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Take Control of Screen Sharing in Lion
Jan 17, 2012

Take Control of Screen Sharing in Lion

Control one Mac from another, or from a iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch!

Screen sharing gives you the power to control the mouse and keyboard of one Mac while you sit at another, whether it’s just across the room or on the other side of the world. It’s great for helping far-flung colleagues and relatives run their Macs, managing a remote server, and collaborating in real time on documents.

In recent versions of Mac OS X, Apple has piled on the options, enabling screen sharing via iChat, Bonjour, directly by entering an IP address, and Back to My Mac. Plus, Skype can do screen sharing with Macs and Windows computers, and various iOS apps let you run your Mac by tapping and dragging.

Join networking guru Glenn Fleishman as he helps you identify the best screen-sharing option for your needs. You’ll learn how to set up screen sharing, get tips on using iChat and Apple’s Screen Sharing application, and find directions for Skype screen sharing. A separate chapter explains how to use the iTeleport and LogMeIn apps on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to run a Mac remotely.

More Info

What hardware and software does this ebook discuss? This ebook is about screen sharing between two Macs running Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, but it is also your go-to ebook about screen sharing with 10.6 Snow Leopard and 10.5 Leopard. For the iOS apps covered, you should be running iOS 3 or later.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Set up your Mac so that it can be controlled from your iPhone.
  • Use screen sharing to help your confused uncle with his Mac.
  • Find and launch the built-in Screen Sharing application on your Mac.
  • Control an unattended Mac over the Internet.
  • Turn on Back to My Mac with MobileMe or iCloud.
  • Get set up and begin to share your screen through Skype.
  • Give a presentation to a remote location through iChat Theater.
  • Wake up a remote Mac in order to control it through screen sharing.
  • Copy text from one computer to another while sharing screens.
  • Put a shared screen in its own full-screen display in Lion.
  • Control a far-away Mac through screen sharing when another user is logged in to that same Mac with a different account.
What's New

What's New in This Edition

This edition of my Take Control of Screen Sharing… ebook still talks about sharing screens in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard, but it’s more keenly focused on 10.7 Lion and the introduction of Apple’s iCloud online service, which has replaced Apple’s MobileMe service. 

Highlights of the most important changes in this edition include:

  • I’ve added new information about screen sharing in Lion. For an overview, read What’s New in Lion, a few pages ahead.
  • Share via Back to My Mac now talks about using Back to My Mac with iCloud, instead of with MobileMe as it did previously. Also, for simplicity’s sake, this book has incorporated all the relevant parts of the formerly separate Take Control of Back to My Mac. (You may download the Snow Leopard version of that ebook at no charge—see Ebook Extras.)
  • Share via Skype has been updated to cover version 5, a major revision to the software that has removed some screen-sharing features.
  • I removed most of the information about VNC (Virtual Network Computer) technology as it is no longer required as an alternative to far simpler and more powerful choices.
  • I deleted the appendix about port mapping because the screen-sharing technology discussed in this book no longer requires such a complicated setup.
  • Because the Take Control series has begun producing EPUBs in-house, the EPUB version of this edition has an improved layout and looks more like a Take Control ebook.

What versions of Mac OS X does this ebook cover?

This ebook covers Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, but it also brings 10.6 Snow Leopard and 10.5 Leopard along for the ride. We previously sold a Leopard and then a Snow Leopard edition of this ebook, but because the details about services like Back to My Mac and Skype have changed a great deal over the years, we no longer sell or update those older editions. Instead, everyone running 10.5 Leopard or later should use this Lion edition.

Update Plans

July 22, 2012 – We are planning a 1.0.1 update to this ebook, just to correct a few typos. After that, however, we do not plan additional updates. We are working on an ebook about Messages in 10.8 Mountain Lion, so a few of the topics discussed here will be updated for Mountain Lion in that ebook.

Posted by Tonya Engst

  1. Screen Sharing Remains Nearly Identical in Mountain Lion Update

    If you wondered if this book remains relevant with today’s release of Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Mountain Lion uses screen sharing almost identically to Lion (10.7), with two small improvements.

    First, the contents of the Clipboard are automatically passed back and forth with the remote machine when you switch to a Screen Sharing app’s session. Whatever is in the Clipboard on your local computer is automatically transferred to the remote machine’s Clipboard when you bring its window to the foreground. While using the remote machine, anything you copy to its Clipboard is likewise transferred back to your local Mac when you switch to another application.

    This can be convenient, but you might dislike such behavior as well. If so, you can disable this option in Preferences by removing the check from Use Shared Clipboard, or, in a screen-sharing session, select Edit > Disable Shared Clipboard or click the Shared Clipboard button in a sharing session’s toolbar to deselect it. The manual Clipboard transfer buttons are now labeled Get Clipboard and Send Clipboard, are available in the Edit menu when the Shared Clipboard option is disabled, or from any shared window’s toolbar.

    The Screen Sharing app also now allows drag-and-drop file transfers, whether from a local computer to the remote one or vice-versa. Just drag a file into the window or out of it, and it’s copied with the progress shown in the File Transfers window (Window > File Transfers). That is a great help as it means you no longer have to set up an AFP file-sharing sessions or use another means to move files between your local and remote computer.

    Posted by Glenn Fleishman (Permalink)

  2. iCloud’s Back to My Mac Now Supports Remote Base Station Access

    On page 61 and 66 of Take Control of Screen Sharing in Lion, Glenn wrote that you can’t use an iCloud account to access an AirPort Disk or Time Capsule via Back to My Mac, even though you can with a MobileMe account. As Glenn had suspected when he drafted the manuscript, Apple has now added iCloud-based access to Time Capsule drives and USB-attached AirPort drives. Of course, accessing those drives just lets you work with the files on those drives—there is no screen to share on a Time Capsule or AirPort base station! Glenn wrote much more about this topic in his TidBITS article, AirPort Utility 6.0 Adds iCloud Support but Removes Many Features.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

The Author

Glenn Fleishman is a veteran technology writer who has contributed to dozens of publications across his career, including Macworld, the New York Times, Wired, the Atlantic, and the Economist. He has also written dozens of editions of books in the Take Control series. Glenn lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.