Your keyboard and mouse are the gateway to your computer, so if these stop working then you will find yourself somewhat hard-pressed to properly control your system. While for the most part an unresponsive input device is indicative of an issue with the device itself, there are times when a conflict with your Mac may be the reason for the problem. Either way, there are several steps you can take to overcome input problems and regain control of your Mac. Continue reading
If you have purchased one of Apple’s new 12-inch MacBooks (Early 2015), then be aware of a potential keyboard issue where the space bar may not respond, especially when pressed on the left or right edges. When this happens, the bar will feel as if it has hit the bottom of its range without sending the keypress to the system. Additional force may ultimately activate the key, but with standard typing this problem may make it difficult for affected users to enter spaces. Continue reading
The accent menu in OS X is a small contextual menu reminiscent of that for iOS, where when you type a character that has optional accent characters you can access them quickly without needing to use separate character panels, key combinations, or keyboard layouts. To do this, Apple removed the classic rapid sequential character entry for alphanumeric keys, so pressing and holding these will bring up the contextual menu, if applicable. However, there are a couple of situations where this menu will not display, and the fix is relatively simple. Continue reading
When you are at the login window in OS X, your system should be set to use the default keyboard layout you chose when you initially set up your Mac; however, there may be instances where this layout changes, which in some cases can frustrate your ability to enter your username and password. While you can change your keyboard layout from the login window through the input menu (provided you have it enabled), this should not be required every time you use your Mac. Continue reading
Your Mac’s keyboard is built to be fairly durable; however, there are instances where the letters on it may wear. For external Apple keyboards this can result in a blank white key, and for backlit keyboards you may find the sharp-edged letters are now a splotch of translucent white. This can have you considering a replacement, which can be expensive for MacBook systems. If you are noticing fading keys on your Mac, then there is an easy way to prevent the problem from spreading, and even fix a key that is already faded. Continue reading
When switching between open Apps in OS X, you might generally use Command-Tab; however, you can do similar switching, and far more, directly in the Dock. Even though the Dock is intended to be managed primarily with your mouse, Apple supports accessing it via the keyboard. The default action for this is to press Control-F3, but since some of its features are quite similar to Command-Tab, I recommend changing it to Option-Tab or something similar.
Special characters are all of those symbols and glyphs that are not available to you by way of direct keyboard input, and in modern operating systems with full Unicode character palettes, there are thousands of them. Your Mac comes with numerous type faces, many of which are fonts for specific languages, so they contain vast arrays of unique characters. In addition, there are numerous symbols, technical and otherwise, that are included with OS X. Continue reading
Hotkeys are exceptionally useful for specifying actions you want a particular program to perform. In some cases, these are specific to a given program (such as creating a new tab in Safari), and in other cases commands are more universal, such as those for copying and pasting content.
Given that hotkeys allow for specific tasks to be performed, they can often be a more efficient method than using point-and-click options, where errors can be made. For instance, when dragging items to the trash, you can easily release your selection at the wrong time and drop items on whatever window is in the background. With a hotkey to move items to the trash, you won’t make this mistake. Continue reading
One of Apple’s new features in iOS 8 is the QuickType keyboard, where the system will analyze your entered text to offer three suggestions of possible words as you type them. This can be used to assemble some amusing sentences if you are in for a laugh or two, but can also be quite useful when typing with one hand. However, the keyboard does take up screen real estate and there are times when entering text will leave you with precious few lines to see for composing whatever it is you are typing. Continue reading
If one person’s gibberish is another person’s poetry (or vice versa), then iOS 8 has you covered.
Many of Apple’s augmentations in iOS thorough the years have come with a degree of unintended humor. When Siri was introduced, of course many took advantage of asking her about intimate details, as well as finding amusement in her answers to odd questions; and when Maps was added to iOS, people were amused by instructions to drive off cliffs or into buildings. Continue reading