Many Mac applications and downloads arrive as a PKG package file, but have you ever wanted to open a PKG file to view exactly what is being installed and where it’s going from the source .pkg? Assuming you get a .pkg installer from a trusted source like Apple there is generally nothing to be concerned with about running a package installer file, but not all PKG installers are as trustworthy. Additionally, sometimes people are just curious about what exactly is going on behind the scenes, and what is going to be run by the package installer and where it intends to put files on a Mac
This is where the amusingly named ‘Suspicious Package’ application comes in to play, it’s a free Mac app which allows the opening and inspection of PKG installer files before the installation is actually executed, giving you a look at what is going to happen when the PKG is run.
Using Suspicious Package to open and inspect .pkg files on a Mac is not particularly complicated though it’s obviously most appropriate for advanced users who will have a general idea of what they’re looking at and what to make of it. If any of this sounds interesting to you, you’ll want to download and install the application, which includes a Quick Look plugin:
Get Suspicious Package free from the developer (for macOS and Mac OS X)
Once Suspicious Package is installed, you can give it a try by dragging any PKG installer file into the application, or selecting a package installer in the Finder and hitting Command+Spacebar to activate Quick Look on the package in question.
Within Suspicious Package, you’ll see three primary tabs which detail all sorts of information about the package file. The first is “Package Info” which shows an overview including how many items will be installed, the size of the installation, the developer ID and if it is signed (if applicable) and valid or expired, how many installation scripts are run, and where and when it was downloaded:
The “All Files” view shows you exactly what files are going to arrive from the package file and where they are going to go, including permissions for specific files:
The final tab shows the scripts that will be run, “post install” which are often cleanup bash scripts that adjust permissions or perform a cleanup duty:
While all of this is informative to any and all users, it’s really intended for advanced users who encounter package files from dubious sources or that are otherwise questionable. If you’re downloading all of your apps, updates, and packages from Apple.com or an equally trustworthy location, you may find Suspicious Package to be interesting but not particularly noteworthy since the source is trusted, though even packages from Apple can encounter weirdness like having a pkg get stuck on Verifying which can sometimes be troubleshooted through a utility like this. Where Suspicious Package really gets useful is in more advanced situations where higher Mac security is necessary and where users want to be sure a file is trusted and an installer isn’t doing anything sketchy when it’s run.
Longtime Mac users may recall that a package inspection feature used to exist in Mac OS X some time ago via the right-click menu, but that feature has since been removed. More advanced Mac users can still extract pkg files with pkgutil without actually installing them but it requires the use of the command line, and the Show Files method to see what files are going to be installed and where to is not always available or detailed enough.
Suspicious Package requires a relatively modern version of macOS or Mac OS X to use. Mac users with older system software can try Pacifist which performs a similar ability to dig around in PKG files if interested.
If you’ve ever encountered a lengthy document or webpage that you want the gist of, but don’t have the time to read or scan through, you can use the excellent Summarize Service in Mac OS X to summarize the text for you.
Summarize is adjustable as well, meaning you can choose how dense or light you want the summary to be. You can pick paragraphs or sentences, and adjust the length of the summary, which can vary from a simple outline condensed from the document, to a nearly cliff-notes like version of the text in question, or anything in between.
Summarize must be enabled on most Macs before it will be usable, and then its just a matter of learning how to use the summarize feature to provide a condensed overview of the document, web page, or any selected text. We’ll show you how to enable this helpful feature and how to use it.
Enabling Summarize in Mac OS
Before anything else, you must enable the Summarize service. This exists in nearly all even vaguely modern versions of macOS and Mac OS X:
Open the “System Preferences” from Apple menu and go to “Keyboard”
Choose the “Shortcuts” tab and visit “Services”
Scroll down until you find “Summarize” and enable the checkbox next to it
Close System Preferencse
Using Summarize on the Mac to Review Text
Now that Summarize is enabled, you can use it with any selected text, whether it’s a web page, a long word, text, or pages document, or just about anything else:
Choose the text you wish to summarize, if you want to summarize an entire document or webpage, select all the text (Command + A for Select All works well for this purpose)
Right-click on the selected text and go to the “Services” menu
Choose “Summarize” to bring up the Summarize Service feature
Adjust the ‘Summary Size’ dial as desired, as well as choosing Sentences or Paragraphs
As you’ll see, the summary instantly changes as you adjust the settings. Once you are satisfied with the summary, you can copy it, or save it, or discard it.
This is helpful for so many uses, whether you just want to get a quick outline of a document, get the general substance of something without reading it all, and so much more. For example, I had a colleague some years ago who would use Summarize with a word counter to shorten essays and long emails after they were written and they swore by the combination, not a bad idea!
Like any other item in the contextual Services menu, it can be disabled or removed just by going back to the Services system preference area and unchecking the box.
Thanks to LifeHacker for pointing out this useful but long forgotten feature in Mac OS X.
Some Mac users may wish to downgrade from MacOS Sierra Beta and revert back to OS X El Capitan, this is particularly common if you have found things to be less than stable or otherwise problematic and would like to return to a more stable operating system experience – a fairly common scenario for beta testers.There are a few different ways to remove MacOS Sierra and return to OS X El Capitan, the three primary methods are as follows:
– If you followed our instructions to dual boot MacOS Sierra and OS X El Capitan than you can simply remove the macOS Sierra partition (you’ll want to manually copy any important files from the Sierra volume), which will make El Capitan the primary operating system again.
– Performing a clean install of OS X El Capitan which involves erasing the Mac drive and starting over fresh and then restoring from a backup afterwards (more time consuming and hands-on, primarily for advanced users)
– Reverting back to El Capitan by restoring from a backup made with Time Machine prior to installing macOS Sierra, which is what we’re going to focus on here.
Since this requires a Time Machine backup to restore EL Capitan and remove Mac OS Sierra, obviously this method will not work if you do not have a Time Machine backup made prior to installing Sierra.
Downgrading MacOS Sierra to OS X El Capitan with Time Machine
This will completely remove MacOS Sierra Beta from the computer and instead replace it with OS X El Capitan. If you have made any important changes or created new files while in Sierra, you’ll want to back those up separately, since Time Machine uses date based backups to recover the operating system and files.
Attach the Time Machine drive to the Mac if you have not done so already
Reboot the Mac and hold down the Command + R keys (or, if applicable you can boot from an OS X El Capitan boot disk with the Option key)
At the “Utilities” screen, choose “Restore from Time Machine backup”
Select the backup for OS X El Capitan (10.11.x) made prior to installing MacOS Sierra that you wish to revert back to, then click on “Continue”
Choose the destination drive to restore, typically this is “Macintosh HD” unless you named your drive something else
Let the Time Machine restore process complete which will remove macOS Sierra and restore the Mac back to OS X El Capitan
When the Mac reboots, it will be running OS X El Capitan and appear just as it was for the matching date from the last El Capitan backup. MacOS Sierra will be removed completely.
You can always upgrade to MacOS Sierra again at any time if desired, or you can stay on OS X El Capitan, whatever works for you and your Mac.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where Bluetooth needs to be enabled on a Mac, but you don’t have a mouse or keyboard handy? This can pose a conundrum; in order to re-enable Bluetooth, you must use a Bluetooth mouse or keyboard… That may sound a little silly, but it’s a situation which can arise if you use a Bluetooth keyboard or Bluetooth mouse, and if Bluetooth gets disabled somehow. Since most desktop Mac usage scenarios utilize Bluetooth hardware, it’s not as rare as it may sound, and it can be challenging to enable the Bluetooth service and thus regain access to input devices on the Mac.
We’re going to show you how to tackle that situation in Mac OS, so that you can enable Bluetooth even if you can’t connect a Bluetooth mouse or Bluetooth keyboard to the computer to do so.
Keep in mind this is not a general Bluetooth troubleshooting guide, it’s aimed specifically at users who find the Bluetooth service to be disabled and they are therefore unable to use a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse on their Mac. If you need general Bluetooth troubleshooting steps, start with replacing the batteries of the devices, reset the Bluetooth hardware on Mac, and some other tips for resolving Bluetooth Not Available errors.
Also, remember that the latest Apple Magic Mouse 2 and Apple Wireless Keyboard 2 models both have a USB lightning port on them, which means they can be plugged in directly to the Mac to get around such a problem.
How to Enable Bluetooth on Mac Without a Mouse in Mac OS X
This demonstrates how to enable Bluetooth if you only can connect a keyboard to a Mac. This is common if your Mac uses a Bluetooth mouse or trackpad and somehow Bluetooth is disabled, where it can be extra challenging to get the service turned on again. Fortunately as long as you have a keyboard handy (USB or otherwise), plug it in and you can enable Bluetooth with just that keyboard by following these instructions:
Connect a USB keyboard to the Mac (or use the built-in keyboard on a MacBook laptop)
Hit Command+Spacebar to bring up Spotlight, then type in “Bluetooth File Exchange” and hit the Return key
This launches the Bluetooth File Exchange app, which will immediately recognize that Bluetooth is turned off, simply hit the “Return” key again to choose the “Turn Bluetooth On” button
Once Bluetooth is enabled, quit out of Bluetooth File Exchange app
You can also navigate to and through the Bluetooth settings with just the keyboard, but that’s quite a bit more complex than simply searching for the app which triggers the service enabler directly.
How to Enable Bluetooth Without a Keyboard in Mac OS X
Enabling Bluetooth when you don’t have a USB keyboard is easy since you can just use any USB Mouse or USB trackpad as usual to enable the service with the cursor:
Pull down the Bluetooth menu item in Mac OS X and choose “Turn Bluetooth On”
If the Bluetooth menu item is also disabled, simply go to the Apple menu, choose System Preferences, Bluetooth, and turn the Bluetooth service on from there with the mouse.
Once Bluetooth has been enabled with the mouse, you can connect the Bluetooth keyboard as usual, along with any other devices.
How to Enable Bluetooth Without a Keyboard or Mouse in Mac OS X
This is a trickier situation, which is usually encountered if there is no USB keyboard or USB mouse available, and both the mouse and keyboard are Bluetooth instead. It’s usually iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro users who encounter this experience, in which case the following steps are necessary:
First thing first, be sure the Bluetooth keyboard and Bluetooth mouse have sufficient battery power and are turned on
Disconnect all physical devices from the Mac, including any peripherals and anything except the power cable
Reboot the Mac (or boot the Mac if it was shut down) using the physical hardware button located on the machine (it’s usually on the back on modern Macs)
This will trigger the Bluetooth setup wizard and detect the Bluetooth devices and enable the service automatically, assuming they are within range and sufficiently charged
If for some reason the bluetooth setup wizard doesn’t trigger and the Mac boots up again with Bluetooth disabled, you’ll probably want to get your hands on either a USB mouse or USB keyboard and refer to the methods outlined above to enable Bluetooth with either just a mouse, or just a keyboard.
If you spend a lot of time at the command line, you undoubtedly find yourself adjusting and editing text and commands, and you likely often need to move the cursor to a further position in the Terminal from where it’s actively located. Sure you can use the arrow keys to move left and right on a per-character basis, or you can use the handy put cursor at mouse position trick, but another option is to move the cursor position word by word in Terminal, skipping back or forward by entire word blocks rather than individual text characters.
There are a few ways to achieve this, but the easiest which requires no modifications to the Terminal uses a longstanding series of two different keyboard shortcuts:
Move Cursor Forward by Word in Terminal: Escape + F
Escape F moves the cursor forward a word at the command line.
Move Cursor Backward by Word in Terminal: Escape + B
Escape B moves the cursor backward by a word at the command line.
Moving forward and back word by word at the command line with these two keystrokes is demonstrated in the simple animated GIF below:
These two keystrokes have been around at the command line for ages, and so though they certainly work to navigate by word block in the Mac OS X Terminal, they should also work in just about any other unix based terminal you come across as well.
There are also two Mac OS specific keystrokes to navigate in text word by word forward and backward in Mac OS X Terminal and in most other Mac apps too:
Option + Left Arrow Moves Cursor Left by a Word in Mac OS X Terminal
Option / ALT and the Left Arrow will also move the cursor position left by a word throughout Mac OS.
Option + Right Arrow Moves Cursor Right by a Word in Mac Terminal
Option / ALT and the Right Arrow will send the cursor position right by a word throughout Mac OS as well.
Remember, the option key is the ALT key on Macs, and vice versa, though some models and regions will label them differently they are always the same key.
You shouldn’t need to make any adjustments to terminal for the option tricks to work either, but if you find they are not working in Terminal app you may have better results with enabling Option as Meta key in Terminal for Mac.
The Recovery partition in Mac OS X is an important component of a system install in that it allows you to troubleshoot a computer, repair drives, restore from backups, and even reinstall Mac OS if need be. Nonetheless, in some specific situations you may find that a Mac does not have a Recovery partition, usually because it has either been unintentionally removed or because a drive was cloned and the Recovery partition wasn’t brought along in that duplication process.
If you find yourself in a situation where a Mac is missing the bootable recovery drive partition, you can recreate the Recovery Partition in two different ways, as we’ll show you here.
The first method of rebuilding a Recovery partition is to simply reinstall OS X onto the Mac, of course the obvious difficulty with that approach is that unless you use Internet Recovery mode or a USB installer, you can’t access the reinstall function. While using a bootable USB Mac OS X installer or Internet Recovery works just fine for those with good internet access or a separate install drive, another option is available as well by using a third party tool that is freely available on the web. That’s what we’re going to focus primarily on here, since the third party solution does not require the compete reinstallation of Mac OS X to repair and rebuild a Recovery partition onto a Mac.
How to Create & Restore a Recovery Partition in Mac OS X
Missing a Recovery partition? Here is how you can quickly re-create one on a Mac:
Download a copy of the “Install OS X” or “Install Mac OS X” from the Mac App Store under the “Purchases” tab which matches the version of system software on your Mac (for example, the “Install OS X Mavericks” app, or “Install macOS Sierra” app)
Go to the developers website here and download the latest version of Recovery Partition Creator, it’s an AppleScript that will handle the recreation of the recovery drive
After the app has downloaded, right-click on “Recovery Partition Creator.app” and choose “Open” to bypass Gatekeeper
Follow the onscreen instructions, and select the primary drive you want to restore a recovery partition onto (typically Macintosh HD unless you named the drive differently, or are using a separate disk)
Point to the Mac OS X installer application you downloaded in the first step and let the AppleScript do it’s work
When the Recovery Partition Creator app is finished running, reboot the Mac and hold down Command+R to boot into Recovery and confirm the recovery partition now exists and works as intended
The recreated recovery partition is identical to one that comes with modern versions of Mac OS X to begin with, and it will offer full access to the restore, testing, and reinstalling features you would expect to see.
I had to run through this process recently on a Mac that had changed physical hard disks where the drive had been cloned first, which works great but routinely does not bring along the Recovery partition with that procedure. It doesn’t take too long to restore though, and it’s fairly straight forward process to rebuild the recovery drive again, so if you find yourself in a situation where the Recovery partition is missing or you (or someone else) have inadvertently removed that critical Recovery partition from a Mac, (or maybe intentionally deleted it too) just run through the above process to create a new one and restore that functionality again.
from : http://osxdaily.com/2016/07/03/recreate-recovery-partition-mac/
The next version of Mac system software is called macOS Sierra, it’s versioned as Mac OS X 10.12, and it will be available as a free download for all compatible Macs in the fall. Of course this begs the question, which Macs are compatible with macOS Sierra? What Mac hardware can run the new operating system and enjoy features like Siri, Continuity Clipboard, and more?
If the Mac is fairly new it will certainly support macOS Sierra, but many older Macs are getting cut off from the compatibility list, including any Mac made before late 2009. That means many Macs that support the current versions of Mac OS X system software won’t be able to run MacOS Sierra at all, and instead will be stuck staying on an earlier software release.
List of Macs Compatible with MacOS Sierra 10.12
According to Apple, the official compatible hardware list of Macs capable of running Mac OS Sierra 10.12 is as follows:
MacBook Pro (2010 and later)
MacBook Air (2010 and later)
Mac Mini (2010 and later)
Mac Pro (2010 and later)
MacBook (Late 2009 and later)
iMac (Late 2009 and later)
This list of supported Macs is offered directly from Apple, shown during the MacOS Sierra debut presentation at WWDC 2016 conference. The still from that presentation is shown below with the same compatibility list:
How to Check Your Mac for MacOS Sierra Compatibility
The simplest way to determine if your Mac is compatible with MacOS Sierra is to check the model make and model year, here is how to do that:
Open the Apple menu in the upper left corner and choose “About This Mac”
From the “Overview” tab, look under the current system software version and for the computer model and year
If the Mac is the same or a later model year than what is shown in the macOS Sierra compatibility list above, the Mac is compatible with 10.12.
You may notice the compatibility list for MacOS Sierra 10.12 is a little curious because some of the Macs that are incompatible have better hardware than some of the hardware that is included in the compatible list. It’s unclear why this is, but this does suggest that support for MacOS Sierra is not just a matter of hardware specs alone, as the minimum system requirements for macOS Sierra are not clearly defined by minimum CPU type or speed, RAM, GPU, or disk capacity. That makes macOS Sierra a little unusual compared to some of the other Mac OS X releases from years past, but as time goes on we may get a clearer picture as to why this is.
Developers can download MacOS Sierra right now from the App Store and developer center, whereas the general public will have to wait until the fall to get their hands on the final version.
Of course it’s not just MacOS that is getting an update this fall, and for mobile users, you can check the iOS 10 compatibility list of supported iPhone and iPad models too.