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Friday, February 26, 2016

What is Home Share on the Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple TV?

A client recently wanted to sync her music from her Mac to her iPhone. Since I am not a Geek and don't keep up with my iTunes Music much I assumed that it was automatically syncing just like my contacts, calendar, mail and photos.

I was wrong. (shocking I know!) My explanation for what things sync and what is treated a different way is ownership. I own my contacts, calendar, mail and photos. I do not own the music in my iTunes. In many cases I purchased the CD's that I copied onto my computer or paid for downloaded albums. Someone else owns the copyright, so Apple handles it differently. You are allowed to have 5 authorized computers. This allows you to put the same content on 5 different devices.

First you have to set up Home Sharing on all of the devices that you want to share. This involves going to the setup and putting in your Apple ID and Password. On your Mac open iTunes and go to FILE>Home Sharing. For some reason mine was already set up and it said Turn off Home Sharing. I don't remember setting this up, but was glad that it was already on. 

On your iPhone and iPad you do this through settings. Click on the Settings Icon and then Find Music in the list of things to set up. At the bottom it says Home Sharing and again mine already had my Apple ID entered in that space. On my Apple TV I also went to the Settings Icon. Then under General and Accounts I found Home Sharing. Again it already had been set up with my Apple ID

At that point I really wondered why my music lists were not the same on the different devices.  I was just missing one step. On each of the devices except for the computer I  had to find the place that listed what I wanted to listen to. On both my iPhone and my iPad there was a pull down menu that said Artists, Albums, Songs, Genres, Composers, Compilation and what I had not seen before Home Sharing!  Once I switched to Home Sharing the devices connected to my computer and now I can play the same music on all of them. Once I had done that magically all of the music was added to my list on the Apple TV.

Buena Vista Social Club
Right now I am listening to one of my favorite albums through my Apple TV and surround sound!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Making Labels using Mac


This document is created with a Mac and so the screenshots in it will be from the Mac. However, the process is the same with a few changes in the names of menus for other computers.

It helps to understand the concept first. You need two documents to start. 


This document is a spreadsheet or a .csv file. It is the data that you want to use for your letter, envelopes or labels.

You can get this document from your contact list program on your computer. Look for the word EXPORT and choose as a .csv file. Save this file somewhere that you can find it and set it aside. 


This is the document that you will use to create your envelopes, labels or letter. 

    • If it is a letter you can type the letter and just leave space wherever you want something filled in by your computer. 
    • For both envelopes and labels the computer will walk you through the formatting of the labels.


While you have the second document open (it will be a blank document if you are making envelopes or labels) choose the TOOLS menu and look for Merge Wizard or something similar. This will walk you through these steps:

  1. Identifying the document that has the data (it will probably be a .csv file) To get this file you may need to export your address from your contact list or create a spreadsheet with the information you need and save it as .csv. The top row of your CSV file should be the names of each column (ie. first name, last name, street address)
  2. Choosing what you want to create (labels, envelopes or a letter)
  3. Placing placeholders in the right places. The placeholders are the names of each of the columns in your spreadsheet. <first name>, <last name>, etc….  You will insert them in the places that you want them to show up. While doing this you can also add spaces, commas and format the text. If you create a label it will look like this:

<first name> <last name>
<street address>
<city>, <state> <zipcode> 

If you are using Word for Mac here are the steps with screenshots to show what you will see. First open up a blank document.

  1. Find the Mail Merge Manager by going to the TOOLS Menu at the top of the screen  

It will open up with step by step instructions on how to create a merge document. Pull down the triangle next to the words “Create New” and choose what type of document you want to create. 

If you choose Envelope this is what you will see.  To create the envelopes just click OK. If you want your Return Address to print on all of the envelopes you will need to enter it into the information about you in the Preferences under Word. The computer will use this information to fill in the Return Address information. This is where you can change the font that will be used for the addresses and your Return Address. 

When you click OK you will need to move on to step 2. Select Recipients list. Here you will click on the binoculars to find the .csv document you have saved with all of the addresses you want to use.

You can see that I am searching or a file that I know is on my desktop. It is called test.csv.  

This will move you on to Step 3 Insert Placeholders. Your computer will take from your list the information on the First Row of your .csv file. You will drag each one to the place that you want it to show on the envelope. Things like commas and spaces need to be typed in between the placeholders.

You can filter the recipients and preview the results if you want to. I like to go on to the final step and Complete the Merge. 

When you complete the merge click on the middle icon which will make the addresses print on to documents. 

That way you can see what the envelopes will look like before you actually print them. A new document will open and your envelopes will show like a list of pages. You can also choose to merge it directly to the printer. If your envelopes are ready in the printer when you choose this they will just print out!

How do I get all of those photos from emails that people sent to me?

I have heard this question more than once. Are you one of those people who gets pictures in their email and doesn't know what to do with them and so just keeps them in the message and never deletes their email?

The BEST solution to this problem is to decide right away if you want to keep the image and download it to your computer. You can keep all of your photos in your Pictures folder on your computer, or use the program already on your computer to organize them (Windows has Windows Photo Gallery, Mac has Photos) OR you can download a program that will help you organize them. Many people like Picasa and it is a free download. Another program is Flickr and there are many others.  But that is when you are downloading your pictures one at a time....

If you have NOT been downloading them one at a time and have multiple photos in various email messages sitting in your email program there is hope. It will take a while, but probably less time than it would take you to open each of your messages and download each photo one by one. 

First go to and download Thunderbird. It is a free mail program that will take all of the mail that you have in a Yahoo or Gmail account and download it to your computer. Installing Thunderbird is quick.

Set up Thunderbird to be your email client. It will most likely ask for your email address and password and automatically connect to your server and set things up so that your mail will download. If it does not work try closing the program and opening it up again. D
epending on how much mail you have saved in your account it could take a while for all of the mail to download.

Next in Thunderbird find the place where you can download add ons. There is an addon called Attachment Extractor that will extract attachments from your email and put it into a folder on your computer. Find the extension and click to download it. You will have to restart the Thunderbird program before using it.
Next, go to All Mail. In GMAIL type 'has:attachment' in the search box at the top. Other email programs may have a place to click on a paperclip that brings all of the mail with attachments to the top.  

Select all of the messages with attachments and then right click on the selection and choose Export Selected Attachments to and you will get a choice of several things. Choose the first one that says Browse. 

Find the folder you want to put all of the pictures into or create a folder to use. Choose select and the pictures will start to move from the mail to the folder. This may take a very long time. You may want to try first with a few pictures and then if it works start the whole transfer. It will probably take hours.

Thanks to Lifehacker for the helpful information