migformac news

Tips, tricks and recommendations: February 2020

In This Issue:

  • In Focus: How to Tame Photo Management
  • Application Tip of the Month: How to set up your preferred font and font size in Pages
  • Help Tip: Apple Support's YouTube Channel
  • New migformac website!!
  • About migformac

The Joys and Headaches of Our Photo Library

There is hardly a migformac day that goes by when I am not helping clients figure out their photo management system. We love that our iPhones can take photos that rival shots from a high-end digital camera, but the more photos and videos we take, the more space gets claimed for these visual delights. And then....what goes in the cloud, how do I find them, how do I sync them--or not? Here are some considerations regarding how to manage your photos and how to use iCloud Photo Library:


  • With the advent of the Photos application (replacing iPhoto) and the iCloud Photo Library, Apple offered you a way to store your photos and videos on your iCloud account so that your multiple Apple devices could sync this content, just as it does for Contacts, Calendars, etc. If a device dies, no worries; the photos/videos all are saved on iCloud.

  • If iCloud Photo Library is turned ON on all of your devices, then all the photos/videos will show up on all devices and, if you delete an image, it will delete on all devices. Also, if you EDIT photos--cropping or color enhancing--the edited photo will save across all devices. If you mark photos as Favorites, these will also sync. It's a great way to manage your library IF you don't have tens of thousands of photos in your library.

  • With the "Optimize Storage Option" in iCloud Photo Library, a low-resolution version of each photo will reside on the device so it doesn't take up as much physical space as a full-resolution version. The original size of the image is stored on iCloud.

  • If you like to organize your photos in Albums and then organize the Albums into Folders, all of these sync across all devices if iCloud Photo Library is turned on.


  • If you have a large Photo Library, then every device needs to have enough physical space to hold all the images. Apple buyers do not always think this through when they purchase a new device, only to find out that their new iPhone/iPad/Mac does not have enough storage to accommodate their Photo Library.

  • As with other cloud based services, Apple would love to host all of your media on iCloud because you have to buy space on their servers! The iCloud storage rates: free for 5GB, .99/mo for 50GB, 2.99/mo for 200GB, 9.99/mo for 1TB. Most users get by with either 50GB or 200GB of space.

  • You can't choose which photos to sync or not; iCloud Photo Library is all or nothing. Once you turn on iCloud Photo Library, all of the content in your Photo Library will reside in iCloud, viewable on every device that has that setting turned on.

Want to know more? Here's the Photos User Guide for Catalina.

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What Are My Photo Management Options?

Well, if you don't have a massive photo library, then using iCloud Photo Library is probably your best bet. (Some users opt for Google Photos for their media management, but I prefer the editing features, which I frequently use, in Photos. (But ask around, because there are Google Photos enthusiasts out there!)

Two other options:

  • If you have thousands of photos and some of them can be archived, you can create folders in the main Pictures folder on your Mac, and they won't count in your iCloud space. Let's say I had 3,000 old photographs in my Photos library; I could create named folders in the main Pictures folder and move these archival photos out of my Photos library into named folders on my Mac.
  • NOTE: Be sure you have an external hard drive to back up any personal data not saved in iCloud!
See image below for saving photos to the Pictures folder.

  • You can also move photos to Shared Albums in your Photo Library. This library is typically used for groups of people to share photos, like at weddings and special events. But you can also create albums for yourself here, and although these photos reside on iCloud, they do not count toward your iCloud storage. Here's more information on Shared Albums.
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Many Mac users were upset that their Microsoft Office 2011 suite did not work with Catalina, Mac's newest OS. So they took another look at Pages, Numbers and Keynote: Apple's equivalent applications to MS Office.

Pages is free and comes pre-installed on all Mac computers. It offers basic word processing as well as desktop publishing, with a decent collection of pre-installed templates. However, when you open a new document in Pages, it defaults to Helvetica Neue font, 11 point...not the preferred font or size for many users.

Here's how to set your preferred font type and size and to get these preferences to stay for every new document:

  1. Open Pages.
  2. Go to up to Pages in top left corner and then Preferences.
  3. Next to "Default Font," check the box for "Set font and size for new documents."
  4. Click the Font pop-up menu and choose your preferred font.
  5. Set the preferred font size.
  6. Click OK.

This will save your new font and size preferences for every new document. You can also go back to this same place to change the font and size if you want something different. Voila!

Apple Support has its own YouTube Channel! So if you are looking for quick-and-basic short videos on how to do all-things-Apple, go here.

Some examples:

  • How To Take Photos with Night Mode
  • 10 Helpful Apple Watch Tips
  • How to Free Up Storage on Your Mac

Check 'em out!

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A new year, a new website! I have recently updated my website with details about my services and expertise. You'll also find quick access to a selection of migformac newsletters as well.

Thank you to many clients for their strong endorsements of my work! I really believe in a tutor/teacher approach to technology rather than an impersonal, "geek" fix-it solution. It is so satisfying to observe clients as they feel more confident in their skills and actually enjoy engaging in their digital world!

Word-of-mouth is the very best form of advertisement, so feel free to share my website with others!

Special shout out to Michele Sager, awesome website designer of my new site.

About migformac

I typically come to clients' homes and offices to help with anything Mac related: iMacs, Mac laptops, iPhones, iPads, iPods, iCloud syncing, Photos organization, as well as Mac, Microsoft and Google applications. I also assist with wireless printers and other peripherals. I teach Apple technology classes to small and large groups and make Apple-related presentations to even larger groups.

Feel free to call or email me if you have questions: mig@migformac.com.