Tag pro tips

Create Text Clipping

It’s an old but useful feature that not many people know about. On your Mac, you can select any text (works on most apps) and drag it to your Desktop or a Finder window to create a simple text clipping with .txt file format. This feature is helpful when you want to create a summary of an article or want to save important snippets from a book. Using the text clipping is also pretty easy. You can either double-click on the file to open it and copy from there, or you can directly drag and drop the file in any document and it will paste the text at the cursor head. Note that when you are clipping a text, it preserves the rich-text format. That means any text formatting and links are preserved.

Smartly Navigate Text and Use Smart Text Selection

Most of use the left-right-up-down arrow key to navigate the text. But a surprising number of Mac users don’t know about the keyboard navigation modifiers that make navigating the text a breeze. You can use these navigation modifiers to move not only by a character but also by word, by line, by paragraph, and even move to the beginning and end of the text. Here are the navigation modifiers that you need to remember.

  • ⌥ + ←/→ = move cursor by word instead of by character
  • ⌥ + ↑/↓ = move cursor by paragraph
  • ⌘ + ←/→ = move cursor to beginning/end of line
  • ⌘ + ↑/↓ = move cursor to beginning/end of all text Similarly, when selecting text, just add the Shift button to this combo. For example, if you use ⌘+Shift+→ shortcut, you will select the whole line in front of your cursor. Using these shortcuts is an easy way to navigate and select text.

Using the Delete Key Both Ways

Users who have just switched to Mac from Windows will surely appreciate this feature. Windows has two keys for deleting texts which are Backspace and Delete. The Backspace button deletes the text which is behind the cursor while the Delete button deletes the text which is in front of the cursor. However, macOS only comes with the Delete key. What’s even more confusing is the fact that the Delete key on macOS works as the Backspace key on Windows. However, there is a way you can use the Delete key both ways i.e. use the Delete key to delete the text both before and in front of the cursor. To delete the text in front of the cursor, a user  needs to hold on to the ”fn” key while hitting the delete key. You don't need to hold the function key if you just want to delete the text before the cursor.

Quickly Access Folders Using the Go Menu and Shortcuts

Another underappreciated feature which can greatly increase your workflow speed is the Go Menu which is present in the Menu bar in the default mode. You can use the Go Menu to easily access folders without first opening the Finder window. If you put in some effort to remember the shortcuts mentioned in the Go Menu, you don’t even need to use the Go Menu, and can directly use the keyboard shortcuts to open a window. For example, if I have to open my Downloads folder, I simply tap the keyboard command ⌥⌘L (Opt+Cmd+L). The picture below shows all the other keyboard shortcuts which you might want to learn.

Quick Look

Quick Look is one of the most used features on my Mac. Once you make using this a habit, half of the time you will not have to open any file as it allows you to see the content of a file without opening it. To perform the quick look Action, all you need to do is to select your file and tap the space bar once. For example, you can select a PDF and hit the space bar to quickly scan the content of the PDF without even opening it. That said, this feature does have its limitations. The preview that Quick Look can show you depends on the file you are trying to preview. If it’s a document or an image file, Quick Look will allow you to see the whole content of the file as shown in the pictures below. However, if it’s a folder or an eBook it will only show you superficial information such as the file size and last modified date. Once you learn where the Quick look is helpful and where it’s not, the feature will come really handy.

Force Quit Apps

While one of the benefits of using a Mac is that you rarely have any app which goes unresponsive, there are sometimes that it will happen, and when it happens, you will need to know how to force quit them. While on Windows you must be habituated to type Ctrl+Alt+Delete, the keyboard shortcut for force quitting on Mac is a little different. The keyboard combo that you need to hit is - Cmd+Opt+Esc (command, option, and escape key). Once you hit the combo, “Force Quit Application” box will open in a floating window. Here, you can just select the app which is misbehaving and click on the Force Quit button. If the keyboard combo is a little hard for you to remember, you can use an alternate method. Click on the Apple Menu at the top left corner and you will find the Force Quit option.

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.