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Quick Tips for Domestic Tranquility, and More New Videos (Vol #7)

Inside: Cursors, trackpad settings, being stealthy

First, thanks to everyone who’s been telling their friends and family about Mac Help For Mom. I really appreciate it.

And keep submitting those great questions through the website (secret link near the end of this email). The four new articles and videos this week were all inspired directly or indirectly by reader questions. So, without further ado, here’s what I’ve been working on this week…

That yellow circle around the cursor in my videos

Since two subscribers (Jac and Carmelita) asked about my yellow cursor halo, I figured others might be curious too. It is pretty handy for making your cursor easy to find. Here’s how you can get your own.

How to get a yellow circle around the cursor

If a yellow ball around your cursor seems a bit much but you’d like to make your cursor a bit bigger, that’s even easier to do…

The fast way to find preference settings

But, in the spirit of teaching you how to fish, instead of just giving you a fish, here’s a new article and video that shows how to quickly find any preference setting. To keep with the cursor theme, I use the example of changing the cursor size.

How to easily find a preference setting (e.g., cursor size)

Trackpad too sensitive?

Jac asks lots of good questions so here’s another article and video inspired by him. If you have a trackpad, this article and video are for you. In addition to a quick demo of the various sensitivity settings, I point out the excellent mini-video tutorials embedded right in your Mac to show you the many functions you can perform with trackpad gestures. Do you know all eleven? Click this link to find out.

How to control trackpad sensitivity

How to Mac without disturbing your mate

Need to use your Mac but not annoy fellow TV watchers? This article and video show three easy ways to configure your Mac to make it quieter and not so glaring.

How to use your Mac without bothering others

With all this talk of big or fancy cursors and trackpad settings, you shouldn’t be shocked by the…

Word of the Week

The word is “cursor”.

As you use your Mac the cursor will change appearance depending on what is underneath it and what you can do at that point. Here are a few common cursors.

The “arrow pointer”Mac arrow pointertells you that you can possibly move, copy, select, or drag items underneath it.

The “link pointer”Mac link pointermeans that you are hovering over a clickable link (most likely on a web page).

The “text pointer”Mac text pointertells you that you are over an area where you can type, edit text, or select text. When you click in that area, the blinking vertical bar you see inserted into the text area is called the “insertion point”. As the name implies, that is where any typed text will be inserted.

The “progress indicator” Mac progress indicator (a.k.a. the beachball)(more often called the “beach ball”) indicates that the current application is busy finishing some task. You can’t do anything in that application until the beach ball goes away. But you can usually switch to a different application while the busy one finishes up. It’s alright for a beach ball to last a few seconds or even longer for some complicated operation. But if a beach ball persists for too long a time, that application has most likely crashed. Then it’s likely time to bring out the big guns–Force Quit, which can be found in the Apple menu.

At your next fancy dinner party (you talk about your Mac at parties, right?), be sure that you don’t confuse your mouse or trackpad with the cursor. The mouse or trackpad (or even the keyboard if you turn on “Mouse Keys” in your System Preferences) are the physical devices you use to move the cursor, which exists only on your screen.

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