Thursday, 20-Oct-2016 12:23:49 EDT

macOS (10.12) Sierra


(Free unless otherwise noted.)


  1. BetterTouchTool ($6) assigns more stuff to trackpads, etc. I use it to allow tapping in the corners to replace the Home & End keys (which don't exist on my new wireless keyboard), closing windows (⌘W), ⌘-click in Safari & Mail, & Enter Full Screen (⌃⌘F) elsewhere.
  2. Menubar weather: Meteo(rologist) (bug : black/white menubar text only). Also, WeatherMan Lite.
  3. AutoKeyboard assigns different keyboard layouts (as for different languages) to each app.
    (Haven't tried it: I use Keyboard Pilot, which is no longer free.)
  4. Music:
    1. GarageBand will convert ≤ 40 sec. segments of videos into ringtones.
    2. Singer Song Reader adds lyrics to metadata of iTunes music.
  5. TexShop: Front end for MacTeX. (Doc: select by hand file:///usr/local/texlive/2012/doc.html.)
    1. SyncTeX: ⌘-click on input/output to find same spot in other window; works with Full Screen.
    2. Auto Save & Versions.
    3. Flashmode automatically TeX's while you're typing. (Haven't tried it yet.)
    4. To convert pdf → eps, open the pdf in TeXShop, choose the "Selection" tool in the Preview window toolbar, select the desired rectangle (or all, either with ⌘-A or manually), choose "Preview > Save Selection to File...", & save as eps. If that doesn't work, TeX the pdf in a file 1st.
  6. ForkLift for (s)ftp. (Is it free?)
  7. Xcode (from the Mac App Store, also in  menu) includes:
    1. FileMerge compares 2 text files (& merges) with a nice interface. (If you want to access it directly, you can make an alias to the file in Contents/Applications; as usual, access Contents of an app by right-clicking & selecting Show Package Contents.)
    2. Simulator shows what your web pages look like in iOS. (Separately found in Contents/Developer/Applications.)
    3. Note: Simulators & Command Line Tools now need to be downloaded separately via Preferences... > Downloads > Components. (Requires free developer account.)
    4. Also available: various versions of Fortran; CERNLIB & other HEP.
  8. In case you lost them, here are some ancient Mac system sounds.
  9. Leaf for RSS, because it uses Feedly to sync with my iPad. ($10, but I got it when it was free.) Also, the more basic Feedly.

Safari 10

  1. iCloud Keychain: can AutoFill even when websites resist, if password required after period of sleep
  2. Safari Extensions (link in Safari menu) install automatically from Apple's site:
    1. Ad blocker: Nope.
    2. Tabletoy allows floating table headers & sorting by columns.
    3. YouTube: helper downloads videos, Lyrics Here shows lyrics.
  3. If audio is played as Flash instead of HTML5, it can be saved using Soundflower & QuickTime Player: Set the sound output in System Preferences, & the microphone in New Audio Recording in QuickTime Player (but leave its volume @ minimum), to "Soundflower (2ch)".
  4. MathML: pretty good now, except for some big delimiters.


  1. Vector graphics ("draw"): LibreOffice (Draw)
    1. Allows editing of pdf (including conversion to ps, but not eps).
    2. Lots more tools than basics: e.g., gradient shading, transparency, primitive 3D.
    3. Returns to Select tool after use of any other tool (unlike Inkscape).
    4. Includes text editor (Writer) that's better at reading MS Word files than TextEdit (but so is Quick Look).
  2. Bitmap graphics ("paint"):
    1. Gimp is powerful but awkward. Now native (no X11/XQuartz).
    2. Krita is a possible alternative. (Haven't tried it yet.)
  3. Java apps:
    1. 3D graphics (raytracing, etc.): Art of Illusion; saves as JPG (e.g.), but Preview will convert to PDF.
      (More powerful/awkward alternative is Blender, including the plug-in for the free version of RenderMan.)
    2. JaxoDraw draws Feynman diagrams with just the trackpad/mouse. (Others require programming & specifying coordinates.) Now only the ".jar" file works, not the ".app". (Somebody needs to use javapackager.)
    3. FidoCadJ does the same with circuit diagrams.
    4. If newly downloaded Java app won't run, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General.



  1. Unicode characters (e.g., math in Mail/Messages):
    1. Substitution (useful also in iOS):
      1. Built-in (e.g., 1/2 → ½), or
      2. Added (e.g., ^2 → ²): System Preferences… > Keyboard > Text. Use menu item Edit > Substitutions > Text Replacement.
    2. Emoji & Symbols:
      1. Edit > Emoji & Symbols, or add directly to Title Bar by selecting in System Preferences… > Keyboard > Input Sources.
      2. For more characters, Customize List... from Action pop-up menu (gear).
    3. STIX fonts (now included in OS X) have TeX characters, useful in figures, MathML, etc.
    4. See also my Unicode page.
  2. Editing tricks:
    1. ⌥⌫ deletes words.
    2. 2-finger single tap (right-click on mouse) on a typo to choose a correct spelling is easier than retyping.
    3. ⌃T between 2 letters to transpose them.
    4. Also note the menu item Edit > Spelling and Grammar > Correct Spelling Automatically.
    5. Hit esc to complete word or guess next one.
  3. Text selection:
    1. 3-finger swipe (click & drag with mouse) to select text as contiguous letters.
    2. 1-finger double-tap (-click) to select word, 3-finger swipe (drag with mouse) for contiguous words.
    3. Triple-tap (-click) for paragraphs.
  4. Preview form input. (But for reading the output in Acrobat, save by printing to PDF, or see this article.)


  1. Batch renaming: "Right-click" multiple selected files for menu item.
  2. In a home folder window, View > Show View Options > Show Library Folder.
  3. Screen Sharing (also in Messages) allows remote control of your Mac (even over the internet).
  4. ⌘⇧4 to select portion of screen for snapshot, or hit space for camera to select window (or dock, menu bar, or desktop for all).
  5. To create an alias while dragging, hold down ⌥⌘. (⌥ alone creates a copy.)
  6. ⌘-drag to rearrange menu bar (/3rd-party).


  1. News/rumors: 9T🕘 5Mac (RSS).
  2. Apple keynote coverage (WWDC).
  3. iCloud Drive (5 GB free) makes all of iCloud easily accessible from all apps, Finder, iOS, Windows, &
  4. Automatically install OS X updates: System Preferences > App Store.
  5. Preview lets you create signatures using the trackpad instead of the camera.
  6. To get to the Dock in Full Screen mode, go "past" the edge.
  7. To add a keyboard shortcut for a menu item, System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts. If you want to add a shortcut for something with an ambiguous "last name", you need to give the full Menu Title, separated by "->" (not ">") w/o spaces.
  8. In LaunchPad, drag an item on top of another to create a folder; hold ⌥ to get wiggly icons with X's for deletion.
  9. Grapher (in Applications > Other) also does equations nicely; for arithmetic, just delete the "x=" (or whatever) & type. You can even export the equation as (La)TeX: Use the secondary click & select the menu item.
  10. Quicktime Player does screen video capture.
  11. System Preferences > Extensions:
    1. Actions: Markup gives new image editing options in any viewer (Preview, Mail, ...).
    2. Today: widgets to customize Notification Center. (In the Today window, besides the Edit button there's also ⓘ buttons on rollover.)
  12. I need Safari Privacy > Cookies and website data set to "Allow from websites I visit" instead of "Allow from current website only" for me to be logged in to blog sites that use my google ID. That means more ads, but @ least only from places I already shopped.


  1. Preview won't save "Always Show Sidebar" as a default for "Full Screen" mode, & turning it on in "Two Pages" view sometimes makes the sidebar overlap the pages instead of pushing them over.
  2. General, simple fixes for new bugs, not associated with system/app upgrade, not described on the Web:
    1. Restart the app. If the problems persist,
    2. Restart your Mac. If that doesn't work,
    3. Delete the preference files for that app in ~/Library/Preferences/ after quitting. Empty the trash. You may also need to restart, if it's system-wide. Of course, you'll lose all your preferences.
    Many other techniques (restart in Safe Mode, reinstall the system, use Disk Utility, zap the PRAM, etc.) work rarely & take more time.
  3. When a file won't delete because it claims it's in use, select it, 2-finger tap (right click), & Delete Immediately.... Also under File menu when holding ⌥, or directly as ⌥⌘⌫.