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OpenType fonts (.otf) often have special features, such as swashes and alternate characters, that are accessible in any app that uses the OS X font panel, including Pages and TextEdit. To access them, type and select your text, press Command-T to open the font panel, and then choose Typography from the Actions pop-up menu. That shows the Typography panel, where you can toggle available options for the font and characters you've selected.

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 18 June 2012

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iMovie ’11 9.0.6 -- Apple has released iMovie ’11 9.0.6, an update largely devoted to upgrading the video editing app to handle the resolution of the just-released MacBook Pro with Retina Display (2880 by 1800 pixels, to be exact). Jeff Carlson notes on Twitter that the size of the app has ballooned from 438 MB to over 1.2 GB (though Apple’s support page has the download clocking in at 1.01 GB). Aside from display enhancements, the update also adds support for Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Romanian, Slovak, Thai, Turkish, and Ukrainian languages. Note that iMovie 9.0.6 now requires Mac OS X 10.7.4 Lion — these changes aren’t available to users running 10.6 Snow Leopard. ($14.99 new from the Mac App Store, free update through Software Update or the Mac App Store, 1.08 GB via Software Update or 1.26 GB via Mac App Store)

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MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) Software Update 1.0 -- A day after unveiling its updated slate of MacBook Pros, Apple released MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) Software Update 1.0 for all the new models — covering the 15.4-inch Retina Display version as well as both 13- and 15-inch sizes of the non-Retina models (see “New MacBook Pro Features Retina Display, Flash Memory,” 11 June 2012). Apple states that the update improves graphics stability, external display support, and USB 3.0 device support. (Free, 1.06 GB)

Read/post comments about MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) Software Update 1.0.

MacBook Air (Mid 2012) Software Update 1.0 -- Apple has released MacBook Air (Mid 2012) Software Update 1.0 for its just-released refreshes of the MacBook Air line (see “MacBook Air Adds USB 3.0, Faster Processors,” 11 June 2012). The update promises fixes that improve graphics stability, flash memory performance, and external display support. (Free, 1.06 GB)

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MacBook Pro (Retina) Trackpad Update 1.0 -- Apple has quickly issued MacBook Pro (Retina) Trackpad Update 1.0 for its just-released MacBook Pro with Retina Display to address an issue that affected the trackpad’s responsiveness (see “New MacBook Pro Features Retina Display, Flash Memory,” 11 June 2012). The updater will be installed into the Utilities folder within your Applications folder, and will launch automatically. (Free, 1.26 MB)

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Java for OS X Lion 2012-004 and Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 9 -- Promising improved security, Apple has released two Java updates: Java for OS X Lion 2012-004 and Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 9. Both updates deactivate the Java plug-in if no applets have been running for an extended time. However, you can re-enable use of Java by clicking a region labeled “Inactive plug-in” on a Web page. For Lion users, the update automatically disables the plug-in if the previous update (Java for OS X Lion 2012-003) was not installed. Both the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and 10.6 Snow Leopard releases also update Java SE to version 1.6.0_33, which should protect Macs from untrusted Java applets executing arbitrary code without being given permission (according to Apple’s security overview). The updates are available via Software Update and direct download, and Apple reminds you to quit any Web browsers and Java applications before installing either one. (Free, 64.07 MB and 76.34 MB)

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Aperture 3.3 -- With the release of Aperture 3.3, Apple ties its professional photo organizer and editor more closely with iPhoto ’11 via a new unified library. You can now access the same images in both Aperture and iPhoto without having to import and export photos manually, and the two apps share Faces, Places, slideshows, and albums. Aperture 3.3 is also optimized for the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display (see “New MacBook Pro Features Retina Display, Flash Memory,” 11 June 2012). The update also brings a number of new features, including support for AVCHD video, Skin Tone and Natural Gray modes added to the White Balance tool, an improved Highlights & Shadows tool, and an Auto Enhance button added to the Adjustments panel. The user interface has been tweaked, adding a new manual option to customize the sort order in the Projects view via drag-and-drop; displaying Facebook, Flickr, and MobileMe albums as thumbnails when accounts are selected in the source list; and modifying some terminology (“Original” instead of “Master” and “Info” instead of “Metadata”). Note that Aperture 3.3 now requires Mac OS X 10.7.4 — these changes aren’t available to users running 10.6 Snow Leopard. ($79.99 new in the Mac App Store, free update, 528 MB)

Read/post comments about Aperture 3.3.

iPhoto ’11 9.3 -- Apple has released iPhoto ’11 9.3, which brings tighter integration between the consumer photo management app and the more professionally geared Aperture via a new unified library. In line with the latest release of Aperture (see “Aperture 3.3,” 12 June 2012), you can now share libraries between iPhoto and Aperture, thus sharing images, Faces, Places, slideshows, and albums. The update also adds support for the AVCHD video format, preserves keywords and titles in exported files with embedded GPS location data, adds flagging capability when in Magnify (1-up) view, and automatically expands the Description field as needed when typing text. It also brings a new Export option that enables you to organize exported photos into subfolders by event. Note that iPhoto 9.3 now requires Mac OS X 10.7.4 — these changes aren’t available to users running 10.6 Snow Leopard. For anyone who may still be upgrading from iPhoto 5 or earlier, Apple also released the iPhoto Library Upgrader tool, which also runs only in Lion. ($14.99 new from the Mac App Store, free update through Software Update or the Mac App Store, 630.4 MB via Software Update or 599.65 MB via Apple’s support page)

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iTunes 10.6.3 -- Apple has released iTunes 10.6.3, a maintenance update that adds compatibility for the imminent public arrival of Apple’s next major operating system (see “OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion to Ship in July 2012,” 11 June 2012). It also fixes several issues, including unexpected deletion of apps on a device as well as playlists created on a device, photos syncing to a device in an unexpected order, and an issue where iTunes became unresponsive when syncing to an original iPad that contained an iBooks textbook. (Free, 176.9 MB via Software Update)

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