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El Capitan: A Take Control Crash Course
Nov 24, 2015

El Capitan: A Take Control Crash Course

Ascend El Capitan with Mac expert Scholle McFarland!

In this crash course about OS X 10.11 El Capitan, former Macworld editor Scholle McFarland helps you discover and master changes in the Finder as well as in Apple’s Notes, Safari, and Messages apps. The book’s browsable layout makes it easy for you to find the information that you care about the most as you learn how to set up notifications sensibly, do more (or less) with your Dock, invoke Mission Control and set up a Split View, take phone calls on your Mac, locate all manner of things with Spotlight search, work fluidly between Apple devices with Handoff and AirDrop, dictate to your Mac — and even tell it what to do — plus lots more.

Scholle closes with two under-the-hood topics, setting up a user account (for a child, guest, or troubleshooting) and essential troubleshooting techniques.

More Info

Whether you want to browse for a few tips or go deep, you’ll learn about…

  • Four techniques for invoking Mission Control, with its new Spaces Bar
  • The new Split View, which puts two apps side-by-side in an elegant way
  • How pinned tabs in Safari work differently — and in some cases better — than bookmarks
  • The keyboard shortcut for auto-filling your personal information into a Safari form
  • Finding the new checkbox for auto-hiding the menu bar
  • How you can delete a file without emptying the entire Trash (finally!)
  • What to do if you can’t stand OS X’s translucent menu bars and windows
  • How to keep your Spotlight searches private
  • The necessary settings for Handoff to work between devices
  • Setting up the Mac’s Notification Center so it’s useful
  • Using the Attachment Browser in El Capitan’s new Notes app
  • Deciding whether to use plain or enhanced dictation
  • Making your Mac announce incoming alert notifications with a custom voice
  • Setting up smart folders that bring tagged files into view easily
  • Essential tips for decreasing Finder window overload with tabs
  • Many picky details about AirDrop file transfer — and ideas for alternatives
  • Setting up an account for a child with parental controls and age-based limits
  • What to do if your Mac won’t turn on, if you get the spinning beachball of death, or if you need to repair your disk — and how to easily find out if your Mac still has AppleCare

As part of our Crash Course series, this book will provide the first-rate content you expect from us in short chunks so you can dip in and read quickly. Because so many Take Control readers give tech support to others, each concise chapter has sharing buttons and practical tweet-tips, making it easy to share a few pages with Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and others who really need the information. Crash Courses have a modern, magazine-like layout in PDF while retaining a reflowable design in the EPUB and Mobipocket versions.

What's New

Along with correcting a few typos, this 1.2 version includes these changes:

  • In New! Pin Your Go-to Sites I’ve provided a clarification that pinned tabs don’t sync to other devices, and I’ve added a tip with a reference for Web developers about creating a custom icon for a site’s pinned tab.

  • I’ve inserted a new sidebar, New! Use a Keyword Phrase, about how to trigger dictation with a voice “keyword” command.

  • A new topic, Create a Command, steps you through making your own basic dictation commands.

  • A new topic, Activate a Workflow, describes how to use new built-in dictation workflows in El Capitan.

  • I added a sidebar, New! Keep an Eye on Uploads, about the new iCloud Drive progress wheel.

  1. Scholle Talks about El Capitan with Chuck Joiner

    El Capitan has marched into town, and with it Scholle’s Crash Course about it. Naturally, Chuck Joiner wants to know what both Apple and Scholle have wrought. Watch and listen as Chuck and Scholle discuss the new features in the OS, the nature of Crash Course books, and how El Capitan and iOS 9 have become better partners than ever.

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

The Author

Scholle McFarland has been covering the Mac since 1996 as an editor at MacUser magazine and then Macworld. During that time, she witnessed Apple transform from everyone’s favorite “doomed” company to everyone’s actually favorite company and is still amazed by the whole thing.

When she’s not working as a freelance writer and editor, Scholle (“Sholly”) likes to hang out with her family, friends, and many animals in beautiful Portland, Oregon.