10 Mac Productivity Hacks

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Knowing the hidden details of your machine allows you to work smarter, not harder. Most of us have a basic understanding of how our computer works, but we don’t know all of the little tricks that the developers included in OSX. Here are some of the most useful Mac hacks that will improve your workday.  http://macpaw.7eer.net/c/64557/66209/1733?subId1=&subId2=&subId3=

1. Muted Startup

Starting up your Mac in a quiet library can be an anxiety-inducing affair because the startup sound will attract unwanted attention. However, you can avoid this with an easy trick. Simply hold down the F10(Mute) button when the mac starts up to keep your computer quiet.

Mac-Keyboard-Mute-life-hacks2. Rename a batch of files

Renaming a large batch of files individually is time consuming and frustrating. Mac included a utility in Yosemite that allows you to select and rename many files at once: Highlight the files, right-click on them, and select ‘Rename X Items’.

osx-finder-batch-rename-files

3. Quick Math

Navigating to the calculator is fast, but there’s a way to do simple math even quicker on Yosemite. You can use Spotlight to do some quick calculations. Press Command + Spacebar, and type out your query as text– spotlight should show your answer in the box below.  Hitting Esc will get you back to your original window.

00-use-spotlight-as-calculator-on-mac

4.   Window Screenshot

Sometimes you only need a specific section of a screen in a screenshot. While Command + Shift + 3 can convert the entire desktop’s contents into an image, it’s cumbersome to copy a particular window’s space from that image without cropping aggressively. To take a screenshot of a certain area of the screen press Command + Shift + 4 all at once and click on the window you’d like to capture. Also, pressing Command + Shift + 4 without selecting a window, allows you to copy a section that you highlight through dragging the cursor.

5. Enhanced Delete

The standard Mac keyboard does not have the ‘Backspace’ key, but it has the ‘Delete’ key that is functionally equivalent. However, here’s a way to remove a character to the right of the cursor using a Mac keyboard: Fn + Delete. Also, Option + Delete removes the last typed word.

mac-delete-forward

6. Accented Characters

It’s difficult to type words such as entrée or resumè on a Mac. OSX provides an option to hold down a key to view the accented versions of that letter in a menu, and from there you can choose your desired character. For example, to get é, one has to hold apostrophe and the letter e.

intlKB7. Paste text without formatting

When text is copied from the Internet and pasted into a local editor, the font of the original text is used– but this usually doesn’t match the local content.  It takes a little work to restore uniformity in the editor. The shortcut for keeping local formatting is: Command + Shift + V, or Command + Shift + Option + V.

8. Startup items

Your Mac will start up more slowly if you have a lot of items launching on startup. Removing unnecessary items from the startup disk is a surefire way to improve your computer’s launch time. This can be found in: ‘Login Items’ from within ‘System Preferences’ -> ‘Accounts’.

9. Built-in Dictionary

You can view the meaning of a word within a block of text. You can hover the mouse over a word in a native program such as Safari or TextEdit and press Command + Ctrl + D to open a dictionary entry for the highlighted word. mt-dictionary-310. Color Inversion

Sometimes it can be difficult to read a computer screen in bright sunlight. Inverting screen colors can help to alleviate this issue. Yosemite provides a way to invert screen colors to improve the contrast by holding down the keys: Ctrl + Option + Command + 8.

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About the Author
Divya Palaniappan is an engineer and an avid techie who considers information worthless unless verified. When she isn't wracking her brain over machines she loves spending time in her garden.

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