Get to Know Your Mac: 10 Hidden Features You Didn’t Know Existed

Mac computers truly are wonderful. For many reasons, you will often see people recommending Macs over PCs.

There is an incredible allure of Mac computers and this comes from the many great features that the computers have.

Mac’s, after all, have so many great features for software development, content creation, and general computing. And for those who still need some features of a PC, all you have to do is learn how to run Windows on Mac.

But to really enjoy your Mac, you need to get to know your Mac.

Whether you’ve just purchased your first Mac, or are a seasoned Mac geek, there are many hidden Mac features that you probably didn’t know about.

You Should Get to Know Your Mac

We’ve looked around, and we’ve found the hidden Mac features and things you didn’t know your Mac could do.

We encourage you to look into these features to make the most out of your experience with your Mac:

  1. Taking a Trimmed Screenshot

Sometimes, you do not need to take a screenshot of your entire screen. You may want to choose a portion of your screen and take a screenshot of this portion.

Keep Command, Shift, and 4 pressed together. This will create a screenshot cursor. All you have to do is click and drag the screenshot cursor over the area you wish to capture. Once you let go of the cursor, the screenshot will be taken and will be saved immediately to your desktop.

  1. Get That Dock Out of My Sight!

Okay, sometimes you need the dock out of the way. Instead of having to go to your System Preferences, all you have to down is press Command, Option, and D all at once. Your dock will immediately disappear.

If you want to bring it back, just press down that same combination and it’ll immediately come back.

  1. Accessing, Closing and Minimizing

If you need to quickly access, close, or minimize some of the applications that you are using, you can use the tab management option.

Hold down Command and Tab. This will open a bar across your screen that will display all of the icons of the applications that are currently open. Keeping the two keys pressed will keep the bar continuously displayed.

You can keep pressing the Tab key to toggle between the applications. Once you let go of Command and Tab, the application icon that is highlighted will open the corresponding application.

If you highlight an application icon and press Q, it will close the application. If you highlight an application icon and press H, it will minimize the application.

  1. The Spotlight as Calculator

Did you know that you can use the Spotlight search feature as a calculator?

If you press Command and Spacebar, you will automatically open the Spotlight search bar in the upper right corner of your screen.

Then, all you have to do is type in a math formula, and Spotlight will solve it for you!

  1. Put Them in a Folder

Sometimes, you’ll look at the plethora of files on your desktop and feel like pulling your hair out!

Not to worry! You can immediately place them in a folder in a swift move! Just highlight all of the files and then right-click (or, Control + click). You will see a drop-down list with many options. The first is New Folder from Selection.

Simply click on the first option and it will automatically create a new folder and move all of the selected files to this folder.

  1. Your John Hancock

Have you ever needed to sign a PDF?

Well, you can do so using Preview, the standard PDF viewer on Mac computers. All you have to do is navigate to Tools and highlight the Annotate option. You will see another drop-down list. Among the options is Signature.

Selecting Signature will open an option named Manage Signatures. Clicking on this option will let you create and save your signature. Henceforth, you can always select this signature and place it on any area of the PDF that you need to.

  1. More Desktops, Please!

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could navigate between different desktops? Things would certainly be more organized than having hundreds of windows open on a single desktop.

As long as you are using OS X Lion or later, you can open Mission Control. Or you can simply press F3. You will notice a sign in the top right corner of the screen. By clicking on this sign, you will be able to create a brand new desktop. On this desktop, you can use whatever applications or open whatever files as you wish.

You can also drag current windows from one desktop to another. And you can easily toggle between desktops. This will make your workflow much more efficient and productive.

  1. What Does that Mean?

Every now and then, you need to pull out a dictionary so you don’t get confused about the text you are reading.

All you have to do is double-tap over a word and you will open a drop-down list. The first option lets you search the word in the Dictionary application.

  1. Speech-to-Text Conversion

If you want to dictate your words, just press the Fn key twice. This will immediately start recording what you dictate to your Mac. As you speak, you will see the words being typed onto your word processor, browser bar, etc. Just press Fn one more time to stop the dictation.

This is a very efficient way of writing or speeding up a task. Think of it as a great alternative to using Siri.

  1. Autocomplete

We have gotten quite used to the autocorrect feature on our devices. With autocomplete, however, you can use your Mac to finish your words and your sentences.

If you are typing and you are having difficulty spelling a word, just press Option and Escape. This will open up a dialog window of possible spellings for your word.

The Best of Your Mac

Now that you know how to get to know your Mac and its great features, you will experience the best of your Mac.

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