fixed : export eMail message as EML file

Question :

I had a complaint about the amount of spam I was getting from one particular sender, so our system administrator asked me to send him samples of the eMails in EML-format so he can have a look into the eMail-headers and adjust the spam-filter.

But how do I export eMail messages as EML-files ?


Answer :

EML is short for eMail ; an .eml-file is the typical way for macOS (and MacOSX) to store individual eMails that are not in your mailboxes.

The easiest way to export an eMail message from to an EML-file is to Drag&Drop :

  • in, select the one eMail that you would like to export
  • click on the eMail and drag it out of your onto your Desktop (simply put : “Drag&Drop”)
  • now, on your Desktop, the eMail will be automatically be saved as an EML-file
  • you can double check this by right-clicking on the eMail-file on the Desktop and choosing Get Info ; at ‘Kind:’ it will be listed as ‘Email message’, and at ‘Name & Extension:’ it will be listed with the ‘.eml’-file extension if you uncheck “Hide Extension”

Then you can share the eMail as an attachment in another eMail or put it on a USB-stick or upload it to your system administrator or whatever you like.

That’s it 😉

enjoy !


fixed : get usable (.tif or .jpg) pictures out of a PowerPoint-presentation

Question :

My colleague sent me a PowerPoint-presentation with pictures in it that I want to use in my own Keynote-presentation. But, whenever I select a picture in the PowerPoint-presentation and drag-&-drop it onto my Desktop (as I usually do in OSX to get a picture out of a website or alike), I get a file named “Picture Clipping.pictClipping”. When I double-click on that, I get a Finder window with the correct preview and a line of info saying “Clipping contents: TIFF image”. But I can’t import that .pictClipping file into my Keynote-presentation as a picture. Neither can I find any way to get the TIFF-image out of the .pictClipping-file.

What can I do ?


Answer :

You’ve stumbled upon a hard-to-tackle problem with PowerPoint-presentations.

The solutions is rather simple, but takes a some effort. You can choose to either export  only one picture, or export all pictures from the PowerPoint-presentation :

If you only need one picture :

1- make sure you have GraphicConverter installed (if you don’t have it, you can download it from the website for FREE and use it in “try it”-mode)

2- open your PowerPoint-presentation and drag&drop the picture you need onto the Desktop ; it will appear as a file named “Picture Clipping.pictClipping”

3- right-click on the “Picture Clipping.pictClipping”-icon and select “Open with…” from the pulldown menu that appears, then select “Other…” and select GraphicConverter 9 from the list that appears

4- GraphicConverter will now display the picture ; select “File” from the top menu bar, and “Save As…” from the pulldown menu that appears

5- in the window that opens, select select the destination folder and at “File Format:” choose JPEG/JFIF, PNG or TIFF and click the “Save”-button

6- then in the Finder, go to the destination folder and drag&drop the picture into your Keynote-presentation

…that’s it 😉

If you need multiple (or even all) pictures  :

1- make sure you have GraphicConverter installed (if you don’t have it, you can download it from the website for FREE and use it in “try it”-mode)

2- right-click on the PowerPoint-presentation’s icon and click on “Duplicate” from the pulldown list that appears ; if your original was named “presentation.ppt” the duplicate will be named “presentation copy.ppt”

3- select the icon of the “presentation copy”-file and change the .ppt or .pptx file extension into .dat (when asked “Are you sure… ?”, click on the “Use .dat”-button)

4- now, right-click on the “presentation copy.dat”-file’s icon and click on “Open With” in the pulldown list that appears, then select “GraphicConverter” and click on it

5- in GraphicConverter, you will now see only the first picture from the PowerPoint-presentation, but in the bottom bar, you will see “Page: 1 of X” (in which X is the total number of pictures), there you can scroll through all pictures ; then, from the “File”-menu, select “Convert & Modify”

6- in the window that opens, you will see 3 columns : in the left column, make sure that “Function: Convert” is selected, and “Destination Format:” is set to JPEG/JFIF, PNG or TIFF

7- in the middle column, you will see the “From:”-button and the file named “presentation copy.dat” (with the first picture as it’s icon) ; in the right column you will see the “To:”-button ; there you should select your desired destination folder

8- then, click on the “Go”-button at the bottom of the left column (and all pictures will be exported the way you have asked)

9- do not forget to drag the “presentation copy.dat”-file to the Trash (and empty the Trash)

10- in the Finder, you can now open the destination folder and drag&drop the picture(s) you need into your Keynote-presentation

…that’s it – enjoy !

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fixed : hashtags making text unreadable in Excel

Question :

Somebody sent me an Excel spreadsheet in which some of the data is unreadable since it has been replaced by text consisting of hashtag signs only…

I’ve seen this happening before, and the remedy used to be just to broaden the column, since all number that are too large to fit their cell width are automatically made unreadable…

However, in this case, if I broaden the column width, some of the hashtag text will turned into readable numbers, but other hashtag text will remain, no matter how wide I make the column…

What is wrong ?

And how can I fix this ?


Answer :

This seems to be a problem with Excel for Windows files that are opened in Excel for Mac (possibly more specifically with data copied or converted from another application into Excel on a Windows-PC). So PC-users will not be warned on forehand that their Excel output is not suited for use on Macs…

Fixing it turns out to be rather simple (but annoying) :

• open the file in Excel for Mac

• select the cells that are effected (or preferably even the entire column), then go to “Format” in the top menu bar

• from the dropdown-menu that appears, select “Cells…” and a window entitled “Format Cells” will open

• make sure the “Number”-tab is selected and make sure that you select “Number” or “General” from the list (make sure that it is something else than what was previously selected ; anything seems to be okay, as long as it is not “Accounting”)

• no return to your spreadsheet to check if the hashtag texts have disappeared (if not : try again)

That’s it !

Enjoy !


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fixed : Reduce File Size makes PDF unreadable

Question :

I have created a PDF of 4 pages in the Preview app, but I can’t eMail it to anyone because it turns out to be a 39MB file…

I know the probable cause, because some of the pages are entire A4-size pictures scanned as JPEG at 300dpi…

So I tried to use various ways of saving (or exporting) as PDF from within Preview, but they all end up with the same oversized 39MB file… except for one : the “Reduced File Size” filter from the “Export” option gives me a 240kB file that turns out to be completely unreadable…

Isn’t there any simple way to get a readable PDF of about 5MB or so ?


Answer :

Yes there is, but unfortunately it’s rather tricky to set up at first (since there is still no option in Preview, nor in “Save as PDF”, to adjust the PDF-output on the fly… and on top of that : there is a bug in the latest versions of OSX that prevents self-made Quartz-filters from ColorSync Utility to be accessible throughout OSX…)

Here’s how to :

1- open the ColorSync Utility that is in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder

2- if no window opens, click on File –> New Window

3- then click on the “Filters” tab

4- then click on the “+”-button in the bottom-left corner to create a new Quartz-filter

5- type “Reduce File Size 75dpi”, then click on the small round button (with the small white triangle in it) at the end of the line

6- from the pulldown menu select “Add Image Effects Component > Color Image Sampling” and now some adjusting options appear, leave most of them as-is, only at “Resolution:” type “75 pixels/inch” (so leave the other options empty and leave “Quality:” at “High”)

7- repeat this last step, but this time select “Add Image Effects Component > Grey Image Sampling” from the pulldown menu (so set “Resolution:” to “75 pixels/inch” here also)

8- tripple-check to make sure that the name of the Quartz-filter is “Reduce File Size 75dpi” and the “Resolution:” is set to “75 dpi/inch” at both instances… if that’s not the case : correct it before continuing (just retype at the correct spot)

OPTIONAL : click on the “+”-button again to create another new Quartz-filter, call it “Reduce File Size 120dpi” and repeat the above procedure, just set “Resolution:” to “120 dpi/inch” this time (…and you can even repeat this for other resolutions like 100 dpi/inch)

9- now close ColorSync Utility

10- now, in the Finder, press the ALT-key on your keyboard and select “Go” from the upper menu bar, in the pulldown and extra (ghost) folder called “Library” will appear, click on it and in the Finder window that opens, select the “Filters” folder (there you will see the Quartz-filters you’ve just created in ColorSync Utility)

11- then, in the Finder open another (new) Finder window and open the (regular) “Filters” folder that is in the “Library” folder in the “System” folder also (there you will see all the standard Quartz-filters available throughout OSX)

12- put both of these Finder windows side-by-side, then select the Quartz-filter files you’ve custom created, and drag them into the other “Library” folder (the one in the “System” folder)

13- then you get an authentication warning message that you need administrator rights to add anything into the folder, so type your administrator password and the custom Quartz-filter files will be moved into the System’s “Filters” folder

UPDATE : from OSX 10.11 El_Capitan on, you will see a grey NoEntry-sign when trying to access the System’s “Filters” folder ; this is due to El-Capitan’s SIP (System Integrity Protection) feature ; to solve this follow these extra steps :

  • instead of moving your self-made Quartz-filters into the ~/System/Library/Filters folder, you should move them to the ~/Library/Filters folder
  • since that last folder doesn’t exist by default, you will have to create it first
  • to do so, go to ~/Library in a Finder-window and click on the Sprocket-icon (a.k.a. GearWheel-icon) and select “New Folder” from the pulldown list
  • when prompted, enter you administrator’s name & password to allow this new folder to be created
  • when done, move your self-made Quartz-filters info this newly created folder at ~/Library/Filters

14- close all open windows

15- select the PDF file that’s too big and open it in the Preview app

16- in the Preview app, go to “File” and from the pulldown menu, select “Export” (do not select “Export to PDF” or “Save” or “Print” !!!)

17- in the window that appears, choose a (new) file name and a location to save the size-reduced PDF-file, then set “Format:” to “PDF” and at “Quartz Filter:” select “Reduce File Size 75dpi” and click the “Save”-button

18- then go to the Finder and select the newly created size-reduced PDF-file and right-click and select “Get Info” (or use the CMD+I key-combo), in the window that opens, check the file size (note : any file up to about 5MB can easily be sent as an eMail attachment)

19- then open the size-reduced PDF in the Preview app and check if the text is still readable… if  all text has turned fuzzy, do a new Export from the original PDF but choose another Quartz-filter (like 100dpi or 120dpi… if you didn’t create those, redo the entire process to create them and make them available throughout OSX)

20- that’s it ! you now have created a very handy and quick PDF size reduction option within the Preview app !

Enjoy !


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