All items in the category "Tips & Tricks"

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Use Preview To Protect Your PDFs With Encryption [OS X Tips]

password protected

Every once in a while, you might want to password protect a PDF file with encryption. While there are several nice third-party apps that will do the trick, the simplest way to do this is with the built-in image and PDF viewer, Preview.

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Have Siri Play Secretary For You [iOS Tips]

Siri Voicemail

Sure, you can ask Siri to call one of your contacts; it’s one of the ways I make calls handsfree in the car. Simply say, “Call Kim” (or the name of the contact you’d like to call–you may not know Kim), and Siri will place a voice call to that Contact.

Did you know, however, that Siri can handle even more complexity? Yes, yes it can.

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Too Bright? Tone Down Those iOS 7 Visuals [iOS Tips]

tone it down

iOS 7 changed the visual palette on our favorite Apple mobile devices, and it may not be to everyone’s liking.

If you want to tone it down a bit, consider darkening the colors up, and reducing the white point on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch to make things just a little bit less intense.

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Slow Down That Window Minimize Animation In Mavericks [OS X Tips]

Animate Dock Minimize

So, here’s a weird one–have you ever wanted to watch a window animate itself really slowly as you minimize it to the Dock? No?

Well, let’s assume you did for some reason. How would you go about it?

In Mavericks, anyway, it’s a trivial thing, and it produces a fun effect: your window will minimize to the Dock super slowly, even slower than in the animated image above.

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Control Your iPhone With Your Face – Set Up Switch Control In 7.1 [iOS Tips]

Accessibility

There’s a new accessibility feature built into Apple’s already pretty splendid suite of options for people of various abilities. Called Switch Control, it allows those with motor difficulties to connect a switch to their iOS device for better access.

The feature, originally released alongside iOS 7, allows users to connect a switch via cable or Bluetooth as well as setting up the screen itself as one big switch button.

In iOS 7.1, then, Apple added another useful option: to use the Camera itself as a head switch. Here’s how to set it up.

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Add Or Delete Spaces In Mavericks [OS X Tips]

add or delete Spaces

If you’ve been using OS X for any length of time now, you know the special joy of desktop “spaces,” what Apple calls its virtual desktop system. You can switch between them by hitting Command-Arrow (right or left) on your keyboard, or you can activate Spaces with the F3 key on most modern Macs. You can also reorder these Spaces around fairly easily.

But did you know you could add more Spaces? Delete the ones you have?

Well, you can, and it’s pretty simple.

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Enable New Month And List Hybrid View With iOS 7.1 [iOS Tips]

calendarhybridview

iOS 7 allowed you to switch between the day view and the list view with the tap of a button.

The new iOS 7.1 update now lets you see your events list along with your monthly calendar all on the same screen, giving Apple’s Calendar app a much-needed boost in usefulness.

Here’s how to enable it.

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Never Forget Cinco De Mayo Again – Add Holidays To Your Mac’s Calendar [OS X Tips]

Holidays Calendar

Quick – when is Earth Day this year? How about Saint Patrick’s Day? Not sure?

Then why not enable US Holidays in your Calendar app, right on your very own Mac? It’s quick, simple, and will make sure you never forget to wear green on March 17, or recycle on April 22.

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Map The Airspace Overhead With Siri [iOS Tips]

Planes Above Me

Ever wonder what’s going on in the skies above you at any given time? If you’re interested in airline flights in the air over your head, you can just ask Siri.

The personal digital assistant will check WolframAlpha for you and drop you a great little chart of the planes in the air overhead.

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Don’t Start Over – Tell Siri To Change That Date, Time Or Message [iOS Tips]

Siri, go die in a fire, ok?

Siri, go die in a fire, ok?

Seriously, if I have to start over from scratch one more time when I try and use Siri to send a Tweet or book an appointment, I may just give up using Apple’s much-touted personal digital assistant altogether.

As it is, I tend to skip trying to use Siri other than as a glorified app launcher and I use the built-in dictation instead from within the Messages, Twitter, or Calendar apps.

But that was before I found out that you can just tell Siri to change whatever it is she’s not getting.

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