Category Archives: Yosemite

Get audible feedback when you adjust volume in Yosemite


In pre-Yosemite days you could adjust your Mac’s volume from the keyboard and hear how loud you’d made it as you pressed the volume up and volume down buttons. In Yosemite, for some reason, the audible feedback is gone (by default). Get it back by holding the Shift key down as you tap the volume up and volume down buttons.

You can also go to the Sound preference pane and check the box to enable the sonic feedback, in case you want it permanent.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.55.20 PM

Put frequently used Mail folders into Favorites Bar for easy access

Yosemite Mail icon

Mail’s toolbar looks something like this (click it to zoom in):

no favorites

Turns out you can add a skinny toolbar underneath the main toolbar. Actually, it’s not a toolbar: it’s the Favorites Bar” (shown outlined in red below). Looks like this (click this one to zoom in too):

Mail with Favorites Bar

Clicking on a Favorite takes you there right away, as if you clicked that Mailbox in Mail’s left-hand pane. You can drag and drop a mail message into one of the Favorites and in it goes, same as if you dragged it to the corresponding Folder (mailbox) in the list on the left, making for some quick and easy filing. The advantage of dragging an email to the Favorites bar is the list at the left is alphabetical, so there can be some scrolling involved, while the items in the Favorites bar can be in any order you’d like (so no scrolling required). Put folders (mailboxes) that you would have to scroll down to find into the Favorites Bar– they’ll still be in the list of mailboxes at the left, but now they’ll also be accessible at the top, without scrolling.

Put mailboxes into Mail’s Favorites bar by dragging from the list at the left to the Favorites bar. Take things out of the Favorites bar by dragging them off. Couldn’t be easier.

I find the Favorites Bar very handy and you will too. Try it.

Note: this works in older versions of Mac OS. It is not “new in Yosemite.”

Save Time with Smart Groups in Contacts

Contacts icon

Everyone knows you can search the Contacts. The problem is, when you do, you don’t get to specify where (that is, which field) to search for what you’re looking for. Plus, you can’t look for two things at once. Examples:

1. Suppose you want to find everyone in your Contacts whose phone number has a 512 area code. If you do a Find for 512 you will find everyone who has “512” anywhere in his info– maybe it’s part of his house number, maybe it’s in his zip code, maybe it’s in a note you wrote about that person. You get what you want but you also get a bunch of stuff you don’t want. Yuck.

2. Suppose you want to find all of the people who live in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Sherman Oaks, and Studio City. That’s six searches and you can’t show the results all in one list. You get what you want but you have to search six times. Yuck again.

On top of that, next time you want to find all of the people who have phone numbers starting with 512 or who live in those Southern California cities you have to do the work again. Smart Groups is what you want. Here’s how it works.

Go to the File menu in Contacts and choose “New Smart Group…” Enter some search criterion, and notice that in many cases you will be able to not only specify that the item is found, but also to specify WHERE: which field, and “begins with” or “ends with” or “contains” etc. Click the “+” to add criteria. Give your search a name, then click OK to save it when you’re done. Your search criteria will be saved, and your “Smart Group” will show up on the far left pane of the Contacts app. It will be there every time you launch Contacts.

The “smart” part is that every time you click on that particular Smart Group, the search is applied, so the results are always current! They ought to call this “It’s a miracle, and it will save you a ton of time” Groups.

Here’s an example.

Smart Group in Contacts

Here’s another. Notice how I am able to search for both “Texas” and “TX” in the same search. Notice also that I am searching for cards that match “any” (that is, either) criterion. That is an important thing and it will trip you up if you don’t watch out. If you chose “All” instead of “Any” there’s no way you’d find anything, since nobody’s state is going to be both Texas and TX at once.

Contacts Smart Group

Note: this works in Address Book too. You don’t have to be on Yosemite to use this feature.


Customize Yosemite’s Share button

share button

You’ve seen the Share button (square with an up-pointing arrow) before. It’s the one that lets you share a web page from Safari, or a vCard from Contacts, or a file from the Finder. “Sharing” can mean a variety of things (email it, post it to Facebook or Twitter, add it to Photos, send it via Messages, etc.). Here’s how you customize the Sharing button so the options you want are present and the ones you don’t are not.

  1. Go to the Apple menu and choose System Preferences…
  2. Click on Extensions
  3. Click on Share Menu
  4. Check and uncheck services as desired, and drag to change the order


Result: next time you click on the Share button you’ll get just the services you want, in just the order you want. Here’s how it looks on my Mac:

share menu

Add and remove columns from the Finder’s List View windows


You can add and remove columns from the Finder’s List View windows very easily. Just open up a window and then go to View/Show View Options. (My friend Dave likes the keyboard shortcut ⌘-J.) There you’ll find all sorts of options, including checkboxes for showing and hiding various columns.

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 10.34.40 PM

The changes you make in the View Options panel are for only the window you’re looking at when you make those changes, unless you check “Use as Defaults.”