The little things
We’re still not done yet! These last few tips alone are small but significant enough to think about upgrading
For all the improvements each version of OS X brings, there’s always room for improvement – whether that’s in options for putting notifications in an order that works for you, protecting your Mac App Store account against accidental purchases, or assuring you that the website you’re designing will look great on computers and mobile devices alike. El Capitan takes steps to make existing features work better.
69> iBooks has the same presentation options as Safari Reader. You can set the page background to white, sepia, grey or black, each with complementary but automatically-chosen font colours, and select from eight fonts, including Apple’s new San Francisco font that’s used throughout OS X, iOS and watchOS.
Whether you’re a parent or simply concerned about making accidental purchases from the Mac App Store, 70> open the App Store pane in System Preferences and look at the bottom of it to find new password settings that define how soon after making a purchase – and entering your password – the Mac App Store will request your password for subsequent purchases – immediately or only after 15 minutes. Free downloads can require your password every time, or not at all.
71> Traditionally, OS X would ‘zoom’ a window to a best fit for its content when you double-clicked the window’s title bar. More recently, that action has minimised windows into the Dock – a sensible change for anyone coming from Windows, which also behaves that way. In fact, Yosemite gave a choice of these two behaviours, but as a checkbox that made it unclear to inexperienced Mac users what behaviour – if any – you would get when the box was unchecked. Apple has cleared up this ambiguity with a pop-up menu that explicitly lists the zoom and minimize options.
72> Notification Centre now offers three sorting options, up from two in Yosemite. The first setting, Recents, puts your notifications in reverse chronological order from the top of the tab down. The second one, Recents by App, groups notifications by application, so when you receive a notification from Mail, say, all of that app’s items move to the top of the list, even if that means some newer notifications from other apps will appear below Mail’s. The third setting, Manually by App, groups items similarly to the second one. However, when this option is selected, apps in the list shown in the Notifications preferences pane can be dragged up and down the list to set the order in which they’re listed in Notification Centre. So, you can set Calendar or Reminders, say, to always appear at the top so you don’t miss anything.
73> Image Capture includes a new feature that helps to organise photos imported from multiple cameras, rather than dumping them into one folder. Connect a camera to your Mac and then click the Import To pop-up menu near the bottom of the app’s window, then select ‘Make subfolders per camera’ to create folders named after your camera or its storage card.
74> Maps can now provide directions that use public transport, though only in a few cities. Choose which vehicles are included in route suggestions under View > Transit Driections.
75> If you design web pages, you’ll want to enable Safari’s Develop menu (from its Advanced preferences) and then choose Responsive Design Mode from that menu. This feature is intended to help ensure your pages look good on mobile devices as well as large displays like your Mac‘s. It places controls above the page you’re viewing that enable you to switch to various screen resolutions and iOS devices, then choose Responsive Design Mode from it to reveal controls that show how the current page will look on various screen resolutions and iOS devices. Switch between landscape and portrait orientations by clicking the device icons.
Switch Maps to its Transit view, then zoom out a long way and look for blue transit badges on cities in which the app can suggest routes that use bus, subway and light rail, commuter rail and ferry services.
Notification Center now provides three options for sorting your notifications: Recents, Recents by App, and Manually by App.