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Shortcuts and Tips to Use Your Mac Like a Pro

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Ariz Suban
Ariz Suban May 25, 2020

To use your Mac and to use your Mac like a pro are two very different things. You might have had your device for a while now, but chances are that you’re missing out on some awesome MacBook tricks and shortcuts that could make working a lot easier. And so, we’ve compiled a list of these Mac tips & tricks. Have a look:

Cycle between running apps

This one’s pretty well-known but for anyone missing out on this shortcut, here it is. Switch between apps by holding down the Command key and tapping on the Tab key. To cycle between multiple apps, hold down Command and press Tab repeatedly until you reach the app you want to switch to. Then let go of the buttons to switch to the highlighted app.

You can also close a running app using this shortcut by just pressing the Q key while holding down Command.

Hide an app screen

To avoid unnecessary confrontations with people walking in on you while you’re working (or, um, taking a break), there’s a way to hide the current app screen instantaneously. Just press the Command key and the H key and, voila, the screen disappears.

Alternatively, if you want to keep the current window you’re working on and hide all the other windows, just press Option + Command + H.

Using Stack for an unorganized desktop

Personally, I feel organizing the desktop icons should be done manually, but if you just wish to group the icons by file type, go to your desktop, right-click, and select the Use Stack option. The icons get arranged, giving way to a much neater desktop.

Record your screen

Be it a clip from the movie you’re watching or a sudden new shortcut you discovered, you can record for saving and sharing purposes using an easy shortcut on your Mac. To start recording, press Shift + Command + 5.

Use Spotlight

If it takes you a whole minute just to access Spotlight, the cause is already lost. Spotlight is made to ease up your workload and provide on-the-go assistance, whether it’s calculations, conversions, definitions, or just searching files. Want to access Spotlight instantaneously? Press Command + Space or click on the magnifying glass icon on the top-right of your Mac to start your Spotlight search!

Permanently delete files

Whenever you delete a file, it goes to the recycle bin. From there, you need to empty trash to get rid of the file permanently. While this is great practice to ensure you don’t delete something by accident, it might get a bit redundant for files you’ve already made up your mind to delete. Here’s a quick shortcut: Press Option + Command + Delete to bypass the recycle bin and remove the file permanently.

Do Not Disturb Shortcut

This is a pretty useful shortcut for people who’re constantly heckled by notifications. Hold down the Option key and click on the Notification Center icon on the top-right to toggle Do Not Disturb instantaneously.

Turn your keyboard into a trackpad

Did you know you can use your keyboard as a mouse? Here’s how to do it.

Go to Settings → Accessibility → Pointer Control → Alternate Control Methods. Beside Mouse Keys, click on Options then select Press Option key five times to toggle Mouse Keys option. This allows you to instantly toggle between using your mouse and keyboard for moving the cursor.

Now whenever your wireless mouse breaks down or you’re feeling too lazy to move your hand around too much, you can simply make use of your keyboard to move around. Neat, right?

Sign a document online

This is a pretty handy hack if you don’t have a printer nearby and have to sign a document right away.

To do this, open the document you wish to sign, then go to Tools → Annotate → Signature.

Here, you can add your signature using your trackpad, capturing a photo of your signature through the in-app camera, or signing on your iPhone. Once the signature gets recorded, you can resize it and place it anywhere you like in the document.Here were some Mac hidden features and shortcuts that you can use on your laptop to save time and effort. How many of these did you already know? Have any other Mac tricks and secrets that help you use your Mac like a pro? Share in the comments below!

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