Erase Image Content in Preview with Copied Color Blocks

Apple’s Preview is a surprisingly capable graphics editor for making quick changes to screenshots and other illustrations, but it lacks a built-in way to delete content while leaving the background. Here’s the workaround—select a rectangle of the background color, copy it, paste it, and then move it over the undesirable content—as shown in the After screenshot below, where blue selection dots denote the pasted box. As you resize the box, press Shift to prevent it from resizing proportionally, which helps you make it the shape you want. If you need a second box of the same color, Option-drag the first box to copy it. When you save and close, your boxes will be merged into the image, permanently removing the content underneath, so make sure they’re in the right spot before moving on.

(Featured image based on an original by iStock.com/Seetwo)


 

Frustrated by System Settings? Use the View Menu or Search

In macOS 13 Ventura, Apple replaced the creaky System Preferences with System Settings, which uses a more iOS-like interface. Many people find System Settings overwhelming, partly because they had memorized where to look in System Preferences (but System Settings has many other design flaws as well—it’s not your fault). We have two recommendations to make it more easily navigable. First, for an alphabetical approach, use the View menu, which lists the panes that way, along with the top-level items in the General settings pane. Second, make heavy use of the search field at the top of the System Settings sidebar—it’s the only way to find some deeply nested settings.

(Featured image based on an original by iStock.com/rootstocks)


 

Things You Need to Know Before Moving to a New iPhone

Are you among the millions of people planning to get a new iPhone 15? It’s exciting, we know, but don’t move too fast when getting started with your new iPhone, or you might cause yourself headaches. Instead, follow these instructions when you’re ready to transfer your data—and, for many people, much of your digital life—to the new iPhone. Apple also has a series of videos you can watch.

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When Should You Upgrade to macOS 14 Sonoma, iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and tvOS 17?

September is upon us, so Apple will soon start releasing major upgrades for all its operating systems. Note that we say “start.” Apple will undoubtedly release iOS 17 and watchOS 10 alongside new iPhone and Apple Watch models in mid-September. The company hasn’t said when it will release iPadOS 17, although it’s likely to accompany iOS 17. macOS 14 Sonoma may wait until the release of new Macs later in the fall. tvOS 17 isn’t interesting enough to worry about much either way.

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Clean Up Your Mac’s Desktop with Sort Options

When we help someone with their Mac for the first time, we often notice that their desktop is a disaster. Icons are scattered willy-nilly and often piled on top of one another, making it hard to locate anything. For most people, the solution is easy—sort the contents of the desktop. In the Finder, choose View > Show View Options. We recommend choosing Date Modified from the Sort By pop-up menu to put your most recently used files in the upper-right, but other criteria might work better for you. If you have so many icons that they overlap, try reducing the icon size or grid spacing. You could also choose Date Modified from the Stack By pop-up menu to collect icons into stacks by date.

(Featured image by iStock.com/Liudmila Chernetska)


 

How to Protect Your Child’s Hearing from Too-Loud Headphone Audio

Loud sounds are harmful to everyone, and many parents worry that their children are at risk for hearing loss due to too-loud headphone audio from iPhones and iPads. To lower the likelihood of this happening, Apple provides a Reduce Loud Sounds option in Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Headphone Safety for both iOS and iPadOS. Select it and set a limit, with 80–85 decibels generally considered safe. To keep kids from increasing the limit, go to Settings > Screen Time and set a Screen Time passcode. Then navigate into Content & Privacy Restrictions, enable the switch at the top, and then scroll down and set Reduce Loud Sounds to Don’t Allow. After that, the headphone output from all apps will be capped at the decibel level you specified.

(Featured image by iStock.com/Ivan Zhdanov)