Mac OS X Guru Content

About Mac OS? X Guru Content

The Mac OS X Guru section of our website contains information related to using all versions of Mac OS X. It also contains sections on using Apple's Dot.Mac? system and OS X only applications such as iPhoto, iLife and various other iApp's.

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Mac OS X General

About Mac OS? X General

This section of the Mac OS X Learning Center is a bit of a catch all for those hints, tips, techniques or hidden gems that make working with Mac OS X easier. In most cases, the information we've posted here applies to any version of mac OS X -- however -- we clearly note any specific systems at the start of an article if the topic is specific to Jaguar, Panther, Tiger and beyond.

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Chirping (Squeak) on PowerMac G5 2Ghz Dual processor

Question

After upgrading to Mac OS? X Tiger (OS 10.4.Innocent I"m hearing a repeating chirp , beep, or squeaking sound from my PowerMac G5. How do I get rid of it? While we can only confirm this on the 2Ghz dual processors, it's reasonable that the condition may exist on other PowerMac G5 machines.

Requirements

PowerMac G5 2Ghz dual processor, Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.0.



Background

The repeated chirping, beep or squeak was a recurring issue in 2004 and appears to have reappeared in Mac OS X Tiger. In some cases the sound may seem to be intermittent, only appearing under heavy processor loads. However, since many of Tiger's new features such as Dashboard Widgets and Spotlight appear to be causing fairly heavy system loads, it's not unlikely the sound may appear all the time.

While the sound isn't particularly loud, it can be annoying and although it's not particularly clear what exactly is causing the sound there are two methods to get rid of it. Any additional news regarding the cause of the sound or alternative methods on how to correct it will be posted here.

What to do

There are two methods to shut off that annoying chip-beep-squeak which are simple to do. If Option A doesn't work for you, try Option B.

Option A: Use the System Preferences... → Energy Saver

  1. Choose Apple menu → System Preferences...
  2. Choose Energy Saver
  3. Press the Options button
  4. Choose Automatic from the Processor Performance pop up menu
  5. the sound should stop immediately



While we haven't been able to perform any sort of conclusive speed and performance tests, this method can potentially reduce overall performance, if only slightly. However, it does successfully shut off the annoying sound which may be worth the potential trade-off. Option B described here uses a different method which allows the Energy Saver System Panel to be set to high and still shuts off the beep-chirp-squeak sound.

Option B: Install Apple CHUD Tools
CHUD (Computer Hardware Understanding Developer Tools) are intended to help developers tweak performance of their applications running in Mac OS X. While there are many aspects to what CHUD Tools can be used for, in the context of this problem were interested in only one - the Processor System Preference Panel it installs. The primary benefit to this method is the Energy Saver Processor settings can be set to HIGHEST without hearing the beep-chirp-squeak.

CHUD Tools are included on your Mac OS X Tiger master install DVD or you can also download Apple's CHUD tools from version tracker.com. Simply visit the Version Tracker website XTNL URL and search for CHUD.

Stage one: install CHUD Tools

  1. insert the mac OS X Tiger Install DVD
  2. double click the Xcode Tools folder icon
  3. review the About Xcode Tools.pdf file
  4. double click the XcodeTools.mpkg icon
  5. follow the screen prompts until you see the Select Destination Screen
  6. click on your hard drive with Tiger installed
  7. press the Continue Button
  8. Press the Customize button
  9. Check CHUD Tools and press Upgrade/Continue

Or screen shot here shows the upgrade button since we already have the XCode tools installed.
[inline:Chirp02.jpg]


Stage two: set the Processor System Preference Panel

  1. After stage one is complete - restart your computer
  2. choose Apple menu → System Preferences
  3. click on the Process system panel (bottom of the dialog box)
  4. Uncheck the Allow Nap check box
  5. the sound should stop immediately
  6. This setting doesn't stick: it must be reset each time the computer is restarted

Here's what the Processor settings should look like
[inline:Chirp03.jpg]


Update: May 31, 2005:
We've noticed that after restarting it's usually necessary to go back to the Processor System Panel and Uncheck Allow Nap again. So - if you've turned off Allow Nap and restarted your computer, you may not be hearing things - the chirp could have returned.

We've used both methods and the sound has disappeared - in our case we prefer Option B which allows us to disable allow nap to remove the sound using CHUD tools and still level the Energy Saver Processor setting set to Highest.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Compressing (Zipping) files for Windows using Mac OS X

Questions

How do I compress ( also referred to as zip, compact or archive) a file or folder of files using Mac OS? X so it can be opened in the Windows operating system? How do I expand or uncompress a Zip archive I receive from a Windows user? Do I need any special software?

Requirements

Mac OS X Panther (10.3) or Mac OS X Tiger (10.4)
Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.4) or newer recommended



Discussion

Compressing (often referred to as "zipping" a file in the Windows world) is an excellent method to keep file sizes small when sending data via email. Compressing files is also an excellent way to protect files (for example Autocad DWG? or DXF? or word processing files) from becoming corrupted during internet/email transfer. While there are a few methods available using third part applications such as Stuffit Deluxe, there is one method that ships free with Mac OS X which we'll discuss here. You can use third party applications to create zip archives on your Mac but if you do, remember to reset their preferences to avoid a common problem describe in this related article on our website (zipped archives won't open for windows users INTL URL ). Overall, for making zipped archives that are cross platform compatible we prefer the method described below which is built into Mac OS X.

Don't forget, if you have an Apple Dot.Mac? account, you can also post files on your iDisk? and provide links to them in an email which can be a helpful way to stream line email communication. The same technique can also be applied if you have access to an FTP? server.

What to do

Expanding or Uncompressing a Zip archive:
You received a file which is zipped and it has a .zip extension and you'd like to get it open; simply double click the file and Mac OS X will automatically expand the file.

Note that will not work for .exe files (self excecuting files) as those are actually mini applications that run on a Windows Operating System. If you received a file like that you should contact the sender and have them recompress (re-zip) the file without making it self executing. There are many kinds of .exe files in the Windows world and the one you received may not necessarily be a self executing zip archive so talking with the original sender is the best way to sort the issue out.

Basic techniques of zipping (compressing) a single file and multiple files (or a folder of files).
There are few options in how you can create a zip archive using Mac OS X. The most common options are reviewed below with step by step instructions on what to do.

Option 1: To zip a single file, do this:

  1. click once on the file to select it in the Finder (e.g. MyFile1.doc)
  2. choose File menu -> Create Archive of MyFile1.doc
    • (note, the name of the file will be different and is automatically appended to the end of the Create Archive menu item)
  3. the file is zipped and a new archive is created in the same location as the original file
  4. the archive will be the same name as the file with a .zip suffix (e.g. MyFile1.doc.zip)
  5. the file from step 4 may be attached to an email

Reminders:

  • In step (2), you may also Control + Click (or Right+Click with a multi-button mouse) on a file and choose Create Archive from the Contextual menu.
  • In step (3) the archive is a copy. The original, uncompressed file, still remains. If you are emailing the zipped file, you may want to delete the zipped version after it's sent to reduce clutter and redundant files.
  • in step (4) .zip is appended to the end of the file name. In the example above, MyFile1.doc.zip was created. Some versions of the Windows OS can get confused by the double suffix (.doc.zip). It may be necessary (and we suggest it is simply good practice) to rename the archive so it contains only the .zip suffix. For example MyFile1.doc.zip would be renamded to MyFile1.zip. This renaming process affects only the zipped archive name, your original file name and suffix is unaffected. If your file name was very long or contained special characters not supported in the Windows OS, you may also want to rename the zipped archive accordingly.

Option 2: To zip a folder containing multiple files, do this:
The steps are the same as outlined above for compressing a single file. Simply select the Folder in step (1) instead of the individual file.

Option 3: To zip multiple files (not in a folder), do this:

  1. click once on each file to select it in the Finder (e.g. MyFile1.doc, MyFile2.doc, etc.)
    • (hint: Press the Shift key to make multiple, contiguous, selections. Press Command to make multiple, non-contiguous, selections)
  2. choose File menu -> Create Archive of 2 items
    • (note, the number is automatically appended to the end of the Create Archive menu item depending on the quantity of files you have selected)
  3. the files are zipped and a new archive is created in the same location as the original file
    • (note: this archive is actually a folder containing the selected items)
  4. the archive will be named Archive.zip
  5. the archive from step 4 may be attached to an email.

Reminders:

  • All the reminders from Option 1 apply.
  • in step (5) you may want to give the archive a more meaningful name that Archive.zip. Just make sure to keep the .zip suffix.

What does the Windows user do when they receive the archive?
Once the Windows OS user receives the archive, they expand the item using a utility such as WinZip or other utility appropriate for their operating system.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Creating a Virtual Printer and Saving Postscript Files

Question

I don't own a postscript printer but need to create postscript files to send to my printing service and to create PDF? Files using Distiller or PStill . How do I do that?

Requirements

Minimum: Any version of Mac OS? X
Recommended: Mac OX Tiger or newer



Background

A Virtual Printer is what you're looking for. In essence, a Virtual Printer fakes out your Macintosh to think it actually has the printer connected. In POX days (Pre OS X) you used an application called Desktop Printer Utility (free from Apple) to make the Virtual Printer. Well, in OS X it's pretty much the same thing only we us an application called Print Center (Jaguar OS 10.2) or Printer Setup Utility (choose Applications > Utlities > Printer Setup Utility) in Panther and Tiger.

In addition to letting you create Postscript files, a Virtual Printer can be a great way to gain access to larger sheet sizes or full bleed sheets sizes such as 8.5x11, 11x17 or 36x48 inches or larger (see our related article here ). Remember, every printer has a different printable area (hard clipping limit) . So, even if you don't need to make Postscript files, but just want access to different sheet sizes, full bleed or large sheets, creating a virtual printer with those properties is a cheap (free) way to get those features.

What To Do

We'll use a simple example and create a Virtual Printer for an Apple LaserWriter. However, the same steps may be used to create a Virtual Printer for large format printers and plotters such as an HP5500 or HP1055.

We've provided all the verbose steps here along with demonstration movies. However, Apple also provides this summary article XTNL URL and additional information may also be found in your Mac OS help files.

To create the Virtual Printer, do this:

  1. Launch the Printer Setup Utility application (located on your hard drive -> Applications folder -> Utilities folder )
  2. Click once on the ADD button
  3. Choose IP Printing from the pop up (or LPD/LPR)
  4. Choose Internet Printing Protocol from the Printer Type pop up
  5. Type localhost in the Printer Address field (localhost is all one word)
  6. Leave the Queue Name field blank
  7. Choose a printer type from the Printer Model pop up (e.g. Apple)
  8. Choose a postscript printer model name from the scrolling list and press the ADD button
  9. A new item named localhost is added to your list of printers
  10. Click once on localhost in the printer list
  11. Click once on the Show Info button
  12. Enter a new, meaningful, name in the Printer Name field
  13. Press the Apply Changes button
  14. Close the Printer Info dialog

You're done! You may now use the printer to make a Postscript file.

quicktime Here is an example of these steps in live action (1.7MB QuickTime Movie). (Need Movie Help?)

Note: In step eight when you choose a printer from the list, what your are actually choosing is the PPD? (Postscript Printer Description) file for that particular brand of printer. The PPD contains the information your Mac needs to describe all the features of a particular printer such as sheet size, full bleed, color options, etc.. Mac OS X ships with hundreds of PPD files for a wide range of printers. If you don't see a particular printer description in the list, you can also download PPD files from various printer manufacture's or have one sent to you from a printing service bureau. Mac OS X keeps the PPD files here: YourComputerHardDrive/Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/en.lproj folder (note en.lproj contains the English files, if you're working in another select the language folder of your choice).

To use the Virtual Printer to create a Postscript File, do this:

  1. Open the document to be printed
  2. Choose File menu > Page Setup
  3. Select your Virtual Printer from the list of printers
  4. Choose a page size, orientation and press OK
  5. Choose File menu > Print...
  6. Choose your virtual printer from the list of printers
  7. Choose Output Options from the pop up menu
  8. Click to check the Save File As check box
  9. Choose Postscript from the pop up menu
  10. Press SAVE

The postscript file is saved to the location you specify. The postscript file may be sent to a printer or used to create a PDF file using Adobe Acrobat Distiller , PStill or other Postscript to PDF conversion applications.

quicktime Here is an example of these steps in live action (1.1MB QuickTime Movie). (Need Movie Help?)

Summary

Now that you're finished, you can use this new virtual printer as if it was connected to your computer. Just remember when you're printing to pick this printer from the Printer pop down menu. And don't forget to choose to save the file as a Postscript or PDF using the Output Options pop down menu (other wise you'll be waiting an awfully long time for your computer to somehow try and find the specified printer, or perhaps it can grow one?)

This Apple Knowledge Base article XTNL URL also contains helpful information and related links which discuss which printer PPD's and print drivers are installed with Mac OS X (Panther or Jaguar)

If all of the above steps seem rather long, don't forget it only take a few minutes to setup and you're away to the races. The beauty of this technique is you change the Virtual Printer at any time or create as many as you like. With a Virtual Printer you can have a HP2500 today, an HP5000ps tomorrow or an Epson the week after that.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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DWG or DXF files received via email won't open

Question

I’m having problems translating AutoCAD DWG? files I received via Email. PowerCADD gives me an warning dialog “ an error occurred while loading the file, Increase memory size” (or similar errors) but I’m still unable to translate the file even after increasing the memory (in older versions of PowerCADD in Mac OS? 9). What do I do?

Requirements

Minimum: Any version of PowerCADD and the PowerDWG Translator External
Recommended: PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X Tiger or newer



Background

All email file attachments are encoded / chopped into smaller bits to be transferred through the internet. It’s very common for certain types of attachments like DWG, DXF? , spread sheets or word processing files to be damaged during that encoding or decoding process if they were not compressed before being emailed.

In real world plain english terms, it's like trying to send something through the Postal Service. We wouldn't expect a glass vase to arrive undamaged if all we did was stick a stamp on it and drop it in mail. Rather, we'd take the time to package the item correctly to protect it during shipping. While it's possible the packaging may bet damaged, the contents is protected and arrives in one piece.

Sending an email attachment without compressing it first is much like that. Compressing the files first has two distinct benefits:

  1. makes the file smaller for faster and more efficient transfers
  2. serves as the packaging that protects the file inside to avoid corruption

What To Do

There is a simple two step test:

  1. if the file was received by email and was uncompressed
    • or
  2. In OS 9 you’ve increased the memory allocation to PowerCADD but still receive the “... Increase memory...” error dialog

Then in +90% of all cases the file was corrupted during internet transfer and the file is unusable. Rather than beating a dead horse, it faster to have the file compressed and resent as described below.

Compressing the file

Windows Users:
If the person sending the file is a Windows user, then they should do this:

  1. compress the file using PKZip or WinZip ( common utilities on Windows Computers)
  2. Do not make the file 'self extracting' (I.e. do not make a *.EXE file), just make a plain *.zip file Note: mac's can't run a *.exe file but can handle *.zip files just fine
  3. Attach the *.zip file to the email and resend it.

Mac Users:
If the person sending the file is a Mac user, then they should do this:

  1. compress the file using Drop Stuff (Shareware) or Stuffit Deluxe (full payware commercial application)
  2. attach the *.sit file to the email and send it.

Note: they can also save the file as an *.sea (self extracting archive)

These related articles on our website also contain information on compressing (zipping, stuffing, archiving) files
When I zip files windows users can't open it
Mac OS X Panther: Compressing (zipping) files for Windows Users

Receiving the files

A *.zip file from Windows user:
When you receive a *.zip file from a Windows user you have two choices to expand it and access the *.dwg file:

  1. Drag and Drop the *.zip file onto the Stuffit Expander Icon(you will need the registered version of stuffit expander or the full version of Stuffit Deluxe)
    • or
  2. Use a shareware utility like ZipIT! to expand the file by a simple and Drag and drop of the *.zip file onto the ZipIT icon
    a copy of ZipIT can be downloaded from this link http://www.maczipit.com/
    • or
  3. In Mac OS X Panther, Tiger or newer, simply double click the file and Mac OS X can extract the contents of the zip archive

A *.sit or *.sea file from Mac user:
When you receive a *.sit (or *.sea) file from a Mac User you have two choices to expand it and access the *.dwg file:

  1. Drag and Drop the archive onto Stuffit Expander
    • or
  2. Double click the file to expand it if it’s a *.sea file

After you've expanded the compressed file, you should be able to open the *.dwg file using the PowerCADD, PowerDWG Translator.

If you’re still unable to process the *.dwg file there may be other issues at play and you may want to take advantage of our File Translation Services.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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DropZip: When I 'zip' a file Windows Users can't open it

Question

I often need to compress my drawings or word processing files when sending them via E-mail. When I make a Zip file using Stuffit DropZip (or ZipIt! for Mac), the Windows PC users can't open it. Why?

Requirements

A registered copy of Drop Stuff or ZipIt! or a full version of Stuffit Deluxe.



Background

Mac, Windows, and Unix computers all support 'binary' formatting. However, each platform's version of binary is slightly different. It's a bit like comparing vanilla ice cream and french vanilla ice cream. Both are 'vanilla' but just slightly different. That slight difference makes a big difference. A file zipped on a Mac using the Mac 'flavor' for Binary (MacBinary) can't be read on a WinTel PC. A file zipped on a PC using the PC 'flavor' of binary can't be read on a Mac.

The problem you describe sounds like a simple case of the 'wrong flavor' / wrong preferences set in the Stuffit Drop Zip Application.

What To Do

Here's the sure fire way to make sure the Files zipped on your Mac can be read on a PC or Other Systems.

Stage One: Check and set the DropZip Preferences as follows:

  1. Launch DropZip
  2. choose Preferences -> Click on the MacBinary Icon
  3. Click on the NEVER radio button
  4. press OK

The results should look like the following image. These settings will mean when the file is Zipped, it will NOT contain any binary information which makes it readable on a PC. You'll never need to perform this step again unless you reinstall the application.

DropZip -> Preferences -> NEVER use Macbinary

[inline:DropZip001.jpg]

Stage Two: Now, simply do this to compress (zip) the file:

  1. save the file on your Mac to a location you can easily find (for example the Desktop)
  2. drag and drop it onto the DropZip Icon.
  3. This makes a *.zip archive containing your file. E.G. MyFileName.dwg.zip
  4. To be 'extra safe' you should rename the file so it has Only a .zip ending
    • E.G. MyFileName.dwg.zip should be renamed to MyFileName.zip
    • while most windows modern windows operating systems will not have a problem with the original MyFileName.dwg.zip filename, some older Windows Operating systems can. We're recommending the safest solution but either method can work

  5. Attach the file created in (2) to your email message and send it (or burn onto CD or send it on a Zip Disk or other physical media)

As an alternative to Zipping a file (*.zip) , you can also set the Drop Stuff Preferences to create a Self Extracting Windows Archive. This will essentially make a *.exe file. The *.exe file can be double clicked in Windows and the contents of the archive containing your file will be expanded.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Free Scripts for QuickTime Player

Question

Is there an easy way to set playback properties, create text tracks, etc. without buying a high end (read: expensive) QuickTime authoring application?

Requirements

Minimum: Mac OS? X 10.2 QuickTime 6
Recommended: Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.4 and QuickTime 7 or newer



Background

Applescript and QuickTime are two of Apple's 'Crowned Jewels' and they work brilliantly together. In fact, QuickTime Movie Player (version 6.3 or QuickTime or newer) is recordable. Being recordable means you can 'start recording', perform your steps in QuickTime Player, and when you stop recording you have all the steps saved as your very own Applescript!

Apple has also provided a great free utility called Script Menu which allows you to access all your scripts from any application's menu bar. Script Menu can include your own scripts, or the numerous free scripts already provided by Apple or many other independent scripting authors.

What to do

Script Menu XTNL URL Visit Apple's web site to download a free copy of Script Menu. Follow the installation instructions and you're well on your way to enjoying easier access to all your soon to be favorite Applescripts.

QuickTime Player Scripts XTNL URL Visit Apple's web site to download a variety of free scripts for QuickTime Player. It's amazing what you can do with little gems and they're all accessed from the Script Menu which will appear in the right hand area of your menu bar.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

------
If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Hard Disk Optimization Tools

Topic

Keeping a hard drive de-fragmented - often referred to as optimized - requires special software tools and is essential in maintaining peak computer performance. This article discusses some of those options for Mac OS? X. There is a technical distinction between Fragmentation (or de-fragmentation) and optimization. This article actually focuses on the fragmentation issue but the overall discussion and tools is still worth understanding even when dealing with optimization as it pertains to overall system performance.

Requirements

Mac OS X Jaguar, Panther or Tiger and third part software applications.



Important!

Hard disk optimization requires using software tools to physically move data on the hard drive. This is a potentially dangerous task in that data can become damaged, lost or corrupted. The information provided in this article is provided as-is for general discussion purposes only. It is your responsibility to read, understand and follow all the warnings and recommendations provided by the software vendor of the Disk Optimization software you are using or hire a professional to perform the task for you. Performing a backup of your hard drive is always a good idea before performing major disk maintenance such as hard disk optimization / de-fragmentation.

Apple's Take on the Subject

Apple has a very interesting article on File Fragmentation and Optimization XTNL URL which is well worth reading. Among other items, it implies there are automated routines in Panther which may make disk optimization obsolete. One of the articles chief statements is de-fragmentation is potentially no longer required due to the significant increase in hard drive size. Frankly we're not convinced but have not had sufficient time to extensively test Apple's claim on the newest hardware. Based on personal daily use, we can say de-fragmenting a hard drive can help increase performance, particularly when drives are close to full (less free space).

Apple's other note pertains to Panther's internal use of Hot-File-Adaptive-Clustering (see above article link). An interesting concept which allows files 20 megabytes or smaller to be de-fragmented on the fly when opened. Take note of the 20MB limit. Files larger than 20MB may not take advantage of Hot-File-Adaptive-Clustering due to system performance issues nor does the process perform true optimization (streamline the postion of files on the drive for better performance). As such, a traditional de-fragmentation/optimization process as discussed in this article is still required. Mac Slash has an interesting discussion thread XTNL URL on this topic if you'd like to dig deeper.

Background

Technical specifics on how files are stored on a hard drive are beyond the scope of this article. The related topic of File Directories is also not covered in detail here which can also have an impact on your system performance. Following is some basic information related to hard disk optimization and file storage:

  • every file stored (saved) on a hard drive has an address location (not unlike a house or apartment address in principle)
  • ideally every file is addressed to (saved to) a single location (that is, the file is saved in one, contiguous, location)
  • a file is considered fragmented when it is saved to more than one single location (that is, the file is broken into pieces where each piece has a unique address and it is not saved in a contiguous block often referred to as non-contiguous)
  • optimization or optimizing a hard disk is the act of moving all files which are saved in multiple locations on a hard drive (non-contiguous) into contiguous blocks (each file is in a single addressed location)

How does fragmentation happen?
Files can become fragmented through normal daily use of the computer as we add and delete (trash). It's important to remember when a file is put in the trash, and the trash is emptied, the file is not physically erased from the hard drive (unless specific steps are done to do so). Rather, the operating system flags the space the trashed file was saved to as being available to be saved over (much like we can re-record over a cassette tape). There is never a guarantee where the next, new, file is going to be saved to - an existing contiguous block or over an old file which may have been saved in multiple locations (fragmented).

Why is this important?
Every time a file becomes fragmented, each piece (or fragment) requires a address which is added to the file. If the file is saved in multiple locations it takes longer for the computer to locate the file because it has to look up multiple addresses instead of just one address. By de-fragmenting (optimizing) a hard drive, files are put back into single, contiguous, locations. Opening a file from a single location is faster and therefor helps improve system performance. A damaged or fragmented File Directory (the list of files on your hard drive) can also adversely affect system performance and repair and optimization of that data is a task separate from hard drive file optimization.

Hard Drive Optimization verses System Optimization in OS X
The Mac OS does not automatically perform hard drive file optimization (de-fragmentation) either after a software installation or update nor does it come with specific tools to perform the task we're describing here. Whenever an OS X System Update or software installation is performed, it's not uncommon to see a progress indicator in the installer noting Optimizing Installation or something similar. This is NOT the SAME as hard drive file optimization!

What to do

There are specialized software applications on the market designed to optimize (or de-fragment) files on your hard drive. Many of these applications also provide various other software tools which also provide tools for optimizing other aspects of your computers system performance including File Directories mentioned earlier.

General Approach for hard drive optimization
The following is a general recommendation for disk optimization. Developing a reasonable schedule for maintenance tasks builds good habits and helps keep the Mac OS in top condition. As such, the following general recommendation includes steps in addition to just optimizing the hard drive. How often these task should be performed will depend on your particular working conditions but the following is a reasonable start point:

  1. read, understand and follow all warnings and recommendations made by the software author for the application you're using to optimize, repair or maintain your hard drive
  2. backup your hard drive (integrating the backup into a routine disk maintenance cycle helps ensure it happens!)
  3. Repair Permissions: use Apple's Disk Utility (permissions are an integral component to the Unix, and therefore Mac OS X, operating system and can have a significant impact on performance and stability)
  4. use Mac Janitor or a similar utility to run CRON? maintenance tasks (visit this Knowledge base at Apple.com XTNL URL to learn more about these maintenance tasks)
  5. Check and Repair the Disk directories and general disk structure (Apple's Disk Utility can be used, command line fsck commands and third party applications such as Disk Warrior are all tools at your disposal)
  6. Optimize the hard drive: Tools such as Drive X or Tech Tool Pro 4 are available options
  7. restart and run Repair Permissions one last time for good measure

Those basic steps can help keep your computer running in top performance.

Following is list of some currently available tools:

Please note, updates are issued for third party applications and Apple's Disk Utility Application to make sure they are compatible with a particular version of Mac OS X. Always make sure you are using the correct application version of any program for your current operating sytem. Check the manufacturer's website for details.

Disk Warrior v3XTNL URL File Directory Repair and Directory Optimization - NO hard drive file optimization although there are rumors of one being considered for future releases. This is a rock solid product and we use it ourselves for personal and multiple computer installations (note, at the time of this article, we have had problems running Disk Warrior v3 with Panther. We think it's a great tool and highly recommend it for any version of Mac OS X )

Drive X XTNL URL System and Hard Drive Optimization (recommended for Jaguar only - we used this one too for pre Panther OS X systems. It's authored by the same folks who make Tech Tool Pro v4 which we now use instead of Drive X - still Drive X is well worth having if you're using Jaguar or older OS X operating systems)

Tech Tool Pro v4 XTNL URL System and Hard Drive Optimization. While the interface can be a bit intimidating, this is great all around tool and well worth having in the tool box! It has a wide range of tools including file and disk optimization, file recovery and allows you to perform a wide range of hardware tests.

Norton System Works XTNL URL We have mentioned this one for completeness only. After almost two decades we've found this utility creates more problems that it solves and do not let it near any of our personal or client computers. Additional searching in various discussion forums such as Mac Fixit XTNL URL will turn up others with similar opinions to ours and you'll find folks who love Norton and couldn't live without it. If we were running Windows / Intel PC's, then we'd seriously look at a Norton product. However, in our experience there are other, better, options for the Mac Operating System as we described earlier.

Updated: Norton has officially stated North System Works will not support the next release of Mac OS X (that is a release after the current Panther series). While we can't say we're upset by this fact, it should also impact on your decision if you're about to purchase disk utilities or need to plan for the future. Applications Like Tech Tools Pro and Disk Warrior have been around for more years than we can remember and are an excellent alternative to Norton System Works.

Mac Janitor, Cocktail & others: A very handy freeware utility for performing Mac OS X level CRON (house keeping) scripts. We use it and like it. There are other options to Mac Janitor including Cocktail and Macarroni which can all be found on www.versiontracker.com. Cocktail will perform a variety of other tasks including running repairing disk permissions and the like and can be a very handy tool to have around.

Apple's Disk Utility: Don't forget that great freebie that ships with your Mac! It's great for repairing disk permissions and general disk checks. Generally, if you're having problems running Apple's Disk Utility is the first place to start before trying more robust tools as noted above.

A good hard disk and system maintenance regime will go a long way to keeping your Mac in top operating condition.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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PDF Services and PDF Workflow

Topic

How do I setup Apple's PDF? Services to take advantage of the PDF Workflow built into Mac OS? X?

Requirements

Minimum: Mac OS X Panther (10.2) or Tiger (10.4)
Recommended: Mac OS X Tiger



Background

Beginning in Mac OS 10.2 Apple introduced their PDF Services feature which is accessed via the Print... command in any Mac OS X application to stream line your PDF Workflow. In some instances, thePDF Services feature isn't setup by default in Mac OS X so we'll walk you through now to set it up -- it's quick and easy. There are many third party applications that take advantage of the PDF Services feature of OS X, but even without those applications it's to your advantage to set things up manually and explore productivity benefits a PDF Workflow can provide.

What To Do

Here's now to setup Apple's PDF Service. If you'd like to learn more visit Apple's Support Page XTNL URL and search for PDF Service and PDF Workflow. If you do not have Administration access to your computer, talk with your Systems Administrator before setting up PDF Services.

If you do not have PDF Services setup on your computer, then the Print... Dialog will look like this:

[inline:PrePDFServices.jpg]

To enable PDF Services, do this:

  1. Choose Your Startup Disk > Library folder
  2. Scroll down and look for a folder named PDF Services
  3. If you do not have that folder, create a new folder titled PDF Services in the Library Folder (spelling and upper/lower case match and spaces are important when naming the folder)

Note: In step 3, that folder will make PDF services available to all users. If you'd prefer, you can create the PDF Services folder in your Home Directory > Library > PDF Services and put any PDF Workflow scripts in there. The items will be available only to that specific user verses all users on that computer

You're done, it's that easy to setup PDF Services. The next time you choose Print... from any application the PDF button will look like this (note, the actual items in your list will vary depending which items, if any, you have installed in the PDF Services folder):

[inline:PostPDFServices.jpg]

To Use PDF Services
Now that you have the PDF Services enabled you will need to add Automater Workflows or Applescripts to the PDF Services folder. Items added to the PDF Services folder will be appended to the PDF pop-up menu in the Print dialog. Here's an example of the menu will look when you have items added.

[inline:EditPDFServices.jpg]

Where to find PDF Workflow goodies
You can search the web for a variety of freeware and shareware Automater Workflows and Applescripts that work with PDF Services. You can also write your own!

Here are a few links to get you started:

Here are a few of our own workflow files to get you started. To use any of these workflow actions simply download them, double click them to extract the zip archive, and drag them into your PDF Services folder. The next time you Print a file they'll appear in the PDF menu.

  • Email PDF: Will create a new email message with your PDF attached in the body of the message window
  • Email PDF Message: Will display a new message window you can fill out -- press Continue and the message will be displayed in Mail.app and your PDF will be included in the body of the message window

You can rename the items to anything you'd like, the new name appears in the Print > PDF menu. To edit the workflow simply open it in Apple's Automator.app.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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Presentation Utilities

When giving presentations and software demo's there are a few utilities I use on a regular basis which make the task easier for me and clearer to the audience. Here's a quick breakdown of what they are and where to find them.




XTNL URL MousePose: An essential tool for doing product demo's or presentations -- hilight your mouse location to make it easy for folks to follow! Boinx has also expanded the utility to include the ability to display the current key being pressed on screen; a very handy feature if the application you're demonstrating uses modifier keys to enable certain features.

XTNL URL Salling Clicker: Control your Keynote or PowerPoint presentation with a bluetooth cell phone (mac or windows). You can control other cool stuff on your mac too including iPhoto, iDvd, or even the location of the mouse on the screen. This is a great hands free controller that makes use of your existing hardware and is not line of sight.

[inline:SallingClickerPref.jpg]

OS? X system feature to Zoom In on the fly: A great way to make it clear to viewers just what you want them to look at on screen by zooming into the specific spot. This is a great feature by itself but works even better in conjunction with MousePose.

To Enable System level zooming, do this:

  1. open System Preferences > Universal Access > Seeing tab: turn ZOOM on

To use System level zooming, do this:

  1. press Command + Option + = to zoom in to any spot on your screen. Move your mouse and the zoom area changes to match the new location.
  2. press Command + Option + - to zoom out

Here's a screen shot that shows the MousePose Effect and where to click to turn on system level zooming:

[inline:SystemZoomer.jpg]

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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Seeing my list of Blind Carbon Copy Recipients in Mail.app

Question

Using Apple's Mail.app, when I send a message to a long list of recipients, I use the BCC? (Blind Carbon Copy) option. After I've sent the message, is there any way to know who I BCC'd the message to?

Requirements

Mac OS? X and Apple's Mail.app
Recommended: Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.8 or newer) , Mail.app 2.1.1 or newer



Background

Using the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) field can be a great way to send a message to a group of people while still maintaining their respective privacy. For example you might want to send out a message to a group of family and friends, but you want to maintain the privacy of their respective email addresses.

The problem is, after you've sent the message, it can be helpful to know who or which address you may have sent the message to. By default, when you open the Sent message in Apple's Mail.app, the list of BCC recipients is hidden.

What To Do

Fortunately, Apple made it very easy to see the list of BCC recipients, just do this:

  1. Open the Sent message from your Sent Messages mailbox
  2. Choose View menu > Messages > Long Headers (or press Shift + Cmd + H)
  3. The full message headers are displayed which include any BCC addresses you have sent this to

Note: You are only able to display the BCC people you send messages to. If you were sent a message in which you were one of the BCC recipients, showing Long Headers does not show you a list of all BCC recipients; the privacy of those addresses are maintained.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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Setting up Virtual Printers for Big Page Sizes

Question

I don't own a large format printer but I'd like to make PDF? and Postscript files for big page sizes then print them at my local printing service bureau. How do I do that?

Requirements

Mac OS? X any application which let's you create large format graphics



Background

A virtual printer is what you want which, in essence, fakes out your macintosh to think it has the larger format printer connected. In POX days (Pre OS X) you used an application called Desktop Printer Utility (free from Apple) to make the special printer. Well, in OS X it's pretty much the same thing only we us an application called Print Center.

It's important to remember that when you create your virtual printer, you'll be be setting it up to think it is a specific make/model/brand of printer. As such, it's well worth a phone call to your local printing service to determine the following facts in advance:

  1. what brand of printer (HP, Epson, other?)
  2. what model number (e.g. HP2500, HP5000ps, other?)
  3. does it support Postscript?
  4. can your service bureau print PDF files? (they certainly should, if not, keep looking)

Why is it important to know the specific make and model number?
Well, each printer has a specific printable area (or hard clipping limit in geek speak). For example, an 8.5x11 page on Printer A might allow you to print 8.25 x 10.5 inches while Printer B might allow a printable area of 8.5 x 11.75 inches. Since we want our stuff to actually fit on the page, we need to know what type of printer (make and model) we will be printing to.

What to do

We'll use a simple example of wanting to print a photograph or drawing at Kinko's copies (free advertising for Kinko's but it's a good common example). We called Kinko's and found out they have an HP2500 and it's a Postscript printer.

We need to make a virtual printer so we can tell our application to use the 24x36 sheet size for the HP2500 which we know will have a hard clipping limit (printable area) less than 24x36 since the printer needs to hold the paper and pull it through the rollers, etc.

To create the Virtual Printer that supports a big sheet size, do this:
quicktime Click here to see a demo movie (520KB) which shows this multistage process in action. (Need Movie Help?)

Use Print Center to make the Virtual Printer

  1. Launch Print Center (StartupDisk/Applications/Utilities/Print Center)
  2. Press the Add icon and a setup sheet will appear
  3. Choose IP Printing from the pop down menu
  4. in the Printers Address field type localhost
  5. from the Printer Model pop down menu choose HP (or the printer model you need)
  6. from the Model Name pane choose the desired printer model . In our example it's an HP2500.
  7. Press the Add button
  8. A new entry is made in your Printer List window which looks like this:
  9. [inline:PrintCenter001.jpg]

Stage Two: Renaming the printer
This stage is optional but seems to make sense since it's unlikely we'll remember what type of printer localhost is a day or two from now.

  1. Click once on the localhost printer entry
  2. Choose Printers menu -> Show Info
  3. Choose Name & Location from the pop down list at the top of the sheet
  4. In the Printer Name field, change the name to something useful (we recommend something that reflects the printer name such as HP2500 in our example)
  5. in the Location field type localhost
  6. press the Apply Changes button
  7. Your results should look something like this:
  8. [inline:PrintCenter002.jpg]

Summary

Now that you're finished, you can use this new virtual printer as if it was connected to your computer. Just remember when you're printing to pick this printer from the Printer pop down menu. And don't forget to choose to save the file as a Postscript or PDF using the Output Options pop down menu (other wise you'll be waiting an awfully long time for your computer to somehow try and find the specified printer, or perhaps it can grow one?)

If all of the above steps seem rather long, don't forget it only take a few minutes to setup and you're away to the races. The beauty of this technique is you change the Virtual Printer to be anything you like, a HP2500 today, an HP5000ps tomorrow or an Epson the week after that.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Taking Screen Shots in Mac OS X

Question

How do I take a screen shot of what I see on screen so I can attach it to an email message?

Requirements

Any Application, Mac OSX and an email client like Apple's Mail.app



Background

There are often times when it's necessary to send all or part of a drawing or something else see on screen as an email attachment to a client or consultant or prospective client. In some instances the entire drawing screen needs to be sent while other times only selected portions of the drawing should be sent. Fortunately Apple's Mac OS X has features which make it easy to do just that!

Related Information
You can also use Apple's PDF? Services and PDF Work flow to email content as a PDF file simply by using the Print... command. Read this caddpower.com article for more on PDF Services and read this caddpower.com article for an example on how it can be used to email part of a drawing.

What To Do

In this article we'll discuss the different methods available natively in Mac OS X for capturing images on your screen and how to send the information as an email attachment (meaning you don't have to buy anything extra). We'll also throw in a suggestion to use a third party utility like SnapZproX which, while it's not free, has some great additional uses which make it well worth considering. Which method is right for you will depend on the particular circumstances; we've used them all over the years. Here are the various methods we use, in no particular order:


Method: Perform a Screen Shot and save to your hard disk or the Clipboard?

Apple has historically provided methods of capturing a picture of your screen (often called a screen shot or screen capture) which can be a fast and easy way to create content to be used as an email attachment.

Screen shot to Clipboard - Do This:

  1. Open the PowerCADD Drawing and navigate to the area you'd like to send
  2. Press Shift+Control+Command+4 (yah, that's a lot of keys to press and you might need two hands)
  3. The cursor changes: click and drag to specify the area you want to capture and send
  4. After you hear the camera shutter click, the selected area is saved to the Mac OS X Clipboard
  5. Create a new message in your email client program (e.g. Apple's Mail.app)
  6. Click in the body of the message window and choose Edit menu > Paste
  7. The content of the clipboard (the image area selected in step 3) is pasted into the message window (example:pastedGraphic.tif)
  8. Complete your email message and send it

While this screen shot to clipboard method is very convenient, one of the draw backs include not being able to rename the file attachment; do you want the recipient to see a generic file name? There is also no direct method of specifying the type of file format used to capture the image (*.TIF, *.JPEG, *.PDF, etc.) which can be an inconvenience if the recipient can only open JPEG files; while most modern operating systems can handle the *.TIF files, in addition to the larger file size, it's a potential problem you should be aware of.

If you have changed the default file format for screen captures (as described below), it's possible the item pasted will be *.PDF or *.JPG? in which case the file is fine to be sent as a cross platform attachment.

Other Screen Shot Methods
Here is a list of Apple short cut key commands you can press to capture a screen shot. Any screen shot saved (captured) to your hard disk can be renamed in the Finder and simply attached to your email message.

  • Shift+Command+3: Captures the entire screen and saves a file to your computer desktop
  • Shift+Command+Control+3: Captures the entire screen and copies the content to the computer clipboard
  • Shift+Command+4: Captures the area defined by dragging a marquee on screen and saves a file to your computer desktop
  • Shift+Command+Control+4: Captures the area defined by dragging and copies the content to the computer clipboard
  • Shift+Command+4 then Spacebar: Capture a window, menu, or menu bar and saves a file to your computer desktop
  • Shift+Command+Control+4 then Spacebar: Capture a window, menu, or menu bar and saves a file to your computer clipboard

When saved to your desktop, the files are typically saved as *.PNG? (Portable Network Graphics file) files with a file name of Picture1.PNG; each subsequent screen shot will have a sequential number (Picture2.PNG etc.). Prior to Mac OS X Tiger (10.4) the default file format for screen shots was *.PDF. In Tiger the file format changed to *.PNG. While the *.PNG was intended to replace *.GIF as a cross platform file format, it can have problems being viewed on older Microsoft and legacy Mac OS X (e.g. OS 9) operating systems. For that reason we recommend changing the default file format used when taking a screen capture to *.PDF, *.JPG, or *.TIF, all of which are know to be solid cross platform performers and which can be opened by older operating systems.

To Change the Default Screen Shot File? format used by Mac OS X, do this:
While you can probably find some third party shareware or freeware utilities to change the file format used when saving a screen shot, we find this simple Mac OS X / Unix command line fix to the be quickest and easiest. If you're new to Unix and the command line interface, don't panic! It's very easy and you truly can't do any serious harm:

  1. Choose Applications Folder > Utilities Folder and double click on Terminal.app
  2. The Mac OS X Unix Terminal application will launch, immediately to the right of the command line prompt $ sign type
  3. defaults write com.apple.screencapture type pdf
    • Hint: You can simply copy/paste the above line if you prefer but if typed it much match exactly, including spaces
    • Hint: pdf is simply the preferred file format type in the example above. You could type jpg to create a jpeg file instead of a PDF, or tif, or png to create files in those specific file formats
  4. Quit Terminal and Log Out and Log In of Mac OS X again (or Restart) for the change to take effect

[inline:TerminalScreenShotPref2.jpg]

You can also use an application like CockTail XTNL URL or other third party shareware and freeware applications to make the above noted change.


Method: Use Grab to capture a screen image and save it to disk

Since Mac OS X was released, Apple has included a free utility application called Grab which allows you to capture any part of your screen. The screen capture is opened in Grab where you can then save the file to your hard drive; that file can then be attached to an email message.

Do This:

  1. Open the PowerCADD Drawing and navigate to the area you'd like to send
  2. From the Finder choose Applications > Utilities > Grab and double click Grab to launch that application
  3. From Grab choose Capture menu > Selection
  4. Press Option + Tab to navigate between the open applications until you arrive in you PowerCADD Drawing
  5. Press and Drag the cursor to select the area you'd like to capture
  6. The captured area is opened in Grab
  7. Choose File Menu > Save As... to save the file to your hard disk

[inline:GrabScreenShot.jpg]

Now simply create a new email message and attach your saved file from step (7) above to that message. Note that the files saved from Grab are in *.TIFF (or *.TIF) format. TIFF files are typically a larger file size that JPEG and might be too large to use an email attachment (that will depend on the limits set by your Internet Service Provider or Systems Administrator). To convert the *.TIF file to another format, open the saved file in step (7) in Apple's Preview.app and use File menu > Save As... to save the file in the desired format such as JPEG.

Generally we don't use Grab as it requires some extra steps which we like to avoid but there are times when it's a helpful fall back to other techniques so it's worth having in your bag of tricks. For example, standard Mac OS X Screen Captures do not include the cursor; using Grab you can specify no cursor or different cursor types (choose Grab menu > Preferences...).


Method: Use SnapZProX to capture a screen image

SnapZProX XTNL URL is a third party shareware application that costs between US$30 and US$70 depending on which version you purchase. While this applications isn't free, it provides so many great options that we can't help but mention it here; the cost is easily worth it over the long haul and the developer has an excellent reputation of keeping the product current (as of this writing the software is not Mac Intel Native but development is in progress){the Mac Intel native version is available and works great!}.

Do this to perform a screen capture and save it directly to a new email message:

  1. Open the PowerCADD Drawing and navigate to the area you'd like to send
  2. Press Shift+Command+3 (or the custom key command sequence you might have applied in the SnapZpro Preferences
  3. From Capture Options choose Send To Email
  4. Press and Drag the cursor to select the area you'd like to capture and press Return
  5. A new email message window is opened and the capture area is inserted into the message body
  6. Compose your message and send it

[inline:SnapZEmail.jpg]

One of the reasons we like SnapZPro so much is the ease with which you can specify different options for capturing the image. For example you can choose to specify a name for the file before it's attached to the email message. You can also choose different drop shadow effects, watermarks, file types (jpg, tif, psd, pdf, etc.), or whether or not to show the cursor in addition to the various file formats which are only a pop-up menu away. All in all we feel this utility is worth having in the tool box and can't recommend it highly enough.

As you can see there are a lot of ways to get the job done; just pick one that works for you and go for it!

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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Version of PDF used by OS X



Background

Not all versions of Adobe Acrobat PDF? are created equal which is no surprise; after all that's what version upgrades are all about. It's also of no surprise that Apple would not be using the latest version of Adobe's PDF Format; after all, why would Adobe give away the crown jewels to Apple or anyone else.

Here's a breakdown of which version of PDF Apple uses for various releases of Mac OS? X:

  • Mac OS X Jaguar (10.2.x) = Adobe PDF version 1.2 = Acrobat version 3.x
  • Mac OS X Panther (10.3.9) = Adobe PDF version 1.3 = Acrobat version 4.x
  • Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.1) = Adobe PDF version 1.3 = Acrobat version 4.x

Contrast that to the options you have available when using Adobe Distiller (part of Adobe Acrobat, but not included with Acrobat Reader) When choosing the Adobe PDF Virtual Printer from the Print Settings dialog box you're actually handing off the print job to Acrobat Distiller which lets you specify which version of Adobe Acrobat you'd like to use (among many other helpful options):

Adobe Distiller version 6 = PDF version 1.2 through 1.5 = Acrobat version 3 through Acrobat version 6

Why is this important?

Well, not all versions of PDF support the same features so knowng which version of the Mac OS you're using could easily explain why certain effects (for example Transparency? or Gradients) aren't print correctly when using the internal Save As... PDF option from Apple. For example, Mac OS X Jaguar (PDF v1.2) had no support for Gradient fills (error in shading dictionary, see our related article here ). Bottom line is it's important to know just what your getting when choosing Print -> Save As PDF... and using Apple's built in PDF feature.

Is Apple's implementation taking into account backwards compatibility? Maybe, but the more likely situation is Adobe would not want Apple to be using the latest and greatest version in their OS as it would reduce the need for Adobe's product. As Adobe moves forward to Acrobat 7 (the current release), it's possible future versions of Mac OS X Tiger might start to support a more current release than PDF v1.3 but time will tell.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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Viewing DWF Files in Mac OS X

Question

What is a DWF file and how can I view it in Mac OS? X?

Requirements

Any version of Mac OS X (v10.4.8 or newer recommended) and FireFox (v2.0 or newer recommended)



Background

AutoDESK (authors of AutoCAD) came up with the idea of DWF (Design Web Format) files as an easy way for folks to view and markup drawings without needing to own AutoCAD. Rather, users could use any of the free AutoDESK DWF viewers or those from third parties. While we won't get into the specifics of DWF here, please feel free to read AutoDESK's white paper on the subject XTNL URL

While AutoDESK announced support for a Mac OS X Native DWF viewer in 2003 (read the AutoDESK press release XTNL URL ), and despite heated debate in their own forums for quite some time (AutoCAD forum threads here XTNL URL and here XTNL URL ), the product is still vaporware. The threads linked earlier are an interesting read and while we take exception to many of the comments made regarding Mac's not being mainstream in the business world AutoDESK does provide some interesting spin which could hold water from a technical aspect as to why the promised viewer has yet to materialize (the jury is still out in our minds as to the validity of the claimed delays).

All our investigation into the subject thus far has yet to yield a Mac OS X DWF viewer application but if you find one please post a comment on this thread or drop us an email. However -- all is not lost for reading a DWF on the Mac -- read on Smile

What To Do

The internet and Javascript come to the rescue in allowing DWF files to be viewed in a browser window! While the solution isn't perfect, we tip our hats to the guys at AutoDESK Labs and anyone else who has put efforts towards Project Freewheel.

As of this writing, version 2.04 of Safari in Mac OS X 10.4.8 with the Java update of February 18, 2007 (Intel Mac's) will not work with the steps noted below. There is an error when clicking on the Folder icon described above and the url / file path cannot be uploaded to the server. Pity but at least FireFox is a free download XTNL URL Cool

To view a DWF file in Mac OS X, do this:

  1. Launch the FireFox web browser (version 2.Innocent (click here to get FireFox XTNL URL )
  2. Visit the Project Freewheel web page at http://dwfit.com/
  3. Click on the Folder Icon and press Browse
  4. Navigate to the *.DWFClick to read AutoDESKs DWF White Paper">? on your local hard drive. Select the file and press Open
  5. Press Submit
  6. Result: The file is uploaded to the Project Freewheel webpage and is displayed in your browser window

Hint: You can use the Printer Icon in the Viewer Window to Print the DWF file to PDF? Cool . Saving/Printing the PDF file to your local hard drive will allow you to view the file offline. While the resolution of the PDF file isn't as good as the DWF (it's printing a preview image from the viewer window) it might be sufficient in some cases. The Viewer Window does allow panning and zooming so you can explore the DWF file in detail online.

Note: It's possible that the Project Freeware solution also works with other browsers in Mac OS X besides Firefox but we simply haven't had an opportunity to try them all. If you use a different browser and the solution works, please post a comment below with the browser name and version number along with what version of Mac OS X you're running. ~ Thanks in Advance.

Suffice it to say we're not big fans of DWF files for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the lack of a DWF viewer for Mac OS X. However, given DWF files are created by AutoCAD, we think that using DWG? is the logical approach since that's the native format used to generate the DWF content. In most cases, for consultant coordination, the DWG file is what's required anyway so going through the extra steps of saving as DWF just doesn't seem to make sense in the long run. Furthermore, while AutoDESK makes several arguments about how DWF is better than Adobe Acrobat PDF format (we're still evaluating that content but thus far we find it hard to swallow), we see little reason for not using PDF as it is a proven cross platform file format with viewers on all platforms. The PDF format also permits comments to be added to the files, which while less robust that DWF in some respects, still gets the job done. While PDF should be (and is on a Mac) as easy printing in most cases, many AutoCAD users have complained about having to pay the extra costs for Adobe Acrobat Pro (a small price to pay compared to the huge $'s for AutoCAD) and they note AutoDESK has crippled PDF output to a certain degree in products like Revit. The latter is an overt move by AutoDesk to push DWF as a PDF replacement but time will tell in how the two compete -- thus far PDF or DWG seems to be the file format of choice for most users (related link XTNL URL ).

While the online work around isn't perfect, at least it's glimmer of light in the dark tunnel that is viewing DWF in Mac OS X and we hope it helps.

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Viewing IES (*.ies) files in Mac OS X

Question

What is an IES file and how can I view it in Mac OS? X?

Requirements

Any version of Mac OS X (v10.6.4 or newer recommended) and a web browser (Safari 5.x or newer recommended)



Background

The Illuminating Engineering Society XTNL URL created a standard set of rules to describe the photometric properties of a specific light fixture (luminaire). The data set containing the photometric description is created in lighting design software and saved as an *.ies? file that includes the light distribution patterns, foot candle plots, and luminaire efficiency among many other attributes. Click here INTL URL to see an example of what these text based files look like.

Virtually all lighting manufacturers offer *.ies files for their luminaires which provides a technical baseline to compare fixtures from the same, or different, manufacturers. While numerous applications exist for the Windows operating system to view the content of an *.ies file, we have yet to find one that runs in Mac OS X.

What To Do

The internet comes to the rescue in allowing *.IES files to be viewed in a browser window! While the solution isn't perfect, we tip our hats to the guys at Visual-3d XTNL URL for posting a web based application that displays the *.IES file content.

To view a *.IES file in Mac OS X, do this:

  1. Launch your web browser of choice (e.g. Safari 5.x)
  2. Visit the online IES file viewer page at http://www.visual-3d.com/Tools/PhotometricViewer/ XTNL URL
  3. Follow the on screen instructions to Open your *.ies file.
  4. The photometric data is displayed in your web browser window

Example Data:
To see an example of what ICS data looks like using the online view noted above, click here XTNL URL

If you'd like to see the graphic version of the sample text based ICS data we provided a link to above, do this:

  1. click here to download a sample ics file from our website INTL URL
  2. A file named CR6.zip is downloaded to your computer (typically to your downloads folder unless you have specified another location). Double click that downloaded file to extract it's contents to a file named CR6.ies.
  3. Visit the online IES file viewer by clicking here XTNL URL
  4. In the IES File? View web page click the open link.
  5. In the Open Photometric Report dialog (pictured below) click choose file (note: the button may read browse in some browsers).
  6. [inline:OpenPhotometricReport.jpg]

  7. Locate the file from step 2 noted above and press open in the dialog box (in some cases the button may read choose, or ok, instead of open).
  8. You'll be returned to the browser window as shown in step 5 above. Press Ok.
  9. The photometric data is displayed in the browser window. A portion of that report is pictured below
  10. [inline:OpenPhotometricReport2.jpg]

While the online work around isn't perfect, at least it's a glimmer of light in the dark tunnel that is viewing IES files in Mac OS X and we hope it helps.

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Viewing PDF files in Safari with OS X Tiger

Question

In versions of Safari running in Mac OS? X prior to Tiger, clicking on a PDF? file link would open it the my preferred PDF viewing application. Now, in Safari running Tiger, the same PDF link opens in Safari. How do I get the file to open in my application of choice instead?

Requirements

Mac OS X Tiger version 10.4 (version 10.4.4 or newer recommended)
Safari version 2 (version 2.0.3 ( 417.8 ) or newer recommended)



Background

Apple changed a few things as noted here XTNL URL when they released Safari updates for Mac OS X Tiger. In previous versions, clicking on a PDF link in a web page always launched your application of choice (for example Preview.app or Adobe Acrobat Reader). In the most recent versions of Safari, the PDF is automatically loaded in the Safari Browser window. Alternatively, if you had installed the AdobePDFViewer.plugin (for example, as part of installing the Netscape web browser), PDFs will also open in Safari with an extra control strip at the top of the screen.

What To Do

There are a few options available to help remedy the situation.

Option 1: Download the linked file
When you see a link to a PDF file in a web page, you have two choices. First, simply click the link; that typically will load the PDF file into your Safari window. Second, do this to download the linked file instead:

  1. Press Control and click on the PDF link in the webpage (or right-click if you have a multi-button mouse)
  2. Choose Download Linked File? from the Contextual Menu
  3. the file is downloaded to your hard drive. Now you can double click the downloaded file to open it in your PDF viewing application of choice

Option 2: Send the file to Preview after it opens in Safari
If you have already opened the PDF file in your Safari browser window, you can still send the file to your preferred PDF viewing application by doing this:

  1. Press Control and click on the PDF file being displayed in the Safari window (or right-click if you have a multi-button mouse)
  2. Choose Open File with Preview.app from the Contextual Menu. Note, the application name listed will vary depending on how you have setup your system. For example, if you have told Mac OS X to always open PDF files in Adobe Acrobat Reader, then the contextual menu would read Open File with Acrobat Reader 7.0.5.app or something similar
  3. [inline:SafariPDF_02.jpg]

  4. the PDF file will open in the specified application. Depending on the access privelages of the PDF file and the features of your PDF viewing application, you may be able to save the file to your hard drive, print, or edit it's contents.

Option 3: A PDF Viewer plug-in is installed at the Mac OS X level
In some cases, you might have a PDF viewing plug-in installed which automatically displays the PDF file in the browser window with some additional control options. The PDF viewing plug-in isn't installed included with typical Mac OS X installations. However, one situation where you may have unknowing installed the plug-in is if you downloaded and installed the Netscape browser.

In that situation, you choice is similar to option one, do this:

  1. when the PDF file is open in the Safari browser window, click on the Save to Disk Icon
  2. [inline:SafariPDF_04.jpg]

  3. choose a location on your hard drive to save the file to and click Save
  4. the file is downloaded and saved to your hard drive. Now you can double click the downloaded file to open it in your PDF viewing application of choice

To manually check if you have a PDF viewing plug-in installed, do this:

  1. Open the following folder: startup disk/Library/Internet Plug-Ins
  2. Look for a file named AdobePDFViewer.plugin
  3. To uninstall the plug-in, simply drag AdobePDFViewer.plugin out of the folder noted in (1)
  4. The next time you launch Safari the plug-in will not be loaded

If you think the AdobePDFViewer.plugin is a pretty neat feature that you'd like to have, but you don't want to download and install the Netscape browser, do this:

  1. [inline:AdobePDFViewer.plugin.zip] as a zipped archive (96KB) to your hard drive
  2. double click the file named AdobePDFViewer.plugin.zip downloaded in step (1) to extract it
  3. Quit Safari
  4. drag the file named AdobePDFViewer.plugin (extracted in step (2)) into the following folder: startup disk/Library/Internet Plug-Ins
  5. the next time you launch Safari and click on a PDF link, you'll see the controls noted in screen shot shown above

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Working with Fonts in OS X

Topic

Mac OS? X has pre-installed fonts and allows users to install new fonts in various locations throughout the operating system. Even Classic (Mac OS 9) fonts can be accessed from within Mac OS X which can add another level of confusion and problems when dealing with legacy fonts. In some instances, applications may crash when accessing the font menu if a bad font is encountered or other font conflict exists.

Requirements

Minimum: Mac OS X (any version)
Recommended: Mac OS X Tiger or newer



Discussion

The first step to understanding Mac OS X fonts is to know where they are installed in Mac OS X. The potential range of problems and solutions to font problems is as vast as the number of fonts out there which you might be using. Rather than reinventing the wheel here, we feel it's more practical to provide you with a summary of some of the articles we've reviewed on the subject of Fonts in Mac OS X. Depending on the nature of your problem, those articles will likely shed light on the cause and possible solution -- if they don't , well consider the research time well spent in increasing your knowledge base and understanding of how fonts work in Mac OS X!

Updated: May 27, 2004: Apple has provided this online tutorial on Managing Fonts in Mac OS X Panther - the tutorial includes both text and quicktime movies and covers the basics of font management in Mac OS X. Some of the articles linked below cover details also addressed in this tutorial.

Apple Knowledge Base and Website Articles:

Visiting Apple's Knowledge base and performing a search for mac os x fonts will also produce many other links which may be useful but the above links are a great place to start.

Other websites dealing with Fonts in Mac OS X:

What to do:

Having Crashing Problems?

Every application keeps a crash log which is located here: UserDomain/Library/CrashReporter. Within the CrashReporter folder is a list of every crash log for every application. Simply double click a crash log file (e.g. Finder.crash.log) and it will open the Console Application. It can also be helpful to send the crash log to the technical support staff of the particular application you're having problems with.

If you are having problems with an application crashing when accessing the font menu, you may have a bad or duplicate font or other font conflict. To determine if the crash is font related check the applications crash log and look for words or descriptions such as 'kerning' , 'glyph', 'font', 'text', and so on. Any reference to a font related term could be an indication you have a bad font or other font conflict.

Font Management Tools:
If you're having crashing problems as described above, or are looking for tools to help you manage the huge number of fonts you may have in Mac OS X, here are few suggestions:

  • Font Book XTNL URL is an application included with Mac OS X Panther (10.3) or newer. You can use Font Book to manage fonts, remove and add fonts as well as show you where a particular font is stored. Font Book can also display a specific font location in the Finder which can be helpful to move fonts and to understand the font filing structure of Mac OS X. If you suspect a font might be causing a problem, remove the suspect font from an active location and try launching the application again.
  • Font Doctor XTNL URL Is a great tool for diagnosing font problems such as Font ID Conflicts or other hard to find font problems which can be causing problems with an application.
  • SuitCase XTNL URL Extensis makes a great font management tool and also has features for repairing various font problems.
  • Font Agent Pro XTNL URL From Insider Software, this is another font management and repair utility for Mac OS X.
  • We hope that helps
    caddpower.com

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    If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Mac OS X dot.mac

Using Apple's Dot.Mac? system

Before there was Dot.Mac XTNL URL, there was Apple iTools XTNL URL for Mac OS? 9 (which was re-branded Dot.Mac) and before that there was eWorld XTNL URL (that goes back to 1994; 'true' überGeeks will want this eWorld book XTNL URL still available through Amazon - a scary thought!)

(for trip in the way back machine also check out Apple's Cyberdog XTNL URL technology) Cool

Yup, we've used them all Smile but so much for history... you're hear looking for information on Apple's Dot.Mac service and we're building a collection of helpful articles to get you on your way. There is a LOT you can do with a Dot.Mac account besides just sharing pictures with the family and we'll continue to add little gems on the service here.

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Apple Changing to WebDAV only

Heads Up

This is a big one folks! Apple has openly stated they are phasing out AFP? access to iDisk?. This is a big deal for Dot.Mac? users running in Mac OS? 9 as OS 9 ONLY has AFP access built-in. This change does not affect Mac OS X users which use WebDAV? protocol for iDisk connections already.



Description

In an open article to Dot.Mac users, Apple has publicly stated they are phasing out AFP access to iDisk. AFP is the Mac OS 9 native method of connecting to remote / networked volumes such as a file server or shared disk on a local area network. AFP is/was also available as a connection method to your dot mac iDisk. This change will also affect users who wanted to connect to your Public Folder using Mac OS 9 so plan ahead!

Time Line and Options

Read Only Access - December 02, 2003
AFP Access to your iDisk or other Dot.Mac member public folders will be read-only (remember a public folder can have read/write access if the .Mac account member so chooses). On December 02, 2003 you will be able to read information from your iDisk or a members Public Folder but you will not be able to write information to your iDisk or a members Public Folder

No AFP Access at all - January 20, 2004
On January 20th , 2004 access will be by WebDAV only. Your Dot.Mac account will be active but you won't have any access to it. Not a good thing.

What to Do

Mac OS X (Jaguar or Panther or newer) users don't need to worry about this change over at all, WebDAV is an integral component to Mac OS X already- we're lucky - we do nothing (which may be an unfair generalized social statement as to your mind set)

Mac OS 9 users have a few options

  1. upgrade to Mac OS X:
    • Clearly this would be apple's desire but may not be practical for a variety of reasons.
  2. Use Goliath XTNL URL
    • Goliath is a free application which will permit you to connect and fully administer your iDisk under Mac OS 9 and it has been specifically tested to work with iDisk (it specifically lists 'iDisk' in it's File? Menu). In fact Goliath works all the way back to Mac OS 8.1 but that doesn't seem an issue since .mac access was only available to Mac OS 9 users. Still, folks running legacy OS 8.1 systems may want to check out Goliath and see if they can use it to connect to their friends/family or business associates .mac public folders.
  3. Discontinue your dot mac account:
    • Not a pretty option but it might be your only choice if you refuse to install Goliath or another WebDAV client.

    If you'd like to learn more about WedDAV or Goliath visit this link for Goliath XTNL URL or visit the WebDAV Resources website XTNL URL which has a whole host of great information as does their list of FAQ's XTNL URL

    We hope that helps
    caddpower.com

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Apple Posts a Quick Start Guide

Topic:

Apple has posted a quick start guide on using the dot.mac suite of services which is available for download.

Discussion:

Apple's PDF? file on Getting Started using the dot.mac suite of services may be downloaded from their .Mac Learning Center XTNL URL The .Mac Learning Center also contains other links to useful help information.

The booklet is clearly targeted at new comers to the dot.mac suite of services as it merely provides a general overview without getting to the details of some important features. For example the booklet describes how to connect to our iDisk? using a mac but doesn't cover information on to connect from a Windows. While the connecting to an iDisk from Windows is covered in various help files, it would have been useful for Apple to include an overview in the booklet verses point people to the online help files which contains readily available information that could have easily been included.

As a first cut, the booklet is worth having if you're a new comer to the Dot.Mac? suite of services but long time users will be disappointed if they're looking for details on various subjects. We're looking forward to seeing how Apple develops this handy little resource in the future.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Folder & File Naming Standards

Question:

I’m having some problems linking to files and web sites on my dot mac iDisk?. Sometimes the links I make work fine, sometimes they don’t. Any idea what might be causing the problem?

Requirements:

Mac OS? X (10.2.8 or newer recommended) and a valid dot mac account

Background:

Welcome to Unix. The rules for naming files and folders are a bit different than they are on your local Macintosh Desktop , be it OS 9 or OS X. While we’re all familiar with naming files on our Macintosh, we need to remember the dot mac iDisk is UNIX based and relies on http and WebDAV? to delivery content and resolve path names. File? naming tricks and short cuts we get away with on our own Macintosh or internal network cause real problems when dealing with iDisk and internet paths.

Everything on the internet is located based on it’s path name. A path name is, in general terms, the address of a particular item. Just as each house on your block has a unique address so people can find it, so too do items you place on your iDisk. The secret is knowing the path name and a few simple naming rules.

The single largest cause of the problem you’re describing is related to an error with the File or Folder Name which describes the path to your file or web site on the internet. The problem usually stems from having spaces in file names or using the wrong case (e.g. Using UPPER case when a name was lower case or a combination thereof).

What To Do:

Here are some key things to remember to help minimize File and Folder Naming errors which result in broken links and errors when working with data on your iDisk.

Case Sensitivity:
All file and folder names are case sensitive in UNIX and as such so are files and folders on your iDisk. Examples: bob, BOB, Bob, BOb, boB, bOb, bOB, are all unique names. Just imagine how many possible combinations there for a word like “Mississippi”and you quickly understand why our following tips become so important.

Special Characters:
Thankfully you should avoid using any special characters in your file and folder names (the case sensitive variations are plenty). In general a special character is something like the & sign, colons :, semi-colons ; , bullets , and so on. Rather than listing all the possibilities, just review our recommended naming conventions for do’s and don’ts, life will be simpler.

Recommended Naming Conventions:
Here’s a simple list of Do’s and Don’ts for naming files and our recommended naming system to keep life simple.

Don’t use empty spaces in File or Folder Names. An empty space on the internet net is delivered as %20. Imagine how hard it is to remember that and get it right ! My File Name would be My%20File%20Name (and we all thought DOS was hard - hah).

Do use a combination of UpperAndLowerCase in long File and Folder Names. This makes it easier to read and reduces the chances of making a case sensitive naming error

Do use the underscore _ character in stead of a space. This will ensure you avoid the dreaded %20 problem noted earlier and makes File Names easier to read. This_Would_Be_An_Example

Do use numbers in your file names, particularly for file prefixes and use them in conjunction with the underscore. Examples: 01_MyFirstFolder, 02_MySecondFolder. Notice the use of a leading ‘zero’ before numbers 1 and 2. This is important because in list view file names are sorted in ASCII? order. That means 10_MyFolderName would be above 1_MyFolderName which just doesn’t make sense. Using the leading zero means you’ll see things in the right order if you have 10 or more items. Trust us, this is a big deal.

Do remember to include a three letter suffix for file names. Example MyFile.jpg or MyFile.gif or MyFile.sit (and don’t forget the ‘dot’ before the suffix)

Hopefully this gives you a general overview of tips to follow and avoid some common traps when working with your iDisk.

We hope that helps
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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Linking to files on your iDisk

Question:

I have a dot mac account with Apple. I have copied stuff onto my iDisk? with no problem but I can’t figure out how to make the link. How do I link to files I put on my iDisk (like jpegs or Stuffit archives) in email messages and in on-line forums like Ebay?

Requirements:

Mac OS? X (10.2.x or newer recommended) and a valid dot mac account





Background:

All data posted on your iDisk has an absolute path or URL? which describes it’s place on the internet. Depending on which folder the information is in, the path is different. There are some minor UNIX related nuances which come into play including the fact File? and Folder Names are case sensitive.

I general, you can put files into folders or sub-folders you create anywhere on your iDisk. However, there some folders which are off limits:

  • the Root Level / first level of the iDisk
  • Software Folder (or any sub-folder therein)
  • Backup Folder (reserved for use by the dot mac backup software)

If you try to put something in any of those places you’ll see an error dialog and the operation will fail.

The Documents Folder is the other unique condition in that you cannot link directly to content inside it. Since the Documents folder contains personal information not intended for public distribution, the information can ONLY be accessed by using the Master DotMacID and password and mounting the iDisk on your Desktop.

What to do:

We’ll give you an example for putting a file in ever folder on your dot.mac iDisk and for a file inside a nested folder. Remember to read the recommended paths carefully, there are nuances which can be easily missed.

Conventions, when we say:

  • DotMacID - we mean your dot mac user name, it’s always lower case
  • FileName.jpg - we mean any file with an appropriate suffix
  • FolderName - we mean a sub-folder you may have created on your iDisk inside one of the standard folders
  • Case Sensitive - don’t forget file and folder names are case sensitive (example: BOB is NOT the same as Bob, BOb, bob, or boB)

Note: In most cases there is a dot before an iDisk folder name (example: Before the 'P’ in Public or 'M' in Movies), it’s a UNIX thing to specify a directory change applying to all folders EXCEPT the Sites folder. That is, the 'dot' before the folder name (e.g. .Public) tells unix to look 'up' one directory from the Sites directory. That's why you need the 'dot' before folder (aka directory) names except for the Sites folder as described in detail below.

Movies Folder:
For a File loose inside the Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Movies/FileName.mov

For a File nested in a Sub Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Movies/FolderName/FileName.mov

Music Folder:
For a File loose inside the Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Music/FileName.mp3

For a File nested in a Sub Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Music/FolderName/FileName.mp3

Pictures Folder:
For a File loose inside the Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Pictures/FileName.jpg

For a File nested in a Sub Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Pictures/FolderName/FileName.jpg

Public Folder:
For a File loose inside the Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Public/FileName.jpg

For a File nested in a Sub Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Public/FolderName/FileName.jpg

Sites Folder:
This one is special, notice there is no need to include the name Sites or .Sites in the path name.

For a File loose inside the Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/FileName.jpg

For a File nested in a Sub Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/FolderName/FileName.jpg

With a little bit of planning, you can use these path naming conventions to link to any file, any where on your iDisk when sending an Email or linking to pictures or files on other web sites or on-line disucssion boards.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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mounted iDisks have a -1 (or larger number) suffix

Topic:

Sometimes when an iDisk? is mounted, the name as a -1 suffix. For example myidisk-1. This article discusses why that condition occurs.

Requirements:

A valid dot mac account and Mac OS? X or connecting to a dot mac members public folder

Discussion:

It's possible to have more than one simultaneous connection to an iDisk. In those instances, when the iDisk is mounted, it has a suffix appended to it , e.g. it reads myidisk-1 instead of myidisk. For example:

  • the first instance of an iDisk being mounted names the item myidisk
  • the second instance of the same iDisk being mounted names the item myidisk-1
  • the third instance of the same iDisk being mounted names the item myidisk-2

That pattern will repeat with a new number being appended for each simultaneous connection made to the same iDisk. In fact, this same pattern will occur if a Public Folder from an iDisk is mounted in more than one location at the same time.

There are a few situations where this type of condition might be seen:

Condition 1: Logged in from work and from home or from two different computers on the same network. For example, it's not unreasonable for someone to have logged on to their iDisk at the office and then forget to disconnect. When reconnecting from home they would see a -1 added to the end of the iDisk name when connected.

Condition 2: You share an iDisk with someone else either in the same house or across the country. For example, if my associate has our shared iDisk mounted in Canada and I mount the same iDisk in the United States, the first person to mount the iDisk see the original name (no suffix) and the second person sees the name with a -1 appended to the end.

Condition 3: A single computer with multiple user ID's. Given OS X is a multi user environment, it's also easy to recreate this condition locally. On computers with more than one log in/user id , the first person to mount the volume get's the real name, the 2nd user ID will see the realname-1 suffix. Mac OS X Panther in particular, with it's fast user switching scheme makes it so easy to have multiple users and switch between them it's easy to forget who is connected to the iDisk.

What to do:

Generally, there shouldn't be any problem working with the iDisk when you are the second user (i.e. you see myidisk-1 as a name). However, if you're experiencing odd behavior, it's worth making sure all other users have disconnected, then reconnect and try the procedure which was exhibiting the problem again.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Mac OS X iApps

Using Mac OS? X iApps

This chapter of our Mac OS X Learning Center contains hints, tips, techiques and hidden gems about using Apple Mac OS X only applications such as iPhoto, iLife and various other iApp's.

To get started, click a link below:

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iPhoto (or any iApp) Updating verses Upgrading

Question

When I try to update my old copy of iPhoto v2 to iPhoto v6 using the iPhoto 6 updater I get an error message: "...an eligible iPhoto application could not be found in /Applications". What does this mean and what am I doing wrong?

Requirements

Mac OS? X Tiger (10.4.7 or newer) , iPhoto 6.0 or newer, or any Apple iApp that's part of iLife



Background

The distinction between an upgrade and an update is what's causing the confusion. The problem is the same regardless of which iApp, that is part of iLife, you might be trying to update. We'll explain the process using iPhoto but the same principles apply to iWeb, Garageband, iMovie, iDvd and even to applications like Pages or Keynote.

The updater will only update versions of the iPhoto 6 application. That is, you cannot use the iPhoto 6.0.5 updater unless you have a version of iPhoto v6 already installed on your computer; that's why you're seeing the error message "...an eligible iPhoto application could not be found in /Applications". The Updater Application cannot be used to Upgrade older versions of iPhoto to the most recent version. For example you cannot use an updater application to upgrade iPhoto v5 to iPhoto v6. An update will update the current version with recent fixes and/or feature enhancements.

What To Do

To move forward from iPhoto 5 (or older versions) to iPhoto 6 requires an upgrade which is part of iLife '06. The move forward is a paid upgrade when buying iLife '06 or a free upgrade if you purchased a new Mac recently which would have iLife '06 already installed.

You can get the latest version of iLife from Apple online XTNL URL , from your local retail store, or various online retailers.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support by buying us coffee, lunch, or dinner. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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iPhoto / Pages : custom sized images for printing

Problem/Question:

I want to print two copies of the same photo on a single 8.5"x11"page and as large as possible. But iPhoto keeps pushing the photos together in the middle of the sheet with a huge white border. How can I move the pictures apart and make them as large as possible to fit the page?

Requirements

  • iPhoto 9.x (iLife '11) or newer, Pages 4.x (iWork '09) or newer, or a graphics or page layout program
  • Mac OS? X Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.x) or newer






Background

That's a great question and one that has a few options in how to get the desired result. While you're starting with the images in iPhoto, what becomes important is to consider just what iPhoto can and can't do, then decide if that works for your needs. If it doesn't then we need to look at how other applications can lend a helping hand. In the end it really is a matter of finding the right tool for the job. In this article we'll address two common options to address the problem.

What To Do

Basically what we're trying to achieve is getting two copies of the same image on a single 8.5x11 sheet of paper. The images want to be as large as possible. With that in mind let's look at some important bits of information before we dive into the specific steps using Pages and iPhoto.

Printers and Printable Area:
It's important to remember that every printer has a different printable area. That is to say, while 8.5x11 inches may be a standard sheet size, how much area can be printed on will vary with each printer. There are various factors that affect the printable area of a given printer including the type of methods used to hold and move the paper (for both inkjet and laser/toner type printers), and how the ink heads move in the case of inkjet printers. The point being the amount of space you actually have to work with will be different depending on the printer and printer driver software. In the context of this tutorial that means the maximum size of the images on the page will vary with the printer you're using. Not to worry; the steps are the same regardless of what printer you have Smile

HINT: If you have the choice, always perform a Page Setup... before doing page layout or printing work. While virtually every Mac Application will give you access to File? menu → Page Setup... iPhoto does not. So be on the look out in your application for that hidden gem Smile

Option A: Do the layout in iPhoto
To create a single 8.5x11 inch page, with two copies of the same image in iPhoto, do this:

  1. Open iPhoto and locate your image
  2. Click once on the image to select it and choose Photos menu → Duplicate
  3. Result: You now have two copies of the same image
  4. Press and drag the mouse to select both copies of the same image. (or click on image one, then press Shift and click on the second image).
  5. Choose File menu → Print
  6. A dialog like this will appear:
  7. iPHotoPagesHelp-1a.jpg

  8. In that dialog, for Paper Size choose US Letter
  9. In that dialog, for Print Size choose 5x7. We choose 5x7 since two of those will clearly fit on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper. If you add up the dimensions of two 5x7 images and they won't fit on your sheet choose the next smallest size.
  10. Press Print
  11. Result: In the next dialog you can choose to send the file to the Printer (press Print) or save it as a PDF? file (Press PDF and choose Save As PDF.... I recommend saving as PDF)
  12. Result: The end result should be similar to what was pictured above. Here's a reduction of the PDF after performing the above steps:
  13. iPHotoPagesHelp-2.jpg

As we can see, there are limitations to the iPHoto model. It doesn't allow us to create a custom image size, nor can we specify where on the page the image is printed. However, if you're happy with using the standard photo sizes presented by iPhoto then the above solution works fine. But what if we want a more custom solution?

Option B: Use Pages
In this option we'll use Pages, part of Apple's iWork '09 suite. However any page layout can be used. Many word processors, and graphics applications also let you perform this type of page layout. The steps we'll describe here are unique to Pages but the same concepts apply regardless of what application you might want to use instead. In general you'll find using a page layout application will give you a lot more flexibility and control for customized layouts. Because we're using Pages (or any of the iWork applications) we have the benefit of being able to see and use all of our iPhoto (or iTunes or GarageBand or Aperture) without any extra steps!

HINT: If you're using an application other than Pages, you will want to export the image from iPhoto first. To do that, select the image in iPhoto, and choose File menu → Export.... In the export dialog box, choose Original as the file format as this will give you the best quality image to start the page layout with.

To create a single 8.5x11 inch page, with two copies of the same image from iPhoto in Pages, do this:

  1. Launch Pages.app
  2. In the Template Chooser window, double click on Page Layout - Blank - Blank Canvas Landscape
  3. Result: A new, blank, page layout document opens.
  4. Click on the Media Icon located in the Tool Bar at the top of the document window. Alternatively, choose View menu → Show Media Browser
  5. Result: The Media Browser window opens allowing you to work with content from iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie, GarageBand, and Aperture
  6. In the Media Browser window click on the iPhoto icon to see all of your iPhoto content.
  7. Navigate in the Media Browser / iPhoto window to find your desired image.
  8. Press the mouse button down on the image and Drag the desired image from the Media Browser window into the Pages document. Release the mouse button to add the image into the Pages document.
  9. Result: The image now appears in your Pages document. From here we can size and position it.
  10. Move your cursor over the image and press the mouse button down on it and drag to position it on the page.
  11. To make the image larger or smaller by a random amount, click on the image to select it. Position the mouse pointer/cursor over one of the corner handle bars and drag that handle bar to resize it.
    • option: In the Inspector window, click on the ruler icon (metrics) and use that dialog to enter a specific size for your image
  12. When the image is sized and positioned to your liking, click on it to select it (you will see handle bars at it's corners)
  13. Press Command + D or choose Edit menu → Duplicate, or press Option as you drag the image.
  14. Result: Another copy of the image is created. Drag that copy to the desired location. It may be anywhere on the page and the images may be as close together as you like. Pages will provide you with guidelines to tell you when the two images are aligned.
  15. You may need/want to fiddle with the size and position of the images to get it to your liking. Remember you can also crop (mask) an image in Pages to fine tune things. To mask (crop) part of the image, select the image and choose Format menu → Mask and adjust the image area as per the on screen prompts.
  16. Lather, Rinse, and Repeat as desired to get the layout just the way you want it.

Here's an example of how a finished layout might look in Pages using the steps described above:

iPhotoPagesHelp-3.jpg

HINT: Remember you should ALWAYS do a PAGE SETUP (File menu -> Page Setup) before doing any sort of serious page layout. Every printer has a different printable area so make sure you're getting the largest possible area by doing that page setup!
HINT: We want to use a Page Layout template in Pages, NOT a standard word processing document. While it's possible to customize layout of objects in either type of document, this process is faster and easier if we start with a Page Layout template.
HINT: Even if your printer allows for full bleed/edge to edge printing (and you've chosen that in Page Setup...), I recommend allowing at least a 1/8" border on all edges of the paper when positioning the images. This allows for any sort of paper feed issues or other printing startup nuances.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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iPhoto Multiple Libraries

Question

Can I have more than one iPhoto Library and how do I do that?

Requirements

Mac OS? X Tiger (10.4.7 or newer) , iPhoto 6.0 or newer



Background

Apple's iPhoto application stores your images (both original and edited) in a hierarchical folder structure which is generally referred to as a Library. While iPhoto has a variety of techniques for organizing your images including folders, smart albums, albums, and keywords, there are times when it might be helpful to have more than one Library to store your images.

Prior to iPhoto v6 (part of iLife 06) the easiest way to create and manage multiple iPhoto Libraries was using the application iPhoto Library Manager XTNL URL With the introduction of iPhoto v6, Apple also provides an internal mechanism to create and manage multiple Libraries. We'll discuss Apple's internal method next.

What To Do

While it's possible to use the third party application iPhoto Library Manager XTNL URL with iPhoto v6, you might want to explore this option which is built into iPhoto. Please note these steps are tested and confirmed in iPhoto v6.0.5 and Mac OS X 10.4.7 -- they may not work in earlier versions but it's worth trying. If you have success with these steps in earlier versions of iPhoto please use the Add Comment link at the bottom of this page to leave the specific iPhoto and Mac OS X version numbers you are using so others may benefit from your experience.

To Create a new iPhoto Library, do this:

  1. Quit iPhoto if it's already running
  2. Press Option and launch iPhoto (hint: you can simply click on the iPhoto icon in the Dock)
  3. A dialog box will appear as shown below. Click Create Library and follow the screen dialogs to make a new Library and press Save
  4. Result: iPhoto will open and display the contents of your new Library. If this is the first time you created or opened this Library it will be empty

[inline:iPhotoCreateLibrary.jpg]

Notes:Your original iPhoto Library, and the images it contains, is never deleted or modified. iPhoto is simply looking in a different place to display the contents of the new or selected library. You can switch back to the original Library at any time ... read on.

To switch between multiple iPhoto Libraries, do this:

  1. Quit iPhoto if it's already running
  2. Press Option and launch iPhoto
  3. A dialog box will appear as shown below. Click Choose Library... allowing you to navigate and select your preferred Library and press Open
  4. Result: iPhoto will open and display the contents of your the selected Library. If this is the first time you created or opened this Library it will be empty. If the Library contained images from an earlier session, those images and related albums, etc., will be displayed.

[inline:iPhotoChooseLibrary.jpg]

Notes:

  • Your original iPhoto Library, and the images it contains, is never deleted or modified. iPhoto is simply looking in a different place to display the contents of the new or selected Library.
  • iPhoto can only display the contents of one Library at a time. To switch between multiple libraries you need to follow the steps noted above each time
  • To switch back to the original iPhoto Library which is created by default (the one most of us use on a regular basis), choose Your User Id Name / Pictures Folder / iPhoto Library folder and press Open in step 3 noted above.
  • iPhoto remembers the last Library you used/chose. So, when you launch iPhoto and you don't see the content you expected, don't panic. It means you haven't told iPhoto to use the correct Library. Simply follow the steps noted above to choose the correct one.

    Why Have multiple iPhoto Libraries?
    Well, each of us have different filing and storage requirements for how we like to manage photos. Some possible uses for needing or wanting multiple iPhoto Libraries might include:

    • separating work from personal content
    • separating school content (e.g. content students should see for class projects) from personal content
    • you may have limited storage space and want to keep a master library on an external hard drive but a smaller library on a lap top hard drive
    • if you regularly give iPhoto or Mac demonstrations, you may want to keep your demo content in a different library than your personal or regular work related content

    Overall, we'd prefer if Apple would simply move this hidden feature to a more obvious location (how about the File? menu > Choose Library and Create Library) but until then it's a hidden gem that some users may find helpful. Don't forget that this same technique can also be used in iTunes 7 to create and switch between multiple music folders.

    We hope that helps
    caddpower.com

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    iPhoto: Printing Wallet Size Prints

    Question

    I don't see any preset settings for printing wallet size pictures from iPhoto. I'd like to print a page of wallet size photos of a single picture or be able to print a sheet of wallet size photos of different pictures. How do I do that?

    Requirements

    Mac OS? X 10.2.x (10.2.8 or newer recommended) , iPhoto 2.0 or newer and a color printer.



    Background

    While it's true, iPhoto doesn't have formal preset settings for printing or cropping images for wallet size printing, the various components are there. It's more a matter of connecting the dots. All we really want to do is crop an image to the correct wallet size ratio, then specify the corresponding size (2x3 inches) to print on a sheet of paper.

    Cropping to a Wallet Size ratio:
    A wallet size photo is typically 2" x 3" which has a ratio of 1:1.5 (3 / 2 = 1.5). A 4 x 6 picture also has the same ratio, 1:1.5 (6 / 4 = 1.5). As such, while there is no formal wallet size cropping ratio listed in the iPhoto cropping list, we can none the less crop to that ratio using the 4x6 choices in the bottom left of the iPhoto editing screen as shown here.

    Starting in iPhoto 4 (part of iLife'04) Apple has added a cropping settings for 2x3 (wallet size) to the palette. The basic process as described in this article still applies.







    Print Settings
    Again, while there is no formal print a sheet of wallet size pictures type option in iPhoto, we can none the less print such a sheet by modifying the Print settings using available options from within iPhoto. This screen illustrates the settings required to print a series of wallet sized photos. Notice the Style pop-up menu has been set to Standard sheet and we specified 2x3 (aka wallet size) from the available options.






    The specific steps on how to crop and print a sheet of wallet size images (be it one picture many times or different images) are detailed below. While there is some wasted paper, you can print up to 8 wallet size images on a single 8.5x11 or 8x10 sheet of paper directly from iPhoto. Manual cutting is required after the fact but that's to be expected since we do not have preprinted wallet size sheets.

    What to do

    We'll outline the steps to address the two most common conditions. Printing a page of wallet size photos of a single picture and printing a sheet of wallet size photos of different images.

    To print one picture as a page of Wallet Size photos do this:

    1. double click the desired image in iPhoto
    2. choose 4x6 from the cropping pop-up menu in the bottom left corner
      • (note: you can use either orientation, 4x6 postcard or 4x6 portrait)
    3. drag to define the image area and press the crop button
    4. choose File? Menu → Page Setup...
    5. from the Page Size pop-up choose the desired page size and press OKAY
      • (note: choose either 8.5x11 or 8x10 paper to get at least 8 images per sheet)
    6. choose File Menu > Print
    7. from the Style pop-up choose Standard Prints
      • (note: make the appropriate settings printer and print presets for your type of paper. The specifics of making print presets or selecting paper types, etc are beyond the scope of this article)
    8. from the Sizepop-up choose 2x3
    9. Observe, the preview on the left now shows 8 copies of the image cropped and open in steps 1 through 3.
      • (note: Do NOT check one photo per page unless you want to waste a lot of paper and print only one 2x3 photo on a large sheet of paper )
    10. proceed with the printing operation as usual

    The results will be a single sheet of paper with 8 wallet size images on it. Now all you need to do is cut the images and give them away Wink

    quicktime Demo Movie 1 ( need movie help?)

    To print one sheet with different wallet size images do this:

    The steps required are essentially the same as noted earlier. Here's an overview of the key steps that are unique

    1. crop each image you'd like to print using the 4x6 cropping option
      • (note; you can mix landscape (horizontal) and portrait (vertical) images, iPhoto will rotate the images for you when it comes time to print)
    2. Perform your page setup as described earlier
    3. Press the Organize button so you can see all of your images
    4. select the images you want to print (remember only 8 pictures will fit on a single 8.5x11 or 8.x10 sheet so only choose 8 images at a time)
    5. Choose File Menu → Print and use the settings described earlier
    6. Observe: the preview pane on the left now shows a single sheet containing the 8 unique images you selected in step (4). Continue the printing operation to see the results.

    Hint: In step #4 we said you should only select 8 images since that's all that will fit on a single page. So, the burning question must now be, what happens if I pick more than 8 images? Well, what happens is pretty much as you suspected. If you select more than 8 images, and use the steps we described, iPhoto will automatically print the required number of pages to print the selected photos in 2x3 wallet size. So, really our warning in step #4 was really so you don't waste a lot of paper as you could select images in multiple of 8's (8, 16, 24, 32, etc) and iPhoto will be more than happy to figure out and print the required number of sheets (just make sure you have plenty of paper and ink)

    quicktime Demo Movie 2 ( need movie help?)

    This second technique can be helpful if you have taken a several photos of say friends or relatives and would like to print a sheet of 'head shots' for distribution. Remember if you need to print multiple sheets simply specify the desired number of copies when you choose print (just have plenty of sharp knives handy to do the trimming!).

    We hope that helps
    caddpower.com

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    iWeb Slide Shows don't look correct

    Question

    When I publish my iWeb site to my Dot.Mac? account the slide shows look really neat -- a black background and very nice interface. When I publish my slide show to a folder and upload it to a different server (other than Dot.Mac) they look different. What did I do wrong? Why did that happen?

    Requirements

    • iWeb 1.0 (version 1.0.1 or newer recommended)
    • Mac OS? X Tiger (version 10.4.5 or newer recommended)
    • An Apple Dot.Mac Account (to publish to your iDisk?) - optional
    • Web space on a server, often provided with your ISP access, to publish to your own web space - optional



    Discussion

    If you're hosting your iWeb pages using your Apple Dot.Mac account, then the slideshows are taking advantage of a new technology referred to as AJAX XTNL URL The technology is essentially a Java based application and some specific Java Scripts hosted server side on Dot.Mac that renders those really great looking slideshows, almost as if you're watching them in iPhoto or Aperture on your own hard drive.

    The reality is that Apple has tweaked the AJAX model so the slideshows only display with the fancy interface on their Dot.Mac server. While it can be argued that's almost pulling a Microsoft in terms of being somewhat of a backhand towards what is an open standard, it is what it is. Here is what you see when the slide show is hosted on the Dot.Mac Server.

    [inline:iWebAjaxSlides.jpg]

    When you save the same iWeb site to a folder on your hard drive and open the slideshow locally or when hosted on your own web space (that is on a non Dot.Mac Server), here's what you see:

    [inline:iWebOldSlideShow.jpg]

    What To Do

    Well, we're certainly not AJAX and Java programming experts so we can't recommend any simple one click fixes. However, there are some heated discussions happening here on Apple's forum XTNL URL where folks have managed to get iWeb pages to run with the AJAX slideshow interface on non Dot.Mac Servers by copying and hacking the appropriate scripts. If you're technically up for the challenge, ">try this link XTNL URL, wade through the posts and give this site a try XTNL URL to see one in action.

    We hope that helps
    caddpower.com

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    iWeb wrapping text around graphics

    Question

    How do I make text flow around a graphic I've inserted in an iWeb web page? I can't seem to get the Inspector > Text > Wrap > Objects Causes Text Wrap to work.

    Requirements

    iWeb version 1 (v1.0.1 or newer recommended) and Mac OS? X Tiger (version 10.4.5 or newer recommended)



    Background

    Behind all the slight of hand that iWeb presents to us are CSS? rules (hint: use the ? link to learn what CSS means) and related web standards. These standards have specific rules which describe how objects are defined and behave on a web page; iWeb is essentially a WYSIWYG? editor that we use to generate the necessary code to create the web page.

    In the specific instance being described here, where we want text to flow around a graphic, iWeb supports two of the many CSS rules for graphics. Without getting into a detailed discussion of the numerous CSS rules available or now they work, it's important to understand a graphic is inserted into an iWeb page in one of two states:

    • Fixed: The graphic is in effect a floating box. In principle the graphic is treated as a floating layer which may appear above or below other layers, or in a specific X,Y location on screen. In this context, the graphic would be in a fixed location which is above or below a text block; the text does not flow around the graphic.
    • Inline: An inline graphic appears much as it's names implies, inline with other elements. Because the object is inline, it can physically affect the placement of other objects in that line. In the context of iWeb, and wanting text to flow around a graphic, this becomes a critical distinction.

    What To Do

    By Default all graphics inserted into an iWeb page are considered Fixed which is why the Inspector > Text > Wrap > Objects Causes Text Wrap feature is dimmed and may not appear to be working. We'll describe how to insert a graphic both as Fixed and Inline below so you can compare the differences.

    To insert a graphic as Fixed, do this:

    Option A: Drag and Drop

    1. Drag a graphic from the Finder or from the Media Browser into your web page
    2. Perform any desired task such as resizing, masking, change it's stacking order front to back, or drag to reposition the graphic.
    3. Observe: Text elements on the page are not affected

    Option B: use the Insert menu item

    1. Choose Insert menu > Choose...
    2. Select the desired graphic from the dialog and press Insert
    3. Perform any desired task such as resizing, masking, change it's stacking order front to back, or drag to reposition the graphic.
    4. Observe: Text elements on the page are not affected

    In either case described above, the results are the same. The graphic is inserted in a Fixed state and text cannot reflow around the graphic; the Wrap text options are dimmed in the Inspector window.

    quicktime Click Here to see a Fixed Graphic Demonstration Movie (3MB Download) of the above steps in action. (need movie help?)

    To insert a graphic as Inline, do this:

    Option A: Drag and Drop

    1. Press Command as you drag a graphic from the Finder or from the Media Browser into your web page
    2. Observe: You receive visual feedback that the graphic is being inserted into a specific spot in the text block
    3. Release the mouse to insert the graphic, then release the Command key
    4. Perform any desired task such as resizing or masking.
    5. Observe: Text elements in the text block into which the grahpic was inserted are directly affected and reflowed around the graphic depending on it's size and location.

    Option B: use the Insert menu item

    1. Click inside a text block to create an insertion point, just as if you were going to type some text
    2. Choose Insert menu > Choose...
    3. Select the desired graphic from the dialog and press Insert
    4. Perform any desired task such as resizing or masking.
    5. Observe: Text elements in the text block into which the grahpic was inserted are directly affected and reflowed around the graphic depending on it's size and location.

    In either case described above, the results are the same. The graphic is inserted in a Inline state and text can be reflow around the graphic; the Wrap text options are active in the Inspector window.

    quicktime Click Here to see a Inline Graphic Demonstration Movie (5MB Download) of the above steps in action. (need movie help?)

    Summary

    If you need the text to reflow around a graphic, insert it as Inline using either method described above. Once a graphic is inserted as Fixed it's state cannot be changed; it must be deleted and inserted into the page again as Inline. Grapic editing features such as rotation, opacity, reflect and size are still available for graphics inserted as Fixed or Inline. The object stacking order such as send to front, send to back, as described in the Arrange, may only be modified if the graphic is inserted in a Fixed state.

    We hope that helps
    caddpower.com

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    iWork 08: Pages: Auto insert my name and address

    Question:

    I used to run a macro in Tiger, so with 2, or 3 clicks I could print my name, address, email address, and phone number at the end of a letter where it was appropriate. It doesn't seem to run under Leopard. Is there a simple/intuitive way to make a new macro to do this?
    Requirements

    • iWork 08, Pages version 3.0.2 or newer recommended
    • Mac OS? X (Leopard version 10.5.5 or newer recommended)



    Background

    With Pages, there's no need to use a Macro, it will support drag and drop, and automatic linking, from Address Book provided you have setup some special/default mail merge fields in advance. The key is to setup your default, customized, template to have the fields inserted that you'd like. Pages can automatically link to the content in youAddress Book files. Because the content is in your personalized/custom template it'll just always be there every time you choose that template to make a new letter. You can also use the same trick for setting up recipient fields to link to content for folks you're addressing a letter to. The beauty of having the fields in your template is that stuff is inserted 'automagically' and if you don't need it for a particular letter just delete it.

    There are a few ways to do it and here are some tips to get the ball rolling: (Apple has a video tutorial here that is also helpful XTNL URL )

    What To Do:

    Option A - Help Files:
    Open Pages → Help Menu, and search for insert address which will list several help topics on how to skin the cat.

    Option B - borrow fields from a default Apple Pages Template

    1. Open a default Pages → Letters template such as Modern Letter that contains address fields for sender and receipient
    2. Open your customized template that you'd like to modify (or work from the Blank Pages template)
    3. Go to file in (1) and copy the text fields (or text box) that contains your address information and paste it into your custom template file in (2)
    4. Edit the layout of the pasted content for font style, location, etc. to match your custom template
    5. Save the file as a new custom template

    The next time you open that template file the information for your address will always be there. If you copied the recipient content, it will let you drag and drop a card from Address Book onto those fields to automatically fill in the data.

    Option C - Roll your own custom fields in your custom template

    1. Open your customized Pages template you'd like to modify (or work from the Blank Pages template)
    2. Open the Inspector window in Pages and click on the Links icon → Merge tab
    3. Click to set the insertion point in the Pages document.
      • Hint, if you'd like to be able to move the content around, Choose Insert → Text Box first, then click in the text box.
    4. In the Inspector window click Enable as an Address Book field and choose the appropriate settings from the associated pop up menus and check boxes.
    5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each field you want linked to the address book. For example, to link the items described you'd have to repeat those steps for first name, last name, email address, phone number, address street, address city, address zip code, etc..
      • Hint, if you want any punctuation between fields (e.g. a comma between city and state) just type the comma character on the keyboard after the City field, and before you insert the state field.
    6. Save this as a new template and close the file
    7. The next time you make a new document with that template the address info is automatically filled in.

    Summary
    Options B and C will allow the content from My Card, as defined in Address Book, to fill in the blanks automatically for 'sender'. The advantage of rolling your own, as described in option 'c' is you maintain all your preferred font settings and sizes in Pages as discussed in one of your earlier questions on the subject to this list.

    Hint: You can also include your signature (e.g. a scan of your real penmanship, or using a tablet) in the custom template along with your address info. I do that all the time to save me time when addressing memo's, invoices, etc..

    It may sound kinda difficult or seem like a lot of steps but it's pretty quick once you've done it once. The neat part is you could create a similar text box for people you send the letter to -- then just drag and drop their card from Address Book onto the appropriate text box in Pages.

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    iWork 08: Pages: Type Size Too Small On Screen

    Question:

    I use Pages in iWork'08 and find that 12 point type is too small to be seen easily on my monitor. Is there a way to change it? Must I always initially bring up 12 point type, and then change it to 16 or some such, just for that specific letter? Is there a way to have it always come up with 16 point?

    Requirements

    iWork and Pages and Mac OS? X (iWork '08, Pages 3.0.1 and OS X Leopard 10.5.1 or newer recommended)



    Background

    Those are all good questions and the short answer to those three questions are 'yes' , 'no', and 'yes' Smile What's important to take into consideration is do we want to change the true font size or just make things easier to read on screen. Let's address a bit of background on those two basic issues first, then we'll address the specifics of what to do in Pages.

    Display Resolution
    In this condition, we'll presume the 12 point font size is fine when printed, but it looks too small on screen.

    Because different monitors display a different number of pixels (display resolution) the size objects appear on screen can vary per monitor (what looks too small to you might look fine for me). For example fonts and icons displayed on a monitor with a high screen resolution (lots of pixels such as 1440 x 900 pixels) will make things look smaller than a monitor with lower screen resolution (fewer pixels such as 800x600 pixels). When we change the display resolution by changing the number of pixels the display uses or by zooming in or out in a document window, we make things easier to see without changing the font size specified in the document.

    Let's say that another way because it is a very important distinction when compared to actually changing font sizes described later. To use an example, if a 12 point font is used when entering text, and that font size is okay when printed but just looks too small on screen, we would want to change the display by zooming in to make it appear larger and therefore easier to read. Why? Because when we type using fonts of a specific size (e.g. 12 point) or document layout is related to that font size. For example page breaks, and how text looks when flowed around a graphic or how many characters fit in the cell of a table are relative to the chosen font size. If we change the font size to 16 point to make it easier to read on screen -- our document will have page breaks (and other layout content) relative to that font size. If we decide to change the font at print time to 12 point our document will reflow; changing the entire layout of our document. This could be a disaster and cost us a lot of time so we never want to change the physical font size (e.g. from 12 to 16 point) just to make a document easier to read on screen - never.

    Different Physical Font Size
    In the condition described above, the problem was a 12 point was fine when printed, but just looked too small on screen to be easy to read. Now let's look at the other condition: I always want to use 16 point fonts (or some other preferred size) in my Pages document because it's what I want printed. The problem is every time I start a new Pages document I have to change the font size from 12 to 16 point.

    Here's a case where we want to save time and make or life easier by setting up a master document to use as a template. Then, every time we start a new document our preferred font size is all set and ready to go. Fortunately most modern applications allow you to create custom templates -- and that includes Pages Smile Our custom template can be as simple as an empty document with nothing more than the page size, margins, tabs, indents and font type and size. Howerver, the custom template could include all that along with any standard graphics for letterhead, logos, or even our signature. The choice is up to us.

    What To Do

    We've covered the background of the two most common conditions earlier, now let's examine how we address both of those issues in Pages. If you need additional information on the following methods, or to learn about additional options and methods, do this:

    1. Open any Pages document
    2. Choose Help menu → Pages Help
    3. Search for Zoom and CustomTemplates

    Method One: Change the Displayed Zoom Percentage
    The bottom left corner of every Pages document has a small zoom setting popup menu. Click on the zoom popup to choose a new zoom ratio. By default the value is set to 125%, try using a value of 150% or more. Changing the zoom percentage will not modify the actual font size (e.g. 12 point is still 12 point) so your document will not reflow. It will simply make things easier to read on screen.

    Compare the two screen shots here. Note the zoom percentage has been changed (bottom left corner) and as a result the rulers look different and the font size appears larger and easier to read but the true font size attribute is still 9 point as noted in the Font Panel window.


    Method Two: Create a Custom Template
    Custom Templates are a super way to save time and can contain any sort of physical content (e.g. a logo) or any sort of setting (font size, font type, page setup, etc..). In this example we will simply setup a new Custom Template based on the standard Blank Pages Template and change the font size. However, you could start with any of the standard Pages Templates and customize them to create your own unique look and feel. Experiment!

    1. Open Pages. If you are not prompted to choose a template, choose File? menu → New From Template Chooser...
    2. Double Click the Blank Template to open it.
    3. In the Toolbar at the top of the Document Window click on the Font Size popup menu (it displays 12 as a default) and choose 14 point (or any preferred font size)
      • Note: To set a font size that is not shown in the list, use the Font Panel to set the preferred size
    4. Choose File menu → Save As Template.... A standard Save As dialog opens
    5. Type a name for your Custom Template and click Save
      • Do Not change the location the file is saved to. While it's possible to specify a different location, the default location for templates is User/Library/Application Support/iWork/Pages/Templates/My Templates and we recommend keeping it that way
    6. The Custom Template file has been saved and may be used as a new document

    To use your new custom template simply choose File menu > New and select it from the My Templates section. If you have setup Preferences in Pages to not always display the Template Chooser then choose File menu → New From Template Chooser... to select your Template. Now, every time you open your custom template the default font size will be 14 point. Had we made additional changes such as font type, different tabs, margins, indents, or added a graphic, those items would also appear.

    Some Related Things
    Just for completeness we'll mention there are few other ways to make things look larger without actually changing the font size, and without having to change the zoom percentage in Pages. If you change the display resolution of your monitor (choose Apple menu → System Preferences → Displays) to something lower than it is now, everything will look bigger. Not the prettiest solution but it might be worth experimenting with if you're not familiar with the concept of display resolution. The other choice is to enable system level zooming by choosing Apple menu > System Preferences > Universal Access > Seeing > Zoom On; pressing the specified key sequence will let you zoom and out on the fly. This method can be a bit disorienting but can be fun to play with (we use it a lot when doing product demo's and training to focus the audiences attention).

    We hope that helps
    caddpower.com

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    If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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    iWork: Keynote: General Presentation Skills

    In March 2007 I gave a presentation to the Macintech Multimedia Special Interest Group XTNL URL on presentation skills and techniques. Here are some of the resources I included as part of that presentation that you might find helpful.

    In general, we covered using PowerPoint and Keynote as presentation tools. Perhaps the most important information covered wasn't so much on how to use the products as on how to be a better presenter using specific product features. We also covered some detailed content on how to setup and deliver your content, and on how to be efficient when creating your content (some do's and don'ts particular related to master slides).

    If you attended this session then you'll understand why the keynote and powerpoint 'presentations' aren't posted here Smile After all, I can't upload the 'presentation' since I can't beam myself through the wires Cool



    Related Links: Here's a list of related links, in no particular order, included as part of the presentation

    Apple Keynote Links
    XTNL URL General Keynote Page
    XTNL URL Keynote Keyboard Shortcuts
    XTNL URL Keynote Hot Tips
    XTNL URL What's new in Keynote v3

    Third Party Theme and General Info Sites
    XTNL URL Keynote User
    XTNL URL Keynote Pro
    XTNL URL Keynote HQ
    XTNL URL Keynote Theme Park
    XTNL URL JumSoft Keynote Themes

    Misc. Links
    XTNL URL Filemaker Advisor: build Keynote Pres from FMPro
    XTNL URL Speech Improvement Co: Talking about Talking demos and examples
    XTNL URL Speech Improvement Site: bio for Ethan Becker see the related info below for one of his demo movies

    Presentation Skills Movie
    Here's a great movie that is streamed from Apple's website on presentation skills

    If you're a veteran or novice presenter, using any application, this is worth watching!

    To watch the streaming movie online, click here quicktime (total time 33 minutes). This is a streaming movie and requires a live internet connection to view the content. To download the item, click the link, then after the movie loads, click in the bottom right corner of the control bar and choose Save as Quicktime file to disk (requires quicktime pro to save to disk).

    We hope that helps
    caddpower.com

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    If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

    Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

    iWork: Keynote: Sample Slide Critique

    As a spin off to a presentation I gave at a local computer group in March 2007, I received a link to Slide Share XTNL URL Just for fun, I selected one presentation at random and selected one slide to pull apart to see how what we covered at the meeting might apply. Here's a quick breakdown:



    The Original Slide from an iPod Nation slide show XTNL URL

    You can see the slide looks pretty good but my immediate reaction was the bullet points would be too long to keep anyone's attention during a live presentation. Putting too much on a slide is a classic problem and makes it easy for the audience to read ahead. The original slide also uses a serif font (has those curly edges) as opposed to a sans serif (straight looking) font. Generally, a sans serif font is easier to read when projected and in particular for folks sitting a long way from the screen (watch your font sizes!).

    My first cut was to reduce the slide down to shorter bullet points as shown below. Note that these points would not appear on the screen at the same time! That's the other classic problem. Rather, these points would build one point at a time so the speaker can use Synchronization along with Introduction and Setup to engage the audience and focus their attention on the subject.

    The blue used for some of the text is sampled from the actual color in the iPod's progress bar; however it might have been better to sample the green from the battery indicator since green is a positive 'go' type color and might be more appropriate in this example. If you need to use color in text, unless the color needs to match some sort of corporate image or there's an obvious color choice (stop, go, etc.) sampling a color from the graphic to be used in the text is an easy trick to add some visual balance to a slide.

    [inline:iPodNation2.jpg]

    Since it's hard to illustrate the concepts of how delivery can be modified here on a static page I've included a screen shot below of how the Presenter Display in Keynote would make it easy for the speaker to stay ahead of the audience. You can also download the Keynote Presentation from the bottom of this page; try opening that file and playing to get a feel of how the Speaker Notes can give you a leg up the next time you might have to give a presentation.

    [inline:iPodNation3.jpg]

    Of course, all this is nothing more than one take on how the content might be prepared and delivered. There is more than one way to skin the cat but in general keeping the bullet points shorter, using speaker notes to control Synchronization, Introduction and Setup, and a simpler layout could be one way to help the speaker engage the audience. In the case of this particular example, where content is being posted online for others to read, having longer bullet points might be a valid approach. However, if the intent is to convey detailed content it may be more appropriate to still keep the bullet points short and simple, but also include a PDF? download of your speaker notes which expand on the content. Better still, record your presentation and post an audio file or movie with audio that really gets your message across the way you intended!

    If you don't have Keynote (click here to get the keynote file) and would still like to get a feel for how the builds might work, you can click here quicktime When the quicktime movie opens, click the mouse in the presentation window to view each build and imagine what you might say to introduce each point before it appears.

    We hope that helps
    caddpower.com

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    If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

    Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (2 votes)