Fea­ture: Help Desk

Kirk McEl­hearn an­swers your Mac ques­tions

Macworld - - Feature -

Use iCloud Photo Li­brary se­lec­tively

Q: How do I take pic­tures off iCloud, but not have them deleted from my iMac, iPhone, and iPad? My iCloud is full, and I want to clear it up by tak­ing the pho­tos off. Brenda Best

A: In the past, I’ve said, “Sorry, it’s all or noth­ing.” Once you opt in to iCloud Photo Li­brary, all of your im­ages are synced across all de­vices that use the same iCloud lo­gin and have iCloud Photo Li­brary en­abled, and the full-res­o­lu­tion ver­sions of im­ages and videos have to be stored in your iCloud ac­count.

But I was be­ing a lit­tle too re­stric­tive in my think­ing. There are ways around this sit­u­a­tion, nei­ther of which is ideal, but nei­ther is com­pletely a pain, ei­ther.

Use a sep­a­rate Pho­tos li­brary

Only a sin­gle Pho­tos li­brary can be synced to iCloud Photo Li­brary. You can main­tain other li­braries, and those pho­tos and videos re­main only lo­cally stored. (Be sure and cre­ate an ef­fec­tive backup plan for that me­dia, though, so you don’t ac­ci­den­tally lose it all in the event of a drive dis­as­ter or un­in­ten­tional dele­tion.)

Pho­tos for OS X doesn’t let you split li­braries; you’d have to ex­port im­ages from your ex­ist­ing li­brary and re-im­port them into a new one. To switch among mul­ti­ple li­braries, quit Pho­tos, hold down the Op­tion key, and launch Pho­tos. You’re prompted to se­lect which li­brary to open.

If you’re will­ing to spend the princely sum of $29, you can pur­chase Pow­erPho­tos from fat­cat­soft­ware.com. It’s a third-party util­ity pack­age that can merge, split, and man­age Pho­tos li­braries. I’m a big fan of this soft­ware for adding func­tion­al­ity that Ap­ple didn’t in­clude.

While merg­ing is self-ex­plana­tory, split­ting a li­brary isn’t a built-in fea­ture. Fol­low these steps to do so in Pow­erPho­tos:

Cre­ate an al­bum (or al­bums) in your main li­brary that con­tains items you want to shift to a lo­cal-only li­brary Launch Pow­erPho­tos and cre­ate a new Pho­tos li­brary or se­lect a new one to add me­dia to

Copy the al­bums from your main li­brary to this new lo­cal-only li­brary. Re­turn to the Pho­tos app and se­lect your main li­brary and then delete the pho­tos in the copied al­bums

It’s pos­si­ble you may lose some meta­data in the process or be un­able to re­vert to the orig­i­nal for im­ages that were mod­i­fied within Pho­tos, so keep that in mind.

Use ref­er­enced me­dia for lo­cal stor­age

Pho­tos for OS X only syncs me­dia files to iCloud Photo Li­brary that have been im­ported into the Pho­tos li­brary rather than copied. Pho­tos for OS X copies all me­dia by de­fault, but you can dis­able this be­hav­iour: in the Pho­tos → Pref­er­ences → Gen­eral tab, uncheck Copy Items To The Pho­tos Li­brary. Now when you drag items in or im­port them, Pho­tos will cre­ate a ref­er­ence to the file’s lo­ca­tion on an in­ter­nal, ex­ter­nal, or net­worked vol­ume.

Ref­er­enced im­ages can be used in Pho­tos just like any oth­ers, but they’re not copied to iCloud. This means you should make a lo­cal backup of these non-im­ported files just as you would any other data that’s not also backed up in the cloud. You can opt to copy ref­er­enced im­ages into a li­brary later (se­lect one or more items and choose File → Con­sol­i­date), but you can’t take an im­ported im­age and con­vert it to a ref­er­enced-only one.

The big­gest pain with this ap­proach is that you will likely want to in­clude or ex­clude im­ages at dif­fer­ent times from be­ing synced when im­port­ing. You have to re­mem­ber each time to check the

Pho­tos pref­er­ence to en­sure that the Copy Items check­box is set as you want it for that im­port.

Pages col­lab­o­ra­tion

Q: How do I work be­tween Pages 5 and Pages ’09? From my re­search on­line, it ap­pears that they do not work com­pat­i­bly to­gether; I need to be able to open the doc­u­ments he sends to me and edit them. I was also cu­ri­ous if there was any way for me to down­load Pages ’09 so that I have the same ver­sion my work as­so­ciate has. Natasha Scott

A: You’ve got a few dif­fer­ent ways to sort this out, but I’ll start with the sec­ond ques­tion first, as it may be sim­pler. While Ap­ple no longer sells the iWork ’09 suite, of which Pages ’09 is a part, third-party sell­ers of­fer it via Ama­zon and other sources. Look­ing at Ama­zon (tinyurl.com/j52t4ks), I

see a num­ber of copies avail­able. (Check the New box un­der Con­di­tion in the far left col­umn of the Ama­zon page.) I wouldn’t buy ‘open box’ copies, and I’d only pur­chase from sell­ers with high rat­ings and a his­tory at Ama­zon. As of El Cap­i­tan, Pages ’09 still runs just fine. At the time of writ­ing only one ‘new’ copy was avail­able, priced £39.

I would avoid any on­line of­fers to down­load the files, as those are likely laden with mal­ware or ad­ware, and it’s not a le­git­i­mate way to ob­tain li­censed soft­ware un­less it’s from the source in any case.

How­ever, if you’d pre­fer to get and use Pages 5, you can work be­tween the two ver­sions. It just takes ex­tra ef­fort, and you might wind up with some for­mat­ting prob­lems over time. Pages 5 can open Pages ’09 files with­out any ex­tra soft­ware or con­fig­u­ra­tion. Pages 5 can also ex­port any opened file to Pages ’09 for­mat via Files → Ex­port To → Pages ’09.

Some Pages 5 fea­tures won’t ex­port cor­rectly to Pages ’09 and are re­moved, though you may be warned if some­thing par­tic­u­larly crit­i­cal would be sup­pressed. Like­wise, open­ing a Pages ’09 file that does some­thing dif­fer­ently than Pages 5 should cause the soft­ware to list what’s wrong in View → Show Warn­ings.

I’ve found go­ing back and forth can in­tro­duce prob­lems af­ter a while, but it’s def­i­nitely a rea­son­able, if lo­gis­ti­cally an­noy­ing, so­lu­tion.

Erase a Mac that lacks era­sure op­tions

Q: I’m try­ing to se­curely erase my poor, sad iMac be­fore do­nat­ing or re­cy­cling it. It’s my

old work­horse – run­ning 10.6.8. Disk Util­ity’s Erase Se­cu­rity Op­tions is greyed out. I have no OS X disk, and there’s no Re­cov­ery HD. What should I do? Su­san Lawlor

A: It’s ad­mirable to erase your sys­tem be­fore you sell – es­pe­cially with se­cure era­sure – to avoid leak­ing per­sonal data to some­one who buys it or ob­tains the disk drive. While the odds are likely very low some­one would be able to ex­tract data (or be in­ter­ested in it), you can try to re­duce those odds to what is ef­fec­tively zero.

Su­san has a num­ber of op­tions of how to pro­ceed, but there’s a bit of nav­i­ga­tion along the way. She’s run­ning 10.6.8 (Snow Leop­ard), which didn’t in­clude Re­cov­ery HD. Se­cu­rity Op­tions in

her ver­sion of Disk Util­ity is greyed out be­cause you can’t erase a disk from its startup vol­ume. (That op­tion is al­ways un­avail­able for SSDs, but an older iMac won’t have an SSD.)

Here are the eas­i­est ways to erase that drive se­curely by de­gree of dif­fi­culty:

Use Tar­get Disk Mode. With two Macs that both have Thun­der­bolt or FireWire ports, con­nect them with the ap­pro­pri­ate ca­ble, and fol­low Ap­ple’s in­struc­tions (ei­ther hold down the ‘T’ key af­ter restart­ing the one to erase, or use Startup Disk on that com­puter be­fore restart­ing it). The Mac to erase mounts as a drive, and Disk Util­ity can be used with it.

In­stall OS X on an ex­ter­nal drive or bor­row one with OS X in­stalled. Boot­ing off that drive will also al­low eras­ing via Disk Util­ity.

Up­grade to a newer ver­sion of OS X and use Re­cov­ery HD (go.mac­world.com/re­cov­ery). Snow Leop­ard with the Mac App Store in­stalled should let you down­load at no cost a later ver­sion of OS X. All ver­sions af­ter Snow Leop­ard in­clude and will in­stall Re­cov­ery HD, from which you can then boot and run.

iMac mod­els re­leased start­ing in 2010 can use In­ter­net Re­cov­ery, but first have to be up­graded at least to Lion and some need a firmware up­date in­stalled, so that’s not the sim­plest path to pur­sue.

A re­lated ques­tion came in from Becky Steinke, who was try­ing to erase a 2008 MacBook. She

tried to use the Re­cov­ery HD startup (hold­ing down Com­mand-R af­ter restart­ing) and had no luck. Ev­ery 2008 and later MacBook Pro and MacBook can in­stall Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, which should be able to in­stall the Re­cov­ery par­ti­tion. If pos­si­ble, up­grade it to Lion, restart, and use Re­cov­ery HD to erase, or use one of the other op­tions men­tioned.

How to dis­pose of a printer se­curely

Q: I have two older print­ers, an Ep­son Sty­lus Photo 960 and an HP Of­ficejet Pro 800 Wire­less printer, as well as an old CanoS­can flatbed scan­ner I would like to get rid of se­curely, but I need to know whether these con­sumer prod­ucts store any print or scan­ning jobs as I have scanned re­ceipts and per­sonal doc­u­ments. Philip Cas­sir

A: Let’s start with in­ter­nal stor­age. While cor­po­rate-scale multi-func­tion print­ers (MFPs) and copier/ print­ers may have in­ter­nal flash or even hard disk stor­age, de­pend­ing on what kinds of tasks they carry out, no con­sumer de­vice I’m aware of has non-volatile stor­age for doc­u­ments and scans.

Mul­ti­func­tion print­ers can have enough volatile mem­ory (reg­u­lar old RAM) to queue dozens or even hun­dreds of pages scanned or com­ing through as a fax or while wait­ing to be printed, pulling the power in­stantly erases what­ever was stored. Many print­ers can ac­cept flash mem­ory cards from cam­eras, so make sure you don’t leave one of those in­serted.

The line be­tween busi­ness and con­sumer hard­ware has blurred in re­cent years as the pre­mium for more so­phis­ti­cated fea­tures has dropped, and if you’re in a small of­fice or had to pur­chase an ex­pen­sive printer/copier for some spe­cific fea­ture, it’s pos­si­ble you’ve crossed a stor­age line, too. Just in case you have an od­dball model with in­ter­nal stor­age, check­ing the man­ual for a ref­er­ence to such a thing isn’t a bad idea.

The more im­por­tant task is to delete set­tings stored in the small amount of flash mem­ory used to re­tain val­ues when the power is off, be­cause net­worked and in­ter­net-con­nected print­ers can be con­fig­ured to re­ceive files and print jobs over the in­ter­net, or email doc­u­ments to you or store them in a ser­vice such as Drop­box as they’re scanned in or re­ceived as faxes.

Most printer util­ity soft­ware or the front panel used for di­rect set­ting changes has a fac­tory-re­set or re­store-to-de­fault op­tion. Make sure and go through that re­set process and check it hap­pened.

Con­sumer scan­ners that aren’t part of an MFP, to my knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence, have no per­ma­nent stor­age. I can’t think even of a high-end sin­gle­func­tion scan­ner that I’ve ever used that re­lied on lo­cal stor­age; they all con­nect to com­put­ers or other host de­vices to pass the data along.

HP Of­ficejet Pro 800 Wire­less

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