Computing with Bifocals - Hints & Tips For Mac Apps
- July 28th, 2004
In today's column I am going to share some of my favorite hints and tips for using some of the basic OS X applications -- Mail, Safari, Address Book, and iPhoto. Then, for good measure, I'm throwing in one for Microsoft Word for Mac.
Sending Mail to a Group of People at The Same Time
A lot of beginners become comfortable with e-mail before they become comfortable with anything else having to do with the Internet. It is way too much fun to be able to communicate "long-distance" without paying long-distance phone rates, especially when you can receive new pictures of grandkids, etc. at the same time. Once you become comfortable using e-mail, it is not uncommon to want to send the same message to several people at once. The Mail application that comes free with OS X makes it very easy to do that. The steps to do that follow.
However, if I may make a short editorial plea first: Many people do not like to receive cute poems, inspirational messages, jokes, etc. by e-mail. Many people do enjoy receiving them. Before you get in the habit of sharing things you enjoy make sure that your intended recipients enjoy them as much as you do by just asking them.
To create a Mail group, start by opening Address Book. You do this because there is a complete integration between Mail and Address Book and that is where all your e-mail addresses are stored.
Choose View > Card and Columns
Once that is open, choose File > New Group OR simply click on the + button at the bottom of the Group frame
A new file will open in the Group frame. Name the new file. Say, for instance that you create a list that includes your family members and name it "Family."
Once you have named it, you can click on the "All" file at the top of the Group list and see all the names in your address book. Just drag and drop the names you want included in your new group (Family) to the new Family file and you are done.
If there are family members that you want to include in your group that are not currently in your Address Book, you must first add them to your Address Book before you can include them in your group. It is the only way that names can be included. Adding someone to a group will not pull them out of your regular address book list, and people can be in as many different groups as you wish.
To remove a person from a group, highlight that persons name and select Edit > Remove from Group. Again, that does not delete them from your Address Book, only the group.
When you are ready to send a message to your Group you enter the name you choose for your Group in the To: field of the message. Hit the Tab key and each name that you added to your Group folder will then automatically be listed in the To: field.
Don't Lose Your Place On The Internet
Sometimes when you are reading a page on the Internet, there will be a link to something that you want to go check out, but you don't want to really leave the page where you are because you are not finished. This is especially true when you are clicking on a link in an e-mail, or from a friend in iChat because your browser isn't directly in front of you. So, your friend sends you a link, you click on it, and the page you were meaning to finish reading later is gone.
There is a way to keep that from happening. You can tell Safari that you want to open up links from outside applications (iChat, e-mail apps like Apple's Mail, etc.) in a new window, leaving your current page just where it is.
To set this up, open Safari, choose Safari > Preferences > General. At the bottom of the General window you will see the words "Open links from applications" with two options. If you click the button next to "in a new window" then that is what you will always get. The window you started with will stay open so that you can go back to it whenever you want.
The Quickest Way To Add A Name To Your Address Book
If you receive e-mail from someone who is not in your Address Book, you can click and hold your mouse (or right-click if you have two buttons on your mouse) over the person's address in the From field of the message, press the mouse button, and choose "Add to Address Book" from the pop-up menu. Mail and Address Book are smart enough that if the contact is already in your Address Book, the option to add them won't appear.
Do You Want Your Newest Pictures On The Top Or On The Bottom?
In iPhoto all your new pictures will be placed in your main photo library. From there, you can create as many subfolders as you wish. However, you still have to start with that main photo library. You can instruct iPhoto to place your latest downloaded photos at the top of your library or at the bottom.
To do so, open iPhoto. Then choose iPhoto > Preferences > Appearance. To have new photos on top click the box next to "Place most recent photos at the top." If you prefer to have them added to the bottom, make sure the box is not checked.
How to Save and Insert Frequently Used Text or Phrases in Microsoft Word
It is not uncommon in a work or home office setting to find yourself frequently having to repeat often used phrases or even paragraphs of the same language. Microsoft Word allows you to save those things so that you can simply insert them into your document at the appropriate point with a click. You just have to remember what you name each bit of text. The steps are as follows:
Open a Microsoft Word document. Create the text you want to save and store. Create it in the format you want to use it in later. For instance: a paragraph, a list, part of a signature, etc. Highlight the text.
Choose Insert > Auto Text > New
A window will open that lets you name and save the text you want saved. The name must be at least 4 characters long. Name it and click OK.
To insert your saved text, place the cursor in your document at the point you wish to insert the saved text.
Choose Insert > Auto Text > Normal > Name of Saved Text.
Release the mouse button and the saved text will be added to your document.
I hope you find these hints useful.
Copies of Nancy's book Tips, Hints, and Solutions for Seasoned Beginners Using Apple Macintosh Computers With OS X are available in PDF download versions for US$9.57 and in print version for $18.15 plus $4.00 shipping. To view sample pages and get ordering information visit the September 14, 2004 column.
|Check out Nancy's complete index of all her columns for the most complete list of tips anywhere. The list is categorized and is a great reference when you are looking for help!
Nancy has a Master's degree in Human Services Administration and prior to her retirement she worked for almost 30 years in field of mental health and mental retardation. She has been a Mac user for 11 years, and has recently developed an avocation of teaching basic computer skills in both group and one-to-one settings.
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