Ten Must-Know Mac Tips for Every Mac User
Apple’s Macintosh is the biggest competitor to Windows PCs. Mac OS X Mavericks is the latest version of Apple’s desktop operating system, and it comes with over 200 new features. OS X Mavericks is both powerful and highly customisable. In this article, learn about a few cool tips to use your Macintosh in a better way.
1. Keyboard Shortcuts
If you are a Mac power user, you may know some of the keyboard shortcuts, such as Command+Tab for switching through running apps and Command+Arrow key to jump to the end of a line. Do you know how you can set your own keyboard shortcuts? Click on the Apple menu at the top, select System Preferences, and click Keyboard. You will find the Keyboard Shortcuts tab, where you can see various shortcuts arranged in categories. To create or change a shortcut, simply double-click an item and tap the new key combination.
2. Close Unresponsive Apps
Every computer is bound to come across an unresponsive application once in a while. You may need to know how to close the application so that the system becomes responsive again. To simply close an app, right-click its icon in the Dock and choose the option “Force Quit”. Sometimes the “Force Quit” option is not shown; in that case, hold down the Option key and then right-click the app icon. If the app icon is not visible in the Dock, you can choose the key combination Command+Option+Esc, which will bring up a small window named “Force Quit Applications”; from here, you can force-close any running application.
3. Managing Login Items
Sometimes the apps you install on your system set themselves to launch at the startup. This may delay the booting process. You may want to disable some startup items. In order to remove apps from the startup, go to System Preferences from the Apple menu and navigate to Users & Groups. Click on the Login Items tab and you’ll see a list of apps that get launched at the startup. You can uncheck the ones you don’t need.
4. Monitor Application Resource Usage
Mac gives you an option to monitor your applications’ memory and processor usage. Under Applications->Utilities, you can find Activity Monitor, an app that will tell you the resource usage of any app running on the system. This utility will help you close the apps that take up more resources in order to make the system faster.
5. Map an Address Within Safari
If you come across a street address while browsing and would like to map it out, you can do it right from within the Safari window, without having to open a separate tab for Google Maps. Simply right-click the street address and select the option “Look Up”. You will see a small popup with the map pointing to the address location.
6. Preview Any File
In your Mac, you can preview a PDF file, an image, or a Word document without having to open it. Mac has a built-in app known as Quick Look, which gives you a sneak preview of any folder or file on your system. You can turn on Quick Look in various ways: right-click the file and select the option “Quick Look”, select the file and tap the space bar, use three-finger tap, or click the “Quick Look” button at the top of any open folder.
7. Zoom the Screen
To view the zooming options, go to System Preferences->Accessibility. Here, you can select keyboard shortcuts to zoom your display. You can also use your track pad to zoom in and out of the display; for this, select the option “Use scroll gesture with modifier keys to zoom”. This way, you can use the track pad with a modifier key (Command, Option, or Control) to zoom in and out of the display.
8. Repairing Your Hard Disk
Is your hard drive working fine? You may want to do periodical error checking and junk cleaning on it. It’s easy on your Mac. You can use the Disk Utility (Applications->Utilities) to diagnose and repair your hard drive. From Disk Utility’s First Aid tab, select the Repair Disk button. This will scan and do necessary repair on your hard drive.
9. Record a Screencast
Your Mac has the built-in ability to record screencasts. This is very useful to create instructional videos if you are into that. Open up Apple QuickTime player. From its File menu, click “New Screen Recording”, select the various options such as the audio source and mouse-click recording, and click the Record button.
10. Mac Remote Control
Do you know that you can control your Mac remotely by using any other device? OS X has a built-in feature called Back to My Mac. The requirement is that the Mac be connected to your iCloud account and you have a router that supports NAT-PMP or UPnP protocol. To enable this, go to System Preferences->Sharing->Screen Sharing; you may need to disable the Remote Management option. You can select the users who can access your Mac’s screen by clicking on the ‘+’ button. Back in System Preferences, open iCloud preferences and sign in using your iCloud ID. Now, select the Back to My Mac feature. In order to remotely connect to the Mac from another, go to Finder->Preferences->Sidebar and select Back to My Mac in the Shared section. Now, open a Finder window and double-click the remote Mac you want to control; then click the option “Share Screen”.
Mac OS X is, as you can see, quite powerful. It provides many customization options that help you become a power user. In order to take full advantage of this operating system, learn about it well.