macOS Tips & Tricks

PUBLISHED ON FEB 11, 2018 — TUTORIALS

Get the most from your Mac with these fun, productivity hacks that I’ve learned over the years. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete novice, there’s bound to be something here that you’ll find useful.

  1. Here are a few basic document editing shortcuts that will have you zipping through documents like a pro. CMD+C: Copy a file. CMD+V: Paste a copied file. CMD+Right_Arrow: Move to the end of any line. CMD+Left_Arrow: Move to the beginning of any line. CTRL+W: Erase the word to the left. CTRL+U: Delete from cursor to beginning of line. CTRL+K: Delete from cursor to end of line. CMD+A: Select the contents of a window. FN+DEL: The equivalent of backspace.

  2. Need to move a file in the Finder but don’t want to use the mouse? No problem. You can move a file by pressing CMD+C and then CMD+OPT+V in the destination directory.

  3. Want to quickly open the preferences of the application you’re currently using? CMD+, will get you to preferences of almost every program.

  4. How many times have you had to kill an errant application by switching to another desktop, clicking on the Apple icon, and then Force Quit? There’s an easier way to kill that app. ALT+CMD+ESC lets you kill non-responsive apps (including the Finder).

  5. Need to call up Spotlight quickly? CMD+Space with get you there in a hurry. While you’re there you might as well check out Spotlight’s cool ability to do quick mathematical calculations. Anything that you can do with the calculator can be done with Spotlight.

  6. Copy and paste text without styling using CMD+ALT+SHFT+v. This is very handy when you’re coping text from websites and need to paste it into style-aware apps like Word and Pages.

  7. I bet you didn’t know there were so many ways to create a screenshot. CMD+SHFT+3: Capture entire screen and save as a file. CMD+ctrl+SHFT+3: Capture entire screen and copy to the clipboard. CMD+SHFT+4: Capture dragged area and save as a file. CMD+ctrl+SHFT+4: Capture dragged area and copy to the clipboard. CMD+SHFT+4: Capture a window, menu, desktop icon, or the menu bar and save as a file. CMD+ctrl+SHFT+4: Capture a window, menu, desktop icon, or the menu bar and copy to the clipboard. Another useful trick is to hold space while drawing a capture area to reposition it.

  8. Holding ALT+OPT while clicking menu bar icons will give you additional menu items and/or alternate menus.

  9. Do a three-finger tap on a word to view its definition. You can also press Ctrl+Cmd+D or force tap.

  10. Rearrange menubar items by dragging one while pressing the CMD key.

  11. Insert an emoji anywhere by pressing CTRL+CMD+Space.

  12. Preview a file in Finder by pressing the spacebar. Use ALT to zoom in.

  13. Copy and Paste using the shared Universal Clipboard by turning on Handoff in System Preferences > General. Now you can copy and paste to and from your Mac and your iOS devices.

  14. You can increase or decrease your volume or brightness by quarter increments by Pressing: SHFT+OPT+VolumeUp/Down and SHFT+OPT+BrightnessUp/Down.

  15. Use CMD+SHFT+3 to create a screenshot and save it as a file.

  16. While typing, just press F5 to get suggestions for what you’re typing (almost equivalent to spell-check suggestions). Macs with a Touch Bar need to use Fn+F5.

  17. In most macOS apps (TextEdit, for example), you can hold down ALT while clicking and dragging to select a rectangular area of non-contiguous text. You can also hold CMD while dragging to select multiple disjoint areas in a single selection.

  18. In any Open/Save dialog window, hitting CMD+D takes you to the desktop folder. Hitting CMD+F in the same dialog window allows you to search.

  19. You can copy a file in the Finder and then paste (CMD+V) in a Terminal window to get the full (absolute) path to that file.

  20. I don’t know about you but I get pretty tired of having to constantly click on the System Preferences icon when I need to edit a particular preference. Pressing ALT+FN will bring up the System Preference panel for that key. Here’s a list. ALT+Brightness: Displays ALT+Exposé/Dashboard: Exposé and Spaces or Mission Control ALT+Mute/Volume: Sound ALT+Keyboard Brightness: Keyboard (for Macs with backlit keyboards) ALT+Display Brightness: Display Properties.

TAGS: MACOS, TIPS, TRICKS