Mac tips

Perform Faster App Search in Spotlight

This is a very quick and handy tip. Whenever you are searching for an in Spotlight, typing the initials of the app will bring the results faster than typing its whole name. For example, if I want to search for App Store, I will simply type the letters a and s. Once you make this a habit, you will perform faster app searches and save time a few keystrokes at a time.

Use Spotlight for Weather, Definition, Conversions, and Calculations

Over the years Spotlight has evolved from being just a search mechanism for Mac. Now, you can use it to perform many functions. For example, you can use Spotlight for carrying out currency and unit conversions. I use it almost daily to convert measurements, currency, and more. You can also use Spotlight to perform simple mathematical calculations including multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, and more. Similarly, you can use Spotlight to get weather information of any city in the world. Type the word weather followed by the city name and it will give you the current weather condition. You can also find word definitions. Type the word and hit the “⌘+L” keyboard shortcut to pull up the definition of that word.

Access Emoji Keyboard

This is a fun one. If you love to use emojis, there’s an easy way to call the emoji keyboard on your mac. To do that, hit the keyboard combo Cmd+Ctrl+Space and the emoji keyboard will open. Here you can scroll down to find the emoji you want to use. You can also perform a search to find the one you want to.

Show File Path in Finder

macOS focuses on keeping the user interface clean and simple. And while it makes sense, sometimes it hinders usability. For example, one thing that irks me about macOS is that it doesn’t show the file path by default. So, if you search for a file in Spotlight and open its location, you will not be able to figure out how to reach that location. Thankfully, there’s a handy keyboard shortcut that can enable the file path. If you want to see a file’s location path, hit the “Cmd+Opt+P” keyboard shortcut and it will display the file path. If you forget this keyboard shortcut, you can find it using the “View” menu as shown in the picture below.

Keep Search Restricted to a Folder

One of the most infuriating thing about performing search in a Finder window on Mac is that it initiates the search for the entire Mac. It makes no sense but that’s how it has been since ages. Thankfully, you can change this behavior in the Finder Preferences. So, open Finder Preference (⌘,) → Advanced and under “when performing a search” option click on the dropdown menu to select “Search the current folder”. It is going to save you a lot of grief in the future.

Minutely Adjust the Volume and Brightness

As you know, we can use the keyboard shortcuts to adjust brightness and volume on your Mac devices (F1 & F2 for brightness and F11 & F12 for volume), the control they provide is not good enough for me. That’s because the first few steps barely make any change while the last few steps do too much. I like to control my volume and brightness a little more minutely. If you also want to do that, first hold down the option and the shift key and then use the volume or brightness keys to make the adjustment. A single press will result in an increment or reduction of a quarter of bar instead of the full bar which happens if you don’t use the option and the shift key. If you look at the pictures below carefully, you can spot the quarter increment.

Move Files with Cut and Paste

Coming from Windows, it really frustrated me a lot when I was not able to use cut and paste command with the keyboard. Cmd+C works for copying but there’s no Cmd+X for performing the Cut Action. If you are a Mac user who doesn’t know what the Cut Action is, let me explain it to you. While using the Cmd+C or the Copy Action can help you copy files from one place to another, the cut Action allows you to do the same thing with one major difference. The difference is that the Copy Action keeps the original file or text in place and creates a duplicate of that file whereas, the cut Action moves the original file and doesn’t create a duplicate.To perform the Cut Action on a Mac, first, copy the file using ⌘C (Cmd+C) combo. Now open the location where you want to paste the file and hit ⌘⌥V (Cmd+Opt+V) instead of ⌘V (Cmd+V). Performing the Cut Action: Copy (Cmd+C) → Paste (Cmd+Option+V)

Trash Files in Seconds

This is a simple Mac tip that can save you time. When you have to delete an item on your Mac, you usually either drag it to the Trash in your dock or right-click on the file and select the “Move to Trash” option. Well, there’s a keyboard shortcut which can save you the trouble of doing these things. To easily trash a file, just click on it and then hit the “⌘+Delete” keyboard shortcut and it will move to Trash. If you want to skip trashing a file and permanently delete it, use the “⌘+⌥+Delete” keyboard shortcut. Remember, this will permanently delete a file and you will not be able to recover it.

Remember the Word

This is a simple tip that can save you a lot of searches. There are times when we remember a word but don’t exactly remember the spelling. The first way to solve this problem is to fully type the word and then right-click on it and hope that the system knows what we are typing. The second way is to Google the word and it will most definitely tell you what word you might be thinking. The third and easiest way is to type the spelling to the point that you remember and then hit the “Fn+F5” keyboard shortcut. It will give you a list of the word right there and you can select the one you want to use.

Master the Hot Corners

Hot Corners are one of the most under-appreciated features of macOS. Either people don’t know about them or they just don’t find it useful. For me, Hot Corners is a feature which I can’t live without. Using Hot Corners feature, a user can assign different actions to each of the corners of the display. Dragging your mouse pointer to that corner will execute that action. For example, I have assigned the top-left corner of the display to show my desktop when I trigger it. So whenever there are a lot of windows open on my desktop and I want to grab a file to attach or do any other thing which requires me to look at my desktop, I just drag my cursor to the top-left corner and I am done. It’s up to you how you want to use the four corners of your desktop, but once you make using them a habit, you will speed up your workflow many folds. The picture below shows all the actions that I have assigned and am using Hot Corners for. To set-up a Hot Corner all you need to do is to follow the following path: Apple Menu → System Preferences → Desktop & Screen Saver → Screen Saver → Hot Corners

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