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5 macOS Mojave Utilities you should be familiar with



If you just purchased a new Mac, or upgraded your current model to run MacOS Mojave, you may wonder which programs and tools come with your new operating system.

You are probably already familiar with many of the more common apps included, such as Mail, Safari, FaceTime, Calendar, Contacts, and many more. Less well known, but deserving of a look, are the bundled tools that can be used to troubleshoot issues, expand the possibilities of existing services, or help you manage or perform routine tasks.

Five tools included with macOS Mojave
We'll concentrate on just five of the many tools that come with MacOS Mojave. Some of the tools take place in Mojave, and have been around for a long while others are new to Mojave. The five tools were chosen as representative of the type of tasks you may need, but did not know that macOS could give you a hand with them.

You might want to look at: New to Mac? Here are 5 High Sierra Utilities You should know about seeing some of the tools we have highlighted in the past. But for now, let's move on with our MacOS Mojave tool.

Text Extension
Unknown to many is a simple text extension feature built into Mac. Text extension allows you to define an expression, abbreviation or other collection of text that is easy to remember, and make the Mac expand the text shortcut to a longer sentence. This can be as easy as using the "Myem" text shortcut to automatically expand to become your full email address. You can also use text extension to add special characters, such as the copyright symbol, by writing a simple shortcut instead of searching the drawing viewer (another useful tool) to copy / paste the copyright symbol (©) into a document you are working with.

(Use the Text option in the Keypad selection pane to create your own custom text expansion elements.)

You can find the text extension utility by starting System Preferences, which can be found as an icon in the Dock, or by going to the Apple menu, and Select System Preferences.

When the System Preferences window is open, select the keyboard selection panel.

Select the Text button at the top of the Keyboard Selection window to open the text extension and spell checking services built into your Mac.

You should see a number of examples of text extensions that are already included, such as the extension of the copyright symbol and the extension of the email address mentioned earlier.

Oops it's an existing item, double-click or tap the text you want to change, such as the example email address of the email expansion element. Once selected, you can replace the default My@EmailAddress.comtext with your actual email address.

To add a new text expansion element, click or press the plus sign (+), and then type the shortcut text you want to use for the extension. It is a good idea to use a shortcut that you are not likely to enter in regular daily use. One trick is to post the shortcut with a character you rarely use, such as left or right bracket. For example, if you want a shortcut to enter your home address, you can use] home instead of the usual dictionary.

To complete adding a new text extension, double-click or press the "With" column for the text extension you add and enter the entire text you want to replace the shortcut text.

To delete an existing text extension, select the extension and click the minus button (-).

Automator / Quick Actions
Our next tool is also an older: Automator, the practical app for creating custom workflows and automation of repetitive tasks. We covered with Automator in a previous Rocket Yard article: macOS 101: How to automate tasks on your Mac.

We look at the Automator tool because of two new possibilities introduced with macOS Mojave. First, Automator can create Quick Action elements, and secondly, the new Finder Quick Action feature of Mojave gives you access to an Automator action.

(By combining Automator and Quick Actions, you can create custom actions you can perform directly in the Finder without opening an application.)

Let's consider an example:

One of the tasks I need to perform routinely, is to resize an image to fit the space needs of the Rocket Yard blog. With Automator, I can automate the process of resizing an image, which saves me from performing several steps: To open a photo in my favorite photo editor, resize the image and save the changed image to a new file. When I combine the automated task I just created with Mojave's Quick Actions, I only need to open a Finder window in the folder that contains the images I want to work with, select one or more images, and then select the Quick Action I created in Automator, and my size story is complete for me.

You can find details, including how to create an Automator action to resize images, and how to use this quick-tasked Automator task, in the article: A Mac OS Mojave Quick Guide

] Network Tools
This convenient troubleshooting tool can help you find guilty when your network is performing and prevent you from connecting to the Internet, accessing a particular website or Internet service, or troubleshooting a number of network issues you may encounter.

Network tools can perform common network tasks, such as Lookup, Traceroute, Ping, Whois, Finger, Port Scan, and Netstat, and provide general information about the thousands of your network connectivity, all in one easy-to-use tool.

(Networking tool is a useful troubleshooting tool that helps you fix what might have something about your network. Here Ping uses to verify connection to the local router.)

You can access network tools by choosing About This Mac from the Apple menu. In the window that opens, click or click the System Report button.

With the System Information app open now, select Network Tools from the Window menu item.

There is quite a lot of information, as well as network testing features, in the network tool you just launched. So much that you might want to add the tool to the Dock, for easy access in the future. Right-click the Network Utility icon that appears in the Dock, and select Options, Continue in Dock.

For a complete overview of the Network Tools features, I suggest you consider: Rocket Yard Guide: Use MacOS Sierra's "Hidden" Network Utility.

For those of you who need to troubleshoot common network issues, these three features of the network tool can be the most useful:

Info: This tab gives you a quick glance at the selected network interface listed in drop-down menu. You can choose from different network ports that your Mac can use. Important information displayed includes IP address, Link speed, and Link status. This allows you to see for a moment if your network connection is functional. You'll also see transfer statistics, which shows how many network packets were sent and received, as well as the number of package errors and network collisions that have occurred.

Ping: This utility lets you test if your Mac is able to connect to another network device. You must know the IP address or host name of the connected device. Once you have entered the information, your Mac will send a ping, like screaming out, "Hey, somebody at home?" And then wait for the answer.

The Ping tool logs on how many ping you send, and if there was an answer, and how much time passed between ping and the response. In this way, you can use ping to make sure you can connect to a particular device, as well as have a rudimentary idea about the quality of the connection.

Traceroute: This may be most commonly used tools; It can track how a package sent from Mac makes the way to the destination. You usually use Traceroute when you are having trouble connecting to a network device or service. It can show you where your packages are lost; is it the destination network device, your home administrator, the IPS you use, or a space?

Traceroute can help you understand where the connection problem occurs and hopefully who to talk about fixing the problem

Wireless Diagnostics
If you are connected to your network with Wi-Fi and Network Tools showed that you were having trouble connecting to your local router, there is a chance that you have a Wi-Fi problem, just the problem that our fourth tool, Wireless Diagnostics, was created for.

Wireless diagnostics can help you when you can not connect to the Wi-Fi system, have slow connectivity using Wi-Fi, or have intermittent performance issues that are likely Wi-Fi-related.

(Troubleshooting wireless connectivity is much easier when you can see how well your connection is performing. Performance graphs can provide insight into how well your Wi-Fi connection works.) [19659009] You can access wireless diagnostics ics by holding down the Option key and selecting Open Wireless Diagnostics from the Wi-Fi item in the menu bar. If you do not have Wi-Fi to appear in the menu bar, launch Wireless Diagnostics by opening a Finder window and navigating to / System / Library / CoreServices / Applications and double-clicking or tap the wireless diagnostics program in the folder.

When the Wireless Diagnostics app opens, ignore the introduction window and the Continue button. Instead, you'll find much more useful tools in the app's Window menu; specifically the Info, Scan and Performance elements.

Info: Displays the current information and status of your wireless connection. You can find the network name of the Wi-Fi connection point you are connected to, as well as the type of connection, how well it performs which channel you are using, the noise level, the IP address used, and

Scan: Use Scan to view nearby Wi-Fi access points, supported protocols, and which one you are connected to.

Performance: This will show an almost real-time chart of your connection, showing the speed of your connection, the quality and both the signal level and the noise level. You can use the results graph to optimize the location of an access point on your Mac to get the best connection.

Screenshot
One of MacOS Mojave's features is a new screensaver that can be used to take screenshots and create screen capture, as well as mark screenshots with annotation tools, such as pens, text, colors, and shapes.

The new screenshot utility is available using the Command + Shift + 5 hotkey, which will display all the screenshots and capture features in a floating toolbar near the bottom of the screen.

(Mojave's new screenshot utility has many new features including the ability to record screencasts.)

If you tend to forget keyboard shortcuts, you can also launch the screen utility by opening a Finder window and navigating to / Programs / Tools and double-click or tap the Screenshot app.

You can also drag the Screenshot app to your Docket to make it available at any time, with just a click or click.

To learn more about using the new Screenshot app, I suggest: A Guide to MacOS Mojave's New Screen Utility

Beyond Our Five Uses
We just scratched the top of the iceberg when it apply to Mac. Mac OS not only comes with useful apps and tools, but there are a large number of third-party tools that many would not like to run their Macs without.

If you have a Mac favorite tool, tell us about it in the comments box below.


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