12 Must-know Tricks for Mac Users

There are so many macOS tricks and shortcuts you can master to improve your productivity and workflow. But most of these are overlooked or quickly forgotten. This article mentions some top-notch tricks so your Mac experience can improve.

Do More with Spotlight

Spotlight is a valuable feature and can help you navigate your computer. But this is more than a search tool. You can perform quick calculations and currency conversions using Spotlight. So open Spotlight and type what you want to calculate in the search bar to use it as a calculator, or type the currency you want to convert to use Spotlight as a currency converter.

Sign PDFs

Sign PDFs with the Preview application and forget to print the email document, sign, and scan it to send it back to the sender.

If you don’t know how to sign PDFs on Mac, you must do this.

  • Open the Preview app
  • Click the Show Markup Toolbar
  • Click the box that looks like a signature
  • Click Trackpad to sign your name or click the Camera to take a photo of your signature with your Mac’s webcam

Split View

Work in two applications side by side using the Split View feature. No need to resize the applications or be distracted by other apps.

If you’re using macOS Monterey, take your mouse cursor to the upper left corner of the window and hover it over the green full-screen button. Then, select Tile Window to the Right or Left of the Screen from the menu.

In past versions of macOS, you needed to drag the window to the right or left of the screen. However, note that the Split View feature is only available in OS X EI Capitan or later.

You can click Exit Screen to get out of the Split View mode.

Hot Corners

Hot Corners is worth checking out because it can automate specific tasks. With this feature activated, the four corners of your screen will accomplish tasks when you hover the mouse cursor in a particular corner. Some actions that will happen are opening the Notification Center, putting your device to sleep, or starting the screensaver.

Set this up by going to the System Preferences app > Mission Control > Hot Corners.

Organize the desktop

A cluttered desktop can come in the way of your productivity. It can prevent you from finding files and finishing your tasks. So fix your messy desktop by using the Stacks feature.

Right-click anywhere on the desktop and choose Stacks. Then, everything will be automatically organized by file type.

Permanently Delete Files

You can skip the step where the files go to the Trash, and you have to clean the Trash to delete the files permanently.

If you are sure you don’t need the files, you can press Option + Command + Delete to delete the files permanently.

Capture Screenshots

Pressing Shift + Command + 3 captures the entire screen, and the screenshot is saved on the desktop. If you want to capture a specific screen part, press Shift + Command + 4.

For more screenshots and recording options, press Shift + Command + 5.

You can easily share the saved screenshots with your colleagues and friends.

Unlock with Apple Watch

Do you have an Apple Watch? If so, you can unlock your Mac using your Apple Watch. Set this up by going to the System Preferences app > Security & Privacy > toggle on the Unlock Mac with Apple Watch option.

Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Everyone uses Command + C, Command + X, and Command + V keyboard shortcuts. But did you know you can create custom keyboard shortcuts to streamline your workflow?

Head to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts > click the plus icon. A box will pop up showing all the applications you can choose from, and you can assign a keyboard shortcut to them for your convenience.

Click Done when you are satisfied with your chosen shortcuts.

Rename Files in Bulk

Don’t waste time naming files and folders individually because you can batch rename them.

Head to Finder > choose the group of documents or pictures you want to rename by clicking one while holding down the Shift key and then clicking the other files > right-click and select Rename.

Then, you can add text to the name, replace text in the name or change the name format.

Undo sent Email and More

You must update your device to macOS Ventura to use the improved Mail application. Then, you can undo sent emails and even schedule emails to be sent at a later time and date.

Furthermore, you can take advantage of smart suggestions to draft emails free of errors.

Use iPad as an External Display

If you have an iPad, you can use it as a second display by enabling the Sidecar feature. Ensure your Mac and iPad are compatible with this feature to work.

The Bottom Line

These tricks and tips will make you a pro Mac user and reduce the time taken to complete each task.