Category: Mac & OS X

How to adjust the standby time in your MacBook

MacBook Pro lid

Later model MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pros offer a feature called Standby mode. Standby essentially takes the contents of your RAM and stores it on the hard drive after your MacBook has been sleeping for an hour. This saves plenty of battery life. Unfortunately, it significantly adds to the amount of time your MacBook takes to wake from sleep when already in Standby mode.

By default, Standby is set to one hour (3600 seconds) by Apple. But you can adjust the settings using the Terminal app to whatever you wish. I’ve set mine to two hours (7200 seconds), instead of one, using the following command in Terminal application:

sudo pmset -a standbydelay 7200

I caution you though, setting the amount (in seconds) too high can kill the battery savings that Standby was meant to give you. And in the end, it only saves you a few seconds when you wake your MacBook from sleep.

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Suitcase Fusion updates adds experimentation and inspiration

Suitcase Fusion 5 update

Extensis released a new update for Suitcase Fusion 5, the best font manager for the Mac on the market (in my opinion). This latest update is free to existing Fusion 5 users, and advances features which foster design inspiration, including a new Fontspiration panel which showcases the latest and most cutting edge typography via a Pinterest feed. Clicking on an image in the panel loads the Pinterest page containing the image, where you can also view the rest of the Extensis Fontspiration Pinterest Board.

The update also doubles the collection of QuickComp templates, a new feature introduced in Suitcase Fusion 5 that allows you to quickly view font combinations in various pre-built layouts for magazines, newspapers, and mobile formats.

I’ve reviewed Suitcase Fusion’s features in the past, and this update adds even more for designers who use a wide variety of fonts in their day-to-day work. There are certainly other font managers out there, but I’ve not come across one that offers more useful tools beyond simple font organization the way Fusion does.

The update to Suitcase Fusion 5 update is free. New users can purchase it for $99.95 or try the free demo to see if it fits into your creative workflow.

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How to unlock PDF files with password restrictions

Acrobat PDF

I can’t stand when I get a PDF file that has a password that restricts printing, editing or saving, etc. Thankfully, a clever developer offers a simple way to crack those pesky PDFs online – no software installation required.

Crack My PDF can remove restrictions for copying, editing, printing & extracting, and works on PDF files up to version 9 with 40-bit RC4 ecryption, 128-bit RC4 decryption and 128-bit AES decryption.

It cannot completely remove an open password, remove DRM, or enable you to save forms locally or add comments or digital signatures.

For me, the ability to at least print those PDFs makes Crack My PDF worth bookmarking!

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How to create folders in iCloud dialog boxes

If you use apps that take advantage of iCloud storage, such as Text Edit, Pages, Numbers, etc., you can save your documents in iCloud so they’re available no matter where you are or what computer you happen to be using. However, Apple doesn’t allow full organization of those files as it does in the Finder. By default, all your documents are stored in a single top-level folder. Not ideal.

iCloud folders

Thankfully, you can create a little organization by creating single-level folders, just like you can with apps on your iOS device.

Simply drag one document on top of another in the iCloud open/save dialog box to create a folder. You can then rename it to whatever you want. You can’t create folders inside of folders, but at least you can cut down on the long list of files if you have one.

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How to charge your iPhone in half the time

It never fails; you’re busy, not paying attention and have a meeting across town in an hour, when you notice that your iPhone is down to 15% charge on the battery. Simply plugging it in for 15 minutes before you head out the door isn’t going to give you enough charge to get you through the day.

iPhone fast chargeHere’s a little-known secret to get you the battery charge you need in half the time it would normally take.

Plug your iPhone in as you normally would, then open the Settings app and turn on Airplane mode at the top. Doing so turns off WiFi, the cellular radio, Bluetooth, pretty much everything that typically drains the battery even as it’s charging.

I’ve verified that this works, and works well. My iPhone charged in nearly half the time it would normally take.

I wish I could take credit for discovering this trick, but I found it at AlliOSNews.

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Getting control of your Mac’s volume settings

Volume controls

If you’re using an Apple keyboard (or many third-party keyboards with a dedicated audio volume button), you can adjust the volume up and down with the push of a key. For many people, that’s enough.

For those who need a little more control, you can adjust the volume in quarter increments (rather than whole increments) simply by holding Option + Shift keys while pushing the Volume Up or Down keys. You’ll notice on the Volume bezel that appears on screen that the volume is adjusting a quarter box at a time, rather than a whole.

And for those of you who are annoyed by the quacking/beeping/burping sound with every press of the volume key, you can temporarily mute that sound by using Shift+Volume Up or Down keys. Unfortunately, you can combine the two to make silent adjustments in small increments.

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Easily rearrange the order of accounts in OS X’s Mail app

Mac Mail address send order

If you have several different email accounts, you may find it annoying to have to choose the right email address as your “From” email from the drop-down menu (providing the default send account isn’t the one you want to use) in OS X’s Mail app. There is no cure for this problem, but you can at least put the list in the order you want it to appear in.

Mac Mail address send order fixI’ve seen other Mac sites that offer tips to accomplish this that range from the outrageous advice that you must delete all your email accounts and re-add them in the order you want them to appear, to the less dramatic but still cumbersome idea that you must uncheck the email checkbox in the Internet accounts preference pane and re-enable email in the desired order.

Thankfully, there’s a much more convenient way to accomplish the same desired result that doesn’t require you to delete anything.

Simply drag the individual email inbox icons for your accounts in the Mail sidebar to the order you want them to appear and restart Mail. Boom, you’re done. Now your drop-down menu will list your email addresses in the order you set them in.

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Get started in 3D modeling & animation with Blender (free)

Blender 3D animation software for Mac

Looking to get started in 3D modeling and animation software on the Mac? There are a few apps out there, but most fall into one of two categories. Expensive but worth it, being the first. Cheap or free, but completely under-featured and unpolished is the more likely one you’ll come across.

Blender kicks the trend and offers a high-end package absolutely free.

Blender is a free and open source 3D animation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation.

Blender is cross-platform and runs on Linux, Windows and Macintosh computers. I’m not into 3D work, and I’ve not used this software myself. But I recently read a review from a friend who has and she was raving about it. It’s free, so you lose nothing by trying it out.

If you do use Blender, be sure to check out Blend Swap for free 3D assets created by other Blender users.

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