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New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

For current or would-be users of Apple Mac computers, with answers to many FAQs.

Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby redlester » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:22 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:Edit The Unarchiver is free but I see the same people make The Archive Browser which allows you to preview or extract individual files and that's just £3.99 in the app store.

The Archive Browser is precisely what I was after, thank you so much.

I was aware it was simple to unzip, I just can't abide unzipping without seeing what's in there beforehand. It's just come from years of doing it like that all the time.
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby redlester » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:18 pm

OK am at the point where am going to be starting to install recording related software over the coming days.

First basic question, and I will find out for myself soon enough, but when I install software instruments and plugins, will I be given the option to install both VST and AU, or do both get installed by default on a Mac? Am thinking particularly of the likes of Native Instruments Komplete, Izotope stuff, etc.
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby desmond » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:35 pm

It depends on the installer, sometimes you get a Custom option which lets you select which type to install, by default they usually install everything.
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:47 pm

And that everything frequently includes AAX and RTAS and stuff like that so it's worth taking the option to select formats if offered.

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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby redlester » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:32 pm

Quite surprised to find I have had to install Acrobat Reader in order to view PDF's properly.

I thought the in-built Preview would work just fine, but the image quality is pretty terrible and it does some strange things with letter spacing on certain fonts. I downloaded the manual for my audio interface (Native Instruments) and it was almost unreadable in Preview. It's absolutely fine in Acrobat.

Looking at experiences of others am not sure if this is a High Sierra issue or has it always been poor?
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby desmond » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:48 pm

redlester wrote:Quite surprised to find I have had to install Acrobat Reader in order to view PDF's properly.

I thought the in-built Preview would work just fine, but the image quality is pretty terrible and it does some strange things with letter spacing on certain fonts. I downloaded the manual for my audio interface (Native Instruments) and it was almost unreadable in Preview. It's absolutely fine in Acrobat.

Looking at experiences of others am not sure if this is a High Sierra issue or has it always been poor?

I haven't had Acrobat installed on a Mac in years. Yes, there are some occasional PDF's that render poorly but this is usually as far as I can see poorly-created or old PDF's - the PDF format is a standard, and so probably created PDF's *should* render fine across the board...

I've never really found it a problem, in practice... I can't remember the last time a PDF wasn't rendered properly for me...
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby Forum Admin » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:21 pm

desmond wrote:I've never really found it a problem, in practice... I can't remember the last time a PDF wasn't rendered properly for me...

Me neither.

I have Acrobat Reader installed and keep it up to date, for compatibility checking, but Preview is set as my default .pdf extension file opener.

I use Preview's Tools > Annotate options all the time; Rectangle to crop any image file or PDF, Text, Arrow etc to mark up screenshots, etc.
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby Forum Admin » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:28 pm

In case it is useful to you, it's possible to right-click on any file and choose Open With to select your preferred app.

If you highlight a file type and use Command I (capital 'i') to Get Info on that file, you can change its Open With setting and, if you wish, click on Change All... in the Get Info dialogue box to ensure all files of that type open with your preferred app from that point on. (This can be changed at any time, using the same process.)
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby redlester » Sat May 12, 2018 6:24 pm

Another tip I found out the hard way... some of the music software us lot tend to use is classed as being from "unidentified developers". By default the Mac OS won't allow this to be installed, as I just found out trying to run the installers for Soniccouture sample libraries.

For future newbies, if you encounter this, Control+click on the installer you're trying to run, then select "Open" from the menu which comes up. Alternatively, if you go to Security in the System Preferences, you will see "Install anyway" listed as an option in relation to the item you just had blocked.

Note of caution, which is obvious but will say it anyway: use this with care. Only install apps you are certain are from a trusted source, as the protection is there for a good reason.
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