Top 15 Mac OS X Secrets | Articles | Gadgets, gifts and accessories


Even if you have been working on your Apple computer for more than a year, chances are that you do not know all the secrets and possibilities that Mac OS hides. And the High Sierra operating system has enough secrets, many tasks for which Windows will need third-party help, the Mac performs on its own.

We’ve put together a few tricks and tricks that will make many tasks much easier. In this case, you do not have to download or buy anything.

  1. Calculate measures, distances and currencies via Spotlight

Surely you have already stumbled upon the spotlight window, but most often, we simply close it. However, from time to time, it can come in handy. Especially if you need to convert weight, distance, measures or currencies. And this is done indecently simply, for example, just enter the amount of $ 1000 into the Spotlight window and the system, based on the region you have chosen, will offer a ready-made conversion of the amount into rubles or another currency. In addition, alternative options will be offered below, so that everything that needs to be converted and calculated can be easily done by Spotlight, a native Mac OS program.

  1. Siri

Prior to OS Sierra, Mac computers already used the Dictation feature, which recognized speech. Not always correct, but in most cases very successful. Now the Mac uses the same Siri familiar to us. You can call it with the Cmd + Space key combination, or by clicking on the Siri icon on the dock. You can ask Siri questions about the weather, sports events, or your own calendar. However, in addition to this, it can control functions such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, find the files you need, or launch and close applications. At your leisure, be sure to chat with Siri, because she herself can talk about her abilities.

  1. Starting Windows

Of course, you most likely knew about this feature. Although many people think that Windows on a Mac is barbaric, you can’t hide the truth, some work programs run only on Windows, and sometimes the system is simply necessary. For such cases, Mac provides an excellent opportunity – to run Windows on Mac computers. You can do this either directly from Mac OS through a virtual machine, such as Parallel Desktop, or by partitioning the disk and loading WIndows into one of the parts using Boot Camp Assistant. If only Windows had a similar opportunity!

  1. A simple screenshot of a window, part of the screen, or the entire screen

On Windows, taking a screenshot is not at all easy: you can use the proven Print Screen key in the old fashioned way, and then transfer the image to a graphics editor. Or download a third party app. And some keyboards are completely incompatible with hotkeys. On Mac, fortunately, things are much easier.

For example, in order to take a screenshot of the entire screen, you need to press the combination Command + Shift + 3. The screenshot will appear directly on your desktop.

If you want to take a screenshot of part of the screen, press Command+Shift+4 and select the desired area. The picture will be saved in the same place on the desktop.

To capture one window in the frame, you need to press Command + Shift + 4, then press the spacebar and select the desired window with a mouse click or trackpad.

On a MacBook Pro with a touchbar, you can take a screenshot of the Touch Bar itself – press Command + Shift + 6 and you’re done, the Mac takes a screenshot of the OLED panel.

  1. Hide menu

The top menu bar in MacOS has always been, from the very start it stuck out above any window. But starting with the version of OS X El Capitan, it became possible to remove it. To do this, you just need to go to the system settings, go to the main settings and select the “Auto-hide menus” item. Of course, it will not disappear forever, but will appear on hover, but you will not see it all the time. Although when you turn the video to full screen or the Split Screen function, it already disappears.

  1. Additional signs and symbols

Many people know that on the Mac keyboard you can type not only standard characters, but also additional ones. Some of them are typed using the Option key and the English layout (÷; ©; ™ and others). But even they do not contain all the characters that may be useful in the work. Some other characters, such as accents and umlauts, can also be typed on the English keyboard by holding down the corresponding letter: à; e; å and others.

But if these characters are not enough for you, then go to the top menu in the Edit section, and select the Special characters option. In the window that opens, you will find all the available symbols, ranging from notes to emoji emoticons. So print to your heart’s content!

  1. Digital signature

A digital signature has long been considered an acceptable alternative to a regular signature, so if you need to sign any documents in a PDF file, on a Mac, you can do it without having to print and scan the file right in the letter.

Of course, you know that in order to attach a file to a letter, you just need to drag it into the body of the letter. After that, you can open the file and sign it. How? It’s very simple: press the button, which shows the pen stem in a circle. A window of additional options will appear, in which you can easily find the signature.

Further, you will have two options – either write your autograph on the trackpad, which is still not very easy, or write the signature on a blank sheet and bring it to the camera. The Mac does a great job of cutting out the signature and making it legible enough that it won’t be a problem.

  1. Renaming files. Multiple files.

Prior to OS X Yosemite, renaming multiple files at once required either using third-party applications or manually renaming each file sequentially. But now you can simply select several files at once, right-click and select rename. Then you can choose any format you want to name the files in. Everything is very simple and clear.

  1. Everyone can share

In OS X, you can share almost any file with your friends or contacts from your list. Wherever you find a “Share” button, there is such an option. The dropdown menu offers options for instant messengers, AirDrop, email, or social media. You can send links, articles from apps, pictures, photos or videos, and even tracks from iTunes. True, they will not be sent in their entirety, since you still have to buy them to listen to them.

  1. multitasking

We already mentioned the Split Screen feature earlier, but it’s time to go back and take a closer look at it. In version OS X 10.11 El Capitan, a great opportunity appeared to divide the screen into two equal windows, in each of which you can run an application. You can do work tasks at the same time or search for something on the Internet and watch a movie. Or translate texts from one window to another without having to constantly minimize one of the windows.

How to use Split Screen? Click on the yellow maximize button right in the window and hold it until the screen splits into two parts. Transfer the main window to one, and the rest will display all other open programs. Choose one of them and you’re done: the screen is divided into two parts. By the way, this feature is also available on iPads, so if you use two windows while working or performing other tasks, do it comfortably.

  1. Import photos

Although you can manually transfer photos from your camera or iPhone using the proven Finder’s two-window method, there’s now an easier way – Image Capture. This feature has actually been around for quite some time, but it’s often overlooked, especially by those who use a Mac more recently. So, in this program, you can immediately transfer all the photos from the camera directly to the selected folder, or choose which photos you want to transfer. In addition, you can immediately delete the originals from the camera or smartphone.

You can also connect wirelessly to the scanner in order to import scanned documents to the desired folder and even synchronize the camera with any application. For example, if you want to open Photoshop every time you connect a camera to your Mac, you can fine-tune this with Image Capture.

  1. Editing and annotating PDF documents

The Mac image viewer is basically a treasure trove of useful features. We have already noted the ability to put your signature directly on documents, but this is not the only option. With Preview, you can mark documents and add your own comments. In this case, all marks will be visible to those who use Windows and Adobe Acrobat, so you can share documents without difficulty.

In order to make these notes, click on the edit option, and select the desired function: it can be highlighting text with a marker, sticker or stroke.

  1. Change existing icons to any other

This feature will greatly appeal to anyone who prefers to style their Mac to their liking. And any user of Apple computers, of course, will agree that the system should look beautiful and presentable. And there are really a lot of opportunities to do this, and for this you don’t even need to download third-party programs.

So, if you want to replace the icon of an application or file, just right-click on it and select document information. In the window that appears, right at the top, the program icon will be marked, which you can replace by simply dragging the desired file into its place. By the way, you can find a lot of different stylized icons on the Internet that will help give your Mac OS X a unique look.

  1. Image editing

Mac OS does not have its own graphical application, but Image Viewer replaces all its functions with a vengeance. In addition to all other features, it can also moderately edit images. This is very convenient, because you don’t always want to turn to the weighty Adobe Photoshop for help.

For example, you can crop an image, add a caption to it, rotate it, and add a frame. All this is quite simple: the functions are available through the edit button.

  1. WiFi password

One incredibly useful feature that other computers don’t have is Keychain. As it becomes clear from the icon with several keys, the application stores all the user’s personal data, such as, for example, information about passwords, payment cards, etc.

Thus, when you access a new website or a new program, or even if you forget your own Wi-Fi password, you can always save the new password or look for one of the already saved ones in the application.

Just go to the Keychain program, which is located in the menu. In the window that appears, select a site or application and click “show password”. True, you will have to enter the user password if your account is protected.

Otherwise, everything is incredibly simple and you can store all your passwords in one place.

If you haven’t started using Apple computers yet or think it’s time to upgrade your old Mac to a new one, it’s hard to find a better option than the 2017 MacBook Pro with 15-inch display and Touch Bar. This is an ultra-modern laptop with 512GB of internal memory on an SSD drive. The MacBook Pro runs on a powerful Intel Core i7 7920HQ processor and 16GB of RAM. This computer will cope with any tasks, regardless of the specifics, and you can truly appreciate all the convenience of the Mac OS X operating system.


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