First time mac user tips

Find your way around with gestures and shortcuts

Lastly, choose a unique key combination to invoke the command, then click Add. Automator is a tool built into OS X that enables you to build your own workflows of commands, making complex tasks much easier in the future. Use it to build your own little apps that perform a specific task, to make a workflow to modify batches of files, or to create new Services, which are functions you can access from a right-click.

You could use Automator to rename a large number of files, to convert images to a different file type, to turn text files in a folder to audio files, and much more. Since then, Apple has changed things up and now groups them by date instead.

For example, all your notifications from today will show up together, which can be useful for seeing what you missed while you were stuck in that long meeting. They'll be asked to grant you permission to view their screen, and they can also then click on the screen sharing icon in the menu bar and grant you the ability to virtually, remotely control their mouse and keyboard too. When someone sends an SMS — a text message in the original mobile phone sense — to your iPhone, it appears in a green bubble rather than a blue one, as would be the case if someone sends you an iMessage.

Before Yosemite, SMSs would only appear on your iPhone where you'd have to peck out a reply, but now you can have them come into your Mac or other iOS devices when they arrive so you can reply to them from there too. Your iPhone needs to be running iOS 8. If you have tons of iMessage conversations going on at any given time like we do, it can be extremely easy to lose track of who said what, where and when, which is especially true if you regularly use multi-people chats and mix work and pleasure.

Ever since OS X Yosemite, however, you can name group chats by clicking Details at the top right, then typing a name at the top. With Yosemite, you can now record whatever happens on the screen of your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, which isn't just useful for developers to show off the apps and games they build, but can also be great for things like creating little tutorials or even just recording a bug so you can help a developer or a company fix it.


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The chose New Movie Recording from the File menu and then, if it's not already selected for you, choose your connected iOS device as the 'camera' source from the drop-down menu next to the record button. Choose whether you want to record sound either from a built-in or external mic, or the audio the iOS device itself is producing from the same menu, then click the record icon. When you use the volume up and down keys on your Mac's keyboard, the difference between one tap and the next can actually be pretty big — especially if you're driving some meaty external speakers.

Up to six people in the same family can share purchases through the macOS Family Sharing feature. It's easy to set up, too. If you need more help with Family Sharing generally, check here , or if you just want to get started sharing purchases, go to here. In OS X Lion, Apple introduced some new features for working with files, and a new hidden menu to access them.

5 beginners tips for Windows users switching to Mac

When you've opened a document, move your cursor over its name to bring up a small black arrow just to the right. Click this arrow and you bring up a menu with some of these new options. The most useful are the ability to rename and duplicate files, but you can also lock a file to prevent further editing, change it so that the file is stored in iCloud instead of only on your hard drive though only in compatible apps , or move the file.

The flashiest feature is the ability to revert to a previous version of a file, though: You can then select the one you want.

Mac Tips and Tricks - 2018

It used to be the case that the only files you could store on iCloud were from specially-built apps such as Apple's iWork suite, but now we have the upgraded iCloud Drive in macOS Sierra. Now, in macOS High Sierra, you can chuck any file you like onto either the Desktop or Documents folder, in addition to the iCloud Drive icon in the Finder sidebar, and those files and folders will be synced automatically. All those files will sync to other Macs signed in with your Apple ID so long as you've enabled iCloud Drive on them and will also be available through icloud.

On iOS, apps that can use iCloud will usually default to opening files from their special folder, but should also allow you to browse through your entire iCloud Drive to open files stored elsewhere. You might find that occasionally when you close your MacBook's lid or pick Sleep from the Apple menu on your iMac or Mac mini that it resolutely refuses to go to sleep. Click this column header to sort by it and then you can easily find which apps are keeping your Mac awake, then quit them if necessary.

There's a really cool, badly understood feature in Safari since Yosemite: How it works is this: What actually happens is that you're redirected to a new URL that looks something like this: Now, what Safari can do is look at that URL and work out that it's a search and, just like you could, realize that if you wanted to search Amazon for 'iMac' instead of 'MacBook', then rather than waiting for the amazon. See that last word in the URL change? To make that happen, all you have to do is type 'amazon iMac' into Safari's search bar and then you'll see one of the options is 'Search amazon.

You have to do a search — any search — in a site first before Safari can recognize the syntax for a search string, but when you do, you'll see the sites listed in the Search tab of Safari's preferences. You can even type just a part of the target site's URL. So long as you've searched once on Wikipedia, for example, you can type 'wiki apple' and you'll see the option to search Wikipedia for "apple". Whether because you suddenly realise you've left a dodgy tab open on an iPad you've just handed to a colleague or because it's just flat-out easier to go through and close a bunch of tabs on your Mac rather than on an iOS device, you should know that you can close tabs open on any device signed into your Apple ID from Safari since Yosemite.

Click the icon that looks like two overlapping squares in Safari or choose Show All Tabs from the View menu and you'll see all your open tabs on all your devices. Hover over each and you'll see a close button you can click. This also works from iOS to Mac; swipe right to left on a cloud tab in its tab view and tap Delete; that tab will then be closed on the Mac.

You can easily send someone your contact details either by doing it the old-fashioned way of dragging a contact card out of the Contacts app and then attaching it to an email, say, or by using the new Share commands since Yosemite, but the problem with this basic method is that you might have information on your card you don't want others to have. For example, you might have defined a relationship with your spouse so that on your iPhone you can say "send a message to my wife" without having to specify who you mean, and you might want to keep that information private for security reasons.

Now, it's easy. In Contacts' preferences, click vCard then Enable private me card. Now, when you go to your Me card in Contacts — and you might have to define one first — and click Edit, you get a series of checkboxes next to each field to show whether it would be included when you share a card. The iPhone comes with a feature that enables it to share its 3G or 4G mobile broadband connection with other devices though this must be allowed by your network operator , making it perfect for getting your Mac online wherever you are. There are three ways to connect your Mac to your iPhone to share its signal: To begin, go to the Personal Hotspot option in the iPhone's Settings menu, and turn it on.

To connect using USB, plug your iPhone into your Mac and you should get a dialog that takes you to the Network section in System Preferences, from which you can select the iPhone. It can be annoying having to wait for someone else to print out large documents when you're in a hurry, so use this tip to minimize the wait if you have access to more than one printer.

You can then select this Pool from the print dialogue in apps instead of your individual printers, and if one printer is in use, your Mac will automatically send the document to one that's free instead — no waiting! It's pretty common for members of a family or a shared house to want to share their music or movies with each other, and you can do this easily with iTunes.

When you mount a. As you can see from the adjacent screenshot it even adds itself to the sidebar right next to my actual external drives. Once you are done installing your application, you simply eject the mounted. Uninstalling apps is really simple. See that trash bin located in your dock? If any part of your hard drive is fragmented it automatically gets defragmented by the OS.

Some would argue that defragmenting a Mac is actually necessary, and in some cases it may be. For the purposes of this article though, I downloaded iDefrag and ran a test. It showed that I had 0. Alternatively if you are looking for something more like the Windows version of Ctrl — Alt -Delete, all you have to do is press Command — Options — Esc. For any new Mac user switching from Windows this may be somewhat confusing at first.

In Windows, the buttons are located on the right hand side and the right button means close quits app , middle button maximizes and the left most button minimizes. It works a little bit differently on a Mac. The middle yellow button minimizes the open application to the dock and the green button maximizes the window. System information is an app you can find in the Applications folder or by searching for it in Launchpad. It stores all the information about your Mac.

You can see how much memory you have, how many cores, hardware UUID, serial numbers and so much more. If there is something you need to know about your Mac, down to what of applications are installed and even further down to see what versions of those apps have been updated then check System Information. Mac Keyboard Shortcuts. And your edits stay up to date everywhere. Get Mac Support, learn about the operating system that makes your Mac run, and brush up on the basics. Meet your Mac We'll show you how to set up your Mac and get the most use from its powerful, friendly features.

Set up your new Mac These simple steps will get you started. Get your Mac up and running.

New to Mac - Official Apple Support

Switching from Windows? Get tips for Windows switchers. Transfer your files. Find your way around with gestures and shortcuts. Navigate with gestures Make your Mac do amazing things with a swipe, a tap, and a click. Use multi-touch gestures. Use keyboard shortcuts Sometimes a quick press of the keys is faster than pointing and clicking.

Learn handy shortcuts. Personalize your display Quickly start a screen saver or put your display to sleep with hot corner shortcuts. Set up screen saver. Create wonderful work with your Mac Productivity is fun, easy, and collaborative with these powerful apps that come built into your Mac. Pages for beautiful documents Get Pages support.