Safari

Dealing with Adobe Flash Player

I woke up to the news of yet another Adobe Flash Player security concern. The article is on the Mac Observer web site.

So, just what is Flash? According to
Adobe:

Adobe Flash Player is the standard for delivering high-impact, rich Web content. Designs, animation, and application user interfaces are deployed immediately across all browsers and platforms, attracting and engaging users with a rich Web experience

According to
Wikipedia:

Adobe Flash (formerly called "Macromedia Flash") is a multimedia and software platform used for authoring of vector graphics, animation, games and rich Internet applications (RIAs) that can be viewed, played and executed in Adobe Flash Player. Flash is frequently used to add streamed video or audio players, advertisement and interactive multimedia content to web pages, although usage of Flash on websites is declining.

Steve Jobs had
very strong feelings about Flash and refused to incorporate it into iOS, the operating system for Apple’s iPhones and iPads.

Flash works on Macintosh computers, but in my experience, it is more of a curse that a feature. In fact, it is usually to blame for many of my computer headaches. I decided to strictly control it several years ago and I could not be happier! The problem with Flash is that it just doesn’t know when to stop! Flash is an Internet browser extension. If it is used on a web site, Flash Player starts up and it does not turn itself off until you quit the browser (think Safari, Firefox, Chrome etc.) While it runs in the background it continues to demand RAM from your computer and it slows down the processor, making your computer run slower--and slower--and slower. Soon you begin to see spinning beach balls each time you try to click a link or even use a different application.

There are ways to limit the effects of Flash on your computer. I use
ClickToFlash, a Safari Browser Extension. It prevents Flash content from loading automatically. When I encounter Flash content, I see this:

no_flash

If I click the Flash button the content for the clicked box shows. When I leave the webpage, ClickToFlash turns the Flash player off. It doesn’t turn on again until I click another Flash box.

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 9.36.10 AM

When you go to the
web page for ClickToFlash, there are download links for both ClickToFlash and the ClickToPlugin. Today we are only going to deal with ClickToFlash. When you click the link, this is downloaded to your Download folder:

clicktoflash

Double click on it and this will appear:

clicktoflash_install

Click the Install button and a web page will appear where you can choose just what the ClickToPlugin will do:

safari_extension

In general, you can ignore this for the moment. An easier way to learn about ClickToFlash is to go back to the webpage. If you want to get it back, the easiest way is to open Safari Preferences.

safari_preferences

Make sure you have selected Extension at the top and ClickToFlash in the left column. Click the link to Marc Hovis to get back to his web page for explanations and instructions. You will make any changes by clicking on “Click this checkbox to access the settings.

safari_extensions

In general, the defaults work well, but if you want to tune it more finely, there are lots of choices.

In tomorrow’s article, we’ll look at just how to install Flash updates. You would think it would be easy, but through experience, I know that about 75% of our clients don’t manage to install all those Adobe Flash Player updates!

--Pat
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Recipes everywhere

In the first blog post of this series I showed you how to find great recipes on Pinterest. In the second one, I showed you ways of saving recipes and displaying them on your computer. In this post we will explore ways of accessing your recipes not only on your computer, but also on iPads and iPhones--and you can even use these recipes on a friend’s computer.

While I would like to be able to tell you about a text editor on the iPad and iPhone that would read the rtfd files that I taught you to make on your Mac, unfortunately, that application does not exist -- yet. There are several apps that can handle .rtf files, there is nothing that can handle rtfd files, the ones that contain both text and pictures. They can also be saved without those pesky page breaks that are a remnant of the printed past.

So now we need to find an application that can be used anywhere, that doesn’t use page breaks and one that is platform and device agnostic. I know of only one app that meets all those requirements,
Evernote. Even better, the basic application is free. When you download Evernote, you will need to establish an account. The free Evernote is the place to start. It allows you to add up to 60 MB of content per month (as of 1/2013), and displays a "usage" meter. While a free account allows the user to share notebooks, only paid accounts allow others to edit notebooks. The biggest problem for free account users is that files on iOS and Android are not available when you are not on a WiFi connection. The premium service is available at US$5 per month or $45 per year.

This is the Evernote interface on my computer:

Recipes_Everywhere_1

Here it is on my iPad:

IMG_1050

This is on my iPhone:

IMG_2743

Because there are thumbnails for these files, it is easy to visually identify the recipes.

Now let’s take a look at a recipe, first on the computer:

Recipes_Everywhere_4

On the iPad:

Recipes_Everywhere_5

And on the iPhone:

Recipes_Everywhere_6

They all look good! The text wraps nicely, the pictures re-size appropriately and there are no huge white spaces. This is fine for a small to medium size recipe collection. The search function makes it easy to find a word:

Recipes_Everywhere_7

As your collection grows, adding tags help to narrow the list down:

Recipes_Everywhere_8

Evernote will work well for many people. There is much more to Evernote. Even if you don’t choose to make it your place for recipes, it is a very good way to collect bits and pieces of information. When I help someone set up a new iPad or iPhone, Evernote is one of the first applications that I suggest to them as a must-have item.

I keep talking about helping people. That’s because I am a consultant. I work with Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus. We offer trouble-shooting, technical support and training over at
Bob LeVitus Consulting. Tutoring costs only $60.00 per hour. We have special software that allows us to see your computer and we can work on the things you want to learn. Give us a call at 408 627-7577. Or send an email to urgentrequest@boblevitus.com.

--Pat
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Adding images to iPhoto with Safari

My “day job” is running an Apple consulting business with Bob LeVitus. We get lots of people who send us an email with a question. While many the those questions are too complex to answer without suggesting a consulting or tutoring session, others are easy enough to answer in this forum. Some even lead to “teachable moments.

Max K. asked a question that lead to this blog post:

In the past I could right click a photo on Safari (email) and download it to Iphoto. Now I get an error message that “iPhoto cannot communicate with Safari". Is there a fix for this?

This issue first appeared almost a year ago. I suspect it is a bug that got introduced in an update to either Safari or iPhoto. If you have seen this problem, have you reported the bug?

In every application produced by Apple there is an item in the application’s menu that provides a way to give feedback or report bugs to Apple.



Clicking these items will take you to a web page that asks question such as which computer you are using, which version of the operating system etc. I went to a session presented by an Apple Product Manager recently. He explained that he receives reports related to the products he is responsible for and he then assigns Apple engineers to investigate the problem. While the fix is not always immediately implemented, Apple tries to resolve as many issues as possible in the next product update.

However, just reporting the problem does not provide a work-around until the issue is fixed. Let’s see if we can find one.

The problem looks like this. I found an image on the Apple Web site that I would like to save. If I hold down the Control key on the keyboard while I click and hold on the image I will get this pop-up menu:



If I select “Add image to iPhoto Library, I see this message:



It’s exactly what Max reported!

However, if iPhoto is already open, the image is imported into iPhoto:



AlthougH I have not fully solved Max’s problem, I have found a workaround. It looks like I have found a bug in Safari and I took a few minutes to report it. Hopefully, Apple will have it fixed in the next version of Safari. I do know if more of us who report bugs, there greater chance that the Apple engineers will look for a solution to the problem.

When you find issues, please report them, but then do a little troubleshooting too. Perhaps you will find a workaround that will help you out!

When you have problems that aren’t so easy to solve, don’t forget about us at Dr. Mac Consulting. We offer training, troubleshooting and technical support. We have special software that allows us to see and control your computer. Troubleshooting costs $30 for 15 minutes or $60 for 30 minutes. We can fix most problems in 15 to 30 minutes. Our tutoring sessions are $60 per hour. We can show you how to use new features of your computer or software. Give us a call at 408 627-7577, or visit our web site or send us a message at urgentrequest@boblevitus.com.

--Pat
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Security Checkup - Safari and Preview, Part 2

In the previous post I was talking about Safari’s security.

While I know that some of you are probably thinking that it is time to move to Firefox or Google Chrome, similar issues exist in those browsers and it could take far longer for those companies to fix the issue than it takes Apple.

So, how do you make Safari more secure? The first step is to open Safari’s Preferences:



You will then see this window. Note that the General pane is chosen:



It is very important to make sure that there is NOT an x in “Open “safe” files… at the bottom of the window. If you do not know where files that you have downloaded are stored, notice that they are probably being sent to the Downloads folder. That folder is a part of your Home folder:



Open that folder. Is it full of old files, ones that you didn’t even know you had? If it is, put away the things you want to save and clean out unneeded files by putting them in the trash and emptying it. Make a commitment to keep the downloads folder empty so that you will recognize files that you did not intend to download.

If files that are out-of-sight never get dealt with, then change your download folder to be your desktop and then remember that a cluttered desktop slows your computer down and makes it inefficient.

There is a whole pane in Safari Preferences devoted to security:



While your ultimate choices are up to you, I do want to know when Safari thinks I am entering a fraudulent web site. I haven't had it steer me wrong yet!

As for my location, that one is hard. I appreciate getting information about things around us when I do a search, but sometimes, I would rather be a bit more private, so the check here changes occasionally.

I am not bothered by Java and JavaScript, but I really dislike pop-up windows, so my checks don’t change here very often. As for cookies, if I didn’t go directly to your Web site, I don’t want your cookies!

The last one is particularly important to me. Sometimes the lack of security on a form on a secure Web site is an oversight on the part of the programmer, but if it is not a site I am very familiar with, this warning will cause me to take my business elsewhere. The non-secure form raises the issue of hacked sites. I may be too cautious, but I would rather be safe than sorry!

There is a lot to think about in computer security! If you need a hand, one of the services we offer at Dr. Mac Consulting is tutoring and issues like this make great learning opportunities. Tutorials cost only $60.00 per hour. We use special software to see your computer and we can show you secure your computer and lots more! Give us a call at Bob LeVitus Consulting. We can discuss your needs and help you formulate a plan that will give you the best “bang for your buck.” You can reach us by telephone at 408 627-7577. Or send an email to urgentrequest@boblevitus.com.

--Pat
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Security Checkup - Safari and Preview, Part 1

As Macintosh users, malware, spyware and viruses are not things that we worry about every day. In fact we can become pretty lackadaisical in our security habits and sometimes even Apple seems to help us out.

Macintosh computers are shipped with a setting in Safari that should probably be changed. They are set so that “safe” files will open automatically. However, some of these “safe” files are not so safe.

“Safe” files include movies, pictures, sounds, PDF and text documents, and disk images and other archives.

While I will agree that on the Mac movies, pictures, sounds, and text documents are almost always “safe,” the other three are not nearly as “safe.” Let’s consider the others.

When your Mac was shipped, the default viewer for PDF documents was set to be Apple’s own Preview application. It is safe, but the other popular software to view PDF files, Adobe Reader, is not. There are lots of web sites that have links to and recommend Adobe Reader. Most of those sites are written by Windows users and for PC’s, there are few free Windows applications that can handle PDF chores.

On your Macintosh, Preview is a faster, better and safer application choice. If your computer is set to use Preview to view PDFs, the icon will look like this:




or this:



These are the “good” icons.

If your computer is set up to use Adobe Reader, it will look like this:



This is the “bad” icon. If your computer is set to use Adobe Reader, pdf icons will look like this. Unfortunately, there are a number of vulnerability issues associated with it. Even with frequent updates, Adobe Reader is still a problem.

Here is the way have Apple’s Preview open PDF files.

First, find a PDF file on your computer. To find such a file, open a new Finder window:



In that window, type .pdf in the search area and click the buttons for “This Mac” and “File Name.”



Click on a PDF file to select it.



The press Command - I on the keyboard or go to File > Get Info in the Finder.



You will then see a window similar to this. Notice the tiny “disclosure triangles” beside each item. If the “Open with” area is not displayed, click that tiny triangle to view the information.



Choose Preview. It could be at the top of the list, or it could be further down in the body of the list.



Now, press the “Change All…” button to make this choice the default.



From now on (or until sneaky Adobe Reader convinces you select it again) PDF files will open in Safari.

As for Disk Images, Wikipedia defines them this way:

A disk image is a single file or storage device containing the complete contents and structure representing a data storage medium or device, such as a hard drive, tape drives, floppy disk, CD/DVD/BD and key drive, although an image of an optical disc may be referred to as an optical disc image. A disk image is usually created by creating a complete sector-by-sector copy of the source medium and thereby perfectly replicating the structure and contents of a storage device.


So, put simply, a disk image looks like this.



When it is opened, it will look similar this on your desktop:



It will look like this in the Finder Sidebar:



Archived or Zipped files look similar to these:



Both Disk Image Files and archived files could be malicious. The vast majority are quite safe, but if you do not recognize the file or your cannot remember where it came from, it is safest to put the file in your trash can and empty it!

We are certainly not finished here, but this post is long enough. Stay Tuned for Security Checkup - Safari and Preview, Part 2. I am working on it NOW!

--Pat
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AirPort Wireless a bit slow?

I keep an eye on the most recent Apple technical articles using this link. While the articles may not be interesting or relevant every day, I often find good information for learning more about the hardware and software that we use on our Macs.

I have been setting up a number of Apple Time Capsules and AirPort Extremes in recent weeks and I had wondered which Wireless Security scheme was better. Lets take a look.

Note: The method I am showing supposes that you use an Apple wireless base station of some sort. You will need to refer to the user manual for your wireless device if you are using another brand.

You will need to open the AirPort Utility. My usual method is to click on the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the screen and enter the first few letters of the thing I am looking for:




This method is convenient because it quickly shows you not only the application, but also a number of items that might be related. Another way to get to the AirPort Utility is to use the “Go” menu in the Finder to open the Utilities Folder:




A third way to get to it is to open a Finder window, open the Applications folder, then locate the Utilities folder and open it. Give the magnifying glass a try--it is definitely the fastest and most direct way!

When you open the AirPort Utility, you will see a list of Apple wireless devices in the left column. If you see more than one, choose the “main” device. You will also want to make similar changes in any other devices.

Click on the “Manual Setup” button:




In the next window, choose the “Wireless” tab at the top of the screen:





Now, click the “Wireless Security” button and choose WPA Personal.




That will cause the Update button to become active. Click it.




You will then see this dialog box. Click the “Continue” to make the change.





I am sure you are wondering what you just did and why it matters. The answer is in Apple’s Technical Knowledge Base article TS3361, but let me try to simplify it.

The rules for how devices and settings work are set up in industry standards. The standard being used in current Apple wireless devices is 802.11n. The standard includes rules for how fast data can be transmitted and rules for security settings. According to that standard, when a wireless device is using WPA or WEP, the fastest speed that data can travel is 54 MBps. While that is fast, 802.11n devices are allowed to transmit data at a much faster rate if the device is using WPA2 Personal.

If you choose WPA/WPA2 Personal, then your AirPort Base Station transmissions are capped at 54 Mbps when there is a device that is using only WPA on your network. If there are no devices present that require WPA, then your wireless speed can increase up to a theoretical maximum of 300 Mpbs.

I have also noticed that web pages open much faster when WPA2 Personal is enabled. That seconds-long pause that frequently happens when a link is chosen is greatly reduced. I cannot find anything definitive in technical literature to support my experience, but Ted Landau also noted it in a recent article at Macworld.com

However, there is one possible “gottcha.” If you choose WPA2 Personal, then devices that use WEP or WPA are locked out of your network.

Since all of the computers in my home are fairly new, and all of them can use WPA2 Personal, I have our network set to do just that. If you have a PC or an older Mac (Intel Core Duo or PowerPC processor), you may need to use WPA or even WEP.

Because my Time Capsule is fairly new, it can be set to allow for a second guest network. While guests can get wireless access, they cannot get to our family’s computers for file sharing or printing. In general, I leave the guest network security set at WPA/WPA2 Personal. However, if a friend has a really old PC, I occasionally have to take all password protection off to allow them to see and use our network.

Apple’s latest Time Capsules and AirPort Extreme Base Stations cost a bit more than generic Linksys or Netgear wireless routers, the ease of setting them up, updating them and being able to set up guest networks make them a real bargain for me.

Just in case you are wondering, I do not get any special prices or deals for my computer equipment. I go to the Apple Store or order it online at regular prices.

If you would like to discuss the information presented here or if you need help to make sure your wireless network is operating at maximum speeds, consider booking a tutoring session with us at Bob LeVitus Consulting. We can use our special software to take a look at your computer and we can advise you on future purchases. The cost is $60.00 per hour. Send us a message at urgentrequest@boblevitus.com or give us a call at 408 627-7577.

--Pat

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Cleaning up your Desktop

I am a very visual person. I like to be able to see the files that I am using for my current projects. Since I do so many computer projects, it doesn’t take long for my computer desktop to get very cluttered.



I also give quite a few computer presentations. When I will be sharing my computer screen with an audience, I need for it to be clean and uncluttered. My solution is to make a new folder on my desktop. I use the current date to name the folder and then I drag all of the files on my desktop into it.



My screen quickly looks clean and uncluttered, ready for visiting eyes. Computer experts will tell you that your computer will now be a bit faster because it does not have to spend as much time keeping track of the location and position of all the files on the desktop.

Of course, I also need to take care of the clutter that I just hid -- and that is the real reason for this blog post.

When I first open the folder’s window, I put it into the list view, with the contents sorted by name from. In this view it is easy to see if there are any files that are duplicates




Notice that We Rule "Hire your Friend"?.webloc and We Rule "Hire your Friend"?-1.webloc were created at the same time and they are also the same size. The only difference is that the second file has “-1” added to the file name. A quick check of the file on the web confirms that they both lead to the same web page, so I can eliminate one file.

When a two files have the same name except that they have a dash and then a number, it is a sign that they are probably duplicate files. We often find similar files in the Downloads folder. If they are the same size and the Date Modified is the same, then they are duplicate files and you probably do not need both of them.

Webloc files are made when you drag the favicon from a web page to your desktop or a file folder. In essence, it is a quick web bookmark.





As I surf the web, I often drag these .webloc files to my desktop so that I can quickly find the page links to use in emails or blog or Twitter posts.

I often forget to throw away these files when I have finished using them, so sorting the folder by Kind makes it easy to group them for quick disposal.



I tend to find quite a few photos and illustrations on my desktop. Using the Cover Flow view of the finder window allows me to take a quick look at these files to determine what I need to do with them.



The Cover Flow view is also useful for quickly scanning some document types.



You can hover your cursor over some documents to view the contents. Clicking on the arrows in the pdf file shown above would give me a preview of each page.

My favorite way to put files away is to open two windows. I open a window on the left side with my folder in the list view. On the right side of the screen, I open my Home folder in the Column view.


I also click on the “jelly bean” in the upper right corner of the window to cause the sidebar and toolbar to disappear. This makes it easier to drag my files to the right folder without dropping them in the wrong place.



Cleaning up your desktop makes it easier to find thin, just like the counters and tables in your home.

While computers can make our lives easier, there is a lot to learn. At Doctor Mac Consulting, we can show you how to make your computer easier to use in a tutoring session. The cost is $60.00 per hour and we use our special software to “see” your computer.

While tutoring sessions are calm, unhurried and relaxed, sometimes you need quick help to fix a problem. We call those Troubleshooting Sessions. We take a look at your computer, fix the problem, and get you back to work as quickly as possible. We can fix most computer problems in 15 to 30 minutes. The cost of troubleshooting is $120 per hour, billed in 15 minute increments. The cost of most troubleshooting sessions is $30 to $60. We do not bill you for the time needed to install our software to see your computer and if we cannot fix the problem, you are not billed for our time.

Send a note to
urgentrequest@boblevitus.com or call us at (408) 627-7577 for further information.

--Pat




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Safari: Tabs - More Tricks

Who would have thought there is even more things that can be done with Safari’s tab feature?

Yesterday I did a special presentation for the Falcon’s Landing Apple Group. I used Safari: Using Tab as the basis for the presentation. When I was reflecting on the day, I decided to look for a few more features. I can often find hidden commands and little-know tidbits in the View and Windows menu of application.

While the View menu didn’t yield much, the Window Menu was full of things to explore:



If you look at the bottom of the menu, you can see that I had seven different windows open in Safari:



If you look at the upper left corner of my screen, you six of the windows, but one is completely hidden. Unless you go to the Window menu, it’s easy to miss something that you have opened.

This is a time when it would make sense to move all of those windows into one--and there is a command for that!



If you use the Merge All Windows command, the seven windows will suddenly become this:



Merging all the windows into one is certainly efficient. Now, let’s explore some ways to navigate around tabs. In the same Window menu are the clues.



The Select Next Tab command ends with two symbols and the Select Previous command adds a third. I have learned that most Mac users don’t know what those little symbols mean, so here is a cheat sheet:



So, using this chart, to go to the next tab you would press Command - Tab. To go to the previous tab, press Command - Shift - Tab.

If you would like a copy of the list of symbols above, just drag the graphic to your desktop or press and hold the Control key while clicking on the picture to see this pop-up menu:



You can find even more Apple keyboard shortcuts by clicking on the words.

There are two more command that you might find helpful. Pressing Command - T will make a new tab in you current Safari window.

The second command in very interesting. Look carefully at the two screenshots below.



When I made the first screenshot, I had a Safari window open with no tabs. The command to close the window was Command W. The Close Tab command was grayed out. Now look at the second screenshot, In this case, the Safari window had at least one tab. Using Command W would close the active tab. If I wanted to close the window, I would need to press Shift - Command - T.

It is the little features like these that show how much thought and effort has gone into the programming of Safari. Kudos to Apple for all the little, useful details!

If you would like to learn even more about Safari, book a tutoring session with Doctor Mac Consulting. We can show you how to make your computer easier to use and we can see where you are having problems. The cost is $60.00 per hour and we can use our special software to “see” your computer. Send a note to urgentrequest@boblevitus.com or call us at (408) 627-7577 for further information.

--Pat

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Safari: Using Tabs

There are so many features in Safari that are not turned on when it ships. These are features that make Internet surfing faster and easier. It’s difficult to understand why Apple does not enable them when it ships Safari.

Here is a list of recent posts about Safari features on MacMousecalls.

Another Safari feature that I really like and use every day is tabbed browsing. When you first use Safari, the top of the window looks like this:




The Show Tab Bar command in the View Menu…




will add a tab bar in the Safari window:




When you are on a web page with links to other pages , hold down the Command key as you click on the links.




Tabs will appear along the tab bar and the web page will load on the tabs.




If you click on a tab you will see that web page, but your original page will not disappear. You can click the tabs to view the different web pages.


If you want to close a tab, hover your cursor over the favicon (icon) on the tab. An x will appear.




It is possible to re-arrange the tabs by dragging then along the tab bar.




To move a tab into a separate Safari window, click and drag down on the tab:




If you try to close a Safari window that has multiple tabs, it will warn you that you are about to close multiple web pages:





While I like the way Apple has configured tabs to work, you can modify those actions in the Safari Preferences.




To get to this window, go to the Safari menu and choose Preferences. Be sure to select Tab in the toolbar at the top of the window.




Sometimes it is difficult to learn new things, even with all of these pictures. If you would like one-on-one help, consider booking a tutoring session with Doctor Mac Consulting. We can show you how to make your computer easier to use and we can see where you are having problems. The cost is $60.00 per hour and I can use our special software to “see” your computer. Send a note to urgentrequest@boblevitus.com or call us at (408) 627-7577 for further information.


--Pat

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Safari - I closed the window!

Oops! I just closed my Safari window instead of sending it to the Dock.

Does this ever happen to you? It occasionally happens to me--and there is a way to re-open the window.

Go to the History menu. Choose "Reopen Last Closed Window".



While the window will reopen, the items under the Back icon have disappeared. Use the lower part of the History menu to find those items.

--Pat

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Safari - Know where you are going

Safari 4.0 made a few changes in the toolbar at the top of each web page. Some of the changes were easy to accept, while others caused more than a few negative comments.

One thing that disappeared was the blue progress bar that showed in the URL or address window at the top of each page. I don't particularly miss it. Perhaps that is because I did not pay too much attention to it. Instead, I use the Status Bar that can be added to the bottom of all Safari windows.



There is a good chance this piece is missing in your Safari window.



Check your View menu. If it says, "Show Status Bar," then you will not see it at the bottom of each window. If it says Hide Status Bar, then it will be present in each window.

This Status Bar can show you the address for links:



And it can show you the progress made in loading a web page:



Sometimes, the page will have stopped loading, but the count of completed items will indicate that the page did not completely load. This is usually called a server error." You can attempt to load the rest of the page by clicking the Reload icon that shows at the end of the address bar. Sometimes that will cause the missing items to appear. If they don't you may want to check the page with a different browser or later in the day.



While the status bar is pretty small, it can be very useful in web surfing.

--Pat
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Safari homepage - Make it yours!

Yesterday I blogged about the Safari toolbar. If you read that post, hopefully your toolbar contains at least a few extra icons.

Another thing that I see as I work with client's computers is the default Apple homepage. While it is not terrible, it is pretty useless. Your homepage should be something that you WANT to read when you open Safari.

For many years, I used a page from Excite. Other similar pages include Yahoo.com and iGoogle, These can be personalized to include things that were of interest to the reader.

Recently I have been using Google News. Once again, it can be personalized and its content changes frequently throughout the day.

Some of my clients prefer a large newspaper such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Houston Chronicle. Other favorites include the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle or even the San Jose Mercury News. Still others prefer the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times.

For the real geek, you might enjoy MacDailyNews, The MacObserver, Macworld, or The Loop. Let's not forget Macsimum News, TUAW, ArsTechnica and CNET. A great page that aggregates these and even more is MacSurfer.

If you have a favorite hobby or special interest, think about a page with daily new content.

First, open the page that you have chosen. Open the Safari > Preferences > General menu to make your choices.



Click the "Set to Current Page" button to change the page.



Some Mac users would prefer to use something other than a homepage. Click the "New Windows open with" button if you would prefer something else:



The nice thing about being a Mac user is that there are lots of different choices available--and you can make new choices easily.

Happy Web Surfing!

--Pat
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Safari Toolbar - Make it yours

I see lots of Macintosh computer users using Safari. And I see lots of them using the Safari toolbar just the way it came.

We all know that Apple is a minimalist company when it comes to esthetics--but minimalism doesn't make Safari easy to use. It is bare! There is no home button, no print button, no resize button.



This is my Safari tool bar. Look at all those strange icons. Those strange icons make it so easy to really use Safari.



So, how did I put them in my toolbar? I used View > Customize Toolbar…



This is window you will see:



At the bottom of the window you will see the default toolbar. Above it, you will see lots of icons that you can add to Safari. Drag the icons up to the Safari toolbar. Click the Done button in the lower right corner when you are finished. While you may not want to add all of them, here are several that you may want to add.

First, add the Home button:



Click it and you will return to the page that first opens when you start Safari. That can be any page you like--and that will be the topic of another blog post!

The Zoom button is very useful:



It allows you to instantly make not only the text, but also the graphics bigger (or smaller) on a web page. Now that my eyes are over 40, I find this to be very useful.

Two more icons that I find to be very useful are the Mail and Print buttons:



Since I do most of my news reading on the web these days, and since I frequently want to send a web page address to someone, this Mail button is very convenient. It opens a new message window in Mail with the subject and the web address already in place. I only need to address the message and write a quick note:



The Print button opens the Print window. While I could just print the page, instead, I usually make a PDF of the page and file it away in the appropriate place on my computer.



If your Print window looks different than mine, you need to click this disclosure triangle to see the really useful Print window shown above:



There are lots more buttons that you can add to the Safari toolbar. Do some more exploring. You can always go back to the View > Customize Toolbar… window to add or remove them.

--Pat
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Printing from blogs and other long pages

I gave our old PowerBook to my 90 year old aunt several months ago. This has been a true adventure for her as she had never really used a computer before. Actually, I gave her the computer, an older AirPort Extreme, a printer and even an iSight camera. Aunt Lee lives in California--and I am in Virginia, so we have used iChat screen sharing many times as I teach her more about her computer.

The other day I sent her a link to one of my favorite blogs, Bakerella. If you have not seen it and you enjoy baking or cake decorating, this is a wonderful site. Aunt Lee discovered a recipe for Lemon Bars. Of course, she needed a printout to use while she cooked.
Click here to read more...
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Finding things near you with Google

Do you know where the nearest Starbucks is? I don’t -- I am not a coffee drinker, but when out of town friends arrive, that is a frequent question.

To find out where a particular store or restaurant is located near you, type in its name and your zip code. Google will return a map the addresses of locations near you, and even telephone numbers. Click here to read more...
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Taking notes from the web

Isn’t the web wonderful? What did we do without it? I know that I spend far less time in the library looking for information--and I spend far less money and use far less space since I don’t have to rely on photocopies to keep information.

There are many ways to capture and store information from the web. For example, if I go to a recipe site on the web I can use their tools to store my flies on their website. However, I vist too may sites to find this an effective method of storing recipes!…
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Aging eyes and tiny type on the web and in Safari

Darn, this getting older is not much fun! Back when I turned 40, I began to notice that small type was getting harder and harder to read. That was just a few years ago, but sometimes I land on a web page that must have been produced by someone with unbelievable visual acuity!

Sometimes it is not the whole site, but just a particular section: Click here to read more...
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Links in my emails won't work

Don't you just hate it – you get an email with a link – maybe lots of links. You decide to visit them, but some of them just don't work.

There are several things that can cause a link to break: Click here to read more...
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All the wrong information

I had an interesting call recently. The client complained that whenever she tried to fill out a form on the Internet, Safari seemed to have all the wrong information.

So, where does Safari get its information? It uses your entry in the Address Book: Click here to read more...
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