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Inside: Web pages on your Dashboard, Big Quicken/Lion news, New shortcuts

I’m not really sure where the last four weeks went. Like my Grandma does, many readers wrote to ask why I wasn’t writing more. Well, as with my Grandma, I feel guilty I haven’t. I promise I’ll do better in the New Year.

But, with Christmas tomorrow and Hanukkah half over, I figured it was better to send this little stocking stuffer now than to wait until I had even more new videos to tell you about. [continue reading…]


Do you regularly visit some websites just to check one section of a web page? Maybe a “Most Popular Now” list, a local weather forecast, sports scores, or a frequently updated featured video? Wouldn’t it be great if you could easily keep tabs on those sections with a single keystroke?

Safari and the Mac Dashboard makes this easy with a feature called Web Clips. You highlight the web page section that interests you and Safari can place it right on your Dashboard as a new widget. Then, every time you view your Dashboard (usually with the F4 key), the widget you made will display an always updated view of that Web Clip. You really have to see it to believe it, so watch this video to see how easy it is. [continue reading…]


Take control of your PDFs with Preview (Vol #20)

Inside: Moving pages, installing Pages, Preview

Is November really over in just a week? I started the month with a leisurely trip to my grandmother’s 94th birthday party in Oregon, where I observed that everything is leisurely in Oregon! I’ve never seen so many people drive under the speed limit, with no traffic to blame. But by the end of the trip I too was driving at a more relaxed pace, taking in all the gorgeous scenery.

Upon returning home, the normal hectic pace reappeared as my son worked feverishly on numerous college application essays, and I filled out a 20-page college financial aid form. That led to this article and video… [continue reading…]


How to install Pages from the App Store

When Apple launched the Mac App Store in January 2011, it not only gave Mac users an easy way to buy and install a huge variety of applications (apps), but it also gave us the ability to buy portions of packages that previously weren’t available separately.

I’m a Microsoft Word user so when a friend recently sent me a document created in Apple’s Pages application, I had no way to edit it. I didn’t want to buy the complete iWork package for $79.99 just to get Pages, so I was very happy to see that I could use the App Store to buy just Pages for just $19.99. Not only that, but I had it purchased, downloaded, and installed in less time than it would have taken to drive to my local Apple Store. Watch this video to see just how easy it is to buy Pages or any other application from the App Store. [continue reading…]


How to move pages between PDFs in Preview

The award for the most humbly-named application goes to…Preview! Not only does Preview live up to its name and let you view the contents of PDF and numerous types of graphics files, it also gives you numerous ways to modify your PDF files.

I already showed its annotation capabilities in “How to annotate a printout or PDF in Preview”. I recently learned that Preview makes it easy to copy pages from one PDF file into another PDF file. Watch this video to see how easy it is to move pages and also rotate and delete individual pages. [continue reading…]


Fast form filling (Vol #19)

Inside: Fast form filling, tab, tabs, windows (but not Windows)

Like the last newsletter, I’m running off again right after I finish writing this. Last time I was heading to the Apple Store to get my MacBook Pro repaired. If you “like” Mac Help For Mom’s Facebook page, then you probably saw me raving about how they not only fixed my DVD drive but even replaced the four rubber feet that had long since gone missing from my laptop. Big style points for the Genius Bar.

This time I’m off to my grandmother’s 94th birthday party! Yep, that’s getting up there but at least now she’s only double my age. 🙂 I just phoned her the other day and she is still in fine form, which reminds me of a video and article I just finished… [continue reading…]


How to fill out web forms faster

On the Mac and in web browsers like Safari, you can perform almost every function using your mouse or trackpad. As Apple enables more and more multi-finger gestures, sometimes you don’t even need to find a button to click on. I’m sure I do a three-finger swipe left at least 100 times a day to go back a page in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. (Yes, I use all three.)

But when you’re filling out a form on a web page, it quickly becomes a hassle to keep moving your hand back and forth between the keyboard and mouse or trackpad as you navigate through the form. Wouldn’t it be great if you could move through the form without taking your fingers off the keyboard? Well, there is! Just watch this video to see the few keyboard shortcuts that will have you filling out forms much faster. [continue reading…]


Backing up is like flossing (Vol #18)

Inside: Time Machine, backups

I have an appointment at my local Apple Store’s Genius Bar in just over an hour and they’ll almost certainly keep my computer to replace my dying DVD drive. So this week’s newsletter will be brief, but, for some of you, it will be the most important one I’ve ever written.

Backing up is like flossing? Yep.

When I was a kid I read on a dentist’s wall a cutesy sign that I’ve remembered ever since:

“You don’t have to floss all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep!” [continue reading…]


There are two types of people in the world: Those who have forever lost important computer files, and those who haven’t…YET! Most people in the first group have learned their lesson (the hard way) and are now backing up their computer on a regular basis. If you are in the second group you have two options:

  1. Experience a painful loss of important photos, videos, music, emails and documents, and THEN start backing up, or
  2. Learn from the first group and start backing up your computer NOW!

It’s your choice, but don’t say you haven’t been warned. All hard drives will fail, it’s just a question of when. Even computer geeks accidentally delete a folder of important files when they meant to delete something else. If you back up your computer regularly and correctly, these otherwise devastating catastrophes become a minor hurdle that you can overcome quickly. And you’ll pat yourself on the back for being so intelligent for having a good computer backup.
[continue reading…]


You all ask some great questions (Vol #17)

Inside: Zip files, more memory

This week’s newsletter was completely inspired by you. Okay, maybe not YOU specifically, but some of your fellow Mac Help For Mom subscribers. You can thank Jane and Dean (not a typo, but I do now have “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena” playing in my head).

So if you have any questions about your Mac or almost anything you can do with your Mac (I also get questions about Gmail, Facebook, and other websites), please don’t hesitate to ask. Your question may even inspire me to make a video on the topic. And, remember, there’s a link near the bottom of this newsletter to the special subscriber-only priority question page. (Well, there was in the original email version of this newsletter. You can sign up using the form on this page.) [continue reading…]