Friday, 20-Sep-2019 08:26:28 EDT

macOS Catalina (10.15)

arrives October

macOS Mojave (10.14)


(Free unless otherwise noted.)


  1. Password Assistant directly brings up the Password Assistant that can otherwise be invoked only by Keychain Access > New Password Item > 🔑 . Useful if you need to modify 's suggested passwords because of a website's demands to use special characters, e.g.
  2. 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.
  3. Music:
    1. GarageBand will convert ≤ 40 sec. segments of videos into ringtones.
    2. Singer Song Reader adds lyrics to metadata of apps music.
  4. TexShop: Front end for MacTeX.
    1. Doc: select by hand file:///usr/local/texlive/2018/doc.html.
    2. 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.
  5. (s)ftp:
  6. 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... > Components. (Requires free developer account.)
    4. Also available: various versions of (g)Fortran; CERNLIB & other HEP.
  7. In case you lost them, here are some ancient Mac system sounds.
  8. RSS: Reeder ($10, free when I got it) or Leaf ($10, but I got it when it was free), because they use Feedly to sync with my iPad. Also, the more basic Feedly.

Safari 13

  1. Safari App Extensions from App Store
    1. Ad blocker: Ka-Block! (also on iOS)
  2. 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)". (Alternative I haven't tried: Loopback.)
  3. I need Privacy > Website tracking: Prevent cross-site tracking unchecked for me to login to blog sites that use my Google ID. (But Sign in with Apple in macOS 10.15.)


  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.
    4. Alternative: Inkscape. (Must be run from Applications folder.)
  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. Require installation of Java JDK.



  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 macOS) have TeX characters, useful in figures, MathML, etc.
    4. See also my Unicode page.
  2. Editing tricks:
    1. Full list of keyboard shortcuts.
    2. ⌥⌫ deletes words.
    3. 2-finger single tap (right-click on mouse) on a typo to choose a correct spelling is easier than retyping.
    4. ⌃T between 2 letters to transpose them.
    5. Also note the menu item Edit > Spelling and Grammar > Correct Spelling Automatically.
    6. 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. Markup in Finder, including:
    1. QuickLook.
    2. Screenshot: still ⇧⌘5; replaces Grab. (Show Mouse Pointer works only for Entire Screen.) For fewer options, ⇧⌘4 to select portion of screen, or hit space to select window (or dock, menu bar, or desktop for all).
  2. Drag for a trackpad is now buried under
    System Preferences > Accessibility > Mouse & Trackpad > Trackpad Options > Enable dragging
    with options three finger drag, with drag lock, & without drag lock. (How can you not drag?)
  3. iCloud Drive
    1. 5 GB free
    2. makes all of iCloud easily accessible from all apps, Finder, iOS, Windows, &
    3. now with iCloud file sharing: choose Add People; other options just ship file copy
  4. Batch renaming: "Right-click" multiple selected files for menu item.
  5. In a home folder window, View > Show View Options > Show Library Folder.
  6. Screen Sharing (also in Messages) allows remote control of your Mac (even over the internet).
  7. To create an alias while dragging, hold down ⌥⌘. (⌥ alone creates a copy.)
  8. ⌘-drag to rearrange menu bar (/3rd-party).


  1. News/rumors: 9T🕘5Mac (RSS).
  2. Apple keynote coverage (WWDC).
  3. Group FaceTime with ≤32 people (10.14.1).
  4. Notes now has tables & shared notes alerts.
  5. Automatically install macOS updates: System Preferences > App Store.
  6. Preview lets you create signatures using the trackpad instead of the camera.
  7. To get to the Dock in Full Screen mode, go "past" the edge.
  8. 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.
  9. In LaunchPad, drag an item on top of another to create a folder; hold ⌥ to get wiggly icons with X's for deletion.
  10. 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.
  11. Quicktime Player does screen video capture.
  12. 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.)
  13. Some iOS apps require passwords with special characters, but will allow you to choose from Safari passwords. So use Password Assistant (see above) to choose one, then create a Safari password in Preferences > Passwords.


  1. Keychain Access:
    1. I had some problems with login @
      1. I used Password Assistant to make a password, because it needed special characters (see above).
      2. Safari wouldn't automatically create an item in Keychain Access, so I had to do it by hand.
      3. Safari still tried to create a new password every time I logged in. But the "🔑" to click in the Password box was buried under a Show/Hide portion of the box. So I clicked on "Show", used the contextual menu ("right-click") for that box, selected Paragraph Direction > Right to Left to get the 🔑 on the left where I could click on it, & selected the password I had made ("For this site").
  2. Preview:
    1. 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. preference PDF > Viewing documents: Use logical page numbers doesn't always work.
  3. 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/NVRAM, etc.) work rarely & take more time.