fixed : copy WhatsApp profile picture to macOS Contacts address book

Question :
I am using WhatsApp to communicate with some people that I have only seen a few times in real life. But as we are communicating in a WhatsApp Group it is really handy to see their profile pictures to remember who is who. But now I need to eMail them and it would be great to distinguish them by their profile pictures also… Is there any way to copy their WhatsApp profile pictures over to my macOS Contacts address book ? I’ve tried dark&drop, but that doesn’t work…

Answer :

Yes, but it’s slightly more time-consuming than drag&drop. Here’s how to :

  • make sure you have the official WhatsApp Desktop-app installed on your Mac
  • make sure the WhatsApp Desktop-app is open and you are logged in
    • note : you will need your mobile phone to log in (for the first time)
  • in the WhatsApp Desktop-app do this :
    • open an old conversation with the person who’s profile picture you need
      • you can use the Search-option to find this person if you don’t see them in your recent chats immediately
    • in the person’s profile picture that is visible in the middel of the top menu bar
    • when the Contact Info window opens, right-click on the (large) profile picture that is displayed
    • now, click on the “Copy Image” text that appears
    • then, exit WhatsApp Desktop-app and open Preview.app
    • make sure that “Preview” is listed in the macOS top menu bar, next to the Apple logo
    • goto “File” > “New From Clipboard” and click on it
      • if “New From Clipboard” is greyed out, there is nothing on your clipboard, so you should go back into WhatsApp Desktop-app and do the “Copy Image” procedure again
    • now the profile picture will be displayed as a Preview document
    • goto “File” > “Save” and click on it
      • when asked, you can just leave “name: Untitled” and “location: Desktop” and click OK
      • now a new file (icon) named “Untitled” will appear on your Desktop
    • then, exit Preview.app and open Contacts.app
    • in Contacts.app find the person you want to add the profile picture to
    • click on the person’s name to open their personal info
    • then, drag&drop the “Untitled” file from your Desktop to their profile picture area
    • frist, in white, the word “edit” will appear, when the Plus-sign appears, drop the file
      • you can do this even if you don’t click on the “Edit” button bottom right
    • you will get the option to size the profile picture, so you can zoom in if you like
    • then click OK and you’re done
    • That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : “This block has encountered an error and cannot be previewed” error in WordPress Dashboard

Question :

My WordPress.com website has been shifted to the revamped version of the WordPress Dashboard, but now, when I am trying to re-edit posts from before September 2020, I can only see the post’s title in the edit page… the body text is replaced by an error message saying “This block has encountered an error and cannot be previewed”.

What can I do to fix this ?

Answer :

The underlying problem is not exactly clear, but the solution is rather simple :

  • make sure you are running the latest version of macOS, if not : upgrade to the latest version of macOS
  • make sure you are running the latest version of Safari (or the browser you are using), if not : upgade to the latest version
  • open Safari
  • goto “View” (in the top menu bar)
  • click on “Reload without Content Blockers” (from the pulldown menu)
    • Note : the regular β€œReload Page (CMD+R)” will NOT solve the problem !

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : rotate page orientation in MS Excel ( portrait / landscape )

Question :

I have to print (part of) an Excel sheet that has few lines and al lot of columns (so it’s not that height, but rather broad), so I want to print on a landscape-ed paper.

In regular macOS apps (like Preview, Keynote, etc.) I would do this by pressing [CMD]+[P] on my keyboard, so the printing window opens and I can switch the “Preview/Keynote/etc.”-dial to “Page Attributes”, so I can set the Paper Size (e.g. A4 or US Letter) and the Orientation (Portrait or Landscape).

If I do this in MS Excel, I get a similar printing window, but if I click the “Excel”-dial, the list of options doesn’t have “Page Attributes” listed… and I non of the other available options seems to have a setting to change the page orientation either…

Note : Yes, I know that Apple’s counterpart Numbers.app has a different type of printing window with the Page Orientation option listed near the top-right, but that’s to different from what I’m seeing in Excel that I see no way to lear in Numbers.app what I want to do in Excel…

What am I doing wrong ?

Answer :

Yes, Excel is different from the regular macOS-apps regarding setting the page orientation (and it’s even more different from it’s competitor Numbers.app), but the option is hidden in plain sight !

To change the page orientation in Excel, press the [ALT]+[P] key-combo, and then the print window opens, just leave the Excel-dial as-is and look a little below it… there you will see the options “Print”, “Margins” and “Orientation”… That’s it !

Note : there is another option to set the page orientation in Excel : goto the top menu-bar, click on “File” (top-left) and from the pull-down menu select “Page Setup” (just above “Print”) and when the “Page Setup” window opens, make sure the “Page”-tab is selected and at “Orientation” you will see radio buttons for “Portraid” and “Landscape”… That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : put printing & scanning shortcuts in the Dock

Question :

Whenever I need to scan (or sometimes even to print) anything, I need to go into System Preferences, then Printers & Scanners, then click Open Scanner…

Isn’t there a one-click solution to do this ?

Answer :

Yes there is.

Back in the days of MacOSX there used to be an option for this called “Desktop Printer” : that would put a shortcut-link of your printer on the Desktop. And you could do the same for your scanner.

Nowadays, for some reason, this option is gone, and no easy alternative is given by macOS… so you will have to create some thing yourself… the easiest way is to put both your Printer’s and your Scanner’s icon in the Dock. To do so, do this :

  • go to Apple menu (Apple-icon top-left in the top menu bar)
  • when the pulldown menu appears, select “System Preferences”
  • in the window that opens, click “Printers & Scanners”
    • if there is no such option, click on the raster-icon (top-center) first and it will appear
  • in the window that opens, click on your scanner (in the list on the left)
    • if your scanner is not yet in the list, add it first by clicking the Plus-icon at the bottom and following the on-screen instructions
  • now your scanner opens in the main part of the screen (on the right)
  • click the “Open scanner” button
  • now, the Scanner-window will open, and the scanner’s icon will appear in the Dock
  • CTRL-click (right mouse button) on the Scanner’s icon in the Dock
  • from the popup-menu, select “Options”, then “Keep in Dock”
  • now, the scanner’s icon will be moved to the left and it will stay in the Dock even after you close the scanner software
  • so, next time you want to scan anything, just click on the scanner’s icon in the Dock to open the scanner software

    That’s it !

Note : creating a direct link icon in the Dock for your printer can be done in the same way

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : “Scanner reported an error” when starting scanner

Question :

My Canon CanoScan 5600F is scanning great, even after all those years. The only problem I’m encountering with my new Mac is that I get a “Scanner reported an error” message when I try to start it from the shortlink (alias) I have in my Dock.

The exact error message is : “Scanner reported an error Cannot communicate with scanner for these reasons: – Scanner is turned off. – USB cable is disconnected. Please check and try again.” But the USB cable is connected properly and the scanner is turned on, so that can’t be the problem.

What can I do to fix this ?

Answer :

This problem was introduced some years ago, possibly somewhere within the shift from OSX to macOS. It seems to have to to with the start-up sequence of macOS’s build-in scanning software or the scanner going into some sleep mode. The solution is simple, even though it is more of a workaround than an actual fix. So if you run into this problem, do this :

  • turn the scanner off using the ON/OFF-switch on the outside of the scanner (the physical hardware button)
  • then, click the blue OK-button in the “Scanner reported an error” window
  • then, close the “Scanner” window by clicking the red dot button top-left
  • then, open the Scanner software again…
  • now, turn the scanner back on using the ON/OFF-switch on the outside of the scanner (the physical hardware button)
  • now the scanner should load the scan preview automatically (as if you had clicked the Overview-button)
  • just make sure the scan area hasn’t been reset, so…
    • …either uncheck “Use Custom Size” and make sure “size” is “A4” (or anything suitable)
    • …or manually line out the scan area in the preview

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : CanoScan 5600F driver for macOS Big_Sur

Question :

I have a Canon CanoScan 5600F scanner that worked great with my previous Mac, but now I have upgraded to a new Mac running macOS 11.0 Big_Sur.

I’ve looked on the Canon website and searched the internet, but there is no macOS 11.0 Big_Sur compatible driver available for this scanner.

Is there any way to use this CanoScan 5600F scanner in macOS 11.0 Big_Sur ?

 

Answer :

Yes, there is :

  • goto Canon’s US website : https://www.usa.canon.com
  • choose Support > Scanners > Film & Negative Scanner > CanoScan 5600F
  • or use this link : https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/support/details/scanners/film-negative-scanner/canoscan-5600f/canoscan-5600f?subtab=downloads-drivers
  • there, choose the “Drivers & Downloads” tab
  • then, choose “macOS Mojave v10.14” as your operating system and “English” as your language
  • then, choose the “Drivers” tab
  • now, you will see 2 drivers listed :
    • > 5600F Scanner Driver Ver.14.11.5h (Mac) : msd_-mac_cs5600f-14_11_5h-ea8_2.dmg
      • > ICA Driver Ver.4.1.4a (Mac) : misd-mac-ijscanner2-4_1_4-ea21_3.dmg
  • download both of them
    • note that despite the fact that both are versions from 2018, these will still work with macOS 11.0 Big_Sur
  • goto your downloads folder
  • first, double-click on the file named msd_-mac_cs5600f-14_11_5h-ea8_2.dmg
  • this will mount the ScanGear_CanoScan 5600F_141105.pkg
  • again, click on that and version 14.11 of the ScanGear driver installer will open
  • now, follow the on-screen directions and the latest ScanGear driver will be installed
  • then, double-click on the file named misd-mac-ijscanner2-4_1_4-ea21_3.dmg
  • this will mount the Canon IJScanner2_040104.pkg
  • again, click on that and version 4.1.4 the IJScanner2 driver installer will open
  • now, follow the on-screen directions and the latest IJScanner2 driver will be installed
  • when done, goto System Preferences > Printers & Scanners
  • if the CanoScan 5600F is already listed on the left, click it
  • if not, click the +sign (plus-sign) to add the scanner first
  • when done, click the CanoScan 5600F in the list on the left
  • when the scanner details open on the right, click on the “Open Scanner”-button
  • now, the built-in macOS scanner-app will open and it will immediately do a preview scan of whatever is in the scanner

NOTE : you might run into a small problem every once in a while ; when the automatic scanning preview starts, you might get an error saying “Scanner reported an error – Cannot communicate with scanner for these reasons: – Scanner is turned off. – USB cable is disconnected. Please check and try again.” If so, just flip the scanner’s ON/OFF-switch in OFF-position manually and then back into ON-posistie. That should help in making the scanner preview work again.

enjoy πŸ˜‰