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. We meet monthly in Wickford, Essex. SEAL welcomes Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV users across the whole of Essex and surrounding areas.

Next meeting: Friday 13th April 2018.

April 2013 Meeting Report

The April meeting was another successful one and another meeting where we welcomed new members.

The evening started off with some club announcements and details:

  • Change of venue from the next meeting (10 May 2013) to the Wick Community Centre (also in Wickford), mentioning the benefits for the club and it’s members
  • Monthly meetings will continue on the 2nd Friday of each month
  • New Q&A format for the meetings, making them more involved for every attendee
  • Plan for a club trip to the Silicon Dreams & Vintage Computer Festival 2013 in Coalville, Leicestershire, in July. Anyone interested in going to contact the club so that the club may consider transport options.

Next up was Apple related news and discussion. News items consisted of:

  • iOS Podcasts app updated with custom stations and iCloud support
  • Apple’s data centres now running on 100% renewable energy
  • Apple changes iPhone warranty policies in China after government media pressure
  • Google Forks WebKit for Chrome
  • Firefox updated to version 20 with new download manager and private browsing improvements
  • Apple faces Siri patent law suit in China
  • Apple blocks yontoo trojan
  • iMessage is highly secure
  • Mac OS X 10.8.3 update available
  • iOS 6.1.3 update available
  • Final Cut Pro, Motion & Compressor updated
  • Funny or Die iSteve biopic with Justin Long as Steve Jobs (80 minute movie released at the time of writing)
  • JOBS film starring Ashton Kutcher delayed

Next up was a Tips & Tricks presentation by club Chairman Robert, on Recording Audio on a Mac - audio that is being played on the computer in any application, be it a browser (running YouTube), or a VoIP program such as Skype, DVD player, microphone or even a game.

Robert explained and demonstrated doing this using an application called Audio Hijack Pro by Rogue Amoeba. The in-depth demonstration and tutorial showed the powerful features of the application and how to achieve required results.

One of our members produces music and she quickly showed a piece of music where she had grabbed some sound with extreme clarity using Audio Hijack Pro to integrate into it.

Robert mentioned another application, WireTap Studio by Ambrosia Software, however this is has big limitations on OS X 10.7 and above and he mentioned that AudioHijack Pro was easier to use.

The application is a free download and the unlicensed version allows up to 10 minutes of recordings. The licensed version with unlimited length recordings costs just US$32 (approx £21)

The second presentation of the night was given by club member David. He gave a walkthrough and demonstration of the recently introduced Apple ID two factor authentication (also called two-step verification)

It was explained that this two factor authentication was only for your Apple ID (when needing to change any details such as email address, or credit card details) and not for when using your Apple ID to sign in to iCloud or make App Store or iTunes purchases. It is there to protect unauthorised changes to your Apple ID (which could affect everything you use your Apple ID for - purchases, etc).

As this is an option (at no charge) on your Apple ID security, you need to switch it on manually within your Apple ID account if you wish to use it.

David demonstrated the process of setting it up and showed the different options available, needing to select two of the three to set up two factor authentication: email, SMS and Recovery Key.

An important point made was that the Recovery Key should be kept separate from other passwords. A number of club members use the 1Password password manager and David explained that if one uses 1Password for all login details then the Recovery Key should not be stored in that application - storing both ‘factors’ of the authentication in the same place would in effect render it useless as anyone who could gain access to one’s 1Password details would then have the ability to change the details in the Apple ID, in this instance. It was advice well-given.

Apple themselves have a support page for two-step verification at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5570

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

The next SEAL meeting will be on Friday 10 May at the new venue:

The Wick Community Centre
Silva Island Way
Salcott Crescent
SS12 9NR.

Click here for the map.


Q&A April 2013

A couple of questions were answered at the SEAL meeting this month:

  • How do I deal with the Pages message “Import warning: An unsupported field wasn’t imported.” when opening a form in Microsoft Word (.doc) format?
  • How can I type symbols and accented characters which aren’t shown on the keyboard?
    Q. How do I deal with the Pages message “Import warning: An unsupported field wasn’t imported.” when opening a form in Microsoft Word (.doc) format?

A. Fields in a Microsoft Word are elements that can be inserted into a pre-written document that contain information that will change. One class of fields are form fields, they allow a user to fill in information without changing the pre-written document. There are different types of form field such as text, tick boxes and drop-down selections.

Apple’s Pages word processor doesn’t support form fields. When you import a Word document which has them into Pages it warns you that these fields could not be imported with the message: “Import warning: An unsupported field wasn’t imported.”

In most cases you can still go ahead and fill in the form using Pages, the design of the form will make it clear where you should enter your answers. If there’s a place where you need to enter a tick, see the question below for how to do so.

If it’s not clear how to fill in the form or you think there might be options you are missing a free alternative is to use Open Office to open the form. Open Office is an open source suite of office applications which is available for the Mac. Open Office Writer, its word processor, does support form fields in Word documents.

Q. How can I type symbols and accented characters which aren’t shown on the keyboard?

A. A variety of key combinations can be used to type many common symbols and accented characters on the Mac. The easiest way to see what options are available is to enable to Keyboard Viewer. To do this:

  1. Open System Preferences and choose Language & Text.
  2. Select the Input Sources tab.
  3. In the Select input sources to use list, make sure Keyboard & Character Viewer (at the top) is ticked.
  4. Make sure Show Input menu in menu bar is ticked.
  5. Close System Preferences.
    You should now have a new icon on the menu bar with options to show the Character and Keyboard viewers.

Open the keyboard viewer window and try holding down the different modifier keys (Shift, Control and Option) on your keyboard to see the symbols you can type. Remember that you can use combinations of modifier keys such as Shift and Option together.

As an example, if you want to type a tick symbol you’ll see that if you hold down the Option key, a tick appears in the v position on the keyboard. So to type a tick, simple press Option+v. Try holding down Shift and Option and look at the k position, you’ll see an Apple logo. To type that at any time you need it just press Shift+Option+k.

You may notice that when you hold down the Option key some of the symbols are highlighted in orange. This indicates that those combinations initiate typing an accent. For example Option+U shows an orange highlighted umlaut symbol (two dots above the letter). To type an accented character press the key combination for the accent you want, release the keys and then type the letter you want the accent applied to. For example, to type ö, press Option+u and then type o.

On Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and later, there is an alternative method of typing accented characters by holding down the letter you want to add the accent to. This opens a pop-up showing the available accents which can be selected by typing the associated number.

These keyboard shortcuts work in almost every Mac application.

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.