Customize the Finder Window Toolbar for Supercharged Features

by Adam Engst Many Mac users don’t realize just how customizable their Macs are, and a part of the Mac interface that’s simultaneously among the most useful and the most overlooked is the toolbar that appears in every Finder window. By default, the toolbar contains buttons for navigating back and forth, changing the view, arranging the […]

Use Tabs in Apps in Sierra

by Adam Engst We’ve all become accustomed to opening Web pages in separate tabs in Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox. And in OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Apple gave us the capability to open different folders in tabs in Finder windows, making it easy to work in multiple folders with limited screen real estate. In macOS 10.12 […]

Use Quick Look to Peek inside Files and Folders on Your Mac

by Adam Engst Finder icons sometimes hint at what’s inside, but if you find yourself opening file after file to look at the contents quickly, OS X has a little-known feature just for you: Quick Look. To give it a spin, find a file in the Finder, click it once to select it, and press the […]

Use Trackpad Mode When Editing Text on an iPad or iPhone

by Adam Engst In theory, it should be easy to move the cursor in text on an iPad or iPhone—just press and hold until the magnifying circle appears over the cursor and then slide it around. In reality, it’s often fussy and annoying. Apple came up with a better solution starting in iOS 9: trackpad mode. […]

Understanding the Relationship between Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C

by Adam Engst Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models rely on a new kind of connection port: Thunderbolt 3. Unfortunately, while this switch is great from a technical standpoint, it has caused confusion in the Mac world. Let’s sort it all out. The root of the confusion is the fact that Thunderbolt 3 uses […]

Taking Screenshots: Three Tricks for the Mac and One for iOS

by Adam Engst Did you ever want to capture what’s on your screen, or at least a part of it? Screenshots aren’t just for technical writers trying to document app behavior—you might also use them to provide feedback on a photo, to document an error message for someone who helps you with your Mac, or to […]

Enhance Copy & Paste with Clipboard Utilities

by Adam Engst One of the most important technologies of the computer age is Copy & Paste. You may not think about the humble clipboard much, but Copy & Paste has saved you incalculable amounts of work by letting you copy something you’ve done previously to the clipboard, paste it into another document or app, and […]

Rearrange Menu Bar Icons in Sierra

Have you ever wanted to rearrange the menu bar icons that breed like bunnies at the top of your screen? Some of that has been possible in the past, but macOS 10.12 Sierra finally lets you configure your menu bar the way you want it. To move a menu bar icon, hold down the Command […]

Teleport Around Your Mac with the Sidebar

by Adam Engst | Aug 1, 2016 If your Mac resembles an absent-minded professor’s office with files and folders strewn hither and thither, getting to the right spot to open or save a file may have become slow and clumsy. Sure, in an ideal world, you’d organize everything perfectly, but you’d also be flossing twice a day, calling […]

Revert to iOS 9’s Home Button Behavior

by Adam Engst | Oct 1, 2016 iOS 10 changes how you use the Home button to unlock your iOS device from the Lock screen. Previously, you could unlock it by merely resting your finger on the Home button when the Lock screen was showing. In iOS 10, however, you must press the Home button and then use […]

When Should You Upgrade to macOS Sierra, iOS 10, watchOS 3, and tvOS 10?

by Adam Engst | Sep 1, 2016 It’s that time of year again, as the leaves start to turn, the air gets crisp, the grass is covered with frost in the morning, and Apple releases major operating system upgrades. We’ve known this was coming since the company’s announcement in June, but now it’s time to think hard about […]

New MacBook Pros Sport Dynamic Touch Bar

by Adam Engst | Oct 28, 2016 With the release of the new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros, Apple has rewarded those who have been waiting patiently for new models. They’re smaller, lighter, and faster than the previous MacBook Pros, but what really sets them apart is the new Touch Bar. What’s a Touch Bar, you ask? It’s […]

Paste without Formatting on the Mac

by Adam Engst | Jun 1, 2016 When you copy text from a Web page, PDF, or word processing document, OS X usually includes formatting, so the words you paste may be 56 point blue italic if that was what the source text looked like. That may be appropriate at times, but often you want the text to […]

Find Buried Options in the iOS Settings App

by Adam Engst | Jun 1, 2016 iOS 10 offers about 40 top-level categories in its Settings app and seemingly innumerable options in those categories. How can you find a little-used setting, particularly since Apple sometimes moves things between categories during major iOS releases? The solution is the Settings app’s hidden Search field. To reveal it, pull down […]

Find System Preferences Faster by Sorting Alphabetically

by Adam Engst | May 1, 2016 By default, System Preferences in OS X organizes its preference panes by category. However, it doesn’t label the categories, making the organization nearly inscrutable. If you have trouble finding the Accessibility preference pane, for instance, which ends up in the bottom right when sorted by category, there’s a better way. With […]

Find on Page in Safari in iOS

by Adam Engst | May 1, 2016 Picture yourself looking for something specific on a long Web page on the small iPhone screen. Did you know that you can search through just the text of the page? Tap the Share button, and in the bottom row of icons, swipe left until you see Find on Page. Tap that, […]

Type Accented Characters and URLs Faster in iOS

by Adam Engst | May 1, 2016 Did you know that many keys on the small iPhone keyboard are hiding additional characters? To type an O with an umlaut, for instance, press and hold the O key, and a popover appears with accented variants of O. Without lifting your finger, slide it over the Ö and then pick […]

Why IMAP Is Better than POP for Email

by Adam Engst | May 1, 2016 When you read an email message on your iPhone and delete it, do you have to trash it again when you check mail on your Mac? Or is your email kept in sync such that if you delete a message on one system, it never even appears on the other? If […]