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How to Compose & Send New Emails With Microsoft Outlook

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 12:55

Emails are a big part of most of our personal and professional lives. According to statistics from market research firm the Radicati Group, there are over 2.6 billion email users in the world. You're probably one of them.

You've got many choices for email services. One popular email software is Microsoft Outlook. If you're just getting started with Outlook and you've never used it before, you may wonder how to send an email. 

Whether you're new to using Outlook or just need a refresher, this tutorial can help. In it you'll learn how to compose an email and send it. We'll also cover some email basics like message formatting and how to attach files to an email.

Guide to Inbox Zero Mastery (Free eBook Download)

Before going further in learning how to use Microsoft Outlook, be sure to grab our Free eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Inbox Zero Mastery. It's packed wth inbox organization strategies and killer tips for managing all your incoming email more efficiently.

Now let's dig into the material on how to compose an email with Outlook. 

How to Compose an Email With Outlook (Video) 

In the screencast above learn how to compose an email in MS Outlook and send it. Or, read on for comprehensive written instructions to help you create your first email message.

Step 1. Open Microsoft Outlook

Before you can learn how to send an email using Outlook, you first need to open it.

So, open Microsoft Outlook on your desktop. In most cases, this means clicking on the Outlook icon. Microsoft Outlook opens:

The portion of the screen below the tab options of File, Home, Send/Receive, etc. is called the Ribbon.

Important: Microsoft has several current versions of Outlook available. Your screen appearance and functionality could very slightly depending on which version you are using and how it is configured.

You'll notice that Outlook automatically opens to your Inbox. Since this is a new Outlook account, we don't have many incoming email messages.

Also note that the main portion of the menu options below the tab options is called the Ribbon

Step 2. Create a New Outlook Message

The next step in sending your first message with MS Outlook is to learn how to create a new email.

To create a new Microsoft Outlook email message, click the New Email option on the far left of the Microsoft Outlook Ribbon under the Home tab. The New Messages window appears in the MS Outlook Message tab:

Start your message by filling out the header information on the New Messages window.Step 3. Fill Out the Header Information

The first thing you'll need to fill out on the New Messages window is the email header information. This consists of the following fields:

  • From Drop-down. This field contains the email address you're sending the email message from. (Note: If your Outlook account is only attached to one email account, this field won't appear.)
  • To. The To field contains the email address or addresses you're sending the email message to.
  • Cc. In this field you can include additional email recipients.
  • Subject. The Subject field contains a brief description of your email topic.
1. How to Fill Out the Email Header Info (To, From, and Subject)

To start, make sure the information in the From field is correct. This field defaults to the current email address you're using with Microsoft Outlook. If you use more than one email address with Microsoft Outlook, you'll see a down arrow to the right of the word From. This arrow allows you to switch the From field to another email address if you click on it. Here's what happens when you click the down arrow:

If MS Outlook is tied to more than one email address, you can switch between addresses in the From field.

Next, you want to identify who you're sending the email message to using the To field. You can do this is one of two ways:

  1. Type the email address in the field. If there's more than one email address, use a comma to separate them.
  2. Click the To field to search your email contacts. Select the contacts you want to send the message to from the Select Names: Contacts dialog box.

Here's a look at the Select Names: Contacts dialog box:

Use the Select Names Contacts dialog box to add email addresses from your MS Outlook address book.

You also need to complete the Subject field before you send your email message. In this field, type a short description of what the email is about. The tutorial below discusses email subject lines, but many of the principles apply to other emails as well:

2. How to Copy Someone on MS Outlook (Cc, Bcc)

You don't have to copy anyone on your email message to send it, but MS Outlook gives you the option to copy or blind copy additional recipients if you want to.

Contacts who are copied (Cc) on an email message are typically not expected to respond. They're receiving the message for informational purposes only. For example, you may copy your boss on an important memo.

Contacts who are blind-copied (Bcc) on an email message aren't visible to others who receive the message. They're also not expected to respond. You may want to use this option if you need to keep a recipient's email information private.

To copy recipients on your email, either type their email addresses in the Cc field or click the Cc field to select the contacts from the Select Names: Contacts dialog box.

You can also access the Select Names: Contacts dialog box from the Cc field in MS Outlook.

Also, you can use the Select Names: Contacts dialog box to specify the recipients are being blind-copied on the message. Instead of clicking the To or Cc field on the dialog box, use the Bcc field.

Step 4. Compose a New Message With MS Outlook

Once you've filled out the email header information, you're ready to learn how to compose an email. This is the content of your message.

Simply type the message in the box below the header information:

Type your email contents in the New Messages window.

For advice on how to write an effective email, review these tutorials:

Once you've written your message, you're not done. To maximize its effectiveness, you should use some of Outlook's formatting features. Let's take a closer look at those:

1. How to Format Your Message.

Microsoft Outlook supports basic text formatting tools common to other Microsoft products. You can find them on the Ribbon in the Format Text tab:

You'll find the text formatting options on the Format Text tab in MS Outlook.

Here's a summary of some of the Microsoft Outlook formatting features available:

  • font
  • size
  • bold
  • italic
  • underline
  • font color
  • align font
  • numbered list
  • bulleted list
  • indent less
  • indent more
  • quote
  • remove formatting
  • strike through
  • double strike through
  • superscript
  • subscript
  • small caps
  • all caps
  • hidden

Note: You can also find many of these formatting options on the Message tab in the Formatting section of the ribbon.

To use one of the formatting tools, highlight the text you want to format with your cursor. Then, click the formatting option in the ribbon that you want to apply to the text.

In the example below, I've applied italics and a numbered list to the text:

You can add formatting to an email using MS Outlook.

Caution: Outlook uses HTML to produce most text formatting options. If the person receiving the message is using an email system that only supports Plain Text, they won't be able to see the formatting you applied.

2. How to Remove Text Formatting in Microsoft Outlook

MS Outlook also allows you to remove text formatting quickly and easily. You might want to do this if you need to send a message in Plain Text format. Here's an example:

You can remove text formatting in MS Outlook using the Clear All Formatting icon.

To remove text formatting, highlight the text you want to unformat and click the Clear All Formatting icon in the Ribbon. The formatting is gone.

 3. How to Attach a File or Item to a MS Outlook Email Message

You can easily attach a file or item to your message using the Attach File icon or the Attach Item icon. These icons are found on the Message tab:

Use the Attach File or Attach Item icon to attach a file or item to your MS Outlook email message.

Or on the Insert tab you'll find the Attach File icon and the Outlook icon:

On the Insert tab the Outlook Item icon allows you to attach other email messages to your new message.

To attach a file or item to your message, place your cursor in the message.  Click the icon and select the item to be attached from your PC or from the list that appears.  The item is attached below the Subject line:

The attached file displays beneath your Microsoft Outlook email Subject line.4. How to Insert a Link Into an MS Outlook Email Message

You can also insert a link into your email message from the Insert tab using the Link icon.

Place your cursor in the message where you want to add the link. Click the Link icon. The Insert Hyperlink dialog box displays:

Use the Link icon to insert a hyperlink into your Outlook email message.

Type the URL of the link you want to include in the Address field. If the text you want to display is different from the URL, type it in the Text to display field. Click OK. The link is inserted into the body of your message:

You can insert hyperlinks directly into the text of your MS Outlook email message. Caution: Outlook uses HTML to insert a link. If the person receiving the message is using an email system that only supports Plain Text, they won't be able to see the link you applied.   5. How to Add a Photo to an Outlook Message

You can also add a photo or graphic image into the body of your message from the Insert tab using the Pictures or Online Picture icons. Here's the Insert Picture dialog box:

You can insert images into the body of your MS Outlook email message.

Another way to insert an image into your Outlook message is through the Online icon (next to the Pictures icon). This icon lets you choose a picture from your computer to insert into your email. The Online icon opens up a Bing image search

Warning: Many online images are copyrighted. Be sure to check the copyright information on any image before using it.

To add an image, place your cursor in the message where you want the picture to appear. Click the icon and select the image. The selected image appears in your email message:

You can insert an image into your email text.

Caution: Outlook uses HTML to display images in messages. If the person receiving the message is using an email system that only supports Plain Text, they won't be able to see the picture in your message.  

Note: The image appears in its original size. Drag the edges of the image to resize it.

The Format tab may automatically open and you can format the image you just added. 

6. How to Add a Signature Image

One way to make your email more professional is to add a professional signature template. Professional signature templates are available through Envato Elements and Envato GraphicRiver.

To add a professional signature image from a template, click on the Signature icon from the Message tab. From the drop-down menu, click Signatures. The Signatures and Stationery dialog box appears:

Use the Insert Picture icon on the Signatures and Stationery dialog box to add a signature image to your email.

If you've got more than one email account attached to your Microsoft Outlook email, you'll have to use the Select signature to edit field to choose which signature you're editing.

Click in the box below Edit signature and click the Insert Picture icon. Select your picture from the Insert Picture dialog box and click the OK button. The signature will automatically be added to all outgoing emails.

The signature template above is based on the 1127 Email Signature Template from Envato's GraphicRiver.

The article below contains some additional information about signature templates:

Step 5. Review Your Message

Once you've finished your message, check it over carefully to make sure there are no mistakes or typos. Mistakes in a business or personal email can make a bad impression. Here are some of the areas you should check:

  1. Completeness. Does the email say everything it's supposed to? If an action is required, will the recipient understand what to do? Is the purpose of the message clear and easy to understand?
  2. Tone. It's easy for a reader to misunderstand the tone of your message. If you can, it's a good idea to have a friend or colleague read over the message. Ask them whether the message makes you seem angry or upset. If they feel it does, revise your message.
  3. Spelling and Grammar. Under the Review tab, there's a Spelling and Grammar icon. Use this checker to look for mistakes, but be aware that checkers sometimes miss word usage mistakes. So, it's a good idea to read over your email as well.
  4. Accuracy. Are the details in your information correct? Doublecheck the spelling of names of people and things. If there is a phone number or street address, make sure it is right. Pay particular attention to the decimal points in numbers, especially if they involve dollar figures.
  5. Formatting. Proper formatting can make your email easier to read. Make sure to take advantage of formatting features like bold, italics, numbered or bulleted lists.
  6. Attachments. If your message is supposed to include attached files, are the files actually attached to the message? If not, attach them now.
Step 6. Send Your Outlook Email Message

Once you've carefully reviewed your message, you're ready to send it. Click the Send button in the upper left of the New Message window. Your message is sent.

If you decide not to send your message, you do have other options. You can:

  • Discard a message.
  • Save a message as a draft.

Here's instructions on how to do both: 

1. How to Save a Message a Draft

To save a message as a draft, go to the File tab. Click the Save option. The unsent message is saved to your Drafts folder. 

The next time you open your email, click the Drafts folder. Double-click on your message to open it.

2. How to Discard an Microsoft Outlook Email Message

If you really dislike your unsent message, you can choose not to save it. Simply click the X at the upper right corner of the New Message window to close it. The system prompts: Want to save your changes? Click the No button.

The New Message window closes and your email message draft is discarded. 

More Helpful Email Tips and Strategies

Don't forget to sign up to the Tuts+ Business newsletter and grab our free eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Inbox Zero Mastery. It's packed wth inbox organization strategies and killer tips for managing all your incoming email more efficiently. 

Conclusion

Now that you've learned how to send an email with Microsoft Outlook you're ready to start using Outlook. You've also learned some Outlook basics like how to format a message, how to save a message to send later, and how to attach a file to an email message. So, go ahead. Send that first Outlook message today!

How to Do More With Photos in Apple Photos App: Part 4

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 09:00

Apple's Photos is the default photos app for macOS. Photos makes it simple to browse, edit, and manage your growing photo and video library. The powerful editing and organisation tools built into the Photos complement the workflow so you can share them instantly.

The fourth part of this tutorial uncovers tips and tricks related to the Photos app, showing its capabilities and ways you can use it on macOS  and iOS devices for greater productivity in managing photos.

For this tutorial, I’ve used a 9.7 inch iPad (2017) with iOS 11.2.1 and a Mac Mini with macOS Sierra 10.12.6.

34. Backup the Photos Library With Google Backup and Sync

Backup and Sync is an app for Mac and PC that lets you backup photos and files. Once you install the app, click the Backup and Sync menu and choose More > Preferences. Sign in to the Google account, that you use for Google Photos and Drive.

Google Sync preference in Mac. Click the More icon and choose preference

Choose the default location of Photos library and check Backup photos and videos. Under Photo and video upload size choose either High quality or Original quality.

Photos and video you upload with original quality will count against your Google Drive quota. But if you choose high quality, then you’ll get unlimited free storage.

When you remove an item, Backup and Sync lets you keep all the items in sync, so if you remove a item from the computer or Google Drive, that item will delete from all the devices. You can also delete a item from the computer but let it stay on the Google Drive.

Or, let it ask you what to do when you delete a item from the computer.

Backup photos with Google Backup and Sync
35. Organise Albums into Folders in Mac

When you’ve albums of the same type, such as holiday photos of each year, you may want to put them in a folder. This helps to reduce clutter in the My Albums and makes it easy to browse photos of a like kind.

Open the Photos app and click File > New Folder. Or, primary-click in the My Albums and select New Folder. Give the new folder a name, and drag the albums inside the folder. Click the arrow to collapse and expand the folder.

If you later decide to delete the folder, all the albums will get removed but photos will remain safe. Note—you can’t move the shared albums into a folder.

Create new folder to group albums
36. Remove Location Data From Photos

When you take pictures with an iPhone, it records the location along with other metadata.

Whilst location metadata is useful, at times you may not want other people to know where you’ve been. Or, let them know when you share a photo.

If you don’t want to capture location information, then open the Settings app and go to Privacy > Location Services > Camera and choose Never. Doing so will eliminate the ability to make albums based on location. 

Also, this setting only applies to the default Camera app. If you use a third-party app, then you’ve to manually alter the setting from it as well.

Disable location services in camera app for iOS

On Mac, open the photo and click the Get Info button in the toolbar. From the menu choose Image > Location and click Remove Location

 When you remove the location, you’ll not see this information when you share or export the photo. This procedure quickly becomes tedious when you’ve hundreds of photos.

Remove location metadata in photos for Mac

You need an app which is simple but also removes bloated metadata from hundreds of photos. Install the ImageOptim app and check Preferences > Strip JPEG metadata

Drag the images onto the app and wait for the process to complete.

Imageoptim preference to strip location info on Mac

To remove location data from photos in iOS, you’ll need a third party app. HashPhotos for iOS lets you easily remove Exif and location related metadata. 

Open the photo and tap Share icon. Tap Remove Metadata and Save.

Remove location information from iOS through a third party app
37. Convert HEIF to JPEG

Apple announced support for HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) in macOS High Sierra and iOS 11 in June 2017 with filename HEIC. 

HEIF, in comparison to JPEG, can store multiple photos in one file, supports better compression and can store image edits. Being a new format you cannot view this file if you switch from High Sierra to Sierra or have a PC running Windows 10.

If you run into problems or wish to see the photos on a PC, use the HEIC converter from iMazing. Drag and drop the images and click Convert.

HEIC converter from iMazing app
38. Fine Tune Photos With Adjust Control

Photos app includes a variety of adjustment tools. Open the photo and press A on the keyboard to open adjustment panel. 

There are three basic adjustment categories—Light, Color, and Black & White. Each category include a number of tools. Click the Add button to add or remove adjustments.

Add or remove adjustments in Photos app

There’s a vertical white slider atop a row of thumbnails called as smart slider. 

They’re smart because dragging one adjusts a slew of settings simultaneously. For example, dragging the Light slider adjust exposure, highlights, brightness and more. 

You can also adjust individual controls.

Smart slider in adjustment panel 1. Smart slider 2. Individual slider for fine tuning

When you click and drag any one of the sliders, the scale can increase or decrease in the range from –1.00 to +1.00. If you press the Option key, then drag the slider, the scale increases from –2.00 to +2.00.

Every action you perform in the adjustment panel is non-destructive. You can safely experiment with the photos without worrying. At each step press the M key on the keyboard to compare the edits and if you don’t like the edits click Revert to Original.

39. Organise Photos by Creating a Smart Album

Smart albums lets you gather and display photos based on their attributes. It could be inherent to the picture itself (camera used, exposure details, location, date and time, location) or based on information that you’ve added (keyword, faces). 

It is available only on macOS.

To create a smart album, choose File > New Smart Album… or press Command-Option-N. In the dialog that appears, type the name of the smart album and set the conditions for the smart album. 

On the left side select the attribute you’d like to choose. Next set the is or is not condition.

On the right side, choose what you’d like to do with the photo. For example, tagged with GPS, referenced, favorite, edited and more.

Create smart album in Photos for Mac

For example, if you want to find images that contain location data then choose Photo:is:tagged with GPS

Photos will immediately find all the listing, and will indicate it with gear icon. You can refine the match by adding more conditions.

Click the + icon, and this time choose Date:is in the range: 1/1/2017 to 31/12/2017. Adjust the title to include 2017 and select match all of the following conditions.

Smart albums in Photos app tagged with GPS
40. Organise Photos by Keywords

Keywords are tags or labels you add to the photos to help locate specific pictures and videos, regardless of which album, collection or year they’re in. 

There’s a key difference in between albums and keywords. Albums are great for grouping pictures but keywords are great for describing characteristics of images that are also likely to appear in other images.

To add a keyword, select a single or multiple images and choose Window > Info or Command-I to open the floating info window. Under Add a Keyword section enter the keyword. Put a comma if you want to add more keywords.

Add keyword to a photo

If you maintain a large list of keywords and want to add, edit, or delete bunch of keywords then use Keyword Manager. Choose Window > Keyword Manager or Command-K to open the Keyword Manager.

Keyword manager for the photos app 1.quick group area 2. list of all the keyword

With Keyword Manager you assign keywords or edit your list of keywords. Click the Edit Keywords button to see the Manage My Keywords window. From here you can add, delete, rename and assign a keyboard shortcut to a keyword.

Edit keyword in the keyword manager for the Photos app 1. Add or Delete keyword 2. Rename keyword 3. List of all the shortcuts
41. Use Photos With Workflow App

Workflow for iOS is a powerful app to let you perform tedious and repetitive tasks easily. It combine a bunch of steps across apps into a single tap. 

You can mix and match hundreds of actions through drag and drop to create quick shortcuts, manage media, share content and much more.

Launch the Workflow app and tap + Create Workflow. Under Actions tap Photos and Video, you’ll notice it supports a bunch of actions—edit, crop, flip, overlay, resize, rotate and more. 

If you’re just getting started, then we’ve a complete tutorial series on Workflow.

Workflow app for iOS
42. Use Photos With Automator for Mac

Automator, included as a part of macOS enables you to construct multi-step operations called workflows using graphical building blocks rather than code. With workflows you’ll be able to solve everyday problems. 

For example, you can create a graphic from a phrase, import all the photos from a web page into photos, create and mount a disk image, and more.

If you’re just getting started, then we’ve a beginner tutorial on Automator and uses for Automator. The workflow I use most is to scale images at specified size.

Launch the Automator app. Create a new Folder Action document to move screenshot from Desktop to a particular folder and scale it to a specific width.

Create a folder action in Automator

Then, at the top of the window it says, Folder Action receives files and folders added to. Click where it says Choose Folder and select the Desktop folder.

On the left side, there is a list of all the available actions. Look for Find Finder Items and drag it to the right side of the window to build the workflow.

Add find finder items action to the automator workflow

Change from All to Any and choose the following parameters

*Name* begins with a Screenshot
File extension ends with *png*

Change parameter of find finder items in Automator

Drag the Move Finder Items to the right side of the window. Set the To: parameter to the folder of your choice. 

Drag Scale Images to the right side of the window to conclude the workflow. This workflow will move a screenshot to the designated folder and scale it to 850px.

Final part of the automator action
Conclusion

In the final part of this tutorial series I showed you some tips and tricks you can use to improve workflow with the Photos app. Photos is the default app for macOS and someways it’s the most feature rich app developed by Apple.

Every release of macOS adds some new features to it. If you want to manage your photo library, then you must at least try Apple Photos.


7 Interactive Presentation Ideas to Engage Your Audience

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 12:55

As freelancers and small business owners, our clients hire us for our expertise and solutions to problems that they have. That's why I firmly believe that when the opportunity arises, it's a great idea to give a presentation and share your knowledge.

Too often, presentations are thought of as one-way communications; the speaker is on the stage delivering their presentation and it's the audience's role to listen attentively. 

This isn't the only model for giving a presentation, however. You can involve the audience by giving an interactive presentation. In this tutorial, I'm going to share ideas on how to make an engaging presentation by including audience participation in your presentation. With an interactive presentation you'll make a memorable impression. I'll share seven interactive presentation ideas to engage your audience.

Guide to Making Great Presentations (Free eBook Download)

Before we dig into the tips though, there's another resource we have that can help you to improve your presentations. Download our FREE eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations.

It will help you with the complete presentation process, taking the ideas you'll learn in this article further.

Now, let's take a look at how you can make your presentations more interactive:

1. Lead a Q&A Session

One of the most popular ways to engage an audience is to open the floor for a question and answer (Q&A) session. These sessions give you the opportunity to take questions from the audience and interact with them.

Leave time at the end of your presentation to take questions from the audience. Not only will a Q&A session spark direct interaction with the audience, it gives you a chance to share your knowledge and build up your expertise. The audience may even consider the way you're answering your questions and picture working with you. Here's a sample slide you can add to your presentation: 

A simple Any Questions slide, like this one I built with Eureka, can open the floor up for questions from your audience.

When you open up questions to the audience, it really opens the floor for discussion. The presentation might go in a direction it may never have gone without the audience input. 

Check out the full tutorial below for a complete guide to preparing for a Q&A session with the audience.

2. Host an Experts Panel

One interactive presentation idea is to have an experts panel during your presentation. An experts panel is like a Q&A session on steroids. Instead of simply directing all of the questions to one speaker, design your presentation around a group of experts that are well-equipped to answer any question that may arise.

Most expert panel sessions feature a mix of questions you'll prepare for the audience and questions from audience members.

The video below from TechCrunch's Disrupt conference is a great example of an expert panel:

You might be afraid that you can't find qualified candidates for your own expert panel. Don't forget that there's plenty of benefits for the experts who participate, as it gives them a chance to showcase their expertise. The experts don't have to be industry leaders to add insight, they just have to be more knowledgeable than the audience.

3. Get Audience Feedback in Real-Time

What if you could find out what your audience is thinking while you're giving a presentation? You could use this feedback to not only understand your audience, but also potentially slightly tweak the presentation as you go.

Audience participation in presentations can help. This could be as simple as a show of hands question, such as "How many of you freelance for your primary source of income?" However, there are even better ways to take a poll and feedback from your audience.

I recently attended a presentation where the presenter used a tool called DirectPoll to solicit feedback from the audience. This tool lets you create a quick poll that your audience can access and vote on from their mobile device.

A tool like DirectPoll can be used to garner feedback from the audience, and you can use the results to tailor your presentation.

A poll is an engaging way to let your audience know that you care about their opinions and are speaking directly to them. Consider a poll to grab attention and build trust, simply by showing that you're interested in their background.

4. Employ a "Choose Your Own Adventure" Approach

When I was younger, my favorite books were ones that had a fork in the road where I could choose my path. Instructions like "turn to page 43 if you want to take the door on the left, turn to page 55 if you want to take the door on the right" made me feel like I was in control of what happened to the characters.

What if we brought this same mindset to giving a presentation, except we let the audience influence which direction we go? Using either the polling approach I showed you earlier or a simple show of hands, consider designing a presentation that has multiple branches. Here's a sample interactive presentation slide you could use:

This slide from Eureka was easily customized to be used for a "choose your own adventure" interactive presentation slide.

Those presentation branches could vary the anecdotes you tell the audience, the videos you show, or really any piece of content that you have multiple options for.

This approach requires a bit more preparation, but it also has a number of advantages. First, having multiple paths for your presentation means that you may never give the same presentation twice. 

More importantly, the best part of making the audience choose the path for the presentation is that your audience may ask for the stories they didn't hear as a follow-up. 

A branching presentation is yet another opportunity of how to interact with audience during the presentation. Giving the audience a role in deciding the direction of a presentation is one of the best ways to interact.

5. Follow-Up After the Presentation

Follow up is another way to interact with  your audience. There's no reason that giving a presentation has to be the last contact you can have with the audience. What if your presentation could become the beginning of a dialogue between you and the audience members?

Many freelancers and small businesses use presentations and speaking engagements to gently promote their businesses. There are many great stories of using a presentation to gain new clients. 

The wrong way to approach presentation follow-up is as a heavy-handed sales pitch. Instead, educating the audience and showing your expertise will make them think of you the next time they need to hire someone. Here's a slide that invites continued audience participation:

The Eureka PowerPoint theme from Envato Elements includes a "Contact Us" slide that you can customize with your own details to allow your audience to follow up later.

Here are three ideas to ensure that your presentation won't be the last time you speak to the audience:

  1. Make sure to include a Contact Us slide that gives your audience the chance to reach out to you. An email address or social media handle can be the start of a conversation with the audience to find collaborators or potential clients.
  2. Consider taking contact details from your audience before the presentation. If they're willing to share their email address, for example, you could reach out to them after the presentation in a personal way.
  3. Send anyone who signs up and shares their contact details a bonus, like a PDF supplement with your top tips from the skill you taught.

It only takes a few successful presentations to launch your business with enough clients to make the leap from your day job. But, you've got to give the audience a chance to connect with you after the presentation to launch those opportunities. Interactive presentations can be a key part of that.

6. Ask for Audience Action

Interacting with your audience is a start, but what if you directly asked for action from the audience? Audience activities during presentations are a good way to keep them engaged.

Those activities could include audience exercises such as greeting one another before you get started. You could also simply offer an intermission for everyone to stretch and take a break. You could also ask for follow-up action after the presentation. Here's a sample slide lead-in for an audience get acquainted time:

Audience activities during presentations can include asking for them to interact amongst themselves.  Use this slide from Eureka to transform a presentation into a conversation.

What I've found when I've used these techniques is that it generally increases audience engagement, even if that engagement is between audience members. Breaking down those invisible barriers during a presentation can continue the conversation long after the fact.

7. Publish an Interactive Presentation Online

Some presentations transcend themselves because they're shared online with others. When you've put so much time into your interactive presentation, why limit yourself to sharing with an audience only in person?

You never know what will happen when you share an interactive presentation online. Maybe the presentation takes on a life of its own, like this Netflix culture slide deck that was published online and has now been viewed 17 million times:

When you publish your interactive presentation, you give your work a chance to be seen by others. It can reach a greater audience than just those who can attend your live presentation.

Before you publish your presentation online, you may want to adjust the slides before you upload them. Here are three tips to help you get your presentation ready for sharing online:

  1. Consider adding an extra slide to explain the context of where your presentation was given so that an audience understands the reason you were giving the presentation.
  2. Since your audience may only see the slides, you may want to add Speaker Notes to the presentation that help explain the slides in more detail to an online reader.
  3. Above all, make sure that your interactive presentation is okay to be shared online; for example, slides that you prepare for your company shouldn't be shared online without permission if they contain sensitive information.

Check out the tutorial below for ideas on how to share and popularize your presentation using popular services. You'll learn how to use SlideShare and PowerPoint Online so that a broader audience can see your presentation.

Remember, if you're using presentations to build your business, it's all about giving your audience value. The goal is to share your expertise and make yourself valuable and useful. You never know when your next client is sitting in the audience.

Learn Even More About Creating an Engaging Presentation

Be sure to download our free eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentationswhich comes with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter.

This 30 page PDF guide with included checklist will help you with the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and quickly prepare it to present powerfully.

Recap & Keep Learning

A presentation isn't just a megaphone to speak to an audience. Instead, think of them as an opportunity for two-way communication with the attendees. You never know what connecting with audience members will lead to for your freelance business.

The tips in this tutorial are designed to engage your audience through interactive presentations. Try them out if you want to create a presentation that's less like a megaphone and more like a phone call.

Here are some tutorials that will help you learn more about PowerPoint:

What do you do to engage an audience when you're presenting? Do you use interactive presentations? Let me know in the comments section below.

How to Combine PowerPoint Presentation Files in 60 Seconds

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 12:55

Sometimes, you'll need to put together multiple PowerPoint presentations in one file. In this short tutorial and video you'll learn how to merge PowerPoint presentations.

We also have a helpful complement to this tutorial. Download our FREE eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great PresentationsGrab it now before you read on. 

Note: In this tutorial we use the X Note Template.  You can get great PPT presentation templates from Envato Elements or in our Ultimate Guide to the Best Microsoft PowerPoint Templates.

How to Combine PowerPoint Presentation Files Quickly We also have the perfect compliment to this tutorial, which will walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully.

Note: Watch this short tutorial screencast or follow the quick steps below that complement this video.

1. Choose the Presentation Files to Merge

First, open File Explorer and find the presentations that you want to combine. 

Click a presentation file name to open it.

Decide which presentations you want to merge together. These are the presentations with slides that you want to pick up and move to another file. Click on each file name to open those presentations.

2. Add the Slides to Be Merged

Once the presentations are open, you're ready to select the slides to be combined.

Select the PowerPoint slides you want to merge into the second presentation.

Click on the first slide, then hold down Shift and click on the last slide. Now, press Ctrl+C on your keyboard to copy those slides.

3. Set the Theme for the Combined PowerPoint Presentation

Switch over to the presentation file that you want to add the slides to, and right-click in the side bar. There are two options that I want you to check out for merging presentations.

Click the Use Destination Theme option to choose it.

The first option is the Use Destination Theme. Go ahead and choose it. This option makes the slides that we're pasting match the theme of the presentation that we're pasting them into. This is usually a good option, so that the merged slides fit right in. 

To use the second option, right-click to choose the second thumbnail.

Select the Keep Source Formatting option. This option takes the slides and uses the same theme used in the source document, or basically, the original theme.

There's a variety of ways you can merge presentations together, but this is my favorite way to do it quickly.

Finishing Up!

You've just learned how to combine PowerPoint presentations. It's useful to merge PowerPoint files if the first presentation contains information you want to include in the second.

Make Great Presentations (Free PDF eBook Download)

We also have the perfect complement to this tutorial, which will walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully.

Download our new eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's available for free with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter.

How to Do More With Apple's Photos App: Part 3

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 10:00

Apple's Photos is the default photos app for macOS. Photos makes it simple to browse, edit, and manage any growing photo and video library. The powerful editing and organisation tools built into Photos complement the workflow so you can share them instantly.

The third part of this tutorial uncovers tips and tricks related to the Photos app, showing its capabilities and ways you can use it on macOS and iOS devices for greater productivity in managing photos.

For this tutorial, I’ve used a 9.7-inch iPad (2017) with iOS 11.0.3 and a Mac Mini with macOS Sierra 10.12.6. The software will improve as the beta progresses, and features may change towards the final release.

21. Change the Album Thumbnail Cover

When you create an album, Photos uses the oldest photo—called the key photo—as the album’s cover. You can change the key photo to another photo in the album. 

Open the album, primary-click the thumbnail of the photo, and choose Make Key Photo from the context menu. You can’t change the key photo of a smart album or any built-in album such as Last Import.

Change the album thumbnail cover
22. Sorting Thumbnails in Albums

As you add photos to the albums, they appear in the order in which you added them. But you’re not stuck with that order. To see the photos in chronological order, choose View > Sort > Keep Sorted by Oldest or Newest First. To see the photos in alphabetical order by name, choose View > Sort > Keep Sorted by Title.

If you’d prefer to organize the album manually, drag the photos in any order you like. There’s no way to sort album thumbnails in iOS. If you turned on iCloud Photo Library, the album sort order in iOS matches that for Mac automatically.

Sorting thumbnails in albums
23. Change the Date and Time of a Photo

A photo or video might have the wrong date and time information in the metadata. To fix this, select the photo and choose Image > Adjust Date and Time…. In the dialog box that appears, change the date and time information in the Adjusted field.

If you were shooting in another time zone and want to adjust for that difference, drag the blue pin to a new location on the map or choose a new location from the Closest City menu. 

Click Adjust to make the change.

When you select multiple items, Photos intelligently adjusts the date and time of photos by the same amount that you did for the first photo. For example, if you change the time of the first photo by two hours, they all change by two hours.

Change the date and time of a photo

Photos for iOS doesn’t let you view or change the date and time of photos. Both Metapho and HashPhotos let you view and change the date and time of multiple photos. They integrate with the Photos app and provide a bunch of useful features.

24. Remove Red-Eye From Photos

Flashes let you take pictures in the dark, but they have the unfortunate side effect of producing red-eye. Photos automatically detects images with red-eye and adds a Red-Eye icon to the Edit pane. Click the Red-Eye icon and click the Auto button. Photos highlights red-eye in the image and removes it.

Remove red-eye from photos
25. Sync Photos Manually With iTunes

You can set up iTunes to sync photos with an iOS device from the Photos app or from a folder on the computer. Each time you sync an iOS device with iTunes, the photos and videos on the iOS device update to match the albums on the computer.

Open iTunes and connect the iOS device with a USB cable. Click the device icon and from the sidebar, click Photos.

Connect iOS device with the device cable

Click the Sync Photos box and choose the app or folder that you want to sync. 

Choose to sync all photos or selected albums. Select Include videos to sync the videos from the app or folder. Click Apply

Note—Live Photos will lose their effect if you sync the device with iTunes. Use the iCloud Photo Library to retain their effect.

Sync photos manually with iTunes
26. Edit Photos With Extensions

Third-party apps and extensions can provide powerful features that are beyond the scope of the Photos app. Open the Edit pane in Photos and click the Extensions icon.

Click extensions icon in the Photos app

The Extensions pane of System Preference opens, with the Photos view selected. Check the box next to the extensions you want to enable. In Photos, click the Extensions icon again to pick an enabled extension.

Check the extension in the System Preference pane

When you edit a photo in an extension, Photos makes a duplicate copy of the image. Click Save Changes to save the image.

Edit photos in the Pixelmator extension and click Save Changes

On iOS, open the Photos app and tap a photo. Tap Edit, and then tap the More menu. Select an app from the menu that appears. Edit the photo with the extension’s tools. When you’ve finished with edits, tap Done to exit the edit mode.

Edit photos with the iOS extension

When you edit a photo with an extension, you can always start over with the original photo. Open the photo in edit mode, and then click Revert to Original on Mac or tap Revert on iOS

If you use iCloud Photo Library, then any edits you make on device appear on other devices too.

27. Store Optimised Photos to Save Space

Apple always stores photos and videos at full size in iCloud. To save space, it places smaller, optimised versions of the oldest and least-used files on the iOS device. If you like, you can choose to store optimised versions of photos on the Mac.

To store optimised photos on the Mac, choose Photos > Preferences… and in the iCloud pane check Optimize Mac Storage. You won’t see anything instantly, but once the storage space gets tight, Photos replaces the full-size copies with smaller ones.

Optimize photo storage on the Mac

On iOS, open the Settings app and tap Photos > Optimize iPad Storage. This setting will start working when the space on iOS gets low.

Optimize Photo Storage on the iOS device 
28. Use Favorites to Find and View Photos

Photos makes it simple to tag a photo or video as a favourite. To favourite a photo, point the cursor at a thumbnail in Moments view and click the heart outline situated at the bottom left. 

The outline turns white, to let you know you’ve favourited a photo. You can also press the full-stop (period) key on the keyboard to tag the photo as a favourite.

Click the heart icon to add a favorite

In Photos for iOS, tap and open the photo, and then tap the blue heart outline at the upper right of the screen. The outline turns solid blue, to let you know you’ve favourited a photo.

Tap the heart icon to add a favorite in iOS

Repeat any of the above processes to unfavourite a photo. If you don’t see the heart icon, then you have to turn on the setting that lets you see favourites. Choose View > Metadata and check if favourite has a checkmark next to it.

When you favourite a photo, it creates a Favorites album that you can see in Albums view or in the Albums section of the sidebar. In Photos for iOS, go into Albums view and then tap the Favorites album to open it.

29. Use Location to Find and View Photos

When you take pictures with an iOS device, it records the location along with other metadata. Photos for Mac integrates location information into the Photos tab, search field, and the info display.

Photos for Mac lets you add location data to images taken by devices that don’t provide location data or when it’s difficult to retrieve location due to poor connectivity. 

Select an image or images. Press Command-I to open the Info window. Click Assign a Location and type in the address or city, or click the red pin on the map and drag them to the precise location.

Add location data to the images

Now you can search photos by location. 

Click the search field and type in the name of city, address, or nearby landmark. To see all the photos on the map, go to the Albums view and view the Places album, or click the Places section from the sidebar. 

The resulting map displays square image previews along with numbers to indicate the number of photos taken in each location.

Places album shows all photos in a map

Photos for iOS doesn’t let you view or change the location of photos. Both Metapho and HashPhotos integrate with the Photos app and let you view and add location data.

30. Compare Before and After Edits of a Photo

Once you start making edits to a photo, you might want to peek at before and after versions of your image. That way, you can see how much the picture has hopefully improved. 

To see the before version of an edited photo, press and hold the M key; release the M key to see the after version. At any time, click Revert to Original to restore the original photo.

Compare before and after edits of a photo
31. Batch Process Edits in Photos

You’ve shot and edited a photo with specific settings—contrast, filters, brightness, exposure, and more. You might want to apply the same image adjustments and edits to other photos. 

Double-click on any photo and click Edit. When you’ve finished with edits, press Command-Shift-C or primary-click on the photo and choose Copy Adjustments.

Copy image adjustments to a clipboard

Photos copies all the adjustments on the clipboard. Press the right arrow key and move to the next photo. Then press Command-Shift-V or primary-click on the photo again, and choose Paste Adjustments. In this way, you can apply the exact adjustments to multiple photos and save time.

Paste adjustments to multiple photos
32. View and Edit Metadata in Photos for iOS

Metadata includes any information that identifies a photo on the basis of EXIF, GPS, and TIFF. Photos for iOS doesn’t let you view or edit metadata. Both Metapho and HashPhotos integrate with the Photos app and provide a bunch of metadata-related features.

Select a photo or photos. Tap the Share > Adjust Date/Time button and set a custom date and time. When you’re done, tap Adjust. To change the location, tap Share > Set Location and type in the address or city. When you’ve finished, tap Save.

Adjust metadata in the HashPhotos app
33. Nest Folders Within Folders in Photos for iOS

It is possible to nest folders within folders in Photos for iOS. Open the Photos app and switch to the Albums view. Long-press the + button, and you’re given the option to create an album or folder. Note—if you tap the + button then your only option is to create an album.

Long-press the plus button to create a folder

Once you create a folder, open it, and tap the edit button. Now long-press the + button again to create a second folder within the first folder.

Nest a folder within a folder in Photos for iOS
Conclusion

In this part of the tutorial series, I showed you some tips and tricks you can use to improve your workflow with the Photos app. In the next and last part of the tutorial series, I shall show you more tips and tricks to use Photos like a pro.

9 Best Screen Recorder Capture Software (Free & Premium)

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 12:55

Whether you’re recording professional tutorials or just want a few quick video clips you can leave on your parents’ computer so they have a simple reminder how to do basic tasks like send email, you need screen capture software to make them. What these screen recording apps do is record everything you do on screen (or on a section of your screen) so you can save it as a video. You can then publish that video on a platform like YouTube. You could even sell them to make money online, or just send them on to the person you made them for. 

There are also game streamers who post on services like Twitch, either for fun or profit. While they’re superficially doing the same thing, they also need slightly different features to successfully broadcast their gaming. 

Finally, there are also some people who use screen recorders to capture live broadcasts. This kind of use can often be illegal so, if you’re going to do it, check beforehand that you’re legally allowed capture a live stream. In some cases, capturing a live broadcast for your own use will be permissible. Capturing one and sharing it online will almost certainly not be. 

What Makes the Best Screen Capture Software?

What makes a good screen capture app depends on what features you care most about (and what your budget is). If you’re a professional, making money from what you capture on your screen, then the features you require and the amount of money you’re prepared are going to be very different to someone who wants to do one or two quick tutorials for a YouTube channel. Rather than try to claim that X, Y, and Z features are essential, I’m instead going to list some of the features that you may want. The best screen recorders will have some combination of them, so pick the one that works for you.

  • Screen Capturing. This one is kind of a gimme. Every screen recording app has to be able to record what’s happening on your screen. If it can’t, you’re looking at the wrong app. With that said, there is some variation in how much control screen capture software will give you over what’s recorded. Do you need to be able to only capture a small section of the screen? Do you need to be able to record footage from your web cam at the same time? Do you need to be able to record from multiple monitors? What about from your mobile devices? These are all different features to think about.
  • Editing. A lot of screen capture software comes with basic (or not so basic) editing features as well. This means you can use the one app to capture and edit your screen recordings. The better editors have screen capture specific features, like the ability to highlight the cursor or follow it around the screen, that regular video editors don’t have. If you’re planning to edit your screencasts so they flow better, then you might want to think about getting one with a decent editor. On the other hand, if you are planning on streaming live or just posting up raw videos, you might not need them.
  • Live Streaming and Publishing. All screen recording apps offer a way to save your captures out as a video you can do what you like with, but if you know exactly where you’re going to publish your screencasts, it might be worth looking for an app that integrates with your preferred service. For example, if you want to stream on Twitch, having an app that posts directly to Twitch is going to make your life a lot easier, than using some workaround. Similarly, if you want to live stream on YouTube, you will need an app that supports live streaming.
  • Price. There’s a wide variety of prices for screen capture software. Some are free and open source, others are professional suites costing hundreds of dollars. While price isn’t necessarily correlated with quality, it does correlate with how much development time can go into new features and how much support you can expect from the developers. If you’re just starting out (or only need to do a few quick videos), try a free open source app to make sure screen recording is for you. If it’s your career, consider investing in some professional software.
Professional Screen Recording Apps

Let’s start with the super high end. Each of these apps costs at least a hundred dollars (or has an expensive subscription model). These are all fully featured options for creating serious online courses. If you’re just looking to throw together a few quick screencasts, they are definitely not the apps for you. 

1. Adobe Captivate

At $1,099 for a full license (or $29.99 per month with a 12-month contract), Adobe Captivate does not come cheap. It is, however, the absolute best app for putting together e-learning courses. As well as having the best screen capture and editing tools available on Windows or macOS, you can capture screencasts from iOS apps and integrate them with other assets. 

Where Adobe Captivate really shines is with its publishing features. With it you can take your screen captures and turn them into fully featured, interactive, e-learning courses. Adobe boasts that it’s the choice for 80% of Fortune 500 companies and it’s easy to see why.

For simple screen capture, Adobe Captivate is serious overkill. Most people simply don’t need the feature set. But if it sounds like it’s the one for you (and you’re prepared to pay for it) you should check it out.

2. Camtasia Studio

Camtasia Studio is the go-to app of many an online educator. I know a few of the course staff here at Tuts+ use it. It’s available on Windows and macOS for $199. Every couple of years there’s a new version with new features and previous owners get a discount. There’s also a 30-day free trial so you can check it out if you want.

Camtasia Studio is a complete screen recording and editing package. It has all the tools you need to put together professional tutorials. It even has features like chroma keying that aren’t available in most screen recording editors. 

The price is a little steep, but for a lot of professionals (and certainly any using Windows) it’s the app to go for. 

3. Screenflow

At $129, Screenflow is a bit over half the price of Camtasia Studio and a lot more than half the app. While it doesn’t have all the same advanced features, it’s still an incredibly capable screen capture and editor; it can even capture from iOS devices. It’s the app I used to record and edit all my Tuts+ courses. 

Like with Camtasia, there’s a new version every couple of years with upgrade pricing. There’s also a fully featured free trial with no time limit. The trial version does however watermark your videos, which takes away from the professional look. 

If you’re a macOS user and don’t need Camtasia’s more advanced features (which is probably most people), then Screenflow is the best app available. There’s a reason I use it. 

The Best Affordable Screen Recording Apps

Now that we’ve got the big guns out of the way, it’s time to look at the best screen recording software for most people. If you just want to put together a few quick screencasts, these free (or at least affordable) apps are the ones to go for.

4. Filmora scrn

Available on Windows and Mac, Filmora scrn (yes, that’s how they title the app) is the best, cheap option. A lifetime license for one PC or Mac is $24.99 (an annual one is $19.99 so probably not worth considering). 

Like Camtasia and Screenflow, Filmora scrn is both a screen capture and editing app. The screen capture features are actually free to use with the time-unlimited trial, but it’s the editing features that pull it together. 

For a fraction of the price of one of the more powerful options, you get 90% of the feature set. Unless you are sure you need a more expensive app, Filmora scrn is the one to go for.

5. CamStudio

CamStudio is a free and open source solution for Windows. It’s by far the most basic app on this list, but it does exactly what it says. It captures your screen and doesn’t cost you a penny. 

CamStudio doesn’t have the editing features of the previous options, but since you can just save the video and edit it in any other app you want, this might not be a big issue for you. 

For a lot of people, CamStudio might be a little simple, but if you really just need something to capture your screen, it works perfectly. It’s not flashy, it’s not fancy, but it records your screen when you want it to.

6. QuickTime

If you have a Mac, there’s already a free screen recording app you can use. It’s a feature built into QuickTime. We’ve actually already covered how to use it here on Tuts+.

QuickTime’s screen recording is basic at best and doesn’t really hold a candle to any of the paid apps. But, it is free and already on your Mac. If you aren’t really fussy about the level of polish of your screencasts, it’s an option that’s definitely worth exploring. At the very least, it saves you the time and effort of finding another free app that does the exact same thing. 

The Best Live Streaming Screen Recording Apps

All the software tools so far have really been designed for recording your screen so that you can upload it or publish it somewhere else later. If that’s all you need, then awesome. But if you’re looking for a way to capture your screen and stream it live, you need one of the following apps. 

7. OBS Studio

While OBS Studio can also just be used as a screen recorder, the free and open source app available for Windows, Mac and Linux is at its best when you’re live screening. It has all the features you need to set up a Let’s Play channel on any of the major platforms. 

There’s a bit of a learning curve, as there often is with open source software, but if you want to start live streaming without dropping any cash, it’s the best screen capture software to go for. 

8. Gameshow

While Gameshow serves much the same purpose as OBS Studio, this $29.99 Windows and Mac app has a lot more polish and developer support. It’s also designed explicitly for streaming (and recording) games in high resolution while still keeping the CPU use low so as not to take precious cycles away from your gaming.

If you’re starting to get serious about live streaming yourself playing computer games, Gameshow is well worth a look. There are plenty of professional streamers who use it to make money from Twitch.

9. XSplit Broadcaster and XSplit Gamecaster

The most professional options in the live streaming space, XSplit Broadcaster and XSplit Gamecaster are two slightly different Windows apps that you get with the same license. XSplit Broadcaster’s feature set is geared towards broadcasting multi-camera set ups rather than just your screen while XSplit Gamecaster is designed just for gamers to live stream.

Professionalism, however, doesn’t come cheap. A twelve-month license is $59.95, although a lifetime license can currently be had for $199. At this price, you've got to really need the professional production level you can get with the XSplit apps to justify the purchase.

Wrapping Up

There are a lot of good screen recording apps out there. There are even some free screen recorder apps.

The best screen recording software for your needs depends entirely on what you’re trying to do and on what platform. Almost all the paid apps have free trials, so it’s worth checking them out before you buy--especially for the more expensive options. 

How to Do More With Apple's Photos App: Part 2

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 22:52

Apple's Photos is the default photos app for macOS. Photos makes it simple to browse, edit, and manage your growing photo and video library. The powerful editing and organisation tools built into the Photos complement the workflow so you can share them instantly.

The second part of this tutorial uncovers tips and tricks related to the Photos app, showing its capabilities and ways you can use it on macOS  and iOS devices for greater productivity in managing photos.

Please note, however, this tutorial will not cover any tips related to migration from iPhoto or Aperture as they’re no longer updated.

For this tutorial, I’ve used a 9.7 inch iPad (2017) with iOS 11 public beta 10 and a Mac Mini with macOS Sierra 10.12.6. The software will improve as the beta progress and features may change towards the final release.

14. Browse Photos Seamlessly

macOS and iOS Photos interface is minimal, made up of a single pane window. By default, you navigate through Photos in a series of panes—Photos, Memories, Shared, Albums, and Projects. If you prefer a sidebar, choose View > Show Sidebar or press Option-Command-S.

When you enable sidebar, you can see the entire organisational structure in list form. It includes shared albums, regular and smart albums, screenshots, last import, and more.

Every section in the sidebar is a click away and you can hide unneeded sections to reduce the visual clutter.

View sidebar or panes in the Photos app

Photos uses Moments, Collections, and Years to automatically organise photos. For example—you’ve taken a vacation in Paris in the month of August 2017. 

  • Moment view groups all the photos and videos you’ve taken in Paris at a particular day
  • Collection view groups all the related moments
  • Years view group all the photos you’ve taken in the year 2017

On macOS, click the Back button or Forward button to see the photos organised by moments, collection, or years. On a trackpad, pinch in or out to switch between different views.

Click the back or forward button to switch views in macOS

On iOS, tap the Back button at the top left of the screen to switch views from collection to years. See the label besides the back button to know the type of group you’re on. Tap the thumbnail again to switch views.

The photos are hard to see in collection or years view. Tap and hold on the Year or Collection view screen. Slide a finger back and forth across the collection. This will give you a larger thumbnail view of each photo. Release the finger to view the photo.

Collection view in iOS Photos app
15. Repair Photos Library

If you’re experiencing problems with photos in a library—like missing or blank photo thumbnails, unexpected lag or crash, or Photos won’t launch then you’ve to repair the library. 

Before you begin, backup all the photos and clone the photo library.

Quit the Photos app. Press and hold Option-Command keys and launch the Photos again. The Repair Library window opens. Click Repair and enter the administrative password to begin running the repair tool.

Repair library of the Photos app
16. Create and Switch Between Multiple Photo Libraries

Photos lets you create multiple photo libraries. You can keep separate photo libraries for multiple reasons—to keep personal and work photos separate, selectively sync files with iCloud, or your profession needs.

To create a new photo library, quit the Photos app. Press and hold the Option key and launch the Photos again. In the Choose Library dialog, click Create New. Type a library name and choose a location to store the library.

Create a new photos library

To switch between the library, quit the Photos app. Press and hold the Option key and launch the Photos again. In the Choose Library dialog, click the library you created, then click Choose Library

If the library don’t exist in the Choose Library dialog, click Other Library, navigate to the library location and click Choose Library.

Switch between photo libraries
17. Manage Multiple Photo Libraries

If you’ve multiple photo libraries, then Photos lets you choose only one System Photo Library. According to the Apple Support Document, a System Photo Library is the only library that syncs with iCloud.

It lets you sync photos to iOS and Apple TV via iTunes. The system apps for macOS, such as Pages, Keynote, iMovie, Wallpaper preference can access photos only from the System Photo Library.

If you manage multiple photo libraries, you’ve to designate one of them as a System Photo Library. To do this, quit the Photos app. Press and hold the Option key to launch Photos again. In the Choose Library dialog, select another library and click Choose Library

Choose another library from the dialog box

When Photos opens the library, choose Photos > Preferences. In the General tab click the Use as System Photo Library button.

Choose system photo library option of second library

If you later decide to merge all the libraries, then check out PowerPhotos from Fat Cat Software. It has many features—find duplicate photos, merge photo libraries, copy photos and their metadata, easy way to browse and search multiple photos, and more.

18. Export Photos, Videos and Slideshows

Photos app lets you export both unmodified and modified photos. To export modified photos, select the items you want to export. Choose File > Export > Export (number) Photos. From the pop-menu specify file format, quality, and dimension of the exported file.

You can choose to include titles, keywords, and descriptions you’ve added in the Photos. Check Location information if you want to include location metadata.

Export modified photos with lots of options

To export unmodified original photo, select the items you want to export. Choose File > Export > Export Unmodified Original. If you’ve added copyright or keyword info to the files in Photos, then check Export IPTC as XMP to export the IPTC metadata as a sidecar file in XMP format.

Export unmodified original photo

To export a video, click the Movie Quality pop-up menu and choose the video quality. Standard definition (480p) is good for standard definition TV. Choose 720p or 1080p to play the video in HDTV.

Export a video from Photos app

To export a slideshow, Photos creates a movie file with the video format you select.

Choose File > Export > Export Slideshow. Click the Format pop-up menu and choose the format quality. If you want to send this video to another device, then check Automatically Send to iTunes.

Export slideshow from the Photos app
19. Customise a Slideshow

Creating a slideshow is intuitive and Photos give you a variety of options. Select a group of images, and choose File > Create Slideshow. Give the slideshow a name, and click OK. A new entry appears in the Projects pane. In the slideshow editor, you can organise the images, add text, theme, music, and customise slide duration.

Note—apart from photos you can base your slideshow on a moment or collection, a whole album or multiple albums.

Create a slideshow project

Photos support several slideshow presentation styles called Themes. Click the Theme Picker icon at the right and click the theme name. Photos previews what each theme will look. Click the Preview button to view the preview.

Click the + symbol to add text or images. You can re-order the images in all themes, but some themes are more customisable.

Customize theme of a slideshow 1. Choose a theme 2. Add a text or photo 3. Preview the slideshow

Themes come with default music, you can pick any tune from the iTunes library. Click the Music Picker button. The Selected Music section list the music that will play with your slideshow. To preview the music, move your mouse over the track and click Play.

To pick a different music, click the disclosure caret next to the Music Library header. Click the search icon to search iTunes library, or choose from the tracks that appear. Note—songs that reside on the Mac and not encumbered by DRM are available.

Customize music of a slideshow

Click the duration icon to set the time of your slideshow. You can either choose a specific duration or choose Fit to Music. The duration of each individual slide is determined by the number of slides and the length of the presentation.

Customize slideshow duration
20. Make Quick Edits to Clips in iOS

iMovie for iOS easily lets you trim a video clip, add filters, titles and music without leaving Photos app. Select the clip you want to edit and tap Edit. Tap the More Options button, then tap iMovie from the extension list.

Edit clip with iMovie for iOS

To trim a clip, tap the Trim button, then drag the yellow trim handle to shorten or lengthen the clip. Tap Done to export the clip.

Trim a clip with iMovie for iOS

To add a filter, tap the Filter button, then tap a filter to preview it in the viewer. Tap Done to export the clip.

Add a filter with iMovie

To add a title, tap the Title button, then tap a select a title style. In the viewer, tap the sample title and type a title. Tap Done to export the clip.

Add a title with iMovie for iOS

When you make edits to a video clips in Photos, the original clip gets replaced with the edited version. To restore the original clip, select the video clip you edited. Tap Edit > Revert > Revert to Original.

Revert to original clip in Photos
Conclusion

In this part of the tutorial series I showed you some tips and tricks you can use to improve workflow with the Photos app. In the next part of the tutorial series, I shall show you more tips and tricks to use Photos like a pro.


18+ Best Shopify Themes With Responsive Designs for 2018

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 12:55

When it comes to your online store, design matters. Your online store is the face of your brand. It should make your visitors feel welcome and encourage them to explore all the products you offer. An attractive design shows customers that you care about their experience and helps build trust, which can increase conversion rates.

Also, if your website is responsive, you’ll ensure that visitors on mobile devices can enjoy a smooth shopping experience, which also helps your bottom line. Due to the increased usage of mobile devices, many people use their phones and tablets to research their purchases online. According to several studies, conversion rates are on the rise.

Luckily, Shopify has plenty of themes that are both attractive and responsive. And in this roundup, we’re featuring the best Shopify themes for 2018.

Best Responsive Shopify Themes

The themes in this roundup include plenty of useful features such as product quick views, mega menus, and more. They also boast a responsive design. The roundup includes multipurpose themes as well as themes that cater to a specific niche.

1. Foodly - Responsive Shopify Theme for Food NicheFoodly Shopify Theme

The Foodly theme features a clean and responsive design with unlimited color options, Google Fonts, and plenty of other customization choices. The responsive theme is also optimized to load fast and features an AJAX-loading blog, which means your articles load instantly. You’ll also find a wishlist feature, mega menu, SEO-optimized reviews, a separate landing page template, and integration with social media.

2. YourStore - Multipurpose Shopify ThemeYourStore Shopify Theme

The YourStore theme is a perfect choice if you can’t decide which theme to choose. It’s a multipurpose theme, which means it can be used for a variety of niches and it offers a modern and responsive design. The theme is packed with features such as over 12 different layouts, three product page variants, an Instagram widget, a newsletter signup popup, and more. The YourStore theme also supports lazy loading for images, which helps improve the page speed and the theme is optimized for SEO.

3. BeStore - Feature-Rich Shopify ThemeBeStore Shopify Theme

Try the BeStore theme if you want a theme packed with numerous extensions and features that allow you to create a powerful store. The theme includes nine premade layouts and includes all the necessary features for an online store such as a lookbook, configurable swatches, plenty of customization options, color and size variations, and SEO optimization. On top of that, the theme is fully responsive and comes with detailed documentation.

4. Ella - Fashion and Apparel Theme for ShopifyElla Responsive Shopify Theme

Try the Ella theme if you’re building a fashion store. The theme features an elegant design and includes a large banner that you can use to showcase your most popular products. Your customers can also easily browse all categories thanks to a special category module as well as filter products based on price, size, color or brand. Our customers praise the features and level of customization:

This is hands down the best theme I've used on Shopify. I love it for its features and advanced customization. Makes any store look like a  top of the line business in just a few minutes.5. Watch Store - Responsive Shopify ThemeWatch Store Shopify Theme

Consider the Watch Store theme if you like minimal design and run a watch shop. The theme is responsive and includes a stunning parallax effect that helps your products grab the attention of your visitors. Other notable features include:

  • Mega menu
  • Multi-layout
  • Product landing page
  • Blog and CMS pages
  • SEO optimization
  • Advanced Product Filter
  • And many more features
6. Basel - Minimal Shopify ThemeBasel Shopify Theme

The Basel theme offers a minimalistic design suitable for any type of store; from fashion to furniture, and more. You can easily customize the layout of any page thanks to the drag-and-drop editor and style every aspect of your site through the admin panel. Additionally, the theme is translation-ready, which is perfect if you’re trying to reach an international audience.

7. Elise - Multi-Concept Shopify ThemeElise Shopify Theme

The Elise theme comes with unlimited layout options and a powerful admin panel that lets you tweak every aspect of your store. It can be used for a variety of niches and includes a beautiful slider that lets you showcase products on sale or the most popular products. Other notable features include:

  • Unlimited colors
  • Retina ready
  • Newsletter popup
  • Advanced Shopping Cart in header
  • Sticky and Mega menus
  • Wishlist
  • Ajax shop by price slider
8. MyShop - Elegant Responsive Theme for ShopifyMyShop Responsive Shopify Theme

The MyShop theme was built to load fast as well as to offer flexibility for both you and your customers. Your customers can easily add items to the cart and proceed to checkout as well as see which products are new or on sale. The theme is fully responsive and retina-ready and comes with more than 13 premade layouts as well as Shopify builder integrations so you can easily edit any page. MyShop has full support for Google Rich Snippets, which is sure to improve your store ranking and you’ll also be able to easily build your email list thanks to the integration with MailChimp.  

9. Cosmify - Fashion and Cosmetics Shopify ThemeCosmify Shopify Theme

If you sell cosmetics or fashion items, consider the Cosmify theme. It features an inviting and responsive design as well as tons of customization options. You can change the typography easily thanks to Google Fonts integration and improve your search engine rank thanks to SEO optimization. The theme also supports lightbox product images, a wishlist, mega menus, and more.

10. Fastor - Powerful Responsive Shopify ThemeFaster Shopify Theme

The Fastor theme not only includes 50+ premade skins, but also more than 20 different header styles and the ability to tweak fonts, colors, and more. Fastor also supports both left-to-right and right-to-left languages as well as features such as:

  • SEO Optimized
  • Hover effect for banners
  • Custom layout width
  • Sale and New badge
  • Various product image effects
  • Quick view
  • Custom social sharing widgets
  • And more
11. Parallax - Responsive Furniture Theme for ShopifyParallax Responsive Shopify Theme

Consider the Parallax theme if you run a furniture or a wood products store. The theme is fully responsive and comes with support for multiple layouts as well as special landing pages for individual products. It’s also easy to setup and customize thanks to the detailed documentation and it also integrates fully with Google Maps and MailChimp.

12. Everything - Versatile Shopify ThemeEverything Shopify Theme

The Everything theme is a Shopify theme suitable for a variety of niches and features a responsive design that looks stunning on both desktop and mobile devices. It comes with more than 65 different designs and features full support for the Oberlo app so you can easily start a dropshipping business using AliExpress. Customers love the features as well as the support from the developer:

This is a great looking theme with many features! It is very customizable! The customer support has been fantastic to top it all off!13. JMS Athena - Fast Shopify ThemeJMS Athena Shopify Theme

The JMS Athena is a multipurpose and responsive Shopify theme for online supermarkets, shopping malls, fashion shops or any other type of store. The theme has been optimized to load fast and includes several premium modules such as Layer Slider, mega menu, list and grid view, and more to help you wow your customers and increase sales.

14. Fastest - Customizable Responsive Theme for ShopifyFastest Shopify Theme

The Fastest theme is packed with customization options, allowing you to style every aspect of your store. It’s also fully responsive and includes features such as:

  • Multiple pre-demos website
  • Upsell products
  • Advanced search
  • Compare and Wishlist feature
  • Deal Countdown
15. Lena - Fresh Shopify ThemeLena Shopify Theme

The Lena theme is a fresh and responsive theme with six unique homepage layouts and a powerful admin panel. It comes with a built-in header slider and a unique drop-down shopping cart that lets you customers instantly view the products they’ve added. Thanks to Quick view, they can easily preview the products and even buy related or similar products thanks to upsell features.

16. Porto - SEO-Friendly Theme for ShopifyPorto Shopify Theme

The Porto theme comes with unlimited color options and an impressive number of Google Fonts so you can easily change the colors and typography. On top of SEO optimization, the theme includes demo data that’s easy to install so you can speed up the setup process and you can choose from unlimited product detail page variations, setup parallax banners, and add even more products and content using custom blocks.

17. Furniture Paradise - Full-Screen Shopify ThemeFurniture Paradise Shopify Theme

The Furniture Paradise may seem like it’s a theme built exclusively for furniture stores, but don’t let the name fool you. Thanks to multipurpose design, the theme can be used for other stores such as fashion, sports, handmade items, and more. The theme comes with features such as:

  • Mega menu
  • Ajax shopping cart
  • Product owl carousel
  • Ajax product filters
  • Quick Shop & Cloud zoom
  • Newsletter pop-up
  • Currency switcher
  • Ajax wishlist
  • Grid and List view and much more
18. Gemini - Drag-and-Drop Shopify ThemeGemini Shopify Theme

The Gemini is clean and elegant Shopify theme, perfect for fashion and apparel stores. It’s easy to use and packed with customization options as well as drag-and-drop sections that you can rearrange to create a unique look for your store. Aside from standard e-commerce features, this theme comes with an off-canvas menu, several product labels, a cookie notice, and more. Customers praise the design and features:

Everyone seems to love the design of our website. Visually appealing layout, easily customizable features, customer service is very helpful and thorough. We are very happy that we purchased this theme.19. Leather - Fashion Theme for Shopify With Responsive DesignLeather Shopify Theme

The Leather theme features a beautiful header slider, perfect for showcasing your most popular products as well as multiple header styles. The theme allows you to customize fonts, colors, and other aspects of your store and you’ll also be able to make use of the built-in wishlist, advanced shopping cart, and product filter options, and more. On top of that, the theme is optimized for better performance thanks to the built-in lazy loading of the images.

20. Electro - Electronics and Gadgets Shopify ThemeElectro Shopify Theme

The Electro theme is a modern, user-friendly, and responsive theme with a unique vertical menu. The theme includes several demo layouts for the home page as well as premade color schemes so you don’t have to spend a ton of time customizing your store. It also comes with FontAwesome integration, which means you can add icons for added visual appeal. The Electro theme makes it easy to upsell products and compare prices and your customers can easily leave a review so you can build social proof.

5 Ways to Increase Sales in Your Online Store

Once your store is setup with a responsive theme, there are a few more things to keep in mind if you want to increase sales:

  1. Offer a Coupon Code to First-Time Visitors. When someone stumbles upon your store for the first time, a coupon is a nice welcome gift that encourages them to browse the products and make a purchase. It can also be used as an incentive to grow your email list so you can follow up with them and invite them back to your store
  2. Include a List of Related or Similar Products. Sometimes your visitors may come for a particular product, add it to the cart, and checkout. But if you show them a related product, they may buy that item too. Use a theme like Fastest to easily add this feature to your store.
  3. Simplify Your Checkout Process. According to several studies, complicated checkout process is often the reason why people abandon their carts. Consider enabling a one-page checkout or adding tabs that clearly show how many steps there are before their order is placed.
  4. Add Live Chat. Adding a live chat option or even integrating Facebook messenger, like in the Fastor theme, on your site allows you to reach out to visitors and answer any questions they might have about the products. This can help eliminate any doubt and convince them to proceed with the purchase.
  5. Use Proof. Social proof is always a great incentive. Consider using an app like Proof that shows recent purchases on your site. Seeing other people buy an item from your store helps visitors see that you're a reputable business and increases the chances of new prospects completing a purchase.
Spice Up Your Store With a Responsive Shopify Theme

While the quality of your products matters, your store’s design is the first thing your visitors see. Make sure they feel welcome and enjoy browsing all the items with an attractive and responsive Shopify theme.

How to Upload a PowerPoint to YouTube in 60 Seconds

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 12:55

PowerPoint can not only create presentation files, but it can also export your presentation as a video file with no extra apps needed. Let's learn how to do that, and then upload the video file to YouTube.

We also have a helpful complement to this tutorial. Download our FREE eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great PresentationsGrab it now before you read on. 

Note: In this tutorial we use the X Note PowerPoint Template. You can get great PPT presentation templates on Envato Elements or in our Ultimate Guide to the Best Microsoft PowerPoint Templates.

How to Quickly Upload a PowerPoint to YouTube

Note: Watch this short tutorial screencast or follow the quick steps below that complement this video.

1. Export Your Presentation

First, let's go over to the File tab in PowerPoint, and choose Export

Start by clicking on the File tab.

Click on Create a Video to export your presentation as a video file.

2. Set How Long Each Slide ShowsIn many cases you can let YouTube handle the compression.

I'll leave this set to Full HD, and let YouTube handle the compression. If you've got recorded narrations and timings, you can change this option to include them.

Otherwise, just set a setting on how long you want each slide to show. For example, I could change this to 10 seconds, if I wanted each slide to show for 10 seconds.

3. Export the Video and Upload It

PowerPoint then exports a video file, once we press Save, that's ready for YouTube. 

Press Save to export a video file.

Now, just jump over to YouTube and start the upload process, just as you would with any video.

Drop the file into YouTube with metadata and settings, so that people can find it when they're looking for it.

Add metadata and other settings in YouTube.

You could also add music or settings using YouTube's built-in options. You don't need any extra apps to take a presentation straight from PowerPoint to YouTube. 

Finishing Up!

Now that you now how to upload a PowerPoint to YouTube quickly, you can easily expand the audience for your slideshow. Sharing on YouTube is great option for marketing presentations and other presentations that need to reach a large number of people. 

Make Great Presentations (Free PDF eBook Download)

We also have the perfect complement to this tutorial, which will walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully. 

Download our new eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's available for free with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter.

10 Quick Tips: How to Make Your Website Homepage Design Better

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 12:55

For the small business owner, your website homepage is like your shop window: It entices people into your store, gives them an idea of what you provide, and it's their starting point for exploring the rest of your shop. This also means that how your website homepage looks greatly affects both your branding and your sales.

Unlike a shop window, however, improving your website homepage shouldn't cost much, especially if you're running a small business. There are many website homepage tweaks you can make without spending a lot of money or waiting several weeks for a redesign.

Website homepage design is important for your business success (Image Source).

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to make a website homepage that attracts customers. You'll explore website homepage design ideas and look at some of the best website homepage examples.

Let's dive into those website homepage design tips.

1. Use Lightweight Image Files

Having beautiful, high-quality images is a must-have if you want to make your products look as good as possible. But there's an important trade-off: Usually, the bigger the image or the higher the resolution, the longer it takes for these images to load for your visitors. The longer the load times, the more likely it is that your visitors leave.

According to research from Google, 53 percent of website visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. In fact, their model predicts that the longer it takes for your page to load, the higher the probability that your visitors leave. The same research showed that it would make a lot of difference if website owners simply compressed their images.

The longer it takes for a web page to load, the more likely it is for visitors to bounce.

Find the balance between providing beautiful images and having a fast loading site. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to see whether your images need further compression. If they do, you can use a tool like TinyPNG to compress them further or learn more about image optimization through these guides:

2. Have a Single, Prominent Call to Action

When a visitor arrives on your homepage for the first time, there should be no ambiguity about what their next step should be. This is where your call to action (CTA) comes in. A CTA usually appears in the form of a large button. Clicking on it should convert your homepage visitors into a lead or a sale.

Make sure your call to action located above the fold — the top part of your homepage that's visible without scrolling. In one case study, an online store selling trampolines increased their conversion rate by 11 percent just by adding a CTA above the fold. 

Still, you shouldn’t confine your call to action to this area only. You can repeat it throughout the rest of your homepage copy. For example Rumpl, an online store selling specialty blankets, highlights their featured product above the fold with a call to action. 

Place your CTAs above the fold, but also repeat it throughout the homepage.

But if you scroll down the homepage further, you’ll see another CTA button to add that product to your cart. While Rumpl displays other items on their website homepage, none have a prominent CTA except the featured product. Visitors focus almost exclusively on purchasing the featured product.

Avoid other distracting elements on your website homepage. The main focus should be the call to action. If you need to put navigation items, social media buttons, and other elements on the website homepage, make sure they don’t distract your visitors’ eyes from the main CTA buttons.

If you don’t have a strong call to action button on your website homepage, check out some of these attention-grabbing button templates from Graphic River.

3. Clarify Your Value Proposition

Apart from being clear about the action your visitors need to take, you also need to be clear about why they need to take that action. Consumers across all age groups value clarity in online marketing communications, more than great design or perfect grammar and spelling. So, when it comes to your website homepage copy, ask yourself the following:

  • Do visitors know what they’ll be getting in return for clicking on your CTA? 
  • Does your headline, subheads, and body copy contain a major pain point and the solution you provide?
  • Will visitors be able to easily repeat your message to others?
Consumers overwhelmingly value message clarity over design, length, and grammatical correctness.

If you want to clarify your value proposition on your website homepage copy, try the techniques in the following examples:

1. Repeat the Value Proposition

Throughout your homepage copy, repeat the benefits your visitors will get after clicking on your CTA. You can use different words and visuals to reiterate these benefits. In the example below, Gossamer Gear, an online shop selling lightweight travel gear, their value proposition of "ultralight gear" is explicitly stated in their headline. It's also alluded to in their company logo ("Take less. Do more.") and the banner photo shows two hikers that are carrying backpacks that are smaller than usual.

Repeat your value proposition in several places on your website homepage, including visuals.2. Specify Why the Proposition Is Important

You can state that your business makes high quality products, has good customer service, or is socially responsible. You can make it even clearer for your audience by being specific about why. On their website homepage, apparel retailer United By Blue emphasizes their social responsibility both in their tagline ("Responsible durable goods") and their content (links to their blog posts on cleaning public spaces and their responsibly-built stores). But their website homepage copy goes the extra mile by specifying the company's efforts by the numbers. 

Be specific about how you're delivering on your value proposition.

Think about ways you can be more specific in expressing your value proposition. If your unique value proposition is that you help customers save money, note how much they could save. If your business prides itself in making durable products, specify how many years the products tend to last or subject the products to various tests and show your audience the results.

4. Make Your Website Homepage Copy Easy to Scan

Whether your website homepage has long or short copy, it’s important that the text is easy to scan. This is because people tend to scan and skim text online. A study from the Nielsen Norman Group shows that only 16 percent of people read online text word for word. In a more recent study, they also found that people tend to scan heavy text in an F-shaped pattern, which leads them to miss essential information.

Large blocks of text on a homepage could lead people to scan it in an F-shaped pattern.

If you don't want your visitors to miss out on your persuasive words or your product's most important features, make sure that the text on your website homepage is easy to scan. Here are some tips you can follow:

  • Break up your homepage content with subheads.
  • Use lists to outline details rather than describe them in paragraphs.
  • Add captions to your images.
  • Use short sentences.
  • If you can present the information faster through visuals, do it rather than relying solely on copy.
  • Avoid small type sizes.

One good example of this principle is found on Barebones Living, which sells outdoor gear. Rather than list out their product categories and elaborate on them with long descriptions, the copy merely states "How do you spend time outdoors?" Pictures and single-word category names do the heavy lifting. Even without reading the words, you can tell which box you're supposed to click. Let's take a look at the website homepage example:

Complement simple language with strong visuals for an easy-to-scan website homepage.

The website homepage also makes use of subheads. In the screenshot below, the subhead "Why Barebones?" is followed by smaller subheads such as "Farmers in Africa," "Providing shelter in Nepal," and "Providing food in Utah." Having subheads like these means that visitors will have a concrete idea about the company's projects even if they don't read the short body text. 

Use subheads so that visitors can get the gist of your content even if they skip the paragraphs. 5. Have People in Your Photos

Even if you've got the most photogenic product in the market, it’s best to have people in your product photos — especially on your website homepage. Tests from Visual Website Optimizer show that using human photos instead of illustrations or icons can boost conversion rates. 

More importantly, use real photos of your customers or your staff. Website visitors tend to ignore stock photos of people, according to research from The Nielsen Norman Group.

A good example of this is from the online seed store Renee's Garden. On their website homepage are multiple photos of people on their farm, photos of people they've donated seeds to, and a photo of the owner. Apart from these photos grabbing the eyes, they also build trust since you can see the people behind the business. This instant trust-building is essential for small and micro businesses that don't have as wide a reputation as more established brands.

Using photos of real customers and staff can help build trust and increase conversions. 6. Reduce Risk

Since online small businesses aren't as well-known as bigger brands, consumers might feel that there's some risk buying from them compared to buying from Amazon or Walmart's online stores. Because of this, you need to eliminate any potential risk for your customer. 

W&P Design, a design shop from Brooklyn, makes it clear in their copy above the fold that they offer "Free Returns. No Hassle." If a customer is hesitant to buy because they might end up not liking the product, they know upfront that they can return it without any hassle from the company and without paying extra fees. Here's a look at the website homepage example:

Displaying a return policy on your website homepage reduces the customers' risk.

Hand-in-hand with reducing your customers' risk is proving that you do deliver on your promises. This is where social proof, such as reviews, case studies, and testimonials come in. Display these on your website homepage if you want customers to trust your business.

Wynd, which sells smart air purifiers, accomplishes this by having a "Reviews" tab above the fold on their homepage. When you click the tab, product reviews pop out. These reviews also show up again in a separate section on the website homepage.

Adding reviews on your website homepage helps minimize the risk for your potential customers.

For detailed advice on how to gather and use feedback on your website, review the following guides:

7. Reveal Your Navigation Menu

While it seems neat and modern to hide your website homepage navigation with a dropdown menu or hamburger icon, this makes it less likely for users to navigate the rest of your site. Research from the Nielsen Norman Group found that the discoverability of a site's pages is cut in half when navigation bars are hidden. It will take longer for visitors to find the other key pages on your site. 

It takes visitors longer to go through a website with hidden navigation.

If there are too many pages on your site, and you can't put them all on your homepage menu without overcrowding, you can opt for "combo navigation." In this format, there are static menu links to important pages on your site, but the rest show up via a dropdown menu. This was the approach used by Johnny's Selected Seeds, an online seed merchant. Since they've got dozens of seeds in their online shop, the main navigation only lists the major categories. The other subcategories are revealed on a dropdown menu.

If you've got too many items on your online store, list only the main categories on your menu. The important thing is that there's a visible menu. 8. Try Live Chat

One thing you might want to experiment with is the use of live chat on your website. Live chat is a feature that lets website visitors chat in real-time with you or your staff. You can use live chat to answer their preliminary questions, help them navigate your website, or directly make a sale. For customers, this is easier than calling or emailing your business, since they can chat with you as they're browsing the site. 

JSI Signs, an online sign supply shop, uses live chat to reduce the volume of calls they receive in their store. This also helps the owner multitask, since she could answer questions from potential customers as she's doing other tasks. Let's look at chat in this website homepage example:

Live chat on your website homepage can help you explain products to your website visitors, increasing your conversions.

But there are other important benefits to adding live chat to your website homepage. Live chat can increase conversions by as much as 40 percent, according to a study by Apex Chat. It also provides the highest customer satisfaction levels, with 73 percent of consumers satisfied with the service they get from live chat. Email comes in second with a satisfaction rate of 61 percent.

Customers are satisfied with live chat support, more than email, phone, or social media.

If you're interested in giving live chat a go, here are some live chat services you can use:

9. Embed a Video

Adding a video to your homepage can increase conversions. This is true across several product categories, according to a study from Treepodia. Because of this, it might help if you add even a video clip on your website homepage. Keep it short, since engagement tends to drop off when the video is too long. It's best to keep your video shorter than two minutes, according to statistics from Wistia.

Across the above product types, ecommerce conversion rates rose with the addition of video.

As for the video's content, it could be an explainer, customer testimonial, product demo, or even a quick tour of your store. It can be live action or animated, whatever works with your needs and budget. In the example below, Four Sigmatic, a mushroom coffee company, has a video on their homepage where the founder demonstrates how to use their product. Video is especially important for unusual products such as mushroom coffee, which most people might not be familiar with. 

Adding a product demo video can be helpful when selling an unusual product. 10. Simplify

If the above list makes you think that improving your website homepage means adding more elements, that’s not necessarily the case. Each new item you add could distract from your main message and call to action. Also, it can leave a bad impression on your visitors.

Research from Google shows that high visual complexity — the presence of many elements — can affect how appealing your site is to visitors. Sites with low visual complexity were found the most appealing, even if people were only exposed to these sites for 17 milliseconds. In other words, the first impression of your website homepage counts, and this impression should be as simple as possible. Keep this in mind when you're following the above recommendations. Replace unnecessary or ineffective elements rather than add new things to compensate for them.

A Website Homepage That Brings in Business

You've just learned about website homepage design ideas. We've explored some website homepage examples. You should now have some ideas on how to make your website homepage more effective.

Remember, your website homepage should never just be a decorative part of your marketing strategy. Instead, it should play an active role in bringing in sales and repeating your branding message to potential customers. 

If your website homepage doesn't seem to be delivering on that promise, work on some of the recommended changes above. You can start with the ones that are the easiest for you to implement. By making these simple changes, your website homepage might even become one of your most important customer acquisition channels.

How to Share Photos and Videos From an iOS Device

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 10:00
What You'll Be Creating

One of the key benefits of digital media is the ease and speed at which you can share our lives with family and friends. In just a few moments, you can snap a picture on a phone, and send it to a relative on the other side of the world so that they can view it, too.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you several ways to share photos and videos with your nearest and dearest from an iOS device.

Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)

Sending an MMS message is like sending an SMS, only with a photo or video attached.

You can send an MMS to anyone in the world, providing the recipient has a phone with MMS capabilities. This form of messaging predates the internet-based messaging of modern applications and they can be costly to send, especially overseas.

Send Photos and Videos via MMS

Tap the Messages icon on the Home Screen, press the Compose New Message icon, and then enter the phone number of the recipient in the To field, or tap + to add a contact from the Contacts.

Press the Camera icon at the bottom of the screen to select an existing photo or video, or take a new one, if you prefer. Enter a comment to go along with the photo or video (optional), and when you’re ready, press the Send icon.

Select an existing photo or video, or take a new oneiMessage

iMessage is an instant messaging service used to send and receive messages for free between Apple devices.

iMessage requires an internet connection, and, if enabled, you and the recipient will receive read receipts when a message has been delivered and read.

Enable iMessage

Before you can send an iMessage for the first time, you must first enable iMessage on the device, otherwise the message will be sent as an SMS or MMS, which may incur a cost. 

Tap the Setting icon on the Home Screen, and then scroll down until you reach Messages. Flip the iMessage switch to On.

Here, you can also choose to enable read receipts. Change the Send Read Receipts switch to On to activate.

Messages sent via iMessage will appear in a blue text bubble, while those sent via SMS or MMS will appear in a green text bubble. 

If the recipient hasn’t enabled iMessage or doesn’t own an Apple device, or you don't have an internet connection, an iMessage will be sent as an SMS or MMS instead. Change the Send as SMS and MMS Messaging switches to Off to send iMessages only.

Enable read receipts to see when the iMessage has been read


Send Photos and Videos via iMessage

Sending an iMessage is similar to sending an MMS, only you can send an iMessage to an email address linked to an Apple ID, as well as a phone number belonging to an iPhone.

Tap the Messages icon on the Home Screen. Press the Compose New Message icon, and then enter the phone number or email address of the person you’d like to send a message to in the To field, or press + to add a contact from the Contacts.

Tap the Camera icon at the bottom of the screen to select an existing photo or video, or take a new one. Enter a message to go along with the photo or video, and when you’re ready, press the Send icon.

If the iMessage has been sent successfully, and you’ve enabled read receipts, it will display Delivered underneath the message, and Read when it’s been read.

Tip: If the person you’d like to share photos or videos with doesn't own an Apple device, third party instant messaging services such as WhatsApp and Skype are available cross platform and function almost identically to iMessage.

Email

An email can be sent for free to anyone with an email address. You can add attachments such as photos, videos and audio to the emails, although if an attachment is over 20 MB in size, you will automatically be asked to send it via Mail Drop instead.

Mail Drop lets you upload attachments of up to 5 GB to iCloud, and then send a link or preview to the recipient, which they can download for up to 30 days.

Send Photos and Videos via Email

Tap the Mail icon on the Home Screen and then press the Compose New Message icon. Enter the email address of the recipient in the To field, and then enter a subject in the Subject field (optional, but recommended.)

Select the photo or video you'd like to attach to the email

Double tap the text area and select Insert Photo or Video. Press All Photos and then select the photo or video you’d like to add to the email. Press Use to insert. 

Enter a message to accompany the attachment, and then tap the Send icon. 

iCloud Photo Sharing

iCloud Photo Sharing allows you and up to a hundred of your friends and family to share photos and videos between yourselves. 

When a new photo or video has been uploaded, everyone invited to view that particular album will receive a notification on their device, and they'll be able to like and comment on each upload.

You can create multiple albums dedicated to subjects such as your children or pets, and each one can hold up to 5,000 photos and videos.

Setup iCloud Photo Sharing

Tap the Settings icon, and then press the name in the top, left-hand corner. Select iCloud > Photos, and then flip the iCloud Photo Sharing switch to On to enable iCloud Photo Sharing.

Tap the Photos icon on the Home Screen, and then press the Shared tab in the navigation bar. Tap + to create a new album and enter an album name. Press Next and then enter the email addresses of the people you’d like to view said album. Tap Create.

If you’d like to share an album with family and friends who don’t own an Apple device, tap on the album, press the People tab and then flip the Public Website switch to On. The album can now be viewed via the URL provided.

You don't need an iOS device to view an album with iCloud Photo SharingUpload Photos and Videos to iCloud Photo Sharing

Select the photos or videos you’d like to share, tap the Share icon and then press iCloud Photo Sharing. Choose the album you want to upload to, enter a comment (optional) and then press Post.

AirDrop

If the person you’d like to share a photo or video with is nearby and owns an Apple device, AirDrop is a quick and easy way to do so via Bluetooth.

Enable Bluetooth

Tap the Settings icon on the Home Screen and then press Bluetooth. Flip the Bluetooth switch to On. Don’t forget to ensure that the recipient has enabled Bluetooth on their iDevice, too, otherwise they won’t be discoverable.

Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open Control Center. Tap the AirDrop icon and select either Receiving Off to switch receiving off, Contacts Only to receive files from the contacts only, or Everyone.

AirDrop Photos and Videos

Tap the Photos icon on the Home Screen, and then select the photos or videos you wish to send. 

Tap the Share icon and wait for the recipients’ device to appear under the AirDrop section. 

Press their name to send the media. There may be a slight delay while the recipient chooses to Accept or Decline the file.

AirDrop is a quick and easy way to send photos and videos to people nearbyConclusion 

In this tutorial, I have shown you several ways to share photos and videos with your friends and family from an iOS device.

Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses, but whichever way you choose will ultimately yield the same result and offer the recipient a glimpse of your day.