Welcome to SEAL

South Essex Apple Link is an Apple user group run by enthusiasts with a collective deep understanding of the Apple technologies and it’s user community. SEAL welcomes Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV users across the whole of Essex and surrounding areas.

We meet monthly in Wickford, Essex. Visitors are welcome (there is a small entrance fee), for more details see our About page and follow @sealusergroup on Twitter for meeting reminders and updates.

Next meeting: Friday 12th July 2019.

Tips & Tricks: Aperture 3

Following an excellent demonstration by club member Ben R, David B has produced two Aperture 3 Tips & Tricks videos based on Ben’s presentation.

Subjects covered in SEAL Aperture 3 Part 1 are:

1) Creating a Project

2) Viewing Project Images

3) Adding Adjustments

4) Using Adjustments

Subjects covered in SEAL Aperture 3 Part 2 are:

1) Retouch and Clone Tool

2) Using The Loupe

3) Brush in Colour

4) Using Vignette

5) Adding GPS Data

Q&A March 2013

There were four questions from the SEAL club meeting earlier this month.


  • How can I save my web site created in RapidWeaver on my Mac to preview in a web browser?
  • How can I stop my web site on the Internet being indexed by Google?
  • How can I rename an existing OS X username and the Home Directory?
  • How would I access my 1Password details from another computer, for example from a friend’s computer or if I am abroad in a hotel or something?

Q. How can I save my web site created in RapidWeaver on my Mac to preview in a web browser?

A. Here are step by step instructions:

  1. With your site loaded in RapidWeaver, select Export Site from the File menu.
  2. In the Export sheet that appears, enter the name of the folder you want to save the site into in the Save As box.
  3. Select the location where you want the site exported (for example your Desktop). You may need to reveal the detailed location options by clicking the triangle button.
  4. If you want RapidWeaver to remember the export location for this site next time, click the “Make this the default export folder” tick box.
  5. Click Export. All the files which make up your site are saved into the folder you selected.
  6. To open the site in a browser, go to the exported folder in the Finder and open it. Double click on one of the .html files to open it in your browser (index.html is usually the home page). If you have multiple browsers installed, Right (or Option) click on the file and select the browser you want to use from the Open With menu.
    Exporting your RapidWeaver Site includes details of how you can set the Preferences to automatically open your exported site in a browser.


Q. How can I stop my web site on the Internet being indexed by Google?

A. If you have a web site on the Internet, Google and other search engines will automatically add it to their indexes so people can find the site in search results. If you’re not ready to promote your site, you might want to stop search engines from listing it.

To do this you need to create a file called robots.txt and upload it to your web site. Search engines check this file before indexing your site to see what, if any, pages they should index.

These instructions will stop all search engines (which respect the robots.txt file) from indexing all the pages on your site:

  1. Open TextEdit (or another text editor of your choice). For TextEdit, select Make Plain Text from the Format menu.
  2. Enter the following in the first line of the document: User-agent: *
  3. Enter the following in the second line of the document: Disallow: /
  4. Save the file somewhere accessible (such as the Desktop or your Documents folder) and name it robots.txt
  5. Upload the robots.txt file to the root directory of your web site (it should be alongside the home page, usually index.html).
    Note that robots.txt only stops well behaved search engines (this includes the main ones, Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.) from indexing your site, anyone can still access it if they know the address or follow a link.

If your site is already appearing in search results before you upload the robots.txt file it will take a while before the listings start to disappear.

For full details on robots.txt and other ways you can configure it (for example to block indexing of only certain pages) are available on The Web Robots Pages. http://www.robotstxt.org/robotstxt.html

Once your robots.txt file is installed you can make sure it’s working with the Robots.txt Checker. http://www.frobee.com/robots-txt-check

Q. How can I rename an existing OS X username and the Home Directory?

A. Apple themselves provide instructions for this at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1428 - please ensure you make a backup of your computer and especially the user account on the computer before tackling this.


Q. How would I access my 1Password details from someone else’s computer, for example from a friend’s computer or if I am abroad in a hotel or something?

A. Agilebits, the makers of 1Password have provided an excellent solution for this called 1PasswordAnywhere. You just need a browser, an Internet connection and for your 1Password datafile to be stored in your Dropbox account. Alternatively you could store a copy of your 1Password datafile on USB storage. Full details are at: http://help.agilebits.com/1Password3/1passwordanywhere.html

March 2013 Meeting Report

The March meeting was well attended with some new visitors in the audience chatting with our enthusiastic club members. New visitors and new skills are always welcome at our club.

Apple related news and discussion. News items consisted of:

  • Retina MacBook Pro line updated with new processors
  • Prices reduced on 13” Retina MacBook Pro and high-end Air
  • Apple patents microslot antenna technology
  • “Every Steve Jobs Video” Channel on YouTube
  • iOS 6.1 bug enables passcode lock bypass (6.1.3 in beta to fix)
  • Officially licensed Lightning to USB cables now available
  • Documentary partially shot on iPhone wins an Oscar
  • Jonathan Ive receives Gold Blue Peter badge
  • Evernote force an extensive password reset after systems are hacked

Feature presentation given by club member Ben, provided us with a deep look into Aperture, far deeper than some had ever dared go before.

We were shown how to lighten and enhance colours in an image, how to repair and lose blemishes in a photo - for example, a spec of dust on your lens by using the retouch tool the image was transformed from spoilt photograph into a stunning panoramic view of a coastline. The use of ‘Presets’ was also very interesting.

We were shown many great features of Aperture. ‘Lift & Stamp’, where you lift ‘Metadata’ from one photo and apply it to another. How to enhance the colour of the sky or the trees and grass, ‘Crop’, ‘Straighten’ and ‘Sharpen’ tools, the use of ‘Keywords’ in Aperture, all were of great interest.

We all thank Ben for the demonstration of an impressive application that clearly has so much to offer for under £60 and hope that Ben will provide us with another demonstration of the many features within Aperture.


The night closed with the interactive Q&A section.


The next SEAL meeting will be on Friday, April 12

Tips & Tricks: Hidden Wallpapers

OS X Mountain Lion has a hidden folder full of beautiful wallpapers. If you would like to use any of them, first open Finder press Cmd + Shift + G to bring up the “Go to folder” dialog box.


Copy the next line below then paste it into the Go to the folder dialog box as above.

/System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.Framework/Versions/A/Resources/Default Collections/

Press Enter or ‘Click’ Go. There are over 40 beautiful wallpapers in these folders for you to use.

Tips & Tricks: Default Save Location

When you save a document for the very first time, Mountain Lion insists the default save location is iCloud. If you would like to have it as was pre Mountain Lion then copy the command from the next line…

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud -bool false

Then open the Terminal application, paste the copied text in at the Terminal Command prompt and press Enter.

Should you want to put it back to the default save location of iCloud, do the same with the command below.

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud -bool true

Quit the application and then reopen for the changes to take effect.

Q&A February 2013

We run a Q&A section in our monthly meetings where anyone can ask a question and there is always someone around to answer it. As of this month we will be repeating those questions and answers to those questions, on this website.

Four questions this month:

  • How do you create templates in Microsoft Word for Mac?
  • How do you add names to people in photos in iPhoto?
  • Are iPads unlocked for use with any SIM?
  • I’m running Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 under Snow Leopard. if I upgrade to Mountain Lion will it still work?

Q. How do you create templates in Microsoft Word for Mac?

A. Here are some step by step instructions for versions 2004, 2008 and 2011

  1. Create a new document or open the document you want to use as a template. Format it as required.
  2. Click File -> Save As then enter a name for your template and choose Document/Word Template from the Format drop-down menu.
  3. The file is saved with a .dot/.dotx extension and will appear in the Project Gallery under the My Templates section.


Q. How do you add names to people in photos in iPhoto?

A. Tested on iPhoto 11 Version 9.4.2 (710.42):

  1. Open the photo
  2. At bottom right of the window click Info, then Top Right click Faces and then Click Add a Face
  3. Click the centre of the grid
  4. Drag the Grid and resize over the face, then give it a name.
  5. As you add ‘Faces’ you will build a ‘Faces’ Library in the Left Panel. To see these faces click Faces under ‘Library’ and all your Faces will be displayed on the cork board.


Q. Are iPads unlocked for use with any SIM?

A. Apple sells the iPad unlocked. However there have been cases where people have bought the iPad through a carrier and these have turned out to be locked - in some cases the customer has paid full price for the iPad whereas in other cases the customer has bought the iPad at a reduced price and signed up to a contract for data with the carrier.

The best thing to do is to buy directly from Apple.



Q. I’m running Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 under Snow Leopard. if I upgrade to Mountain Lion will it still work?

A. In short, the answer is a resounding “Yes”. However we recommend you read the information in the following link in case you run into any problems: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2732651


February 2013 Meeting Report

The February meeting built on the changes discussed and initiated in the January meeting and was the first full meeting planned by the Programme Committee.

The evening started off with Apple related news and discussion. News items consisted of:

  • Release of the 128GB iPad
  • Sales of Mac Pro to stop in Europe on 1 March
  • 60% of all iOS devices (300Million) now running iOS 6
  • iOS 6.1 released
  • Apple TV 5.2 update with features such as iTunes in the Cloud, Bluetooth keyboard and AirPlay audio for video
  • 25 Billion songs having been sold through iTunes
  • Premier of JOBS film starring Ashton Kutcher
  • The Max OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) ‘File : / / /‘ (without spaces) crash bug [link]

Next up was a Tips & Tricks presentation by club Chairman Robert, on Apple’s feature set (since Max OS X 10.7 - Lion) known as “Auto Save and Versions”. This feature set has confused many a Mac user, especially as the introduction of these coincided with the removal of ‘Save As…’ and implementation of ‘Duplicate’ in the ‘Edit’ menu of various applications (such as Pages).

Robert explained and demonstrated the benefits of the feature - mainly the auto-saving of documents being worked on, and the ability to choose previous versions of the document from within the application. Other tricks shown included how to invoke ‘Save As…’ via a keyboard shortcut and how to add it back into the ‘Edit’ menu for those that wanted it back.

The second presentation of the night was given by club member and SEAL website strategist and designer David. He gave a walkthrough of the new website, showing it’s clean look and simplicity, yet with all information needed available from the front page. He showed the different social media channels, along with the tutorial video he had produced about screenshots (published in the SEAL YouTube channel). David further explained the website being the main hub for all information from the club and how all new information was going to be cross-posted on to the various social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Google+). Club members and anyone interested are encouraged to ‘share’ and ‘like’ information from the website via the social media tools on the site.

The night closed with the interactive Q&A section - attendees helping each other by answering questions posed to them by other attendees.

The next SEAL meeting will be on Friday 8 March.


Tips & Tricks: Screen Capture

The first of our tutorials is about Screen Capture on Mac OS X.

Mac OS X has always made it easy to capture a screen shot (an image of your computer desktop or window), however most people do not have an idea of how to achieve this.

We thus have a video demonstration (kindly recorded by club member David), showing two different ways of achieving this:
1) Using the Capture application
2) Using capture shortcut keys.

Uses of a screen capture:
From Wikipedia: Screenshots can be used to demonstrate a program, a particular problem a user might be having, or generally when display output needs to be shown to others or archived. For example, after being emailed a screenshot, a Web page author might be surprised to see how his page looks on a different Web browser and can take corrective action. Likewise with differing email software programs, (particularly such as in a cell phone, tablet, etc.,) a sender might have no idea how his email looks to others until he sees a screenshot from another computer and can (hopefully) tweak his settings appropriately.

SEAL YouTube Channel

SEAL now has its very own YouTube channel, with this additional media onboard we can now broaden our appeal to the Apple users around the county and beyond. If you have any suggestions of Tips & Tricks Tutorial video subjects that you would like us to produce and publish on our channel, please make your requests via the contact form on this site.

January 2013 Meeting Report

January saw the first SEAL meeting of the new year and what a meeting it was. First we kicked off with the boring yet very important stuff of committee elections. Without a good and solid committee we cannot continue to be a successful club now and in the future. Our thanks goes out to all those who put their names up for election and to ‘Ben’ who put his name foward to head-up our new programme committee team.

Much was talked about the success of Glassboard that we are now using to discuss any given subject. One might say why don’t you simply use Email to communicate! The reason: Glassboard is private, no Email address are sheared between users of the Glassboard group, just names, that way everyone stays happy.

The Club Logo: John has been working very hard trying to create a new logo for SEAL, one that all members would be happy to be associated with. As always with these things it is difficult to please all people all the time. We all agree we now have the final version one that we would be proud to wear on a club T-shirt. Our thanks to you John for all his efforts.

SEAL Test Website: David has been working on a new Website for the club but found that if he updated the WordPress template, he would lose much of what he had done, so he needed to create a ‘Child’ before the template update installation. He had created a ‘Child’ that would have worked but for a small format error which has now been rectified by club members. David has now put back the hair that he had pulled out over the last few days and is now smiling again!

Demonstration: John provided us all with a very interesting demonstration, on the latest version of 1Password for IOS devices by AgileBits It was quite clear that this award winning 1Password application is safe and a very secure application that uses industry standard encryption, 1Password is used by many thousands around the world. So why use 1Password a member asked, John showed why and how you only need ‘One Password’ for all your logins, he pointed out that you don’t even have to know your password for you favorite sites, so long as you remember your ‘Master Password’ for 1Password, the application will do the rest.

John went on to show how to make your passwords so complicated by using the password generator without fear because it does not matter, you never need to know or even remember the generated password but it does matter to any potential ‘Hacker’ because it would probably take them thousands of years to ‘Crack’ your password. We saw how easy it is to store important documents, such as images of your passport, birth certificate, secure notes in fact, just about anything that you want to store, just in case you need them quick.

All this may sound a bit scary to you, by having just one password for everything! Don’t be scared, it is a safe product to use, do your research then if you’r happy, buy 1Password 4.1 currently available from the IOS App Store at the introductory price of £5.49 with just one purchase you will enable to install it on your iPhone and iPad.

The next SEAL meeting will be Friday, February 8.