• macOS,  Tips

    Clearing Recently Used Fonts from the macOS Font Panel

    The macOS Font Panel, for apps that support it like Notes, TextEdit, and XX, allows you to quickly pick a font, point size, and color. It also displays categories of fonts, including a list of the Recently Used Fonts.

    It’s not completely clear to me when and why a font is added to the Recently Used List, but the app in which I most frequently use the Font Panel is in Notes. Most of my notes are written in Georgia 14, because it’s easy for me to read even on my iPhone.

    As you can see, my Recently Used Fonts is a list of repeated instances of Georgia 14:

    macOS Font Panel showing Recently Used Font(s)

    The Recently Used Fonts list is derived from the plist com.apple.Recents.collection. The plist is stored in ~/Library/FontCollections.

    To purge the Recently Used Fonts List

    1. Close any apps that might use the Font Panel.
    2. Go to ~/Library/FontCollections.
    3. Drag com.apple.Recents.collection to your Desktop or compress it in place.
    4. Open Notes.
    5. Press Command-T or choose Font/Show Fonts from the Format menu in Notes.
    6. Click Recently Used Fonts in the sidebar of the Font Panel.
    7. Your Recently Used Fonts list should be empty.
    8. Delete the com.apple.Recents.collection file from your Desktop or delete the compressed version from ~/Library/FontCollections.


    Buy me a Coffee! If you find this post or this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.


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  • Analog tools,  Tips,  Writing

    Journaling for Writers during NaNoJoWriMo October

    Image of a page from John Steinbeck's hand-written journal for The Grapes of Wrath.
    John Steinbeck’s journal for The Grapes of Wrath

    Fall is here, and that means we’re getting closer to NaNoWriMo.

    One way to start thinking about what to write for NaNoWriMo is to keep a writer’s journal, one that’s primarily about prepping to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days during the month of November.

    Writers’ journals are a venerable tradition, used by many writers in the past and increasingly popular today. A writers’ journal can be a conventional “dear diary” journal, of the sort Samuel Pepys kept, or it can be a record of where you are in a writing project, where you need to go, what plot points and character traits you want to remember and emphasize — even your emotional response and impressions about your writing.

    John Steinbeck kept a writers’ journal from the beginning of his work on The Grapes of Wrath, later published as Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath. For Steinbeck,  journaling helped him cope with and mitigate his anxiety and stress about writing every day. Sample entries include short notes like these:

    May 31, 1938: I shall try simply to keep a record of working days and the amount done in each and the success (as far as I can know it) of the day. Just now the work goes well.

    June 18: I am assailed with my own ignorance and inability. Honesty. If I can keep an honesty to it… If I can do that it will be all my lack of genius can produce. For no one else knows my lack of ability the way I do. I am pushing against it all the time. Sometimes, I seem to do a good little piece of work, but when it is done it slides into mediocrity

    September 7: So many things to drive me nuts… I’m afraid this book is going to pieces. If it does, I do too . . . If only I wouldn’t take this book so seriously. It is just a book after all, and a book is very dead in a very short time. And I’ll be dead in a very short time too. So the hell with it. Let’s slow down, not in pace or wordage but in nerves.

    October 4: My laziness is overwhelming. I must knock it over . . . I’ve been looking back over this diary and by God the pressures were bad the whole damned time. There wasn’t a bit that wasn’t under pressure and now the pressure is removed and I’m still having trouble. It would be funny if my book was no good at all.

    Other writers are less interested in their emotional response to their writing, and more interested in counting the words; they often write short notes about the current word count, the daily word count, and what they mean to start writing about in their next session.

    567 words this morning; 31789 total. Must figure out who Bryan really is, and why he wants to find the crater. What is his driving need? What will finding the crater do for him?

    As a way of prepping for NaNoWriMo, consider starting a NaNo journal. Starting a NaNoWriMo journal now allows you to plan, plot and work on characters and backstory without actually drafting. Consider the NaNoWriMo journal a sandbox for your writerly imagination. A journal can not only be really helpful in terms of concentrating on writing during NaNo November, it can be a great deal of fun.

    A NaNo journal doesn’t have to be elaborate; a .99 cent composition book from the corner drugstore, a spiral notebook, or even a small pocket notebook that’s meant to fit in a back pocket or purse are all perfectly fine; whatever works for you. You might be happier and more like to use a journal app that runs on your smart phone. Like a pocket notebook, an app for journaling on your phone is convenient, letting you make quick notes about your WIP while waiting for the bus or during your lunch break. There are journaling apps for Android and iOS. You might even want to use a bullet journal as a writers’ journal.

    If you’re intrigued by the idea of journaling, October 1 starts National Journal Writing Month:

    National Journal Writing Month (NaJoWriMo) helps you start and maintain a journal writing habit in 30 days. NaJoWriMo is geared toward personal growth, reaching your goals, and recording your life as you live it.

    NaNoJoWriMo is a quarterly event (January, April, July and October) meant to encourage people to try journaling. It’s not terribly rule-bound; you can journal as you see fit, with a goal of journaling every day for 30 days. There are daily prompts, as well as lots of tips about starting and maintaining a journaling habit. NaNoJoWriMo has a theme every quarter; this quarter’s theme is Unleashing Your Creative Mind Through Journal Writing. That sounds perfect in terms of NaNoWriMo planning. The NaNoJoWriMo website has a free newsletter; sign up for a free downloadable with lots of tips about starting and maintaining a journaling habit.

    Journaling is a great way to start your writing day, and it can be freeing to be able to write without it having to be your WIP. You might want to keep a journal to remind yourself of the good things in your life (an awesomeness journal). Journaling is a one way to freewrite and start your writer brain, especially if you’re struggling with writers’ block or your well of inspiration is temporarily dry. If you’re in front of a keyboard and screen for much of the day, or working on your WIP on your computer, consider journaling with pen and ink (or pencil) as a way to free your writer brain to work on your story while you write differently.

    Originally published on AbsoluteWrite.com

  • Software,  Tips

    Adding Week Numbers to Apple’s iCal

    It is often helpful to know what week, out of the possible 52 weeks in a calendar year, a particular week is. Here’s how to tell Apple’s.app Calendar to show week numbers.

    1. Open Calendar.app(or iCal on earlier versions of macOS) on your Mac.
    2. Choose Preferences from the Calendar menu.
    3. Click Advanced in the Toolbar.
    4. Click the box to the left of Show week numbers.
    5. Close the window.

    Now look at your Calendar. You’ll see gray week numbers along the left margin of your Calendar.

    Image showing macOS calendar with week numbers
    macOS Calendar with week numbers

    To display week numbers in Google’s Calendar see this post.

  • Software,  Tips

    Adding Week Numbers to Google Calendar

    It is often helpful to know what week, out of the possible 52 weeks in a calendar year, a particular week is. Here’s how to tell Google Calendar to show week numbers.

    1. Log on to your Google Calendar
    2. In the sidebar to the left, click the pop-up menu for Other calendars.
    3. Select Browse Interesting Calendars from the pop-up menu.
    4. On the top of the Interesting Calendars page, click More.
    5. Click Subscribe to the right of Week Numbers.
    6. Click the Back to Calendar link to see your calendar, now with small blue week numbers in the top right corner of every Monday, next to the time setting at the top of the calendar.

    Image showing the week numbers in an image from Google Calendar
    Week Numbers in Google Calendar

    To add week numbers in macOS / OS X’s iCal, see this post.

  • Tips

    How to Extend The Due Date of your Kindle Library Book

    Via Librarian by Day Bobbi Newman (who tweets as @librarianbyday):

    It is pretty easy to “extend” the due date of the library ebook you check out to your kindle, just turn your wireless connection off until you’re done with it. This will allow you to keep reading the book until you’re done. The title won’t expire until you reactivate your wireless connection.

    Ms Newman notes that the “buy this book” note from Amazon that arrives three days before the book is due is a useful reminder to shut off your connection until you’ve read the book.

    This is more practical for readers using the Kindle reader, or using the Kindle app on an iPad or iPhone to read a library book, of course, but still awfully useful.

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  • Marketing,  Tips

    Guest Blogging at Peachpit

    It’s my turn to be a guest blogger at Peachpit. I’m doing “5 Tips in 5 Days,” about the iPad.

    Five iPad 2 Tips in Five Days: Tip 1 – Consolidate Your Apps into Folders

    Five iPad 2 Tips in Five Days: Tip 2 – Stream Your Music and Other Audio with AirPlay

    Five iPad 2 Tips in Five Days: Tip 3 – Set up an iPad without a Credit Card

    Five iPad 2 Tips in Five Days: Tip 4 – Get ePub Books on Your iPad without Using iTunes

    Five iPad 2 Tips in Five Days: Tip 5 – iPad Keyboard Tips Your Mother Never Taught You

  • Accessories,  Tips

    About that battery . . .

    Just for the heck of it, and because I was curious, I wanted to see how long my iPad’s battery would last if I were using it just to read some locally stored Web pages and ebooks in iBooks, Stanza, and eReader.

    So I turned off the Wi-Fi and set the brightness just to the left of the middle and started reading.

    My fully-charged iPad managed just a shade over 22 hours before it shut itself off. I was astonished.

    Apple’s technical specs say that the iPad battery should last “Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music.” I note that this ZD net article on iPad battery life cites pleased comments from Pogue and Mossberg and others about the iPad exceeding battery expectations.

    I should mention that this is only the second time I’ve ever run my iPad’s battery down all the way, which, by the way, is not what Apple recommends in this iPad battery tech note:

    For proper reporting of the battery’s state of charge, be sure to go through at least one charge cycle per month (charging the battery to 100% and then completely running it down).

  • iOS,  Tips

    Screenshots on the iPad

    I had assumed, however foolishly, that taking screenshots on the iPad was pretty much the same as taking them on the iPhone.

    It is, and it isn’t. You still use the Home and Sleep buttons. The sequence in which you press the buttons doesn’t matter, but the rhythm, so to speak, does.

    1. Hold down either the Home or the Sleep button.

    2. Press the other button—Home or Sleep, the one you’re not holding down, and release it quickly.

    If you are successful, you’ll see a brief screen flash of white to alert you that you’ve been successful. If not, you’ve succeeded in putting your iPad to sleep, and haven’t managed a screen shot.

    The screen shots will appear in the special “Saved Photos” album accessed via the iPad Photos application.

I