Mac

20 Mac Tricks That’ll Improve Your Computer Experience

A Mac is a great computer from the moment you first take it out of the box. You turn it on and the iconic “Hello” message greets you. You can then enjoy it for working, editing photos, gaming, and a number of other activities.

However, as with any good product, there are a number of deeper features and tricks that surface-level users may miss. By using them, you’ll enjoy a better experience. 

Keep reading for a list of 20 Mac tricks that’ll take your experience using your Mac computer to the next level.

1. Understand the Different Ways to Take a Screenshot

If you ever want to show someone something on your computer screen, your Mac provides you with several different ways to take a screenshot. 

If you want to show someone a picture of your entire screen, press Command + Shift + 3. Pressing Command + Shift + 4 will turn your mouse into a crosshair. You can then drag it across the screen to capture what you want. Command + Shift + 4 + Space will allow you to take an entire screenshot of a specific window. 

2. Take Advantage of Spotlight

If you haven’t used Spotlight on your Mac, you’re missing out on one of the most intuitive and powerful search engines. Opening it will allow you to do many different things. Enter a math problem and get an answer back, open an app by searching for its name, and look up nearby movie showings.

3. Pull up the Emoji Keyboard

One of the best parts about using Apple products is that you get to use emojis. Apple devices now come with hundreds of different emojis.

Your Mac comes with an easy way to access this keyboard. Press Command + Ctrl + Space to open the emoji keyboard. You can then choose between different categories, such as people, animals, and activities. 

4. Delete Files in No Time 

It’s easy to delete files on your Mac. Drag a file into the trash bin, then right-click to empty the bin. However, a keyboard shortcut makes this process easier.

Select a file, then click Command + Delete to send it to the trash. If you want to delete all of the files in the trash bin, press Command + Delete + Space. A message will then ask you to confirm that you want to delete the files. Confirm it, and they’re gone forever. 

5. Refer to the Dictionary 

The dictionary is another powerful tool that comes along with Mac computers. To use it, find a word on a page you don’t know. Then, Ctrl + Click and select “Look Up”. You’ll then see the word’s definition. You can also use the feature to translate words into foreign languages. 

6. Control Which Notifications You See

The Notifications Center is where different websites and apps tell you about what’s happening. However, there are times when you might want them to leave you alone.

To disable notifications on your Mac, Click the Notification Center tab in the menu at the top. Select “Do Not Disturb”, and it’ll turn off notifications. You can also hold down the Option key, then click the notifications section at the top. It’ll turn grey, meaning that Do Not Disturb is now on. 

7. Switch Between Different Apps

If you’re someone who uses multiple apps at the same time, you might find it frustrating to cycle through the different ones. A keyboard shortcut makes that process easy.

Hold down Command, then press Tab. You’ll see a list of all the applications you have open at that moment. Whichever app you release the Command key on will cause that app to open.

8. Type Special Letters and Characters

If you type in another language such as Spanish or German, it can be difficult to get accent marks and other special characters that you need. However, when using a MacBook, it’s easy.

Hold down the letter and a list of available special characters will open up. Click the one you need and that’s it. For accent marks, you can also press Option + E, then select the corresponding letter. 

9. Switch to Dark Mode

If you’re unsure as to what it is, Dark Mode is a trendy new aesthetic that comes with different electronic devices. As its name suggests, it features a darker color scheme than its counterparts. Using it lets you save energy, while also giving your eyes a break.

To set it up on your Mac, click the Apple at the top, then go System Preferences > General. Then, select the dark mode option.

10. Hide the Top Menu

Some people don’t focus well when they have a lot of menus and clutter on their computers. To help keep things simple, you can hide the menu bar at the top of the screen until you need it.

Head back to System Preferences > General, then select the option that says “Automatically hide and show the menu bar”. This will keep it out of your way until you hover over it. 

11. Customize Your Dock

The Dock is one of the most intuitive and powerful parts of a MacBook. It also allows you to customize it in different ways.

Go to System Preferences > Dock to see all of the different options you can choose to do. You can move it to another part of your screen, magnify it when your mouse is over it, and hide it until you need to see it.

12. Add Spaces to Your Dock

Another way to customize your MacBook’s Dock is to add spaces between the different apps. This can give it a cleaner look and make reading and recognizing your apps easier. 

To add spaces, press Command + Space to open up Spotlight, then type Terminal. Copy and paste “defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add ‘{“tile-type”=”spacer-tile”;}’; killall Dock”, then press Return. Type “exit”, then press Return again, and you can now drag a spacer anywhere you want in your Dock. 

13. Copy a Website to the Dock

Do you have a website you visit often? If so, consider making a shortcut to it in the Dock. This will then allow you to click it and go right there.

To do so, click the URL bar, then drag the website name to where your Dock is. It’ll then create a link that you can move around. 

14. Convert a PDF to a Word Document 

PDFs are a file type that make it difficult for users to make changes to them. However, there are some ways around these limitations. 

By using Microsoft Word, you can convert any PDF into a Word Document. The process can be a bit complicated, so check out this guide here for a full breakdown: setapp.com/how-to/convert-pdf-to-word-on-mac.

15. Make Your Clock More Specific 

Are you a precise person who relies on seconds as opposed to minutes or hours? If you are, make sure you set your clock so that it displays seconds.

Head to your System Preferences, then select Date & Time Preferences. You’ll then see the option “Display the time with seconds”. You can also customize your clock in other ways, as well.

16. Set Your Wallpaper to Change on Its Own

Single Wallpapers are a thing of the past. Now, Macs allow you to make an album or group of photos your Wallpaper.

Go to System Preferences, then head to the Desktop and Screensaver section. Select the option to change the picture, then choose how often you want it to change. You can use folders from Photos, or the default desktop pictures.

17. Move to Another Desktop

Many people use their Macs for more than one purpose. In that case, consider taking advantage of the different desktops that come with Macs.

Slide three fingers up on your trackpad to see an option for different Desktops at the top. You can customize your other Desktops as you wish, and add additional ones. For example, consider having a primary Desktop for work, then a secondary one for recreational use. 

18. Open up Launchpad 

Launchpad is another way to find different apps on your Mac. You can also move them around to different folders.

To open Launchpad, click the gray rocket icon on the Dock. You can also pinch your thumb and three-fingers together.

19. Disable Unnecessary Animations

Macs ship with a lot of aesthetic features. Although these make everything look nice, they can also cause slowdowns and eat up battery life. If you don’t mind a simpler look, consider disabling them.

Go to System Preferences, then Dock. You can then deselect the different animations that occur when you click, open, and close folders and apps. 

20. Close Out of an App 

Closing out of any folder or app is easy on a Mac. If you don’t feel like moving your mouse to the red circle in the corner, press Command + Q. The app will then quit, making it an efficient way to exit out of programs you’re done working with. 

Make the Most Out of Your Mac With These Mac Tricks

Macs are intuitive computers that come with many features for you to take advantage of. By using some of the Mac tricks mentioned in this article, you’ll create a more intuitive and streamlined experience for yourself.

Did you learn some new MacBook tips and tricks that you didn’t know before? If so, make sure to check out our other blog posts. You’ll find a number of other helpful tech-related guides and tips. 

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