Recent Example of Why It’s So Important to Keep Mac OSX SIP enabled

This just came across my radar as yet another reminder of why it’s so important that you keep System Integrity Protection enabled on your Mac (if your version of OSX supports it).

Recent Chrome update renders Mac’s with SIP disabled (or no SIP at all) un-bootable

Consider yourself warned!

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How to extract data between parentheses in MS Excel

Super handy tip here: how to extract data from between parentheses “( )” in Microsoft Excel. Just create a new column, and in the first cell of that column, enter this formula:

=MID(A1,FIND(“(“,A1)+1,FIND(“)”,A1)-FIND(“(“,A1)-1)

Note: The formula above assumes that your “target” column that has the parentheses is column “A” and the first row 1 has a value with a parentheses in it. If either of these are not the case, just change “A1” everywhere in the formula to match your first target cell that does have parentheses you want to extract from.

And that’s it! Just copy that formula over to the rest of the rows in your new column and you are all set!

2 Handy MS Excel Data Manipulation Tips – Extract & Remove Text in Parentheses

To Extract text from parentheses, use this formula in a new column, assuming the target column is column “A”:

=MID(A1,FIND(“(“,A1)+1,FIND(“)”,A1)-FIND(“(“,A1)-1)

Note: Change “A1” accordingly to match the column and specific cell that you are targeting, then copy that formula to all other cells in your new column. Done!

And then to remove the text and the parentheses from all values in a column:

  1. Select the entire column
  2. Do a Find and Replace
  3. In the “Find what” box, enter this: (*)
  4. Click “Replace All”. Done!

 

Pro Tip for Mac OSX Finder – Open new Finder Window in Same Dir

A handy little pro tip for Mac OSX users – scenario: you have a Finder window open to a certain directory and you want to open another Finder window to the same directory, perhaps to put side by side with the current Finder window.

Just do this:

Press cmd + ctrl + o in Finder without any folders or files selected in that window.

Or if you do have a folder selected, cmd + ctrl + o will open a new Finder window into that selected folder.

Neat!

 

Pro Tip: Quickly locate apache config errors on Mac OSX

If Apache is refusing connections entirely on Mac OSX (i.e. “Unable to connect” message shows in the browser when trying to load websites hosted on your machine), there’s a good chance there are errors in the Apache config files. This will prevent Apache from starting normally and as a result there will be nothing in the Apache error log itself, as Apache can’t start up.

So to locate where the errors lie, from a terminal window,  run this:

sudo apachectl configtest

That will reveal whether there are syntax errors in the config files (e.g. in httpd.conf or perhaps in the virtual host config file if you are using virtual hosts).

Fixing Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac – AutoUpdate Cannot Connect to The Update Server

I recently did a clean install of my iMac to OS X Mojave, which required of course reinstalling all my apps, including Microsoft Office 2011. That’s the last version that I have purchased from Microsoft and although already 7 years old at current time of writing, it still works perfectly fine and I see no reason at all to upgrade to Office 365.

However, after reinstalling Office 2011 for Mac from a back-up dmg file, I was unable to use the built-in Office autoupdater to get any updates. Any attempts result in a pop up box saying rather cryptically “AutoUpdate Cannot Connect to The Update Server”. Well…

…turns out Microsoft has stopped supporting this product as of 2017.

And unfortunately, the stock Office 2011 (i.e. version 14.0.0) does not support Retina resolutions, so text looks pretty bad on retina capable screens, such as my late-2015 retina 5K iMac.

If you are facing the same problem as I was, fear not though, you can still download the updates directly from the Microsoft site if you know where to find the relevant download pages. So here you go…

First download and install Service Pack 1 (v14.1.0): https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=17198

Then after that, download and install Service Pack 3 (v14.7.7): https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=55942

That will bring your install up to the final version that Microsoft will ever provide for Office 2011  for Mac.

If this helps you, I’d strongly suggest saving copies of those 2 service pack installers in case you ever have to go through a reinstall again. Microsoft probably won’t leave those downloads up indefinitely so have your own backups just in case.