I am an apple addict(even though financial constraints is preventing me from acquiring all their latest devices) In one of my previous articles, I wrote about ways by which mac os or mac computers are better than windows(this is subject to a debate though). Today am going to be unleashing some tricks that should be mastered by every mac book users.
The Mac is amazing. With the help of its shrewdly designed software, it can complete millions of tasks with ease and it’s optimized to the point where the hardware is running on almost doesn’t matter.
As such, there are many tips you’ll need in order to use your Mac more efficiently, regardless of your experience. Some of these will require recent versions of the Mac operating system (OS) such as the latest macOS Sierra – but not all of them do
Open certain apps when you at log-in
If there are certain apps that you’ll always want to have open when you start up your Mac, you can set this up in System Preferences. Go to Users, make sure your user account is highlighted, then click Login Items.
Click the + and you can choose an application, file server or pretty much anything else that should open when you log in. Once you’ve added something, you can use the checkboxes to opt to hide it, though it will still be running in the background.
Having lots of these set up can make your Mac slower to start up, though, so if you need to speed things up and temporarily don’t need them running, hold Shift while OS X or macOS is logging you in to suppress them.
How to throw files from your Mac to your iPhone
Don’t forget that, if you have a modern Mac that has Bluetooth 4.0 and a recent iOS device (iPhone 5 or later, for example), then you can easily send files from your Mac to your iOS device using AirDrop.
The quickest way to do this is to right-click on the file you want to send then pick AirDrop from the Messages fly-out menu, then pick the device you want to send it to. (You’ll have to have AirDrop turned on from the Control Centre of the iOS device first.)
You can Talk to and listen to your Mac!
Before macOS Sierra, the Mac’s ability to listen to you as well as talk was already really impressive with its Dictation tool. But now, that’s been blown out of the water by Siri’s long-awaited arrival on Apple’s desktops and laptops. Siri is on OS Sierra
By either pressing and holding the Command and Space or clicking the icon on your Dock or Menu Bar, you can summon the same Siri you’ve grown accustomed to on your iPhone. However, this version of Siri is, in ways, much more powerful.
Siri on macOS Sierra can toggle system functions like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth or even pull up individuals files stored on your system based on what you tell Siri about the file. Just press Command+Space and get to asking.
- YOU CAN ALSO RUN WINDOWS
Windows on Mac is sometimes it’s handy, I am running one on my partition currently. Whether to play the latest games or run some niche piece of software that has no Mac equivalent.
You can either run Windows alongside macOS with a virtualization app such as VMware Fusion, Parallels Desktop or VirtualBox, or partition your hard disk to install Windows on to run it full-bore on your hardware using Boot Camp Assistant (in your Utilities folder).
Add a Guest User account to your Mac
As you probably know, you can add multiple users to your Mac, so that every person in your home or office, say, can have their own space to work and to set things up how they like them. But there’s another kind of account you can turn on: a Guest account.
Turn it on in System Preferences > Users & Groups, and now you’ll be presented with Guest as an option at the login screen. Anyone can use it – no password needed – but once they’re finished everything they do will be wiped. This is great not just for Macs in foyers or spare rooms, say, but it’s also great for if a friend or colleague says, “Can I just borrow your Mac for a minute to do something?”
You probably should turn off Automatic login and set your Security & Privacy settings to require a password after, say, five seconds of sleep or screensaver time. That way you can be sure nobody will be able to access your stuff, but when they try to use your Mac they’ll be offered the option of switching user and can then pick Guest.
- How to type exotic characters
As well as letters and symbols you see on your keyboard, you can type a bewildering array of special characters. but you’ll find there are many more. Go to the Edit menu of most apps and you’ll see Special Characters at the bottom. This panel gives you access to a huge range of symbols you can drag into your documents. Not all apps or operating systems support them, but these are mostly part of the cross-platform Unicode standard. There are probably more than you see at first, too; click the cog to reveal more.
Video Record your iPhone or iPad’s screen
With Yosemite, you can now record whatever happens on the screen of your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, which isn’t just useful for developers to show off the apps and games they build, but can also be great for things like creating little tutorials or even just recording a bug so you can help a developer or a company fix it.
To use this feature, you just connect your iOS device up to your Mac using its cable, then launch QuickTime Player. The chose New Movie Recording from the File menu and then, if it’s not already selected for you, choose your connected iOS device as the ‘camera’ source from the drop-down menu next to the record button. Choose whether you want to record sound (either from a built-in or external mic or the audio the iOS device itself is producing) from the same menu, then click the record icon. Once you’re done, you can trim the clip (⌘T) and then easily share it too, for example, YouTube.
Sign your documents
In OS X 10.7, Preview gained the ability to add your signature to documents. To get started, go to the Signatures tab in Preview’s preferences and then click the +. Now, sign your name in black ink on a small piece of white paper and hold it up to your Mac’s webcam. Line it up and click Accept (making sure the ‘Save this signature’ option is checked if you want to use it in the future).
Now open a document you want to sign, pop up the Edit Toolbar and click the signature icon – it looks like an S on a line next to a tiny X. Draw a box to add your signature on the form. You can scale and reposition it afterwards too.
Quick searching within sites
There’s a really cool, badly understood feature in Safari since Yosemite: the ability quickly to search within specific sites right from Safari’s search bar.
How it works is this: let’s say you go to amazon.com and search for ‘MacBook’. What actually happens is that you’re redirected to a new URL that looks something like this: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=macbook.
Now, what Safari can do is look at that URL and work out that it’s a search and, just like you could, realize that if you wanted to search Amazon for ‘iMac’ instead of ‘MacBook’, then rather than waiting for the amazon.com homepage to appear before typing “iMac” into the search field and waiting for the results to load, Safari could send us straight to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=imac.
See that last word in the URL change? To make that happen, all you have to do is type ‘amazon iMac’ into Safari’s search bar and then you’ll see one of the options is ‘Search amazon.com for imac’; click on this, and you’ll go straight to the results.
You have to do a search – any search – in a site first before Safari can recognize the syntax for a search string, but when you do, you’ll see the sites listed in the Search tab of Safari’s preferences.
You can even type just a part of the target site’s URL. So long as you’ve searched once on Wikipedia, for example, you can type ‘wiki apple’ and you’ll see the option to search Wikipedia for “apple”.
How to partition external hard drives in Disk Utility
One little-known fact about Macs is that they use a different file system than Windows computers by default. That means, if you’re planning on sharing an external hard drive between both Microsoft’s and Apple’s operating systems, you have a few options. While you could format the hard drive to take advantage of the exFAT file system, you would thereby miss out on faster write times.
Luckily, in the Disk Utility app featured in macOS, there’s the option to partition hard drives. In doing so, you can theoretically divide the hard drive in half, with one volume being dedicated to macOS and the other to Windows. Take the hard drive over to your PC and you can format one of those volumes for NTFS, making it the perfect little hybrid device.
Automatically hide and show the menu bar
The menu bar has been a fixture on the Mac since it launched in 1984, but since OS X El Capitan, you can hide the menu bar. Open System Preferences, go to General, then click “Automatically hide and show the menu bar.”
When you tick this box off, the menu bar will reappear as you glide your mouse arrow towards the top of the screen, allowing you to get at all your menus.
How to Batch rename files
In versions of OS X before Yosemite, renaming a group of files at once meant you need to use a third-party software. Now, though, you can just select a group of files and then select Rename either from the right-click contextual menu or from the drop-down button marked with a cog icon in Finder windows.
When you do, you get the option of adding text, replacing text, or applying a format such as a name and an automatically incrementing counter.
How to use Activity Monitor which is the equivalent f windows task manager
If you find your Mac is running slow, or the fans are kicking in when you don’t appear to be doing anything too intensive, you can see if you can identify what’s causing it. Activity Monitor in OS X and macOS shows you how your Mac’s resources are being used.
Launch Activity Monitor from the Utilities folder to see current processes, and the resources they take up. The columns show you things such as the CPU usage of a processor the RAM it’s taking up. If there’s a process that’s hogging resources and you’re confident it’s not needed, you can end it by selecting it, then be clicking Quit Process.
If you’re just curious about how system resources are being used, click the tabs (CPU, System Memory and so on) to see graphs of your usage over time.
Share easily with friends
So, if you’re in the habit of sharing funny links with a friend and AirDropping files to a colleague sitting next to you, these options will get stuck to the bottom of the share menu to make it easy to pick those options next time.
Use Split Screen
Working with two windows or apps side-by-side became much easier since OS X 10.11 El Capitan, thanks to Split Screen view. By holding down a left-click on an app’s green maximize button in the top-left hand side, you can then drag it to be positioned on the left or right-hand side of the display.
You’ll then need to pick a second open window or app to snap to the opposite side. Split Screen obscures the launcher and OS X’s Menu Bar, so you get a bit more screen real-estate and fewer distractions.
Dividing the separating line between the two apps lets you make them smaller or larger, which can come in handy for keeping an eye on live information such as sports scores at one end while being productive on the other.
Cover your tracks in Safari
Since Yosemite, though, when you choose Clear History and Website Data from the History menu of Safari, you get the option of covering your tracks by clearing data from the last hour, today, today and yesterday or, as before, from all time.
It clears your history from all devices signed into your iCloud account too.
Share your passwords and credit card details
If you have more than one Apple device – whether that’s a work and a home Mac, a Mac and an iPhone, or a couple of iOS devices – then it’s worth turning on iCloud Keychain. This lets you keep your Safari website usernames and passwords, credit card information, and Wi-Fi network information in sync across all your devices.
This is so that, for example, you can quickly log into a website on your Mac having saved a password on your iPad, or enter your secure credit card details automatically on an iPhone having saved them on your Mac. It’s a slightly complex setup, but worth a bit of pain up-front to make your life easier later on; start at this page on Apple’s website to find out how.
How to Switch audio source/output from the menu bar
If you have headphones or speakers set up with your Mac, and if you have a headset or microphone connected, you might find yourself wanting to switch between different inputs or outputs, but this doesn’t have to mean a slog to System Preferences every time.
Hold Option and click the volume adjuster in the menu bar and it’ll bring up a list of audio inputs and outputs. You can then select the ones you want (though it can’t display too many, so might be limiting for complex set-ups).
Annotate PDFs and images
Preview has some fantastic tools built into it for annotating images and PDFs. And, what’s best of all is that the annotations it adds to a PDF are based on a standard that’s compatible with Adobe’s PDF app, Acrobat, which is used by Windows users and companies – so it’s easy to share annotated documents with colleagues.
Make sure the Edit Toolbar is visible (from the View menu) and you’ll see options for drawing shapes, arrows, speech and thought bubbles and more. There’s also the option to highlight text in different colours, strikethrough some text, add notes and type some text into boxes.
Crop, resize and tweak images
Preview is one one of the most under-appreciated apps on a Mac; especially in later versions of OS X, it became hugely powerful, it does much of what we’d traditionally use a more elaborate and expensive application such as Photoshop for. Do yourself a favor: open an image in Preview and poke around the app’s menus and interface to see what it can do.
For example, you can crop your image. Draw a selection with the regular Rectangular Selection tool then either hit Command+K or choose Crop from the Tools menu. Alternatively, show the Edit Toolbar and make a more complex selection either with the Instant Alpha tool (like in iWork) or use the Smart Lasso.
With this tool, you draw as carefully as you can around the outline of the object and then Preview works out as closely as it can where the edges are. In either case, cropping will, if the image isn’t already a PNG, convert it so that you can have the thing you’re cutting out on a transparent background. (You might need the Invert Selection command, too!)
Make a keyboard shortcut for anything
Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Application Shortcuts. Click the + button to add a new shortcut. You can choose which app you want to apply it to from the drop-down list, but you must know the exact name of the menu command to type into the next box, including the correct case and any special characters such as ellipses. Lastly, choose a unique key combination to invoke the command, then click Add.
Change how Notifications Center groups notifications
Prior to El Capitan, OS X defaulted to grouping items in Notification Center by the app. Since El Capitan, Apple switched things up and now groups them by date instead. For instance, all your notifications from today will show up together, which can be useful for seeing what you missed while you were stuck in that all-day meeting.
If you prefer the old per-app grouping, though, go to System Preferences > Notifications, then change the sort order as you please: look for the pop-up menu labelled “Notification Center sort order.” Play with the different options and see which one works for you.
You can Send and receive SMSs on your Mac (and more!)
Before Yosemite, SMSs would only appear on your iPhone where you’d have to peck out a reply, but now you can have them come into your Mac or other iOS devices when they arrive so you can reply to them from there too.
Your iPhone needs to be running iOS 8.1, but once it is, and once you’re signed into your iMessage account that also has your phone number linked to it both on your iPhone and on your Mac or other iOS devices, turn on the Text Message Forwarding option under Settings > Messages on your iPhone. Boom!
View someone’s screen remotely
One really easy way to view someone else’s screen or even control their Mac over the internet – which is invaluable if you’re helping troubleshoot a relative’s computer problems – is to launch Screen Sharing by searching for it with Spotlight then entering the Apple ID of the person you’re trying to contact. (If you or they don’t know it, just have them look in the iCloud pane of System Preferences. And while they’re there, make sure Screen Sharing is enabled in the Sharing pane of System Preferences.)
They’ll be asked to grant you permission to view their screen, and they can also then click on the screen sharing icon in the menu bar and grant you the ability to virtually, remotely control their mouse and keyboard too.
Share your purchases with your family
With Family Sharing, up to six people in a family can share the same purchases between them, and as a parent you can choose to be alerted (and then approve or reject) purchases your kids make on your card – and you get other benefits such as easily being able to see where everyone is, and getting a shared family calendar.
It’s easy to set up, too. Go to the iCloud section of System Preferences and click Set Up Family, then follow the prompts. If you need more help with Family Sharing generally, check here, or if you just want to get started sharing purchases, go here.
Rename, duplicate and revert files easily
In OS X Lion, Apple introduced some new features for working with files, and a new hidden menu to access them. When you’ve opened a document, move your cursor over its name to bring up a small black arrow just to the right.
Click this arrow and you bring up a menu with some of these new options. The most useful are the ability to rename and duplicate files, but you can also lock a file to prevent further editing, change it so that the file is stored in iCloud instead of only on your hard drive (though only incompatible apps), or move the file.
The flashiest feature is the ability to revert to a previous version of a file, though: you can choose an older version from what’s listed in this menu, or click ‘Browse All Versions…’ to enter a Time Machine-like interface, where you can scroll through older versions of that file and compare them to the current one.
Use Home Sharing to share your iTunes library
It’s pretty common for members of a family or a shared house to want to share their music or movies with each other, and you can do this easily with iTunes. Go to iTunes > Preferences > Sharing, and then check the box labelled “Share my library on my local network.” If you want to limit who can access your library, set a password in the box near the bottom, otherwise, everyone will be able to access it.
You can also limit sharing to particular areas or playlists in your iTunes library. Once Home Sharing is turned on, other iTunes users can see your library by clicking the Library drop-down menu in the top-left of iTunes. iOS device users can also access libraries through Home Sharing by going to the More tab in the Music or Videos apps.
Store anything you like in iCloud Drive
Today, with Sierra, we can chuck any files we like onto either the Desktop or Documents folder, in addition to the iCloud Drive icon in the Finder sidebar, and those files and folders will be synced automatically. Those special, “blessed” apps still get their own folders, but you can create your own or just put things loose into iCloud Drive now via the Desktop and Documents folder.
All those files will sync to other Macs signed in with your Apple ID (so long as you’ve enabled iCloud Drive on them) and will also be available through icloud.com. On iOS, apps that can use iCloud will usually default to opening files from their special folder, but should also allow you to browse through your entire iCloud Drive to open files stored elsewhere.
Cure an insomniac Mac Fix the problem with a mac that refuses to go to sleep mode
You might find that occasionally when you close your MacBook’s lid or pick Sleep from the Apple menu on your iMac or Mac mini that it resolutely refuses to go to sleep, and this can be no less annoying than when a child does the same.
Happily, getting to the bottom of this problem is considerably easier with your Mac. Since Yosemite, you can choose from the View > Column menu when you’re on Activity Monitor’s CPU tab to show a column of processes that are preventing sleep. Click this column header to sort by it, and then you can easily find what apps are keeping your Mac awake, then quit them if necessary.
Print to the next available printer
It can be annoying having to wait for someone else to print out large documents when you’re in a hurry, so use this tip to minimize the wait if you have access to more than one printer. In System Preferences > Print & Fax (or Printers & Scanners on recent versions of OS X), you can select multiple printers and create a Printer Pool.
You can then select this Pool from the print dialogue in apps instead of your individual printers, and if one printer is in use, your Mac will automatically send the document to one that’s free instead – no waiting
Close all safari tabs left open on other devices
Whether because you suddenly realise you’ve left a dodgy tab open on an iPad you’ve just handed to a colleague or because it’s just flat-out easier to go through and close a bunch of tabs on your Mac rather than on an iOS device, you should know that you can close tabs open on any device signed into your Apple ID from Safari since Yosemite.
Click the icon that looks like two overlapping squares in Safari (or choose Show All Tabs from the View menu) and you’ll see all your open tabs on all your devices. Hover over each and you’ll see a close button you can click. (This also works from iOS to Mac; swipe right to left on a cloud tab in its tab view and tap Delete; that tab will then be closed on the Mac.)
Share (some) contact details
Now, it’s easy. In Contacts’ preferences, click vCard then Enable private me card. Now, when you go to your Me card in Contacts – and you might have to define one first – and click Edit, you get a series of checkboxes next to each field to show whether it would be included when you share a card.
How to share your iPhone connection with your Mac
There are three ways to connect your Mac to your iPhone to share its signal: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB.
To begin, go to the Personal Hotspot option in the iPhone’s Settings menu, and turn it on. If you want to connect over Wi-Fi, find the Wi-Fi network created by the iPhone in your Mac’s Wi-Fi options, select it, and enter the password shown on the iPhone.
To connect using USB, plug your iPhone into your Mac and you should get a dialog that takes you to the Network section in System Preferences, from which you can select the iPhone. For Bluetooth, activate Bluetooth on both devices and pair them, and the connection option should again appear in System Preferences > Network.
How to Paste text without keeping its formatting
When you copy text from some applications, and especially from the web, you tend to also copy its formatting, such as the text size, font choice and so on.
To paste the text without its original formatting (so it just formats in the same way as the rest of what you’re pasting into), instead of pressing Command+V, press Option+Shift+Command+V. Microsoft Word actually has a “Paste Special…” (or “Paste and Match Style”) menu option to do the same thing.
Get wireless audio and video with AirPlay
AirPlay is Apple’s technology for streaming audio and video around your house, and it’s available on both iOS devices and Macs. Most Macs can stream audio to AirPlay speakers, while newer Macs can also mirror their displays to an Apple TV, letting you show something on the big screen.
For basic AirPlay output from iTunes, you just need to click its symbol – the rectangle with the triangle cutting into it – next to the volume bar and choose where you want to send the music. If you want all of your system audio to come from the speakers instead of just music, though, hold Option and press a volume control key to open the Sound preferences, where you can choose an output (or use the Menu bar tip we already mentioned).
If an Apple TV is on the same network as your Mac, an AirPlay icon will appear automatically in the menu bar. To start mirroring your screen, select it, then click on the name of your Apple TV
Restrict what someone can do – and when!
The Parental Controls in OS X are simple, but there are plenty of options in there – some of which are useful for other things than preventing underage access. You can limit computer use to a certain length of time every day, set a ‘bedtime’ after which users won’t be able to use the computer, limit the functions of the Finder, limit what apps that user can use and more.
You could, for example, disallow a nervous computer user from modifying the Dock or changing their password.
How to Email huge files on mac
With Mail since Yosemite, though (and in fact with the webmail version of Mail at icloud.com), you can email files up to 5GB in size. What in fact happens is that the attachment really gets uploaded to iCloud, and then a link is sent to your recipient where they have 30 days from which to download it.
(If your recipient is using Mail on Yosemite/icloud.com, they’ll probably just see the attachment in their email client as usual rather than being shown a link.)
Take control of your windows
You can be quite flexible when it comes to windows in OS X or macOS – not only can you drag from any side to resize them these days, but you can also hold Option to resize them from two sides at once (the one you’re dragging and the opposite one), or hold Shift to resize it while keeping it locked to the same proportions.
And while we’re talking about windows, if you want to move any that are in the background without bringing them to the fore, hold Command and then drag them around.
How to Back up your Mac
Okay, so we know that people haven’t actually forgotten they can back up with their Mac, but we also know that so many people don’t bother. Please do! Ever since OS X 10.5 Apple has made it easy to backup using Time Machine. Ideally, you should be doing other things to back up as well, but at least do Time Machine; you can pick up a 2TB drive for less than sixty quid. Go on.
How to change which app opens which file
If you want a file to open in an app other than its default, select the file and press Command+I, to show its information. In the “Open with:” section, use the drop-down menu to choose a new app.
If you just close the window here, that change will only be applied to that one file; if you want other files of that type to use that same app, click “Change All…” beneath the drop-down menu.