Daily Tip: iOS-style folders in Mountain Lion

Apple’s iCloud lets you store documents and other files on its servers for sharing across compatible devices. It’s extremely fast and handy, especially if you want to work on one project on several Macs or iOS devices.

On the Mac, compatible applications show a dialog box upon opening that lists documents that are stored in the cloud. There are two views available: list view and icon. While in icon view, you can sort document thumbnails into iOS-style folders. It’s an easy way to keep things organized and quickly find what you’re after. Here’s how.

  1. In the Open window, click icon view in the bottom toolbar.
  2. Your files are presented as thumbnails, along with their titles and modification dates.
  3. To create folder, simply drag and drop on file on top of another.
  4. A new folder appears. By default, it’s named “Folder.” Click the title to customize it.


That’s it! There are a few things to note. First, all documents in the Open window are sorted by modification date, including folders. That means you can’t force folders to always be listed together. You can right-click (or Control-click) on a folder to rename it or duplicate it and its contents. Finally, folders also appear in list view. Double-click the folder itself or single-click the white disclosure triangle to reveal its contents.

This post is part is one of 31 tech tips I published in March, 2013You’ll find the rest here.

Daily tip: Print a PDF right to iCloud

I love OS X’s ability to print to PDF. I often do it with emails that I want to reference or easily share. What’s really great is that, with OS X Mountain Lion, you can print to PDF and send the result directly to iCloud for instant, near ubiquitous access across your compatible devices. Here’s how to print an email as a PDF and send it to Preview via iCloud.

  1. Find the message you’d like to save and click Print.
  2. The Print sheet appears. Select Save As PDF in the lower left-hand corner.
  3. The Save As sheet appears. Select a destination. In this case, choose iCloud from the drop-down menu.
  4. A new sheet appears. Create a title and fill in the rest as desired. Ensure that iCloud (Preview) is selected.
  5. Click Save.
Select Print, then click Save as PDF in the lower left.
Select Print, then click Save as PDF in the lower left.
The Save sheet appears. Pick a title and select iCloud from the drop-down.
The Destination sheet appears. Select iCloud from the drop-down.


A new sheet appears. Fill in as desired and click Save.
A new sheet appears. Fill in as desired and click Save.

That’s it. The next time you launch Preview, select Open from the File menu and click iCloud on the resulting window. Your PDF will be waiting for you.

For extra bonus points, you can password-protect your PDF as you create it. Before clicking Save, click Security Options. You can opt to require a password to view, edit or print the resulting PDF. When you try to open the file on Preview, it will require a password as you’ve directed.

This post is part is one of 31 tech tips I published in March, 2013. You’ll find the rest here.

Why use an @icloud email address?

Last week, Apple announced that iCloud customers could begin using an “@icloud” email address. I wondered why someone would use @icloud vs. @me or even @mac.com. I put the question to Twitter and got a few good answers. Here’s what you had to say.

Nathan Chase found that his @me address was too short to sign up for certain services.

Matt Hayhurst had a great observation. @mac and @icloud are clearly Apple-branded addresses, while @me could be anything.

Joshua Miller notes that it’s helped people understand exactly what iCloud is. “I don’t know how many times I have the conversation, ‘What is iCloud?’ This finally tells folks it’s an email service+.”

All good observations, but I think Matt hit on something. Giving someone an @icloud or @mac email address says, “I’m an Apple customer.” @me doesn’t.

UpdateDevir Kahan at The Geek’s Companion adds this:

“Most people don’t even know that Apple ever offered @me.com accounts. They think it’s just a really cool email address. Plus, even if you don’t opt to switch to it entirely, you will still get any emails sent to your automatically-generated-by-Apple @icloud.com address. They’ll just show up in you @me.com inbox without you having to do anything. Stick with @me.com and you get the best of both worlds.”


Evening tech news July 16 2012

Today’s tech news, neat and tidy in a single post for you.

The sad state of Office 2013 touch support

Ars Technica’s Peter Bright examines the state of Microsoft Office and touch computing. Considering the emphasis on touch in Windows 8‘s Metro interface, Bright wonders why Office 2013 — one of Microsoft’s important products — isn’t a Metro-style app. Office ’13 does offer some touch support. Specifically, the ribbon features greater spacing between elements when in “touch” mode and apps like Word and Outlook support two-finger zooming. And that’s about it.

What’s worse, Bright explains, is how many elements do not support touch at all, like check boxes and radio buttons in the options screen, as well as dialog boxes like Excel’s “format cells.” As Bright says, “The Office team appears to be positioning touch support more as a way of enabling simple edits to be made as a kind of fall-back—a stopgap solution for those times when the mouse and keyboard aren’t available.”

Adobe releases fix for OS X 10.7.4 InDesign crashing bug

Warning! Of something!

Earlier this week, Adobe admitted that InDesign was crashing on Intel Ivy Bridge-equipped MacBooks running OS X 10.7.4 in the form of blank dialog boxes. Today the company has released a fix, though it’s not easy to apply. The ZIP file includes the necessary components and instructions on how to get InDesign to behave. There’s a script that will install the files for you, and instructions on updating manually if the script fails. If neither of those solutions work, Adobe suggests a third option: “Do not install or remove the installation of the MacOS Mid 2012 Software Update for 10.7.4.” No, “MacOS” is not my spelling error.

iOS 6 will offer icloud.com email addresses

iOS 6 beta three was released today, and MacRumors notes that the changelog mentions the pending availability of icloud.com email addresses:

“icloud.com email addresses are now available for iCloud mail users. Users signing up for new Apple IDs, or enabling Mail on their iCloud account for the first time, will automatically receive an @icloud.com email address instead of a me.com email address. iCloud users with @me.com addresses that have been used with iOS 6 beta 3 will receive an @icloud.com email address that matches their @me.com address.”

Note that existing @me.com and @mac.com users will not be required to switch. Heck, I still use the @mac.com address I got through iTools. Still, I wondered if Apple would make @icloud.com email address available some day. Now I know.

Apple working to fix in-app purchase security problem

Late last week, a hacker demonstrated how to bypass Apple’s in-app purchasing system. This week, Apple has responded to say its working on a fix. Too bad, I was looking forward to ripping off some of my friends while interacting with a Russian hacker’s server.

Microsoft, NBC part ways

MSNBC.com now resolves to NBCnews.com. Here’s a look back at MSNBC’s first broadcast from July, 1996.

Reviewers struggle to get a Nexus 7 out of the box

Not news, but a fun way to end this post. Plus, “Fandroid” is a great name for  a blog.

Business Insider puts the “sensational” in sensationalistic headlines

There’s an article on Business Insider (BI) today entitled, “Apple finally shuts down its failed cloud storage service,” in reference to MobileMe’s transition to iCloud. I’m embarrassed to have taken the bait, but here I am.

Note the “finally.” As if disgruntled users have been waiting for this day to come. Apple did not “shut down” the service, it transitioned MobileMe to a better and less expensive one ($99 vs. free), called iCloud. MobileMe was a lot more than a “cloud storage service,” and so is its successor, iCloud. Oh, BI. It’s too early in the morning for this nonsense.

Apple giving Snow Leopard to MobileMe customers for free

Apple has sent an email to MobileMe customers [1. So I’m told. My Apple email hasn’t worked for almost two days.] explaining how they can request a free Snow Leopard installer DVD, according to Macgasm. Installing Snow Leopard will let stragglers upgrade to Lion and then install iCloud.

It’s unclear if Snow Leopard will be made available for free for everyone or just select MobileMe customers.

[Via Macgasm]

Use iCloud calendars with Snow Leopard

I have a MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard and a MacBook Air running Lion. Once I migrated my MobileMe account to iCloud, my iCal data would no longer stay in sync. I thought I was out of luck until I found a fix from Damien Barrett. In fact, it’s simple to get iCloud calendars working with iCal on Snow Leopard.

As Damien explains, you’ll have to first delete the old account, and then create a CalDAV account that points to p06-caldav.icloud.com as the server. Once you’re done give it a few moments to sync and you’re back in business. Read Damien’s post for all the details. I’ve done it and it’s working perfectly.