Best Mac tips and shortcuts
Mac operating systems are known for their intuitive user interface with minimal learning curve. But did you know that over the years, Macs have been equipped with a bunch of new shortcuts and hidden features? Here are our picks of the ones guaranteed to make life easier.
Use Siri to change your Mac’s system settings
Rather than going through your computer’s System Preferences menus to find the setting you require, you can use Siri to quickly make these changes. Simply activate Siri by pressing command + spacebar and then say out loud the changes you want, such as “increase brightness” or “turn on bluetooth”.
You can even ask how much hard drive space is left to determine your computer’s available storage.
Copy and paste between devices
Universal Clipboard is an extension feature that was first introduced in the Mac OS X El Capitan and has now made its way to macOS Sierra. With this time-saving tool, you can cut and copy items on your macOS and iOS devices, and paste them onto other devices. These include text, images, and even videos without having to use AirDrop or email.
To enable Universal Clipboard, simply turn on Bluetooth on your Mac and iPhone and make sure both devices are logged in using the same Apple ID. Then press Control + C on your Mac and then hold down and select Paste on your iPhone, or vice versa.
Sync Desktops on multiple Macs
Another new feature in the macOS Sierra syncs desktops across iCloud. This means you can go to your iCloud Drive on any device and access the files and folders on your desktop. You can also access your Documents folder on your desktops too. All this depends on is the amount of storage space you have on your iCloud.
To sync your Desktop, go to System Preferences > iCloud. Make sure the iCloud Drive is selected at the top and click on Options. From there, select Desktop & Documents to share those files. iCloud will then upload these files to the cloud, allowing you to access them on other Macs from anywhere with an internet connection. Just go to iCloud.com, log on, and open the Desktop folder there.
Autocap and full stop on your Mac
The Sierra operating system features the auto capitalization of the first word of a sentence as well as the auto-added full stop when you press space twice, a feature that many iPhone users rely on. To activate it, head to System Preferences > Keyboard > Text, and select: ‘Capitalize words automatically’, and ‘Add period with double-space’.
Once these two options are ticked, the necessary capitals and full stops will automatically be added in TextEdit, Pages, and other relevant apps.
Use your trackpad to sign things
Thanks to the magical feature of trackpad, you can now sign PDFs within Preview. Just open the PDF you need to sign and click on the toolbox icon at the top right of the Preview toolbar. Then click the signature icon that looks like a squiggle beneath it, make sure the Trackpad tab is selected, and click Create Signature.
Once done, you can select the signature from the menu and drag it to wherever you want it to appear.
Quickly free up space
macOS Sierra features a number of options available to help you free up storage space. Start by clicking on the Apple logo on the top left of your screen, then click About This Mac > Storage > Manage.
You can choose to store files and photos in iCloud and only keep recently opened files and optimized photos on your Mac as required. You can also choose Optimized Storage, which helps you save space by removing iTunes movies and TV shows and only keeps your recent email attachments. Last but not least, you can choose for your trash to be emptied periodically.
The latest macOS Sierra can warn you if your display brightness is too high so you can make adjustments to save battery life. If you click on the battery icon in the top menu bar, you’ll be greeted by a drop down menu that shows your current power source and highlights apps that are draining your computer’s battery. From there, you can choose whether to cut down on those apps or not.
These are some of the tips and hidden features that Mac operating systems have to offer. As always, if you’d like to learn about how Apple products can drive value for your business, or have any questions at all, just give us a call.