OS X Mavericks For Dummies (2014)
Part III. Do Unto Mavericks: Getting Things Done
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In this part…
Getting the Internet working on your Mac (and what to do with it after that).
Discovering three of Mavericks’ most imaginatively named programs: Mail, Contacts, and Messages
Working with media
Processing words for fun and profit.
Enough information about fonts and typefaces to impress your friends and family.
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Chapter 10. (Inter)Networking
In This Chapter
Getting an overview of the Internet
Pre-surfing with the Network System Preference pane
Surfing the web with Safari
Searching with Google
Going face to face with FaceTime
These days, networking online is easier than finding a log to fall off: You simply use the Internet to connect your Mac to a wealth of information residing on computers around the world. Luckily for you, OS X has the best and most comprehensive Internet tools ever shipped with a Mac operating system.
OS X offers built-in Internet connectivity right out of the box. OS X Mavericks comes with
Apple’s Safari web browser, which you use to navigate the web, download remote files, and more
The FaceTime app for video chats with other Mac or iDevice users
Messages, used mostly for instant messaging and live online chatting (text). It works with other Messages users; people using AOL Instant Messaging (AIM) clients; and people using Jabber (an open-source chatting protocol), plus Google Talk, and Bonjour (which discovers other users on your local area network). It also includes audio and video chatting, screen sharing, and file transfers.
The Mail application (for e-mail)
In this chapter and the next, I cover the top things most people use the Internet for: the World Wide Web (that's the www. you see so often in Internet addresses) and video and audio chatting. You discover Safari and FaceTime in this chapter, and find out about Mail and Messages in Chapter 11.
But before I can talk about browsers, chatting, e-mail software, or messaging, I have to help you configure your Internet connection. When you’re finished, you can play with your browsers, mail, and chat applications to your heart’s content.
Getting Connected to the Internet
Before you can surf the Internet, you need to connect to it. If you’re a typical home user, you need three things to surf the Internet:
A connection to the Internet, such as a cable modem, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) modem, or a satellite Internet service.
If you use technology other than DSL, cable, or satellite to connect your computer to the Internet, your network administrator (the person you run to at work when something goes wrong with your computer) or ISP might have to help you set up your Mac because setting up those other configurations is (sigh) beyond the scope of this book.
An account with an ISP (an Internet service provider such as AT&T, Comcast, or RoadRunner).
The technical reviewer for this book reminds me that these days, that’s not necessarily true. All you really need is free Wi-Fi, which is available almost everywhere — in stores, restaurants, parks, libraries, and other places — and a free e-mail account from Apple’s iCloud, Microsoft’s Windows Live Hotmail, Google’s Gmail, or Yahoo! Mail.
A Mac (preferably one running OS X 10.9 Mavericks).
You might need to tweak a few settings, as I explain in the upcoming section “Plugging in your Internet-connection settings.”
After you set up each of these components, you can launch and use Safari, Mail, Messages, and any other Internet application you care to use.
Setting up your modem
If you have a cable modem, DSL, or other high-speed Internet connection — or are thinking about getting any of these — you can use them with your Mac. In most cases, you merely connect your Mac to the Internet via a cable plugged into the Ethernet port of your Mac and into an external box — which is connected to a coaxial or optical TV cable or plugged into a telephone outlet, depending on what kind of access you have to the Internet.
For a wireless connection, the setup is the same, but rather than plug the cable into the Ethernet port on your Mac, you plug it into a wireless router or AirPort or Time Capsule base station. After this device is connected to the box supplied by your ISP, any Wi-Fi–equipped Mac (or PC) within range can connect to the Internet wirelessly on your network.
Your cable or DSL installer should have set everything up for you before leaving your home or office. If you still cannot connect to the Internet, you should call that service provider and give them heck. Troubleshooting a high-speed connection is pretty abstruse (which puts it beyond the purview of this book).
Your Internet service provider and you
After you make sure that you have a working modem, you have to select a company to provide you access to the Internet. These companies are called Internet service providers (ISPs). The prices and services that ISPs offer vary, often from minute to minute. Keep the following in mind when choosing an ISP:
If your connection comes from a cable or telephone company, your ISP is probably that company. In effect, the choice of ISP is pretty much made for you when you decide on cable or DSL service.
The going rate for unlimited broadband access to the Internet starts at around $25 or $30 per month. If your service provider asks for considerably more than that, find out why. Higher-throughput packages for cable and DSL connections might run you twice that. For example, at this writing, the highest-speed DSL package from AT&T is around $60 per month.
Because most Mac users like things to be easy, OS X includes a cool feature in its Setup Assistant to help you find and configure an account with an ISP. When you installed OS X 10.9 (assuming that you did and that it didn't come preinstalled on your Mac), the Setup Assistant may have asked you a bunch of questions about your Internet connection and set up everything for you. (Installing OS X is detailed in this book's Appendix.) Download the Appendix from www.dummies.com/downloads/osxmavericks. If you didn't have an Internet connection (an ISP) at that time, you need to configure the Network System Preferences pane yourself. Although I cover the Network System Preferences pane in depth in the next section, how to configure it so that your Mac works with your ISP is something you have to work out with that ISP. If you have questions or problems not answered by this book, your ISP should be able to assist you. And if your ISP can't help, it's probably time to try a different ISP.
Plugging in your Internet-connection settings
If you didn’t set up your Internet connection when you installed OS X, you need to open System Preferences (from the Applications folder, the Dock, Launchpad, or the menu) and click the Network icon. The Network pane offers options for connecting your Mac to the Internet or to a network. Setting up your Internet connection manually in the Network System Preferences pane is beyond the purview of this book. The easiest way to use it is to click the Assist Me button at the bottom and let your Mac do the heavy lifting.
If you’re part of a large office network, check with your system administrator before you change anything in this pane. If you ignore this advice, you run the risk of losing your network connection completely.
If your Mac asks you a question you can’t answer during set up, ask your ISP or network administrator for the answer. I can’t possibly tell you how in this book because there are just too many possible configurations, and each depends on your particular ISP and service.
That said, here’s a brief rundown on the most common things you may need to know in order to set up a network connection:
TCP/IP: TCP/IP is the language of the Internet. You may be asked to specify things such as your IP address, domain name servers, and search domains.
PPP or PPPoE: These acronyms stand for Point-to-Point Protocol and Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet. Which one you see depends on what service you’re using to connect. All analog modems use PPP; some cable and DSL modems use PPPoE.
Proxies: If you’re on a large network or your Mac is behind a firewall, you may need to specify one or more proxy servers. If so, your network administrator or ISP can help you with configuration. (Most home users will never need to touch this tab.) Some ISPs require you to specify proxy servers; if you need to do so, ask your ISP what to do.
If you use your Mac in more than one place, you can set up a separate configuration for each location and choose it from the Location menu. A location, in this context, consists of all settings in all items in the Network System Preferences pane. After you have this entire pane configured the way that you like, follow these steps to create separate locations:
1. Pull down the Location menu and choose Edit Locations.
2. Click the + button at the bottom of the Locations list.
A new, untitled Location appears in the list.
3. Type a descriptive name for the new location, such as AirPort at Starbucks or Ethernet at Joe’s Office.
4. Click Done, and then click Apply.
From now on, you can change all your network settings at the same time by choosing the appropriate location from the Location pop-up menu.
If, on the other hand, your Mac has a single network or Internet connection (as most home users have), just leave the Location menu set to Automatic and be done with it.
Using the Network Setup Assistant (click the Assist Me button at the bottom of the Network System Preferences pane, and then click the Assistant button) to create a network connection usually makes it unnecessary for you to have to deal with most of these items. Still, I thought you should at least know the basics.
Browsing the web with Safari
With your Internet connection set up, you’re ready to browse the web. In the following sections, I concentrate on browsing the web with Safari because it’s the web browser installed with OS X Mavericks.
If you don’t care for Safari, check out Firefox or Chrome, which are both free and have features you won’t find in Safari.
To begin, just open your web browser. No problem. As usual, there’s more than one way. You can launch Safari by any of these methods:
Single-clicking the Safari icon in the Dock or Launchpad (look for the big blue compass that looks like a stopwatch, as shown in the margin)
Double-clicking the Safari icon in your Applications folder
Single-clicking a URL link in an e-mail or other document
Double-clicking a URL link document (a .webloc file) in the Finder
When you first launch Safari, it automatically connects you to the Internet and displays the default Apple start page (see Figure 10-1). In the sections that follow, I cover the highlights of using Safari, starting at the top of the screen.
Figure 10-1: Safari displaying the Apple start page.
Navigating with the toolbar buttons
The buttons along the top of the window do pretty much what their names imply. From left to right, these buttons are
Back/Forward: When you open a page and move to a second page (or third or fourth), the Back button takes you to a previously visited page. Remember that you need to go back before the Forward button will work.
iCloud: iCloud automatically displays all the open web pages on your other devices. So click this button to see pages you’ve opened on other Macs or your iDevice.
Share: When you find a page of interest or a page you know you’ll want to remember, click this button (which is actually a drop-down menu) to tell Safari to remember it for you in Mavericks cool Reading List or as a Bookmark — two topics I explore further a little later in this chapter. Or send a link to it via Mail or Messages, both covered in Chapter 11, or post it on Facebook or tweet it on Twitter.
To the right of the Share button is the Address field. This is where you type web addresses, or URLs (Uniform Resource Locators), that you want to visit. Just type one and press Return to surf to that site.
Then, on the right of the Address field, are two more buttons:
Reader: Reader lets you view stories and other articles in a window optimized for easy reading by stitching together articles that are continued over multiple web pages and broken up by ads, menu bars, and other items. Reader is available only for certain pages. When it’s available, the icon turns blue, as shown in the margin; otherwise, it appears grayed out and can’t be clicked.
Downloads: Click this button to see a list of files you’ve downloaded in the past and ones currently being downloaded.
But wait — there’s more. To add other useful buttons to your toolbar, choose View⇒Customize Toolbar (or right-click anywhere on the toolbar and choose Customize Toolbar from the contextual menu). The Customize Toolbar sheet drops down, and you can drag items into or out of the toolbar to create your own custom set of buttons. In Figure 10-2, for example, I added (left to right) Home, AutoFill, Zoom In/Out, New Tab, and Email (a link to this page) to my toolbar.
Figure 10-2: The Customize Toolbar sheet and my customized toolbar (red highlight).
Web addresses almost always begin with http://www. But Safari has a cool trick: If you just type a name, you usually get to the appropriate website that way without typing http, ://, or www. If you type apple in the Address field and press Return, for example, you go towww.apple.com. Or if you type boblevitus, you're taken to www.boblevitus.com. Try it — it's pretty slick.
Below the Address field is the Favorites Bar, already populated with some buttons of web pages Apple thinks you might enjoy, including Apple, Yahoo!, Google Maps, YouTube, and Wikipedia.
If you don’t see your Favorites Bar, choose View⇒Show Favorites Bar or press +Shift+B.
The News and Popular buttons are actually drop-down menus. You can tell by the little black triangles after their names, as shown in Figure 10-3.
Figure 10-3: The News (and Popular) buttons are actually drop-down menus.
You can delete these bookmarks and/or add your own bookmarks to the Favorites Bar, as described in the next section.
Bookmarking your favorite pages
When you find a web page you want to remember and return to, you bookmark it. Here’s how it works:
1. Choose Bookmarks⇒Add Bookmark, press +D, or click the Share button and choose Add Bookmark.
2. Choose where to store the bookmark from the pop-up menu, as shown in Figure 10-4.
3. Rename the bookmark or use the name provided by Safari.
4. Click the Add button to save the bookmark.
To return to a bookmarked page, click it in the Favorites Bar, choose Bookmarks⇒Show Bookmarks, press +Option+B, or click the Show Bookmarks button (shown in margin) to see all your bookmarks in the Bookmarks window, as shown in Figure 10-5.
Figure 10-4: This page will appear in the Favorites Bar as Consulting by Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus.
Figure 10-5: The Bookmarks window in all its glory.
Open bookmarked pages by double-clicking them. View the contents of folders (such as Favorites Bar and News in Figure 10-5) by single-clicking their name in the list. Figure 10-5 shows, in particular, the contents of the Favorites Bar folder with the contents of the News subfolder expanded.
To organize your Bookmarks window or place bookmarks on the toolbar or Bookmarks menu, move bookmarks by dragging them. You can place bookmarks and folders of bookmarks on the Safari Favorites Bar or in the Bookmarks menu by dragging them to the appropriate folder. If you drag a folder of bookmarks to the Favorites Bar folder (or directly onto the Favorites Bar itself), the result is a drop-down menu, as shown in Figure 10-3, earlier in this chapter.
To delete a bookmark, right- or Control+click it and choose Delete.
+Click a folder in the Bookmarks window or Favorites Bar to simultaneously open all the bookmarks it contains.
What’s on your Reading List?
The Reading List serves as a repository for pages or links you want to read but don’t want to read right now. It’s a lot like a bookmark, but easier to create on the fly, which makes the Reading List perfect for sites or links you don’t need to keep forever (that’s what bookmarks are for).
Earlier in the chapter you saw one of the ways you can add a page by clicking the Share button on the toolbar and choosing Add to Reading List.
Another way to add a page to your Reading List is to open the page and click the Show Sidebar icon (shown in the margin). The sidebar appears on the left side of the window, as shown in Figure 10-6. Click the Reading List tab at the top and then click the + button on the toolbar.
To add a link to your Reading List without visiting the page, press the Shift key when you click a link. It’s fast and works even when the sidebar is closed. Or right-click the link and choose Add to Reading List from the contextual menu.
Finally, to delete an item from your Reading List, click the X in its top-right corner, as shown in Figure 10-6.
If you don’t see an X, move the cursor over the item you want to delete, and it magically appears.
Figure 10-6: Use the Reading List for pages you want to visit soon.
Using the terrific Top Sites page
The Top Sites page has quickly become one of my favorite Safari features. It displays a selection of sites you visit frequently, as shown in Figure 10-7.
Figure 10-7: Top Sites displays your favorite sites.
To see it, choose History⇒Show Top Sites, press +Option+1, or click the Top Sites button (shown in the margin), which you’ll find to the right of the Show Sidebar button.
As you surf the web, Safari learns your favorite sites and replaces the sites on the Top Sites page with the ones you visit most.
Here are a few more things you can do with Top Sites:
Delete a site you don’t want on your Top Sites page. Click the little X in its top-left corner.
“Pin” a site to your Top Sites page to make it remain one of your Top Sites, even if you don’t visit that page for a while. Click the pushpin in its top-left corner. The second item in the top row in Figure 10-7 (see figure in next section) is marked as a permanent Top Site.
Change the number and size of the sites shown. Choose Safari⇒Preferences, click the General tab at the top, and then choose 12 (shown in Figure 10-7), or 6 or 24 (not shown) sites from the Top Sites Shows pop-up menu.
Searching with Google
Looking for something on the Internet? Check out Google, the fantastic search engine that’s totally integrated with Safari to help you hunt down just about anything on the Internet in no time.
In this section, you discover how to use Google to search the Internet and find almost anything, as well as how to get help with Google when all else fails.
To search the Internet with Google, follow these steps:
1. Type the beginning of a word or phrase in the Address field.
As you type, Safari offers a list of suggestions and recent searches, as shown in Figure 10-8. Note that I had typed only vizsla p when Safari offered this list.
2. Click one of the list items, finish typing the word or phrase, or use the arrow keys to select a list item, and then press Return or Enter to start the search.
Google almost immediately offers your search results, as shown in Figure 10-8.
Figure 10-8: A Google search for pictures of Vizsla dogs.
3. Click one of the result links.
Links appear in blue and are underlined. You’re taken instantly to that particular page.
4. If a particular result isn’t just what you’re looking for, click the Back button, and try another result link.
5. If Google offers too many results that aren’t just right, click the gear button near the top of the results page and choose Advanced Search.
Advanced searches refine your search with a multitude of options, some of which are shown in Figure 10-9.
6. Click the Advanced Search button.
A refined results page quickly appears. As before, click a result link to visit that page. If it’s not just what you’re looking for, click the Back button, and try a different result link.
If you prefer to use Yahoo! or Bing rather than Google for your searches, choose Safari⇒Preferences, click the General tab at the top of the window, and choose your preferred search engine from the Default Search Engine pop-up menu.
One last thing: The little angle bracket icons on the right side of the toolbar and Favorites Bar in Figure 10-10 (and shown in the margin) indicate that the window is too narrow to display all the tools or bookmarks. Click it, and a menu shows you the previously hidden choices, as shown in Figure 10-10.
Figure 10-9: A Google advanced search for pictures of Vizsla dogs that are cute or puppies and not ugly, senior, or old.
That’s pretty much all you need to know to have a great time searching the web with Google.
Checking out Help Center
Safari has a lot more features, and I could write an entire chapter about using Safari, but one of the rules we For Dummies authors must follow is that our books can’t run 1,000 pages long.
So I’m going to give you the next best thing: Open the Help Center (by choosing Help⇒Safari Help). A special Safari Help window appears; you can search for any Safari-related topic or solution to any Safari-related problem right there.
Figure 10-10: The toolbar overflow menu (top) shows the six hidden toolbar icons; the Favorites Bar overflow menu (bottom) shows the five hidden bookmark folders.
Video Calls with FaceTime
In the beginning, FaceTime brought video calling to the iPhone 4. It was iPhone 4-to-iPhone 4 only and required Wi-Fi (not 3G). Still, it was pretty cool and worked quite well. Not surprisingly, it soon spread to the second and later generation iPads, the iPod touch, and in OS X Snow Leopard on the Mac as well.
I haven’t told you about Messages yet (I will in Chapter 11), but one of its features is video chat. Alas, Messages can only video chat with folks on Macs or PCs; FaceTime lets you do it with other Mac users as well as users of iPhone 4s, iPads, and iPod touches.
In addition to its aforementioned video-with-iDevices prowess, FaceTime works very nicely for Mac-to-Mac video calls. And because it’s a single-purpose application, many users find it easier and less intimidating to set up and use than Messages or Skype.
By the way, there’s no Windows version of FaceTime at the moment, so you’ll have to use Messages (or third-party software like Skype) to have cross-platform video chats.
To get started, just launch FaceTime from either your Applications folder, your Launchpad, or your Dock, and the main (only) FaceTime window appears, as shown in Figure 10-11.
The left side of the window shows what your Mac’s camera is seeing (which happens to be me in Figure 10-11).
Figure 10-11: The FaceTime window, ready to make a call.
I clicked the iPhone entry to initiate a call from my Mac to my wife’s iPhone. She was at the football game with my son Jacob, and I was soon talking to both of them, as shown in Figure 10-12.
Figure 10-12: What I saw on my Mac screen (left) and what they saw on their iPhone screen (right).
FaceTime uses Mavericks’ Contacts (covered in Chapter 11), so if you have friends or family who have an iPhone 4 or later, iPad 2 or later, iPod touch (4th generation or later), or a Mac, just click their phone number or e-mail address to initiate a video call.