Closing/Quitting, Forwarding, Zooming (Vol #1)

May 10, 2011 in Newsletters

Inside: *Really* quitting an application, email forwarding etiquette, zooming your display or a window

News

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that 531 new subscribers signed up this week. Many couldn’t wait to start submitting questions on the website, which I highly encourage and really appreciate because they give me great ideas for future videos. One of the new videos this week was inspired by a reader question.

So I can give first priority to newsletter subscribers, I’ve set up a subscriber-only question page: (only for subscribers)

To keep it a secret, you won’t find a link to that page anywhere on the website. Bookmark it or save this email so you’ll be able to get your questions on the top of my list.

The three new Mac Help For Mom videos this week had a variety of inspirations. The first came directly from helping a reader solve a problem she was having. A California reader requested the second video. He prefers to remain nameless I suspect because he’s hoping that some of his friends will follow my tips in the video. My sometimes weary eyes inspired the third. If you sometimes struggle to see things on your Mac display, you’ll definitely want to watch that video.

Closing is Not Quitting

Reader Linda was having a terrible time updating her Safari. The installer kept asking her to quit Safari and she thought she had. She’d clicked the little red X button in the upper left. The Safari window was most definitely closed. Ahhhh, but closing the window is not the same as quitting the application. This is a common misunderstanding, especially if you’ve used Microsoft Windows.

I told her a couple ways to check if Safari was still running, even though it didn’t have any windows open. She discovered it was still running and then used the trick I told her to make sure that she completely quit the application. As soon as she did, Linda said the Safari update installer began instantly!

Learn the signs to look for and the different commands to close a window and quit an application in “The difference between closing and quitting.”

Email Forwarding Etiquette

Do you ever get emails (often humor or political ones) that appear to have a whole phonebook-full of email addresses scattered across the first few pages? If you don’t, count yourself among the lucky few. Unfortunately most email programs, both web-based like Gmail or an application like Apple Mail, contribute to this problem. When you start to forward an email, they add the most recent list of recipients to the top of the email. After being forwarded a few times, this list of lists grows ugly really fast. But even worse, it also means that all those people’s email addresses are getting shared with a bunch of strangers. Definitely not cool!

It only takes a few seconds to clean up this mess and show your friends and family that you have good email etiquette. I show you how as well as a few other email forwarding tips in “What is good email forwarding etiquette?

Of course you may already know those tricks, but I’m sure you get email from people who don’t. Why not “subtly” educate them by telling them about Mac Help For Mom and just happen to point them to that page as a “sample”.

I used Gmail to demonstrate these techniques but will gladly create a video for another email program if you want. Just leave a comment on that page and tell me which service (like Yahoo Mail or Hotmail) or application (like Apple Mail) you want to see.

Zoom Zoom

As computer displays get better their pixels (the dots on the screen) get smaller. As eyes get older they rarely get better. Plus, research has shown that it is better for our backs to sit leaning back at a 45 degree angle. Great for your back but now your eyes are four feet away from your screen! On to of all that, I see more and more “artistic” website designers who prefer to use tiny gray fonts on light gray backgrounds. It’s enough to trigger a migraine.

Fortunately your Mac gives you numerous ways to zoom in on those hard-to-see details. One method (which can be controlled with trackpad, mouse, or keyboard) is like putting a big magnifying glass in front of your display. It’s quick and really handy for quickly taking a look at fine print or subtle details in a photo. Another method zooms in (or out) within the active window. That’s best for enlarging a hard-to-read web page while leaving the rest of your screen alone. You can see what I’m talking about and learn these tricks for yourself in “How do I magnify or zoom my screen?

Word of the Week

I’ve been planning on creating a series of articles and videos to help you learn the often quirky jargon, buzzwords, and acronyms. Well, reader Peggy (and her daughter Susan) had the same idea and asked for a dictionary of commonly used technical terms. That dictionary starts today with the Word of the Week section.

The word is “browser”. (Thanks, Peggy!)

I won’t give the boring, jargon-filled definition of “browser” because you can find that at Wikipedia. Did you just click on that link? If you did, you almost certainly viewed a Wikipedia page in a…browser! Actually, if you use Gmail, Yahoo Mail or Hotmail, chances are pretty good that you are reading this email in a browser.

A browser (short for “web browser”) is simply a tool (on a Mac we tend to call these “applications”) to view web pages, images, videos, or other content from the World Wide Web (which now most people simply call “the web”).

Okay, I hear you. Enough with the definition, what are some examples I may have heard of? Well, the most popular browser is Internet Explorer. You’ll hear your PC-using friends talk about it but we don’t care about it because there isn’t a Mac version.

In the Mac world, Safari is the most popular (at least amongst Mac Help For Mom visitors), partially because it comes installed on all Macs. Firefox and Google Chrome are the next most popular browsers. I use all three of those plus the more obscure Opera and RockMelt. They all work basically the same with only some subtle differences. If you’re happy with Safari, I can’t think of any burning reason to try another. But if you’re curious, click on any of those browser names above to learn more about them.

Mac Help For Mom on Facebook

Do you use Facebook? Yes, some people spend way too much time “on Facebook” but used wisely it can be a great way to reconnect and stay in touch with friends. It’s also another way to learn about new Mac Help For Mom videos and interact with other people who like Mac Help For Mom. If you click the “Like” button on the Mac Help For Mom Facebook page then you’ll see the Mac Help For Mom Facebook posts in your Facebook News Feed.

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