Ask Dave Taylor http://www.askdavetaylor.com Online Help and Customer Tech Support for All Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:07:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Can I fix my Google Plus Custom URL? http://www.askdavetaylor.com/can-fix-google-plus-custom-url/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=can-fix-google-plus-custom-url http://www.askdavetaylor.com/can-fix-google-plus-custom-url/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:07:52 +0000 http://www.askdavetaylor.com/?p=8764 Thanks to your article [ed note: see Claim Your Custom URL on Google+], I now have a custom URL for my Google Plus profile, but I'd like to tweak it so that the first letter of my last name is capitalized. How do I fix it?

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You’re identified one of the problems with custom URLs on every social media service, actually: Since by default URLs are generally all in lower case, wanting to change the case of individual letters or the entire URL is problematic. Have punctuation or diacriticals in your name and want to add an ñ or é or similar? That gets even more tricky, and for some services, your personalized URL is just not going to include that.

However, Google is a savvy global company and you can indeed fix up your custom URL on Google Plus once set. Sort of.

What I’ve found is that, as you’ll see, you can definitely tweak it so that individual letters are capitalized, lower case, or with accents or similar, but sometimes it seems to forget what you’ve set, and other times it seems to work just fine. Let me show you what I mean.

First, I’m going to show you with my Business URL, though the process is identical for a personal G+ account too. For business, click “My Business” off the main menu, and if you’re on a personal account, “My Account” works instead:

find your custom URL in Google+

Now there are a set of options along the top. Click “About”:

about tab on google plus

Now look on the lower right to the “Links” section.

It’ll show you the personalized URL, and as you can see, mine isn’t quite right:

links section on google plus business personal profile

Click on “Edit” on the lower section, however, and you can actually fix it:

fix your custom URL

Note the small print, however: “You can edit your URL to change its display format. If your Google+ URL ends with +googlechrome, you can use +GoogleChrome instead.” In other words, you can fix capitalization, which is exactly what I want.

Click in the field, fix the capitalization as you desire:

fixing capitalization in personalized google plus url

Done? Click on “Save”.

Google Plus URL fixed

and if you’ve a personalized page, it’ll look darn similar, as I said:

personal URL on Google Plus

That’s all there is to it. Really, not too bad.

Now I’ll be curious to see if yours “sticks” after you change it, or whether it resets to its original state.

And as for my URLs, use https://plus.google.com/+AskDaveTaylor or https://plus.google.com/+DaveTaylor to check out my personalized URLs.

 

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Disable Facebook video auto-play to save bandwidth? http://www.askdavetaylor.com/disable-facebook-video-auto-play-save-bandwidth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=disable-facebook-video-auto-play-save-bandwidth http://www.askdavetaylor.com/disable-facebook-video-auto-play-save-bandwidth/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 14:13:41 +0000 http://www.askdavetaylor.com/?p=8754 Last time I checked Facebook on my iPhone while we were driving, all sorts of videos started playing when I viewed them. My boyfriend warned me that this eats up tons of data on my mobile data plan. How do I turn off video autoplay in Facebook so it's not a problem? Goodness knows my cellphone bill is high enough already!

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Facebook recently unleashed a change on us mobile users without much warning or explanation: The iPhone Facebook app now automatically starts playing videos that friends post to your news stream. Which means that if you’re on the cellular network rather than a handy wifi connection, every time you view your Facebook news stream, you’re automatically downloading all the videos that are shared, whether you watch them or not. That is indeed a lot of data to suddenly be consuming from your data plan, metered or otherwise. Which means your boyfriend is spot on!

Just as taxes are subtle social engineering so to are the default settings on popular mobile apps a bit of social engineering too. Facebook, of course, also has its mysterious news feed “edgerank” algorithm that is deciding what to include on your news feed anyway. Ever notice how what shows up on the mobile device is different to what you see on the Web-based Facebook interface too? Perhaps no coincidence, my Facebook news stream on my mobile is often almost all videos, all autoplaying, so all pre-loading and eating up my bandwidth. Frustrating!

Here’s what’s really interesting: You can turn off the autoplay feature in Facebook’s mobile app, but not from within the app itself. Curious.

You need to go the “Settings” on the iPhone itself, the same place you change wallpaper, security codes and set up your iCloud service.

iphone settings, disable fb video movie autoplay loading

You might need to scroll down a bit, but you’re looking for “Facebook”.

Tap on it and you’ll see some of the hidden Facebook app settings:

facebook app settings in iphone 5 5s ios 7 ios 8

We’re not there yet, though. Now tap on “Settings” on this screen.

stop facebook fb automatically loading video content mobile ipad

Now we’re close. Bottom of this list, “Auto-play” under the Video section.

Tap on it.

disable video auto-play in facebook app

There you go. Now if you’d like, you can set it to “Wi-fi only” as I have, or you can just turn it off completely if you prefer. The key is to ensure that it’s not just set to “On” which is – frustratingly! – the default setting.

Now you’re good. And while you’re here, check out the other settings to make sure that’s how you want Facebook to work on your own Apple iPhone, iPad or similar device running iOS 7 or the newest – beta only — iOS 8 system.

And while you’re at it, why not like our page on Facebook too? Then you’ll get even more useful information about Facebook and your devices!

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How do I disable theme “sounds” in Windows 8? http://www.askdavetaylor.com/disable-theme-sounds-windows-8/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=disable-theme-sounds-windows-8 http://www.askdavetaylor.com/disable-theme-sounds-windows-8/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:11:12 +0000 http://www.askdavetaylor.com/?p=8743 I switched themes on my Windows 8 laptop and I'm really liking the new racecar theme, but now I get an engine revving noise every time I start a new app or a new window opens. Driving me crazy! How do I turn off theme audio sound effects in Win8?

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Considering that the majority of Microsoft’s business comes from enterprise customers, it’s a real surprise that so many of the Windows themes include sounds and audio effects. I know exactly what you’re talking about, though, because when I switched to a tropical beaches theme, suddenly I’d be hearing the sound of an ocean wave breaking on the shore every time I launched a program. Cute the first time, mildly amusing the tenth, but by the hundredth time? Not so much.

As with so much in Windows 8, the fast way to fix it is to use the search charm. Honestly, I don’t really even navigate through the Settings menu any more because Microsoft did such a great job of integrating system tasks into the search results. (still waiting for that to show up in Mac OS X, actually).

In this instance, just do a search for “theme” and see what shows up:

win8 search charm 'theme'

There’s what we want, as match #2: “Change the theme”. How easy is that?

Click on “Change the theme” and the Personalization window opens up, ready to modify:

customize your win8 theme in microsoft windows 8.1

Look along the bottom row where it shows “Sounds” as one of the choices.

Got it? Click on it to get to the Sound Theme personalization area:

windows sound theme appearance sounds audio music customize

One thing to note immediately is that here’s where you can disable the Windows Startup sound if you’d like to stop that incessant chime every time you boot!

You can also fine tune what has a sound associated with it on a per-event basis. Maybe you like the race car sounds when you start up the system and just want to disable the window opening sound? Scroll down to find the appropriate program event and click on the little speaker icon to its left.

Or you can just mute the entire sound theme at once:

disable sound theme win8.1

Yes, I choose “No Sounds” on mine because while I love the visual appearance of the seashore theme, I really don’t like any audio associated with actions on my computer. Nice and quiet works just fine for me.

A click on “Apply” to set the change and…

do you want to save the custom theme sound appearance

Ah heck, do you want to? In my case, I just tweak the screensavers after I pick a theme, so my response was “No”. You might make a different choice!

To confirm it worked, the main Personalization window should now display this along the bottom:

no sound theme associated with windows 8.1 personalized theme

No Sounds. Is good.

Done.

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Review: Tune Sweeper for Windows http://www.askdavetaylor.com/review-tune-sweeper-windows/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=review-tune-sweeper-windows http://www.askdavetaylor.com/review-tune-sweeper-windows/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:34:29 +0000 http://www.askdavetaylor.com/?p=8730 Get enough CDs and music tracks in your iTunes library and things start to go wonky. Duplicate songs show up, iTunes complains about missing files from playlists, and album covers mysteriously detach from tracks. Frustrating!

Fortunately, Tune Sweeper from Wide Angle Software analyzes your entire iTunes library and fixes anything that's broken. And it's crazy fast.

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Rip a few music CDs, download a few from the iTunes Store and maybe even get a dozen from friends via email or a flash drive and without realizing it, you have dozens or hundreds of CDs stored on your Windows PC. If you have the disk space, it’s easy, and on our office file server, our master music collection is in the multiple gigabytes, thousands upon thousands of tracks spanning a wide variety of musical genres.

The problem is, once things get messed up, it’s a lot of work to fix it, whether it’s mistitled tracks (I hate typos in track names personally), missing album cover art, or even entries for tracks or CDs that somehow aren’t on the drive any more, or have moved for some mysterious reason. Fixing that for a half-dozen CDs? No problem. Fixing it for a few thousand CDs? Fuggetaboutit!

Which is why Tune Sweeper is such a win. For the modest license price of $24.99 — and a free version that you can start with to see if your library has any issues before you purchase — it’ll clean things up way faster than you could ever do so manually.

Launch the app and it’s pretty self-explanatory:

tune sweeper from wide angle software windows 8 win8 clean up apple itunes library music

I’m a bit paranoid about duplicate tracks because my library is so darn large I don’t always remember what’s been ripped or purchased before I go to add tracks again.

And indeed, the new Julian Lennon CD Everything Changes appears to have been imported twice:

duplicate tracks identified in itunes library

A click on “Continue” and all the details are revealed:

list of all duplicate tracks in itunes music library, windows pc laptop

What I particularly appreciate about this view is that it makes all the preference settings that it uses to decide which to keep very obvious, as it also does with the criteria being applied to identify duplicate tracks.

Don’t care about dupes? If you’re perpetually on shuffle play, it really can be invisible, with the only difference being that they’re 2x as likely to play as a track that isn’t duplicated. With 70 tracks that’d be noticeable. With 7000 tracks, however, that’s lost in the noise. :-)

If you do want a pristine collection, however, choose which dupe or dupes to remove, chose “Ignore group” if you want to keep some of the other duplicates, and click the “Remove Duplicates” button on the top right and you’ll need to decide what to do with the dupes:

confirm deletion of track

Ready to proceed? Click “Yes, Remove Duplicates”…

one song track has been removed de-duped

Easy enough. Hopefully you don’t have too many duplicates, of course, but even though they aren’t a big deal from the shuffle play perspective, they do waste disk space since you already have a copy of that particular track.

Another useful feature for us completists in iTunes is track artwork. Sometimes, for reasons I can’t fathom, iTunes associates artwork with some tracks of a CD but not others. Tune Sweeper can fix things up, or confirm that you’re good and everything’s properly configured:

missing artwork in itunes library?

You can also do this particular function in iTunes itself, by the way. Indeed, some of the features in Tune Sweeper overlap features Apple’s already built into iTunes itself. Others, like de-duplicate processing, identifying tracks that are listed in the iTunes library but don’t exist on the drive and finding music tracks on the hard drive that aren’t yet in iTunes are unique to Tune Sweeper.

Next up, let’s see if there’s any missing information on the track files in my relatively modest iTunes library on my PC laptop:

missing track information in itunes

Ah heck, that’s a lot of missing information! You can see I’m busy fixing it in this screen capture, which is why the bottom says “Downloading missing track details…”

Unfortunately it doesn’t indicate what is missing, so it could be something like the release year of the CD, something that I actually don’t care that much about. Still, completeness is worthy for its own sake, right? :-)

More seriously, here’s the kind of problem the program’s fixing:

unknown artist in itunes? Boo!

Unknown Artist? AAhhhhhhh!

Tune Sweeper also has a neat stats and analysis view that gives you some insight into your music collection. For this one, I’m going to use one of the Tune Sweeper screen shots since it’s more interesting than my own PC iTunes library (because I mostly listen to iTunes on my Mac systems):

stats and analysis of your itunes music library

I think that’s pretty darn cool stuff, though quite honestly I don’t even know half the most played artists!

In summary, Tune Sweeper is the kind of utility you’ll run once every few months when you think of it. It’s not a show-stopper fixing critical problems on your system, but if you do have a decent size music collection in iTunes on your PC (and frankly iTunes for Windows is way better than Windows Media Player) odds are good that things have gotten messed up as its grown.

Tune Sweeper is a smart investment if you want to fix those problems, if you want your library pristine, all properly configured, with all the proper track titles, copyright information, album covers and with the minimum disk space taken up by removing dupes and links to non-existent music files. And if you’re a bit OCD about it, well, this is a fabulous addition to your PC’s library. :-)

Tune Sweeper from Wide Angle Software. $24.99 for Windows (there’s a Mac version too, btw)

Disclaimer: Wide Angle Software supplied us with a full program license and paid an additional fee associated with this review of their program. But seriously, I’ve been doing reviews for so long, their payment doesn’t affect my opinion one iota.

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Tips for working with Mac iMessage / Messages http://www.askdavetaylor.com/tips-tricks-working-mac-imessage-messages/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tips-tricks-working-mac-imessage-messages http://www.askdavetaylor.com/tips-tricks-working-mac-imessage-messages/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:34:39 +0000 http://www.askdavetaylor.com/?p=8713 I'm already a long-time fan of Apple's iMessage program [tip: It's now called "Messages" in Mac OS X] but I'm wondering whether there's more I can do with the program than just send lines of text back and forth?

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That’s a great question because in fact there’s a lot you can do with the Messages program in Mac OS X that makes it a far easier simple message service (SMS) tool than even using your smartphone to text your friends and family. Yeah, that’s still the core capability, the ability to send and receive text messages directly from your Mac system, but as you suspect, there are a couple of other things you can do that can make it even more helpful.

First thing to do is make sure that you’re hooked in with iCloud so that your smartphone — your iPhone — and your computer stay in sync, though sometimes they don’t anyway. Still, Messages is super useful regardless!

By default, for example, all your conversations are in a single window:

main window imessage messages

But Control-Click in the blank area just under the date/time stamp in the conversation and you can pull out a single conversation into its own window:

conversation context menu

Just choose “Open Conversation in Separate Window”. Easy.

Now let’s have a quick look at the input window. More specifically, the little smiley face icon.

Click on it and… a menu appears with all those fun emoji:

emoji menu in imessage messages app

fun, eh? I’m a huge fan of emoji, actually, to the never-ending bemusement of my friends.

Control-click on the input area too, to bring up that menu too:

capture screen area within messages mac os x

The feature I like is “Capture Selection from Screen” because you can then click and drag to define a region which is automatically then sent to the person with whom you’re chatting.

Choose Capture Selection and a little window pops up to explain what’s going on:

drag a region to capture and send it

Move the cursor and click-drag to define the region:

region defined for screen capture

Then when you let go it’s automatically copied into the input window:

screen capture ready to send

It’s full size, by the way, and the recipient can tap or click on it to get the full size image.

The point? Well, when someone’s telling me that something’s going wrong on their system, their ability to see what’s on their screen while I’m still on my iPhone? Darn handy. Plus it’s fun!

This should also be a good reminder that nothing’s really private as you can see it’d be trivial to share a conversation you’re having with someone else by capturing that particular discussion window.

One more neat trick. Enter some text, select it, then Control-Click:

transform text

Off the “Transformations” menu you can easily make it all upper case — in case you NEED TO SHOUT AT SOMEONE — or all lower case if you’re learning how to stop yelling at people or, the least useful, capitalize transformation, which Makes The First Letter Of Every Word Capitalized.

Those are the main features I’ve found in iMessage [no, no, "Messages"]. If you’ve found other features that are also useful, leave us a comment!

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Hide Controls in Windows Media Player? http://www.askdavetaylor.com/hide-controls-windows-media-player-wmp-win8/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hide-controls-windows-media-player-wmp-win8 http://www.askdavetaylor.com/hide-controls-windows-media-player-wmp-win8/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:50:39 +0000 http://www.askdavetaylor.com/?p=8696 In Windows 8, is there a way to have all the controls automatically hide when I'm watching a video? I like to keep the window small, but really don't want the play, back, forward and other buttons displayed!

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Sounds like you’re running the stock Windows Media Player (aka WMP) on your Windows 8 system and it definitely has the ability for you to auto-hide the controls, along with a lot more you can tweak.

Before we go further, however, you are aware that there are a lot of other media players available for your system too, right, including one I’m a particular fan of because of the incredible range of video files it can play: VLC. From AVI to MKV, MP4 to .MOV, if you can get it onto your Win8 system, odds are very good it can play it for you.

Windows Media Player itself has a lot of capabilities, and, heck, you can always grab iTunes for Windows too if you’d like to give that a whirl. :-)

In Windows Media Player, watching a movie produces a raft of different controls and info displays all over the Window:

watching Point Blank in Windows Media Player wmp

You can see how far into the movie you are, both visually (the blue bar long the bottom) and in terms of time (we’re 13:28 into the great Lee Marvin film Point Blank), it shows you the name of the movie file (top left) and, of course, the main controls are brightly shown at the bottom of the window too.

To get rid of the display, you need to right-click somewhere in the playback window to get the contextual menu to appear:

main contextual menu windows media player windows 8 win8

If you’re guessing that “More options…” is what you need to choose, you’re right. Do so.

And now we’re back to, what, an original Windows 95 system configuration window? In any case:

windows 8 media player options

I’ve highlighted the option you want to check: Allow autohide of playback controls.

Choose that, click “Apply” and after a few seconds the controls will all vanish from the window and you’ll see just the movie itself displayed:

wmp without playback controls

Really, way nicer. Now about my peach colored windows theme… :-)

While we’re here, it’s worth having a quick peek at some of the other menu options available off that main WMP context menu too, starting with “Video”:

video submenu in wmp

I particularly like the 50% and 100% playback options as they display the movie with the least scaling. Shortcuts, as you can see, are Alt+1 and Alt+2.

Also check out “Enhancements”:

wmp enhancements menu

Here the most useful option is to see that you can change the playback speed. Not so good for a cinematic movie, but those boring training videos? Yeah, a 20% increase in speed means you get through ‘em just that much faster.

Hope that’s helpful. Me? I’m going back to Point Blank to enjoy some gritty 60′s action cinema…

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How do I find my friend’s birthdays on Facebook? http://www.askdavetaylor.com/find-friends-birthdays-facebook/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=find-friends-birthdays-facebook http://www.askdavetaylor.com/find-friends-birthdays-facebook/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 15:08:55 +0000 http://www.askdavetaylor.com/?p=8687 Used to be that a list of my friend's birthdays was found on the Events page. Now it's gone. Darn it! Where'd it go on Facebook?

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If it’s Thursday, it must be time for Facebook to roll out yet another change in the user interface, another tweak to our experience on the site, whether dramatic or subtle. This one was fairly subtle, but I was surprised by it too, as I regularly go into the birthday calendar under events to wish my friends a happy birthday. Or, as I phrase it, a “happy anniversary of the day of your birth” since it’s not technically a birthday at all… :-)

Anyway, suffice to say that the Events area on Facebook has been left alone without modifications or changes for a really long time, so I guess it was due. Fortunately, the birthday list is only but a single additional click away.

To start, you want to click on the “Events” link:

click on 'Events' in Facebook

See it there? Bottom of the list? That’s the one. Click on it.

Now you’ll see a list of upcoming events that you’ve been invited to, whether you’ve accepted or not.

On the right, however, there’s also a list of upcoming birthdays. It looks like this:

list of upcoming birthday reminders fb

The trick here is to click on the “others” link. In this case, “7 others”. Now you’ll see a list of birthdays and be able to leave messages for each of your friends:

wish your friends happy birthday on facebook

From there, you can write a birthday wish or send a gift. Easy enough.

Why that had to be moved out of the main events list is a mystery I can’t answer, but now ya know…

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Add books & movies to your Amazon cart via Twitter? http://www.askdavetaylor.com/add-products-books-movies-amazon-cart-via-twitter/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=add-products-books-movies-amazon-cart-via-twitter http://www.askdavetaylor.com/add-products-books-movies-amazon-cart-via-twitter/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:39:31 +0000 http://www.askdavetaylor.com/?p=8669 What's the story with the #AmazonCart hashtag I see on some of my friends tweets? What's Amazon cooking up, Dave?

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I’ve written about buy now buttons in tweets on my business blog — see Buy Buttons in the Twitter Stream – but what Amazon’s now doing is really slick and sidesteps any cooperation on the part of Twitter.com, which gives them a lot more flexibility. What Amazon’s done is written a program that monitors Twitter for occurrences of the #AmazonCart hashtag and when it shows up, they identify the tweet that it’s in response to, then parse the original tweet for an Amazon product link.

If the original tweet has a link to an Amazon product, it’s then automatically added to your Amazon.com shopping cart (you can, of course, delete it later without buying the product). Simple, effective.

Here’s an example of a tweet I shared about a new book I was perusing at Amazon.com. To start, I sent out the tweet from the twitter icon on the product page:

social media share links from amazon.com

A click and a window popped up:

tweet about a great book or other amazon.com product

You can, of course, tweak and tune the wording. Just leave the URL intact and the #AmazonCart info too.

It shows up as just another tweet, without any special notation or presentation:

Click on “Reply” and ensure that the hashtag appears in the response (and that appears to be all you need) and it’s sent to the person who posted the original tweet as an @reply message.

More importantly, Amazon also detects it (after 20-30 seconds) and posts this:

And when I went to Amazon.com in the Web browser, there it was, in my shopping cart:

new book added to amazon shopping cart

That’s pretty darn cool!

Now, to be fair, you DO have to set up the connection between Twitter and Amazon.com. The first time you try to use #AmazonCart you’ll likely get a message like this:

Not too bad, you just have to authorize the app:

authorize amazon app to tie in to twitter

You’ll also need to log in to your Amazon.com account at some point along the way, but you’ve done that before, I bet.

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How to read PDF files in the iPad Kindle App? http://www.askdavetaylor.com/read-pdf-files-ipad-kindle-app/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=read-pdf-files-ipad-kindle-app http://www.askdavetaylor.com/read-pdf-files-ipad-kindle-app/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 15:09:10 +0000 http://www.askdavetaylor.com/?p=8667 My brother's a writer and keeps sending me his books and novellas to read. They're PDFs and I hate staring at the computer for such a long time. Can I read them in the Kindle app on my iPad instead?

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You sure can, though the experience isn’t quite as good as when you have a proper epub format Kindle book because functions like the ability to resize the text or change the width of the margins vanishes, but assuming that he’s formatting the document in a reasonable format prior to converting it into a PDF, yes, you can download it to your iPad, iPad Mini or iPad Air and read it in the Kindle app just like all your other ebooks.

The trick is figuring out how.

As with so much related to the iTunes program, working with apps that can have their own file store on your iOS device is not particularly intuitive…

To start, plug your iPad into your Mac system (on a PC the process is the same, but the screen shots would be different, of course) and make sure you know where your brother’s latest PDF manuscript is located too. Go to the Apps tab in iTunes:

ipad apps tab shown in itunes for mac

Here’s the big secret: scroll down. Down below all the app icon layout content.

Below that there’s a whole ‘nother section:

remote file storage manager in itunes for ipad mini and ipad air

Well, that’s interesting!

As you can see, on the left are shown Apps that have file sharing capabilities, while on the right you can see the files or documents associated with that particular application. In this case, it’s the Kindle App for the iPad and there are no current docs.

To add one, click on “Add…” and choose the PDF file in question. Now it’ll look like this:

how to share a pdf or file with kindle app on ipad air

I’m poised to read a pre-publication edition of Ted Galdi’s “Elixir”, but the idea’s the same.

All ready? No additional PDFs or epubs you want to put on the iPad? Then click “Apply”.

It’ll take 15+ seconds to sync and copy, but once it’s done, go into the Kindle app on the iPad itself and…

kindle app for ipad mini air in library view

Nothing. No new PDF.

What the deuce?  Turns out that the Kindle app can sometimes take a few seconds to notice that there’s a new file available. I usually tap on the “Device” tab on the bottom and it then shows up, along with hiding books that aren’t actually downloaded onto my iPad itself:

new pdf file - elixir - shows up in library view

Hey, there it is on the top left, even tagged as “New”.

Tap on it to read the PDF…

cover of pdf book elixir

Flip and you can get to a page that has actual text, at which point you realize that if the original PDF was designed well (e.g. with reasonably big type) it’ll work fine, but if it was poorly laid out, it’s potentially going to be fatiguing to read on the iPad screen:

viewing reading a pdf file document book in kindle app

Still, quite readable, especially when you rotate it to the more typical vertical orientation of a book.

Hope that helps you out, good luck with your brother’s books. I hope he’s a good writer!

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How do I post a photo to Pinterest? [Updated] http://www.askdavetaylor.com/how-to-post-photo-to-pinterest-updated/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-post-photo-to-pinterest-updated http://www.askdavetaylor.com/how-to-post-photo-to-pinterest-updated/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 14:30:11 +0000 http://www.askdavetaylor.com/?p=8656 Used to be there was a "+" button right on the top bar of Pinterest that let me upload and add photos and content of my own. Easy. But now it's gone! How do I upload new material to my Pinboards?

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Ah yes, the never-ending drumbeat of progress. Or, in this case “progress”, because it really seems a step backwards to make us go through more work to post images, photographs and other content to our own Pinterest Pinboards, but somewhere in the last few weeks the handy “+” button did indeed vanish from the very top of the Pinterest page.

I can appreciate that Pinterest wants to keep tweaking and tuning the interface to make it work better for users, but this change seems to have made two primary changes: made the search box a LOT bigger (I guess they want us to search more) and get rid of the button to upload our own content. Neither seems much of a step forward in my opinion.

Still, now it’s important to know how to proceed, and the short answer is that you need to go to the Pinboard onto which you want to upload the content before you can add something new.

Let’s step through…

First off, here’s the new top right area of a page on Pinterest:

new pinterest ui design without upload button

Used to be that there was a “+” button between the search box input field (the long grey bar along the left side) and the menu options for the Pinterest user’s account.

To find that functionality, click on your name to bring up the user menu:

user options menu in pinterest

Choose “Your Profile & Pins”…

pinterest user profile and pinboards

Note that if the section under your name is blank you can remedy that by clicking on the tiny pencil icon and adding additional information to make you more findable. I had to do that just before I took this screen capture.

At this point you can create a new Pinboard, but I’m going to upload an image to an existing board, so it’s a matter of scrolling down to find the appropriate one, then clicking on it.

dave's wry humor pinterest pinboard

There it is! On the left side. “Add a Pin”.

Jeez, could they make it harder to find? :-(

From this point, the process is similar to how it’s always been.

pin from the web or upload?

Choose “Your computer” and it’ll prompt you to upload an image:

upload an image from your computer

Click on “Choose Image”. Why it has that pointless intermediate step I don’t know but, again, Pinterest seems to be shifting their focus a bit from usability to, what, marketability for paying commercial clients? Not sure.

Once you find and choose the image from your computer it’ll upload and let you add a caption:

add a caption to your pinterest upload

For reasons I find a bit inexplicable given that they’ve forced us to move to a specific Pinboard prior to uploading, at this point you can actually choose a different board. Um, okay.

More importantly, add a description and don’t forget a hashtagged keyword or two to help with findability.

image uploaded, hurray

Yay! Done.

Oh, unless you want the image to link somewhere, in which case you’ll want to click “See it now” and then click on the “Edit” link on the top right of that resultant display, which brings up a slightly different window:

add a url link to a pinterest pinned pin image photo photograph

Finally, you can add the last piece, the URL to which the image should link.

Why this is all so convoluted now, I’m not sure, but that’s the most recent update to Pinterest and now you know how to post new content!

And if you’d like to find me on Pinterest, that’d be grand: Dave Taylor on Pinterest.

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