Mac Tips & Tricks for Working With Your Macintosh
By Tom Nelson
Most folks think they’re getting plenty out of their computer once they know the fundamentals of the software applications and hardware they use the most. This is certainly true, but it’s also true that you can kick things up a notch by learning a few of the trips and tricks that professionals and savvy Mac users take for granted. Mac Tips & Tricks can help you be more productive, troubleshoot problems quickly and easily, save money with DIY projects, or just experiment with new ways of working with your Mac.
Here is the About: Macs collection of favorite Tips & Tricks.
Snow Leopard Tips
Snow Leopard was primarily designed to be a performance-boosting upgrade to Leopard, with few new features. Luckily for us, Apple engineers couldn’t resist adding some new features to Snow Leopard, as well as making some changes in how the underlying structure works. If you would like to be more productive, take a little time to check out some Snow Leopard features and tricks.
- Exposing Expose’s Hidden Features
- Recent Items: Find Out Where Recent Items Are Located
- Spotlight Search: Setting the Finder’s Search Box Preferences
- Display Hidden Files in OS X 10.6 ‘Open’ and ‘Save’ Dialog Boxes
- How to Enable the Hidden Single-Application Mode in Snow Leopard
The Mac may have introduced the mouse to the general public as the primary way to interact with a computer’s operating system and applications, but for sheer speed, keyboard shortcuts can get the job done faster. Keyboard shortcuts also provide ways to work with your Mac that can’t be duplicated with a mouse or touchpad.
The Finder is the Mac’s file browser and application launcher. It’s also the most used application on nearly everyone’s Mac. Learning the ins and outs of the Finder and all of its nifty tricks can make you more productive.
- Manage the Finder Sidebar
- Use the Finder Path Bar
- Customize the Finder Toolbar
- Add Files, Folders, and Applications to the Finder Toolbar
Terminal is the Mac’s command line interface; it offers Mac users access to many of the Mac’s hidden features. One of the best tricks involves using Terminal to gain access to some of the hidden functions and capabilities of many Mac applications. By issuing a few simple Terminal commands, you can unlock many of the Mac’s secrets.
- View Hidden Folders on Your Mac
- Add a Recent Applications Stack to the Dock
- Clean Up Your Desktop
- Put Widgets on the Desktop
- Add a Dock Spacer
- Remove the 3D Dock
- Enable Safari 4’s Debug Menu
- Remove Duplicate Applications From the 'Open With' Menu
One of the best tricks is saving money; saving a little cash can also be fun. Projects range from the super simple to the complex, but in every case we provide easy, step-by-step instructions.
- Create an Emergency OS X Boot Device Using a USB Flash Drive
- Install an Internal Hard Drive in Your Mac Pro
- Use Folder Actions to be Notified When a File Is Added to a Folder
- Build Your Own External Hard Drive
- Hook Your Mac Up to Your HDTV
- Getting Surround Sound From Your Mac to Your AV Receiver
- How to Copy DVDs to Your Mac Using HandBrake
- Share Attached Printers or Faxes With Other Macs
- Printer Sharing: Windows to Mac
- Using OS X 10.5 as a File Server for a Network
- Create Your Own iChat Smiley
- Create Your Own Jabber-Based Server That Works With iChat or Any Jabber Client
Troubleshooting problems with your Mac hardware or software is never fun, but these tips can help you get everything working properly again.
- Troubleshooting Apple Mail
- Aperture Troubleshooting
- How to Eject CDs or DVDs From Your Mac Even When They Are Stuck
- Using Activity Monitor to Track and Understand Memory Usage
- Faster Web Access: Test Your DNS Provider to Gain Faster Web Access
- How to Prevent Adobe's 'Application Has Moved' Error Message
- Disk Utility: Using Disk Utility to Repair Hard Drives and Disk Permissions
- How Can I Fix an Application That's Not Starting?