Mac 911: Using old versions of iWork alongside the new Pages, Keynote, and Numbers

Apple released the newest versions of the suite of apps formerly known as iWork—Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—in late 2013 to exclamations of dismay. The revisions were written from the ground up, rather than extending previous versions, and many features of previous releases were missing and never to return (at least so far) in the 2013 refresh.

Even after 18 months of incremental improvements, questions still abound, and I’ll be answering some of them this week, along with a handful of extra advice.

(In order to not turn Mac 911 into Photos 911, I won’t answer Photos for OS X questions every week. However, rest assured that the 100-plus emails about Photos are still in my inbox.)

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Mac 911: You are not an Apple ID! You are a Free Person!

The problem of identity is a deep one: how do we know who we are? Apple’s problems with identity stem from its superannuated Apple ID system, which carries with it the detritus of generations of past technological choices that it wears around its figurative neck like an albatross.

This week I look into two people sharing one Apple ID, one person wanting two, and two people splitting their one account in twain. Also, something’s up with an over-alert Mac on a couple’s network—what could it be?

Shared accounts

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Mac 911: The Bluetooth truth and more Wi-Fi troubleshooting

Once upon a time, Bluetooth was a quaint low-speed, low-bandwidth networking technology that appeared to be destined for the obsolescence pile. Several competing standards with broadcast industry support arose to challenge it with lower-power requirements, higher throughput, or both.

Bluetooth took heed of the motto of the Round Table (no, not that round table): “adopt, adapt, improve,” and won out by extending what it does and co-opting what others attempted to provide (and failed to do).

But this may be confusing when you’re not using a Bluetooth peripheral, like a headset, headphones, or mouse, and wonder why iOS, your Mac, or your Apple Watch is complaining about its absence or not functioning as expected.

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More Photos Q&A: Finding your photos on a map, and dealing with metadata

What a difference a week makes! Well, not really. Photos for OS X is one week older, and Mac 911 still has a huge queue of your questions, bug reports, and honest frustrations.

Remember that whenever a software product ships, it’s a compromise, and new ones more so than revisions. When 1.0.0 of Photos was released, Apple was already hard at work on 1.0.1, and if it conforms to the usual schedule within one to four weeks, we’ll see a doozy of an update that mitigates some of what we’re wrestling with now. Endure!

On to your questions.

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More help for Photos: Metadata, the Places map, and syncing without iCloud

Photos for OS X made a big impact—some might say a crater. While the software has huge improvements in speed, it comes with a lot of changes, some bumps in get started, and a few bugs. In last week’s Mac 911, I covered merging iPhoto and Photos libraries and a tip on pausing iCloud Photo Library sync. Jason Snell last week also explained how to use Photos with Automator, the limits of geotagging, and hard linking in Photos.

One update from last week: Fat Cat Software has already released PowerPhotos 1.0 ($20) to work with new Photos libraries, but the first version doesn’t let you merge libraries. The developer is thinking about adding that feature in a future release. For now, you need to merge iPhoto libraries first via the company’s $30 iPhoto Library Manager (includes PowerPhotos in that price), or one of the other techniques described in my and Jason’s columns last week.

(Also tune in to the Macworld podcast this week for a discussion of Photos’ issues with me, executive editor Susie Ochs, and regular Macworld contributors Jeff Carlson and Joe Kissell.)

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How to import, merge, and consolidate your libraries in Photos for OS X

Photos for Yosemite is finally out! And that’s a real “finally” given how long we’ve all been wrestling with the limitations of iPhoto in OS X and Apple’s early announcement of its replacement. Photos for OS X has a lot going for it, especially in speed. But it’s also a ground-up rewrite of our Mac photo experience, and some pieces are missing (some permanently), some moved, and some broken.

This week, I’ll answer some early questions about Photos, but there are plenty more Photos queries in the queue, and I’m sure you all will have more. (Read Jeff Carlson’s Photos review for an overview of features and how they work.)

Merging libraries

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Mac 911: How to erase your Mac's hard drive the right way

When you sell or donate a Mac or give it to a family member, it’s best to make a clean break: wipe the puppy clean, reinstall the latest version of OS X, and hand off a system that you’re not worried has remnants of yourself on it.

But how can you be sure? Readers have written in with several related questions, so let’s talk this week about erasing a drive, how FileVault 2 encryption can play into it, and out-of-date Recovery Drive partitions.

Erase and leave no trace

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