How to add alt text to images in iWork documents (Mac version)

How to add alt text to images in iWork documents (Mac version)

For my work I often collaborate with a good friend who happens to be blind. We both really like the iWork applications in general but as a user of VoiceOver, Apple's built-in screen reader, she finds the iWork apps to be one of the more accessible options for productivity apps.

Often times the documents that we create are very robust and include images, videos, and audio. When I add audio or video to the project she is able to interact with those elements easily. But if I add an image often times the screen reader will only give her the name of the image which can sometimes just be a series of letters and numbers. Luckily I work has a built-in tool to make these images more accessible.

Click READ MORE to find out how.

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How to make an iPhone Ringtone using Loops in Garageband 10

How to make an iPhone Ringtone using Loops in Garageband 10

Hey readers! I recently created a video tutorial on how to make an iPhone ringtone with Garageband. I'm going to create a written tutorial soon but I thought I would share the video with you now. Feel free to check it out in this post or view it directly on our YouTube page.

Click READ MORE to view the video

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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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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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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.

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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Keep a child on task with Guided Access for the iPad/iPhone

Keep a child on task with Guided Access for the iPad/iPhone

So you found a really great educational app for your child and can’t wait to see it in action. Unfortunately little Billy would rather play Angry Birds and knows how to quickly switch to the app he would rather be playing. Sound Familiar?

The good news is you don’t have to delete all the other apps on your iPad to limit distractions when it is time to learn with the iPad. Guided Access is a feature built into the iPad that allows you to lock a single app in place, essentially locking out the home button. Not only that you can even lock out portions of the screen to prevent them from tapping certain buttons or ads.

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