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The Top 5 Mac Tips and Techniques

Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Did you know that 1 in every 10 personal computers is a Mac? From desktops to MacBooks, Mac computers are wildly popular all over the world.

Switching from a Windows PC to a Mac can feel overwhelming, as Macs offer a completely different experience and layout. It’s important to learn some of the features and shortcuts to better understand the way your computer works.

On the other hand, if you’re among the many Mac owners of the world, you likely have an idea of how powerful these computers are. But if you don’t know all of the Mac tips and tricks, you won’t ever get the most out of your device.

Listed below are 5 of the best Mac secrets and shortcuts to help you master your computer. Read on to learn more!

  1. Convert Units with Spotlight

Spotlight is a criminally underutilized feature of Mac computers. You can complete a wide variety of tasks from it, including searching files and folders in your computer as well as the web. But one of the handiest tools included is unit conversion.

Click Spotlight in the upper righthand corner of your screen and type in any unit or amount of currency you wish. Should you type “50 mph,” for example, you will be given this speed in kilometers per hour, meters per second, knots, and feet per second.

In addition to converting units, Spotlight includes features such as a built-in calculator, flight information search, and language translator. And, of course, there’s a shortcut to pulling it up! Simply press Command + Space and you’ll have one of the most useful tools in your Mac at your service.

  1. Screenshot Full or Partial Screen

Mac offers shortcuts for screenshotting both your full screen or just a portion of it. When you need a whole screen capture, hit Command + Shift + 3. Your screenshot will be saved to your desktop.

With the MacOS Mojave update, all of your screenshots will be saved together in a convenient “stack”. To view all of your screenshots, click the stack and they will expand across your desktop.

Alternatively, if you only need to capture part of the screen, press Command + Shift + 4. You will be able to highlight whatever portion of the screen you need to save.

  1. Look Up Any Word in the Dictionary

Next time you’re browsing Safari or Internet Explorer for Mac and come across a word or phrase you need further information on, look it up right away!

Highlight the word you want to search and press Command + Control + D. Your Mac will pull up a dictionary and thesaurus, allowing you to get the answers you need on the spot.

As we touched on earlier, the built-in dictionary isn’t restricted to one language, either! You can look up a word in any language you choose. Open your dictionary by manually going to the app or searching for it in Spotlight, open the Preferences (Command + ,), and put a check next to all of the languages you want to use.

If you use your dictionary often, consider pinning your dictionary app to the dock along the bottom of your screen. That way, you’ll be able to easily access it in two different ways!

  1. Add an Accented Letter

Writing in a foreign language or want to be sure you’re spelling someone’s name correctly? You can go through the trouble of searching for the right special character by using the Spotlight feature or your app’s tools, but there’s a quicker way!

Simply hold down the letter you need to put an accent over and your computer will bring up a list of options for you to choose from. Hit the number that corresponds with the option you need and your character will be inserted for you.

  1. No Ctrl + Alt + Delete? No Problem!

If you’ve ever used a PC, you know that Ctrl + Alt + Delete is an extremely useful feature. You never want to have to use it, as it means something has gone wrong with a program or two that you’re using, but it’s nice to have access to it.

Although Mac doesn’t have this feature, it has something similar! All you have to do is press Command + Option + Esc and you will pull up a dialog box that enables you to Force Quit any program you’re running.

Pro tip: another little feature that many think is Windows exclusive is the ability to multi-task by snapping your windows to either side of the screen. You can do this on your Mac as well! Hover over the green circle in the upper lefthand corner of your window and you will be given a full screen, tile to the left, and tile to the right option.

Use these Mac Tips to Get the Most out of Your Device

Well, there you have it! Those are 5 Mac tips that you can use to get the most out of your computer!

From screenshotting images to looking up an unfamiliar word in the dictionary, you should be able to do a few new tricks using your Mac computer! And this new knowledge should make being more productive that much easier, making your Mac an even more powerful tool.

Not to mention, now that you know a handful of the lesser-known features and shortcuts, you’ll be able to impress your friends with your Mac knowledge!

Because Macs are so full of capabilities, it’s understandable that there would be some features you weren’t aware of. But doing a deep dive into just what your Mac can do can open a whole new world of possibilities.

Looking for more ways to get the most out of your Mac? Check out our blog!

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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