20 Top Tips to Help You Master Your Mac

20 Top Tips to Help You Master Your Mac


Are you looking for some tips and tricks to help you master your Mac? Whether you’re a beginner or experienced user, there are lots of great tips available to help you get the most out of your Mac. From basic troubleshooting techniques to more advanced preferences and settings, there’s something here for everyone. Here are our 20 top tips to help you master your Mac.

1. Screen capture a specific area

Taking screenshots is a great way to quickly save a piece of information from your screen. For Mac users, it’s even easier than using an external program like Snagit or Lightshot – you can use the Cmd+Shift+4 shortcut to capture just the part of the screen you want. Simply click and drag out a box over the area of the screen you wish to capture, and after letting go of your mouse button, the image will be saved directly to your desktop.

Alternatively, if you do want to capture a full screenshot, press Cmd + Shift+3 (⌘+⇧+3) instead to get an instant screenshot of your entire screen. This method also saves directly onto your desktop, allowing for quick access when needed. Regardless of which shortcut you choose, taking screenshots on Mac is certainly more convenient than any other means available.

2. Easily rename multiple files simultaneously

Renaming multiple files at once is a much simpler and quicker process now than it was before. For example, if you’re a professional photographer who needs to quickly change the name of several hundred high-resolution photographs, this can be incredibly tedious. Thankfully on Mac computers running Yosemite or higher, this process has been made easier thanks to the Rename feature.

Simply select all of the files you require renaming and then use either a right-click or ctrl-click option. The newly activated Rename menu will then present three options: Replace Text which allows you to replace any phrases in the filenames with new ones; Add Text which adds characters in front (or behind) an existing filename; and Format which renames every file into its own sequence of numbers or letters. This simplifies your bulk renaming processes greatly, allowing you to complete multiple such tasks in one sitting rather than having to worry about manually changing each file one by one.

3. Use Windows on Mac

Running Windows on an Apple machine is not only possible, but surprisingly simple. Using the utilities folder in the Applications contains a program called Boot Camp. This will allow you to ‘partition’ your hard drive between both operating system; this means splitting the storage and allocating specific amounts of data to each system. It’s important to remember that when partitioning, any allocated storage for one operating system will not be accessible by the other.

Once the hard drive has been segmented between Mac and Windows, it’s time to install your chosen version of Microsoft Windows onto your computer. Depending on what OS you have, different versions of Windows will be compatible or supported – researching this beforehand is advisable! Then insert your installation media, either USB drive or disc and boot from it in order for setup to start – follow any instructions that appear on-screen and you should be good to go!

4. One can add their signature to documents

Adding your signature to documents doesn’t have to be a tedious task thanks to macOS. Using the built-in Preview application, you can quickly and easily add your signature for any document you need to return digitally. To do this, open the document in Preview and click on the pen icon. To access the signature icon, locate it in the menu below and click on it.

You’ll then get two choices when working from a laptop: sign with your finger on the touchpad or use your camera to take a photo of your written signature. The latter option requires you to write it down first on a piece of white paper before holding it up against your Mac’s webcam. Once done, you will have successfully added your digital signature and completed the document!

5. View all special characters

One of the great features about modern applications is the ability to easily incorporate special characters, such as emojis, into documents. To view a selection of these special characters in most applications, go to the Edit drop-down menu in the menu bar and select Emoji & Symbols. This will open up an emoji picker that displays a wide array of symbols of different styles and colors which can be used to enhance text with visual appeal.

To add an emoji or symbol to your document, simply click on the area where you want it to appear within your document, then click the desired character from the picker window that pops up. Several specialized characters such as currency symbols, punctuation marks and arrow symbols are also available in addition to emojis. By utilizing these special characters effectively, users can create enhanced presentations with unique visuals that stand out from ordinary text documents.

6. Force quit on a Mac

The Mac equivalent of Ctrl + Alt + Delete is Cmd + Option + Esc (⌘+⌥+Esc). Activating this shortcut will prompt the Force Quit dialog box, displaying a list of all active applications and allowing for their forced termination. If you find yourself stuck in an application without any way to exit via the usual menu or command, this option provides an alternative method for exiting the app.

Force quitting can be a helpful way to restart programs from scratch when they become unresponsive, slow down, or won’t respond to commands. Sometimes the only solution is to force quit the application and then reload it from the dock. This technique can also get rid of unwanted processes that are taking up precious CPU resources and slowing down your system. With multiple apps running at once on newer Macs, managing them all can be difficult; Force Quit helps keep things running smoothly.

7. Navigate between various windows in a single program

Switching between multiple windows within the same application is a simple task, yet one we often forget or overlook. Knowing the shortcut to quickly move between open windows of the same program saves us valuable time and effort that could otherwise be wasted trying to find those documents or folders.

The shortcut to switch between multiple windows within the same program is Cmd + ~, and this will work regardless of which application you are using. Whether it’s Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop or any other application, this shortcut provides a fast way to switch between all the open windows of a single program in order to simplify your workflow. Knowing this shortcut means that you no longer need to search for the window you wish to view, but simply switch between them quickly with the push of a button.

8. Search for words in the dictionary

The reference tool integrated into macOS is an incredibly useful program for quickly looking up words and their definitions. With just a few keystrokes or a simple trackpad click, you can gain access to the dictionary’s vast reservoir of knowledge at any time! All you have to do is select the word you would like to learn more about, whether it be during an online chat or while working through a postgraduate paper, and press Cmd + Ctrl + D before continuing your work. That’s it!

MacBook users have it even easier to look up words on the go. Instead of having to type out keyboard commands into the dock anytime you need a definition, all that is required is for three fingers to tap lightlyon the device’s trackpad as if playing a piano chord. Accompanying this simultaneous press are several helpful pop-up windows which contain various synonym and meaning options that are specific to your searched term; these allow you to gain deeper insight into whatever topic you choose. Whether simply wanting a small fix of knowledge or tackling complex language projects, macOS’s dictionary tool will answer your questions in an instant – no waiting necessary!

9. Initiate your Mac without making noise

Every Mac user knows the sound; that unmistakable chiming that announces the startup of your device. While this may be an iconic sound and easily recognizable, it is also a major distraction in certain situations. Classrooms, libraries, and even your own home when it’s late at night can all be places where the noise of booting your Mac can disturb those around you. The high volume sound is especially inconvenient if you’re away from home and operating in a public setting, such as a café or library.

Fortunately, it’s quite simple to start up your Mac silently. All you need to do is press and hold down the Mute key when powering on your machine, and the traditional chime won’t be heard. This tinkering with settings may take a couple of attempts to get used to but once mastered will make life much more peaceful for both yourself and those around you. As mentioned before, this would even come in handy when working from the comfort of your own living room after hours – no one likes blasting out an electronic chime at 1AM!

10. Easily change units with Spotlight

Unit conversion can often be a tedious task, but not when you use Spotlight to do it for you. With Spotlight on your Mac, searching for any kind of unit conversion is now a seamless experience. By typing in a specific figure, such as ’57kg’, a list of conversions will appear as a search result without requiring the opening of a new window.

Not only does this work with more obvious units such as distances or weights, but even with currency too! As long as your Mac is connected to the internet, Spotlight will be able to convert any currency into its respective value. Additionally, if you’re ever unsure of what kind of unit something would be measured in (for instance: pounds per square inch), then simply typing the measurement phrase into Spotlight quickly renders the answer. This makes certain calculations quick and easy without having to tediously look up each individual part.

11. Trouble finding your cursor? Make it grow

Have you been struggling to find your cursor? Don’t worry, this can easily be solved! If your Mac is running El Capital or later, the cursor will balloon in size when you move the mouse back and forth. This makes it much easier to locate it. Once located, simply stop moving the mouse and the cursor will shrink back down to its original size. If you’re using a Macbook, try running your finger across the trackpad instead of a mouse – same result!

If you’re still having trouble tracking down your stuck cursor, our friendly tech team have got you covered with one-to-one support on a range of tech issues. Our IT experts are passionate about helping people use their tech better – so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any help! To find out more about our services just click here.

12. Merge Finder windows

In the past, it was a challenge to manage various files from across your Mac with so many Finder windows open. To make it easier, Apple has included the convenient “Merge all windows” feature. It can be found when you click on the Window option in the menu bar at the top of your screen.

Once you select it, all of your Finder windows will instantly merge within one single window and display as neat little tabs. This tidier display makes navigating and managing multiple locations much simpler and less time-consuming. It’s certainly a useful feature for anyone who might need to reorganize multiple documents quickly whether at home or in an office space.

13. Disconnect from a wi-fi network

Disconnecting from a wireless network without turning off your wi-fi connection is surprisingly simple and straightforward. On a Mac, press Alt and click to access the wi-fi icon. This action reveals a variety of options along with additional information about the network currently being used by the user.

Underneath their current network should appear an option labelled ‘Disconnect from ‘, which when clicked, will immediately disconnect them without turning off their Wi-Fi connection. In this way, changing between multiple networks becomes effortless without having to turn off or on the Wi-Fi connection every time they switch networks. All it takes is a few clicks, saving both time and effort when it comes to joining other wireless networks accessed by their Mac devices at home or while on-the-go.

14. Record your screen

Screen recording is an excellent tool for capturing something animated that can’t be accurately summed up in a simple screenshot. For Mac users, this feature is built into Apple’s standard programs, specifically QuickTime Player. To activate QuickTime Player simply open the application from your Applications folder and click the ‘File’ tab followed by ‘New Screen Recording’. You then have the choice of either recording all of your screen or a specific area of it. This feature is incredibly useful for tutorials and lectures as sound can also be captured with the visuals. Whether you need to record simple animations or whole videos, using QuickTime Player will certainly get the job done.

15. Calculate sums in Spotlight

Spotlight is a great tool for MacOS users that allows you to quickly access pertinent files and applications on their computer. But one of its most convenient features is the ability to quickly calculate sums using any operator right within Spotlight! All you need to do is click on the Spotlight icon in the top-right corner of your screen, type in any numerical equation, using operators such as +, –, × and ÷, and press enter. Your results will appear instantly without having to open an additional calculator app. For example, if you wanted to know what the sum of 2 plus 3 was, simply type “2+3” in Spotlight and the answer – 5 – will be given immediately.

Calculations with multiple parentheses are also supported; for instance, if you typed “(4+5)*7” into Spotlight then it would quickly compute the result as 63 which can be useful if you’re looking for quick answers while doing homework or simply need a calculation done fast. Aside from math equations, Spotlight can also convert units of measurement; all you have to do is type in “2 inches in cm” and it will give you an exact numeric conversion between centimeters and inches.

16. Easily add special characters

For many people around the world, foreign or accented characters are an essential part of everyday life. As a result, it’s important to know how to quickly and easily add these special characters when typing. One of the fastest ways to add a foreign or accented character is by holding down the required letter on your keyboard for a brief period. After a few moments, you should see a small pop-up box with various accent options appear above the character you are typing. Simply select the appropriate one and it will be inserted into your text field without any delay.

This method for adding foreign or accented characters has been greatly simplified since its introduction in recent years, making it easy for anyone to use without having to look up confusing shortcut commands. It’s especially useful for those who frequently type in different languages or need accents for technical reasons, such as programming code. This fast solution makes working with multi-cultural documents simple and efficient while still preserving everyone’s unique language and accent preferences!

17. No Delete key? No problem

When working on a Mac computer, you may find yourself in the position of not having an actual Delete key on your keyboard. This is largely a problem that affects the MacBook user since they generally have the “Fn” key instead of a Delete key. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to solve and delete what you want by holding down the Function key and then pressing Delete.

The lack of a Delete key can also prove troublesome if you’re using an external keyboard with neither a Delete key or an Fn key. In this case, simply hold down Control and press D to access the function to delete what you desire. However, this is only possible for characters after the cursor position or single words before or after it; you can’t erase entire paragraphs with this technique. There are other alternative solutions where you could use shortcuts such as command-X or command-right arrow depending on what you’re trying to accomplish; however these are more useful for text editing rather than merely deleting misplaced words or characters.

18. Change volume silently

Having the added feature of being able to control the volume of your Mac through keystrokes is undoubtedly a beneficial factor of using an Apple keyboard. However pressing these keys can be pretty noisy, especially when you’re trying to adjust the sound in a quieter environment or even if you’re just trying to be discreet.

But fortunately there’s a simple solution for this; holding down the Shift key whilst pressing the volume keys will allow them to work as usual but with no sound whatsoever. This means that you can quickly and unobtrusively adjust your Mac’s volume in any environment without anyone else knowing. Moreover, it also serves as a great way to be considerate towards people around you who don’t want their devices too loud.

19. Recover lost passwords easily

Keychain Access is an invaluable tool that stores all of the passwords and login details associated with the applications and websites you use on your Mac. It’s encrypted in such a way that only you can view and access this information, so security isn’t an issue. If you’ve forgotten one of these passwords, here’s how to recover it: firstly, open up a Finder window and head into the Applications folder. Within this folder should also be another folder called Utilities. Here is where you’ll find Keychain Access. This program allows you to see all of the passwords that have been stored within your keychain, as well as other codes and data configured for individual applications or sites. Accessing it requires entering your user account password so make sure that is at hand. Once verified you can find out which password belongs to what app or site from here, allowing retrieval of information with just a few clicks!

20. Mark up a PDF or image

The ability to annotate PDF files is now possible with the help of Preview on macOS. By double-clicking a PDF file, it should open in its own window and from there, users can click on the pen icon which will open up a markup menu bar where they can highlight text and make changes to their document. This is incredibly useful for business professionals who need to collaborate amongst each other but do not want to sacrifice readability due to manual editing errors.

This feature also integrates nicely with Mac computers since Preview is already preinstalled so no extra downloads or purchases need to be made before utilising this service. If you’re an avid user of Macs and want even more features when it comes to document annotation and creation, then why not treat yourself a newer model? Newer models tend to have higher specifications across the board with enhanced software capabilities which makes them your ideal choice for success in any job role involving document handling and preparation.