Ten Tips for Making the Most of Your Mac

On Wednesday and Thursday we had two PD sessions on getting to know your Mac. Here are the top ten key takeaways:

  1. ​​Take a screenshot with cmd-shift-3 (whole screen) or cmd-shift-4 (choose an area of the screen)
  2. Use the Spotlight search feature (the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner) to quickly launch applications.
  3. Yeah, Office 365 search works as well as a rhino trying to find a polar bear in a snow storm. But if you are searching for files and you’re using OneDrive to sync with your Mac, use Spotlight on Mac to search for your files instead! It’ll be much more accurate.
  4. Keyboard shortcuts are the single fastest way to navigate your Mac faster. In the finder, use cmd-shift-D to go to the Desktop, cmd-shift-A to go to the Applications folder, and cmd-shift-H to go to your home folder.
  5. When you drag a folder to the sidebar in the Finder, you’re creating an alias (called a shortcut in Windows) that will appear in every Finder window as well as every open and save dialog box.
  6. Create an alias by dragging a folder to a new location while holding the cmd and option keys. You can do this to put links to your OneDrive folders and files on your desktop.
  7. Most programs allow you to save a file as a different type. Microsoft programs do this in File > Save As, while Apple programs do this through File > Export
  8. The Apple Preview program lets you draw and comment on PDF files. This can be used to fill out forms/worksheets.
  9. When printing, you can use the Printer Presets menu to create a saved preset with commonly used options. For example, you could create one preset that prints B&W, 2- sided and another that prints in color, 1-sided.
  10. Download the Caffeine app from lightheadsw.com/caffeine and run it from your Applications folder. It will keep your computer awake, which is useful when you’re projecting a Word document for a class or meeting and don’t want your computer to go to sleep in the middle of it.
And one more bonus: use the cmd-tab keyboard shortcut to show a list of running programs (if you hold down the cmd key) and to switch between them (when you press tab while holding down cmd). You can also quit programs this way by pressing the q key when the program is selected.