Using TextExpander to quickly insert keyboard symbols on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 5, 2015

You may have noticed how I like to use keyboard symbols in my posts. You know, things like ⇧, or ⌃, or ⌘, or even ⌥. I use → a lot too, which is helpful when laying out a certain order of steps in my tutorials.

Some of you may think that I’ve memorized the code for these symbols (I haven’t), or that I copy and paste them from a document or keep them on my clipboard somehow (I don’t). Instead, I use the venerable TextExpander utility to make inserting these symbols a totally effortless affair. Read More

 

How to assign a keyboard shortcut to Notification Center on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 4, 2015

It might seem fairly obvious, but it might be a good idea to assign a keyboard shortcut to Notification Center on the Mac. Perhaps you already have, or maybe you still haven’t. I hadn’t, at least not up until a few days ago when a reader suggested that I do so, and I honestly can’t come up with a reason as to why I waited so long. I think it’s because I just never thought about doing it.

Assigning Notification Center to a keyboard shortcut just makes sense. It especially makes sense if you use a keyboard and mouse combination on your Mac, instead of a trackpad. Granted, MacBook users might not be so easily convinced, because invoking Notification Center can be accomplished via an effortless two-finger swipe on the trackpad.

But if you’re working on an iMac, or if you’re using a traditional mouse and keyboard combination with your MacBook, as I am, then I definitely recommend that you follow this uber-simple tip. Read More

 

Apple confirms ‘FREAK Attack’ patch for iOS and OS X due next week

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2015

A new exploit dubbed ‘FREAK Attack’ — which stands for “Factoring attack on RSA-EXPORT Keys” — that takes advantage of a security flaw dating back to the 1990s will be patched soon by Apple.

As we speak, the iPhone maker is readying a fix in iOS and OS X that will be available in software updates next week, a spokesperson for the Cupertino firm told iMore.

Plagued by this security flaw, users of Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android devices are at risk when visiting vulnerable websites that downgrade a secure HTTPS connection to a weaker encryption method. Read More

 

How to add more Notification Center Today View widgets to Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 3, 2015

Like its iOS counterpart, Notification Center for OS X Yosemite comes bundled with several stock Today widgets to get you started. However, it’s possible to add third-party widgets to Notification Center’s Today View by means of the Mac App Store and via direct download. Inside, we’ll highlight how to add new widgets to Notification Center along with several widget recommendations. Read More

 

Yosemite 10.10.3 beta with Photos for Mac now available via OS X Public Beta program

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 2, 2015

The first beta of the forthcoming OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 software update which contains the long-expected Photos for Mac application, is now available via the AppleSeed Public Beta service.

Participants in the OS X Public Beta program can download the software update right now via the Updates tab of the Mac App Store. The public beta carries a build number of 14D87, the same like the second 10.10.3 beta that the company seeded to its registered Mac developers a week ago. Read More

 

How to quickly enable Notification Center’s Do Not Disturb mode on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 2, 2015

Like its iOS counterpart, Notification Center on the Mac features a Do Not Disturb mode for suppressing notifications at inopportune times. The great thing about Notification Center on iOS is that it can be quickly enabled via a handy Control Center toggle. But did you know that there’s a quick and easy way to enable Do Not Disturb mode on your Mac, as well? Read More

 

How to add an iMessage “now typing” indicator to the menu bar on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 1, 2015

You may know TypeStatus as the jailbreak tweak that adds a “now typing” indicator to the status bar on iOS, but did you know that you can do the same thing on your Mac? TypeStatus for Mac allows you to quickly see who’s currently composing an iMessage via a handy indicator positioned on the OS X menu bar. Read More

 

How to quickly find your Mac’s Wi-Fi IP address from the menu bar

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 28, 2015

By now, perhaps you’ve caught on to the trend that the Alt/Option key (⌥) allows you to do some really nifty things with regard to the menu bar on your Mac. For example, clicking the volume button on the menu bar while holding the ⌥ key lets you switch audio outputs and inputs with ease.

As you might have already gathered, the same principal applies to the Wi-Fi button on the menu bar. By holding the ⌥ key while clicking the Wi-Fi button, you gain access to a plethora of technical details related to your Mac’s Wi-Fi connection. Read More

 

How to quickly toggle dark mode using a keyboard shortcut on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 27, 2015

Dark mode is one of the more popular features of OS X Yosemite, because it allows you to add a dark tint to both the dock and the menu bar on Mac. The standard way to enable dark mode involves venturing to System Preferences, opening the General section, and clicking on the enable dark mode option. But wouldn’t it be cool if you could toggle dark mode using a simple keyboard shortcut?

Read More

 

How to make third-party menu bar icons look better with dark mode on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 26, 2015

OS X Yosemite introduced a new dark mode option to change the tint color of both the menu bar and the dock in OS X. While I’m a big fan of dark mode, some of the third-party apps that I use have not been updated to play nice with dark mode. This results in menu bar icons that look weird with dark mode enabled, because they don’t invert after toggling dark mode on.

If you’re someone who always uses dark mode and never switches to regular mode, there is a way to force these menu bar icons to look better with dark mode enabled… Read More

 

Mastering the menu bar’s volume button on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 25, 2015

The volume button in the menu bar seems extremely simple on the surface. When you click the button, you’re met with a basic volume slider for adjusting your Mac’s audio output. But there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to this tiny menu bar control.

For example, did you know that you can also use the volume button to change your Mac’s sound output device, input device, and quickly access the sound preferences? Or what about its ability to change the volume of OS X’s alert sounds? Indeed, the unassuming volume button packs quite the utilitarian punch. Read More

 

How to restart the menu bar on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 24, 2015

On rare occasions, I encounter a frozen menu bar on my Mac. Perhaps you too have encountered a scenario where the beach ball appears when hovering over the menu bar. A lot of time, this can be resolved by killing the single app that’s causing problems. In other situations, you may need to completely kill and restart the menu bar to do the job. Read More

 

How to rearrange and remove stock menu bar icons on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 23, 2015

The menu bar is the bar located at the top of OS X that houses all of contextual buttons for apps near the left side of the bar, and all of the menu bar icons on the right side of the bar. The icons that appear there can be from third-party apps, or they can be from stock OS X system features like Wi-Fi, Sound, Bluetooth, etc.

Although you can’t alter the menu bar icons for third-party apps without a little trickery, you can easily do so for system features. In this post and video, I’ll show you how to remove and rearrange stock icons in the menu bar. Read More

 

OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite beta 2 seeded to devs

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 23, 2015

Alongside the just-released iOS 8.3 Beta 2, Apple on Monday also seeded the second beta of a forthcoming OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite software update to its registered Mac developers.

Carrying a build number of 14D87h, OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 beta 2 (like the first beta) bundles a pre-release version of Apple’s long-expected Photos for OS X application that will replace iPhoto and Aperture on Macs.

Registered Mac developers can apply OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite beta 2 through the Mac App Store’s Software Update mechanism. In addition to Photos for Mac, Apple is asking developers to specifically focus on Wi-Fi captive network support and screen sharing. Read More

 

How to create a new folder containing selected items on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 22, 2015

OS X allows users to create new folders with pre-selected items, and to be honest, it’s one of my favorite features of the Finder. All you need to do is highlight the items you want to place in a folder, right click, and execute the command. It makes cleaning up files extremely quick and easy, and I find myself using it on a daily basis. Read More

 

Empty Trash versus Secure Empty Trash – what’s the difference?

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 21, 2015

Did you know that there are actually two ways to empty the trash on your Mac? Perhaps you’ve seen both options before, but never gave it much thought. Just what is the deal with Empty Trash versus Secure Empty Trash? Which one should you use? By knowing what each empty trash command is capable of doing, you’ll be able to make more informed future decisions with regard to handling your Mac’s sanitation needs. Read More

 

How to set the default Finder folder on the Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 20, 2015

I don’t know about you, but I find OS X’s All My Files folder to be excruciatingly annoying and I cringe any time I accidentally visit this folder. I dislike it so much that I’ve completely removed it from my side bar on the Finder.

By default, Apple actually makes users visit the All My Files folder whenever a new Finder window is opened. Needless to say, this is one of the first things that I alter upon installing OS X. Read More

 

How to split and merge Finder windows on the Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 19, 2015

There is a seemingly endless amount of tips and tricks that can be pulled off with OS X’s Finder, but it’s a good idea to get a good handle on some of its more basic functionality before delving into the deep end of the pool. One of the first things that you should learn is how to tackle tabs and windows.

OS X Mavericks ushered in a new tabbed interface for the Finder, a feature that was at the top of almost every Mac owner’s list before it finally arrived. Tabs allow you to view multiple Finder windows within a single interface, and they work very much like the tabs in your favorite web browser.

Did you know that you can easily break apart tabs into their own window? Or what about merging all tabs back into a single window interface? I’ll show you how to do both in the video tutorial that follows. Read More

 

How to disable the iSight camera on your Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 19, 2015

Every Mac that Apple ships, sans the Mac mini, comes with an iSight camera embedded in the bezel at the top of the display. If my memory serves me correctly, Apple’s computers were one of the first to really popularize the standardization of built-in cameras.

I’m probably not alone when I say that I rarely, if ever, use my MacBook Pro’s iSight camera. In fact, it’s become more of a worry to me when thinking about the potential hacking and privacy concerns. I’m far from a tin foil hat wearer, but I have to be honest and admit that the thought has crossed my mind before…you know, the one where hackers view my iSight camera unbeknown to me.

With all of that said, wouldn’t it be nice if you could disable your Mac’s iSight camera with a simple software tweak? Inside, I’ll show you how to do just that. Read More

 

How to restart the Finder on the Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 18, 2015

Occasionally, you may need to restart the Finder on OS X. It may stop working, or you may enact some change that requires a Finder restart. On these rare occasions, it’s good to know how to quickly relaunch the Finder. There are actually several ways to do so. I’ll explore a couple of my favorite ways in the post that follows. Read More

 
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