All the tricks and tips for Mac to “tame” your machine.
We’ve put together all the tricks we could find for Mac and OS X so you can get your work done easier and faster, but also have fun with some of them.
- Slow motion effects
Want to impress your friends? Window effects on Mac OS X can be done in slow motion. Hold down Shift ⇧ and press the yellow button to minimize the window.
- Disable notifications
There are times when you want to focus on your work, but your notifications get your attention. Turn off notifications by left-clicking on the Notification Center while pressing the Option ⌥ button.
- Move the Dock
If the position of the Dock blocks you, you can move it immediately. Position the cursor on the Dock bar, which separates your list of applications from the bin and minimize windows. When the double-arrow symbol appears, press Shift ⇧ and left-click the Dock on the other side of the screen.
- Move the menu bar icons
The symbols in the menu bar may have a different priority for you than the one that is automatically defined. To move them you will need to hold down Command. And drag the icon to the desired position.
- Use Spotlight for conversions
Want to know how many euros $ 100 equals? Do you want to convert a distance measurement from kilometers to miles? You can do this directly by searching on Spotlight.
- Use Spotlight as a calculator
If you want the result of an arithmetic operation quickly, Spotlight also works as a calculator.
- Screen sharing of messages
You can share screen with your contacts in iMessage. While chatting, click Details and select the two squares icon. You will be presented with two options:
- Invite to share my screen
- Question about screen sharing
8. Turn off the transparency effect & darken the Dock and the menu bar
The new look with the slides is impressive, but sometimes it does not allow us to clearly see the elements on our screen. To use dark colors in Doc and in the menu bar go to:
System Preferences> General and select
“Using Menu and Dock Dark Bar”
If you want to reduce the transparency effect you will need to go:
System Preferences> Accessibility and select
Display> Reduce transparency
- Use AirDrop
Transfer your files quickly from a Mac or iOS 8 device.
See the tips in our guide: AirDrop Guide
To be able to send files from Mac to iPhone or vice versa, you need to have a Mac of 2012 or later.
- Mass renaming
If you need to rename multiple files, you do not need to download any additional application.
Select the files you want to rename and right-click. A window will appear where you can select the new file name.
- Use the Emoji keyboard
Depending on the program you are in and you are writing some text, you can activate the Emoji keyboard and add one of its icons to give “emotion” to your text. The combination needed is COMMAND + CONTROL + SPACE.
- Send files directly to the bin
With the COMMAND + BACKSPACE key combination you can send any file to the bin immediately, without right-clicking and selecting the appropriate menu.
- Print special characters
What if you write French or German or some other language where there are special characters? Just press and hold the specific letter (in our example the E) until the list of special characters appears and select the one you want (as we did in Emoji).
14. Capture the screen on video
If we want to record the screen in video in order to e.g. To present a function or application, open Apple QuickTime Player, and the FILE / NEW SCREEN RECORD menu. Pressing the arrow next to the recording button opens a list to select audio input in case we want external audio to be recorded in our video. Then press the record key and select either an area of the screen or the entire screen. When done, right-click on the QuickTime Player icon in the Dock and select “Stop Screen Recording” from the menu. We save the video file and we are ready.
- Share any part of a text with friends
Are you writing a text and want to send a part of it? Select it with the mouse, right-click and from the list you choose where to send it.
- Paste text without formatting it
Sometimes we want to paste a text from one program to another without formatting it (bold, italic, size, etc.) so as not to spoil the formatting of our text. This is done simply by combining COMMAND + SHIFT + V (for Mavericks) and COMMAND + OPTION + SHIFT + V for Yosemite and EL CAPITAN.
- Use the pop-up dictionary (English only)
Let the mouse cursor hover over the word you are interested in and press COMMAND + CONTROL + D.
- Delete text from left to right
New wireless keyboards as well as “condensed” MacBook keyboards lack the “Delete” key. So how do we delete a character to the right of the cursor without moving the arrow to the right and using “Backspace”? Use the combination Fn + BACKSPACE.
19. Start your Mac without the familiar sound
Some people do not want the sound that the Mac makes when we turn it on, or in some cases we do not want it to make noise. Use the combination POWER (button) + F10 + HOLD (pressed until it starts) as you turn it on.
- See all open windows
Use the combination CONTROL + UP ARROW (up arrow) to display all the open windows of the applications you have at that time in order to find what you are interested in.
Use Safari as a Twitter reader
As you browse the Internet with Safari, you may want to see Twitter announcements at the same time. Click the “Sidebar” button at the top left of the Taskbar. Then click on the “Shared Links” button (third right at the top of the Sidebar). The tweets will appear almost immediately and you can click on whichever you want to open in the main browser window. Of course you should have added your Twitter account to “System Preferences / Internet Accounts”.
The Markup function in the Preview application can be activated as soon as you open an attachment to an e-mail message by selecting the icon you see in the image. An important feature and a lot of fun at the same time, especially if you want to forward a message by giving some instructions regarding the attached file.
23. Mail Drop
A handy feature is in the Mail application. Allows you to send very large attachments (up to 5GB in size). Uses iCloud to send large attachments. To enable this feature, drag the file you want into the email area, and your file will be automatically uploaded to iCloud. If the recipient of the message has a Yosemite Mail application (or later), the file will normally appear in its inbox. If not, then it will see a link, which leads to the downloading of the file.
Popular Widgets include weather shows, reminders, calendars and much more. The notification center in OS X can host widgets, and Apple has identified applications that have a widget extension in a separate section in the Mac App Store. The addition process is to open the Notification Center, and click the “Edit” button to display the list of available widgets on your computer. Then select the ones you want by pressing the green “+” symbol, to the right of the micro-application you want to add.
- Family sharing
“Family Sharing” allows family members to share apps and games they have purchased through the iTunes Store or App Store. With the service enabled, a member of your family is appointed as the leader, who will introduce a unique credit or debit card, common to all, to the App Store. Then you can send invitations to up to 5 users who will make up the family. Every time a member buys music, movies, books, or apps, family members will receive that content.