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View and restore past versions of documents on Mac

Many apps automatically save versions of documents as you work on them. Apple offers a built-in feature for its document-focused apps, like Pages and Numbers, and a framework that some other developers tie into as well. It resembles Time Machine, but doesn’t require that you are using a Time Machine backup.

A version is saved automatically every hour, or more frequently when you’re making many changes, when you open, save, duplicate, lock, rename, or revert a document. You can also explicitly save a version.

To browse, restore, duplicate, and delete versions:

  1. Open the document, then choose File > Revert To > Browse All Versions.
  2. Click tick marks along the timeline to browse versions.
  3. Display the version you want, then do one of the following:
  • Restore your document to this version: Click Restore.
  • Duplicate this version in a new document: Press and hold the Option key, then click Restore a Copy.
  •  Delete this version: Move the pointer to the top of the screen to show the menu bar, then choose File > Revert To > Delete This Version.
  •  Leave your document as is: Click Done.


To revert a document to the last opened version:

  • Open the document, choose File > Revert To, then choose Last Opened, Last Saved, or Previous Save.


To explicitly save a version:

  • Open the document, then choose File > Save. To save the document using a different filename, location, or format, press and hold the Option key, then choose File > Save As.
 
 
 

Prevent others from discovering your Mac

Your Mac is pretty safe on your private home network, but what about when you're surfing the Web in coffee shops? Anyone with a computer and rudimentary hacking skills could target you, which is why it's important to make sure your Mac's built-in firewall is enabled and that stealth mode is turned on.

macOS's firewall feature blocks unwanted network traffic coming into your computer, and stealth mode makes your Mac essentially invisible to hackers snooping for computers to target. They aren't foolproof features, but they will keep most people from finding and attacking your Mac on public networks.

First, you need to make sure your Mac's firewall is enabled:

• Go to Apple menu > System Preferences.
• Choose Security & Privacy.
• Select the Firewall tab.
• If the firewall is active you’ll see a green dot and "Firewall: On." If not, click Turn Firewall On. You may have to click the padlock icon and authenticate with your Mac's password to change the setting.

Next, enable stealth mode:

• Click Firewall Options. It's below the button for turning the firewall on and off.
• Check Enable stealth mode.
• Click OK.

"Automatically allow built-in software to receive incoming connections" and "Automatically allow downloaded signed software to receive incoming connections" should already be checked. Those settings let the apps you already have communicate through the firewall without you having to take any extra steps. Leave those checked unless you know what you're doing and plan to manage app network access manually. You should leave "Block all incoming connections" unchecked too, unless all you're doing is surfing the Web.

 

 

 

Use Messages to share your screen in macOS

If you need to quickly offer help to another Mac user you know, there's no quicker way to remotely provide assistance than via Apple's own Messages. Here's how to take control of another person's Mac on their behalf, and how to allow others to do the same to your desktop.

As part of the Messages app in macOS, it is possible to establish a remote desktop session where you have control of a Mac across the Internet or someone else has control over your Mac desktop. What's more, as well as being simple to get going, it also doesn't require any real installation of extensions or other components.

What does Messages' screen sharing feature do? When a screen share is initiated, the screen from the Mac being controlled will be streamed as a live video feed to the other participant, the Mac that will be used for control. This will allow the user on the controlling Mac to see what is on the desktop of the Mac being controlled. At the same time, a FaceTime Audio call is started between the two users, providing two-way audio. This enables the users to speak to each other, such as advising on what they are doing for the other user or additional instructions. The feature doesn't automatically enable the ability to remote control the other person's display by default, but the option is presented. If control isn't provided by one party to the other, the screen is shared but it is not remotely controllable.

To share your screen with another user:

• Open Messages on your Mac.

• Select the conversation with the person you want to share the screen with. If no prior conversation exists, send a message to them.

• In the main menu, select Conversations then Invite to Share My Screen. The sharing and audio call will begin automatically once the remote user accepts the invitation.

To request another user shares their screen:

• Open Messages on your Mac.

• Select the conversation with the person you want to share the screen with. If no prior conversation exists, send a message to them.

• In the main menu, select Conversations then Ask to Share Screen. The sharing and audio call will begin automatically once the invitation is accepted.

Once sharing is enabled, a new window appears called Screen Sharing, which will host the call and show the sharing user's desktop. There are also some options within the window that can be used. Clicking the mouse pointer icon in the menu will send a request to the sharer to enable remote control of the Mac. Clicking on the remote display will highlight elements on the shared Mac, which can be useful for pointing out elements of an app's interface without taking control. When you have control of the remote Mac, you can also control the Clipboard, which means you can copy and paste text and images between the two computers. This is handy to save you from retyping a URL into a remote browser when you have the link locally. You can even transmit files from the remotely-controlling Mac to the shared Mac by dragging and dropping them onto the window.

To end a screen sharing session:

• For the screen-sharing Mac, click the Sharing icon in the menu bar then End Screen Sharing. Alternately, you can select Pause Screen Sharing if you want to stop for a while.

• The remote controlling Mac can do the same by selecting Screen Sharing in the menu followed by Quit Screen Sharing.

If screen sharing doesn't work, make sure the user of the Mac being shared is signed in to iCloud on that Mac using the same Apple ID that they are using for messages. If they are using different IDs, add both Apple IDs to the same contact within the Contacts app and try again. Also, make sure that they are not limited by Screen Time. If one party is restricted and the initial Messages communication cannot be established, that could prevent Screen Sharing from functioning properly.

Clear browsing history in Safari without losing website data

Posted in Safari Tips & Tricks

Safari has a hidden history clearing option which allows Mac users to clear their browsing history in Safari while keeping other website data from the same time period.

Browsing history is a record of every webpage you visit. Your browser stores the URLs for every page, except when you use private browsing mode. Browsing history can help improve your browsing experience (e.g. as you start typing a URL in the address bar of your browser, previously visited URLs display in a dropdown list that match what you're typing), but it also exposes your browsing habits. If other people use your Mac from time to time, or you get family members looking over your shoulder as you surf the web, you may want to delete your browsing history on a regular basis.

You can manually clear your browsing history in Safari at any time. Two of the ways to clear all your browser history are:

• Choose "Clear History" from the Safari application menu
• Choose "Clear History" from the History menu

but be aware that the name "Clear History" is misleading. Clicking "Clear History" also deletes other website data, like cookies and the entire browser cache. However, there is a way to clear your browsing history without losing website data.

Simply choose the Safari or History menu, but press and hold down the Option key before selecting the "Clear History" option. You'll see the option change to "Clear History and Keep Website Data". Keep the Option key pressed and select that option.

 

Open items in the enclosing folder directly from a Spotlight search

When viewing a list of results in a Spotlight search in the Finder, how do you jump to see the item in the context of its enclosing folder rather than just opening the file? The answer is simple.

Hold down Command and press the Return key or press Command-R. You can also hold down Command and double-click the item in the results list. Holding down Command by itself reveals the path to the file or folder without opening the enclosing folder.

You may already know this but if you press Command-Option-spacebar, a Finder window opens with the focus on the search field so you can just start typing.