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10 Mac Useful Tips (Part 2)

Macs are more popular than ever and with people switching from Windows to the Apple operating system for the first time there may be many things to take. With this in mind here are 10 tips that we think will come in handy during the day for daily use of MacBook or iMac.

1.Trouble finding your cursor? Make it grow

One of the most innovative features of the El Capitan update to OS X was the ability to unleash your cursor if you’re having trouble finding it. Simply move the mouse or quickly slide your finger back and forth on the track pad to make it move like a balloon. Once identified, just stop and reduce to normal.

2.Merge Finder windows

Gone are the days when I had to open thousands of Finder windows when trying to manage files on your Mac. If you find the screen that fills up with new windows, click on the Windows option in the menu bar, then click on Merge all windows. Those that were previously multiple windows will now appear as small tabs inside a window.

3.Disconnect from a wi-fi network without turning off wi-fi

Hold down the Alt key and click on the Wi-Fi icon in your Mac’s menu bar. This will show you all the options you usually see when you click on it, plus a more extensive list of information under the name of the network you are connected to. Directly under your network there should be an option labeled Disconnect from [name of your network]. From the click and you disconnect, it is not necessary to restart the wi-fi.

4.Record your screen

Sometimes a simple screen grab is not enough, and you’ll want to capture something animated. To do this you can use a function built into QuickTime, a program that comes with every Mac as standard. Go to the Applications folder (if it is not already in the link bar) and open it. Click File> New screen recording. This will allow you to record the entire screen, or just a part of it. It’s super useful for things like tutorials – it can also capture sounds.

5.Calculate sums in Spotlight

OS X can have an integrated calculator widget, but there is an even simpler way to perform quick calculations. Click the Spotlight icon in the upper right corner of the screen, then go to type your sum. +, -, /, * and = correspond to functions plus, minus, divide, multiply and equalize on a conventional calculator. The result will be displayed in the Spotlight box below.

6.Quickly add a foreign or accented character

Those of you who are used to Windows computers may be familiar with the nightmare they are remembering and running shortcuts for common foreign characters, such as é or ü. Fortunately, OS X makes thing sinfinitely easier.

To type a foreign character or character with an accent on it, first find the simple version of the requested letter (for example a for á or s for ß) and hold the key down.After a short break, you will be offered the option to choose the variant of the letter you want in a small pop-up box above which you are typing the letter. Select the one you want and it will be inserted in the text field.

7.No Delete key? No problem

Not all Mac keyboards have a Delete key (often stylized as’Del’). Instead of jumping to the end of the word you want to clear back space each time, hold down the Function key and press Delete. This is primarily a problem that will affect MacBook users, but in case you are using a separate keyboard without a Delete key or a Function key, press and hold Control and press D also works.

8.Change volume silently

Volume keys on Apple keyboards are undeniably useful, but there’s a big problem with them – they make noise when you press them, which means that any attempt to silence your Mac is immediately thwarted. Unbeknownstto many, however, you can automatically turn off the volume keys: hold down Shift while you press them.

9.Find a forgotten password for a website or program

For almost all the programs on your Mac, as well as many of the websites you visit on it, your login and password information will be stored deep inside your Mac’s keychain. Do not worry, they’re encrypted and only accessible locally by the user to whom they are addressed.

If you forget one of these passwords, you can retrieve them from your Mac as long as you remember the password for your user account.

Open a new Finder window and access your Applications.Within this folder there should be another folder called Utilities. Open a program inside it called Keychain. Now you can see every access stored on your computer. You can sort them by name or type, or you can search for what you’re looking for by using the search tool in the upper right corner.

If you want to display the password for any of the accesses,you will be prompted for the username and login, just as you would if you were to install a new program or make security changes to your Mac.

10.Annotate a PDF or image

With PDFs, the predominant type of file for business communications, it can be very frustrating not to be able to easily modify them, up until now. Double-click on the desired PDF file and it should open in Preview,the default PDF viewer on OS X (if you can not find it in the Applications folder, open it and select File> Open from the menu).

Now, click on View in the menu bar and select Show Annotation Toolbar. From now on,this toolbar will always be displayed next to the displayed PDFs. It allows you to highlight, scribble, annotate and draw shapes. You can then save a new copy of the PDF (using File> Save As)and return it to the sender so they can see the changes.

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