5 Tips and Tricks to Help You Master Your Mac

How to Customize Your Mac Desktop

MacBooks and iMacs are one of the best computers out in the market right now. Macs have their own set of features that truly set them apart from other brands of laptop, and makes them popular among computer users and enthusiasts. Aside from the sleek design, an optimized hardware, and the stunning display, Macs have advanced features that help you master your Mac and become more efficient and productive at work.

Top Tips and Tricks

If you are new to Mac, there are a lot of Mac tips and tricks you have to master to get the most out of your computer. We’ve listed down several Mac tips to help you get started.

Trackpad Tricks

If you are using a MacBook and you don’t have a mouse, knowing these trackpad tricks below will make your experience smooth and hassle-free:

  • To click, tap the trackpad using one finger.
  • To right-click, tap with two fingers.
  • To do a smart zoom, double tap with two fingers.
  • To scroll, slide your two fingers to scroll up or down.
  • To zoom in or out, pinch your two fingers apart or together.
  • To rotate a photo or an object, move your two fingers around each other.
  • To swipe between pages, swipe your two fingers left or right to show the next screen.
  • To open the notification center, swipe your two fingers from the right edge to the left.
  • To drag items on your screen, use three fingers to drag the items, and then click or tap to drop the items.
  • To show desktop, spread apart your thumb and three fingers.
  • To display launchpad, pinch your thumb and three fingers together.
  • To open Mission Control, swipe up your four fingers.
  • To move between full-screen apps, swipe your four fingers left or right.

If you’re using a magic mouse, here are some tricks you might want to know:

  • To do a secondary click, click the right side of the mouse once.
  • To scroll, slide one finger up or down the mouse.
  • To smart zoom, double tap with one finger to zoom in or out.
  • To open Mission Control, double tap with two fingers.
  • To swipe between full-screen apps, swipe left or right with two fingers.
  • To swipe between pages, use one finger to swipe left or right.

Split Screen

One of the new features that came out of the El Capitan is the split screen or the ability to split your windows into two. This is pretty useful when you’re doing something but you have to look at a different file or app for reference, for example, when you’re writing or transcribing a document. So, if you have two windows open and you want them to be locked on both sides of your screen, follow these steps:

  • Click and hold the expand button (green) located at the top left of the window.
  • Hold the button until the window shrinks and half of the screen is highlighted in blue.
  • While holding down the button, drag the window to which side you want to place it.
  • Then, select the window you want to show on the other half.
  • If you want to undo the split screen, click the green expand button again.

Switching Between Windows

If you have multiple windows open, it is hard to manually switch between them while working. So, here are some tips to make your life easier:

  • Hold Command + Tab to switch between your current window and the one you used last.
  • If you have multiple programs open, hold Command and hit Tab multiple times until you get to the window you want to switch to.
  • Holding Command + Tilde (~) key will let you switch between tabs or canvases of your current application (like Chrome or Photoshop).
  • To minimize the current application, click Command + H.

Navigating Finder

Navigating through your folders, files, and applications can be time-consuming. To help you find things faster, here are some Mac tips you need to master:

  • Hold Command + Space to open Spotlight.
  • To navigate to a specific folder, click Command + Space + the first letter of the folder you want to open.
  • To open the home user folder, click Command + Space + H.
  • To go to applications, click Command + Space + A.
  • To go to desktop, click Command + Space + D.
  • To go to Utilities, click Command + Space + U.

Taking Screenshots and Viewing Special Characters

Screenshots are usually used for documentation, remembering instructions, or as a way of showing another person exactly what you want them to see. Here are some shortcuts to help you take screenshots quickly:

  • To get a screenshot of your whole screen, click Command + Shift + 3. This will also save the picture on your desktop.
  • To select a specific area of your screen for your screenshot, click Command + Shift + 4 and then drag a box around the area you want to take a picture of.

If you want to spice up your email or document with an emoji or a special character, here is a trick that lets you view all special characters in a Mac:

  • Click the magnifying glass at the top right corner of the screen.
  • Choose Character Viewer. This will let you see a list of all the special characters available on your Mac.
  • Choose the special character you want to use and double-click to insert it into your document.

Bonus Tips:

If you’re a previous Windows user, here are some Mac tips to help you get familiar with your Mac.

  • The buttons for closing, minimizing and maximizing your windows are located in the upper left corner in Mac instead of the upper right corner in Windows.
  • Spotlight is used for finding apps and documents.
  • Deleted files are dumped to the Trash (Recycle Bin in Windows) located on the Dock.

Aside from knowing these Mac tips, it is also important to keep your computer in good running condition by performing maintenance regularly. You can use Outbyte MacRepair to get rid of unwanted files and unnecessary cache that slows down your Mac. You can also run Disk Utility to repair permissions and scan your hard drive for errors. You can find Disk Utility by going to the Utilities folder. And, don’t forget to keep your Mac software update.

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