The best tips and tricks for Mac


Your Mac can do a lot, but some of its best features are hidden and not widely known. However, once you’ve mastered them, you can take your Mac experience to the next level.

These tips, tricks, and time savers greatly expand what you can do with your Mac and will do wonders for your workflow.

Need more tips for Mac? Try our Mac keyboard shortcut guides and the best trackpad gestures.

How to digitally sign your documents

With so many of us working from home, signing documents on your Mac has become more important than ever. But there is a much easier way to do this than print the document, sign it, and then scan it back to your Mac.

Open Preview, then on the menu bar click Tools> Annotate> Signature> Manage Signatures. In the popup box, click Create signature. Now you can use your trackpad or iPhone to write your signature, or your Mac camera to capture your written signature on a piece of paper. Every time you want to sign a document, just open it in Preview, then click Tools> Annotate> Signature and click on your signature to put it in its place.

How to customize the Finder sidebar

Finder is the default file browser on MacOS. It is highly customizable and can be tailored to your needs with a few quick clicks. For example, if you have a folder that you access all the time, you can add it to the Finder sidebar for quick access. Just navigate to the folder, then click and drag it to the sidebar. For apps, press and hold Cmd key and then drag its icon. You can delete items using the Sidebar tab in Search engine> Preferences.

You can also change which buttons appear at the top of the Finder window. Click View> Customize Toolbar, then add, remove, or rearrange buttons as needed.

How to rename filegroups in Finder

Renaming batch filegroups on MacOS is easy, but you get plenty of advanced options if you need more control. To get started, highlight all the files you want to rename, then Cmd + click them and click Rename X articles (where x is the number of files you have highlighted).

A pop-up window will appear with various options. You can choose to rename files by replacing their current names, adding text to the end of their names, or renaming them based on various factors, such as their name and date. You can also use a name base. At the bottom of the popup is a preview so you can see what the renamed files will look like.

How to use the desk pad

Do you want to use a file as a template for subsequent documents? There is a little-known method called Stationery Pad that does the hard work for you.

Find the file you want to use as a template, then Ctrl + click and click Get information. From here, check the Stationery Pad check box. Now, each time you double-click this file, MacOS will open a duplicate of the original for you, allowing you to make changes without altering the template document.

How to use spaces for multiple desktops

Do you like to keep work and play separately? Use spaces. This MacOS feature allows you to have multiple desktops, each with different windows and open files. It is ideal for when you need to separate your projects and focus on one at a time.

To open the Spaces menu, swipe up with four fingers on the touchpad, press the Mission control button or press Ctrl + up arrow. Click the “+” icon to add a new desktop. Scroll between desktops by sliding four fingers or pressing Ctrl + left arrow or Ctrl + right arrow. To move files or windows to a different desktop, click and drag it to the top of the screen until the Spaces menu appears, then drop it on the desktop of your choice.

How to assign shortcuts to the corners of the window

Windows 10 has Peek, which temporarily displays the desktop when the mouse moves to the lower right corner of the screen. MacOS works best with Hot Corners, which allows you to assign controls to each corner of your screen.

Open System Preferences> Mission Control> Hot Corners. Here, you can choose an action for each corner, including showing the Notification Center, locking the screen, starting the screen saver, and more. You can also add keystrokes to the mix and assign the same action to multiple corners at once.

How to use hidden Mac window resizing tricks

Resizing windows may seem simple: just click and drag the corners of the windows, right? But on MacOS, you get some extra useful options.

To hold Change as you resize the window and it will keep its current aspect ratio. To hold Alt, meanwhile, and the opposite or corner side will be resized by the same amount as the side you are resizing. Hold both Change and Alt at the same time and you can combine both functions.

How to share contact information in Contacts

The Contacts app allows you to share your details with others, but sometimes you may only want certain information sent, for example your work email address, but not your home address.

To do this, you must first define your own card by selecting it in Contacts, then clicking Card> Make this my card. Now open the Contacts preferences and click the Card tab, then tick the checkbox “Enable card private me”. Click Edit on your card and uncheck the boxes next to any item you don’t want to share, then click Done.

How to Add Spacers to the Dock

You can add some useful spacers to your Mac’s Dock with just a couple of Terminal commands, giving you a new way to organize your app icons. Open terminal from Go> Utilities, type the following: “defaults write persistent-apps -array-add‘ {“tile-type” = “spacer-tile”;} ’; killall Dock” and press Return (the command is case sensitive).

The Dock will disappear, then reappear with a spacer tile on the right side. Type “exit” in Terminal and press Return, then exit Terminal. Now you can drag the spacer tile anywhere in the Dock. Repeat for as many spacers as you like.

How to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch

One of the best examples of how the Apple ecosystem works is setting your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac. When both devices use the same Apple ID, you only need to activate your Mac by pressing any button and your watch will automatically unlock it.

To configure this feature, open System preferencesthen click Security and Privacy. Mark the checkbox next to Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac (You may be asked to enter your Mac’s password.) If you’re using MacOS Catalina and watchOS 6, this also works anywhere else where you would normally enter your Mac password.

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