Generally each account on an OS X system is protected with a password; however, the security of a system can be compromised by the use of an insecure password. For example, common passwords like "12345," "password," or "letmein," or short passwords may be easily guessed. Sometimes account holders on a multiuser system may even use a blank password, which can easily let anyone into their accounts. By default OS X will warn users of such practices and recommend strong passwords be used, but ultimately does not prevent users from setting whatever password they want.… Read more
For every application installed on your Mac, OS X will scan its document-handling capabilities and store them in its Launch Services database, which it then uses to pair up document types with the applications that are built to handle them. Therefore, if you install a new image-handling tool on your system, when you right-click image files or get information on them you should see this program be available in the "Open With" section as an optional handling program.
This service is convenient for ensuring that documents can be opened directly from the Finder; however, it assumes you always … Read more
When you copy files from one location to another in OS X, the system should run a number of checks to validate the data and ensure that it was copied correctly; however, if you are using third-party utilities to copy a file, you might be concerned about potential corruption.
MacFixIt reader Douglas recently wrote in with such a concern.I was wondering if there is any way to verify a copy of files from one hard drive to another? I used SuperDuper to copy one of my RAIDs to another RAID; it was 7TB of stuff and took two days … Read more
When you scan a document into your system, OS X will create a single file of the scan and allow you to save it to the location of your choice. However, if you would like to combine scanned pages into one document, the system supports that option as well.
The first approach is to have the system scan a set of documents directly into a single file, which can be done by using the basic scanning features in Apple's Preview program. With your scanner attached and turned on, open the Preview program and select your scanner from the File … Read more
Apple's XProtect system (aka File Quarantine) in OS X is a rudimentary anti-malware scanner that will perform a quick check on downloaded files to make sure they do not contain known malware, and will block any versions of Web plug-ins like Java and Flash that have known vulnerabilities.
XProtect runs in the background with no interaction with the user, which is convenient, but it does mean that when it gets updated, users may find themselves unexpectedly unable to access some Web content. Even though quickly updating plug-ins should get you around this inconvenience, it may be useful to know … Read more
The OS X Finder is a great tool to use for organizing your documents and projects into folder hierarchies; however, it is a bit limited. If you would like to save this hierarchy as a list in a file then the Finder and OS X does not provide these options. While the Finder does support printing a folder's listings by dragging a folder to a print queue, this is about the limit of the options for listing folder items.
One alternative to this is to use screenshots; however, these are static images in which items cannot be selected and … Read more
The default configuration for printers in OS X is relatively basic and offers you options to essentially add or remove a printer and then set some driver-specific features such as the amount of RAM or duplexing details; however, you may wish to have more options for managing access to your printer, such as limiting access to one printer and not another, or requiring a password to print.
The easiest way to administer these options for printers is via network access, where if you share the printer you can limit which users will have access to it over the network. Doing … Read more
The Preview application in OS X has an excellent option for capturing handwritten signatures and inserting them into PDF documents. This is great for signing forms, letters, and other items that require a signature. The process for doing so simply involves capturing a written signature with a Web cam, after which you can append them to any PDF document open in Preview.
Signatures that you associate with Preview in this manner are stored in an encrypted form, which is great for security but also means that Preview is the only program that can access them. Even though an inserted signature … Read more
Regardless of whether you purchase it new, refurbished, or used, your Mac is likely a sizable investment that you might wish to keep running for as long as possible, not only because of the cost factor but also because of the time and effort it would take to migrate your data and workflow to a new system (even though Apple has made the latter quite easy if you have proper backups).
There are many ways your Mac can get damaged, become outdated, or otherwise experience greater wear and tear from use that can shorten its lifespan. In most cases these … Read more
Apple's Pages word processor for OS X is great for document creation, and is an excellent alternative to Microsoft Word for many needs; however, because Word is the de facto standard for word processors you may often find yourself needing to send someone a document or two in a compatible format.
While you can choose "Print to PDF" or another option from the PDF menu in the print dialog box in OS X to quickly create a static version of the document to send to someone as a PDF, this isn't the best approach if you … Read more