free tips
  • Always Proper Passwords

    You may think it hard to come up with a password that is easy to remember and not easy to guess (hack). Actually, your brain is more powerful than you might think. Apple’s got a neat way to come up with a new password that is safe to use and can be easy to remember. When using Mac OS 10.4 through macOS 10.15…

    1) Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups (Accounts) > Change Password…
    2) Click the ‘key’ icon  and – voila! – you’ll see Password Assistant
    3) Move the slider to see randomly generated passwords and choose your favorite.

    You’ll be surprised to find that when you’ve used one of these passwords three to five times, your brain will begin to remember it. And if you’re frustrated? Your body will release adrenalin which is what we call the ‘glue for your memory’.

  • A Helpful Startup Key

    On rare occasions your Mac might not behave properly. Did you know that holding down the ‘Shift’ key (even on macOS) can have a medicinal effect on your Mac? After restarting, your screen should show “Safe Boot” atop the Login dialog box. Restart… and although it may take a few minutes for your Mac to get back to its normal start up appearance, your Mac’s cache ‘closets’ have just had a spring cleaning. This can be helpful for some ‘garbled fonts’, and other issues your Mac may be experiencing.

  • Zip Files on the Fly

    Woo Wooo! This is a slick little option. Next time you’re having trouble sending a file via email, while at the Finder, try holding down the control key and clicking on the attachment you want to send. Apple’s OS makes a zip file on the fly right next to your original. If you select more than one file at a time, ‘control-click’ at the finder and the zip file created will take the name of “”.  Handy, huh!

  • Control-Clickin’

    Right-Click! Yep, even without a two-button mouse, Apple computers running macOS can ‘right-click’ and get properties (Get Info), Cut, Copy and Paste with a pop-up (contextual menu) just like our PC pals.
    Just hold down the ‘Control’ key and click (hold for a second) on a file or folder in the Finder… You’ll see stuff that will provide relief to the heart of a PC user who otherwise thought the Mac ‘single-click’ mouse was exclusively one-dimensional.

  • Organizational Advice

    For most users, figuring out where to keep files is an on-going issue. Remember, in macOS you want to put all your files in Documents or on the Desktop, unless they’re Music, Movies, or Pictures. Never save files outside of your Home folder/directory unless you place them in the ‘Shared Folder’ (located just outside of your ‘Home’ folder). experience indicates that the older files get — five, seven years old — the less important they become. So generally, we advise users to add the year to the end of the folder name (i.e., topic-2021, subject-2022),.
    Desktop‘ is for keeping files you’re working on, while the ‘Documents‘ folder is for files after you’re done working with them. We suggest…
    1) In ‘Documents‘ folder you make an ‘Areas of Improvement‘ folder.
    2) Put a ‘Personal‘ and a ‘Professional‘ folder in that.
    3) In ‘Personal‘ folder, add a folder for each ‘role’ you have, (such as student, fitness advocate, spouse, mom, home-manager, friend, spiritual follower, support to others, financial coordinator, etc.). Once you’ve created your ‘role’ files (you can adjust them as needed), you’ll see that everything has a place to go. We’ve found most people only have about seven to ten roles. More than that and you may be over-lapping. Do the same with Professional.
    4) Later, inside each ‘role’ you can add topics and subjects, and THAT is where we suggest adding the year. (for example, ‘Areas of Improvement’>Personal>Fitness Advocate’>Nutrition-2021’.)

  • Keyboard Shortcuts

    Well, you need to know that Apple has loads of shortcuts… hey, their whole job seems to be to simplify the way people use their computers.
    We’ve consolidated some of MacPCtech favorite keyboard commands… and, of course, Apple’s got a comprehensive list of keyboard shortcuts as well (we think our short list is handy, and prettier once you print it out.    🙂

  • Printing PDFs

    We hope you know this one… after all, Apple put PDF directly on the bottom left corner of the Print dialog box on macOS 10.4 (and later).  Did you know you can make a PDF of any printable document and immediately send it to your mail application – or – prepare your open document for faxing? If you haven’t tried this out, you should. It will help get your information off even faster!

  • Naming Files

    If you name a file “new logo” you’re likely to confuse someone, especially when “new logo” is in development and gets changed. We’ve found a file naming technique which is amazing once you get the hang of it. Instead of ver1, ver2, ver3, start the file name with an international date (Year, Month, Day logo.eps). That’s “20210531 logo.eps”.
    There are surprising benefits with an International Date naming technique…
    1) Files that begin with 20210531 (an International Date) are always in order.
    2) Although ‘Date Modified’ will always change, using this fixed international date will always show the files’ actual version without needing to compare it to the other “new logo ver 3” files around your drives which your colleagues may have created.
    3) You can find files that ‘Begin With’ “202105” and see all the files you created in May.
    4) You’ll be pleased that you’re never at a loss for coming up with a file name, as it always starts with an International Date’s first eight characters (YYYYMMDD).
    5) If you’re working on important files you may want to “Save As” every hour; add YYYYDDMM-1000 logo.eps to reflect the time (using a 24-hour clock, or military time). That way you can fall back to work you did the hour before, if something catastrophic should happen to the current file.
    This seemingly old-fashioned approach pays back huge when you’ve been doing it consistently. You’ll be wondering why you ever used ver1, ver2, ver3.

    Tell me when you’re a convert! 🙂

  • Finding Originals

    If this has ever happened to you, you’ll be grateful for this tip! There are times when you’ve tried to copy a file, and later you realize it was an alias (or shortcut).
    Apple’s got several ways to find an alias on macOS…
    1) While in the Finder, select the alias (click only once, not twice), then go to the File menu > Show Original
    – or –
    2) Select the alias, and hold the command key and tap ‘r‘ (think ‘oRRRiginal’).
    – or –
    3) Use the mouse. Hold the ‘Control‘ key while clicking and holding on the alias icon. A pop-up contextual menu will offer ‘Show Original‘ (which is like ‘Find Target’ on a PC).
    Of course, if you Right-Click (on a properly configured two-button mouse) you’ll also call-up the same pop-up contextual menu, and then select ‘Show Original‘.

    Sometimes the original file cannot be found, either because it was moved off the system, or it may be in the trash.

  • Understanding Fonts

    -More to tackle here. When I get a breather, I’ll outline some crucial details which will make fonts and their roles across-platforms, more clearly understood.