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Friday, March 31, 2017

How to do a Screenshot in PC or Mac or iPhone

Print Screen keyOn a PC or Windows Computer often there is a key at the top of the keyboard that says Print Scrn. When you press that button it will make a copy of your desktop that you can paste into a document. Once it is pasted onto a page you can click on it so that it has handles on the corners, resize it or find CROP in the Picture Format tools and cut out what you are not interested in showing.

You can also Right Click on the screen shot that you have pasted and choose "save as picture" and it will become a picture file rather than a temporary copy.

Another way (and I think a better way!) to do a screen shot is to use a program that comes with your computer called SnipIt. When you see something that you want to do a screen shot of you can go to the Start Menu>All Programs and look for Snip It. This tool will give allow you to draw around the part of the window that you want to snip and then save it as an image. For a newsletter like this I need to have images that I can insert rather than paste, so I use Snip It or something like it on the Mac all of the time.

Screenshots on a mac are created by pressing a combination of keys on the keyboard. If you want to take a picture of the whole screen it is Command-Shift-3. You will hear a sound like a camera clicking and the screen shot will appear on your desktop. It will be called Screen Shot with the date and time it was done.

If you want a Screenshot of just a part of your screen click Command-Shift-4 and a skinny plus sign will appear. Draw a rectangle around what you want a picture. It will appear on your desktop with the name Screen Shot with the date and time it was done.

One more cool trick is to click Command-Shift-4 and then Spacebar.  What that does is turns the cross hair into a camera. Whatever window the camera is on top of is highlighted and can be made into a picture.

The website below has a video showing these things as well as a few more cool tips!'s Dream


It is easy to take a screenshot of what is on your phone and it works the same on your iPad. In order to take a screenshot of what is on your iPhone click both the on/off button on the top right and the Home button at the same time. The home button is the circular button on the bottom that you use to get back to the main screen. If you do it right the picture will fade and then come back. When it comes back you will have a copy of the screen in your camera gallery. You can see the picture that I took of my new favorite game Monument Valley.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Tips for Switching from PC to Mac

If you are used to using a PC and switch to a Mac there are certain things that you will miss. The Mac can do everything that a PC does, but sometimes there are different ways to make them happen.
  • How to right click on a Mac
setting up secondary mouse buttonMacs will respond to a right button if the mouse you use has a right button. If you do not have a mouse with a right button there are two ways to right click. The first is to hold down "control" when you click. The second is to set up your trackpad for secondary clicking. You can do this by going to the System Preferences (black apple at top left and then System Preferences), finding the Trackpad controls and choosing that tapping with two fingers equals a secondary click
  • How to sleep, restart and shutdown
Black apple menuAlways go to the black apple at the top left in order to sleep, restart or logout of your computer. You can also logout in order to switch users without turning off the computer. You should always shut down rather than turning it off with the on/off switch. This process allows the computer to close all of the programs that make it run in a way that does not cause any problems. 
  • How to find a program you want to open on a Mac
There are several different ways to look for a program you want to open. For this article I just want to remind you of the Spotlight. It looks like a magnifying glass in the top right of your window. Type in here what you are looking for and you will find it!

  • How to uninstall a program on a Mac
A Mac does not require you to uninstall software with a program like Add and RemoveAppCleanerPrograms. You can just drag an app to the trash in order to delete it. Remember that anything with a bent arrow (like the programs on your desktop) are not programs. They are just pointers to the programs so you have to find the actual application in the applications folder and uninstall it from there. 

I like to use an app called AppCleaner. It will delete the app and look for any other files that are related to it and delete them as well. It is free and has worked well for me.
  • How to close, maximize and minimize on a Mac.Quit
On the Mac you have a Stoplight system on the left side of a window instead of on the right side. When you click the RED button to close an app the app closes, but the program stays open. To close the program you choose the name of the program and then slide down to Quit.

  • How to control-alt-delete on a Macoption-command-esc
Force Quit in MacOn a PC Control-Alt Delete is a way to force quit an application that is not responding or to force shutdown the whole computer if it is frozen. On a Mac the keys are Option-Command-Escape. When you press these keys a window appears allowing you to choose the app that you would like to force quit or to relaunch the Finder, which is like a force shutdown on the PC.
  • How to find the control panel on a Mac
OSystem Preferencesn a Mac The Control Panel is called System Preferences. You can find it under the black apple in the top left of the screen.

  • How to set up multiple accounts on a Mac
When you turn your computer on you may want to have separate accounts for different users of the computer. This allows you to have your own document folder and set up (background picture, password to get in, etc...) This is especially helpful if you have children using your computer and you want them to have child friendly set up in the browser which will block some things and access to only certain software. Here is how to do this on a Mac. It can also be done on a PC, but I will leave that for another time.Users and Groups
  1. Click on the Black Apple at the upper left side of the screen.
  2. Choose System Preferences
  3. Look for and click on Users and Groups
  4. Users - KeyIf the lock at the bottom left of the screen is closed you will have to put in the admin password and then it will unlock.unlocked
  5. Click on the plus sign at the bottom of the list of users and a new user will appear.
  6. You can give the account a name, a folder name that can be the same or different than the account name, set up parental controls (or not), and put in a password. The password is required, but there is no requirement of length, capitals, numbers or symbols.
  7. Before the account is set up it asks you if you want your computer to Automatically open in the admin account or open so that either account will have to log in. If you choose to have the admin account log in automatically you will have to log out before the other account logs in.
  8. The account will be set up and you will have a chance to change the settings including to put on parental controls if you forgot to do it earlier. You can even change the picture by rolling your mouse over it and clicking edit.
  • How to move between open windows in the same program in a Mac.
Both Macs and PCs are created with the idea that you should be able to have several things open at the same time. Each program has different ways that you can show the windows so that they are horizontally or vertically oriented, but if you want to have several things open that take up the whole screen in order to switch between them look for the menu called "window" at the top. When you click on it the list of the windows open will show and you can switch from viewing one to the other.
  • How to find out how much storage is left on your Mac
This is easy to do, but I always forget how!  If you click on the black apple at the top left of the screen and choose About this Mac you can find out anything you need to know about your computer (including the serial number!). At the top of this window are several choices. Click on Storage to find out how much storage memory your computer is using. It takes a little while for your computer to calculate the amount you are using, but right away you can see the total size of your storage. The picture it shows is like a thermometer showing how much each item takes up. You can roll your mouse over the ones that are too small to have words to find out what they are.

People often ask me what I recommend: a Mac or a PC. My answer is evolving, but it basically stays the same. It depends....  Both platforms have their advantages and disadvantages. If you have limited funds you can find a much less expensive PC than a Mac. If you like to play high end video games often a PC is better than a Mac. If you like to be in control of your computer and put in chips to add capabilities and program so that it is more unique to you a PC is what you want.

On the other hand if you can spend a bit more, do not want to be in control and able to change things a lot, and if you just want it to work reliably a Mac might be better. They can both do way more than most people ask of them. Now it is pretty easy to move documents, pictures, etc.... from Mac to PC and back, so you do not have to stick with only one.

Tips from

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Slow Computer?

I have written about this before, but I thought I would revisit the issue here since I have come across some slow computers lately.These things may not solve your situation, but they are worth trying. I have put it in terms of questions to ask yourself and what you can do.

Do you have too many programs open at once or too many tabs open on your browser? 

I have seen browsers that are so full of tabs that they cannot even show them all at once. Many busy people open programs and forget to close them before going on to the next task.Even the stuff that you are not using is taking up some of the RAM or the memory that the computer uses to run things. The first thing to do is to try closing tabs and exiting programs so that you are only doing a few things and see if it makes a difference.

Is your hard drive full?  Here is how to check.
  1. On a PC open the START Menu and look for Computer on the right side
  2. Click on computer and you will see a thermometer-like line which shows how much space is used and how much is free.
  3. On a Mac click on the black apple at the top left of the screen.
  4. Choose About this Mac
  5. The window opens with Overview usually.
  6. Click on Storage and you will see a similar "thermometer".

When did you last empty your downloads folder and your trash? 

Your downloads folder is usually full of things like attachments that people have sent you or installation programs for programs you have downloaded. Most of the files in there are also saved somewhere else on your computer.  Do you ever even look at your downloads folder? Most likely there is nothing in the Downloads folder that you need. To be sure you can trash it all. It will stay in the trash and be unavailable to your computer. If you have no problems nothing was necessary. The next step is to empty the trash. When you do that it should make a difference in the storage memory of your computer. Remember: even though you have put something into the trash it still takes up space on your computer until you empty the trash.

Have you uninstalled all of the unused programs on your computer?

Each program on your computer takes up space. My rule is that I NEVER uninstall something if I don't know what it is. Computers often have programs on them that help them to run. I would hate for you to delete something that would cause trouble later. However, people often have programs on their computers that they never use and maybe even were installed before they bought the computer. You do not have to leave these ones on.

  1. You can uninstall them on a PC by going to Control panel and searching for uninstall. It will take you to a list of what is ON your computer and then you can uninstall what you do not use.
  2. On a Mac I use a small program called App Cleaner that was free to download. All I need to do is to open App Cleaner and drag the icon of the program I want to remove on top of the program. It will find all of the other files that relate to this program and I will have a choice to delete all of them or to pick and choose what I want to keep.
Have you deleted your "temp" files?

These are files that are created by your browser (IE, Chrome, Safari) when you go to a website. It is similar to packaging when you buy a TV. You want to keep the TV, but you throw away the packaging. Anything that is a temp file can be deleted without causing any problem.
  1. On a PC open "My Computer", select your main drive (C), click the "Windows" folder then open the folder inside that called "Temp".
  2. Use your mouse to right-click on the folder, and in the "View" options, choose "Details". Once this is done, select all the files that are older than the current date and press the delete key. Then go to the Recycle Bin on your desktop and empty it.
  3. Macs are designed to automatically run maintenance and clear temporary files. However, if you are having difficulties and need to do it manually you can
    • Launch the Terminal application. You can do this by clicking "Go" at the top of your screen, then scrolling to "Utilities." Alternately, you can click "Applications" on the left sidebar of your Finder window, then double-click on "Utilities" from there.
    • Type "open /tmp" in Terminal (without quotation marks).
    • Press the "Enter" key. The Finder window should now navigate to the appropriate folder.
Have you defragmented your disk?
  1. To do this on a PC go to "My Computer", right-click on the hard drive and select "Properties". Under the "Tools" tab there should be an option to "Defragment Now".
  2. This is not necessary on a Mac. Here is a great article on things that you can do for a slow Mac. It involves downloading specific software, so I have not included it in this article.

Have you done a Disk Clean Up?
  1. On a PC click "Start" then go to All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup
  2. On a Mac see the link above.
Do you have unnecessary programs running in your System Tray?
  1. On a PC your system tray is on the bottom right side of your toolbar and shows what programs are running in the background while you use your computer. For example, one that you see there should be your virus protection, which you want to see. You also see indication of any flash drives that you might be using. However, there are many things that could be running that you do not need.
  2. To stop the ones you do not need from running in the background you can right click their icon and close them.

What programs automatically run when you startup your computer?
  1. Many programs install something in a file called the "startup file" on your computer so that they can open more quickly when you want to use them. 
  2. On a PC to get these out of your Startup file click Ctrl-Alt-Delete to open the Task Manager. When it is open click on the Startup tab.
  3. If there are any programs listed that you do not want to open automatically when you start your computer you can click to highlight them and then press "Disable" at the bottom right of the window.
  4. A Mac calls these things the Login items. To see what your login items are go to the black apple in the top left and then choose System Preferences
  5. Then choose Users and in that window click on Login Items. There should be a list in that window and to choose something that you do not want to be in your login items highlight it and click the minus sign at the bottom.
Well, I think that is enough for today!  I hope it has given you some things to try and maybe speeded up your computer. If these things do not work you will definitely need to find a Geek and ask for help. They might tell you that a good solution is to buy a new computer, but you are in charge of whether to do that or not!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Help! I Cannot Open My iMovie Projects with the New Version (10.1.4)

The other day I got an email from one of the bright readers of this blog asking about iMovie. His question had to do with different versions of iMovie. I know that iMovie can be very confusing and I had not looked at it for a little while, so I wrote him back to say that I would have to look to see what versions I am using and do a little research and I would get back to him.

Much to my surprise, when I looked at my computer I had THREE (count them…3) versions of iMovie on my computer. I kept the oldest version (6.0.3) on purpose because I knew how to use it and I did not like the way the replacement worked. 6.0.3 will not even work on Sierra and I get the message that I have to upgrade to the newest version.

I used the next version (iMovie 09, 8.0.6) until I got used to it. So, I have a bunch of projects and event files from then.

Finally, there is another newer version (10.1.4) on my computer that I have played with (because it does have a few trial movies in it). It cannot access all of my older movies, so I am going to try to figure that out and let you in on it!

First I want to open the 10.1.4 version and see if there is any way that I can open the movies that I have made in the past.

The first thing that I tried was to go to FILE-Import iOS Projects and then I navigated to my Movies folder and EVERYTHING in it was faded. I could not open anything. So, I learned I could not upload old projects.

So then I tried FILE-Import Media. This time an Import window opened up in iMovie and all of my files were listed below. First I had to change the file name at the top where it says “import to”. Then I chose one of the movies I had made in the past and clicked import in the bottom right. I went to the top of the list where it said “New Event” and I named it past projects. My movie from the past imported and now it is in my media list. 

However, it will not play in my media list. I had to create a New Project and then drag it down to the bottom. 

NOW I get it!!  The newest iMovie does not automatically connect to your older projects. It allows you to import your older projects and even the pieces of the projects (the stills, video and sound from when you were making the movie). Once they are imported into the folder you can work with them and make new things or remake the movies you had before. 

If you have completed movies in the past to the point of "Sharing" them so that they were no longer a project, but a movie it will play even if you do not have iMovie. That file is a stand alone file. What you cannot do is to edit them unless you have imported all of the pieces to create a new project.

I am ready to edit my video files to get rid of all of my old projects and keep only the final videos that were made. I don’t want to change them. I just want to have them to look at. Before this I was afraid to throw anything away because it might be necessary, but now I understand.