Software on your Mac: tips and tricks

Software tips for your Mac
A consumer Mac comes with a nice bundle of software, but there are a few apps that a Mac user can't do without:
VLC: Video LAN Client is a free video and music play program. Plays everything.
Open Office: the free version of the paid MS Office. Nu need to take an expensive subscription!
This alternative Open Office does exactly the same and is for FREE.
Libre Office: MacMiep prefers Libre Office herself. Can be downloaded from the Apple Store (safe).

Using special characters
Option + e = accent aigu
Option + ` = accent grave
Option + u = trema
Option + i = accent circonflexe
Option + 2 = Euro €

How does this work?
For example: to get an á, type the key combination option + e. Nothing will happen yet, but the / will appear when you type the a next. So the accent only appears after you gave the option + e command and then type the character that needs the accent, in this case the letter a.

Another way to get a special character

You can also hold the key of character a bit longer. A little pop-up appears. Use your mouse to choose the proper accent.

Utility programs
Here's a list of all Utilities, you can find their folder in the Applications folder:

- see here how your programs and data affect the processor and the hard drive

Airport Admin Utility
- configure your Airport network (Apple's own Wi-Fi base station)

- AppleScript is a program language for controlling your Mac. For advanced users

Audio MIDI Setup
- configure your audio input and midi devices

Bluetooth File Exchange - configures the Bluetooth system

Boot Camp-assistant
- Helps you installing Windows on your Mac. More about this in the Switching chapter.

Colorsync Utility
- calibrate your monitor and graphical designs (important to desktop publishers)

- here you can read all system and program logs

Digital-Color Meter -
move your mouse around the screen to find out the Red Green and Blue configuration of the color it's moving on

Disc Utility
- format, test, restore and partition hard drives and USB sticks

Grab - Make a screenshot. Shortcut: Command-Shift-3

Printscreen en clipboard
When you make a screenshots in Windows (Alt - PrtScn in case Miep remembers well), it will appear in the Clipboard. You use Paste to place the screenshot where you want it.
On the Mac, this goes differently. You'll see the sceenshot appear on your Desktop. You can make as many screenshots as you want. They'll get the name "screenshot-date-time". The pictures are in the .PNG format.

- does math and makes graphic representations

Keychain Access
- stores your passwords

Migration Assistant
- helps import your old data when you buy a new Mac

System Information
- all the information about your Mac you need (memory, cards, system, programs)


Terminal - use text commands to control your Mac (for the Unix geeks among us)

VoiceOver Utility - command your Mac with your voice

X11 - another graphic representation of the operating system (for the Unix geeks among us)

Installing uncertified software
You downloaded some software that can't be found in the App Store and from which the developer doesn't have an official Apple Certificate.
As soon as you try to run the program or the installer, your Mac will refuse to install or start up the app.
Responsible for this is S.I.P. "System Integrity Protection". More in the Security chapter.

In case you do want to use this software, this is possible.
First, follow the standard procedure of installing like you learned in the Software chapter.
At a certain moment the system gives you a warning that it won't do this.

Now go to System Preferences => Security and Privacy.
You'll find a message that the installing of "Program X" isn't allowed. However, you are able to force MacOS to install it.
You'll need an Administrator password for this. Now the program will install. AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Disclaimer: MacMiep is independent. This means she writes what she wants, based on 25+ years of Mac-experience. She doesn't get paid for stories (positive or negative) on this website.