I’ve been working on a project for a couple of months where I created a few hundred files using this naming format: 1.1 My File Name.txt. I’ve just been told that I have to use a different format: 1_1_my_file_name.txt because of how the files are tracked in the company’s database. I don’t want to do this by hand. Do you have any tips for speeding up the process?
If you’re willing to cough up $20, Publicspace.net offers a great solution in the form of A Better Finder Rename. If you need to do this kind of thing routinely, it’s worth the money.
But you can also do this for free with Automator. Like so:
Launch Automator and from the template chooser select Application. In the resulting window enter rename in the Search field. Drag the first result—Rename Finder Items—into the workflow area to the right. You’ll be offered the opportunity to make copies of any files the workflow affects. It’s up to you whether this seems like a good idea or not. Drag two more instances of this action into the workflow area but decline the offer to create additional copies of your files.
In the first two actions choose Replace Text from the first pop-up menu. In the first action’s Find field enter a period (.) and choose Basename Only from the next pop-up menu. In that action’s Replace field enter an underscore ( _ ).
In the next Rename Finder Items action type a space in the Find field, also choose Basename Only in the pop-up menu, and again enter an underscore character in the Replace field.
In the third action choose Change Case from the first pop-up menu and change the other two to read Basename Only Is Lowercase.
Save the workflow as an application and place it on your Mac’s desktop.
Now select one of the files you wish to rename and drop it on top of the application. If it provides you with the results you wish, select all of the rest of the files and drop them on the application as well. Automator will churn through the workflow and rename the files.
If you haven’t yet played around with Apple’s slo-mo feature on the iPhone 5s, now’s a perfect time to start. This week’s video tip has Macworld associate editor Serenity Caldwell demonstrating how to shoot slo-mo video, preview it on your own device, and share it with others.
Transcript: One of the great features of the iPhone 5s is its slow motion video mode. To use this mode, just swipe over while in the Camera app to the Slo-Mo setting.
To begin shooting a slow-motion video, make sure you’ve got your target focused, then press the record button. Your video will begin recording in what looks like real time, but don’t be fooled: there’s some slow-motion magic yet to come.
If you just want to view your masterpiece yourself, you can open up the Camera Roll. There, two new blue edit handles will drop down, allowing you to phase in and out of slow motion. But if you’d actually like to send those videos to anyone, you have to move over to iMovie, Apple’s free software for editing and sharing home movies.
iMovie automatically lists all the videos from your Camera Roll that you’ve taken. To create a project from one of them, just select the clip in question, then press the Share button, followed by Create Movie. From there, you’ll enter the Edit screen.
Unlike the Camera Roll, you can’t automatically phase in and phase out slow motion. We actually have to make some cuts first to do that. Scroll through your clip and decide where you’d like the slow motion to start.
Tap the clip, and then swipe down on it to create a cut. Once you’ve made your cut, double-tap on the clip to the right and select the Speed option. This allows you to slow down that new clip to 1/4 its original speed.
Now you’ve slowed down the middle of your future video, but you still need to create an end clip to take you out of the slow motion. When you’ve decided where your ending spot should be, select the clip and swipe downward to make a second cut. The clip to the right keeps the same speed as the clip it’s been separated from; as such, we still have a slowed clip where we’ve made our cut, and we need to speed it back up again before we can finish our movie.
To preview your movie, scroll back to the beginning of the timeline and press the play button.
Once you’re happy with how your slow-motion video has come together, tap the arrow in the upper left corner of the screen. That brings you back to the Projects area, where you can tap the Share button and then tap Save Video to send your masterpiece back to the Camera Roll.
When your slow motion movie finishes exporting, you can send it to friends via Messages, email, Instagram, Facebook, and more.
Now that Adobe has made Photoshop CC the linchpin of its Creative Cloud subscription strategy, photo enthusiasts are more than ever seeking alternatives to the engine that has driven the modern image-editing industry for more than 20 years.
Subscriptions to Photoshop via Creative Cloud cost $50 per month and are popular with a certain segment of Adobe users, mostly the cadre of commercial artists, graphic designers, Web developers, and photographers who use multiple apps for high-end professional work.
To sweeten the deal for photographers, Adobe is now offering a special photo-oriented subscription package targeted to previous users that includes Photoshop and Lightroom for $10 per month (based on a year’s commitment), until December
31. A similar offer targeting everyone else, regardless of past Photoshop ownership, runs until December 2. The upshot is that for photographers who considered $50 a month excessive for purchasing programs they will not use, there’s a less expensive option available until the end of the year.
But a subscription is still a subscription. And even some Creative Cloud cheerleaders may now be pausing to reconsider this path, especially in light of recent issues with Adobe security. That, added to general consumer opposition to subscription software, may play a role in an accelerated quest for a Photoshop alternative.
Even when Photoshop was available as a perpetual license, the $699 standard edition price tag was steep, as was the $350 upgrade price, though a hefty portion of enthusiasts were willing to fork over that amount for the best image editor money could buy. Adobe continues to sell Photoshop CS6, the last per-subscription version.
We poked around and found nine good prospects that would be suitable for most amateurs and photo enthusiasts. Some of those alternatives, not surprisingly, come from Adobe itself, while others emerge from familiar vendors like Apple and Corel, as well as more recent players in the software marketplace. Note that prices can vary, and those below are the latest from the vendor’s websites.
As a newish Mac user, you may wonder what allows your computer to display pictures and play music and movies. Wonder no longer. This bit of media magic is performed by something called QuickTime. Originally developed in 1991 as a multimedia technology that accompanied the System 6 operating system, QuickTime has been built in to every version of the Mac’s operating system since.Before we take another step, let’s a peer a little more carefully into what QuickTime is and isn’t. As I’ve outlined up to this point, QuickTime is a technology rather than an application. If you think of the Mac OS as a series of blocks, each of which is part of the sturdy wall that is the Macintosh computing experience, QuickTime would be one layer of those blocks. When the operating system needs to play media, it looks to this QuickTime layer to do the job.
However, when you hear people talking about QuickTime on their Mac, they’re invariably speaking of the QuickTime Player application. Before iTunes came along, QuickTime Player is how most people watched movies on their Macs. And that player what we’ll talk about in this lesson.
The anatomy of QuickTime Player
Launch QuickTime Player (which is found in the Applications folder at the root level of your startup drive) and…well, nothing much happens. You’ll see the QuickTime Player name appear next to the Apple logo in the Mac’s menu bar, along with QuickTime Player’s menus, but that’s about it. For the application to actually do something, you need to open a media file that QuickTime can play. You have many to choose from.
QuickTime supports audio, image, and movie file formats too numerous to list. So instead, I’ll mention a couple of popular media formats used largely in the Windows and Linux worlds that QuickTime doesn’t support. Unsupported audio files include Windows Media (they bear a .wma extension), Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC. The Windows Media movie format (.wmv) isn’t supported either. If you’d like QuickTime to play Windows media files, you can download and install the free Windows Media Components for QuickTime from Microsoft’s website.
Once you’ve opened a compatible file (which you can do by dragging the media file on top of the QuickTime Player icon in the Dock or by choosing QuickTime Player’s File > Open File command), you’ll see a black window. In the case of audio files, that window will be fairly small and will have just a few controls. You’ll find rewind, play/pause, and fast-forward buttons that work just as they do on a DVD player or a car’s CD player. (These buttons are referred to as transport controls.) To start or pause playback, press the Mac’s spacebar. When you click the rewind or fast-forward buttons, the media will skip back or forward (respectively) at 2X speed. Click again to move to 4X speed. Then again for 8X. To play at normal speed, just click the play button.
Below these controls is a volume control. Drag the gray ball that appears in this line to the left to decrease the volume and drag to the right to make the volume louder. Below the volume control is the timeline. The diamond-shaped icon in the timeline (called the playhead) indicates how far along you are in the track. To the left of the timeline is the current-time display. To its right is the remaining-time display.
Movie windows have a bit more going on. Here, too, you find rewind, play/pause, and fast-forward buttons; and, as with audio files, rewind and fast-forward offer 2X, 4X, and 8X speed options as well. However, you can scrub movies. This means that as you drag the playhead, the movie’s images move forward or back as you drag, allowing you to see where you are in the movie. Stop scrubbing, and the movie will continue to play from the current location of the playhead. If you click and hold on the playhead, the timeline will display a series of lines. This indicates that you can now scrub in small increments, which helps you zoom in on just the frame you want to view.
Unlike with audio files, you can make movie files fill the entire screen. Just click the full-screen icon in the movie’s top-right corner, choose View > Enter Full Screen, or press Command-Control-F. If a movie has chapters, you’ll see a Chapters menu, which allows you to pick and move to a different chapter.
Sharing and exporting media
From within QuickTime Player, you can share your media with the outside world. You do this via the File > Share command. (To the right of the transport controls in a movie window, you’ll also see a Share menu.) Click it, and you find a list of export destinations including Email, Message, AirDrop, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr.
When you choose Email, Apple’s Mail will open, create a new message, and add the movie as an attachment. Select Message, and the movie is attached to a multimedia message. Selecting AirDrop attaches the movie to an AirDrop window. (The names of other people on your local network who have their AirDrop windows open will appear in this window. Select a recipient and click Send.)
When you choose Facebook (and you’ve configured a Facebook account on your Mac), a sheet appears where you name and describe your movie. Click Upload, and that’s exactly what happens. Choosing YouTube does something similar. Enter your YouTube name and password and—again, if you have a YouTube account—you’ll be prompted to assign a category to your movie, and enter a title, description, and tags. The Vimeo option will upload the movie to that service if you have an account. And when you choose Flickr (and yes, have an account), you can upload the movie to Flickr provided that it’s no longer than 90 seconds (as Flickr maintains this minute-and-a-half limit for videos).
Although it sounds like a duplication of efforts, you can additionally export media from QuickTime Player. The advantage of doing this versus sharing media is that you can choose to convert the media as you export. Choose File > Export when an audio file is active, and you see just two options in the Format pop-up menu—Movie and Audio Only. Choosing Movie does nothing more than export the audio file as a .mov QuickTime file, which will play in iTunes and on media players that support these files. If you choose Audio Only, the audio file will be converted to the AAC format encoded at 256 kilobits per second. This is an audio format supported by Apple’s iTunes, mobile devices, and computers as well as modern Windows computers and Android devices. Older MP3 players, however, can’t play these files.
When working with a movie file, you have a few more options. You can choose to export it in one of two resolutions: 480p (with dimensions of 640 pixels by 480 pixels) and 720p (1280 pixels by 720 pixels). You can also choose to export the movie so that it will be playable on an iPod touch and iPhone 3GS; an iPad, iPhone 4, and Apple TV; or as audio only (which exports just the movie’s audio track).
But your export options don’t stop there. Explore that File menu, and you’ll also find the Export To command. This command is largely for people who don’t want to worry about dimensions and resolution. Instead, they just want their media to work where it will be played. Choose this command, and you see three options—Web, iTunes, and iMovie.
Choose Web, and you can opt to export up to three versions of the movie—one for transmission over a cellular network (meaning the movie will be smallish), Wi-Fi transfer (bigger), and broadband (bigger still). Select iTunes, and a sheet appears that presents you with three options: iPod & iPhone; iPad, iPhone 4 & Apple TV; and Mac & PC. Select the one you want, and click Share to begin the export. Finally, if you choose iMovie, that app opens and the movie is added to that iMovie’s assets. (We’ll discuss iMovie and the other iLife applications in other lessons.)
I use “attempt” for good reason. Without being overly paranoid about it, there’s every chance in the world that if the NSA and other government agencies want to read your email—encrypted or not—a way will be (or has been) found. On the other hand, the vast majority of the email we generate would be of no interest to your second-cousin, much less the government.
Still, these recent events do provide a perfect excuse for running through the steps for encrypting your email on a Mac. They go this way:
Obtain and install a personal certificate
You must first get your hands on a personal certificate. This is a small file, added to the Mac’s keychain, that verifies your identity in sent mail. Symantec sells such things for $23 per year (you can also try one for free for 25 days). You’ll need a separate certificate for each email address you wish to send encrypted messages from.
You’ll be asked to register your email address with the certificate seller. An email message will be sent to that address that contains a link to the certificate. A password will also be sent to you. Click on the link and your default web browser will launch and take you to the certificate download page. Enter the password you received, click Continue, and the certificate will download to your Mac.
Double-click on it and Keychain Access should launch and install the certificate. You’ll know that it has if you see the certificate when you click the Certificates category in Keychain Access.
Encrypting your mail
Now that you’ve installed the certificate, launch Apple’s Mail and create a new message. In the New Message window choose the account you’ve obtained the certificate for from the From pop-up menu. To the right of that pop-up menu you’ll see a couple of buttons that you haven’t seen before. The first is the Encrypt button that’s almost certainly grayed out. The second is the Digital Signing button. By default, this button will bear a check mark, indicating that when you send a message from this account it will be certified to be well and truly from you. Click that button, and you turn off digital signing.
In order for the Encrypt button to become active, you must have a certificate from the person you’re sending the message to—their public key, in the parlance of the encryption game. And that means that they too must have installed a certificate. If that condition has been met, this is how the exchange works.
You first send a digitally signed (not encrypted) message to them. When you do this, your public key is also sent to them and added to their list of certificates. They then reply to that message using their certified address. In that reply is their public key, which will be added to your keychain. Now that the two of you have swapped keys, the Encrypt button will become active when you enter their address in a new message’s To field.
Complicated? Yes, a little. But it makes sense that each party has a key to unlock the other’s messages. This is something to bear in mind for company email that you want protected from a competitor or personal email that you’d prefer not be seen by friends or family. But, again, it’s unlikely to do you any good with agencies that possess The Big Key.
After the Flashback malware attack that occurred in the summer of 2012, I discussed the risks and offered some advice about the safest way to use Java. But due to changes in the way Java works on Macs and the recent rise in Java-based security threats, I’m altering my advice: You should do everything you can to remove Java from your Mac or, if that isn’t possible, to isolate it to the fullest extent possible.
I don’t make this recommendation lightly. Removing Java will be problematic for some people, especially those who use Macs at work; and isolating it isn’t simple. But I can’t overstate the risk: Nearly all recent Mac malware attacks rely on exploiting Java or Flash in your Web browser. (I also have some advice on isolating Flash.) If you plan to keep Java, make sure that you update it as soon as possible.
Why I now recommend removing Java
Java is more than a browser plugin. It’s a complete application runtime environment…
Crashes and freezes in OS X are mercifully rare, but they do occur. Fortunately, most of them can be resolved readily; and even though a crash or freeze may have any of numerous causes or symptoms, the same procedure works for troubleshooting most of them.
Your first step should be to determine the scope of a problem. Is just one application having difficulties, or is the whole system affected?
Send a report, or not: If an app quits unexpectedly, you know that it’s at least part of the problem. App crashes are usually accompanied by an error message. If you see one of these, click Reopen to send Apple a report with details about your system configuration and what went wrong, and then relaunch the app. Or click OK to send the report without relaunching the app.
If you don’t want to send Apple information about crashes automatically, go to the Security & Privacy pane of System Preferences, click the lock icon, and enter your username and password to unlock it. Then click Privacy, select Diagnostics & Usage, and uncheck Send diagnostic & usage data to Apple. After you do that, the options in the crash dialog box change to Ignore, Report, and Reopen; only if you click Report is information sent to Apple.
Reader Isabel Lorenzo has been asked to sign on the dotted line. She writes:
I’ve received some electronic documents that I’m supposed to sign. I could print and sign them and mail them back, but I’ve heard there’s a way to sign them right on my Mac. Do you know how it’s done?
You have a couple of options, Isabel. If you’re running Mac OS X Lion or later, you can take advantage of Preview’s Signature feature. Alternatively, you can use Adobe’s Acrobat Reader. We’ll start with Preview.
Launch Preview, open its preferences, and select the Signatures tab. Click the plus (+) button at the bottom of the window.
A Signature Capture window will appear and your Mac’s camera will light up. Scrawl out your John Hancock on a piece of paper, and place that paper before the camera so that the signature aligns with the blue line in the viewer area. Signature Capture will grab your signature and display it to the right of the viewer. Click the Accept button, and the signature will be added to Preview’s list of available signatures.
When you need to sign a PDF, choose Tools > Annotate > Signature. A crosshairs cursor will appear. Drag it, and your signature will appear. (If you’ve stored more than one signature, click the Signature menu in the toolbar and select the signature you wish to use.) Drag the signature where you’d like it to appear, and if necessary, resize it. Save the PDF, and your signature will be embedded in the document.
You can also slap a signature on PDF files with Acrobat Reader. While Reader doesn’t offer Preview’s camera trick, applying a signature is pretty easy.
Open a PDF and click the Sign button that appears in the toolbar. Click the triangle next to the ‘I Need to Sign’ heading and choose Place Signature. In the Place Signature window that appears, choose Type my signature and enter your name in the appropriate field. Your signature will appear below in a script-like font. Click the Accept button, place your cursor where you’d like your signature to appear, and click. The signature will appear on the page, where you can then resize it.
If the recipient of your document is likely to respond with “I’ve seen your signature, and that ain’t it!” return to the Place Signature command and choose Clear Saved Signature. Now click Place Signature yet again and, in the window that appears, choose Draw My Signature from the first pop-up menu and then do your darndest to create a legible signature, scrawling it with your mouse or trackpad. Again, click Accept when you’re done and place the signature in the document.
This kind of signature is fine in some cases, but not all. For greater security, some documents (those with Adobe’s Reader Usage Rights enabled) must be digitally signed. Adobe Reader includes a feature for creating such digital IDs.
Launch Adobe Reader, open its preferences, and select Signatures. In the Identities & Trusted Certificates area, click the More button. In the window that appears, you’ll see a handful of certificates.
Click the Add ID button, and in the resulting window enable the A New Digital ID I Want To Create Now option and click the Next button. In the Add Digital ID window, enter your name and an email address. The Key Algorithm pop-up menu offers two options—’1024-bit RSA’ and ‘2048-bit RSA’. The latter is more secure but the former is more widely compatible. Choose one and click Next.
In the subsequent window, you’ll see the location of your signature file. Make a note of it should you wish to back it up. Then enter and confirm a password. When you’re done, click the Finish button. Your signature will appear at the bottom of the certificate list. Click the Close button and close the preferences window.
When you next need to sign a document that requires a certificate just double-click in the digital signature field, and the Sign Document dialog box will appear. Enter the password for your signature and follow the instructions to insert your signature.
It was a big year for Apple as it rolled out a new smartphone, tablets and updated its operating system as well as other tweaks to existing programs. 2012 saw Apple reach MVP status, for most valuable public company.
We’ve already counted down the year in Apple news, including up-close looks at what happened to both the Mac and iOS platforms during 2012. Now, our colleagues at IDG News Service put a pin in 2012 with this video review of Apple’s big year.
Produced by Kerry Davis, this video covers Apple’s highs and lows, including new iPads, Tim Cook’s first full calendar year as CEO, and controversies involving maps and major supplier Foxconn. Oh, and there’s a surprise appearance by a Macworld editor as well.
With 2012 in the books, we’re looking forward to whatever Apple has in store for us in 2013. Whatever it is, we’re sure it won’t be dull.
Macworld News Alert – October 24st, 2012 News from Macworld – The Mac Product Experts
Slimmer iPads, iMacs highlight Apple press eventPrior to Tuesday’s press event, Apple promised that it had “a little more” to show us. That “little more” turned out to be quite a bit, as the company released a smaller version of its iPad tablet, introduced a new generation of iPads, and rolled out new iMac, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models.
The iPad mini was the last in the slew of product announcements Apple made on Tuesday, but it was clearly the most anticipated. The 7.2mm-thick tablet is 23 percent thinner than a full-sized iPad and weighs in at half the weight of its predecessor. The iPad mini starts at $329 for 16GB, with 32GB ($429) and 64GB ($529) configurations also available. Adding cellular connectivity tacks on another $129 to the price tag. Apple takes pre-orders this Friday, with the Wi-Fi versions of the iPad mini shipping on November 2.
In addition to the iPad mini, Apple also introduced a fourth-generation of its full-sized iPad. The new tablets boast a faster processor and graphics, an improved front-facing camera, and faster Wi-Fi. Apple kept the prices on these iPads the same as the third-generation models it introduced just six months ago.
Apple’s tablets may have been the marquee attraction, but they weren’t the only hardware unveiled Tuesday. Perhaps the most eye-catching update was the new iMac lineup, featuring dramatically thinner versions of Apple’s all-in-one desktop.
The new iMac comes in 21.5-inch and 27-inch sizes with prices starting at $1299 for a 2.7GHz quad-core Core i5-powered model. The other 21.5-inch iMac features a 2.9GHz quad-core Core i5 processor for $1499, while the 27-inch offerings sport a 2.9GHz quad-core Core i5 or 3.2GHz quad-core Core i5 for $1799 and $1999, respectively.
Among the build-to-order options for the new iMac is the newly announced Fusion Drive, a hybrid storage device combining flash storage with a hard drive. The Fusion Drive features 128GB of flash storage and 1TB or 3TB of hard-drive capacity. Apple hasn’t announced pricing or availability.
Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup now extends the Retina display feature first introduced this past June. Tuesday saw the introduction of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, which joins the 15-inch model Apple rolled out at this summer’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The 13-inch MacBook with Retina display comes in two configurations: a $1699 model with a 2.5GHz dual-core Core i5 processor and a $1999 model with the same processor but 256GB of flash storage.
Of the hardware changes unveiled Tuesday, the Mac mini’s were probably the most modest–at least on the outside. Externally, the Mac mini is more or less unchanged from its last version, save for upgrades to USB 3.0 ports. Inside, however, the mini has faster processors: a 2.5GHz dual-core Core i5 chip in the $599 model and a 2.3GHz quad-core Core i7 chip in the $799 model. Both Mac minis have improved graphics as well.