Pin Frequently Used Web Sites in Safari Tabs

Everyone has a few Web sites that they check every day, or even multiple times throughout the day: a social network, a Web-based email app, a go-to news Web site, or a favorite online comic. The desire to access certain sites quickly and repeatedly isn’t new, of course. Over the years, Apple has added a variety of features to Safari to make this process easier. You can create bookmarks, add bookmarks to your Favorites bar, click thumbnails in the Top Sites view, and more. But do you know about pinned tabs?

The name may evoke images of a butterfly collection, but don’t worry, no harm is done when you pin a tab in Safari. All that happens is that the tab you’re pinning slides over to the left side of the Tab bar and shrinks down to a size that’s just big enough to display a representative icon, called a favicon. You can click the icon at any time to view the page.

Until you unpin or close a pinned tab, it remains in that easily accessible spot no matter what other tabs are open. Other advantages to pinned tabs include:

  • Pinned tabs stay in the same place even if you open a new Safari window or quit and relaunch Safari.
  • If you have multiple windows open in Safari, the pinned tabs are the same in all of them.
  • When you first launch Safari, it loads content for your pinned tabs, so you’re less likely to have to wait for those pages to appear.
  • Web apps that update automatically will do so in pinned tabs, so switching to one will always give you the latest data.
  • Unlike normal bookmarks, which you can sync through iCloud to copies of Safari on all your Apple devices, pinned tabs are specific to a particular Mac. This allows you to customize your pinned tabs on a per-Mac basis.

To pin a Web page, first load it in Safari. Then use one of these three pinning techniques:

  • Drag the tab that contains the Web page to the left, into the pinned tab area. When you see it shrink down, let go. (If you don’t see a tab, choose View > Show Tab Bar.)
  • Choose Window > Pin Tab.
  • Control- or right-click the tab and choose Pin Tab from the contextual menu that appears.

If you pin a tab that you wish you hadn’t, you can reverse any of those actions: drag it to the right, choose Window > Unpin Tab, or choose Unpin Tab from the contextual menu.

Pinned tabs behave like regular tabs in most ways, with a few exceptions:

  • Clicking a link to another Web site opens that site in a new tab, but if you follow a link within the pinned site, you’ll stay in the pinned tab.
  • Pressing Command-W won’t close a pinned tab, so you don’t have to worry about losing them accidentally. To get rid of a pinned tab, Control- or right-click it and choose Close Tab. Or unpin it and close it as you would any other tab.
  • Since pinned tabs stick around all the time, you might want to rearrange them. To do so, drag them into your desired order.

So if you open and close Facebook, Reddit, and Gmail throughout the day and check xkcd every morning, try creating a pinned tab for each site and see if you like having them more easily accessible than ever before!

If you prefer using Mozilla’s Firefox or Google Chrome instead of Safari, never fear, since both of those browsers have almost identical pinned tab features.

Mark and Navigate to Arbitrary Locations in Maps

Sure, you know how to search for a place or address in Maps, and you probably even know that you can ask Siri to “Take me home.” But sometimes you want to go somewhere that doesn’t have an address, or where the address you can find doesn’t match the precise location you need. For instance, a festival or fun run taking place at a large park may be far from the address of the park office, or even require that you enter on a different side of the park.

Luckily, the Maps app in iOS has you covered, with a feature that lets you mark any location and then get directions to that spot. It’s easy to use and provides several enhancements, but like many things in iOS, you might not run across it in normal usage.

First, marking locations is usually easier in the satellite view in Maps. If you’re in the standard Map view that shows just streets, tap the i button in the upper-right corner, and then tap Satellite so you can see the terrain and any buildings.

Next, position the map over the general area you want to navigate to, and then pinch to zoom in. Drag the map with a single finger as necessary to see the place you want to mark, perhaps a parking area or trailhead.

Then, to mark the location, press and hold on the exact spot. A pin appears on the map at the marked location. On the iPad, a panel appears on the left side of the screen with controls and more information, such as distance from your location, approximate address, and latitude and longitude. On the iPhone, the top of an identical panel appears at the bottom of the screen; drag it up to reveal the rest of its contents.

In that panel, you can:

  • Get directions: Tap Directions to start navigating to the marked location. The button defaults to telling you how long the drive will be, but once you tap Directions, you can switch to directions for walking, transit, or ride-sharing. You can also tap the route summary to see and share a turn list.
  • Move the marker: To reposition the marker slightly, tap Edit Location; for a more significant change in location, press and hold on a new spot.
  • Share the marker: If you’re trying to explain to others how to get to the marked location, tap the Share icon and then an app like Messages or Mail to send them a link to your location.
  • Delete the marker: Tap Remove Marker.
  • Favorite the marker: For a marked location that you might want to use repeatedly, tap Add to Favorites and give it a name. After that, you’ll be able to search for the location by name. Maps automatically syncs your favorites via your iCloud account, so you can favorite a location on your iPad and later search for it on your iPhone in Maps or even via Siri.
  • Add the marker to a contact: If the marked location goes with a person or business, tap Create a Contact or Add to Existing Content to record it.
  • Report a problem to Apple: If you find something missing or wrong with Maps’ data, you can mark a location and then tap Report an Issue at the bottom of the panel.

Maps may be good at finding many places and addresses, but it’s far from perfect, especially in less populated areas. By using marked locations, you can work with areas that can’t be found with a search.

If you use Maps on the Mac, most of these features are available when you click and hold on a location, and then click the i button in the tag that appears. The interface looks a bit different but works in much the same way.

 

How to Install Fonts into Font Book

Back in the 1980s, the thing that set Macs apart from PCs more than anything else was the Mac’s support for different fonts. Over the years, font formats and how you work with fonts have changed, though things have remained fairly stable since Mac OS X became mature. However, despite the fact that there are oodles of fabulous fonts available for free download (at least for personal use), many people don’t realize just how worthwhile it can be to go beyond the fonts that ship with macOS.

Getting and installing new fonts is easy. You’re likely to find fonts in one of two font formats: TrueType and OpenType. TrueType fonts generally have the filename extension .ttf or .ttc, whereas OpenType fonts may use the same filename extensions or use .otf. macOS supports both, and both work fine, though if you have a choice, note that professional designers prefer OpenType.

When you download a font, you’ll usually get a Zip archive, that, when expanded, includes the actual font file (the one with the .otf, .ttf, or .ttc extension) along with a ReadMe or license file. (If the Zip archive doesn’t expand automatically, double-click it.) You can install fonts into Font Book, Apple’s bundled font management utility app, in three ways:

  • Double-click the font file, and in the Font Book Preview window that appears, click Install Font. 
  • Open Font Book from your Applications folder, choose File > Add Fonts, select the desired font(s) in the Open dialog, and click the Open button.
  • With Font Book open, drag the desired font(s), or a folder containing them, to the Fonts column.

If you’re installing just one or two fonts, go with the first method, since it’s the easiest. However, if you’re installing a bunch of fonts at once, either the second or third approach will let you avoid lots of repetitive clicking.

Keep in mind that fonts in macOS can be installed for just the current user or for all users of the Mac. If at least one font is installed for the current user and at least one font is installed for all users, you’ll see Computer and User categories at the top of the Font Book sidebar. Otherwise, you’ll see just All Fonts.

Once installed, fonts should be available to most apps right away. If you had a font panel open in an app, you might need to close and reopen the panel before newly installed fonts will appear. Or just quit and relaunch any apps that don’t see the new fonts. If all else fails, restart your Mac to ensure that everything recognizes the new fonts.

That’s it! Now that you’re up to speed on installing fonts, have some fun finding and using fonts that will give your documents added personality.

 

Make the Most of the iPhone’s Panorama Mode

You’re hanging out at the beach at the end of a relaxing day on your tropical vacation and the light glancing off the water is perfect. You whip out your iPhone and snap a few shots, but they don’t capture the grandeur of the moment.

You need a panorama.

Luckily, the iPhone’s Camera app has been able to do that since iOS 6. At a basic level, it’s easy to use, but with a few tips, you can get even better results.

First, let’s make sure you know how to take a standard panorama. Hold your iPhone in portrait orientation (so it’s taller than wide). Open the Camera app, and swipe left twice on the viewfinder to switch to Pano mode (you can also swipe the labels or tap Pano in that row). Start with the left side of the image in the viewfinder, tap the round shutter button, and move the iPhone smoothly and continuously to the right to capture more of the scene. The white arrow moves across the screen as you move the iPhone. Be careful to keep the arrow on the yellow line—if you wobble too much, your panorama will have jagged edges. If you regularly have trouble moving the iPhone smoothly, look for a tripod with an adapter that can hold your iPhone.

Here’s your first tip: Although the iPhone will stop taking the panorama automatically when the arrow reaches the end of the line, you can stop the panorama at any point by tapping the round shutter button at the bottom. This is useful if you want to cut it off before hitting some less-than-scenic bits at the right edge.

Speaking of edges, it can sometimes be easier or better to move from right to left, rather than left to right. To switch the direction of the panorama, tap the arrow. You might want to make such a switch if it will be easier to keep ugly scenery out at the start, rather than at the end. Also, the Camera app can’t change exposures in the middle of a panorama, so if one side of your panorama is much lighter than the other, starting at the right might provide a better result. Tap the arrow again to switch back.

Although we generally think of panoramas as wide vistas, you can also use the iPhone’s Pano mode to capture vertical panoramas, like towering trees, soaring skyscrapers, and rushing waterfalls. Even an unexceptional scene topped off with interesting clouds can turn an everyday snapshot into a striking photo.

To take a vertical panorama, hold your iPhone in landscape orientation (wider than it’s tall), start at the bottom, and move it so the arrow climbs the yellow line. It’s likely that you’ll want to tap the shutter button manually to stop when you’ve captured the desired amount of sky.

Pano mode works by combining a lot of separate photos into a single image. You can take advantage of that fact to create some interesting effects:

  • You can have someone appear in both the left and right sides of a panorama. After you’ve panned past the person on the left side, have them run around behind you to get into the right side of the scene.
  • If you’re in the passenger seat of a car, try capturing a panorama of an interesting street scene using the motion of the car. Do not do this while driving!
  • If an object, like a pet, is moving while you take a panorama, it can result in some silly photos.

Finally, although a panorama is a very wide (or tall) image, remember that it’s still a regular graphic, which means that you can crop out jagged edges or an undesired edge in a graphics app like Preview.

 

Get New Finder Windows to Open Where You Want

Does it bother you when you open a new Finder window and it doesn’t show up where you expect or in the right view? Here’s how you fix that. Press Command-N, and get the window looking exactly as you want it in terms of position, size, and view type. Then, before doing anything else, close that window with Command-W, and then press Command-N again. The window should appear as you wish, but if it doesn’t, repeat the process of customizing and closing it again—sometimes it takes two tries for the Finder to realize it should remember your settings.