Master Those Mountains

macOS is a wonderful operating system if you are transferring from Windows or a “pro” user some times it’s the little details that help streamline your work & get the most out of your mac.

Here are 20 tips & tricks to help your workflow & productivity.

1: How to Screenshot

A simple one to start, however when switching from Windows it can be one of the first things you wish to do.

Two different ways to do it, Fullscreen or selective.

For Selective your cursor will turn into Crosshairs & you click & select your area.

Both types are saved on your desktop & saved under the title of “Screenshot (Followed by the date & time)

For a Full Screenshot Press Command⌘ Shift⇧ & 3

For a Selective Screenshot Press Command⌘ Shift⇧ & 4

2: Run Windows…On A Mac

We understand there is sometimes a need for Windows, even we utilise some software within Engineering that works only on Windows.

But you can have both a beautiful Apple Mac & run Windows.

Now it is not a simple process to set up so if you wish for it to be installed get in touch

Once its all set up its quite simple to switch between, when you power on the Mac hold down the “alt/option key” & it will open the boot options and you can choose  Windows or Mac

Windows on a Mac

3. Record your Screen

A popular feature on iOS devices has been around for years on macOS.

Open up Quicktime from your Applications folder (Tip below to speed this up) & Click File from the Menubar & New Screen Recording.

You can then choose if you want to recover the whole screen or just a selective area, click record & stop to finish.

The File is saved on your desktop in a similar style to your screenshots.

Screen Recording of your Mac

4. Spotlight Search

You know the name of the file, a program you wish to open but can’t find it in the maze of files & programs on your Mac.

Well, utilise Spotlight.  It is your own personal Mac Detective & as soon as you start typing it will give suggestions & narrow down the search.

So if you wish to open Quicktime, just start typing Quicktime & it will find you the application, press enter & it will open.

The same for files you’ve named, search the name of the file & it will open the file & application it was created in.

To Open Spotlight Press Command⌘ & Space

To Open Spotlight Press Command⌘ & Space

5. Spotlight Sums

In the middle of writing an important email & you need to check some figures, well Spotlight can help again.

Quickly open it up (Command⌘ & Space) & type in your sum and the answer will appear in front of your eyes.

Simple or complex it will have it covered.

Add + Subtract – Times X & Divide / in spotlight

6. Stealth Mode

Newly Added to iOS since Mohave macOS has had a Dark mode of its own. Much like iOS, you can automate it or just get it to stay dark or light all the time.

Click on the  on the Menu bar, System Preferences, General & take your pick.

While you’re trying to be stealth when you start the Mac hold down the Mute key & you won’t hear the chime.

Dark Mode

Silent Load

7. Spotlight Conversions

“What is that in feet? How many of that in a metre” “What is the speed limit in Germany”

Spotlight can convert all sorts of items so you can answer these questions.

Simply launch it like before (Press Command⌘ & Space) & type in your chosen conversion.

Maybe you need to work out what the size of the next MacBook Pro is…

Convertible Mac

8. Speed Up Your Startup

It can be a nightmare waiting for that Progress Bar to load. You just need to check that document, & it takes 2 – 3 minutes to load up your Mac.

Now, this could be a problem with your hard drive, if it is let us know.

However, it could also be because you have lots of programs starting when you power on your machine.

To remove them click , System Preferences, Users & Groups, Login Items. Use the minus (-) button at the bottom to remove the ones you don’t wish to load.

Start Right

9. Clear Your Menu Bar

A lot of System Apps sit up there in the Menu bar, & whilst some are useful. Others just clog up the top of the screen & make your nice Mac look pretty messy.

As annoying as they are, they are even harder to track down where the menu is to turn the individual one off.

So here comes a cheeky little trick. Hold down the Command⌘ key & click on the icon you want to remove & drag it into the middle of the screen…& it’s gone.

Drag & Disappear

10. Understand Everything in a Tap

Look up is a great way to find out words, web searches & even news.

You’re reading an article & don’t know what a specific word means or even how to pronounce it.

Two-finger tap or Right Click on that word & it will highlight in Yellow & bring up an information box all about that word.

Try it out

Look Up

11. Ctrl Alt Delete

One of the most common Windows commands. What to do when an App, Program or something stops responding.

Well on Mac it is still there, its called “Force Quit” & it just has a different way to prompt it.

Command⌘ Option & Esc will bring up the Force Quit Menu & show you the programs open & if any are Not Responding & you simply highlight the program you wish to close & click force quit.

CMD / Option / Esc

12. Dictation

Got your hands full but need to type out your new presentation?

Well, macOS can help.

Simply press the ‘fn’ key twice to enable dictation. Once enabled you can double press ‘fn’ again & it will start typing within any text entry box, you can even type in your websites & searches.

Talk to Type

13. Hide Your Dock

Top Secret Program or file at work in your Dock on the side? Or just need that extra space on your screen.

On Any desktop screen hold Command Option D to hide it & repeat to get it back.

Bonus tip. If you want your dock in a different position two-finger click or right click on the separator & change the position setting.

CMD ⌘/ Option / D

14. New Desktop

Want to leave some work open whilst you work on something new?

Open up a new Desktop page. This will help you manage different projects at the same time.

To access press F3 or swipe up on your trackpad with 3 fingers.

Once here this will show you all your open Apps & Windows.

To open a new Desktop Page simply hover over the top right-hand side of the screen & a Plus sign will appear. Click on it & it will open a new desktop.


15. Preview Files

Quickly check if you have found the right file before you even open it.

This trick allows you to peek inside a program without opening it.

Simply highlight the select file & press space.

This will pop open a quick snapshot of the file & you can check & press space again & it will disappear.

Highlight & Spacebar

16. Built-in Emojis 😀

Emojis are a means of communication these days & dependant on how you use your Mac you might use them all the time or might just use them occasionally.

If you wish to open up the emoji menu. Simply Press Command⌘, Control & Space & it will appear. If you are with within a text & you click on a selected emoji it will automatically place itself within it & the menu will disappear.

Alternatively, you can drag the selected emoji & drop it into the document.


17. Fine Tune your Audio & Brightness Settings

I’m sure you know how to change your brightness & volume settings up & down using the F1, F2 & F11, F12 Buttons respectively.

However, you can fine-tune these & change the settings in much smaller increments.

If you hold Option & Shift whilst adjusting the brightness or Volume it will only move the bar in smaller increments.

Option & Shift

18. Accented Characters

If you need to type a foreign or accented character on a windows machine this has always been very difficult.

macOS makes this infinitely better. Simply if you wish to accent an e just hold the key when typing & it will give you the options then press the corresponding number & hey presto its there.


19. Battery Check

One of the constant repairs we have to complete on MacBooks is a Battery replacement.

Unfortunately, we like Mobile technology & they need Batteries & much like me & you, they wear out over time.

However, you can keep an eye on it over time with a cheeky trick.

Open your Spotlight Search Command ⌘ & Space & search System Profiler.

This has a wealth of diagnostic information of your Mac.

If you go to Power it will tell you your current Battery Cycle count. A Battery cycle is a full charge from 0% to 100%.

As you can see this machine I have has a battery that is 4 months old & has only been charged fully to 100% 33 times. We will have a post soon on how to persevere battery life.

System Profiler / Power

20.  Type the  logo

We probably use this more than you will, however, it’s a nice little trick to have up your sleeve.

To type, the logo simply hold Option, Shift & K & a  will appear.

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