If you own a Mac then it is likely that you use at least some of the Mac shortcuts to streamline your workflow. However, your Mac has more hidden features and shortcuts than you might realise. Since a number of these shortcuts are often overlooked or easily forgotten, users often don’t use their Mac to its maximum efficiency. As these shortcuts can help you improve your productivity, learning them can make it easier for you to get complete control of your mac. To give you a quick overview of these hidden features, here are 10 tips to get more out of your Mac.
Change Mac startup programs
Every time you turn on your Mac, different services and apps launch automatically in the background. These startup programs are known as login items and are there to make your usage more convenient. But having too many startup programs can increase the boot time of your device and affect the device’s performance. To increase the efficiency of your Mac, you can change mac startup programs, remove them or delay the launch of startup programs that you do not wish to open up as soon as you switch on your Mac.
Use Stacks to organise your Desktop
Many of us have a habit of filling our Desktop with multiple files, folders and shortcuts. If you have been striving to clear all the clutter from your Desktop then you can use ‘Stacks’. To organise your Desktop using Stacks, tap on an empty section of your Desktop, open the View menu and choose Stacks. When you finish this action, your Mac will automatically group and pile up all the available files on Desktop into different stacks. You can click on each Stack to see its contents.
Use QuickLook to get a preview
To check the contents of a file on your Mac, you do not need to open the file. Instead, you can use QuickLook to see a preview of the file. To quickly look at your files, select an item in Finder and press the Space bar key. Immediately, a preview of the document or image will appear on the screen. To close the preview, press the Space bar key again.
Use text replacements for typing faster
If you do a lot of typing on your Mac then you can increase your typing speed with the help of text replacements. This will save you from typing commonly used words, phrases or texts again and again. For example, you can set up a text replacement for your address and name the shortcut as “my-add”. So whenever you enter “my-add” shortcut, it will automatically expand into your full address. To set text replacements and shortcuts, open the Apple menu, select System Preferences, choose Keyboard and select Text. You will find some examples here and can add your own text replacements based on your preferences.
Use Spotlight for unit conversion
Spotlight is a smart search feature on your Mac that can help you quickly locate files on your device, launch apps, get dictionary definitions and find web pages on the browser. However, many Mac users do not know that they can also use Spotlight for quick calculations, unit or currency conversions. To do a unit conversion using Spotlight, launch Spotlight by pressing the Command + Space bar key and enter the specific unit to get suggestions or enter the unit to unit conversion to get a direct result.
Record your screen
In addition to taking screenshots, Mac allows users to take a video recording of the screen. Based on your preferences, you can either record a selected portion of the screen or the entire screen. To record your screen, press together Shift + Command + 5 and the controls for recording your screen or capturing a still image will appear on your screen
Sign your documents digitally
Mac allows users to digitally sign their documents. To create your digital signature, open Preview, go to Menu Bar, click Tools > Annotate > Signature > Manage Signatures and click Create Signature. You can either use your trackpad or your iPhone to write your signature. Additionally, you can use your Mac’s camera to capture your original signature from a paper. To sign a document, open it in Preview, click Tools > Annotate > Signature and select your signature to drop it on the document.
Recover forgotten passwords
Whenever you sign up for a website or program on your Mac, it will store your login and password details within its keychain. As this information is encrypted, it can only be accessed locally by the user. To access your forgotten passwords, open a new Finder window, go to Applications, click Utilities and select Keychain. Here you will find all the logins you have used from your Mac. By typing in the search tool, you can find the details of the website you wish to recover. As this information is sensitive, you will have to enter the password of your Mac user account to access the passwords.
Create your own keyboard shortcuts
Although you will find various keyboard shortcuts on your Mac, there is also an option to personalise these shortcuts. By creating your own shortcut, you can access any menu option of your choice. To create a keyboard shortcut go to System Preferences > Keyboard > App Shortcuts and click the + icon. Here you will find a box where you can choose from the different applications and select a keyboard shortcut of your choice. Name the menu command, tap Add and it’s done.
Use two apps in Split View
While working on two different applications, you can open and view both the apps side-by-side. First, launch the two apps you want to view and tap the green icon at the top of the screen of the first app to enter into full-screen mode. Tap F3 or slide four fingers up on your trackpad to enter Mission Control. Here, drag the preview of the app you want to open with the first application and you’ll be able to view them side by side.