Sierra: A Take Control Crash Course
Sierra: A Take Control Crash Course

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Sierra: A Take Control Crash Course

Last updated on 2016-10-07

About the Book

You can head off into the wilds of Sierra with confidence when you’re equipped with Mac expert Scholle McFarland’s detailed “What's New in Sierra” list. In this Sierra Crash Course, she also teaches you about big new Sierra features like Siri, app tabs, Desktop and Documents folder syncing, Universal Clipboard, and Apple Pay in Safari, and. Particularly important is the book’s discussion of Optimized Storage, which can save a lot of space on a Mac with a small drive, but should be enabled only when you understand its implications.

Nonetheless, our favorite chapter is “Discover the Little Things in Sierra,” which explains keeping folders on top of file listings, new text shortcut features, link and video previews in Messages, Picture in Picture, and the somewhat involved steps for setting up Auto Unlock with an Apple Watch. Don't miss Scholle's troubleshooting advice, which covers a wide range of misbehavior, from a frozen app to a frozen Mac.

If you’re upgrading to Sierra from an older version of OS X or just haven’t taken advantage of what has come down the pike in the last few revisions, you’ll benefit from the book’s coverage of core Mac topics. Thanks to a magazine-like layout with lots of steps, lists, and screenshots, you can find just the info you need, whether it involves customizing the Dock, configuring Notification Center to be useful, pinning tabs in Safari, understanding iCloud Drive, or any one of a myriad other helpful subjects.

Whether you want to browse for a few tips or go deep, you'll learn about...

  • The hidden trick to getting your Mac to respond to “Hey, Siri!”
  • All the things Siri can do for you on the Mac
  • Improving your writing with Sierra’s new text shortcuts
  • How to watch a video—even from YouTube!—while you pretend to get work done
  • The steps necessary to set your Apple Watch up to unlock your Mac automatically
  • Using Apple Pay with an iPhone—while shopping online in Safari on your Mac
  • How to sort folders on top of files in Finder windows… Or not.
  • The best ways to work with Sierra’s new tabs in apps beyond Safari and the Finder
  • Using Handoff to move a task from your Mac to your iPhone, or vice-versa
  • How to choose the best position for your Dock
  • Moving data between your Apple devices with Universal Clipboard
  • Understanding where your Desktop and Documents folders go when synced
  • How you access synced Desktop and Documents folders from other devices and older Macs
  • What to do if your Mac won't turn on, if you get the spinning beachball of death, or if you need to repair your disk—and how to easily find out if your Mac still has AppleCare
  • And much more!

Crash course? As part of our Crash Course series, this book splits the first-rate content you expect from us into short chunks so you can dip in and read quickly. Take Control Crash Courses have a modern, magazine-like layout in PDF while retaining a reflowable design in the EPUB and Mobi versions.

About the Author

Scholle Sawyer McFarland
Scholle Sawyer McFarland

Scholle (“Sholly”) has been covering the Mac since 1996 as an editor at MacUser magazine and then Macworld. During that time, she witnessed Apple transform from everyone’s favorite “doomed” company to everyone’s actually favorite company and is still amazed by the whole thing. When she’s not working as a freelance writer and editor, Scholle likes to hang out with her family, friends, and many animals in beautiful Portland, Oregon.

Table of Contents

  • Read Me First
    • Formats and Updates
    • Finding System Preferences
    • What’s New in This Version
  • Introduction
  • Sierra Quick Start
    • What’s Changed
    • System-wide Tools
    • Updated Apps
    • Finder Fundamentals
    • iCloud & Continuity
    • Troubleshooting & Account Essentials
  • What’s New in Sierra?
    • Interface Changes
    • Cross-device Features
    • System-wide Tools
    • Apple Apps
    • Fundamentals
  • Discover the Little Things in Sierra
    • Watch While You Work
    • Take Advantage of Text Shortcuts
    • Watch Out for Auto-correct!
    • Unlock Your Mac with Your Apple Watch
    • Add New References to Dictionary
    • Keep Folders on Top When Sorting in the Finder
    • Make Your Mac More Accessible
    • Do More with Contacts
    • Filter Your Email
    • Store Fewer Attachments Locally
    • Preview Links and Play Videos in Messages
    • Share Big Feelings with Big Emoji in Messages
    • Tapback in Messages
    • Turn Off Read Receipts in Messages
  • Say Hello to Siri
    • Enable Siri
    • Get Started
    • Change Siri’s Voice or Language
    • Find Files with Siri
    • Work with System Preferences and Information
    • Do Tasks with Apps
    • Get Answers to Questions
    • Ask Siri What You Can Ask
  • Find More Faster with Spotlight
    • Start a Search in Spotlight
    • Preview Your Results
    • Search Using Natural Language
    • When Natural Language Doesn’t Come Naturally
    • What Can You Find?
    • Find (Just) Files Faster
    • Omit Types of Results
    • Exclude Files from Spotlight
    • Consider Spotlight Suggestions and Privacy
  • Cut Clutter with New App Tabs
    • Create a New Tab
    • Try Other Ways to Create New Finder Tabs
    • Move between Tabs
    • Move Files between Finder Tabs
    • Turn Tabs into Windows
    • Merge a Mess of Windows
    • Close Your Tabs
  • Master the Menu Bar
    • The Apple  and App Menus
    • The Status Menu
  • Command the View
    • Open Mission Control
    • Put Everything in Its Space
    • Split View
  • Keep Current with Notification Center
    • Control Notifications’ Look
    • Turn Off Notifications Temporarily
    • Designate Quiet Time
    • Explore the Sidebar
    • What to Do in Notifications View
    • Set Up Notifications View
    • Check Out Today View
    • Customize Today View
  • Do More with the Dock
    • Learn the Lay of the Land
    • Use Dock Icons
    • Add an Item to the Dock
    • Remove a Dock Item
    • Why Not Move Your Dock to the Left or Right?
    • Change Your Dock’s Orientation
    • Try More Dock Tweaks
    • Dash to Your Downloads
    • Tackle the Trash
  • Customize the Finder Window Sidebar
    • What the Sidebar Can Do
    • What’s in the Sidebar
    • Set Up Your Sidebar
    • Reorganizing Sidebar Items
    • How to Use the Sidebar
    • Finder Tags and the Sidebar
    • Access the Sidebar in Open and Save Dialogs
  • Update Your Safari Smarts
    • New! Apple Pay for Safari
    • New! More Searchable Bookmarks
    • New! Better Plug-in Control
    • New! Open Recently Closed Tabs
    • Find a Lost Tab with Tab View
    • Pin Your Go-to Sites
    • Essential Safari Shortcuts
  • Note Your Thoughts
    • See Notes on All Your Devices
    • Create a New Folder
    • Create a Note
    • Format Text
    • Make a Checklist
    • Attach Photos and More
    • New(ish)! Lock a Note
    • New! Share Notes with Others
    • Search for Notes
    • Browse Your Attachments
    • Export and Share Notes
    • Delete a Note
  • Move Easily between Devices with Handoff
    • Handoff Requirements
    • Set Up Handoff
    • Switch Devices
    • Troubleshoot Handoff
    • Turn Handoff Off
  • Juggle Information with the Universal Clipboard
    • Requirements
    • What Works
    • What Happens
    • Tips for Copying and Pasting Images
  • Turn Your Mac into a Speakerphone
    • Set Up Calling
    • Receive a Call on Your Mac
    • Make a Call from Your Mac
    • Navigate Automated Phone Systems
    • Hold All Your Calls
    • Adjust Where Calls Go
    • Turn Phone Features Off
  • Share Files with AirDrop (and More)
    • AirDrop Requirements
    • Turn On Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
    • Get Ready to Share
    • Send a File
    • What Happens on the Recipient’s Device?
    • When in Doubt: Try Other Sharing Methods
  • Navigate iCloud Drive
    • What iCloud Drive Can Do
    • Turn On iCloud Drive
    • Size Up Your Storage
    • Save a File to iCloud Drive
    • Access iCloud Drive Files
    • Turn Off iCloud Drive
  • Manage Your Storage
    • Store in iCloud
    • Optimize Storage
    • Empty Trash Automatically
    • Reduce Clutter
  • Avoid Problems with User Accounts
    • Know Your Accounts
    • Welcome Visitors to the Guest Account
    • Create Managed Accounts for Kids and Novices
    • Create a Troubleshooting Account
  • Troubleshoot Mac Problems
    • Zap a Frozen App
    • Solve Slowdowns
    • Tame Troubled Startups
    • Try Disk Utility’s First Aid
    • Turn to macOS Recovery
    • Erase and Reinstall Sierra
  • About This Book
    • Ebook Extras
    • Registering Your Ebook
  • About the Author
  • About the Publisher
  • Copyright and Fine Print

About the Publisher

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