Ben Wong is a Web/iOS Developer from Brisbane, Australia. When he's working he is usually coding in HTML, CSS, Javascript, ASP.NET (C#/VB.NET) or SQL. He enjoys working with Umbraco CMS. When he's not coding he's probably on a basketball court.

How to create a PDF from multiple images in OS X

This week I needed to create a PDF from a couple of images. I knew Preview had some PDF creation capabilities, so I tried using it to do it. Unfortunately, Export As… produced a blank PDF. Luckily I remembered Automator and discovered it has a whole bunch of PDF related actions. One of them being New PDF from Images.

So, here’s how to do it.

  1. Start up Automator
  2. Choose Workflow for document type
  3. Click on Files & Folders and drag and Ask for Finder Items into the Workflow area
  4. Check Allow Multiple Selection
  5. Click on PDFs and drag New PDFs from Images into the Workflow area
  6. Update the Output File Name
  7. Modify any other settings you require
  8. Run the Workflow
  9. Select the images you want in the new PDF and click Choose

screenshot

That’s it. You should find a new PDF of the images in the output directory.

iOS Orientation Change Bug Workaround WordPress Plugin

Filament Group published a workaround for a bug in Safari for iOS that causes a user-zoomable page to scale beyond the width of the viewport when the device’s orientation changes from portrait to landscape. You can read about it in their blog post, A Fix for the iOS Orientationchange Zoom Bug.

For those creating WordPress websites that need to be iOS friendly, I’ve created a plugin that implements the workaround.

iOS Orientation Change Bug Workaround WordPress Plugin (3.16 KB)

How to add footer text for a group in settings.bundle

Adding settings for your iOS app so that they appear in the Settings app is simply done by creating a settings.bundle and defining the groups and settings controls in the Root.plist in the bundle. Sometimes it’s helpful to add hints and extra information by adding footer text to groups. Unfortunately it’s not clear how to add the footer text from the interface Xcode provides for the settings.bundle Root.plist.

Here’s how to add footer text to a group in a settings.bundle.

  1. Expand the dictionary item for the group the footer text will be displayed under. It should reveal items with the keys Title and Type.
  2. Add a new item by hovering over one of the items and clicking on the plus icon.
  3. Instead of selecting one of the key options in the drop down that appears for the new item, type in “FooterText”.
  4. Enter the footer text to be displayed in the value field.

Related Links

iOS 5 Tips & Tricks

Now that you have iOS 5 installed, you should probably learn how to make the most of it. I’m compiling a list of all the tips and tricks related to iOS 5 that I find and I’ll keep updating as I discover more.

Notification Center

To display Notification Center, slide your finger down from the top of the screen when on the home screen or in an app. Touching a notification will open the corresponding app. Notifications for an app can be cleared by touching the “X” at the top right of the section and then touching the “clear” that appears.

On the lock screen, you can unlock and open the corresponding app for a notification by sliding the app icon to the right.

To manage what and how notifications are displayed in Notification Center, go to Settings app > Notifications. You can configure which apps use Notification Center, what order they are listed in Notification Center and how each apps display their notifications as they are added.

Reminders

Reminders is a brand new app for maintaining a to-do list. Items can trigger reminders based on time or location (arriving or leaving).

Camera

To unlock and open the camera app quickly from the lock screen, double press the home button and touch the camera icon that appears to the right of the slide lock.

You can now use the volume up button to take photos or start/stop video recording.

Safari

Safari now supports private browsing. To enable private browsing, go to Settings app > Safari and turn on Private Browsing in the Privacy section.

Twitter

To set up your Twitter account, go to Settings app > Twitter and enter your Twitter username and password or create a new account.

Twitter is integrated with many of the standard apps. For example, you can now share locations via Twitter in Maps and share links via Twitter in Safari.

Weather

The Weather app now supports Local Weather. When enabled the left most view will display the weather based on your current location.

Also newly added is hourly weather. Touching the top section of the view will toggle the hourly weather on and off.

Keyboard Shortcuts

You can now add custom keyboard shortcuts which allows you to enter a long regularly used phrase by only typing short string of characters. The example that is already created by default is “On my way!” which can be entered by typing “omw”. To manage keyboard shortcuts, go to Settings app > General > Keyboard and touch the Edit button.

Other Resources

Excuse the Mess

I’m making some changes. I’m ditching the pre-made WordPress theme and creating my own custom theme based on Roots. I’ll also be retiring the blog subdomain and making this the new benwong.me. There will probably be many other changes too. So please excuse the mess while all this is happening.