Wednesday, 08-Jan-2020 10:10:27 EST

macOS Catalina (10.15)


(Free unless otherwise noted.)


  1. Safari App Extensions from App Store
    1. Ad blocker: Ka-Block! (also on iOS)
    2. Translator: Polyglot
  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. 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.
  4. TexShop: Front end for MacTeX.
    1. Doc: select by hand file:///usr/local/texlive/2019/doc.html.
    2. To convert pdf → eps,
      1. "print" as a PS file, then
      2. convert to EPS from Terminal with ps2eps, included with TeXLive. Here is a trivial little drag&drop app I made for ps2eps.
      Inkscape will also do it (see below).
    3. TeXLive now takes up 8 GB, & gets bigger every year. So you'll probably want to delete old versions in /usr/local/texlive .
  5. (s)ftp: BBEdit
  6. Xcode includes FileMerge, which 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.)
    Note: Simulators & Command Line Tools now need to be downloaded separately via Preferences... > Components. (Requires free developer account.)
  7. In case you lost them, here are some ancient Mac system sounds.


  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. (1.0 will be Mac native; β available now.)
  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.)



  1. For more Unicode characters in Show Emoji & Symbols menu item, Customize List... from Action pop-up menu (gear). (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.


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


  1. News/rumors: 9T🕘5Mac (RSS).
  2. Apple keynote coverage (WWDC).
  3. 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.
  4. Safari:
    1. 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.)
    2. Some iOS apps require passwords with special characters, but will allow you to choose from Safari passwords. So use Password Assistant in Keychain Access: File > New Password Item > 🔑 . Then create a Safari password in Preferences > Passwords.
  5. 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.
  6. GarageBand will convert ≤ 40 sec. segments of videos into ringtones.


  1. I had some problems with login @ using Keychain Access:
    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 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.
  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.