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OS X Tutorials


How to Rebuild Spotlight's Index

Spotlight is the revolutionary search technology built into OS X that creates an index of practically everything on your hard drive — including email messages, contacts, and even calendar events — and then uses this index to search your hard drive. OS X is supposed to update this index in real time when you create or modify files or folders, but problems occasionally crop up. Spotlight won’t work correctly if this index is incomplete or corrupted. When search results don’t appear as expected, it’s probably time to manually rebuild Spotlight’s index.

How to Set Your Mac's Time Zone

Keeping your Mac's clock current used to be a challenge, but OS X now allows you to automate the process entirely. By specifying a time zone in system settings, your Mac can automatically adjust to changes in daylight savings time. And if you're a road warrior, you can set OS X to use location services to automatically determine the current time zone, so the current time zone will always be selected and the current time will always be displayed no matter where you are.

Here's how to set your Mac's time zone:

How to Output Stereo Audio in Mono

Recently I replaced my aging Bose OE2 headphones with a pair of Sennheiser HD 380 Pro headphones.

Schedule Your Mac to Automatically Sleep

If you're one of those people who forgets to turn off your Mac at night, you might be interested in a little-known OS X feature capable of automatically putting your Mac to sleep at a time of your choosing. It's a great "set it and forget it" setting that automates a task that can save you energy and prolong the life of your Mac's components.

Here's how to schedule your Mac to automatically sleep:

  1. Verify that your Mac's clock is set to the correct day and time.

  2. From the Apple menu, select System Preferences. The window shown below appears.

Install the Old AirPort Utility in Mountain Lion

Earlier this year, Apple released a new version of AirPort Utility, the application that allows users to set up and maintain the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express base stations.

How to Check Your Apple Bluetooth Keyboard's Battery Life

The Apple Bluetooth keyboard is one of those rare, indispensable devices I couldn't live without. It's wireless, it's portable, and I love typing on it. There's only one problem: When the keyboard's batteries run out of juice, it stops working. This can be an issue when I'm working away from home or trying to meet a tight deadline.

Set Scroll Bars to Always Display on Your Mac

Operating systems like OS X and Windows are constantly being updated with new features, but for the longest time, you could always count on seeing scroll bars in windows, no matter what operating system you used. But then multi-touch gestures hit the scene and OS X Lion was released, and the scroll bars were gone. Poof! Just like that.

How to Make an Alias (Shortcut) in Mac OS X

If you've ever wished you could have a single folder in two different places at once, you should consider creating an alias, which is known as a shortcut on Windows-based operating systems. An alias looks like a folder, but when you double click it, you open the actual folder it points to. It's literally a shortcut to a different directory on your Mac.

Moving Mail.app Rules to a Different Mac

So you use Mail.app for email. And you've created rules in Mail.app to perform automatic and complex actions on incoming messages. If you're like most, you probably use rules to filer spam, move messages from certain senders to different folders, execute AppleScripts, and automatically respond to people when you're out of the office. Which is great!

But if you use multiple Macs, or if you purchase a new Mac, you're faced with a perplexing problem: How do you backup and export Mail.app rules to a different Mac? Fortunately, there is a way to do it. Here's how:

Punching Up Screen Grabs With Preview

When creating documentation, one of my more time-consuming tasks used to be punching up screen shots with labels, arrows, highlights and whatever. With its ability to mix vector (scalable text, lines and shapes) and bitmap graphics, Adobe's Fireworks was my favorite tool, though it bordered on software overkill. Recently, I was in a rush to get something wrapped up and posted on a deadline and was nowhere near a copy of Fireworks.

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