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Expert Tips & Tricks for Mac, iPhone, and iPad

This month we asked some of our Experts to tell us their favorite Mac, iPhone, and iPad tips. We hope at least one or two of them will increase your productivity and overall happiness!

How many unread messages do I have?

If you want to have an icon in your menu bar showing you how many (if any) unread messages you have in Apple Mail, you can use a freeware app called Mail Unread Menu. Download it here: http://loganrockmore.com/mailunreadmenu/ 
--Andrew Wilchak, Expert

Split the iPad keyboard for easier typing

Typing on an iPad when it's on a surface, or even a lap, is easy enough, but how do you type when you're holding it? It was a conundrum until Apple added the "split-thumb" keyboard. When the iPad is oriented vertically and the keyboard is on the screen, you can pull apart (same motion as zooming in) the keyboard to split it into two halves. Each side goes to the edge of the screen, putting all the keys within thumb's reach. To go even further, you can drag this split keyboard up and down the vertical axis to place it wherever's comfortable. 
--Matt Graff, Expert

Find a wifi password in your Mac

Say a friend comes over and wants to use your wifi, but you can’t remember the password. Did you know it’s saved in your computer? Here’s how to find it. 

  1. Go into Applications and then into Utilities, and open the Keychain Access application. 
  2. On the left-hand side, under Keychains select Login. Under Category select All Items. 
  3. Type your network name into the search area in Keychain Access and you should see the application filter out all of the items that do not match. If there is more than one entry, you are looking for “AirPort network password” in the Kind column. 
  4. Double-click it to open it, and then check the “Show password” checkbox. You will then need to enter the password that you use to log in to your account when you first boot the computer and the network password will appear. 

--Greg S., Expert

Have Siri read text aloud off your iPhone

If you have a long section of text on your iPhone that you need to read but you are on the road in your car, you can get the iPhone to read it out loud to you! 

First pull over somewhere safe and then follow these instructions: 

  1. Go to the "Settings" menu and scroll down to tap on "Accessibility." 
  2. Tap on "Speak Selection." That will take you to a screen where you can turn the "Speak Selection" switch to "ON." 
  3. Go to any email on your phone and tap in the body of the email. 
  4. In the pop-up box, tap "Select All." This will highlight all of the email's text in blue and offer you a pop-up choice between "copy" and "speak." 
  5. Tap on "speak" and Siri will begin reading the email to you. 

And away you go driving down the road and "reading" your email hands- (and eyes-) free! This works on any piece of text that can be selected on your iPhone. 
--Andy S., Expert

Put iPhone apps in folders

I like to see all my apps on my iPhone at once, without flipping from page to page, so I organize all my apps into folders, and voila! -- virtually everything on one screen! Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Tap and hold any app icon on the screen. 
  2. Once it starts wiggling, drag and drop it on top of another app icon. 
  3. Now they are both in one folder, which you can rename. 

--Leslie Ann Kent, Operations Director

Quickly switch among applications on the Mac

I find myself switching among applications a lot -- I'm working in Apple Mail, and then I jump over to Safari, and then I work on a document in Word, and then I go back to Mail again. The quickest way to switch from one application to another is to hold down the Command key, and then hit the Tab key. Each time you hit Tab, you switch to another application. 
--Caroline Green, CEO

Shake to Undo on the iPhone

On the iPhone, you can shake it to undo the last thing you typed. A pop-up will appear, asking you to confirm. It also works for undoing a deletion, cut, copy, or paste. Not every app supports Shake to Undo, but it does work in Safari, Mail, Notes, Calendar, and other Apple apps. 
--Ivan Drucker, Founder and Chief Technology Expert

(August 2013)

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