Get the Most Out of Your Mac
- Mountain Lion Tips & Tricks (4)
- OS X Lion Tips & Tricks (18)
- Dashboard Widgets (2)
- Tips & Tricks (22)
- Backups and Archives (17)
- Reader to Reader (76)
- Working With RAID Arrays (3)
- Fonts (5)
- Cloud Services (11)
Setting Up an iCloud Account on Your Mac
Using your Mac to access iCloud services requires the correct version of OS X and a few minutes to follow these basic instructions.
Getting iCloud's Mail Working on Your Mac
Apple Mail and iCloud Mail can work hand-in-hand. With these instructions, you'll be able to access your iCloud mail from your Apple Mail app.
Create Your Own OS X Lion Recovery HD on Any Drive
You can use this step-by-step guide to create a Lion Recovery HD volume on any internal or external drive that's connected to your Mac.
OS X Lion Can Map Your Hard Drive Space Usage by File Type
OS X Lion has the ability to display how much space various file types are taking up on your hard drives. When you want to know what's taking up the most room on a drive, this new System Profiler capability will be helpful.
Using OS X Lion's Recovery Disk Assistant
Secrets to using the OS X Lion Recovery Disk Assistant. The Recovery Disk Assistant is a welcome utility for OS X Lion users, but it has limitations that can get in the way of its use. This guide provides tips for the best use of the Lion Recovery Disk Assistant.
Adding Accent Marks in OS X Lion
OS X Lion supports the same method of adding diacritical marks to characters that is found in iOS devices. Now when you need to add an umlaut, trema, or other glyph to your writing, you no longer have to use a font character viewer to gain access to the appropriate diacritical mark.
Change the Finder and Mail Sidebar Display Size in OS X Lion
If you find that OS X Lion's sidebar font and icon size is a little too large, as it is for me, it's easy to change it to one that's a better fit for you.
Force an Application to Open in All Spaces
OS X Lion offers a new, easy way to set up an application to open in all of your desktop spaces.
OS X Lion Is Hiding Your Library Folder
Have you noticed something missing? OS X Lion hides your Library folder. It's not clear why Apple decided to hide the users Library folder, but there are two ways to get it back; one provided by Apple and one by the underlying file system. The method to use depends on whether you want permanent access to the Library folder, or only when you need to go there.
OS X Lion Scroll Bars
OS X Lion changed not only how scrolling works, but if and when scroll bars appear. You don’t have to live with Lion's scroll bar defaults; you can change them to meet your needs or preferences.
Reload Safari Top Sites
Reload Safari Top Sites: Safari's Top Sites feature can get bogged down if you lose your Internet connection, even for just a brief time. Whether the cause is your home network router, DNS issues, or your ISP going offline due to a severe storm in your area, an interrupted connection can sometimes cause the thumbnails in Safari Top Sites to either stop updating or display error messages.
How to Use iChat to Share Your Mac's Screen
iChat Screen Sharing: iChat, Apple's instant messaging client, has a unique feature that allows you to share your Mac desktop with an iChat buddy. iChat screen sharing lets you show off your desktop or ask a buddy for help with a problem. It also allows you to take control of a buddy's desktop to help him or her out with a problem.
iPhoto Tips and Tricks
iPhoto is one of those applications that are simply must-haves. Yes, there are more robust image management applications, such as Aperture and Lightroom, but iPhoto is included with every new Mac. It's easy to use, and it can meet the needs of most users, including aspiring professional photographers. This, then, is a collection of iPhoto...
How Do I Install Apple OS X Updates From the Mac App Store?
Apple changed the way software updates are performed, but don’t worry; you can still perform a combo update, as well as the quicker basic software update, through the Mac App Store.
OS X Lion Scrolling
OS X Lion changed the default behavior of scrolling within a window or application. Scrolling is now performed using what Apple calls a "natural" scrolling method. You can change how Lion scrolls using the system preferences.
Using the Archive Utility - Gain Control of Your Mac's Compression Options
Archive Utility is the app behind the Finder's ability to zip and unzip files. But it does more than just zip and unzip files. This guide will show you all that the Archive Utility can do.
Using Auto-Save and Versions in OS X
The Auto-Save and Versions features in OS X provide a great deal of control over working with and saving documents. This guide presents the nitty-gritty about using these features to save and manage your documents.
How to Re-Download Apps From the Mac App Store
Re-downloading an app from the Mac App Store can be as easy as using the option key or as tough as deleting the installed app first. But either way, it is possible to re-download and install an app.
Mac Screen Sharing Using the Finder Sidebar
Mac Screen Sharing: Using the Finder sidebar to access screen sharing has many benefits, including not having to know the IP address or name of the remote Mac. Instead, the remote Mac displays in the Shared list in the Finder sidebar; accessing the remote Mac takes just a few clicks.
Enable Disk Utility's Debug Menu
OS X's Disk Utility has a hidden Debug menu that, when enabled, can give you access to a few more Disk Utility features than you normally see. While Disk Utility has had a Debug menu for quite a while, it became even more useful with the advent of OS X Lion.
QuickLook Window Opens Off Screen
How to Restore QuickLook Windows: QuickLook is one of the OS X features that is usually taken for granted. The ability to preview a document, view an image, or even see full-screen videos without ever opening the file is simply amazing. That is, until something goes wrong. You select a file, press the space bar, and nothing happens. You're left...
Finder Column View - Zoom Into a Finder Preview Image
Finder Column View - Zoom Into a Finder Preview Image: One nifty Finder feature that is often overlooked is the ability to zoom in, zoom out, and pan around an image when in column view.
Setting Finder Views for Folders and Sub-Folders
Setting Finder Views for Folders and Sub-Folders: One area where OS X leaves a bit to be desired is in the setting of folder views. If you want...
Mac Screen Sharing - How to Connect to Another Mac's Desktop
Mac Screen Sharing: Screen sharing capability is built in to the Mac. With it, you can access a remote Mac's desktop, and view and manipulate files, folders, and applications, just as if you were sitting in front of the remote Mac.
Mac Screen Sharing
Mac Screen Sharing: Macs come with built-in screen sharing capabilities, which can be accessed from the Sharing preference pane. The Mac's screen sharing capability is based on the VNC (Virtual Network Computing) protocol, which means not only can you use another Mac to view your screen, you can use any computer that has a VNC client installed.
Change How Your Mac Sleeps - Pick the Sleep Setting You Want Your Mac to Use
Change How Your Mac Sleeps: Apple supports three main types of sleep modes for desktops and portables. The three modes are Sleep, Hibernation, and Safe Sleep, and they each work slightly differently.
Translucent Dock Icons
Translucent Dock Icons: You can use Terminal to create a visual clue about which applications are hidden, by forcing the Dock to display hidden applications with translucent icons.
Personalize Your Mac by Changing Desktop Icons
Changing Desktop Icons: Your Mac’s desktop is a lot like your home; it needs to be personalized to make it seem like it’s your place. Changing desktop icons is one of the easiest ways to bring a touch of you to your Mac’s desktop, and it’s as easy as a few mouse clicks.
Tom's Mac Software Picks 2012
Tom's Mac Software Picks are a great way to discover new applications for your Mac. With software ranging from the simple to the complex, this list of Mac software is a great starting point for finding fun and useful Mac apps.
Move Your Mac's Home Folder to a New Location
Move Your Home Folder to a New Location: Your home folder is always located on the startup drive, the same one that houses the OS. This may not be an ideal location for your home folder, however. Storing the home folder on another drive may be a much better choice, especially if you want to increase the performance of your Mac by installing an...
Mac Performance Tips – Close Your Browser
Mac Performance Tips – Close Your Browser: This tip is all about browsers that don’t work quite the way they should. And as far as I can tell,...
Make the Mouse Pointer on Your Mac Bigger
Enlarging the Mouse Pointer: With both larger and high-resolution displays becoming the norm, you may have noticed your mouse pointer is getting smaller. On both the newer 27-inch iMacs and the new 27-inch LCD Cinema Display, the monitor’s native resolution is high enough that your mouse cursor can be difficult to locate as it scurries across...
Basics: Using Your Mac - A New User’s Guide
Mac Basics is a good place to start when you’re new to the Mac or just need a refresher. You will find guides, tips, and a few revelations that will have you both enjoying your Mac and being more productive.
Use Terminal To Clean Up Your Desktop
Clean up your Mac desktop using Terminal. With a simple Terminal command, you can sweep all of your Mac desktop debris out of sight. Bringing all of your Mac desktop icons back into view is just as easy.
With 2010 coming to a close, it’s time once again to list the top ten most popular articles at About: Macs.
These articles range from guides and DYIs to tips and FAQs. But they all have one thing in common: They were the most often read by the readers here at About: Macs.
Terminal Tricks: Access Hidden Features
Hundreds of hidden preferences and features are available within OS X and its many applications. Most of these hidden preferences are of little use to the end user, because they’re intended for developers to use during debugging. That still leaves plenty of preferences and features for the rest of us to try out.
Widgets on Your Mac Desktop
You can make Dashboard widgets appear on your Mac desktop by using Terminal to invoke Dashboard Development mode. Once you enter development mode, you can drag individual widgets from Dashboard to the desktop.
Force Quit an Application
Force Quit an Application: It happens to the best of them; an application simply stops responding to input. You may not be able to access the...
Mac Performance Tips – Avoid Animated Desktops
Mac Performance Tips – Avoid Animated Desktops: This Mac performance tip is an easy one: Stay away from animated desktops, at least most of the...
Capturing Screenshots of Individual Elements
Capturing Screenshots of Individual Elements: There's a screenshot keyboard combo that's often overlooked, yet it's by far the most powerful. This keyboard combo lets you capture a screenshot of a particular window element. When you use this keyboard combo, each window element will be highlighted as you move your cursor over it. Click the mouse and you can capture just that element. The beauty of…
Duplicating Files: Option-Drag Duplicates Files by Adding Version Numbers
Duplicating files and adding version numbers is just an option key away. Starting with OS X 10.5, Apple added the ability to create incremental version numbers when duplicating files.
Add a Dock Spacer to Your Mac
Dock spacers allow you to organize your Mac’s Dock by creating a blank Dock icon that you can place wherever you wish on the Dock. You can use Dock spacers to create a separation between groups of Dock icons. Dock spacers work with OS X 10.5 Leopard and later.
OS X Memory Usage
Using Activity Monitor to Track Memory Usage: It can sometimes be difficult to get your head around OS X memory usage, especially when it comes time to consider upgrades for your Mac. Will adding more memory provide a significant performance increase? That's a question I often hear, so let's discover the answer together.
Snow Leopard Tip: Select Audio In and Out From the Menu Bar
Your Mac has multiple audio inputs and outputs. If you’re using more than one, you may find it inconvenient to launch System Preferences just to select a new input or output. Use the volume item in your Mac’s menu bar instead. Here’s how.
Restore Closed Safari 5 Tabs
Restore Closed Safari 5 Tabs: Safari 5 takes the pain out of accidentally closing a tab. When you make this common mistake, you can simply select the Safari 5 Edit menu. Instead of seeing a grayed out Undo command, you'll be greeted by an accessible Undo Close Tab, in the same spot in the menu.
The Proxy Icon: Using an Application's Proxy Icon in the Toolbar
The proxy icon is that little icon located in the center of an application's window. The proxy icon has been around since, well, since OS X was first introduced. But many of us have no idea what its function is, or even where it is.
Change the File Format Your Mac Uses to Save Screenshots
Screenshot Format: Your Mac has the ability to take screenshots with just a keyboard shortcut or two. If you want a few more advanced capabilities, you can use the included Grab application to take screenshots. But neither of these screenshot options provides an easy way for you to specify your preferred graphics file format for screenshots. Luckily, you can use Terminal, an application included with OS X, to change the default graphics format.
Eject Stuck CD/DVD: Use Your Mouse or TrackPad to Eject Stuck Media
Eject Stuck CD/DVD: CDs or DVDs that become stuck in your Mac's SuperDrive can be a pain in the media. You not only want to get the media out of the drive, you want to do it without damaging either the CD/DVD or the drive.
How to Remove Safari Plug-ins
To remove Safari Plug-ins, you must delete or move the appropriate plug-in files from the Internet Plug-ins folder.
Adding Startup Items to Your Mac
Startup items, also known as login items, are applications, documents, or other items you want to automatically open every time you start up or log in to your Mac.
Make the Most of the Finder Sidebar
The Finder sidebar is a handy place to store frequently used files, folders, and applications. It's also easy to customize.