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9 Awesome Mac Hacks That’ll Make You An Apple Wiz

by James Vinse
9 Awesome Mac Hacks That'll Make You An Apple Wiz

These days the computer is more an extension of self rather than just a tool used for business and fun. But as we spend more and more time, approximately just under five hours a day, in front of a computer there needs to be a way to best use that time.

These mac hacks can do just that! Streamlining workflow, helping find ways to make your computer work more efficiently, and just making the computer experience better overall.

  1. Streamline Workflow With Keyboard Shortcuts

The entire list of useful shortcuts is available for reference on Apple’s website. While there is an overwhelming amount, you will find that there is a handful that you will use over and over, memorizing very quickly.

Most commonly used shortcuts include:

  • Cut – Command + X
  • Copy—Command + C
  • Paste—Command + V
  • Undo—Command + Z
  • Spotlight—Command + Spacebar

Not only are there countless pre-set shortcuts made by Apple for macOS, but they also give you the ability to set custom shortcuts to fill your needs.

This can be done by going to the Apple menu, navigating to system preferences then the keyboard, and finally shortcuts. In this tab, you will find shortcuts that can be modified to your liking.

  1. Screen Recording

If there is ever a need to share images of what is being worked on macOS provides a few options to the user, made easy with keyboard shortcuts.

Command + Shift + 3: This allows you to take a screenshot of the entire visible screen. The resulting screenshot will be saved to your desktop under the date and time that the shot was taken

Command + Shift + 4: This allows you to take a screenshot of a selected area. The screenshot will come up just as it does in the previous tool but will be accompanied by a tool to crop the image.

Command + Shift + 5: This provides a toolbar for all screen capture features. The main difference is there is the ability to record the screen rather than just still images.

While the built-in screen record is helpful many software solutions offer far more options when you need to screen record on mac systems.

  1. Spotlight Is A Huge Support Tool

Most often you will be using the spotlight tool to search for files or applications that you have lost track of on your Mac. However, there are some other great features built into Spotlight that offer a lot of help.

It’s A Calculator!

With the Spotlight search bar open (command + space) you can enter any mathematic equation and the solution will appear in the search results as if you were using it to search for a file regularly.

Converting and Measuring

Just as you can use Spotlight as a calculator you can use it to perform conversions, such as centimeters to inches, as easily. There are no restrictions on the units that can be processed.

Look Up Contacts

Just as you would search for a file, you can look up the details of any contact you have saved. Type their name in and Spotlight will bring up a card with all of their contact information.

  1. Lost Passwords

If you have been computing long enough there is no doubt there have been many forgotten passwords. But rather than stress and go on a lengthy hunt for those needed passwords there is a quick, simple way to track them down!

Open Keychain Access is easily found through spotlight. The easiest way to find the password you are looking for is the search for the name of the network or application. Right-click the name and it will allow you to copy and paste the password.

You do need to have administrator access to use this feature.

  1. Authorization Needed

With the world moving towards a more and more paperless structure, there is a growing need to be able to sign documents digitally or have a solution to make up for that.

Saving the Signature

To use a signature for future use for PDF documents or otherwise you need to capture a digital copy of it. There are three ways to do this.

Use the preview app and have the “markup tool” open. There will be a sign button available, use that option.

The first option being to use your trackpad. Follow the prompts as they present themselves, sig your are with your finger on the trackpad.

You can also use your computer’s camera to take a picture of a written signature and save the results as a signature in the same fashion.

  1. It’s My Specialty

There are times when special characters or language-specific characters will be needed. The most direct option is holding the “main” letter key down to enable extended options. For example, holding down “e” can open options for é or è.

For further access to more specialized characters, help can be found in the “character viewer”. By pressing control + command + space a window will open and you can locate the character needed, double click the needed one and it will be inserted.

  1. Dictionary Access

While the dictionary can be accessed using the spotlight application just like some of the other functions described above there is an even easier way to access the dictionary when working.

There are two simple steps to the process;

  1. Hover over the selected word
  2. Tap your mousepad with three fingers

There will be a pop-up that has both the definition of the word as well as a few synonyms retrieved from the thesaurus.

  1. Bulk Rename

When multiple files need to be renamed it can be a tedious task, dependent on the number of files there are. Thankfully there is a feature built into the finder that can assist with this task.

Highlight the collected files and right-click on the group. There will be the option to rename X number of files. This will enable a renaming utility where you can choose the naming format

  1. Optimization of Resources

All computers create cache files for a variety of reasons. They store browser history, when given permission they store passwords, and often they store temporary backups of files being worked on. But there can be big issues that arise from them.

Cache file collections can become incredibly huge. For all the quality features that macOS holds, it does not have an efficient built-in method to remove cache files that are no longer needed.

While in the finder, choose the go option and “go to folder”. A box will pop up, enter “~/Library/Caches. This command brings you to the folder of all the caches that your machine has created.

A general, safe practice, is to clear out old cache files and ones from applications you no longer have. If you recognize anything that is no longer important you can remove those as well, use your best judgment.

Maximize Potential With Mac Hacks

With this collection of Mac Hacks, you will be able to optimize your experience with your computer very easily. Be it working in the office or at home, your time will be used more efficiently and tasks made easier than before!

Found this to be helpful today? Be sure to stop by the blog soon to see what other content we have curated to help you even further!


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