Mac OS X: forcing an application to use a specific language

I ran into the following problem: I switched the keyboard layout of my Mac running OS X 10.9 to use a different keyboard layout (French instead of Dutch). The result was that a number of applications also changed their interface language to French instead of English (!). Which is very annoying.

Removing the French keyboard layout did not solve the issue just like that. For some applications, deleting the preference file solved the issue, but for some it didn’t.

I finally resolved the issue by downloading¬†App Language Chooser from the Mac App Store. This developer tool allows you to “hard code” the language of a specific application. Just drag the application icon into the application window, and specify the language of your choice.

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OneNote for iPad crashes frequently

I am a big fan of Microsoft OneNote, and I am using OneNote for iPad, but I was experiencing frequent crashes of the iPad application.

Some tests and some searches later, I learned that I was not alone, and that the crashes are caused by OneNote pages that contain a table with meeting information (when you create a new Linked Meeting Note from an appointment in an Outlook calendar item). So try to avoid that, or remove the table from the note if you are syncing with iPad.

Update: Microsoft updated OneNote for iPhone/iPad on July 1, 2013, and this update fixes this issue !

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iBooks, the future of course material?

If you are in the training and learning business, you know that course material¬†always has been the subject of many discussions. Some say it is necessary, others say that they are never used, but most students want “a manual”. Entire forests disappeared because of it, the added value of it is uncertain.

What if you could avoid using paper, and make the manual really deliver added value? I spent some time playing with iBooks author, a manual in Word format about an IT application, and Adobe Captivate software demo’s, to see if this could be a valuable alternative.

The workflow to replace all your paper based manuals by this solution would be:

  • Get yourself a Mac :–)
  • Get yourself an iPad if you want to preview your iBooks
  • Download a copy of iBooks author
  • Import your Word document into iBooks author
  • Publish your Captivate demo’s as .mp4 (standard publish function in CP 5 and higher)
  • Convert your .mp4 files to .m4v with QuickTime
  • Insert the demos in your iBook using the Media widget
  • Add some interactivity if necessary, e.g. multiple choice questions
  • Publish your project
  • Distribute your iBook (via the store or as a file)
  • Get an iPad for all your students :–)

I will let you judge for yourself. This is the result:

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The value of a great idea

Leopard File Rename Sometimes you see a great function in a software that makes you think: “why didn’t I think of this”? Especially when it is very simple, but so effective.

I just noticed one in Leopard. When you need to rename a file, you often struggle to leave the file extension untouched, and just change the name. Not in Leopard: when you click on a filename to rename it, it does NOT select the extension, just the filename.

Why didn’t I think of this?

Watch it live on http://screencast.com/t/pLBDkLeMd

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