100 more things every Mac user should know: Preview and Messages

Macworld Staff
7 June, 2013
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Drum roll… here is the final part of our guide to 100 more things every Mac user should know. This article covers 95 to 100 – tips and tricks all related to Preview and Messages.


Two ways to fill out a PDF form

Apple’s Preview app lets you fill in PDF files that have fillable form fields. For such documents, simply click in a field and start typing. (You can also check or uncheck a box by clicking it.) When you’ve finished, save the document and then print or email it as you would any other document.

95. Insert text using Tools > Annotate > Text.

If you encounter a PDF with blanks to be filled in but no fields that accept typed data, you can still type text onto it in Preview.

Choose Tools > Annotate > Text, drag a rectangle to define the area you want to type into, and start typing. You can then use the controls on the Annotations toolbar to adjust font, size, colour and other attributes.

96 Sign documents

96. Sign PDF forms using Preview's Tools > annotate > Signature option.

If the document needs a signature, get a piece of white paper and sign your name on it in ink.

Choose Preview > Preferences, click Signatures, and then click Create Signature. Hold the paper with your signature up to your Mac’s built-in camera, line it up following the on-screen directions, and click Accept.

Now return to your document, click the tiny Signature icon on the Annotations toolbar (if it’s not already highlighted in blue), and then click where you want your signature to go.


Four things to do with 

The Messages app is obviously great for exchanging messages with other Mountain Lion and iOS users. But 
it can do much more.

97 IM anyone

Messages works with AOL Instant Messenger, Google Talk, Jabber and Yahoo. Among the third-party networks that support Jabber for chatting is Facebook: You can create a Jabber account in Messages with your Facebook username@chat.facebook.com as the account name, chat.facebook.com as the server, and 5222 as the port (leaving the other default options unchanged).

100. Audio- and video-chat with your buddies using Messages.

98 Send SMS

To send text messages to people who aren’t using iPhones, first log in to your AIM account. Then, send a message to the contact you
 would like to IM, using his or her phone number. Make sure to fully qualify that number – that is, prefix it with a plus (+) symbol and a 61, followed by the area code and phone number itself.

99 Share files

Drag the file you want to send into the app; send folders as .zip files. If you send files via iMessage, recipients will be able to open them on an iOS device if they have an appropriate app for that file.

100 Conduct video and 
audio chats

While Apple’s video-chatting focus is clearly centred on FaceTime, Messages is also capable of hosting AIM-based videoconference sessions.

People on your buddy list with whom you are able to 
video- or audio-chat will sport an extra green icon to the right of their name.

A phone icon indicates that the buddy can handle audio-only chats; a camera instead indicates that the buddy can handle video chats (and screen sharing). All you need to do 
is click the green button to initiate the audio or video call.

By Dan Frakes, Lex Friedman, Joe Kissell, Ted Landau, Steve McCabe, Dan Miller, Rich Mogull and Ben Waldie, Macworld

One Comment

One person was compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. lee says:

    great tips thanks
    also, for more advanced pdf editing and filling in pdf forms on the iphone etc you can try writepdf

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