Thursday, July 20, 2017

Pages 6.2. The Shapes Library.

See this and other photos of Normandy
on my photo blog.

Apple’s new version of Pages 6.2 released this Summer has, among other new features, a large shapes library. 

Lovers of clipart often complained that there wasn’t enough of it on a Mac. So, here you are with several hundred predrawn clipart-like shapes, or images ready to use or modify.

Make sure your Pages document is set to show the Toolbar. If it isn’t go View > Show Toolbar. In the Toobar click/tap on the green rectangle and the library opens with the basic shapes first, including the powerful but often undervalued Draw tool. Then we have a collection of shapes grouped by topics — objects, nature, animals, business etc. 

They are ok to use as they are. Select one, click on it and it will appear in your document. 

However, if you want something more eye-grabbing there are many ways to modify the preset shapes. One of the easiest ones is Image Fill — putting an image (a photo) inside the shape.

Here is how it works. 

Let’s go to Symbols section and get a ‘credit card' shape. It looks like this: 

1. Drag one of the editing points (little squares seen when the shape is selected) to enlarge the shape.
2. In the Inspector Pane, click on Style. Here you have a selection of different colours for your shape, but go further down to the Fill section, click on the tab under Fill to open the menu and select Image Fill.

3. Now, below you can click on Choose and select a favourite image from Desktop. Click on it to select and then click Open to put it inside the credit card shape.
Another option is to go to your Photos collection. Click on the Photos icon in the Dock to launch the programme. When it opens find a photo you want to go on the credit card and drag it straight from the Photos onto the credit card shape in the Pages document. Here, I've used my photo of a field of wheat with red poppies (©A.Anichkin, 2017).
4. Switch from Photos to Pages and resize the photo by dragging the Scale slider that shows up after the image is imported. 
Reposition the photo inside the credit card by clicking and holding on it. When the little white hand appears drag the photo inside the card until you are satisfied. 

Save — and that’s it!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How to reset the wireless keyboard (and what for)

With wireless keyboard, sometimes things go haywire. Characters appear on the screen very slowly, or switch to repeat with no apparent reason. 

First time it happened to me I tried restarting the computer, switching it off and on again. I tried safe boot. Nothing worked! 

Don’t panic, usually it has nothing to do with your computer. Simply, the keyboard itself needed resetting. 

Here’s how to do it.

1. Unscrew the battery compartment on the left of the keyboard and slide the batteries out. 

2. Slide them back in again and screw in the cover. It can be done with a screwdriver or a coin.

3. Switch the keyboard on by pressing the button on the right. A green led light will appear to the top right of the keyboard. In a few second the computer will find the keyboard and reconnect with it. A ‘keyboard reconnected’ sign will appear on the screen and things will go back to normal. 

Until the next moment the keyboard decides it needs your love and attention.

Friday, July 07, 2017

How to add accents on QWERTY keyboard — à.

A few years ago I wrote a post with tips on using various accents (diacritical marks) on the English QWERTY keyboard without switching languages, which can be a distraction if not real pain.

One mark that I missed was accent grave,  i.e. the accent in French that goes upwards and to the right.

To type it, press the Option (alt) key and type accent grave key, the one to the left of Z on the QWERTY layout. You will see the (sometimes) yellowed accent grave. Type the letter you want with this accent — and it's done.

In French, the presence or absence of this accent can make a huge difference. When you mean 'where to' it's à; when you mean 'have' or 'had' it's a without the accent. When you mean 'or' as in either or, it's ou, but when you mean 'where' [is it], it's où.

Mind your French, folks!

Other accents still work the same as described in my old post.

Friday, June 30, 2017

How to get back to the top of the document — or an internet page.

In an open Pages document, especially a long one, a longread or even a book, you are often stuck in somewhere in the middle when you want to get back to the top.

Instead of swiping your Touchpad endlessly or clicking your mouse, press the Command key (marked cmd) and tap on the UP arrow in the bottom right end of the keyboard. Your cursor will jump back right up to the beginning of the document.

The same works when you are on an internet page with a long text. lick in the body of the page, press Command and then tap the UP arrow. This will bring you to the beginning to the internet page.

The same works when you want to go right to the end of the page, for example to read Terms and Conditions. Press Command and tap the DOWN arrow. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

How to extract photos from Pages documents.

A few years ago (in fact, ten! years ago)  I wrote here a about a simple trick that allows you to get a photo out of a Pages document. It's not obvious but quite easy once you know it; and useful because you are probably more likely to remember a Pages document where you used a photo rather than where and under what name the photo is filed and stored.

Once again, in the current version of Pages:

— click on the photo to select it in a Pages document;
— in the Inspector panel click on 'Image';
— click and hold on the photo file icon and drag it to Desktop;
— now you can put it into Photos, send as an attachment, change the file name or use for whatever purposes you'd been looking for it.

There you are, you got back the original photo file in all it's beauty.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Watch your word count as you type.

Read this previous post on word count in Pages

Catriona, a reader of this blog, asks:
...I'm submitting an assignment that has a maximum word count and I'm trying to get down to the maximum, so it would be really nice to know when I've got there.

I have written here many times about how to get the word count in Pages. In the current version of Pages 5.6.2. word count is displayed at the bottom left corner of an open document. Make sure that under the View menu in your open Pages document the "Show Word Count" option is activated. 

In the bottom left corner of the document there will be a tab that shows the actual word count as you type. It is a tab which, when you click on it, opens a drop-down menu with options such as characters, paragraphs, line and words. Choose the one that suits your requirement. 

Catriona seems to have more words than she is required to produce to complete her assignment.  In this case, when the text needs to be redacted (cut), go through it paragraph by paragraph, line by line and find what can be left out. Cut and watch the word count automatically change to show the actual number of words. Repeat until you reach your target. 

A few screenshots here show the tab and the menu.

The word count tab —
A small text with the word count tab set to show characters —

Pages View menu with 'Show Word Count' option shown. Slide down to select it and activete — 

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