10 macOS tips to make your life easier

One of the nice things about using a Mac is that macOS offers various levels of interaction and customization, but many of us only ever scratch the surface of what’s possible. If you regularly perform certain actions on your Mac, there’s often another way to make it easier, it’s just not that obvious unless someone points it out to you.

With that in mind, here are 10 quick macOS tips that should make the time you spend on your Mac a more effortless experience once you start using it. The following assumes you’re running macOS Ventura, but most if not all of these tips should work on previous versions of Apple’s Mac operating system.

1. Open a copy of a file by default

Stationery Pad is a handy way to skip a step in your workflow if you regularly use document templates on your Mac. The long-standing Finder feature essentially tells a file’s parent application to open a copy of it by default, ensuring the original file remains unedited. Almost any file type can be defined as a template with Stationery Pad – it could be used to streamline common Photoshop jobs, create skeleton HTML/CSS files, or help with invoicing Word documents.

To benefit from this, right-click (ctrl-click) the file you want to use as a template and select it get informationthen check the writing pad Check boxes under the General section. Finally, click the red traffic light button to close the Get Info window. The next time you double-click the template file, the Finder will automatically create and open a copy of it, leaving the original untouched.

Stationery doesn’t get much attention these days, but it’s a nice alternative to repeatedly editing templates and using the “Save As…” command, which can end up overwriting the original file if you’re not too careful.

2. Access more preview file format options

When you save or export a file in Preview, Option-click The format Drop-down menu to get access to several additional file types.


3. Return to your Safari search results

Let’s say you want to look up a topic online, so you type a search word or phrase in Safari’s address bar. The first link in the returned results looks promising, so click on it. On the website you will be directed to, you will see another link on a related topic, so click on that as well. Then another link catches your attention and you decide to check it out. You’ll soon be distracted by another side issue, and before you know it, you’ll be down a rabbit hole full of clicks and links without finding out much about what you were actually looking for.

If this sounds familiar, Safari SnapBack can help. It saves you the hassle of clicking the previous page button multiple times to return to your original search results, or digging through your web history to figure out where your last online meander began. You can find it in Safari’s menu bar History -> Search Results SnapBackor better yet, use his Command-Option-S keyboard shortcuts.

Note that SnapBack only works if your erratic browsing was done on the same tab you used to start searching. So if a link you clicked opened a new tab and you continue browsing, the SnapBack menu option will be grayed out. Also, the search must be done from Safari’s address bar or from the website of the search engine you want Safari to use.

4. Tame hot corners with modifier keys

In macOS, the Hot Corners feature turns each of the four corners of your screen into a specific action, giving you quick access to certain features built into the system, such as B. Mission Control, Notification Center, Screen Saver and more. There’s something satisfying about accessing these commonly used functions with a simple, quick cursor movement. What’s not as satisfying is accidentally triggering a Hot Corner, which can lead to various types of unintended desktop behavior, such as: B. Application windows flying all over the place. Luckily, there’s a way to tame Hot Corners’ behavior using modifier keys.

hot corners
Open System Preferences -> Desktop & Dockscroll to the bottom of the menu and click hot corners…. In the dialog box that appears, click the drop-down menu that corresponds to the screen corner you want to use as the hot corner. Next, hold down a modifier key and select a function from the drop-down list to assign to the Hot Corner. We use the Shift command in our example. The next time you use a hot corner, hold down the modifier key(s) while hovering over it, otherwise the action you assigned to that corner won’t work.

5. View other recent applications in the Dock

In macOS there is a handy option called “Show recent applications in Dock” (found in System Preferences -> Desktop & Dock) adds a divider to the right side of your Mac’s Dock, and then shows any apps you’ve used recently that aren’t permanently docked. By default, this option only shows the three most recently used apps that have since been closed. However, there is a way to show more, which can be useful if your workflow uses a lot of apps in a row.

recently opened apps
If you’re comfortable pasting commands in Terminal, you can easily increase or decrease the number of recently opened apps that show up in your Dock. Open a terminal window (you can find the app under /Applications/Utilities/) and paste the following at the command prompt, then press Enter:

Write defaults com.apple.dock show-recents -bool true;
Write defaults com.apple.dock show-recent-count -int 10;
Killall Dock

Note that the -int The argument defines the number of recently opened apps that you want to show in the dock after the divider (10 in this example). You can change the number accordingly and see three apps again at any time by using -int 3 in the second command.

6. Resize Windows from the center

If you drag your mouse from a side or corner of a window to resize, you can hold down the Option key to resize the window from its center instead.

change size

7. Receive unique notifications for new emails from VIPs

In Apple Mail you can choose to receive notifications when you receive new messages from your VIPs (click Mail -> Settings… on the menu bar and then click Generally tap and select VIPs in the New Message Notifications drop-down list.) Setting up VIP notifications this way is all well and good, but it prevents you from getting notifications for all other messages arriving in your inbox. A better solution is to set up a rule in Mail that plays a specific sound or bounces the Dock icon when a message is received and the sender is in your VIP list.

At mail Ideaspress the Rules tab, then click add rule. Give your rule a name in the Description field, then select for “If”. any from the drop-down list. Select for the first condition Sender is VIP. (If it’s a specific person you want notifications for, here’s an alternate option Account.)

Next, select “Perform the following actions:”. play sound from the first drop-down list. (Another option available here is Bounce icon in the Dock.) Then under “Perform the following actions:” select a sound to play from the second drop-down menu. Finally click OKthen click Use. With the rule set up now, for each VIP mail you receive, you will receive a unique notification that you can distinguish from regular new message notifications as soon as they arrive.

8. Float notes over app windows

In the Notes app in macOS, it is possible to float individual notes over other windows so that they remain visible regardless of which application is active. This is a convenient way to refer to an existing note when writing an essay or report, for example. It’s also useful if you want to take notes when researching something online.

To float a note in the Notes app, double-click the note to open it in a separate window, then select Window -> Keep on Top from the menu bar. The note now stays on top of other open application windows even when you switch between apps using Stage Manager. Just remember that your floating notes can’t share the same screen as another full-screen app.

9. Add app/file/folder shortcuts to the Finder toolbar

To add handy app, file, and folder shortcuts to the Finder window toolbar: Just start dragging the item inside the Finder window, then press and hold command () button and drop it in an available slot on the toolbar.


10. Quickly access specific system settings

If some function keys on your Mac’s keyboard have symbols printed on them, you can press them to perform special functions. For example, pressing the F11/12 keys with speaker icons adjusts the volume.

If you hold down Possibility Pressing one of these buttons will immediately open the specific presets in the system settings associated with the function. For example, Option-F11/12 opens the Sound section.

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