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Camtasia 2 reviewed

I’ve been a long time user of TechSmith’s Camtasia screen capture software, primarily for two reasons: ease of use combined with a rich set of editing features. Camtasia for Mac 2 strengthens this product in a number of significant ways although there are still some usability issues that need addressing, as well as room for further improvements in the feature set. In this review, I’ll walk you through what Camtasia has to offer as well as indicate the kind of uses where it excels as an aid to the technical communicator. Read the review…

how to take a screenshot

We all like to take happy snaps at Christmas 🙂 , but there’s no need to buy expensive software to snap the wonders you or your family produce on your Mac computer screen. Mac OS X has a number of built-in ways to take screenshots. The simplest is to use the universal hotkey combination:


This will immediately take a snapshot of your entire screen and dump it on your desktop as .png file. Try it now and have a look!

If you want to select only a specific region, try this


Move your cursor, and you’ll see it’s turned into a cross-hairs by which you can select any part of the screen you want. You can also press the spacebar after you invoke this command, and the cursor will turn into a camera icon. This lets you accurately select individual windows for the shot, instead of drawing round them.

If you are taking the screenshot to immediately paste it into a post, email or document and you don’t particularly want to keep a saved copy of it, then add the control key to either of the previous commands (e.g., command-control-shift-3). This will dump the screenshot into the clipboard rather than save it as a file. All you do next is go to the window you want to paste it in, and hit Command-V.

Finally, if all these hotkeys are too much to remember for the occasional screenshot, remember you can always access screenshots through the menu (see main image above).

Happy snapping folks! 🙂

Here’s the summary of the main commands:

maximizing screen space in OS X

If you don’t like full-screen apps because they hide the menubar, or you’re using Snow Leopard and you need to increase screen real-estate, here’s a few tricks you can try.

1. Try to maximize the app to take up all the rest of the screen space by clicking the green indicator light in the top left corner (there are three in a row, red, amber, green).

2. You can hide or collapse the toolbar (that’s the top part of the app that the indicator lights and other icons sit in) in some apps by clicking the elongated button on the far-right of the toolbar (if present). Alternatively, if there’s no button, look in the menubar at the top for ‘View > Hide Toolbar‘. While you’re there, look for ‘Hide Status Bar‘, which is the strip at the bottom of an application window.

3. Try either right-clicking or ‘control’ clicking anywhere on the toolbar and experimenting with the options. Some apps will let you hide the toolbars (like Office for Mac), while others give you options such as ‘use text only’ to remove icons which will reduce the size of the toolbar. Experiment to see what works best.

how to unfreeze your iPad

iPads are so easy to use, why bother with the manual? 😉 The chances are though, that at some point you’re either going to find that an app freezes on your screen or your whole tablet becomes unresponsive. Don’t panic, the answer’s simple:

First, be sure that it’s connected to a power source. The most common reason for iPads not working is people don’t realise they’re out of battery! Otherwise try these:

If it’s just a particular App that’s frozen on your screen:

— Hold down the ‘sleep/wake’ button (top right, back edge) for about 5 seconds until the slider appears. Release the ‘sleep/wake’ button. Now hold down the ‘Home’ button (bottom front, centre) until you see your Home screen.

If your whole machine is unresponsive, then do a restart:

— Hold down the ‘sleep/wake’ button for about 5 seconds until the slider appears. Slide it to ‘Off’. Then hold it down again until the Apple logo appears showing that the iPad is restarting.

If that doesn’t work, do a hard reset:

— Hold down the ‘sleep/wake’ button AND the ‘Home’ button simultaneously for about 10 seconds or until the Apple logo appears.

*For more serious problems with your iPad, such as continual restarting or no home screen, have a look here.

featured picture: ice crystals by Typen

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