Ok, you got yourself a Macbook or an iMac and you are looking to get the most out of Apple’s operating system, right? Well, your luck is in, because we have compiled a list of some of the best tips and tricks for you to use when you’re running a macOS device, and how they can help you in the day to day running of your machine.
You ever been sent a document or form digitally, only to have to print it out, sign it with a pen (like a Luddite), and then have to rescan it into your PC only to email it back off to the original sender. Seems like a lot for just a signature. So, Apple has handily come up with a great solution to make sure that making your mark on any document is as easy as possible.
All you have to do is head into your PDF preview, then go to Tools, then Annotate, then Signature, and you are going to be met with two separate options. The first is to use your trackpad to draw in your signature (or your iPhone if it is connected to your Mac), or you can use your Macs camera to take a picture of your actual signature on a white background, that your Mac can then drop into documents at the click of a button!
You might not need it right away, but I promise this is an amazing feature when the time comes.
2) Set Up Your Own Keyboard Commands
We all know the classics. Command + C is copy, Command+ V is paste, Command + P is print – the list goes on, we’re all familiar. But did you know that on a MacOS you can actually create your own keyboard shortcuts to execute commands that you design yourself?
A pretty handy feature – especially if your involved in musical, video, or photographic editing and want to streamline some of the lengthy processes you use to improve the assets you are working on.
All you have to do is navigate to the system preferences menu, then to keyboard, then shortcuts, then app shortcuts. From here you can create keyboard shortcuts to open up any app you want, which is useful if you don’t want to spend ages looking through your file systems for different programs that perform different functions, and you only need a plugin for just a second!
We know that when you are working on a Mac, sometimes you are dealing with projects and file sizes that are considerably larger than the average document. So, if you are looking to push through a pretty sizable file transfer then there is actually an easier way to do it.
So, what you have to do is boot up your Mac, but as it is turning on hold down the T key on your keyboard. Why?
Well, this is going to put your Mac into target disk mode, which will allow you to transfer files very quickly between two separate Mac devices using a thunderbolt 3 cable. Its quicker and simpler than doing it via the traditional desktop route, so if you are looking to save some time on those pesky file transfers, then this could be just what you’re looking for!
Did you know that the exhaustive list of Emoji you are used to on Apple’s mobile devices are actually available to use on desktop as well?
There are two different ways to insert them into whatever you want, via the MacOS desktop platform. The first option is that when you are in any kind of text app to head to edit, then click emoji and symbols and you will be met with a list of different emojis all ready to insert into your document.
The other way of getting the emojis into your document is to open up the emoji selection using the keyboard command – space, control, and command all pressed at the same time. This is potentially the speedier option, and might be more useful if you are looking to insert emoji into your text quickly!
Sometimes it can be very useful to know that whatever kind of file you have spent hours working on can quickly and easily be replicated for use in the future at the touch of a button, and that’s exactly what the Stationary Pad function does for you.
What stationary pad does on a MacOS system is make any kind of file ‘untouchable’ in that every time you open it, you will actually be opening a duplicate version to edit, leaving the original untouched. Especially useful if you find yourself filling out lots of different forms or spreadsheets.
All you have do is command-click the file you want to replicate, and then click the get info option. From here, just check the box next to the stationary pad option, and you will now have yourself a handy master file from which to make duplicates!
It is perfectly possible to share contact information via the MacOS system – but did you know it’s just as possible to share edited or redacted information so that you aren’t giving away all of your personal information at once?
This is especially useful if you only want to share an email address rather than your phone number, address, and other personal contact information all at once. All you have to do is head to your card in the contacts menu, then select the ‘Card’ option, and then click ‘make this my card.’
Head back into your contacts, and select preferences. Click on the ‘enable the private me card’, and then click edit on your card. You can now select and un-check whichever contact options you don’t want shared when you send out your contact information. Simple stuff, that can protect your privacy!
Ever forgotten your user password, so that it becomes impossible for you to log into your own Mac? Annoying I know. But, there is a way to reset it without venturing into an Apple store.
Make sure that your Mac is turned off, and then hold down the command and R keys at the same time. Holding down these keys press the power button so that your Mac boots up into recovery mode – you will know when to let go of the keyboard keys once you see the loading bar appear below the Apple logo.
Once you are in recovery mode, head into Utilities in the menu bar, and then click on the Terminal option. Just type resetpassword into the window that pops up, and hit the enter/return key. From here you are going to be met with a list of all the users on the Mac, from which you can choose one to reset a password for.
Just be aware though that if you do decide to reset a password for a user using this method, any and all other users of the Mac you have done this on are going to have to reset their passwords too. Just something to keep in mind if you pull this trick off.
Sometimes renaming file names can be massively tedious – especially if it is part of your daily job, and after hours of the same repetitive motion, you are going a little insane from changing each files name individually. Luckily though, if you are going to be changing file names on a MacOS system, there is actually an easy way to change all the file names at the same time.
Just group all the different files that you want to rename into the same folder within the finder menus. Then, select all the items that you want to rename, and command click one of them. Select the ‘rename *number* of items’ from the menu, and you are now going to be able to add text, completely rename or create an entirely new file naming format to all of the different items you have selected.
Simple and time-saving – great stuff.
This one is a bit simpler than other tips on this list – but that doesn’t mean it’s any less useful. I for one know the pain of having too many apps running at one time, so knowing a keyboard shortcut that lets you cycle through them quickly and see exactly what is running at any one time can be invaluable!
Just hitting command and tab at the same time will cycle you through the apps running on your MacOS system at any one time. Handy. But, by holding down the command tab, you will be able to see all of the different applications you have open, and you can cycle through them with the tab key to find the app you want quickly, rather than fiddling about through windows.
Again, simple stuff, but it can be indispensable if you are getting overwhelmed with a heavy workload.
It’s no great leap to say that the MacOS system is tied heavily to the iPhone, so learning that you receive an SMS messages on your desktop can’t be all that surprising. It’s quite handy too, you can send and reply to SMS messages all from one device (your desktop) without taking your eyes off of your screen – and quickly, thanks to the use of a keyboard.
Plus, if you ever away from your phone (like if it’s in another room, or in for repair) you are still able to keep up with any important messages coming your way.
Its pretty simple to set up as well. First, make sure that you are signed in to the same Apple ID account on both your MacOS device and your mobile device that you are wanting to forward SMS messages from.
Then, on your MacOS device navigate to messages, then preferences, and then click on iMessage. Then, on your mobile device (probably an iPhone) go to settings, messages and then text message forwarding. From here you can choose which devices you want your SMS messages forwarded to. Once you select your MacOS device on your iPhone, your iPhone will automatically forward all SMS messages to your MacOS system as long as its connected to a network via cellular connection or WiFi.
Done and dusted. Be aware though that your Mac is going to record and keep your entire message history as a default, so be sure to keep an eye on that if you are concerned about memory. You will also find that this service automatically separates out iMessages and SMS messages as well in case you were worried – SMS messages are usually under a green chat bubble on the macOS, and the SMS messages under a blue one.
And that just about wraps up our top ten tips and tricks for MacOS systems. If you’re sat there now thinking that you have a much better trick than any of the ones I’ve written about here then don’t keep it to yourself – let us know all about it in the comments below! You can also leave a comment if you have any questions you want to ask – we will try our best to get back to you as soon as possible!