Photo thumbnails on your Mac turned to black? Here's a fix

Pam Bush upgraded her Mac to the latest version of OS X, but her Photos library is full of black thumbnails, rather than tiny images. The Mac consultant who handled her upgrade told her it was a bug, and she needed to “rotate every image manually.” “Not going to happen in my lifetime,” Pam writes.

The consultant is technically correct: iPhoto and Photos rebuilds previews if you rotate an image, which can be done in Photos in the All Photos view by selecting Edit > Select All and then Image > Rotate Clockwise or Rotate Counterclockwise, and then the opposite after the rotation is complete.

However, for a large photo library, this is a lot of wasted time and effort, and might mask other problems in the file structure. Instead, you can rebuild thumbnails or repair the library, depending on the software you use.

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How to merge large iPhoto and Photos libraries

Esa Ruoho has a 11,000-item iPhoto library and an Apple Photos library for OS X that comprises over 6,000 items:

I just spent 6 hours combining three iPhoto Libraries (one on a MacBook Pro, one on an iMac and one on another iMac) via File Sharing between them, and the Fat Cat Software iPhoto Library Manager. So far, so good.

However, since the goal is to push 13,000+ images to iCloud Photos, I’m not sure how to either combine an iPhoto Library and a Photos Library, or how to combine the iPhoto Library imported to a Photos Library, and a Photos Library.

The good news is that this can be done. The bad news is that it takes more effort.

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Who owns which apps you’ve installed in iOS? A better answer

I recently answered a reader’s question about sorting out which app on his iPhone was prompting him for an account password. This can happen when you use a bypass to install—legitimately!—on your iOS device an app purchased by someone else. You can use that app, but iOS may prompt you to enter the Apple ID password for the account that bought it.

Reader jslove proffered a great solution in the comments that I need to bump out into a full article, because it’s an actual answer. What jslove noted is that in iTunes in OS X, you can select a synced or downloaded app and view the purchaser’s information.

Here’s how to go through apps methodically to see which were purchased by someone else and then remove those from your iOS device. This only works with iOS devices synced to a copy of iTunes, so you either need to set up sync to find this information or use the copy of iTunes you’ve already set up to sync with the device.

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How to search special characters in Pages 5

Several readers have asked about what appears to be a missing feature in Pages 5 compared to the previous version: finding special “invisible” items, such as tab, a carriage return (at the end of a paragraph), page break insertion, and the like. It seems like you can type a space character in the Find dialog (Edit > Find) and nothing else that can’t be seen.

Apple seems to emphasize this in its online help: “All visible content in the document—the main body text, headers and footers, tables, text boxes, shapes, footnotes and endnotes, and comments—is included in the search.” Visible content, it says.

mac911 invisibles pages 5

Invisible characters can be displayed with View > Show Invisibles.

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Find out which iOS app is requesting your Apple ID password

David Nicklin brings a story that has a moral: friends don't let friends install apps on their iOS devices:

I was traveling overseas a couple of years ago for a friend’s wedding. While there, I spent an afternoon with a long-lost acquaintance. Somehow, for whatever reason, he shared an iOS app with me, installing it on my phone and using his Apple ID. Up until I bought a new phone and restored it from backup, everything was fine. Now, however, the phone is asking me for his Apple ID credentials.

I don’t even remember which app it was he installed for me. Is there any way to easily find which app is causing the problem without uninstalling every app on the phone and re-installing them until I find what I am looking for?

You are so not going to like the answer to this. I encountered this a few years ago, when I installed some apps on my wife's phone before Apple added Family Sharing—which we still don't use, but at least it's an option.

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How to transfer a photo album from your iPhone to your Mac

Miranda wants to transfer photos from iOS to OS X. She asks, “I have an album of pictures I want to upload. Is there a way I can just upload the album?”

You’d think, right? And you’d be sadly wrong. If you’re using iCloud Photo Library, all your albums and related settings are synced among devices logged into the same iCloud account that have the library feature enabled.

But if you don’t, albums are peculiarly locked away through any built-in methods. This is a long-running complaint. Search on this topic on the Internet, and you’ll find variations of this question spanning back years.

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How to remove bullet points in the Mail app for OS X

Gary Krupa writes:

I’ve typed out a long email with bulleted or numbered lists embedded in the middle. I’ve then decided that I don’t want the bulleted/numbered list; I want it to be sentences. The problem: how do I undo a bulleted or numbered list and return it to regular text? As far as I can tell there is no provision to revert a list back to text.

This is one of those cases where I feel that despite Apple’s continuous improvement in some aspects of OS X and its associated software, its developers miss some basic elements—and keep missing it. You’d think enough people would have complained about this lack of symmetry for it to be improved, but apparently not.

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