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Author: Kristenson, Joel
Last Updated: 2020-09-21
This article walks through the steps to access your Trail Blazer database on a Mac via the free Microsoft Remote Desktop 10 app. It also goes through the steps to map your local Mac directories (which allows you to perform tasks like importing / exporting spreadsheets, and to upload images from your Mac into TB). This article also shows how to map your local printers, and provides some best practices for logging into and out of your remote desktop connection.
Note: It’s advised that you utilize Microsoft Remote Desktop 10 for RDP if your Mac is running OS X 10.11 or later. If you’re running on an older version of Mac OS, you can instead utilize Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.
Tip: Utilizing a mouse with a right/left click button will make your life a lot easier when accessing Trail Blazer on a Mac. For instance, it will make copying-and-pasting a lot easier by making providing access the context menu in the software with the right-mouse button.
#1 Download Microsoft Remote Desktop 10 on the Mac App Store
#2 Configure Microsoft Remote Desktop 10 for Access to your Trail Blazer Account
#3 Configuring your Connection for Access to your Local Printers and Directories (for Importing / Exporting Images and Spreadsheets)
#4 Logging In and Out of your Remote Desktop, Printing, and Exporting
#5 Related Resources
#1 – Download Microsoft Remote Desktop 10 on the Mac App Store
Navigate to the Apple App Store on your Mac.
Search for the keywords “Microsoft Remote Desktop 10”.
Click the [GET] button.
Enter your Apple ID username, password, and click [Sign in]. My example is below.
After you’ve entered your Apple ID credentials you can click [INSTALL APP].
Once the download and install is complete, click the [OPEN] button.
You’ll likely be prompted with a message asking if you want to provide feedback to Microsoft during the usage of their application. Click ‘Yes’ or ‘Not now’, depending on your preference.
At this point the main configuration screen of the Remote Desktop will open, and the orange application icon will appear in your “dock”. In order to make it easier for quick access to your Trail Blazer database in the future, it’s good idea to “pin” the application to your dock. You can do this by right-clicking on the application icon.
And then select Options > Keep in Dock.
Section #2 covers how to configure the Microsoft Remote Desktop for access to your Trail Blazer database.
#2 – Configure Microsoft Remote Desktop 10 for Access to your Trail Blazer Account
After completing the steps in Section #1 to download, install, and launch the Microsoft Remote Desktop 10 application, you’ll be brought to the main configuration screen (shown below).
Click [Add Desktop] to begin creating a connection to your organization’s Trail Blazer remote desktop.
Enter the PC name: appserver.trailblz.net
Next you’ll want to click on the User account drop-down and select Add User Account…
(if you don’t add a user account you will need to enter your credentials every time you connect)
Note: if you don’t know your RDP credentials you’ll want to request them from one of your db admins or Trail Blazer tech support.
Enter your Username, Password, a Friendly name, and then click the [Add] button. These credentials are shared by all users at your organization that access TB this way. A “friendly name” is simply and easy way to find your desktop connection when logging in.
(my example is below)
After adding your user account, you’ll likely have to enter the Friendly name a second time on the main RDP configuration screen. My example is below.
At this point you could select [Add] and you’ll be ready to log into your database.
The next two sections show some important steps on configuring the RDP app for access to your local printers and directories. Configuring these two extra items now is advantageous as it allows you to do things like print, import/export spreadsheets, and upload images from your local Mac into your database (for things like email and letter templates).
However, you can always return to do this at a later point if preferred.
#3 – Configuring your Connection for Access to your Local Printers and Directories (for Importing / Exporting Images and Spreadsheets)
After completing the steps in section #1 and #2, you can navigate to the Display tab. It’s a good idea to check the box for Start session in full screen. If you have multiple computer monitors and/or different sized monitors, you can adjust these settings under this tab as well (such as the resolution). The majority of the time you will just leave these settings as the defaults.
Navigate to the Devices & Audio tab and check the boxes next to Printers and Clipboard. This will allow you to copy-and-paste from your local Mac to the remote desktop and to print from RDP to your local printers.
The final configuration steps (which are very important) will be to navigate to the Folders tab > check the box next to Redirect folders > and click the [+] in the lower-left.
This will open up a file directory for your local machine (example below).
Browse for and select the area on your machine that you want to provide access to and from the remote desktop (a popular choice would be Desktop, as shown below).
After you browse for and select your local directory, you can click [Open] in the lower-right (shown above), and then click [Save] to finish. My example is below.
If everything looks good, click [Save] in the lower-right to finish configuring your remote desktop connection (shown in the screenshot above).
After saving, you’ll be brought back to the main login screen of the Microsoft Remote Desktop 10 application where your new connection will display. My finished example is below.
You can always return back to edit these settings in the future if needed. To do this, hover your mouse cursor over your saved desktop and select the pencil (edit) icon.
Continue on to section #4 to learn the best practices for logging into and out of your remote desktop connection, and how to export and print.
#4 – Logging In and Out of your Remote Desktop, Printing, and Exporting
The final section covers the log in and log out process, and how to run a print and export from the Remote Desktop to your local machine.
Tip: to make logging in and out easier in the future, keep the Remote Desktop application in your dock (shown below in two steps).
Step 1 – Right-click on the Orange Remote Desktop 10 Icon
Step 2 – Select Options > Keep in Dock
To log in, launch the Remote Desktop 10 application (either by using the Spotlight search in the top-right of your Mac’s desktop, or by clicking the orange icon from the dock). The more common method is to launch the application from your dock, as shown below.
Double-click on the Trail Blazer remote desktop (created in section #1). My example is below.
The first time you log in you may get a prompt asking you to ‘forward your printers and clipboard’ to the remote desktop. If you get this you can check the box for “don’t show me this again” and continue.
You’ll be brought to the remote desktop home screen where you can double-click on the Trail Blazer icon to launch the program.
That will bring up the login screen where you’ll enter your unique username and password for your database and then click [OK].
This will log in you into the application where the first thing you’ll see is the Start Page (this keeps you up to date on what’s changing with the software). If your screen is small, you can click the magnify button in the top-right of the application.
To close out of the system when you’re done working you’ll click the red [X] in the top-right.
You’ll be prompted with a warning which you can click [OK] on.
Once the database is closed you’ll want to double-click on the [Log Off] button on the desktop.
This will complete the full disconnect from your remote desktop (which is important for all users to do when they’re finished working).
If you need to run an export on RDP to your local machine you’ll start by running your search for the records you want to export and then click the [Export] button. Ex:
On the far left of the screen you’ll need to expand the Computer drop-down and select the local Mac directory that you mapped previously. After you select where to export the file to you can click the [Save] button. My example is below where.
You’ll get a prompt when the export is finished. You can then go to the location of where you ran your export (in my case it was on the desktop of my Mac) and open the file in a program like Numbers or Excel to manipulate further. Ex:
To print from RDP to your local printer, select what you want to print in TB and click the [Print] button. You may need to scroll left and right to find your local printer. Once you see the printer you want to print to, select it, click [Apply], and then click [Print]. My example is below.
You can also print to a PDF printer and save the file(s) to your local machine for printing later (or for attaching to an email). Ex:
When printing as a PDF you’ll give the file a name, browse to where you want the file, saved and then click [Save]. My example is below.
Example printed PDF after it was saved to the local desktop on my Mac:
The help resources below provide quick links to a variety of similar resources.