Typinator: How to re-type frequently used snippets easier

One of the other apps I use every single day is Typinator from Ergonis Software. According to my own use of Typinator, my stats look like this:

285 corrections, 5004 expansions
average saving: 49.6 keystrokes/expansion
saved time: 22.27 hours
(at 196 keystrokes per minute)

I’ve been using Typinator since 2007. I have perhaps a couple of dozen shortcuts defined, and realistically use maybe ½ that, but those I tend to use I use a lot. Many of them are multi-line items such as my signature. Some are just mail account names or such but it is so much easier to use Typinator for these.

The idea behind programs such as Typinator is there are things you type every day or at often can help to type these for you while you type just a few letters, usually called a ‘snippet.’

For instance, for special persons, and for fun on their birthday, I might post on their Facebook page:

♪♫♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♫
Hippo birdie two ewes!
Hippo birdie two ewes!
Hippo birdie deer Greg!
Hippo birdie two ewes!
And many boar!
♪♫♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♫

That was accomplished by just typing “fhbd” (without the quotes).

Or, something simple, but for ‘challenged’ typists like me it’s easier to type ‘shg’ to get: <sheepish grin>.

You get the idea. I use Typinator for all sorts of snippets. Give it a try.

Some other programs similar to Typinator include: TextExpander and TypeIt4Me. An advantage these two hold over Typinator is they have iOS versions, although they don’t function on those devices like they do on a Mac. And, if you use Windows, I’d recommend Jitbit Autotext. It works in Windows the way these others do for Mac. It will even import TextExpander snippets, a real plus. Read more at: http://www.jitbit.com/autotext/free-autotext/ © Jitbit

How to Move Google Calendars to iCloud

I’ve been really happy with Google calendars for a few years. Until recently.

Within the last year, either Google or Apple or both did something that was causing me more work (and aggravation) than I will allow. Either something works or it doesn’t and when it doesn’t, I get rid of it. I’m speaking of technology, of course. 🙂

I had been using BusySync for a number of years with my 11 Google calendars (brought over from my Palm days) up until recently. They were working just perfectly until some time this year (2012). Then, I would change an event in my iCal on my Mac, and a new calendar would appear, “BusySync Conflicts”. OK, I found out if I made the change on my Mac, in iCal as opposed to doing it with the Google Calendar interface through a web browser, I would have this problem. It got to the point where I really couldn’t use iCal because I’d forget and the stupid ‘BusySync Conflicts’ would show up.

I resigned I would have to stop using iCal, except for reference, and start doing everything through the browser interface. Then, a new glitch. I would log in to my Google Calendars and a number of them would be turned off indiscriminately. By the time iCloud was released full blown, around late July, I had had it. I queried business associates who likely were using iCloud, members of the ACN, and felt comfortable I could leave my frustrations behind by switching to iCloud.

Here’s how I did it, make sure your Google calendars are the most up-to-date as these are the files we’ll be working with. This is very important! Do not proceed if this is not the case. Shortly, you’ll be deleting most of your iCal calendars. By the way, this tutorial assumes you are only using Google and the iCal/Calendar app for calendars. If you are also using any other calendars, including iCloud, STOP! This tutorial is not for you and I won’t be dealing with how to deal with that situation.

First, I logged into my Google Calendars. Once there, on the right side I clicked on the gear and selected Settings. Then clicked on Calendars on the upper left under the ‘Calendar Settings’ header. Once there, I scrolled about 2/3 down to find the Export Calendars link. Click that, and all your calendars will download as ‘your google account name’.ical.zip. If you’re using Safari, as I was, it will unzip the folder in your user account Downloads folder and trash the zip file. OK. That’s the beginning.

This is the part you might get nervous about. Open iCal on your Mac. First, just in case, select the File menu then choose Export and finally iCal archive. (If you’re using Lion or Mountain Lion, substitute Calendar for iCal as this is the new calendar in Mac OS X.) Now that you’ve got a backup of all your calendars, it’s time to delete them. You can delete all but one. You might possibly want to create a new Calendar called Calendar and delete all the calendars but that one. We’ll delete that calendar later. Your iCal or Calendar should now be clean of all calendar info.

From the iCal/Calendar menu on that app on your Mac, choose Preferences, then Accounts. Now you’ll create your iCloud account. If using Lion or Mountain Lion, you’ll click the + sign below the sidebar. The Add an Account window will open. From the Account type window, select iCloud and fill out the appropriate information for your iCloud account. You should now have an iCloud calendar on your Mac. (If you’re still using Snow Leopard, See the post, How to get Calendar & Address Book with iCloud on Snow Leopard to create your iCloud account on your Mac.) Once you have your iCloud calendars setup in iCal/Calendar, you can delete any other calendar (such as the one called Calendar, suggested earlier) which you don’t want to keep.

Now, you’ll go into the folder which you downloaded from your Google calendars and under the iCloud calendars which appear in your iCal/Calendar you’ll create calendars with names to match the names of the calendars you had on Google. (You don’t have to name the calendars the same, it’s just a suggestion.)

After you’ve created the additional calendars, you can use the Import function from the File menu in iCal/Calendar to bring your data from the Google calendars in.

With the calendars now in iCal/Calendar and linked to iCloud, you will now have calendars which can sync with your iPhone/iPad/Mac by using iCloud.

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How to have Mail, Calendar & Contacts all open in Outlook 2011

Back in the days of Entourage, one could open separate windows for Mail, Calendar & Contacts. With Outlook 2011, Microsoft has forced the use of one window with clicking on the options at the bottom left to change from Mail to Calendar to Contacts. Different even from the way Outlook for Windows allows inline folders. So what to do?

It turns out, you can open separate windows for Outlook 2011. Here’s how: While viewing Mail, instead of on Calendar, which changes the screen from Mail to Calendar, do this instead. Right-click on any other mail folder (it doesn’t matter which one). Outlook will open a contextual menu, with the top choice being ‘Open In New Window.’ With this new window open, click on Calendar (or Contacts) at the bottom. Now, you have two windows: One with Mail and the other with Calendar.

If you are on any OS since Lion (10.7), you can use Mission Control to put one or the other in another window. And, if you have a Magic Mouse, Magic Track Pad or any portable Mac, you can swipe from window to window. On Snow Leopard, you can put each Window in it’s own Spaces.

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How to add Contacts from iCloud on an iOS 4 device

You can setup contact syncing to iCloud on an older iPod Touch (2nd Generation or newer), iPhone (3G or newer) or any iPad still running at least iOS 4. Sorry, 1st Generation iPod Touch owners, the maximum iOS which can be used on these devices is iOS 3.1.3.

You need to determine the unique number which is your iCloud account number. The way I did it was to log in to iCloud on the web. Then, click on your name or picture to get your account settings page. If you don’t have a picture there, you may need to upload one. Once your picture is there, right click on it (in Safari) and choose Inspect Element. (If you don’t see the Inspect Element choice, you’ll need to go into Safari Preferences, go to the Advanced tab and make sure there is a check mark for “Show Develop Menu in Menu Bar”.) Search for contacts.icloud.com. You’ll find something like <img src=”https://pxx-contacts.icloud.com:443/nnnnnnnn/wcs/…>. The number in the nnnnnnnn position is your unique number. It may be seven, eight or nine characters. Your pxx number is right at the beginning after the https://.

On the iOS device, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account. Choose “Other” and select “Add CardDAV Account” under the Contacts section.

Enter the following information:

Server: https://pxx-contacts.icloud.com:443/nnnnnnnn/carddavhome/card/
User Name: your iCloud login name
Password: your iCloud password
Description: iCloud CardDAV (This is a suggestion only; can be whatever text is meaningful to you)

Choose “Advanced,” turn SSL On and enter 443 for the port.

Press Done twice and the information will validate with the server. If all was entered correctly the device will verify the information and connect to your contacts.

As in other areas, your iCloud contacts need to be the primary source of information. Make changes and additions to your contacts from iCloud (especially if you are still using Snow Leopard on your Mac). This should help with some of the problems seen on older operating systems and devices where duplicates might begin to be a problem.


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How to move an iWeb site from MobileMe to another web hosting service

I was going to publish an in depth article on this, but Apple has already done so with great pics to guide you through.

If you have websites on MobileMe, which is scheduled to end June 30, 2012, you’ll want to read up on how to move your sites now. If you need more help, leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do. Look here first: http://bit.ly/Jxgl7x.

Additionally, to make things a little bit easier, I’m linking to the how-to from GoDaddy with information on using them as a web hosting service (not affiliated with GoDaddy): http://bit.ly/KHg4yU

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How to use multiple search terms in Apple Mail

If you’re using Leopard or Snow Leopard on your Mac (prior to Lion’s implementation of tokens) and you’ve ever needed a way to search for a couple of terms in Mail, here’s how.

You’ll want to use keywords. For example, if you and your friend, Seth, were talking about Google calendars on a couple of occasions and you wanted to find your emails from Seth with the search term Google in the message body, you’d want to use the keyword author and then search for Google. In your search bar you’d do that like this: 

You can also do more complex searches and you can use the same technique with Spotlight. Here’s a more complete list of keywords:

Keywords for Searching

To Search for: Use:
Aliases kind:alias
Applications kind:application, kind:applications, kind:app
Audio kind:audio
Bookmarks kind:bookmark, kind:bookmarks
Browser history kind:history
Contacts kind:contact, kind:contacts
E-mail messages kind:email, kind:emails, kind:mail message
Folders kind:folder, kind:folders, kind:fol
Fonts kind:font, kind:fonts
iCal Events kind:event, kind:events
iCal To-Do Items kind:todo, kind:todos, kind:to do
Images kind:image, kind:images
JPEG files kind:jpeg
Keynote files kind:keynote
Movies kind:movie, kind:movies
MP3 files kind:mp3
Music kind:music
Numbers documents kind:numbers
Pages documents kind:pages
PDF files kind:pdf, kind:pdfs
PowerPoint files kind:powerpoint
Preference panes kind:preference, kind:preferences
Presentations kind:presentation, kind:presentations
QuickTime files kind:quicktime
TIFF files kind:tiff
Word documents kind:word

iPad Split Keyboard makes thumb typing easier

If you’ve ever tried to thumb type on your iPad (any version) but found it incredibly cumbersome, iOS 5 introduced a way to split your keyboard to make that much easier. You can either place your thumbs in the middle and pull the keyboard apart (reverse the procedure to put it back together) or you can tap and hold on the keyboard toggle at the bottom right to select the Split Keyboard option (do it again to reverse the procedure.)

Something else that’s cool about this, where the keyboard splits, phantom keys exist which will allow you to type a ‘T’ with your right thumb or a ‘Y’ with your left. In fact any of the keyboard items at the split allow this.

Play around with this and let me know if this helped you. Enjoy!

Keyboard Maestro

I’ve been using Keyboard Maestro since at least 10.1 (Cougar).

Why do I like it? Primarily one reason: I can switch from open application to open application while hiding all the other open apps. Apple added Spaces to Leopard, which created virtual desktops for open apps. This was continued in Snow Leopard and changed to Mission Control in Lion. Spaces and Mission Control are welcome additions to OS X, but for someone who just doesn’t want the clutter of a million open windows, Keyboard Maestro is so much simpler and so much more elegant. Using Option-Tab,  just a variation of CMD-Tab built-in, you can switch apps and never have to deal with the open windows of everything else running.

But, Keyboard Maestro is so much more. Did you use Quick Keys back in the OS 9 and earlier days? It’s still around and is $59.95. For $36, or less if you are upgrading, Keyboard Maestro lets you create macros to your hearts content. And, there’s also a place for saving clipboard items you use regularly.

Keyboard Maestro is one of the invaluable tools for my everyday use on my Mac. Wouldn’t live without it! You can find Keyboard Maestro here: http://bit.ly/Jqv6q0 or on the Mac App store.