With new pro-level editing features coming to Photos, handy additions to the popular Notes app, and some welcome changes in Safari, there is a lot to look forward to in macOS High Sierra.

In this article we will show you how to use the new features coming to the Mac operating system later today (25 September).

How to stop autoplay audio and video in Safari

How to stop autoplay audio and video in Safari

With Safari 11 in macOS High Sierra, you will be able to easily disable autoplay video.

Next time you are on a site that is autoplaying a video click on Safari > Settings for This Website, or right-click the URL box and select Settings for This Website.

Settings for This Website is a new option in High Sierra.

Once the Settings for This Website option is selected you will see a pop up window with the option Auto-Play, hover on the words beside that to see three choices:

  • Allow All Auto-Play
  • Stop Media with Sound
  • Never Auto-Play

Stop Media with Sounds appears to be the default option, and it will essentially stop any video from starting if the sound is set to be on. If the video is set to play silently it will still run in Safari in High Sierra, but at least they won’t suddenly blare out audio, scaring you because you had the sound on your Mac turned up.

If you would rather not see the video at all, you can choose Never Auto-Play. This selection will apply to any autoplay videos on that site. If you visit a page with a video you will see a Play button in the middle of the video and you just have to click on that to start the video playing.

YouTube doesn’t appear to abide by these new settings currently, but perhaps that can be put down to this being the beta.  

If you want videos to Auto-Play on a particular site you can choose to Allow All Auto-Play. Choose Stop Media with Sound if you don’t mind them playing but would rather not hear the sound track.

You can also add sites you wish not to autoplay video to a listing in Safari Preferences. Go to Safari > Preferences and click on Websites. Click Auto-Play and in the section on the right you will see any currently open websites. As before, you can choose to

  • Allow All Auto-Play
  • Stop Media with Sound
  • Never Auto-Play

Also, read our comparison of all the web browsers available for Mac here: Best Mac Web Browser

How to use the new photo editing features in the Photos app

How to use the new photo editing features in the Photos app

There are some welcome changes to the Photos interface in High Sierra, from a new selection counter, batch rotation and favouriting within the library views, to some pro-level photo editing features worthy of Aperture. To reach them click on Edit then Adjust.

Where previously you had options to Enhance, Rotate, Crop, Filters, Adjust, Retouch, and Extensions. Now you’ll find Levels, Curves, Definition, Sharpen, Noise Reduction, Vignette and two new editing tools: Curves and Selective Colour.

To view the editing options within each tool, click on the disclosure triangles beside them.

How to use new Colour Curves in the Photos app

How to use new Colour Curves in the Photos app

With the Colour Curves adjustment you can adjust the tonal range of your image. It’s a little more complicated to use than some of the other tools, but you could use it to lighten a dark scene, boost contrast and colour, or make colour shifts.

To use Curves, scroll down the list and click on its disclosure triangle to reveal the tools and a graph. The images tonality is represented by the line, the highlights of the image are found in the top right section of the graph, the low lights are found in the bottom left segment.

You can choose RGB, or focus on Red, Green and Blue separately, dragging the anchor points on the graph until you get the affect you are after.

For example, to brighten up the image, click on the line in the bottom left and drag it upwards until you see a curve form. The image will change in real time so you can decide when you have achieved the designed effect.

You could also create an S-curve, dragging one anchor point up in the highlights, and another anchor point down in the shadows. This would boost contrast and the colour saturation.

You can also use the pipets to pick a colour to set as a black point, grey point, and white point, just as in Photoshop. You can also choose a colour in the image to set as a point on the curve.

How to use new filters in Photos app

How to use new filters in Photos app

Photos in High Sierra also brings with it nine new pre-built image filter presets.

Where previously Photos offered Instragram inspired filters, such as Fade, Chrome, Process, Transfer, and Instant, now the filters are variations of three different styles: Vivid, Dramatic, and black and white, with warm and cool options.

To access these filters click Edit > Filters and click through the options until you find one you like.

When you have selected your filter you can continue to edit it using the Curves and other editing tools until you have the style you are after.  

Turn a live photo into a Gif

Turn a live photo into a Gif

There's a new Media Types folder in Photos which makes it easy to find your videos, selfies, Depth Effect images, Panoramas, Time Lapse, Slow-mo, and Live Photos. A new feature in Photos in High Sierra is the ability to turn those Live Photos in to a Gif like repeating loop.

You can also manually change the Live Photo’s representative image to a different segment of the video, trim the Live Photos video, and, in addition to the new Gif-like Loop, you can set one of three other effects: a traditional live photo, a back-and-forth bouncing effect, or a Long Exposure image that mimics a photo taken with the shutter left open for a long time.

To turn a live photo into a looping ‘Gif’, open your Live Photo in Edit mode. Below the photo you will see a slider (this allows you to change the still image associated with the Live Photo, as well as change the start and end points of the Live Photo).

Next to that is a drop down box with the options: Live, Loop, Bounce and Long Exposure. Choose Loop. Immediately the image will start to loop. If you were hoping to change the start and end points unfortunately you can’t, but you can choose to turn the audio back on (it’s turned off by default in Loop mode).

The other similar option is Bounce. Where loop sort of fills in the gap between the different movements, in Bounce the sample is shorter and the one movement is repeated over and over. You cannot play audio in Bounce.

How to create a long exposure shot in Photos

How to create a long exposure shot in Photos

If you have a Live Photo of something like a waterfall or fireworks you can make a Long Exposure image from it.

Note: this image won’t be any good if you moved the camera. Ideally you want to keep the camera completely still when taking the live photo (as you would if you were taking a Long Exposure shot the traditional way.

As before, select the Live Photo, choose Edit and in the box beside the sliders choose Long Exposure.

We’d like the option to make a Long Exposure photo out of a Slow-Mo video. Live Photos by their nature aren’t really long enough to give a really good Long Exposure effect.

Open a Photo and edit in Photoshop

Open a Photo and edit in Photoshop

The Photos app now lets you make edits using Photoshop and other third-party editors.

From Photos right click on the image you wish to edit and choose Edit With > Other, and then select Photoshop from your applications (or any other photo editor you might prefer).

The image will open in the third-party photo editing app and you will be able to use all the features of that app to edit it. For example, you could choose a Photoshop filter and apply that to your image.

Any edits you make will automatically be saved to your Photos library.

How to pin important Notes

How to pin important Notes

We use Notes all the time, so the ability to Pin the most important ones is one of the High Sierra features that had us the most excited.

To Pin a note, just find the note you want and right click on it and choose Pin Note.

You can also Lock Note, which will mean that a password is needed to open it.

How to use Tables in Notes

How to use Tables in Notes

To add a table to a Note, click on the table icon in the menu bar.

To add more rows you can either click in the last cell and click on the Tab key, or you can click on one of the small boxes with three dots inside that appear besides the rows and columns when they are selected.

Click on that box to see a drop down menu with the option Add Row Above, Add Row Below, and Delete Row, or Add Column Before, Add Column After, and Delete Column, depending on what area of the table you are extending.

As you add more columns each column will get smaller, once the table is wider than a single page a bar will appear at the bottom to make swiping across to view more data simpler.

How to search for flights in Spotlight

How to search for flights in Spotlight

If you know the flight number then it’s easy to search for flight information in Spotlight. Just click on cmd+Spacebar and type in your flight number.

Spotlight will not only let you know when the flight departed, and when it will arrive at its destination, it will also show you where in the world the plane is currently.