Jun 25, 2015

Mom's a Geek : Emoji made Easy

My second installation of "Mom's a Geek" is something I've learned at a Mac One to One appointment.  I love how the Mac Geniuses will throw out an unrelated, but interesting nugget of info here and there during a One to One.  So it goes with the info I'm passing on today.

It's real easy to place an emoji or special character into your social media posts or on a document using a keyboard shortcut.

The Keyboard Shortcut for an emoji on the Mac is ^⌘Space .  It's quick and easy and a full menu of all sorts of emojis,  emoji categories, and special characters will pop up for your choosing.

I just ♥️this!  And yes, you can find the command symbol there: ⌘ (you'll have to scroll along the cateogories by clicking the double arrows on the bottom).

If the Keyboard Shortcut won't work for you, as it can be buggy here and there, you can choose emoji  & symbols from the menu bar:
 Edit > Emoji & Symbols

Now I can easily add a little snazz here and there to my posts and documents.

I hope this 2nd Mom's a Geek was helpful to some of you!

Jun 16, 2015

Mom's a Geek : Proofreading your Computer Text With Speech

I have been wanting to collate the helpful tips and tricks I've been learning on my Mac for a while.  I've been jotting them down in a notebook - both virtual and real - but after finding out a tech-savvy group I belong to didn't know some of my very simple tips, I thought it would be a good idea to put them out there for anyone to read.  I'm not a tech genius AT ALL, but I've found that everyone looks for easier ways to do different things - depending on their strengths and weaknesses.

So here goes ... my first installation of Mom's a Geek.

Blog writing - well, any creative writing has been very difficult for me lately.  From childhood to freshmen year of college I was given glowing reviews of my writing.  Can you believe one teacher actually compared it to "a fine wine that gets better with age"?  Jeepers!  It just came so easy to me.  Then ... then ... hmmmm .... what happened?  I don't know.  Was it diving head first into pharmacy and loving the dry high tech writing I had to read and write then?  Was it developing MS and a bit of aphasia?

So it's been tough lately to pull my words together into sentences that are interesting to read and that actually make sense.

Here's the geeky part:  I'm using the "Speech" function on my Mac to read back to me what I've written.  I sit back, hit the button, listen, and can usually pick up on a sentence with odd structure, spelling errors, etc.  I then go back and correct it.  I hear Windows has a similar app called Narrator.

If you haven't tried Speech for proofreading and think it would help in some way, it's very easy:

First set up your Speech function through System Preferences > Dictation & Speech > Text to Speech

Here you can change your system's voice, speed, and hot-keys.  If you don't want to mess with this, the default settings may work just fine for you.

To start Speech working you just need to highlight the text you need read, and then click your hot-key setting.  You can also start speech by highlighting the text and clicking Edit > Speech > Start Speaking.

Although I love my Mac, the un-human-like, robotic voice used for Speech on the Mac needs improvement!  I hear a new OS is coming soon ... perhaps that will be on the improvements list?

I've used this trick for my blog posts, instructional pdfs, emails, even long fb posts.  I hope this is helpful for anyone else who may have a tough time composing and writing.

Have a creative day!

May 27, 2015

Nature Walk : Bird on the Ground

These photos were made possible because dear husband knew I'd love to see this.  He called me from his cell phone while taking sweet puppy on her early morning walk.  He whispered, "Quick.  Look out the front window."

Finding a pileated woodpecker is always a treat.  That bright red head and insane laugh is ... well, yes ... so cartoon-ish.

He was going to town on a tree stump.

I have since heard his laugh and have seen evidence of his work on other stumps in the neighborhood, but haven't seen him return to my yard since.

After Super Storm Sandy, we have plenty of stumps in our yard, so there's still hope he'll be pecking around these parts some more.