Mac, iPhone, & iPad tips to help YOU get more from your Apple stuff.
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I'm Mac, iPhone, and iPad consultant Christian Boyce. Helping people with their Apple stuff is what I do.

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Hidden Printing Features

Everyone knows how to print... it's just File/Print, or Command-P for the keyboard people. What else is there to know? Plenty. Here are some tips that will have you printing faster/better/more efficiently than ever before.

Tip Number One: Expand the Print dialog box.
When you bring up the Print dialog box, it might be kind of small, like this:

If you like 'em small, this box will work just fine... but if you want access to bunch of handy features, click that downward-pointing triangle in the blue square, up at the top of the box. When you do that, you get an expanded box. Just look at all of those options (see below).

Ah, that's better. You get a nice preview (now we know it's going to take 24 pages to print), and you get to specify how many copies, and which pages, and a whole lot more. Use the little arrows under the preview thumbnail to see what's one each page-- maybe you don't need to print everything after all.

Tip Number Two: Explore the Layout options.
In the expanded dialog box above, I'm printing from Safari. (One of the clues is the pop-up menu that says "Safari" on it.) If you click on the pop-up menu that says "Safari" you will see some other choices (see below). Choose Layout and you'll see things change up a bit.

After choosing Layout, here I've chosen to print two "pages" on each sheet of paper. All of a sudden my 24-page print job is going to take only 12 sheets. All I did is choose 2 from the "Pages per Sheet" menu (could have been 4, 6, 9, or 16 if I wanted it to be) and then choose an option from the Border menu. See below.

Pretty neat. One of these days this is going to help you.

Tip Number Three: Print your pictures using Preview
I hope that you're using Preview to open JPEGs and PDFs and other graphic formats. I could write a nice blog entry showing why Preview is so much better than Acrobat Reader, or I could just tell you it's better and hope you'll take my word for it. When it comes to printing, nothing has a better combination of features and ease of use than Preview-- certainly not Acrobat.

Here's a picture, opened in Preview, and we're ready to print.

This looks a lot like the Safari Print dialog but there are plenty of differences. Most important is the "Scale to Fit" button. You can see, in the box next to "Scale", that Preview had to scale the image to 70% to fit it onto the paper. Nicely, conveniently, this is what Preview does, by default. Very nice of them.

The Auto Rotate checkbox is almost always a good thing to have checked, so leave it checked.

Now, let's look at the bottom of the box, where it says "Images per page." Let's say that you want to make multiple copies of the picture-- smaller ones that you can give away. Choose a number other than 1 in the Images per page pop-up menu, and check the box next to "Print n copies per page." ("n" will be the number you chose in the Images per page pop-up menu.) You'll see what you're going to get in the thumbnail preview. Notice that "Auto Rotate" did its thing here, rotating the image so it fits better on the page.

You can't do it any easier than that.

Pretty neat, eh?

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New Apple MacBook Airs

Apple introduced a new MacBook Air portable computer today-- actually, two of them. One has a 13-inch screen and the other an 11-incher. They replace the existing MacBook Air and offer several improvements over the older model, including longer battery life, better screens, instant on, and a great big multi-touch trackpad. The biggest difference under the hood is the use of a "Flash" drive rather than a traditional spinning mechanical hard disk. For all practical purposes the MacBook Air's new Flash drive is just like a digital camera card-- small, flat, no noise, no moving parts, all electronic, low power demands. You can get as much as 256 Gigabytes of storage space when you buy the MacBook Air and if I were buying one, that's what I would do. There's a 128 GB version, and a 64 GB version (for the 11-inch model only) but I'd go with 256. I wouldn't be mad at you if you got the 128, but I would not recommend the 64 GB model because I think you need more space than that.

You will enjoy this little video, courtesy of Apple, talking about the new MacBook Air and how it came to be.

Here are some things to watch and listen for as you watch the video.
  1. Isn't it ironic that Apple has based this machine on Flash technology, when it was only a few months ago that Steve Jobs was telling us how miserable Flash is and that he wants nothing to do with it? Actually, maybe it's not ironic. It turns out that "Flash" is the name of two totally different things. The Flash that Steve doesn't like is resource-hogging software from Adobe, used in web page design. The Flash that Steve does like is a little storage device on a chip, like a camera card. Totally different things, with the same name. What a drag.
  2. They refer to the camera as a "FaceTime" camera. Yesterday, we called it the iSight camera. Bye-bye, iSight. Hello, FaceTime. I'd expect to see more and more FaceTime stuff as time goes by-- including, I predict, coming soon to an iPad near you.
  3. Does every interview with Jonathan Ive have him facing the same direction, slightly off-screen? So far, yes.
  4. Bonus: Jonathan Ive says "Aluminium" as only he can say it, at the 2:27 point. Listen for it.
All four models are available for ordering from Apple's website today. Here's the link. By the way, you'll get the new iLife '11 package pre-installed, for free.

Update: two more things about the new MacBook Airs. First, they are fast-- about as fast as the "regular" MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Second, they are thin. Very thin. If they were any thinner they would only have one side! Heh heh. Extra credit for those who laugh at my joke.

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Solve an Irritating Mail problem

Ever make a typo in someone's email address, and from then on Mail keeps using that mis-typed address? Or, ever have a friend change email addresses, and every time you try to email him Mail remembers the old address instead? What an irritation. Most people just live with it, but some people complain, and thanks to them we have this here blog entry that tells you how to Fix This Problem.

Step 1: in Mail, go to the Window menu and select "Previous Recipients."

You'll get a window like this one, but less blurry:

That's a list of everyone you've sent emails to. Find the ones that are wrong, click on them, and use the "Remove From List" button to get rid of them. Problem solved.

Microsoft Entourage users: I haven't forgotten you. You can indeed clear out an address from Entourage's "Recently Emailed" list-- but it's an all-or-nothing affair. Apple's Mail is better because it lets you pick and choose.

Here's what it looks like in Entourage. Get there by going to the Entourage menu and choosing Preferences.

Of course you won't see the helpful red box, but you'll figure it out once you're there.

Check out my other posts-- there are more than 400. Need more help?

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Quickly Edit Events in iCal

Maybe I should have known this one and maybe everyone else already does. I guess we'll find out.

When you make an event in iCal it is assigned a "calendar" (category). The one that's assigned is the one that's selected in the list at iCal's left. Often, it's not the one you want. Here's how to change it quickly.

This is my list of iCal calendars, and I've selected "CB & A." If I make a new event it will belong to the CB & A calendar
If I want to change it to "cb Personal" it used to take a bit of work:
  1. Double-click the event
  2. Click the Edit button
  3. Choose a Calendar by clicking on the name of the calendar you assigned to begin with and then choosing another
  4. Click the Done button.
That's too much work. My new method is a whole lot faster and easier. All it takes is a Control-click on your event, in any view (day, week, or month) and a contextual menu appears, with a "Calendar" item in it. Choose a calendar by sliding down to Calendar and then over to the calendar you want. Using this Control-click method you can assign a calendar to an event in one click.

Did you already know that?

Check out my other posts-- there are more than 400. Need more help?

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