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Back to Basics - 26 Jun 2010


This software package can be downloaded from http://www.irradiatedsoftware.com/cinch/. It is a great shareware program with a free version that pops up a message occasionally, or you can pay $7. It does 3 very simple things: (1) Make the current window expand to fill the entire screen by dragging the top of the application window to the top of the screen; (2) Make the current window expand to fill the left half of the screen by dragging the top of the application to the left side of the screen; (2) Make the current window expand to fill the right half of the screen by dragging the top of the application to the right side of the screen;

Perspective Events

The important thing to know is where Perspective event sets are supposed to go. Here it is:

"Home | Library | Application Support | Reunion | Perspective Events

This is where they live. If the particular event set is in this folder, you can access it with Timeline Charts or an Ages List. It's also important to know that you can create these files yourself. Just rename the file extension .rtf and start typing in the document the same way as it looks.

Mac Keyboard and Mouse Tips

Control Click (Also known ask Right Click) is called a context menu that allows you much more control over your computer. For example on the Desktop you can use CTRL Click to create a new folder or change the desktop background. It's very useful in many programs.

Make Your Mouse Super Efficient
Click on SYSTEM PREFERENCES, then click MOUSE. On the Mouse Preferences, increase tracking speed and scrolling speed to max to reduce the effort of moving the mouse on the computer screen.

Make Your Track Pad Super Efficient
If you have a MacBook computer, Click on SYSTEM PREFERENCES, then click TRACKPAD. Set the following:
Two Finger Tap is Secondary Click - This lets you click on the track pad to do a CTRL-CLICK (or right-click)
Use two Fingers to Scroll Vertically or Horiz - This is very handy.
Max out Tracking Speed - for easier scrolling
Max out Scrolling Speed

The Preview App
How to decrease Contrast for background images - If you need to use an image as a background for a chart, you can use an appropriate photo. Then double-click the image so the Preview App starts up, editing the image. Then click on TOOLS | ADJUST COLOR and adjust exposure and contrast until the original image is very faint and then save the file. That's what you need for your background image.
How to Crop - After double clicking on an image to start up the preview app, Click/Drag a rectangle around the area you want to crop. Then type CMD K or click on TOOLS | CROP and save the image
How to Resize - Edit an image and click on TOOLS - ADJUST SIZE. A bonus of this command is that it tells you the current size of the file. Change the width or height and click OK to resize the image. Be careful though, as you're editing your original image. Do a SAVE AS and give the image another name. If I'm making a thumbnail, I just add a -t to the end of the file name (before the file extension). I use -s for screen-size picture.
How to Rotate - Very, easy. Edit an image, click TOOLS - ROTATE.
How to Sharpen - Again, very easy, Edit an image, click TOOLS - move sharpen bar as necessary.

Finder Settings
The Mac's Finder Utility can be customized to work verry efficiently for you. Here are a few favorites that can save lots of time. Advanced Settings
Starting the Finder

  • Click on an empty area of the desktop and click on FILE | NEW FILE WINDOW
  • Click on an empty area of the desktop and click on GO, and choose any of the available folders
  • Click on the Finder Icon in the Dock
  • CTRL CLICK the Finder Icon in the Dock and click NEW FINDER WINDOW

Finder View Settings
You can cause important features of the finder to turn on and off by clicking on VIEW | SHOW/HIDE the following:

  • Path Bar - At the bottom of the finder the path to the folder you're in will be shown. If you click on one of the folders in this "path bar" the finder will take you there. But the main use is to be sure where the folder is that you're looking at.
  • Sidebar - This is a vertical strip attached to the left of the Finder lets you easily navigate the folders listed there. You can add your favorite folders by dragg folders displayed in the finder to the PLACES section of the sidebar. This creates a shortcut that you can click on and instantly navigate to that folder.
  • Toolbar You can add to the default set of "tools" available. One I like is the "Quick Look" that lets you view selected images.

Keyboard Shortcuts
Most useful is CTRL CLICK (or RIGHT CLICK) is very useful and gives a context menu. On the desktop right-clicking has options such as creating a newfolder, sorting files and changing view options. Ctrl Click on folders and files to see what all you can do.

CMD TAB If you have multiple applications open at the same time this rotates between them

Ancient EditT Commands These harken back to ancient days in the late 1970s where you would select some text then do the following: ^C=Copy, ^X=Cut, ^A=Select All, ^Z=Undo and ^I=Italic. They still work!

More Modern Shortcuts

  • Move to beginning or end of a line can be done by CMD LEFT ARROW or CMD RIGHT ARROW
  • Create New Instance is often done while editing documents by pressing CMD N
  • Save your changes can be quickly done in many programs by pressing CMD S
  • Finding information about files or folders can be done by pressing CMD I
  • Minimize Window - Dbl Click Title Bar
  • Restore Window - Single Click Icon in Dock
  • Minimize All Windows - F11
  • Restore All Windows - F11
  • Select additional item - CMD CLICK
  • During Start Up, to eject a CD, Click the left Mouse Button
  • To find more shortcuts Start Finder - then click on Help "Keyboard Shortcuts"


  • Download extra Perspective Event Sets  from Leisterpro.com . You can even make your own. Just rename the extension from "pEvents" to .rtf and you can edit the files with Textedit. There needs to be a tab between the date and the description. The location of these files is a little intricate. You can find them on your hard drive deep under your Home folder: Home/Library/Application Support/Reunion/Perspective Events/
  • Make Thumbnail Photos from Group Photos. In the multimedia view double click on a photo. Then press CMD and simultaneously click/drag a box around the area you want to thumbnail. You might duplicate the photo (*D) before working on it.

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Meeting Notes

Genealogical Societies California East Bay

Mac Groups East Bay

Other Information

There is one meeting a month, on the 2nd Wednesday on Zoom at 7pm, U.S. Pacific Standard Time. This meeting is an opportunity to get personalized help with Genealogy, Reunion, FamilySearch.org and your Macintosh. Become a member by attending a meeting and you'll be sent an announcement and reminder for the next Zoom meeting. Email Bill George if you would like to attend.