OS X: IPython Notebooks on an an external drive with Anaconda

Anaconda, running on El Capitan, only provides access to files and folders under the current user’s home directory.

Home

My Dropbox folder lives on an external drive and therefore isn’t accessible from the folder list. (I actually use a slimline 128 GB JetDrive card from Transcend.. fast enough for my 100+ GB of Dropbox files).

The solution was to create a symbolic link in my Documents folder which referenced the external Dropbox folder.

$ ln -s /Volumes/SDCARD/Dropbox ~/Documents/DB

From Anaconda’s perspective this looks like any other folder:

Documents_DB_

OS X Pages 5.0 graphics in header

The latest version of Pages for OS X and iOS is great for iCloud users who want to edit documents on both desktop and mobile with maximum compatibility. But Pages for OS X has lost many features to attain this compatibility.

Yesterday I tried to create a new document with a company logo in the header, so that it would repeat on every page. The process wasn’t intuitive!

First off the Pages 5.0 manual is easiest to find via Pages, rather than Googling for it:

Fullscreen_01_11_2013_11_43-2

Then the trick is discovering master objects.

You can add text, watermarks, logos, or other images that appear in the same place in the background of every page of your document. These repeated elements are called master objects.

So here’s my sequence of events for getting an image into the document header so that it repeats on every page:

  1. New (blank) document.
  2. Turn on Layout View (⇧⌘L). This makes it a little easier to see where the header and body areas of the document are.
  3. Drag and drop the logo to the document body.
  4. Resize the logo and drag to the appropriate location in the header. Caution: if the resized logo fits within the header cell boundary it seems difficult or impossible to re-select it. I made mine slightly larger so that the mouse cursor could just click it.
  5. With the logo selected use the menu Arrange | Section Masters | Move Object to Section Master to make the logo a master object.
  6. If the logo needs to be repositioned use the Arrange | Section Masters | Make Master Objects Selectable to allow this and any other background objects to be selected.

Shapes for header/foot borders

This technique can also be used with shapes to allow the header and/or foot to have a full width border. For example, after setting up the header text try adding a simple shape to the document:

Untitled-2

Resize the shape and add any effects, move it below the header, use the menus again to make it a master object:

Untitled-2

When viewed as a PDF in Preview:

Untitled__1_page_

iPad

This is all possible on the iPad, give or take a few frustrating finger taps and Googling!

The user manual is here.