10 Mac Tips and Tricks to Get the Most out of Your MacBook

If you have a MacBook, there’s a world of features you probably don’t know about. Here are 10 Mac tips and tricks you need to know.

Mac Tips
Mac Tips

Are you struggling to get to grips with your MacBook?

MacBooks are amazing productivity tools, but they can take a bit of getting used to it. If you have recently upgraded a few generations or are moving over from Windows, you could be missing out on a world of features you probably don’t even know about.

We are here to help. Read on for 10 Mac tips and tricks you need to know.

  1. Talk to and Listen to Your Mac!

Even before the launch of Sierra in 2016, Macbooks were able to listen and talk back. Sierra only improved this ability further.

Either press Command and Space for a few seconds or click ‘Siri’ on your Menu Bar or Dock. This will summon Siri to you. On newer versions, like the 2018 MacBook Pro, all you need to do is say “Hi Siri”.

Siri can help you with the weather, let you know the latest soccer scores, or keep you in the loop with the news. You can even toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well as pull up a file you’re looking for.

  1. Automatic Hide and Show Menu Bar Function

Since 1984, the menu bar has been a constant feature. Whether you love it or hate it, you were stuck with it. But with the launch of OS X El Capitan, there is now a hide menu bar function.

Go into your System Preferences menu and click on General. Then tick ‘Automatically hide and show the menu bar’..With this ticked, when you aim your mouse to the top of the screen, the bar will appear.

  1. Rename Files in Batches

In OS X release pre-Yosemite, renaming batches of files required third party software. Or you had to run your own script. Now, all you need to do is select the batch of files and click ‘Rename.’

You can do this either by right-clicking the contextual menu. Or you can select it from the drop-down ‘cog’ button in the Finder window. You’ll have the option of adding text, replacing existing text, or applying a format.

  1. Use Split-Screen

For some of us, working with two windows side-by-side is a game-changer. And for Mac users, this got easier after the OS C 10.11 El Capitan launch with the introduction of Split Screen.

If you are still running OS Mojave or older, hold down and left-click the green maximize icon. Drag the screen into position to the left or right-hand-side.
If you run OC Cataline, left click and hold the maximize icon. Then choose from ‘Tile Window to Left or Screen’ of ‘Tile Window to Right of Screen.’

  1. Change Your File and Folder Icons

If default desktop items don’t float your boat, good news. You can change them to whatever you want. Right-click on the document or app and select ‘Get Info.’ Copy over the image you want to use from ‘Preview’ or the editing app of your choice.

Then click the existing thumbnail in ‘Get Info’ and hold down Command + V. This pastes the image to the info window. Now your icons are unique to you and prettier to look at.

  1. Find Password with Keychain

A unique feature of Mac’s is they can remember all passwords you have and recall them using Keychain. Built-in software called Keychain Access stores your private details. It’s particularly useful when it comes to connecting to Wi-Fi.

If you’re in an unfamiliar place or needing to remember your own Wi-Fi password, you can use Keychain to look it up. Open Keychain Access by using Spotlight to search for it. Then look up the name of the connection.

Double-click the iCloud Keychain which matches the ID you’re looking for. Next, click ‘Show Password’ and enter your Keychain password. That’s all you need to do to get access to that elusive password you’ve forgotten.

  1. Change How Notifications Are Grouped

Pre-El Capitan, notifications were grouped by the app in the Notification Center. But post-El Capitan, notifications are now grouped by date. This means you can easily keep track of what you’ve missed since the last time you logged in.

This doesn’t mean you can’t keep it the way it was before. Go to System preferences and select Notifications. Bring up the Notification Center Sort Order pop-up menu. You’ll find a bunch of customization options to group your notifications how you want.

  1. Adjust the Volume in Smaller Amounts

On a Mac keyboard, adjusting the volume the difference between two taps can be huge. Hold down and as you tap the volume adjustments. This will make the adjustments come in smaller increments.

  1. Email Massive Files

An email wasn’t meant to handle file transfers as the main function, but we’ve all used it for this. And we’ve all had that failure notice saying our files are too large and cannot send.

Since Yosemite, Mail lets you email files that are up to 5GB. It does this by uploading the file to the iCloud and sends a link to your email recipient.

They then have 30 days to download the file you sent. If the recipient also uses Mail post-Yosemite, they’ll see it as an attachment.

  1. Take Screenshots

A big point of confusion for most new MacBook users is how to Print Screen. It’s a little more involved than a simple button press. For Mojave users, you press + Shift + 5. This brings up the screen capture menu so you can:

  • Capture whole screen
  • Capture select windows
  • Capture select portion
  • Record whole screen
  • Record select portion

This function still remains pretty basic though. If you’re looking for a snipping tool for Mac that can do a little more, you may need to turn to a third-party developer, such as https://setapp.com/how-to/screenshot-on-mac.

Mac Tips and Tricks You Need to Know

So there you have it! With these Mac tips and tricks, you’ll be sure to get the most out of your MacBook.

MacBooks are vastly different from Windows computers. But once you know what you’re doing, they have handy features that can make your digital life so much easier. Why not give them a try and see just what your MacBook is capable of.

If you found this article helpful, check out our other blog posts.