Tag Archives: apple

Get Art Text 2 For Free

Wowza! The kind folks at BeLight Software. are giving away copies of their premier Text and Graphics utility, Art Text 2 for a limited time. What is Art Text for, you may ask?

“Art Text is a Mac OS X application for creating high quality textual graphics, headings, logos, icons, web site elements and buttons.”

Get Art Text Free
Image courtesy of BeLight Software.

I considered buying Art Text whenever I needed to come up with a logo or a really cool heading for a presention or report. But, the $40 price tag kept me away.

Visit their giveaway page for instructions (you’ll need a Twitter account). Be sure to act soon as there’s no word on when this offer expires.


From now until June 17th the incredibly talented guys at Comicraft are holding their Father’s Day Power Tools Fonts! Half Price Sale. These hand-drawn beauties are the go-to fonts for many of the biggest names in comics.

Comicraft Father's Day Sale
Image courtesy of Comicraft.

With the combination of Art Text and Comicraft fonts your logos, presentations, and other documents need never suffer from dull typefaces and graphics again.


Run, don’t walk to your computer right now to take advantage of both of these amazing deals before they go away for good. Trust me—you’ll thank me later.

All images are from my flickr unless otherwise noted.


Awesome AutoCorrect Prank for April Fools Day

Warning, this post contains immature language.

Don’t let April Fools Day catch you off guard this year—be prepared! I’ve got the perfect prank for you to play on your family, friends, and co-workers.

someecards.com - I plan to spend April Fool's Day remembering all of the pranks I thought of last year but completely forgot to execute this year.

Chances are really good that everyone you know has at least one of the following: an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC. I’ve got a prank for you that you can use on all of those devices.

The AutoCorrect or text substitution feature built into OS X, iOS, and Microsoft Office can be an amazing productivity boost. But, it can also be used to freak out your unsuspecting family, friends and co-workers this April Fools Day.

On a Mac

In this example I’m using a Mac running OS X 10.7.3 (Lion), but it should also work on 10.6 (Snow Leopard). First, open the System Preferences app.

Mac OS X System Preferences

Launch the Language & Text Preference Pane.

Select Language and Text Preference Pane

Click on the plus sign (+) to create a new symbol or text substitution.

Text Tab

If I were your victim, you’d want to think of something I type all the time, My Name (where My Name is the persons name or whatever text you want to have AutoCorrect change), for example. Enter that in the Replace column.

Replace "My Name"

Now, here’s the best part—in the With column enter the text you want to be replaced when your prankee types My Name. Because I’m so cool and sophisticated I would go with something like Poop.

Replace with Poop

Be sure to close the System Preferences app to cover your tracks. After you’ve added your entry to AutoCorrect it will be available in most of the apps on the Mac: Mail, iCal, TextEdit, Pages, Keynote, Numbers, etc.

Now, imagine the following scenario. I, your hapless target am completing a moving letter in TextEdit and have just typed My Name.

Entering "My Name" in TextEdit

Bang, I’ve just been pranked!

TextEdit Poop

Now, let’s see how to do this on a PC.

In Microsoft Office 2010

For this example I used a PC running Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010. To my knowledge it should also work on Windows XP or Vista using Office 2003 or greater.

Go to the File menu in an Office 2010 application, like Excel in this example. Click on Options.

Microsoft Office File Menu

Click on Proofing.

Microsoft Office Options

Then, click on the AutoCorrect Options button.

Microsoft Office Options - Proofing

Similar to what you did on a Mac above, enter the text you want to change in the Replace column and what you want the substitution in the With column.

Microsoft Office Options - AutoCorrect

To keep things consistent we’ll go with My Name and Poop again. Click on OK to save your changes and then close out of the Options window.

AutoCorrect Adding an Entry

Even though you added the AutoCorrect in Excel, it will be accessible on all Office 2010 programs including Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

So, when My Name is typed …

Typing My Name in Word

You get Poop.

AutoCorrect Poop in Word

On an iPad or iPhone

Lastly, let’s see how to add AutoCorrect entries to an iOS device—an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.

Open the Settings app and tap on General

iOS Settings App

Tap on Keyboard.


Then, tap on Shortcuts.


To add an entry tap on the plus sign (+) in the upper right hand corner.

Add a Shortcut

Entering AutoCorrect shortcuts is a little different in iOS. First, type in the Phrase or word you want to substitute. Again, we’ll go with our old standby, Poop.

Next, type in the Shortcut you want substituted. Please note that it must be one word only. So instead of My Name you’ll have to just use Name in this example.

Tap Save and close out of the Settings app.

Enter Phrase and Shortcut Text

The next time the recipient of your pranking prowess prepares a message in Mail.app and enters their Name they’ll get, you guessed it, Poop.

Poop Strikes Again

One quirk with iOS devices is that before the AutoCorrect occurs they may actually see a little popup before the text substitution happens. This would give them the option of tapping the little ‘x’ next to the substitution to cancel it. Given the proliferation of humorous AutoCorrect sites on the Internet, it’s a safe bet that your target will fall victim to your prank.

Now you’re all set for April Fools Day. Go forth and prank merrily.

What pranks do you plan on pulling this year? Or what are the best pranks you’ve pulled on April Fools Days past? Sound off in the comments below.

All images are from my flickr, unless otherwise noted.

Eliminate Duplicate Address Book Contacts

Is your Mac’s Address Book teaming with duplicate contacts? Do you have multiple cards for the same people—one with the home number, one with the work number, and one with the mobile number?

Have no fear! OS X has a built in shortcut to help you tame your Address Book contacts in no time.

Simply select two or more duplicate contacts and hold the shortcut combo key Shift, Command, and I.

Merge Duplicate Contacts

If you can’t remember the shortcut, go to the Card menu and select Merge Selected Cards (or you can search for it using the Help Menu).

Merge Selected Contacts OS X AddressBook

The only downside of this approach is that you’ll have to go through your contacts, one-by-one. However, the granular level of control you have over your contacts more than outweighs this.

All images are from my flickr, unless otherwise noted.

Retro Skills: Clean Out Your Mouse

Apple Macintosh Plus mice (left) Beige mouse (...

Image via Wikipedia

Over the years I’ve acquired quite a few valuable technical skills. Many of them are as useful today as they were back when i learned them.

The art of de-gunking a computer mouse is not one of those skills, sadly, and has not held its value.

For my kids’ sake (in the event that they should ever find themselves trapped in the past and the only way to get back to the future is to perform an intricate series of mouse clicks and the darn thing just isn’t responding), below are detailed instructions courtesy of an old 1990s Macintosh Classic factory manual I found several months back.

Mac Clean Mouse Part 1

Mac Clean Mouse Part 2

It’s amazing that so much care went into describing such a mundane and now obsolete process. That’s part of what made Apple’s culture the way it is today.

What’s the most irrelevant technical skill you mastered? Sound off in the comments below.

All images are from my flickr, unless otherwise noted.

Favorite Things: DODOcase for iPad 2

DODOcase Sticker

Sleek. Elegant. Sophisticated.

You could use those three words to describe the DODOcase for iPad 2, but then I’d be forced to call you a pretentious schmuck.

As soon as I got my iPad 2 I knew exactly which case I wanted for it—the DODOcase. I’d read the glowing reviews about it on blogs like Engadget and TUAW, but (more importantly) it fit my own personal criteria. I wanted an iPad case that would do the following:

  1. Look great
  2. Protect the front and back of my iPad
  3. Not announce to the entire world that I have an iPad

I’m happy to report that the DODOcase succeeds on all counts.
For the uninitiated, the DODOcase looks like a large Moleskine notebook.

DODOcase Front

DODOcases are made using traditional bookbinding processes right here in the good old US of A. The do a fantastic job of telling their own story here.

For about six months I’ve been extremely satisfied with my DODOcase purchase. The other day, however, I noticed that the bamboo frame of the case had a large crack in one of the corners and was precariously close to falling off completely.

I wrote a quick note to customer service describing the issue and explaining my concern that the case hadn’t lasted longer. I also and attached the image below to my note.


One minute later, I had a response. That’s not a typo. That’s not an exaggeration. Let me say it again. One minute later, I had a response.

The email was from a real, live human being who apologized for the problem, thanked me for sending them the picture and provided full resolution in their first communication.

The customer service agent advised me that super glue might work, but also offered to send me a replacement. I chose the latter and three days later I had my new DODOcase.

DODOcase Bookplate

DODOcase Bookplate

Ever since advent of overseas call centers fueled by large corporations’ rise in apathy over the care of the people who buy their products and services we have come to expect poor customer service. Sadly, a company that cares about those who pay its bills is the exception and not the norm.

DODOcase is that exception. They are the Nordstroms of iPad cases. They sell fine products at a premium, but not only are you getting an excellent product, more importantly, you know that they will stand by their products and treat you right.

I’ll warrant that my DODOcase gets at least as many stares as my iPad itself. Everyone compliments me on my handsome notebook and if when they get the chance to look inside they’re even more impressed.

Are you willing to pay more for a premium product or premium customer service? Have you found a company or product you like that offers both? Sound off in the comments below.

All images are from my flickr, unless otherwise noted.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wonder

This weekend we helped my wife’s sister move into her new home. Instead of unloading boxes and furniture, however, we were brought in to clean the place up.

The previous occupants left a hideous mess which needed to be removed. Yet, within the debris something special caught my eye!

Macintosh Classic Logo (Pixelscreen)

I couldn’t believe it—a real honest to goodness, old school Macintosh Classic! Were my eyes deceived? Had the former tenants left in such a hurry that they’d neglected to retrieve their priceless treasure?

And then, I thought to myself…

“I wonder if this thing works!?!?”

At that moment, I knew I had an entry for this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

So, I grabbed the Mac, it’s keyboard, mouse, and cables, hooked them up and plugged it in.

Macintosh Classic (Unorthodox Pop)

As I waited with gleeful anticipation for the familiar Macintosh startup chime I was greeted instead with what sounded like a dying dial–modem and the smell of burning plastic.

Unfortunately, there was a reason that this particular Macintosh had not been brought with its owners.

Old School Macintosh Classic (Found)

This Macintosh Classic has passed on. It is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. In short, it’s run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible.

No longer did I wonder whether or not this Mac would run. For I knew that this was an ex-Mac.

Want to participate in the challenge? Head on over to The Daily Post and follow the instructions below.

1. Each week, [they] provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use a “postaday2011″ or “postaweek2011″ tag.

3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

Now, take a picture that captures this week’s theme and post a link to it in the comments below.

All images are from my flickr, unless otherwise noted.

Free iPad User Guide from Apple

Screenshot of iPad User Guide for iOS 5 in iTunes

Last month Apple released iOS 5, the latest operating system upgrade for the their iPad and iPhone lines. With this release they added over 200 features in addition to the usual flurry of bug fixes and ever popular “performance enhancements”.

While they’ve done an excellent job improving the platform with the release of iOS5, what Apple hasn’t done very well is articulate how to take advantage out of all that’s new and improved.

Thankfully, Apple has released a free eBook explaining all the ins and outs of their latest and greatest. Want to know what’s in book?

“Here’s everything you need to know about iPad, in a handy eBook format. Get to know iPad and discover all the amazing things it can do, and how to do them. It’s the definitive guide for getting the most from your new iPad, straight from Apple. The iPad User Guide is an essential part of any iPad library.”

You can download the iPad User Guide for free from the iBookstore in iTunes. An iPhone User Guide is also available in iTunes.

With your iOS 5 user guide loaded on your iPad and/or iPhone you’ll be setting yourself Reminders, iMessaging friends and family, and configuring Notification Center with the best of them.