Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.



Pick an apple! 
Avoid Simple Typos

If, like me, you find yourself typing 2911 in place of 2011 entirely too often, you can have Mac OS X (either Lion or Snow Leopard) fix such typos for you automatically. Just open the Language & Text pane of System Preferences, click the Text button at the top, and then add a text substitution by clicking the + button underneath the list. It won't work everywhere (for that you'll want a utility like Smile's TextExpander), but it should work in applications like Pages and TextEdit, and in Save dialog boxes.

Submitted by
John W Baxter


Yet More List Stuff

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It's taken a little while to come up, but we now have a genuine LISTSERV running at Rice University. Many thanks to Mark R. Williamson and the other great people there for going to the effort of setting this list up. LISTSERVs work a little differently from the mailing list that we currently have at SFU now, so pay attention if you want to get TidBITS through the LISTSERV. The fact that Rice exists on both BITNET and the Internet means that it will probably work better for folks on BITNET, and we're planning on moving BITNET people from the SFU list to the LISTSERV for that reason.

LISTSERV instructions -- To subscribe to the list, send email to LISTSERV@RICEVM1 if you're on BITNET and to LISTSERV@RICEVM1.RICE.EDU if you're on the Internet. In the body of the mailfile, put the line:

SUBSCRIBE TIDBITS (yourFirstName yourLastName)

and you will be automatically added. You should also receive an acknowledgment from the LISTSERV so you know that you're on. If you wish to remove yourself from the list, you can send the LISTSERV a message with this line in the body of the mailfile:


SFU Remove Function -- Some of you may wish to switch yourselves from the SFU list to the LISTSERV, or perhaps you just want to shut off the list temporarily while you go on vacation. It's now possible to remove yourself from the SFU list by sending email to:

with the word "remove" (in lower case and without the quotes) in the Subject: line. Unlike the LISTSERV, the SFU mailer only cares about the Subject: line and doesn't care one whit about what's in the body of the message. I realize that this is a bit confusing, but there's no avoiding it since the two mailing lists are running with different software on different machines. I'm sure you can all figure it out.

For those of you reading this on America Online and GEnie and other places that don't support connections to the Internet, my apologies for wasting your time. We strongly encourage all services to connect to the Internet, however, because we believe in freedom of communication, and limiting access is merely a way of discouraging free communications. The online community is huge and is growing rapidly, so it helps all of us when more people can share their knowledge and skills with the rest of the online world.


New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as "Tx" for "TextExpander". With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <>