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Setting Up The VPN Server and Client on Yosemite Server

If you have been wondering how you can set up a VPN server on Yosemite Server, wonder no more: Charles has you covered. His article Setup The VPN Server and Client On Yosemite Server provides the information you need to get VPN running, whether your preferred protocol is PPTP or L2TP (Charles recommends the latter, but you can run both). Don’t be daunted, the VPN service is simple to setup and even simpler to manage.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Joe Updates Book and MacVoices Automatically Interviews Him

As is automatic when a Take Control book gets a major update, Chuck Joiner of MacVoices interviews the book’s author. The 1.1 update to Take Control of Automating Your Mac is no exception. Watch Joe and Chuck chat about what’s new in this season’s update to a very useful book.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Save 50% in Our February Book Bargain Bonanaza!

Faced with rising snowdrifts and falling temperatures here at Take Control HQ, we’ve decided to liven up the season with a sale — it beats shoveling the driveway again! No matter what your weather, now’s the time to add any number of our books to your Take Control library for 50% off, through 25 February 2015. All our titles are DRM-free and available in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats, so you can access the real-world Mac and iOS advice you need wherever, whenever, and on whatever device you like.

Since Apple’s massive releases of OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 last year, our hard-working authors have been researching and writing new titles and updates alike, all with the goal of providing you with up-to-date answers to your Mac and iOS questions.

In particular, check out our snazzy new Take Control Crash Courses, which bring you the first-rate content you expect from us in shorter, magazine-like chunks so you can dip in and read quickly. We have Crash Courses on Yosemite, iOS 8, and Digital Sharing for Apple Users — that last one explains how to work effectively in today’s spaghetti-like ecosystem of devices, services, and collaborators.

Other titles that have been revised recently to cover changes in Yosemite and iOS 8 include:

  • Take Control of Pages has friendly and thorough directions for handling complex word processing and layout tasks on the Mac, in iOS, and on iCloud, plus a deep look at iCloud Drive.

  • Take Control of Apple Mail, Second Edition tells you what you most need to know about Apple’s Mail app in Yosemite and iOS.

  • Take Control of iCloud, Third Edition remains the canonical reference to everything iCloud can do. If you’re not sure which features go with iCloud, how they work together, or how to best use them, read this book.

  • Take Control of Dropbox explains how to best sync your own files through the Dropbox service, or collaborate productively with other Dropbox users. It includes a cheat sheet you can share with colleagues who need Dropbox help.

  • Take Control of FileVault walks you through the how’s and why’s of OS X’s built-in FileVault feature so you can secure the files stored on your Mac’s drives with confidence.

  • Take Control of OS X Server covers Yosemite Server for those looking to turn a Mac into a server for a home, small business, or classroom.

More gems are available for 50% off in our catalog, making this a great time to stock up on books you can turn to for help when you need it, including titles about upgrading to Yosemite, automating your Mac, setting up a paperless office, the impressively useful utility LaunchBar, AirPort Wi-Fi networking, Apple TV, and much more. We give readers minor updates for free, so your library stays up to date throughout the year!

Remember, we don’t expect you to read every book cover to cover; instead, use the Table of Contents and Quick Start to jump instantly to the topics that explain what you want to know.

Thank you for supporting the Take Control series… we couldn’t do it without you! And, if we can ask a quick favor, it would be great if you could spread the word about the sale, since the proceeds make a big difference to our authors and help them continue to focus on writing books for you.

Posted by Adam Engst (Permalink)

A MacVoices Triple-Decker: Joe and Chuck Discuss Three Books

Joe made his first MacVoices interview of the year a triple-decker, discussing his Take Control of Dropbox, Take Control of File Vault, and his latest book, currently streaming a new chapter every week on TidBITS for TidBITS members, Take Control of Security for Mac Users. No need to feel insecure: you’re welcome to drop in on the discussion.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Joe and Chuck Talk about Apple Mail on MacVoices

Joe delivers his opinion on where Apple Mail succeeds and where it falls short in a first-class interview with Chuck Joiner on MacVoices. Click the link or watch it here.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Chuck and I Talk about Pages on MacVoices

It is inevitable, but always fun, to spend an hour chatting with Chuck Joiner of MacVoices whenever I finish a book. Our last chat was no exception as we discussed the book, how it came to be, and why Apple made Pages into the three-platform app that it is today.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

Mail Merge and Labels in Pages

When Apple introduced Pages 5.5 in October, the update included AppleScript support for mail merge, but omitted to provide a user interface for it. Rather than roll your own mail merge solution with the Script Editor, you should first check out the Pages Data Merge script application available at the iWork & Automation site.

And if you are thinking about using mail merge in Pages to create mailing labels, you probably want to use standardized label layouts. While Pages doesn’t offer a set of Avery label templates, you can get label templates for Pages ’09 from Avery. Pages 5.5 can open and convert those templates, so you can save the ones you need to the Template Chooser in Pages 5.5.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

What about Mavericks?

We’ve heard from a few users of 10.9 Mavericks, asking how they can get help from the first edition of this book, given that it says right on the cover that it’s about Pages in 10.10 Yosemite. We understand that not everyone wants to upgrade to Yosemite right away. Even so, with this book already covering three versions of Pages (Pages for Yosemite, for iOS 8, and iCloud), we felt it would be impractical to also cover Pages for Mavericks. Fortunately, if you are using Mavericks, you can still take control of Pages with this book. The rest of this article looks at the nitty-gritty details…

…Apple appears to have stopped developing Pages for Mavericks with Pages 5.3. If you are running Mavericks, you can update to Pages 5.3 and that’s it. Folks running Yosemite can update to Pages 5.5.1 at the moment, and as Apple releases more Pages updates, we expect them to be available in Yosemite but not in Mavericks. Further, if you have a Mavericks Mac and a Yosemite Mac (as many Take Control staffers do right now), you’ll find that you cannot open Yosemite Pages documents in Mavericks Pages (I get around this by working in Pages for iCloud on my Mavericks Mac; this requires iCloud Drive to be on, keep reading for more about that).

This ebook was finalized against Pages 5.5.1, but the differences between Pages 5.3 and 5.5.1 are minimal. You can certainly use the directions in this book for Pages 5.3 and all will be well. However, when it comes to interactions between the three different versions of Pages—Pages for Mac, Pages for iOS, and Pages for iCloud, if you are using Mavericks, some directions in the book do not apply, because Mavericks doesn’t work with Apple’s new iCloud Drive system for storing/syncing Pages files within iCloud.

For example, although you can work on the Web in the iCloud version of Pages from a Mavericks Mac, the files you create there are stored in iCloud Drive and thus are not available to Pages on your Mavericks Mac. And, choosing the Share > Share Link via iCloud command, which makes it so that multiple collaborators can work on the document at once in iCloud, results in an error message, because Pages 5.3 doesn’t work with iCloud Drive.

Now, if you never use Pages in iCloud or on an iOS device, or save your files in iCloud in order to move them between Macs, you don’t care about these features, so all you need to know is to skip the parts of the book that talk about them.

More about iCloud Drive

  • Pages in Mavericks does work with Apple’s older Documents & Data iCloud storage system (also known as “Documents in the Cloud”). At the moment, as it has in the past, this system allows you to sync Pages files through iCloud between Macs and iOS devices that are all signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID, but only so long as you do not turn on iCloud Drive for that Apple ID.

  • As soon as you turn on iCloud Drive for a given Apple ID, the Documents & Data system no longer functions for that Apple ID. For a device signed in with that Apple ID that aren’t running iCloud Drive (such as a Mavericks Mac), the device can still access the local copy of any Documents & Data file, but syncing through Documents & Data ceases. If you, for instance, subsequently update your Mac to run Yosemite and turn on iCloud Drive, then syncing can resume, though if you’ve worked on files in the interim, you may experience sync conflicts. It is usually best to keep iCloud Drive off on all your devices until you are ready to enable it on all your devices.

  • For even more information, and a nice chart showing which apps work with which other ones with iCloud Drive on or off, please read Michael’s blog post, New from Apple: iWork Cross-Platform Incompatibility. And, Apple has a nice FAQ about iCloud Drive.

What Changed between Pages 5.3 and Pages 5.5

Pages 5.5 has grown a sidebar for displaying comments and tracked changes, and you can filter those comments and tracked changes by author. Pages also lets you insert inline images into headers, footers, and table cells. Also added are alignment guides for inter-table alignment and other table enhancements. Though Mail Merge has not yet returned as a user-facing feature, the update does provide AppleScript support for it (see this page at for more about using Mail Merge in Pages).

The Pages 5.4 update added Yosemite compatibility.

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)