Accessibility features in iOS everyone should be using: Make nighttime reading easier with inverted colors

Accessibility features in iOS everyone should be using: Make nighttime reading easier with inverted colors

Apple has always made a great effort to make their technology accessible to as many people as possible. This includes leading the way with built-in accessibility features. With iOS 7 not only did they add new features like Switch Access and customizable subtitles, they also moved the Accessibility menu from near the bottom of the General menu in the Settings App to near the top, showing that Accessibility is a priority.

The great thing about building accessibility into technology like the Mac, iPad, and iPhone is that many of these features can be enjoyed by just about everyone. Over the next few posts I’ll teach you about some of the great accessibility features anyone can enjoy, courtesy of Apple’s accessibility team.

Make Nighttime Reading Easier with Invert Colors

If you have played around with reading apps like iBooks and Kindle you might have notice these come with a night reading mode. With night reading turned on the screen displays a black background with white text rather than the traditional white background with black text. At night a black background is easier on the eyes and the screen is significantly less bright making it a lot easier to read. With Invert Colors you can add a nighttime reading mode to any app you want. Click READ MORE for step by step instructions.

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Silence Notifications on Your Mac

Silence Notifications on Your Mac

 

The Mac's built-in Notification Center is a great way to keep up to date on what's going on with your email, Facebook, Twitter accounts and more. But yesterday I was attending a presentation where the presenter had email notifications popping up every few minutes which was distracting. Also I have friends who sometime use creative language in their emails and I don't need that popping up on the screen and broadcasted to a hundred people.

The good news is Apple included an easy way to temporarily turn off notifications for situations just like this. Click READ MORE for step-by-step instructions.

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What do these symbols mean? ⌘ ⌥ ⌃ ⇧

What do these symbols mean? ⌘ ⌥ ⌃ ⇧

Have you even seen symbols like the ones above on your Mac or in a computer book? Go ahead and click on the "File" menu at the top of the screen right now. Don't worry, I'll wait…

To the right of most of the options in the menubar you will see those symbols along with letters or numbers. You Mac is telling you what combination of keys you can press on your keyboard to perform that action without you having to go all the way up the menu and selecting it with your mouse. These are called keyboard shortcuts and they can save you a lot of time. 

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3 Great New Accessibility Features in iOS 7

Screen shot of the Switch Control menu on an iPad

Happy iPhone day everyone!

I recently wrote an article for the Simon Technology Center highlighting some of the cool new accessibility features included in iOS 7. There is some cool new stuff like Switch Control for users who can't use the touch screen. Find out more by reading are on the the Simon Technology Center blog here: 3 Great New Accessibility Features in iOS 7

Where is Home, End, Page Up, Page Down, and Forward Delete on my MacBook?

Close up of the arrow keys on an Apple Wireless Keyboard

My wife was using her MacBook a while back and she asked me if there was a keyboard shortcut for the Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys. You see, Apple's USB keyboard has those keys but the condensed laptop and wireless keyboards do not. Luckily they're still there, just hiding. The secret is the function (or fn) key. The function key is a special modifier key that when held down changes what certain keys do. If you hold down the function key and press the arrows on the keyboard you will turn the arrows into the Page Up, Page Down, Home, and End keys. Let me break it down:

fn+↑ = Page Up

fn+↓ = Page Down

fn+← = Home

fn+→ = End

While we're at it there is one more function key trick.  If you hold function down and press the delete key it will do a forward delete instead of a backspace.

3 Quick volume control tips for your Mac

3 Quick volume control tips for your Mac

Apple keyboards come with volume control buttons built into the F10, F11, and F12 keys. But did you know that by using the modifier keys on your keyboard (Command, Option, Control, and Shift) you can do even more with those keys? Try these out on your Mac at home.

  • Hold down the Shift key to silence that beeping sound your Mac makes when you change the volume.

  • Hold down the Option key when pressing on the of the volume controls to quickly open the Sounds Panel in System Preferences.

  • Hold down both the Option and the Shift keys when adjusting the volume to adjust the sound at 1/4 the normal rate.

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Three great ways to make reading the web on your Mac easier

Three great ways to make reading the web on your Mac easier

Most people spend a good amount of their time online reading. What you might not realize is both you Mac and iPad have built in feature that can make the reading experience so much better. Here are three simple ways of making reading earlier on these devices, and all these features are already built in.

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Lock your mac's screen quick with hot corners

Lock your mac's screen quick with hot corners

I work in an office and sometimes I handle confidential information. I also get called away from my desk several times a day, so I needed to find a way to quickly lock my computer screen whenever I stepped away from my desk. After using a few different overly complicated methods I finally settled on using the Hot Corners feature on my Mac. It’s incredibly easy to set up, let me show you how.

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How to Take a Picture of Your Mac or iPad Screen

How to Take a Picture of Your Mac or iPad Screen

I use a lot of screenshots when writing tutorials like these for the blog. Screenshots are essentially photos I have my Mac or iPad take of what ever is currently being displayed on my screen. Recently a friend sent me an email asking how I took screenshots on my Mac. They had a video slide show from a trip they recent took but the original photos where accidentally deleted. Their plan was to take screenshots of the video to recapture some of the photos they had lost (albeit in a lower quality than the originals).

Here's how you can quickly take screenshots on your Mac or iPad.

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