Make Tech Easier » Mac http://www.maketecheasier.com Uncomplicating the complicated, making life easier Thu, 07 Nov 2013 06:45:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.1 How To Enable Offline Dictation in OS X Maverickshttp://www.maketecheasier.com/enable-offline-dictation-in-mavericks/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/enable-offline-dictation-in-mavericks/#respond Tue, 05 Nov 2013 15:50:18 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=83073 Apple improved its Dictation service in Mavericks and made it available offline. Here's how you can make full use of this offline Dictation feature.

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Offline-Dictation-Mac-TeaserLast year, when OS X Mountain Lion was introduced, a new feature, Dictation, was also introduced to the blogosphere. This Dictation service gives users a quick way to enter text into practically any application’s text input fields by simply speaking into your computer’s microphone, provided the application supports the aforementioned feature.

A bad thing about this service is that it requires an Internet connection to work. When you speak, the audio sample is sent to Apple’s servers, where it is converted into corresponding text, and return to your Mac where it is inserted into the application. This unnecessary requirement made a quite useful service somewhat inconvenient, especially if you wanted to enter longer paragraphs. It also made having an active internet connection necessary for using the Dictation feature, which made some people quite disappointed.

Offline-Dictation-Mac-Mic

In Apple’s new highly anticipated OS X Mavericks, Apple has changed this by offering offline Dictation, a local service that runs on your machine instead of requiring to connect to Apple’s servers.

This much-needed change comes with a couple of key benefits as outlined below:

1. No Active Internet Connection Required – Instead of requiring users to wait for audio samples to be uploaded and processed by Apple, you can use this service even when there is no network connection available.

2. Continuous and live dictation – Instead of limiting the length of spoken phrases and then waiting for the entire audio recorded to be returned as text, you can now see the live processing of your phrase as it is entered word for word into your document as you speak it.

Offline-Dictation-Mac-Main

If you want to enable this offline Dictation feature, simply open up ”System Preferences” and go to the ”Dictation and Speech” section. Here you will find a checkbox, ”Use Enhanced Dictation”, which allows offline use and continuous dictation with live feedback.

One thing to note is that enabling this feature requires a fairly large download, about 491 MB in size for me. Some others have reported it between 700 and 800 MB, so we suspect that this is dependent on your chosen language.

Offline-Dictation-Mac

Once the download has completed, you can dictate text just as you used to before,using the shortcut specified in the Dictation and Speech preferences. The only difference will be that the transcription will now happen locally on your Mac instead of on Apple’s servers. This feature allows the words to appear “live” as you speak, resulting in a much more enjoyable and useful dictation process. Some people has commented that this new feature has made Dictation more inaccurate, but we didn’t experience any major mistakes.

There are also a number of dictation commands to help you with the formatting and punctuation. These are just the same as they are in Mountain Lion, however they become much more useful with this new enhanced dictation feature. Apple provides a full list which can be accessed here, and it contains things like “all caps”, “smiley face”, “new paragraph” and “next line”.

Offline-Dictation-Mac-Apple

This is only one of the many addition Apple made to Mac Mavericks. However, we feel that this is not enough for Dictation to be a serious competitor to commercial alternatives such as Dragon Dictate. For example, Apple should add a quick and easy way to edit existing text and correct transcription errors, without using a keyboard or mouse. It would also be great if the system automatically learnt from your corrections over time, or allowed manual training through the addition of tricky words such as names and places to the dictionary.

Maybe in OS X 11?….

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Post to LinkedIn From The Notification Center in OS X Maverickshttp://www.maketecheasier.com/post-to-linkedin-in-mavericks/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/post-to-linkedin-in-mavericks/#respond Mon, 04 Nov 2013 18:25:44 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=83092 In addition to Facebook and Twitter, OS X Mavericks also lets you post to Linkedin from the Notification Center. Here's how to set it up.

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Post to LinkedIn From the Notification Center in MacIf you’re still getting acquainted with OS X Mavericks, you may not be aware that you can post to LinkedIn right from the Notification Center (in addition to Messages, Twitter and Facebook). If you’re like me, you didn’t think to check “Internet Accounts” in System Preferences to see if anything had changed. If you’re an active LinkedIn user, this can really come in handy for you. Here’s how to set it up.

Follow these steps to add your LinkedIn account to the Notification Center in OS X Mavericks.

1. Head over to “Internet Accounts” in System Preferences. You can do this by going to the Apple menu and then System Preferences, or simply by searching for “Internet Accounts” in Spotlight.

2. Click on LinkedIn in the right column, enter your user name and password, and then click “Next.”

3. Read over the message that lets you know what signing into your LinkedIn account on your Mac will do (add your connections to Contacts, let you share links from Safari, etc), then click on “Sign In.”

That’s it, you’re done. Now when you open the Notification Center, you should see the LinkedIn icon at the top, right after Facebook.

Image Credit: Coletivo Mambembe

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How to Use Emoji in Mac OS X Maverickshttp://www.maketecheasier.com/use-emoji-in-mac-mavericks/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/use-emoji-in-mac-mavericks/#respond Sun, 03 Nov 2013 15:50:25 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=83081 Want to insert smilies and symbols into your tweets and/or Facebook status messages? If so, here's how you can use Emoji in Mac OS X Mavericks.

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emoji-mac-os-x-mavericks-thumbIn the past, we’ve shown you how to use Emoji characters on your Mac without installing any type of software. However, in OS X Mavericks, Emoji is accessed a little differently. Don’t worry, it’s actually much easier and more convenient than before. So, here is how you to access and use Emoji in Mac OS X Mavericks.

1. Click in a text area – wherever you’d like to insert an Emoji character. For instance, you may want to include one in a tweet via the Notification Center.

2. Press the following keys on your keyboard altogether: Control + Command + Spacebar. You should now see small window pop-up containing Emoji characters.

The Emoji characters window in Mac OS X Mavericks.

Much like on a mobile device, you can switch between people, nature, objects, places, symbols, and more; plus you can access your recently used and favorite Emoji characters.

3. Click on a character to insert it into the text area and the window will disappear. Then use the keyboard shortcuts to bring up the window again if needed.

While some may think this is a kind of useful feature, others are sure to find it very handy – especially since you can also insert letterlike symbols, technical symbols and bullets/stars from the same window.

Image Credit: Mark McLaughlin

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How to Initiate a Safe Boot and Run in Safe Mode on a Machttp://www.maketecheasier.com/safe-boot-on-mac/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/safe-boot-on-mac/#comments Sat, 02 Nov 2013 17:25:50 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82976 If you need to troubleshoot an issue on your Mac, the best way to do this is to initiate a Safe Boot and run in safe mode. Here are the steps to do so.

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mac-safe-boot-thumbSometimes you may need to initiate a Safe Boot on your Mac and run in Safe Mode in order to troubleshoot and/or fix an issue, such as: corrupt applications and data, damaged fonts and files, constant freezing and crashing. With Safe Boot, your Mac will start up with just the minimal system extensions, preferences and fonts needed to run.

To make things clear: Safe Boot is the process of forcing your Mac to start up using the bare minimum system resources, while Safe Mode is the mode your Mac runs in once a Safe Boot is initiated. So, here’s how to initiate a Safe Boot and run in Safe Mode.

Follow these steps to initiate a Safe Boot and boot into Safe Mode on your Mac.

1. Shut down your Mac – if it’s not already shut down.

2. Press and hold the Shift key – before pressing the power button.

3. Start your Mac while still holding the Shift key.

4. Continue to hold down the Shift key until you see the login screen. This could take a few minutes and you may see a progress bar underneath the Apple logo while starting up.

5. Login to your Mac. You should see “Safe Boot” in red at the top right corner of the login screen; this verifies that you have done the Safe Boot correctly.

Now you can do what you need to do, and restart when you’re done.

Image Credit: Ricky Romero

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How to Disable the Smart Zoom Feature in OS X Mavericks Safarihttp://www.maketecheasier.com/disable-smart-zoom-mavericks-safari/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/disable-smart-zoom-mavericks-safari/#respond Fri, 01 Nov 2013 17:25:41 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82904 Enjoying the newest version of Safari in OS X Mavericks, but hating the new zoom feature? Here's how to easily disable the smart zoom feature.

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How to Disable the Smart Zoom Feature in OS X Mavericks SafariAre you enjoying OS X Mavericks’ new version of Safari, but hating the double tap to zoom feature? This feature is called “smart zoom” and it’s triggered with a simple double-tap on your mousepad. While this feature can be useful for quickly zooming in and out of websites and images, it can also be annoying since it’s so easy to trigger by accident.

If you’re wondering how to disable the smart zoom feature for Safari, it’s actually quite simple.

1. Open System Preferences and click on the device you’re using, such as Mouse or Trackpad (for me, it’s Trackpad on my Macbook Pro).

Follow these steps to disable smart zoom in Safari - OS X Mavericks.

2. Now you’ll need to find the smart zoom feature. For me, I found it under the “scroll & zoom” tab, however if you selected “Mouse” then you may find it under the “point & click” tab.

Wherever you find it, uncheck the box next to smart zoom to disable it. That’s it! No more accidentally zooming in on web pages when browsing in Safari.

via Guiding Tech

Image Credit: theilr

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How to Setup External Microphone in Machttp://www.maketecheasier.com/setup-external-microphone-mac/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/setup-external-microphone-mac/#comments Wed, 30 Oct 2013 14:50:17 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?post_type=post-ideas&p=69743 The newer Mac doesn't have a audio line-in port, so how can you use external microphone in Mac? We will show you how.

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setting-up-mic-mac-teaserWhile there are tons of different kind of microphone available all over the world today, theoretically speaking, nearly all of them can be used on your Mac to help you talk to your loved ones on Skype, or to record your voice for any purpose whatsoever. Newer Macs do ship with a built-in microphone, but many people live or chat in places where there is a lot of background noise, and using an external microphone can give the amount of privacy that you want. The problem is nearly 50% of all external mics fail to work exactly right, just out of the box.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to get your external microphone to work with your Mac. Here’s a quick run down on how to set up external microphone in Mac.

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Get your microphone out, and plug it in your Mac’s USB or audio line-in port, depending on which type of connection your microphone uses. Once you plug in your microphone, your Mac should recognize it immediately.

There’s a fair chance that you tried looking for the microphone port on your new Mac, but couldn’t find one. That’s because Apple has removed the dedicated audio line in port that was present on Macbook Pros released prior to 2012. The Macbook Air never had a microphone jack when it was released back in 2008, and Apple still hasn’t included one despite requests from various consumers.

You won't find a microphone port on newer Macs.

Most microphones use a audio line-in cable to connect with the PC/Mac. If you’re using one similar to the one mentioned above, simply plug it in your Mac’s headphone port. Apple has combined the audio line-in and audio line-out port on its latest Macs, into one headphone jack.

With that done, we’ll now need to tweak your apps so that they use your plugged-in external microphone instead of the default, built-in mic. We’ll be showing you how to do it on Skype and Quicktime , but the process is pretty much same for any app out there.

First, open up Skype. Next, open up the Preferences window. This can easily be done by clicking “Skype” in the menu bar, and then selecting “Preferences”.

Set-up-mic-mac-skype-preferences

In the Preferences windows, click on the “Audio & Video” tab. and you will see a drop-down menu. It will say “Built-in Microphone”, change it to your external microphone. That’s it, you’ve now set up your external mic to work with Skype.

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Quicktime is the easiest of all here, as it’s audio settings can be edited directly in the screen recording window.

To change your microphone’s settings in Quicktime, simply navigate to the “Menu Bar -> File -> New Screen Recording”. Once done, you’ll see a white arrow appear on the right side, which will show a drop-down of available microphones you choose from when clicked.

setting-up-mic-mac-quicktime

From the same menu, you can also change the video quality and the location where the video file will be created.

That’s all there is to setting up your mic on Quicktime.

You can use the ”Sound” pane in System Preferences to change your audio input device. To do this, open ”System Preferences” and click on the ”Sound” icon.

setting-up-mic-mac-system preferences

Once you have opened the Sound section, you can see all audio devices you have connected to your Mac. Simply click on the one you want to select. System Preferences will also list what type of connection the particular audio device uses, such as USB, audio line in or built in. You can also use the ”Input volume” slider to change the selected microphone’s sensitivity or toggle. Remember to use “ambient noise reduction” if your microphone has that feature.

setting-up-mic-mac-sound preferences

A faster way to quickly switch your audio input device is to hold down the ”Option” key and click on the sound icon in the menu bar, instead of the slider to control your Mac’s volume you normally see when clicking there, you will see a list of all audio output and input devices, just click the one you want to make the selected audio device.

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Is There a CD/DVD Stuck in Your Mac? Here’s How to Eject Ithttp://www.maketecheasier.com/eject-stuck-cd-mac/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/eject-stuck-cd-mac/#respond Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:25:14 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82652 There's nothing worse than having a CD/DVD stuck in your Mac, with no way to get it out. Luckily, this short and sweet terminal command can force eject stuck CD from your Mac.

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Is There a CD/DVD Stuck in You Mac? Here's How to Eject it Using TerminalThere’s nothing worse than trying to eject a CD or DVD from your Mac, only to get a big surprise: it won’t come out. It’s extremely frustrating to have a CD/DVD stuck anywhere, especially your computer.

If this has happened to you, here’s quick method to help force it out.

1. Open Terminal.

2. Enter the one Terminal command below that applies to you and press enter.

For single optical drives:

drutil eject

For internal optical drives:

drutil eject internal

For external optical drives:

drutil eject external

Enter this simple command in terminal to eject a stuck CD/DVD.

3. Your CD or DVD should be ejected.

4. Quit Terminal.

Note: If the above method does not work, here are some other solutions to help force out a CD/DVD that is stuck in your Mac.

Image Credit: splorp

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How To Access Hidden OS X Mavericks Wallpapershttp://www.maketecheasier.com/access-hidden-mavericks-wallpapers/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/access-hidden-mavericks-wallpapers/#respond Sun, 27 Oct 2013 21:25:27 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82691 Mac OS X Mavericks comes with 43 beautiful, stunning and yet, hidden, backgrounds. Use the trick here to access these hidden Mavericks wallpapers

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Mavericks-Hidden-Wallpapers-TeaserWhenever a new operating system is released, there usually lie many hidden gems and goodies within, regardless of the platform of the OS. Apple’s newly released OS X Mavericks is no exception to this particular rule. In addition to all the stock wallpapers that come standard with the OS, there are 43 “hidden” backgrounds that are available to those who have chosen to try the new, California themed version of OS X.

We have completely no idea why Apple chose to keep these stunning HD wallpapers hidden, but with the trick below, you can easily unlock these wallpaper and set them as your Desktop wallpaper.

mavericks-hidden-wallpapers-featured

Accessing these Mavericks wallpapers is really simple, but unless you know the actual required steps, the chances of you mistakenly stumbling across them are next to zero. Here’s how to access and view these hidden wallpapers:

1: On your Mac’s desktop, press and hold “Command + Shift + G”.

2: In the “Go to Folder” menu, type in the following:

/Library/Screen Savers/Default Collections/

mavericks-hidden-wallpapers-location

3: You’ll now find yourself in a new folder filled with wallpapers. Copy them to another easily accessed location, such as your Desktop or Documents, and from there, set yourself a new desktop background.

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One of the most exciting and interesting things about a new piece of software, apart from the obvious new features, are the little hidden gems and features that we would have surely missed. We know that the net is already a treasure of beautiful and wonderful wallpapers, but is there any harm in having more of such beautiful images, especially when they are already available in your Mac?

via. LifeHacker

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How to Get iWork For Free in Mac OS X Maverickshttp://www.maketecheasier.com/get-iwork-for-free-in-mavericks/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/get-iwork-for-free-in-mavericks/#comments Sun, 27 Oct 2013 17:25:41 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82727 If you are one of those "old" Mac users who are not eligible for free iWork, here is a simple trick to grab the latest iWork for free.

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mavericks-free-iwork-thumbApple announced that the latest version of iWork will be free for new Mac users (Mac purchased on or after 1st Oct 2013), but if you are one of those “old” users who do not own any version of iWork, here is a simple trick to grab the latest iWork for free.

1. Download a trial version of iWork ’09 (available in Softpedia) and install it in your Mac.

2. Unless you have changed the settings, the system won’t allow you to install the pkg file. Head over to “System Preferences -> Security & Privacy” and enable apps downloaded from anywhere to run. Proceed to install iWork ’09.

mavericks-allow-apps-from-anywhere

3. Once the installation is complete, open App Store and check for update. You should see the update for Pages, Keynote and Numbers. Run the update and it will install the latest version of iWork to your Mac, overriding the iWork ’09 that you installed earlier.

mavericks-app-store-iwork-update

Enjoy!

Note: As of this post, this current method of obtaining iWork works fine, but there is no guarantee that Apple will leave this “loophole” forever. Perhaps it is just one of Apple’s strategy to get every Mac user to switch from Ms Office to iWork. Meanwhile, enjoy it while it lasts.

via AddictiveTips & Reddit

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How to Create an OS X Mavericks Bootable USB and Clean Install on Your Machttp://www.maketecheasier.com/create-mavericks-bootable-usb/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/create-mavericks-bootable-usb/#comments Sat, 26 Oct 2013 23:25:00 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82524 In this tutorial, we show you how to create an OS X Mavericks bootable USB drive and perform a clean install on your Mac.

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How to Create an OS X Mavericks Bootable USB and Clean Install on Your MacIf you’re a Mac OS X user then I’m sure you already know that the newest version, OS X Mavericks, was just released on Tuesday, October 22. To the surprise of many, it is available as a free upgrade via the Mac App Store. This new major OS X release adds over 200 new features and will give your computer a boost in performance as well as increased battery efficiency.

In most cases, you can simply upgrade through the Mac App Store, but if you prefer to do a clean install (format your hard disk and install the OS again so there is no unnecessary junk files in the system), you will need to create a Mavericks bootable USB drive (or CD if your machine still comes with a DVD-ROM)

1. Download OS X Mavericks from the Mac App Store. The size of the installer is about 5GB, so it can take a long time, depending on your Internet connection speed.

2. Once complete, the installation process will begin automatically, just close this out since you’ll be doing a clean install.

3. Now, you will need a USB drive that is 8GB or larger; insert it and open Disk Utility on your Mac.

These are the steps needed to erase your USB drive and get it ready to become a bootable OS X Mavericks drive.

4. Follow the steps in the image above to erase your USB drive: select the drive, click the “Erase” tab, select the “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” format, name it “Mavericks” and click on Erase.

5. Close Disk Utility and open Terminal. Now you’ll need to copy and paste the below command into Terminal and press Enter.

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Mavericks --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app --nointeraction

Warning: If you already have a drive or partition named “Mavericks” connected to your computer, you must rename your USB drive to something else and then change the corresponding variable (/Volumes/Mavericks) in the above terminal command – or you could overwrite the wrong drive.

Your drive will again be erased and then Mavericks will be added. This process can take anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes to complete, so be patient. You will see “Done” and a new terminal command prompt once this step is finished.

Run this command in terminal to create a bootable OS X Mavericks drive.

Now all that’s left to do is restart your Mac (leaving the USB drive inserted). Hold down the Option key as soon as you hear the start up chime and select your USB drive from the boot menu (it should be named something like “Install OS X Mavericks”). Follow the on screen directions to install Mavericks. If you have more than one partition, don’t worry, you’ll be able to choose the partition where you want Mavericks installed.

The installation process will take another 45 – 60 minutes, so be prepared to wait again. If all goes well, you should now have a like new Mac computer with the newest OS X Mavericks installed on it. If you have a backup you can restore your files and applications, otherwise you can just start from scratch.

Good luck and let us know how you’re liking this new version of Mac OS X.

Image Credit: urbanbohemian

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How To Factory Reset A Machttp://www.maketecheasier.com/factory-reset-a-mac/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/factory-reset-a-mac/#respond Sat, 26 Oct 2013 21:25:35 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82194 It makes sense to sell off your old Mac to get some cash to offset the cost of a new Mac/PC. This tutorial shows you how to factory reset your Mac prior to selling it off.

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Mac Air KeyboardAfter around 2-3 years of use, many people tend to sell or donate their Macs in favor of getting some bucks to offset the cost of a new Mac/PC. The thing is, many users forget to clear out their Macs, leaving their precious notebooks/desktops and the info in them vulnerable to misuse. In this tutorial, we’ll tell you not only how to factory reset your Mac, but also how to provide the new owners with a fresh start.

Note: The following method will work for all model of Mac, including Macbook, Macbook Air, Macbook Pro and iMac.

Many consider removing their user account from the system itself, and setting up a new administrative account for the new owners. While this is also helpful, the easiest and most thorough way is to simply fully format your system and reinstall OS X.

The first step in any factory reset, whether it be a tablet, mobile or PC/Mac, is to have a complete backup. Backing up your Mac is very easy. You can either do this using Time Machine, or a system cloning tool. Whichever method you choose to follow, you will have a full copy of your files and data which you can restore or migrate to a new system, if needed.

Mac-Factory-Set-Time-Machine

The second step, always be sure to disable any services that are specifically associated with your system. This step can easily be overlooked or forgotten, so always remember to perform it. For example, if you play your iTunes music on additional computers, you will need to authorize them to play any DRM-protected iTunes content. If the Mac you are parting with is one of these systems, then first disable this authorization.

Deauthorizing an iTunes account  on a Mac

Many people tend to upgrade or add expansions to the system for better performance results. We know that RAM and hard drive upgrades are extremely difficult to undo, so it will better to add the cost of these upgrades into the selling price. However, if you have a Mac Pro with PCI express card that you wish to use on your future Mac (or PC), be sure to remove them from the system.

The next and final step is to format your system and reinstall the original operating system software that came with it when you bought it. You can install the latest version of OS X that you purchased from the App Store, but normally, if you dig in a little bit, these copies are registered on your name and account, not the new owners. If you reinstall the original version of OS X that came with your system, you will give the new owners the chance to choose for themselves what version of the OS they would like to install.

Factory-reset-mac-mac-air

Follow the following steps for reinstalling your Mac if it has a disc tray and you have a restoration DVD (comes with Macs that include disc trays).

  1. Insert your restoration DVD into the optical drive.
  2. Reboot with the “C” key held down.
  3. After selecting your language, choose “Disk Utility” from the Utilities menu.
  4. In Disk Utility, choose your internal hard drive. (It’s listed above any volume names contained on it.)
  5. You should now see a Partition tab appear.
  6. In this tab, choose “1 Partition” from the drop-down menu, give the partition a name, set the format to “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” and Partition.

Follow the following steps if your Mac did not come with a restoration disc:

  1. Ensure you have an appropriate internet connection. OS X will access Apple’s servers and download all the installation tools for the correct version that came preinstalled on your system.
  2. Reboot pressing down the ”Option + Command + R” keys to force loading to Internet Recovery.
  3. After selecting your language, choose “Disk Utility” from the Utilities menu.
  4. In Disk Utility, choose your internal hard drive. (It’s listed above any volume names contained on it.)
  5. You should now see a Partition tab appear.
  6. In this tab, choose “1 Partition” from the drop-down menu, give the partition a name, set the format to “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” and Partition.

Once your system’s hard drive has successfully been formatted, you can continue to run the OS X installer, and wait for the content to download and be set up on the system.

After the installer completes, your system will restart. On booting up, it will show the welcome screen of the OS X setup assistant. Don’t continue, you can now hold the power button to shut off the system. Next time when it will be turned on, the new owners will be bought to the same screen.

Congratulations! Your Mac is now ready for the new owners to turn on and set up, as if the Mac arrived straight from the factory.

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Automatically Move Archive Files to Trash After Expanding [Mac]http://www.maketecheasier.com/trash-archive-after-expanding-mac/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/trash-archive-after-expanding-mac/#respond Tue, 22 Oct 2013 17:25:04 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82392 Tired of having folders full of unneeded archive files on your Mac? Learn how to automatically move archive files to trash or delete them after expanding.

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Automatically move archive files to Trash after expanding in Mac.If you are one who frequently downloads compressed files and folders on your Mac, such as zip and rar, you’ll often end up with a folder full of unneeded archived files. This is because archives automatically remain on your computer even after expanding them.

You can, of course, manually delete these when done, but it will save you more time if you could automatically move archive files to trash or delete them after expanding.

So how can we change this default behavior in Mac OS? It’s actually pretty simple.

1. Open Finder and press “Command + Shift + G” to open “Go to Folder.” Paste in the line below and press enter.

/System/Library/CoreServices/

2. Look for “Archive Utility” and double click on it.

Go to folder in Finder and select 'Archive Utility.'

3. From the Archive Utility menu (in the menu bar) go to Preferences. This will open the Archive Utility Preferences window.

From the Archive Utility menu, select Preferences.

4. From the “After expanding” drop-down menu, choose a new option. By default it’s set to “leave archive alone,” but you can change it to “move archive to Trash” or “delete archive.”

Quit Archive Utility and you’re done. Now those archive files will be automatically moved to Trash after expanding. This means less work for you.

Image Credit: NFSA Australia

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Eject CDs and DVDs from Your Mac with this Menu Bar Buttonhttp://www.maketecheasier.com/eject-cds-mac-from-menu-bar/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/eject-cds-mac-from-menu-bar/#respond Sat, 19 Oct 2013 14:50:46 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82032 By using a hidden menu bar option in Mac OS X, you can add an eject disk button to the menu bar, so that you can easily eject a CD or DVD with one click.

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Eject CDs and DVDs from Your Mac with this Menu Bar ButtonIf you’re one who often uses CDs or DVDs on your Mac, you may be looking for a more convenient way to eject them once you’re done.

There are already a few ways to eject CDs/DVDs from your Mac such as: dragging the item’s icon on your desktop to the trash, using the eject button on your keyboard or clicking on eject in Finder.

Here’s yet another easy way to eject CDs/DVDs from the menu bar.

1. Go to Finder and from the “Go” menu, select the “Go to Folder…” option (or just press “Shift + Command + G” in Finder).

Select the 'Go to Folder' option in the Go menu in Finder.

2. In the “Go to the folder:” prompt, copy and paste this line and then click “Go” (or press enter):

/System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras/

Type this line into the 'Go to the folder' prompt.

3. The Menu Extras folder will display in Finder. Look for the “Eject.menu” option and double click on it.

Double click the Eject.menu option.

You should now see an eject button on your menu bar. To eject an item, simply click on the eject button and select it from the list.

via Mac Tricks and Tips

Image Credit: splorp

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How to Type Euro Sign (€) and Other Currency Symbols in Machttp://www.maketecheasier.com/type-euro-sign-mac/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/type-euro-sign-mac/#respond Thu, 17 Oct 2013 21:25:08 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82033 In Mac, you can easily input the dollar sign ($) symbol. What if you need to enter an European dollar sign (€) and other currency symbols? Here is how you do it.

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mac-currency-symbols-thumbIn Mac, assuming you are using the US keyboard layout, you can enter the dollar sign ($) with the “Shift + 4” keyboard shortcut. What if you need to enter an European dollar sign (€)?

The answer is simple. The keyboard shortcut for Euro sign is “Option + Shift + 2“.

The next question is, what about Pound (£), Chinese Yen (¥) and many other currency signs?

For other currency signs, we can grab the respective symbol from the character viewer.

1. Go to “System Preferences -> Keyboard”. In the “Keyboard” tab, check the field “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar”.

mac-keyboard-show-character-viewer

2. Next, click the “Input Sources” button and check “Show Input menu in menu bar”. You should now see a flag in the menu bar.

mac-keyboard-show-input-menu

3. Click on the flag to bring down the menu and select “Show Character Viewer”.

mac-menu-show-character-viewer

4. On the left pane of the Character viewer, select “Currency Symbol”. You will now see the various currency symbols. Simply double click on it to add it to the text field.

mac-character-viewer-currency-symbol

That’s it.

Image credit: Foreign Exchange on Forex Market World Currencies by BigStockPhoto

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This Quick Terminal Command Lets You Add Half Star Ratings in iTuneshttp://www.maketecheasier.com/add-half-star-ratings-itunes/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/add-half-star-ratings-itunes/#respond Tue, 15 Oct 2013 21:25:13 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=81855 With a single-line terminal command used in Mac OS, you can add half star ratings to your songs in iTunes. Here's how.

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It's really easy to add half star ratings to iTunes in Mac OS; just use this command in Terminal.If you’re a Mac OS X user who listens to music in iTunes, you may often add ratings to your songs. With iTunes, you can add a rating from 1 to 5 stars, but only whole stars – no half stars. If you have some songs that are in between (ie. 3 1/2 stars), why should you be forced to give a 1/2 star more or less than what it deserves?

The short answer is that you shouldn’t be forced at all to do that, and you no longer have to be thanks to this quick tip from Mac Tricks & Tips. They’ve shared a single-line terminal command which you can use to add this functionality to iTunes, and it’s really quick and easy to use.

All you have to do is open Terminal (Applications -> Utilities or search via Spotlight) and then copy and paste this command and press enter:

defaults write com.apple.iTunes allow-half-stars -bool true

If you have iTunes open, you can now restart it, or open it if not open.

With this quick terminal command, you can now add half star ratings in iTunes on Mac OS.

You should now be able to select a star rating and drag to the right or left to add a half star.

Add Half Stars To iTunes Ratings | Mac Tricks & Tips

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Keyboard Shortcuts to Minimize and Hide Applications in Machttp://www.maketecheasier.com/quick-tips/minimize-hide-applications-mac/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/quick-tips/minimize-hide-applications-mac/#respond Wed, 25 Sep 2013 19:00:11 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?post_type=quick-tips&p=81148 For Mac users, if you have plenty of applications running, you might find that your desktop is cluttered with all sort of application windows. Here are several keyboard shortcuts that you can use to quickly de-clutter your desktop.

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For Mac users, if you have plenty of applications running, you might find that your desktop is cluttered with all sort of application windows. Here are several keyboard shortcuts that you can use to quickly de-clutter your desktop.

If you just want to quickly access the files in the desktop, simply press F11 (Fn + F11 for laptop) to move all the windows to the corner and reveal the desktop. Pressing F11 again will restore the windows. Note that this function does not minimize or hide the application windows. They are moved to the corner temporary and they will restore to their original position when you open another application.

Hiding an application is different from minimizing it. Hiding the application just make it disappear on the screen, and it will reappear when you do a “Command + Tab” selection. Minimizing an application will bring it to the dock and require you to manually reactivate it from the dock (the “Command + Tab” selection won’t work).

To hide the active application, simply press “Command + H”. To hide all applications except for the active one, press “Command + Option + H”.

To hide all applications, you just have to make sure that no application window is active. Clicking the desktop will usually do the trick. Click the desktop first and press “Command + Option + H”. All applications will be gone.

Another useful keyboard shortcut is “Command + Option + H + M”. This will hide all the application and minimize the active application, instantly de-clutter your desktop.

Note: For an even faster solution, simply install and place the DisplayDesktop app in your dock. With a single click, all your application windows are gone.

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How to Install Encfs and Encrypt Files in Mac OS Xhttp://www.maketecheasier.com/install-encfs-mac/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/install-encfs-mac/#comments Fri, 20 Sep 2013 14:50:44 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=80904 Encfs is particularly useful for encrypting files that you want to store in the cloud. Using encfs in Linux and Windows is pretty straightforward as there are installers for both platforms. However, for Mac OS X, installing encfs is not as easy as it should be. Here is how you can install and use encfs in Mac OS X.

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encfs-mac-thumbEncfs is an open-source software that is widely used to create encrypted filesystem. It is particularly useful for encrypting files that you want to store in the cloud, such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Using encfs in Linux and Windows is pretty straightforward as there are installers for both platforms. However, for Mac OS X, installing encfs is not as easy as it should be. Here is how you can install and use encfs in Mac OS X.

There are a number of ways to install encfs in Mac OS X. In this tutorial, we will show you the homebrew and OSXfuse installation method. It will require the use of terminal, so be prepared to get your hands dirty.

Homebrew is a useful package manager for Mac OS X. It allows you to install plenty of applications with a single command.

1. Open Terminal in Mac OS X. If you are not aware of where it is located, you can find it at “Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal”. Type the command:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go)"

This will install Homebrew in your system. If you have already installed Homebrew, you can ignore this step.

2. Go to the Fuse for OS X site and download the osxfuse.dmg file. Install osxfuse in your system.

3. Next, download the encfs.macosx package file to your Desktop and extract it.

In the terminal, “cd” to the encfs.macosx folder and execute the installer script.

cd ~/Desktop/encfs.macosx-master
./install.sh

This script will download the encfs copy from the web, install it with Homebrew and patch it to make it compatible with osxfuse.

Once the installation is completed, you will have encfs running in your system.

Still in the terminal, you can create an encrypted filesystem in Dropbox using this command:

encfs ~/Dropbox/Private ~/Private

Go through the setup process. You will be prompted to enter a master password. Make sure you use a strong password and remember it. Once completed, you should see a “Private” folder in your Home directory. Any file you place in this folder will be encrypted and stored in the “Dropbox -> Private” folder.

It is very troublesome if you have to mount the encrypted directory everytime you login. Use the steps below to automount the encrypted directory when you login.

1. Open “Keychain Access”. We will be adding your encfs master password to Keychain so the script can automount the encrypted directory without prompting you for password. Add a new entry. Enter “encfs” for both the “Item name” and “Account Name” field. Once you have added the password, you can close Keychain Access.

encsfs-add-password-keychain-access

2. Open a text editor and copy the following text into it.

#!/bin/bash
 
ENCFS="/usr/local/bin/encfs" 
ENCDIR="$HOME/Dropbox/Private"
DECDIR="$HOME/Private"
 
security find-generic-password -ga encfs 2>&1 >/dev/null | cut -d'"' -f2 | "$ENCFS" -S "$ENCDIR" "$DECDIR"

Save the file as “encfslogin.sh” in your User directory.

Make the script executable:

chmod a+x encfslogin.sh

3. Next, open AppleScript editor and paste the line:

do shell script "$HOME/encfslogin.sh"

encfs-create-applescript-application

and save it as an application in your User directory.

4. Lastly, go to “System Preferences -> Users & Groups”, click on your User account and select “Login items”. Add the encfslogin application to the startup list.

encfs-add-to-startup

Log out and login again. Your encrypted directory should be auto-mounted now.

Image credit: security concept with a lock by BigStockPhoto

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How to Clear Spotify Cachehttp://www.maketecheasier.com/quick-tips/clear-spotify-cache/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/quick-tips/clear-spotify-cache/#respond Mon, 16 Sep 2013 19:00:16 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?post_type=quick-tips&p=80698 If you are running low on hard disk space, you can clear Spotify cache to free up some space. Here is how you can do so in Windows, Mac and Linux.

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If you have been a regular user of Spotify (on desktop), you should know that it caches your playlist in the local hard disk so it can quickly playback the songs without having to stream from their server again. However, if you are running low on hard disk space, you might want to clear the cache to make way for more important documents. The Spotify desktop client doesn’t come with a way to clear the cache. Here is how you can clear Spotify cache in Windows, Mac and Linux.

In Windows

Open Windows Explorer and paste the following line to the folder address bar:

C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Spotify\Storage

Replace “USERNAME” with your Windows login username. Note that this folder is hidden by default, so you have to use the direct link to reach the cache folder. (Alternatively, you can go into the Settings and turn on “Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives.”)

Delete all the files in this folder.

In Mac

Open a terminal and type:

sudo rm -fr /Users/USERNAME/Library/Caches/com.spotify.client/Storage/*

Replace “USERNAME” with your login username.

In Linux

Open a terminal and type the following:

sudo rm -rf ~/.cache/spotify/Storage/*

Note: The above methods only work if you didn’t change the destination of the cache folder. If you have changed the cache location, you have to make amendment to the filepath to reflect the new location that you have set.

Once you have cleared the cache, the next time you run Spotify, it will re-cache the songs to your system. You might want to go to the “Preferences -> Cache” section to change the maximum cache size that it can use.

spotify-cache-size

That’s it.

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Transfer Music to iPhone Without Adding It to iTunes Libraryhttp://www.maketecheasier.com/quick-tips/transfer-music-iphone/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/quick-tips/transfer-music-iphone/#comments Wed, 11 Sep 2013 19:00:04 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?post_type=quick-tips&p=80139 You don't have to add a song to the iTunes library to sync it to your iPhone. Here is how you can transfer music to iPhone without adding it to iTunes library.

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The default method of getting music from your Mac/Windows to your iPhone/iPod Touch is to add the music to your iTunes library and then sync the library with the mobile device. What if you want the music on your mobile device, but don’t want to add it to your iTunes library? Here’s the solution to transfer music to iPhone (or iPod Touch/iPad) without adding it to the iTunes library.

1. Open iTunes and connect your mobile device to your Mac/Windows.

2. Click on the device on the left pane and select “Summary”. Under the “Options” section, check the box “Manually manage music and video”. Click “Apply”.

itunes-manually-manage-music

3. Now you can drag your music from the desktop (or any other folder) to the “Devices” section in the left pane.

itunes-drag-music-to-device

That’s it. The song/video will only be added to your mobile device, and not iTunes library.

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5 Ways to Enhance Functionality of the Mac Dockhttp://www.maketecheasier.com/enhance-functionality-of-the-mac-dock/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/enhance-functionality-of-the-mac-dock/#respond Wed, 11 Sep 2013 14:50:50 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=80514 The Mac dock is a useful tool in OS X that holds all your favorite apps and or folders, giving you quick access. For those of you who want more out of your Mac dock, there are some great tools available to get more out of this great OS X feature.

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Dock-ThumbnailThe Mac dock is a useful tool in OS X that holds all your favorite apps and or folders, giving you quick access. As great as it is, it only features a few ways to make changes to it, such as changing the side of the screen it appears on and changing the effect after you open or eliminate an app. For those of you who want more out of your Mac dock, there are some great tools available to get more out of this great OS X feature.

Dock-DockShelf

One of the knocks against the dock is that while you can add as many things as you want, the size of the icons has to keep shrinking to fit more items in there. DockShelf solves that problem by offering you the opportunity to create as many docks as you want. You can place them all around your desktop, helping you to designate different docks, between ones for productivity, social networking, documents, etc. These individual docks can be collapsed on your screen leaving just a labeled tab visible. You can opt to have DockShelf hidden out of the way when apps are in full screen mode to help your production. Apps, folders, stacks, and smart folders can be added to each dock with the ability to control each individually. Window previews are available as well. By mousing over items in your docks, it will give you previews of all the open windows pertaining to that particular item.

DockShelf

Dock-TabLauncher

Tab Launcher works much the same as DockShelf. One difference is that it allows you to make more changes to it aesthetically. You an change the color, the transparency, the font on the label, etc. Upon download, it’s already set up with three tabs that include the “Main” dock, a dock for apps that connect you to the Internet, and Utilities, but you can make as many tabs as you want and utilize your own themes. However, unlike DockShelf, you can only place these docks along the edges of your screen. It does have one great addition, and that’s the ability to set up a Music tab to control your music, both in a playlist and Internet radio.

Tab Launcher

Docks-HyperDock

Forget about dock functionality; HyperDock gives you great functionality on your Mac overall. Aside from the great Window Previews, HyperDock also allows you to control a few native apps, such as iTunes and iCal. Mousing over iTunes allows you to see the current song, pause/play, forward/reverse, adjust the volume, etc., somewhat mirroring the new functionality in iOS 7. Mousing over iCal lets you see your upcoming events. HyperDock also allows you to add and assign shortcuts to apps, and move and resize windows.

HyperDock

Dock-DockDrop

Looking for an easy way to share files via your Dock? It can’t be any easier than the drag-and-drop process of DockDrop. You can share files via FTP, WebDAV, SCP, and Flickr. Just set up which of those services you want to use, then drag and drop files directly into the app residing in your dock. DockDrop then initiates a URL of your file and places it on your clipboard so that you can easily share however and with whomever you wish.

DockDrop

Dock-DockChanger

Dockchanger is for those of you who just can’t get used to change. No matter what, you still long for the way things used to be. Leopard brought changes that gave the Mac dock a 3D effect. The people at Dockchanger recognized the people who don’t like change and gave them the option to change the dock back to a 2D effect. It will place dots below the active items just like 3D dock, yet will appear transparent like the previous dock.

For those of you using OS X earlier than Mountain Lion, you can also apply different themes to the dock in 3D with Dockchanger. This ability won’t work with Mountain Lion and above, however, as Apple removed the ability to be able to tweak the theme of the dock other than strictly 2D vs. 3D. Some believe the intention is to make the dock in OS X imitate functions in iOS as much as possible.

Dockchanger

Despite not being able to tweak the Mac dock too much aesthetically, there are still many things you can do with the dock. What started out as just a simple way to access your apps and files has turned into a way to run your whole Mac, from controlling how apps work to complete organization. It’s all left up to the you to decide how you want your dock used.

Image credit: My Mac OS X Dock

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