Web Finds for August 7, 2018

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique and informative news, apps and websites that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

Mac for Seniors: How to Set Up a Simplified Mac for the Elderly
You probably think that a Mac makes it easy enough to find your own way around, but someone who isn’t tech-savvy might disagree. Especially if that someone is a senior citizen.

The good news is that you can make their Mac experience as enjoyable as yours by simplifying it for them. And that’s where the following list of macOS tweaks comes in handy.
Via MakeUseOf

How to Prepare Your Digital Legacy
What will happen to all the digital content you own after you die? Will a loved one be able to access your Dropbox folder to get copies of your personal documents? And how can your next of kin get access to your iCloud account to save copies of your photos? What will happen to your music collection when you pass? These are all great questions that I’ll answer in this article, including your options for securing your digital assets and passing them on to your family.

Here’s how to prepare your digital legacy and ensure that your loved ones can access your information left online after you die.
Via Intego Blog

Monitor Your Social Media Time With New Tools From Facebook and Instagram
On Facebook, you’ll go to your settings page and choose “Your Time on Facebook.” On Instagram, you’ll tap Settings->Your Activity. The tools in both apps are essentially the same.
Via lifehacker

Few Alexa owners use voice to shop, despite big projections
Analysts have been aggressively optimistic in their predictions about the growth of consumer shopping via virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, but a new report claims that only a small fraction of Alexa device owners shop with voice commands. And most of those who do only try it once or stick to a limited range of products.
Via ars Technica

Previous Web Finds are here.

Switching between multiple open windows in the same application

Switching between multiple open windows in the same application has always been a pain point for me. Go to Window in the application Menu Bar and then select the window I want from the list of open windows. Or right click on the application in the Dock and select the window from list of open windows.

I just learned that there’s an easier way. Use the keyboard shortcut ⌘ + Tilde to quickly switch between open windows in the same application. So, for example, there are times when I have several Safari windows open at the same time. I can quickly sort through them with this keyboard shortcut.

Next time you have several windows open in the same application give it a try.

Delete GarageBand hidden folders to save gigabytes of Mac storage

The other day I was checking the available storage on my 2015 13” MacBook Pro which only has 128 GB of flash storage. While doing so, I noticed something strange. In the Storage tab of About This Mac GarageBand was using 2 GB of storage. I found that odd since I don’t have GarageBand installed on this Mac.

With only 128 GB of flash storage, I wanted to reclaim the space. This TekRevue article by Jim Tanous, Delete GarageBand to Save Gigabytes of Mac Storage, helped me find some hidden GarageBand folders. After I removed them, High Sierra doesn’t show anymore GarageBand content in About This Mac.

These are the folders that I deleted.

  • HD/Library/Application Support/GarageBand (995MB)
  • Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Logic (880MB)
  • Macintosh HD/Library/Audio/Apple Loops (up to 10GB)

You should read the article and follow the instructions before deleting these folders.

How I use Alfred to launch files and folders on my Mac

This is Part 4 of how I use Alfred.

The default way to open files or folders on the Mac is with Finder. Using Alfred I’m able to launch files and folders with fewer mouse clicks. I do this with Alfred’/s Quick File Search. I activate Alfred tap the space bar and start typing the name of the file or folder I’m looking for. I also use Alfred to navigate through my Mac’s file system. To start, I type: / (slash) to go to the root folder on my Mac, or ~ (tilde) to go to my user directory. This is a great way to quickly make my way through folders without using the Finder and my mouse.

For my most often used folders I’ve created a workflow that lets me open them with keyboard shortcuts. For example ⌃⌘ right arrow will open my Dropbox folder.

I find that using Alfred to search and launch files and folders to be much more productive than using the Finder.

Bear app special searches

Bear has several special searches that I find useful.

The other day I imported a large number of files without tags into Bear. Once imported I did a @untagged search to find them and then added the proper tag(s). This saved a lot of time. I also do a @untagged search every week or so to find notes that I’ve added and forgot to tag.

I also use @task, @todo, and @done to manage tasks. You can see the definition of what each one does below.

Here’s a list of all Bears special searches:

  • @tagged : shows the notes which have at least one tag
  • @untagged: shows the notes without tags
  • @today: show the notes modified the current day
  • @yesterday: show the notes modified the day before the current
  • @images: shows the notes which contain images
  • @files: shows the notes which contain files
  • @attachments: shows the notes with files or images
  • @task: shows the notes which include at least one todo element, either complete or not
  • @todo: shows only the notes with not completed todos
  • @done: shows only the notes with all the todos completed
  • @code: shows the notes which includes at least one code

How I use Alfred for text expansion on my Mac

This is Part 3 of how I use Alfred.

There are a number of text expansion apps available for the Mac the most popular being TextExpander. I considered it but the monthly subscription was a deal breaker for me. I also didn’t need anything that powerful. All I needed was basic text expansion and sync across both my Macs. After exploring several alternatives I settled on using the text expansion feature that was already a part of the Alfred app.

Alfred’s text expansion feature allows me to quickly type out frequently used snippets of text, my email addresses, my name, my phone number, my address, markdown syntax, special keyboard symbols (⌘, ⌥, ⇧), the date and time, and more with a short keyword. For example, I can type ,ddate and get the current date or I can type ,rwr and get “Run, walk, run miles @MAF” which is a text snippet I use for logging my runs in Garmin Connect. Text expansion is all about saving time and increasing productivity.

To learn more check out these Alfred articles:

How to permanently zoom specific websites in Safari on macOS

Sometimes websites that I regularly visit have a font that’s so small my aging eyes have difficulty reading it. Safari 11 for Mac has a nice feature that lets me set a permanent zoom level for those websites. Now, the next time I visit the site it’s already zoomed to the level I need for easy reading. Safari does this automatically, but the zoom can also be controlled from Safari Preferences Safari > Preferences > Websites > Page Zoom. You’ll see all the websites that are open, and those that are already configured (if you’ve already changed the zoom).