktop pictures, but now you can set your screen saver to shuffle through different iPhoto, MobileMe, Flickr, Facebook, and Aperture Library. Simply organize your photos in either iPhoto or Aperture libraries and add your favorite social networking outlets or add them directly to Desktop and Screen Savers by click on the plus sign. Check Use Random Screen Saver then click on Shuffle. Then just check the boxes of the image libraries you want shuffled as screen savers.
Get Specific with Spotlight
If you use Spotlight a lot to find files, you know it’s slightly annoying when you type a file name into the Spotlight search field in your Finder window, only to have it search everywhere. In the Finder navigate in the menu bar to Finder > Preferences, click on the Advanced tab, and change the default search location from Search This Mac to Search the Current Folder.
Put it back!
Accidentally put an item in the trash? Simply select the item in the Trash. Right-click on the item and select Put Back from the contextual menu. The file will return to its original location before you throw it away.
Macintosh Laptop Setup Guide for MacBook and MacBook Pro
Got a new MacBook or MacBook Pro? If the answer is yes or even if you are just setting up a used Mac laptop here are some pointers to keep in mind. I setup new Macs on a daily bases and have my own new MacBook Pro 17-inch. The most important thing to remember after getting your new Apple laptop is setting it up properly. Before you get to far past the packaging here area few tips to keep in mind as you set up your new laptop.
Unpacking and Preparing
Carefully removed your new Apple Portable from the box place it on a sturdy work surface and near a power supply. You will want to locate the power adapter and connect it to the appropriate MegaSafe or adapter insert on your laptop and plug in the adapter portion into a wall outlet. Your connector should have a indicator light to let you know that the battery is charging. Connect your laptop to the internet by Ethernet, phone, tethering or have Airport connection info handy. To maximize the life of your battery please refer to my MacBook Calibration instructions.
Powering On and Setup
If you don’t already have your laptop open, open it. The latest MacBook line doesn’t have a latch button it will simply just open. Press the power button on the top right corner of the keyboard. Once on the Setup Assistant will appear and walk you through how to set up the basics for your Account. Setup your primary account and please for me, setup a password. I can’t tell you how much trouble that causes when someone brings in their machine with a corrupt or failed system and the password is missing. If you have another Mac and are planning on transferring information from it to your new laptop you can use the Migration Assistant. If you want to do this later you can find it in under Applications > Utilities > Migration Assistant. Once complete repair permissions.
Up and Running!
Once you are up and running check out my tips and tricks to learn more about Mac OS 10.5 and Mac OS 10.6. If you are a brand new users Follow my weekly Mac OS X QuickTips on Twitter or my audio based Mac OS X QuickTips. Hope you have fun using your new MacBook, MacBook Pro or other Apple portable!