Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!

All the elements in this card are made in Apple's Pages.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Clipart: telephone sign

(Emoji and Symbols)

Update for Pages 8.1, Mac OS High Sierra.

The telephone symbol can be found in two ways.

In the main menu at the top of the screen, go Edit > Emoji and Symbols.

This opens a huge collections of various non-letter or letter-like symbols, including the beloved of the internet generation silly faces and cute animals. The telephone symbol ☎︎ is right at the bottom of the window, in the section Sign/Standard Symbols and marked ♻︎ in the speed selection panel at the bottom of the window. By clicking on the double arrow sign there you can skip from section to section without having to scroll down a very long cache of options.

The second, more traditional way is to open the same window by clicking/tapping on the Language/Keyboard layout selection icon at the top right of the screen and sliding, again, to Emoji and Symbols.

Note that this works in Pages and in practically all Mac applications and browsers, including Google Chrome.

This post is an update to my previous articles on Mac clipart and various hidden places where you can find it. Click/tap on the clipart tag to read more. The previous post about the telephone symbol is here, I am going to update and link it to this.

The most recent article here described the Character Palette/Viewer. Now, in the current Mac OS (July 2019), it is replaced by Emoji and Symbols palette (viewer or window, describe it as you wish).  

©Alexander Anichkin. This blog is free to subscribe to but please consider donating via PayPal (button at top right of the blog).

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Blogger login problem after Google+ closure

For several days now there has been an 'endless loop' problem with logging in into Blogger.

When try to log in or go to Blogger from whatever other Google application, such as gmail, by  choosing Blogger from the services menu at the top right of the browser page, it takes you to the Welcome page inviting you to create a blog or log in. When you click login it takes you back to the Welcome page.

The solution here is to go to your Google profile and 'change' your profile (displayed) name. In fact, you don't have to change it, just type it in as it is or was and click go to Blogger. Than will take you to your usual Blogger page with blog posts, stat and all the other stuff.

Here is the direct link:  https://www.blogger.com/switch-profile.g  

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Clipart for Pages revisited.

(update for Pages 7.3)

About ten years ago I published a comprehensive review of various places on your Mac where you can find clipart and clipart like images, that come pre-installed on your computer. (See 'Clipart for iWork/Pages where is it')

Looking for clipart remains one of the top searches for Apple Mac users. Much of what I described in that old article still stands. Some things have changed slightly.

In fact, Apple has added some new collections of ready-made clipart. It's very easy to use,  just remember where it is.

For example, instead of Character Palette, there is now a Character Viewer.
To go to it, open System Preferences, choose Keyboard and click on Input Sources (that's where you add or remove additional languages that you may be using).
At the bottom of the window there is a box Show Input menu in menu bar. Tick it, and the language icon, a national flag, will appear at the top of the screen.
When you click on it, at the bottom you see Show emoji and symbols option. Click on it, and the Character Viewer will open.
Here you will find hundreds of clipart symbols, including, yes, emoji, but also many others, animals, flags, cars, stars etc.
Choose the one you want and drag it to your document.

You can also double-click it to add to your document, or — this is an additional beauty — to whatever text you are typing on the Internet, for example in a Facebook discussion or to your blog. Double-click the symbol to add it to your text. Like this, for example, 🤠.

Another hidden gem is 'image bullets'.
Everyone familiar with word processing knows about lists and bullets.
In Pages, open the Text Inspector (under the View menu, go to Inspector and check/tick Show Format).
In the Inspector side-pane, look further down for Bullets and Lists and click on No Bullets tab to open a drop-down menu. There you will see the Image Bullets option.
Click on it to show a host of attractive image bullets. They will appear at the beginning of each paragraph that you choose to have bullets.

Now, the last option there is Custom Image. If you choose it, you may add your own image, a mugshot of yourself or someone else, or an avatar, like in the Internet forums.
Use it to liven up your document when you prepare role-playing games, or teacher-student discussions, or when you write a script.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Resetting display.

If you use an external additional display you may encounter this frustrating problem: screen seems to go wider than the display with menus on the dges half-obscured; images are distorted (squashed) and fuzzy; everything seems out of proportion.

Restarting the machine or calibrating the display may not resolve the issue.

One simple trick not to be forgotten is resetting the display. Disconnect (unplug) it from the computer, wait for about 30 seconds and reconnect. The display comes back to its usual behaviour.

It worked for me a few times, so I thought I should share it.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Christian Fish sign.

We were talking about early Christians.

A friend, who is well-versed in Bible and Biblical stories, told me how they used the Fish sign as a secret password to recognise each other when Christianity was still considered a dangerous extremist sect and Christians were persecuted. I've always thought of it simply as a reference to the bread and fish miracle. But it turns out there's more to it.

You meet someone who you think might be one of yours. You put a dot in the sand with a big toe. The person standing opposite you would look at it and draw a curving line around the dot. You look at it and, with his foot, draw another curving line. They join up near the dot and cross at the other and, thus forming a representation of the Fish.

I decided to try it in Pages and here is what I got.

Click on the Shapes menu in the Toolbar of your document and choose the circle from the menu. Reduce it to the size of a dot.  
Click on the Shapes menu in the Toolbar of your document and choose the pen tool in the top right corner. 
Draw the first line by clicking in the document, then drag, let go to make the second dot, then drag again, let go and double-click on the last dot to finish the line. 
Adjust the curve as you like by dragging the midpoints, they appear automatically as you hover the cursor over the line. 
In the Inspector side pane make it thicker, change colour (here it is Mocha), and add shadow. 

Repeat the above to draw the second line. And you get a lovely looking Fish sign. 

Keep it in your document, make a screenshot or export to PDF to reuse elsewhere.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Mac OSX Japanese problem.

When you use several languages on your computer, there is a curious problem in OSX 10.13.6 High Sierra, that I haven’t experienced before. With Japanese as one of the languages selected as ‘input sources’, my Mac begins to behave in an unstable way.

The symptoms include 
very slow or no response to keyboard commands; 
unexpected delay in response
and repeated keyboard strokes when non were executed by myself. 
Sometimes the Mac stalls completely with or without the ‘wheel of death’.

It is so bizarre that at first I thought I was being hacked or some virus took over my machine. 

After some discussions with fellow macusers and research I found that it was not just my machine. Many others have this problem as well.

Apparently this issue occurs when a language which uses many accents, like French in my case, clashes with Japanese kotoeri input system (you type with Latin characters and the computer changes them into Japanese characters).

So, the solution 
is to remove either Japanese, or the other language from input sources. 

To do that, go to System Preferences > Language & Region and click/tap on Japanese/Nihongo. 
Then, click on the minus symbol below the languages side-panel. 

Then, restart the computer and it will come back to its usual stable behaviour.

If you need Japanese rather than French, try removing French. I use Japanese only occasionally, so I can’t vouch for this. But removing Japanese has worked for me.

Meanwhile, we should wait for the Apple wiz-people to sort the problem. Ahh, well.

See this article for a slightly different description of the same problem and similar solution.

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