Markup PDF Documents Using iPad or Mac

If you’re using an iPad or a Mac to sign a legal document, you can do so in a much easier fashion than printing the document, signing, scanning to your computer, and emailing back to the original sender.

For the iPad:

Open the email with the PDF attachment and long-press on the file. Then tap Markup and Reply.

Now you can use your finger or Apple Pencil to sign the document and send it back–all within the Mail app.

For the Mac:

Open the PDF file in Preview and go to Tools > Annotate > Signature. If you’ve already done a signature using your iPad, it will show up here. Otherwise, click on Manage Signatures…, then Create Signature.

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Here, you can sign with your finger using the trackpad, or you can sign on a piece of paper and hold it up to the camera to take a snapshot.

Once it captures the signature, you can drag the image anywhere in the document.

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When it’s in the right position, save the PDF, drag it into the email, and send it off!

Features of iPad Pro & Apple Pencil

Today, we’ll show you some of the cool things you can do with iPad Pro.

 

Turn your iPad Pro into a mini MacBook with Smart Keyboard

Smart Keyboard connects magnetically onto the edge of your iPad Pro. There is no need for Bluetooth pairing, and the keyboard draws power from the iPad itself. But there’s no need to worry about extra battery drain; Smart Keyboard is as efficient as it is ergonomic.

To connect:

To fold in typing mode:

To fold in drawing mode:

You’ll want the keys facing under, instead of up against the back of the iPad.

To fold in cover mode:

Smart Keyboard knows when you’re using it (when it’s connected magnetically to the groove just above the keyboard), and when you’re not, so the instant you lift the iPad from the magnetic groove, any accidental keyboard presses will not register to your iPad. Smart, Keyboard!

 

Pair and charge your Apple Pencil

 

Use Apple Pencil to annotate Microsoft Word documents

Apple Pencil integration is built into the Office apps, which you can download for free, and they work well with an Office 365 subscription. Simply open a document and tap on the Draw tab:

Once you select a tool, the Word app will allow you to draw anywhere on the document with Apple Pencil. And don’t worry about resting your hand on the touch screen while you draw. The iPad Pro knows when you’re resting your palm on the display, and when you are and aren’t using the Pencil. So you can scroll with your finger while still in Draw mode, and it won’t think you’re using the Pencil. No accidental lines!

The Draw tab is the same across all Office apps, including Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

 

Use Apple Pencil for digital illustration

Adobe Sketch is a free app from the developer of the Adobe Creative Suite. You can use the basic tools for free, or pay for a Creative Cloud license to utilize the app to its full potential.

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There are plenty more Adobe apps on the App Store, as well as other drawing apps from various developers. You can even draw and sketch in the Apple Notes app.

 

These are just a few of the advantages of using Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard to get the most out of your iPad Pro. Stop in to test the demos for yourself!

How To Create A Passwords Spreadsheet

If you’re sick of forgetting your passwords, one simple solution will save you from unnecessary work resetting them in the future. Creating a secured spreadsheet with your saved passwords is one of the best ways to do this because it serves as a hub for all login credentials, and with only one password to remember, you’ll always have access.

Step 1: Create the Spreadsheet

You can do this with any spreadsheet program like Excel, but we’ll use Numbers for this tutorial. Open Numbers and create a blank spreadsheet.

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Step 2: Establish the Headings

Fill in the column headings with text to describe what will be in the corresponding cells. Here’s an example of what you can do:

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Step 3: Fill in the Blanks

You can utilize the Notes field to add any secondary information you’d like to remind yourself of. Here are examples of a note:

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Step 4: Secure Your Document

You’ll want to set up a password for this spreadsheet file because if anyone gains access to your computer, they can retrieve or even copy the file to their own device and have access to all your login credentials. You don’t want that, so we’ll assign a strong, secure password to lock this document. It will only be viewable when that password is entered.

Go to File > Set Password…

Step 5: Back It Up

Backup is the most important thing you can do with your computer. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing all your data, which often can’t be recovered or, if it could be recovered, would be costly. You don’t want only one version of your passwords, so you’ve got a few options to back this file up. (It is recommended that you have two backups in place.)

  • Put the file on a USB flash drive or external hard drive. If you back up through Time Machine, this is already being done for you.
  • Upload the file to iCloud. If you do it this way, you can access your passwords document from anywhere. On your iPhone or iPad, you can even use Touch ID to unlock the document.
  • Print out a paper copy and keep it in a safe place.

If you keep the file on an external drive, you’d need to re-save the updated document to that location. (If you’re using Time Machine, just make sure that your backup is current.) The convenience of iCloud, with the security of Two-Factor Authentication and Touch ID, is the easiest way to ensure that your backup is current. If you use iCloud to back up, any changes you make to the document will be saved in the cloud as well.

It is also highly recommended that you don’t use the same password for multiple accounts and make your passwords strong, with at least 8 characters and multiple capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Try not to use words or phrases, or if you do, substitute certain letters with a number or symbol that resembles the letter (like in the examples above).

If you’d like assistance setting up this document, stop in and we can help get your life organized!

Why Use Touch ID?

Touch ID is an extremely useful tool built into your iPhone or iPad from 2013 or newer. Integrated into the Home button, this function scans your fingerprint to immediately unlock your device. You can configure up to five fingerprints to save on your iPhone or iPad. You can also use Touch ID to validate your login credentials within hundreds of apps on the App Store, getting rid of typing out those pesky 10-character passwords every time you want to check your bank account. And Touch ID also works with Apple Pay, which authenticates your purchase in any retail store that accepts it, all with the touch of the Home button.

This tool bypasses the need to “Slide to Unlock” and then enter a passcode (or worse, a password) every time you want to use your device. Though you are required a passcode or password to use Touch ID, you only have to enter it when your device reboots or when you haven’t used Touch ID for 48 hours.

We have lots of customers that come in with Touch ID-enabled devices but don’t use the function because of security concerns. That’s why we’re writing this post—to address your reservations about Touch ID.

The most common concern I hear from customers is: “I don’t want Apple storing my fingerprint on their servers!” I won’t lie, this thought went through my mind the first time I was introduced to Touch ID. But rest assured; your fingerprints aren’t stored in iCloud or anywhere on Apple’s servers. Rather, they’re stored locally on your device. You’ll notice that if you ever have to restore your device, even if you log into your iCloud or Apple ID, you’ll have to reconfigure the fingerprints. Not only are they stored locally, but they’re concealed by industry-standard encryption, which means that even if someone managed to get into your device, they wouldn’t be able to locate where your fingerprints are stored.

Another concern, albeit a little extreme, is: “What if someone cuts off my thumb?!” This thought also ran through my head, more out of curiosity than anything else. First of all, if someone’s willing to cut off your thumb just to gain access to your iPhone, you must have some CIA intelligence documents on there! But even CIA operatives don’t have to worry about that, because the fingerprint reader won’t recognize a dismembered phalange.

Why, you ask? Glad you did, because it’s super interesting. The Touch ID sensor reads your fingerprint at a sub-dermal level. This means that it doesn’t scan your dead skin cells on the surface of your finger; it scans the new, living skin underneath. Dead thumb = dead skin.

What it boils down to is this: you hate putting in so many passwords, and you want the benefit of maximum security without the hassle and frustration of setting a strong password, then having to remember it and type it in every time. So use Touch ID! Don’t be afraid of it—it’s there to protect you.

Come on in if you have any questions about Touch ID or need help setting it up, and join us here next week to learn about Apple Pay!

How To Avoid Malware

Here at Computer World, we get lots of customers that come in convinced that they have malware or a virus on their Mac computer. While malware for OS X does exist, it’s not as easy to come across as Windows malware is, and usually tends to be more of a nuisance than something dangerous. That said, it is still something you’ll want to get taken care of as soon as it’s discovered.

What is malware?

Malware is malicious software that often requires user input. This means that it typically accompanies a bad download of Adobe Flash Player, or in the form of applications that promise to speed up your Mac or clean it out. This is also referred to as adware, which is designed to display advertisements that often redirect you to a different website, prompting you to download antivirus software or a Flash Player update that isn’t from Adobe’s official site. This is the most common reason our customers come in. Another common approach adware uses is displaying a popup through Safari or another browser which typically says something like, “Your computer has [x number of] viruses, call [phone number] to clean your computer.” NEVER call this number. It’s a scam. Apple will never contact you directly about alleged threats to your computer.

Should I download antivirus software?

The short answer is no. Typically, Mac users don’t need to install antivirus software because OS X has security measures in place to prevent you from unwittingly opening a third-party application that could be harmful. These measures are common, and you’ve probably seen them before:

  • XProtect — scans downloads in the background for known malware.
  • Gatekeeper — a security protocol used for allowing the opening of downloaded apps from the App Store, App Store and Identified Developers, or Anywhere.
  • File Quarantine — a “Quarantine-aware” application such as Mail or Safari will identify a potentially dangerous file you’ve downloaded through said application and quarantine it. When you try to open it, an OS X popup will ask, “Are you sure you want to open ‘[application name]’?” If the application is from a trusted source, such as Google, Microsoft, Adobe, etc., it typically should be safe to open it, though an appropriate amount of discretion is always advised.

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An example of the File Quarantine OS X popup. This one found that a file that this user downloaded was infected with malware. 

Mac users will come across antivirus applications, or ones that otherwise promise to improve the speed of your computer. In reality, though, these applications slow your computer down significantly because they’re constantly running in the background, hogging up your memory, and taking up unnecessary space on your hard drive. Most antivirus applications will report what are called false-positives, identifying files as malware that aren’t really malware, which can reduce the functionality of your machine and cause it to misbehave.

What our customers tend to run into on the Internet most often is malware in the form of “Flash Player updates”, “Java updates”, or “Plugins required”. If you ever get a popup that says Flash Player is out of date, do the following:

Go to System Preferences > Flash Player, then click the Updates tab and “Check Now”. If an update is available, you will be directed to Adobe’s official website, where you can download the update safely and securely.

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This process will be similar with any Java updates, though most people don’t need to use Java anymore since so few websites require its plugins.

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An example of the fake Flash Player popup. Notice how the Adobe logo is nowhere to be seen. They come in many different forms. Always update Adobe Flash the proper way, as detailed above.

How can I protect myself?

1: Be conscious of the sites you visit and obtain software updates from legitimate sources. You should always go to the App Store first. If the application is not available on the App Store, like the Firefox web browser, go to Google or Bing and search for Firefox. You’ll see a link to the official Mozilla (developer) site and a few links to various adware sites with unsafe downloads.

2: Limit the extensions you use with your browser. Avoid unnecessary search engine plugins/toolbars–they slow down your browsing experience, can crash the app, and often link you to unsafe sites.

3: Verify that you’re using a safe search engine and home page. You can check your default search engine from Safari > Preferences > Search. Avoid using SafeSearch or the like, which are anything but safe.

4: Back up your computer. Because if all goes wrong, in the worst case scenario you lose some important files or your system’s integrity is compromised, you always will have that backup to restore from. You can find a backup drive that suits your needs; Computer World stocks a variety, with some as low as $99.

If you feel that your computer has been compromised, bring it in for a Tune-Up: $99 gets your computer cleaned up and running smoother than ever, while restoring your security and the machine’s performance. For $149 you can do a Tune-Up Pro, which does everything the standard Tune-Up does, plus upgrades your operating system to the current version, or whichever version your Mac can support. So come on in and let us take care of your computer!

Uploading Home Movie from iMovie

I’m sure a lot of you have noticed by now that the ‘Export to DVD’ option is now gone from iMovie. Also gone are the CD/DVD drives in all new Macs. Probably a correlation there. Here are some options for sharing your home movies now out of iMovie.

If you have an Apple TV then this is a perfect opportunity to use it. If you’ve seen the newest holiday Apple commercial you’ve seen a boy send a family movie to the TV in the family room off of his phone…this is done using these new sharing options through iMovie and iTunes.

After finishing a movie in iMovie, click on the ‘Share’ option on the top bar of the window.

Share button in iMovie

 

In the ‘Share’ drop down menu you will be able to select from a variety of iLife Apps and other Apple programs to send it to. From here you can also just save the movie to your desktop by clicking on ‘file’ and send directly through email. Other options include sharing directly to Vimeo, Facebook, or YouTube. We suggest sharing your iMovie to the first option ‘Theater’.

Share options in iMovie

 

By sharing directly to theater you will be able to access and watch the movie on any of your synced iDevices including iPhone and Apple TV.

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The same is true for sharing to your iTunes library. Once the movie is shared with iTunes you can view it by clicking on the ‘Home videos’ tab on the top of the Movies page and seeing it there. You can also access your movie library through your Apple TV on your home TV.

Home Videos iTunes tab

 

As weird as it is to think, the world is getting away more and more from CDs and DVDs. All new Mac products come without CD drives. You can always purchase an external drive if you can’t live without one, even an external blueray drive to take on trips and watch your favorite shows! Now you can successfully share your home movies through iMovie to all your other devices without having to burn the difficult discs!

For more tutorials like this and to see this in a video form please visit our YouTube channel. Any requests for tutorials or questions about your Apple products? Leave them in the comments below! Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter too for helpful hints and updates on the newest Apple products.