How to make the most of Mavericks's Finder tags

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Mavericks’s Finder tags feature gives you the ability to assign labels and keywords to your files and folders, which is a mighty fine thing if you’re organizationally inclined. However, regardless of how keen you are on the idea of tagging your files, the process requires time and effort, particularly if you intend to tag the nearly countless files already on your Mac.

That doesn’t mean that Finder tags should become Mavericks’s “Mission Control”—a feature that can be helpful, but that few people touch. Rather, tagging requires a measure of will and some tools and techniques to make it as easy as possible. Let’s begin.

Use Smart Folders to find old files worth tagging

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Why (and how) I'm saying goodbye to Gmail

Joe Kissell Senior Contributor, Macworld

Joe Kissell is a senior editor of TidBits and the author of numerous ebooks in the Take Control series.
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It was great while it lasted, but I finally broke up with Gmail. Though I had relied on Google’s popular email service for years, my level of satisfaction had been dropping steadily for a while, and changes in the Mavericks version of Mail (about which I’ve ranted at some length) were the last straw. Now I’m returning to a good old-fashioned IMAP server, and I’m not looking back.

Lots of people are blissfully content with Gmail. If you’re one of them, far be it from me to change your mind. But I want to tell you what I found problematic about Gmail—and exactly what I did about it.

What’s wrong with Gmail

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How to use iCloud Keychain

Joe Kissell Senior Contributor, Macworld

Joe Kissell is a senior editor of TidBits and the author of numerous ebooks in the Take Control series.
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Apple’s new iCloud Keychain aims to solve an irritating problem: even if you've entered usernames and passwords on your Mac, you still have to reenter every single one manually on your iPhone and iPad (as well as any other Macs you use). As of OS X 10.9 Mavericks and iOS 7.0.3, however, iCloud Keychain keeps these account credentials, along with credit card numbers and other personal information (including your account settings for email, contacts, calendars, and social networking services) in sync across your Macs and iOS devices automatically.

Plus, Safari on both platforms now sports new features that integrate with iCloud Keychain, such as a built-in random password generator and an improved autofill capability. (Third-party apps may add support for iCloud Keychain in the future.)

The setup process for iCloud Keychain is suprisingly involved, and has a couple of less-than-obvious steps. However, once you’ve done this for each of your devices, iCloud Keychain syncs invisibly in the background, just like other iCloud data, and normally requires no manual intervention.

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How to view the ~/Library folder in Mavericks

Dan Frakes Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Dan writes about OS X, iOS, utilities, cool apps, and troubleshooting. He also covers hardware; mobile, audio, and AV gear; input devices; and accessories. He's been writing about tech since 1994, and he's also published software, worked in IT, and worked as a policy analyst.
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Mavericks Library folder

Inside your home folder is a Library folder—commonly written in Unix syntax as ~/Library, which means “a folder named Library at the root level of your home folder.” This folder is accessible only to you, and it’s used to store your personal settings, application-support files, and, in some cases, data.

The files and folders in ~/Library are generally meant to be left alone, but if you’ve been using OS X for a while, chances are you’ve delved inside. Perhaps you wanted to tweak something using a tip from Macworld, Mac OS X Hints, or elsewhere on the Web. Or maybe a developer asked you to delete a preference file, or grab a log file, while troubleshooting a program. Whatever the case may have been, up until Lion (OS X 10.7), you simply opened your Home folder to access the Library folder.

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Ten essential tips for searching the Web

Joe Kissell Senior Contributor, Macworld

Joe Kissell is a senior editor of TidBits and the author of numerous ebooks in the Take Control series.
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Finding just the right page among the billions on the Web requires not only a search engine but also a bit of know-how. Here is a selection of my favorite tips for searching the Web.

1. Search for a phrase

To search for an exact, complete phrase and not just its constituent words, put it in quotation marks. For example, instead of typing at sunrise on my birthday type ”at sunrise on my birthday”. The number of hits will shrink dramatically, as you’ll see only pages that include that exact phrase.

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Six quick Spotlight tips

Joe Kissell Senior Contributor, Macworld

Joe Kissell is a senior editor of TidBits and the author of numerous ebooks in the Take Control series.
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Sometimes it can be just as challenging to find a file on your own Mac as on the Web. A few tips will put you on the right path.

1. Brush up on Spotlight basics

You can access OS X’s built-in Spotlight search capability in several ways, including via the systemwide Spotlight menu (Command-Spacebar), the Finder’s File > Find (Command-F) command, and the search fields in individual Finder windows.

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