Love this fantastic writing app Ulysses

I’ve been writing for a while (as you can see from the archives on this little blog) and honestly I never thought I need any writing apps, because the default WordPress typing dashboard is so awesome…kudos to the amazing WP geeks 🙂

Case and point, a minute ago I just created a new post and now I’m typing here – without any distractions thanks to the well-designed distraction free mode. I can also see the number of words I’ve typed and WordPress automatically saved my writing as a draft. Anyhow, those features can’t be more helpful than ever.

But today, I discovered another great yet professional writing app. Yes, you probably have knew it from the title of this article – it’s Ulysses.

You can learn more about the app from its official site here:

I’m not going to cover how to use the app as you can find tons of tutorials from the developer’s site and on YouTube. And Shawn from the Sweet Setup team just launched a course about it, it seems pretty good though I’m yet to watch it in details.

Plus, I’m still in the learning curve…will take a little bit time, but I don’t think it requires ages. Two reasons: I’m eager to learn new stuff so I’m confident that I’ll get used to the app quicker than you might thought. Second, the Ulysses team has made a top-notch product, the app looks so familiar.

What do I mean? Check out those screenshots I took!

A screen when the app has been installed successfully. “You’re all set, happy editing!”
The main dashboard of Ulysses, looks very much like the Mail app, right?
And here’s the Markup Preferences, looks beautiful, no? 🙂

You know what? The best part is that the app is cross-platform. Besides macOS, it’s also available on iOS (for iPad and iPhone).

Can’t wait to explore and learn more about this productivity app. It looks really great, isn’t it? I’ll share with you more about it later, if I get a chance.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all are great!

How to Show Battery Percentage on macOS

Today a reader left a message to me. It was related to displaying the battery percentage on her new MacBook Pro.

Hey, I just bought a new MacBook, completely new to the macOS world. I was trying to figure out the proper setting to make the battery percentage show up so I can better prepare myself in case the percentage falls under 10% and enters sleep mode automatically (like Windows 10, maybe). Please help!

Well, first off — I want to make it clear that Macs, unlike PCs, don’t force the system to enter sleep mode when battery level is below 10%. At least, based on my personal experience, I’ve never encountered this situation when my MacBook sleeps or shuts down when the battery crosses the 10% line. In fact, most of the time I can still use my Mac for 10-15 minutes before I have to plug in the charger.

As to how to show the remaining battery percentage besides the icon bar, it’s actually quite simple:

On the menu bar, click on the battery icon, and select “Show Percentage” in the drop-down menu options.

Then you’ll see the percentage shows up on the left side of the battery icon (e.g. in my case, it says 96% which would last quite a few hours normally)

That’s it. Pretty simple, right? There is no need to configure this though Settings or System Preferences. The beauty of macOS!

How to Record Your iPhone Screen on Mac (without Jailbreak)

If you are a fan of mobile gaming, a marketer of an iPhone app, or a Youtuber, you probably have wondered whether there is a way to make a screen video of your iPhone.

In fact, there are many methods (and apps) out there. But, not all of them are easy to use. Some even require you to jailbreak your device which is illegal in many countries.

Thankfully, Apple has added a new feature to QuickTime Player that allows you to not only play/share a video, but also record movies from external devices like iPhones.

You don’t have to jailbreak your iPhone any more. All you need are:

  • Mac with OS X Yosemite or El Capitan.
  • iPhone with iOS 8 or later
  • The Lightning cable (for connection)

How to do that? Take a look at the step by step tutorial made by Hans from Tweaking4All, it’s quite good and fun to read (he’s humorous :-/).

I’m sure you’ll love the pup on his iPhone screen 🙂

How do I edit a scanned PDF file (on OS X El Capitan)?

Documents in PDF format are difficult to deal with. I’ve personally experienced a lot of hard times tweaking PDFs while I only have a PC. Now on my Mac, it’s become way easier. Why? Because of the Preview app. But, editing a normal PDF file and a scanned one may be quite different. Here’s a question I got asked a few days back from a reader:

“Hi Tysa, a colleague of mine sent me a PDF file; it is basically an image as I can’t select any text or element on it. I guess she just used a machine to scan it and export it in such a ‘weird’ format. How do I edit it as a normal PDF? Thanks.”

Here’s my answer:

Well, it depends on how you want to edit it. By editing, do you mean to add a few texts, highlight a sentence, embed a digital signature to authorize, etc.? Anyway, the point is it can be easy as well as challenging based on your needs.

I’ve outlined a couple of options below.

#1: Preview app is enough to handle basic editing

I love using the Preview app for viewing and editing images. Yes, a scanned PDF file is like an image too. To edit on it, you first open the scanned PDF document in Preview app. Now under Tools > Annotate, you’ll find a lot of smaller tools like adding a rectangle, line of text, or mask, etc.

But, as I was trying it, there are some functions you can’t use to deal with a scanned PDF, for example, highlight text, underline text, etc. which requires you to be able to select targeted text elements. You just can’t do this with a scanned PDF. You’ll have to try a PDF editor, continue reading.

#2: An online PDF editor may help (but use wisely)

I tried a free online service called PDFEscape and it worked nicely (though not great). All you have to do is upload your PDF by dropping it to the zone (see the screenshot). Then you’ll see a number of editing tools listed on the pane.

Warning: the reason why said use it wisely is that the service requires you to upload your file to their server. That means somebody else could have access to the content of your file. If your file contains private or confidential data (most likely), I’d recommend you think twice before you try this option.

Also, PDFEscape has some limitations such as the file can’t be more than 10MB in size, and no more than 100 pages.

#3: Use a desktop PDF editing tool (not free though)

Note: this option is not free. The price of desktop software ranges vary, some cost $50 bucks while others may charge a few hundred. The most well-known program is Adobe Acrobat DC for Macintosh, free to try, $299 to buy (there is also a subscription-based pricing model recently). If you prefer a cheaper one, Andreas from AnySoftwareTools also reviewed several good Mac PDF editors. Bottom line — always test the trials or evaluations before paying for anything.

Hope my answer helps :=)

New to Mac? Learn These Common Keyboard Shortcuts to Improve Productivity

Just wanted to share several great “cheat sheets” to increase your productivity. If you are new to Mac OS X, you probably find them useful.

Guess what my favorite keyboard shortcut is? I mean except the basic Command + C and Command + V. It’s Command + Shift + 4 — what the hell is that? Screenshot! Yes, the screenshot shortcut makes it a breeze to capture whatever I want, an app interface, a system setting, etc. You understand if you read this blog.

Here we go…the cheatsheet!

Awesome resource from LifeHacker, they even made a comparison table (Windows & Mac OS X).
Awesome resource from LifeHacker, they even made a comparison table (Windows & Mac OS X).
Credit to Pinterest.
Credit to Pinterest.

Don’t forget to check out the ultimate list from Apple. Enjoy.