Top Tips and Tricks for Mac Users That You Need to Know – Windows may appear to have the dominant hand in the business world, but Mac has much greater reach with creatives, college students, and software developers. Even if you don’t fall into any of those categories, the sheer convenience afforded by easy syncing between your iPhone and your computer is an incredible boon.
Macs are clean, stylish, durable computers that, with proper maintenance, can last for years. However, most people don’t know about all the cool things you can do with them. So, here’s your chance to learn about the best Mac tips and tricks to get the most out of your machine.
You Can Turn Your iPad Into a Second Monitor
By far one of the coolest Mac hidden features that people may not know about is that you can turn your iPad into a second monitor wirelessly. This is an absolute godsend for artists who otherwise might have to get an external tablet. This feature, called Sidecar, got released in 2019.
To make it work, you need at least Catalina installed on your laptop and iPad OS 13 on your iPad. Then, click on the AirPlay icon in the menu bar and select “Connect to iPad”. Voila! You can now use your iPad as a secondary monitor for your Mac, saving you the desk real estate and money spent on an external monitor.
Shine a Spotlight on Information, Fast
How many times do you pull up Safari (or your internet browser of choice) for information that really only requires a quick Google search, like temperature or currency conversions? If this sounds like you, then rejoice! Spotlight can help streamline these calculations.
If you press Cmd+Spacebar, then type 42F, you can get a quick conversion to Celsius. Or, if you type a quick calculation into the search bar, you can get the results instantly, without even opening the
Calculator app. You can even get definitions of words by typing “define XYZ”. How cool is that?
Mac Talks Back With Selected Text
Do you ever have trouble reading the text on a webpage? Or, do you need to read something aloud, but can’t be troubled to do it yourself?
No worries! In either case, you can select the text that you need to hear, then press Option+Escape.
This will read the text you selected aloud, making it easier for you to process the information.
One of the Coolest Mac Hidden Features: Music Visualization
Do you enjoy watching light shows with your music playing in the background? If, you, then you have to take advantage of this neat hidden feature in the Music app. Press Cmd+T, and you can see the visualizer as it reacts to your music. If you want to make adjustments to it, you can hit Shift+/ to open your keyboard controls.
Not fond of the display mode that turns on by default? Press M to adjust it, then A or S to add or subtract bits to or from the display. If you want to see the song information, you can press I. Nifty!
Organize Your Desktop With Stacks
Studies have shown time and again that clutter, be it physical or digital, can affect your workflow, energy, and productivity levels. However, painstakingly organizing everything into a filing system takes time and effort, especially when there are a ton of files to sift through.
Thankfully, Mac has tools to streamline this process. All you require to do is right-click when you’re on the desktop and select “Use Stacks”. This will help clear your desktop clutter by stacking comparable files.
This is one of the best Apple computer tips out there for the busy office professional. Hide Your Dock for More Screen Real Estate
Sometimes, it feels like there’s not enough screen to handle all the tasks you need. To give yourself more space, you can head into Settings and adjust your Dock settings so that it's hidden by default and slides into view when you mouse over it. This is great when you’re browsing the net or have large creative projects on the screen.
All Apple Devices Use a Universal Clipboard
Many Mac tips and tricks articles neglect to mention this because people consider it a staple feature of the Mac ecosystem. However, every Apple device you own pulls from the same clipboard. So, let’s say you took a break from your work or studies to go eat or use the restroom but found a helpful link that you can pull from.
Instead of trying to remember what site you visited later, you can copy it in your iPhone’s web browser. Then, once you get to your computer again, you can paste it into the web browser and pull it right back up.
This is also a fantastic tool for writers who get random bursts of inspiration at odd hours of the night and don’t want to boot up their computer for the sole purpose of typing that witty one-liner.
Remember: Your Mac Can Still Get Viruses
It is significant to remember that, while most viruses get formulated to target Windows computers, your Mac can still become infected. You should still be careful when downloading files from the internet.
Otherwise, you may need to look up how to run antivirus on mac.
Or worse, you’ll have to take it to the Apple store for expensive repairs. Don’t let that happen to you.
Practice safe internet browsing.
Looking for More Mac Tips and Tricks?
There are so many cool Mac tips and tricks that Apple computers have hard-coded into them that it’s impossible to cover them all. We hope you found the list above informative, and that you have a better idea of what your computers, tablets, and phones are capable of when they work together.
If you’d like to learn even more nifty shortcuts for Mac, or other hidden features that we didn’t get around to mentioning, check out the Technology and How-To sections of our blog. We update each day with more useful content like this!