Best Mac tips and tricks: You may not know it but your Mac is hiding several little-known and yet very useful features. In this article, we share the most interesting. If we had to define the Mac in one word, we would say simplicity.
Indeed, whether it is an iMac or a MacBook (Pro and Air) , this jewel of technology is very easy to configure and adopt. It offers a clear interface and an intuitive operating system that makes the experience all the more enjoyable.
The best Mac tips and tricks to absolutely know
During its last Keynote in June Apple unveiled Catalina , its new operating system that will be released in September 2019. Here are some of the new features of this fall update.
Sidecar: thanks to Sidecar it will be possible to use your iPad as a second screen. You can also use it as a control device (graphic tablet for example).
The Find My tool: This is a merge between Find My Friends and Find My Phone. To find your iPhone, rather than running over Wi-Fi, your Mac will send Bluetooth signals to your iOS. It’s a process that increases your chances of finding it and Apple says it’s secure.
Dark Mode: Your screen will automatically change appearance based on brightness or time. The display will darken in the evening and clear in the morning.
Mail: with macOS Catalina, managing your emails and messages will be easier. You will be able to block your correspondents by blacklisting them, mute notifications and select your batch emails with a swipe of your finger.
The end of iTunes: your iTunes music library is about to disappear, it will be replaced by three applications: Music, Podcasts and TV.
Assistive Technology: Voice Control will allow people who do not have the ability to use their classic keyboarding devices (keyboards ..) to handle them by voice.
The best tips on macOS Mojave
In September 2018, a lot of exciting new features came to Mojave. Here we will reveal 8 of them.
Dark mode darkens your screen to make your navigation much more enjoyable and relaxing for your eyes.
It has been available since 2015 on El Capitan, but this update proposed on Mojave has made it softer and more effective.
To turn on the dark theme on your Mac, go to Apple , open System Preferences , and then click the General tab .
Then go to Appearance and, between the two images, select the least glowing.
Note that Dark mode does not work with Pages or Safari.
With Batteries, tidy up your desktop by creating stacks of files and categorizing them. You will also be able to synchronize the desktop of different Macs and access documents via your iOS devices.
To activate the batteries, go to the Presentation tab in the Finder menu bar and click on Use batteries .
By default, the batteries are grouped according to their type such as PDF, captures, images … Then, it’s up to you to manage your organization.
If you appreciate Mojave’s dark mode, then you should love its new dynamic wallpapers. Two choices are available to you, the wallpaper on the theme of the Mojave Desert and the one called Solar Gradients.
What do they have so special? They change in appearance as the day or the night progresses. Thus, as soon as the sun goes down, or when it gets up, the lighting of your screen and your wallpaper change automatically.
To set up Dynamic Desktop, go to Preferences and go to the Desktop & Screen Savers tab . Then, make sure that the Desktop option is selected, and finally choose the Mojave Dynamic wallpaper.
Quick Look is a convenient and quick way to identify files you are looking for without having to open them.
When Yosemite was launched in 2014, Apple added markup tools to its Mail app, among others, so you can quickly edit images or PDFs without using Photos or Preview.
Now, with Mojave, Mac users have access to these instruments and more via Quick View.
To access it, first locate the file you want to edit in Finder and press the space bar to open the quick view.
Then, to view the markup tools and edit your document, click the pencil icon in a circle , and then click Done .
This is a real benefit if you need to fill out or sign a PDF doc.
Gallery View replaces the Cover Flow feature. She is in the same spirit as Photos nevertheless she is much more complete.
When you open Gallery mode, the right of the image displays the metadata: creation date, size, color, and more. With this and the markup tools on offer, easily make simple changes to your photos.
To automate some of your actions and work on files directly from the Finder, Apple has implemented Quick Actions .
These are instruments such as Rotation, Markup, PDF Creation …, available by default in the preview pane.
To set them up, open the Automator application , click on File then New document .
Next, choose Quick Actions and click Select to add actions to your process. Finally, go to File then Save .
To apply your quick action, right-click your image or document and choose Quick Actions .
To take a screenshot under the Mojave version, leave out the classic Command + Shift + 3 or 4 combination . Now, press Command + Shift + 5 simultaneously.
Different proposals in the form of icons will then be displayed, each representing a type of capture or recording: entire screen, window, specific part. You will only have to select the one of your choice.
Your screenshot will appear in the small bottom right corner of your screen.
With Continuity, take a photo (or scan a document) with your iPhone and it will automatically appear on your Mac. In this way, you will not need to import your images yourself.
In the Finder menu bar , click Edit , go to Insert from your iPhone or iPad and select Take Picture . If you are satisfied with the photo then tap Use Photo to make it appear.
The best tips macOS High Sierra and earlier versions
Here are 19 tips to know about macOS Sierra that also work on older versions.
Prevent auto play of videos in Safari
With Safari 11, it is possible to disable automatic playback of videos .
To do so, click Safari and then Settings for this website . In the pop-up window that appears, select AutoPlay , three choices are available to you:
- Always allow auto play
- Do not read the sound content
- Never allow autoplay
- Do not play sound content blocks videos that contain audio.
- To prevent access to any video, check Never allow autoplay .
Create a GIF
On Sierra, transform your Live Photo into GIF or give it a rebound or loop effect.
To do this, open your photo with Edit and in the drop-down menu select Bounce .
If you have a live photo of fireworks then we recommend the loop effect .
Pin important notes
For better organization, it is possible to pin a note. To do this, just right-click on it and choose Pin Note . You can also protect it with a password.
Search for flights in Spotlight
If you know the flight number of your spouse or friend, then it is easy to search for this type of information via Spotlight.
Just press the cmd + spacebar keys and enter the number.
Spotlight will not only tell you when the plane took off or when it will arrive at your destination, it will also show you where the progress of the live trip is.
Change the system settings of your Mac with Siri
Save time using Siri instead of going through the System Preferences menus to find the setting you need.
Activate Siri by pressing cmd + spacebar and then say, for example, Enable Bluetooth to activate the Bluetooth chip.
Copy and paste between different Apple devices
Universal Clipboard is an extension of Continuity introduced on Mac OS X El Capitan. Thanks to this one, copy elements (text, images, photos) of your macOS or iOS devices and paste them on other devices without using AirDrop .
The only thing you have to do is activate Handoff and log in with the same Apple IDs on your devices.
To do this, go to Apple , in System Preferences click on General and make sure the option Allow Handoff between this mac and your Cloud devices is checked. On your iPhone, go to Settings , General , and turn on Handoff .
Now, copy your text (or image), it will be added directly to the clipboard of your device nearby and you just have to paste it.
Synchronize your desktop on multiple Macs
One of the best features in Sierra is syncing your desktop with iCloud Drive. You will access any file or folder of any of your devices.
The only fixed limit is the storage space, if you pay more than the standard 5 GB , then this function will be useful.
To share your documents, go to System Preferences and then iCloud . Next to the iCloud Drive section, click Options and select Desktop Folders and Documents to share these files.
To recover your files, simply go to iCloud.com, log in and open the iCloud Drive folder .
When you type a message on your iPhone, it suggests words to add. On Mac, this predictive input is made possible thanks to the QuickType function.
Whether you use TextEdit or Notes, to make suggestions appear, type your word, enter a space, and press the Alt + Esc keys at the same time .
Organize your folders with the tag system
To organize your Mac, we suggest you use Tags. These labels with a color code allow you to differentiate your documents, and thus, facilitate their classification. This tip will save you valuable time.
To tag an open file, click the small arrow next to the document title and in the Tags field , enter your new tag or choose from the pre-registered options.
Check the signal strength and battery of your iPhone hotspot
Can not access a network via your Mac? No worries, sharing your iPhone connection can fix this problem.
On your iOS, go to Cellular Data and turn on Connection Sharing .
Now, click on the WiFi icon in the menu bar of your Mac, find your iPhone and enter the password displayed on it.
Once connected, you can see the signal quality and battery status of your iPhone.
Watch a video with Image in Picture feature
Take a look at your internet activities while keeping an eye on your video in a small floating window thanks to the Image in Picture feature .
Note that to enjoy it, the website on which you watch your videos must have the HTML5 protocol, as is the case for YouTube and Vimeo.
On the playback controls bar of your YouTube video, click on the icon of two overlapping screens with an arrow inside .
Find your photos with keywords
You may not be aware, but the Photos application scans your images and detects more than 4,000 objects in addition to seven different facial expressions. It also adds categories to your photos using their metadata.
Thus, by searching for “birthday cake” for example, Photos is able to find you the photo of the cake.
Unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch
Did you know that your Mac is able to log in instantly with the presence of your Apple Watch ?
To set up this automatic unlock, make sure your connected watch runs on watchOS 3 or later, and your Mac on macOS Sierra, or later.
In addition, your devices must be connected to iCloud with the same ID.
Then check that your Bluetooth , your WiFi and your two-factor identification are activated and that the connection and screen sharing are disabled.
Once you’ve done your checks, go to the Apple menu and go to System Preferences , click Security and Privacy , and then click the General tab .
Optimize your storage space
Do you lack space on your Mac? Fortunately, there are solutions to quickly release macOS Sierra.
First, click the Apple icon and then click About . Then go to Storage ; to view the recommendations, click the Manage button .
Now it’s up to you to choose which method of recommendation to use, namely, Store in iCloud , Optimize storage , Empty trash automatically or Reduce clutter .
Optimize your battery
Sometimes it is necessary to optimize your power consumption to increase the battery life of your Mac .
To do this, from the Apple menu , go to System Preferences and select the Energy Saver option .
You can choose between suspending hard disk activity as soon as possible or dimming the screen slightly when the computer is running on battery power .
Install Night Shift
The Night Shift function helps to dim the brightness of your screen for the comfort of your eyes after dark.
To set it up, go to Apple and then in System Preferences and click Monitors . Then, on the Night Shift tab and program a custom or automatic time range.
Private Safari Navigation
For more privacy during your activities on Safari, we advise you to open a private browsing window .
To do this, go to Safari , File and click on New Private Window . Now all new tabs you open in this window will be private.
Sign documents with your trackpad
If you have a MacBook or added a trackpad to your iMac, then check out this tip for signing PDFs through Preview .
To do this, open your PDF and click on the markup toolbox icon (a pencil point in a circle) at the top right. Then click on the signature icon below (sort of scribbles).
When you’re done, click on your signature to select it, then drag it to the right place on your document.
Preview your files with the Preview pane
The Finder has always offered a preview pane as part of the Columns view. What you may not know is that this quick preview can also be enabled in any view mode: icon, list, or gallery. To quickly activate this preview window, press Shift, Cmd, and P at the same time .