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10 Hidden Features of Mac EI Capitan You Should Know

10 Hidden Features of Mac EI Capitan You Should Know

OS X El Capitan (version 10.11) is the twelfth release of OS X, of Apple Inc.‘s server and desktop operating system for Mac computers. It was released on September 30, 2015, for end users as a free upgrade through the Mac App Store. With the release of this version the major focus was put on Apple performance and user experience.

This edition has been introduced with some hidden features that users would surely want to explore in order to retrieve 100% out of it. Some of these remarkable features are:

1. Spotlight Search is Smarter

El Capitan helps to find stuff quicker with refinement in spotlight search. Let’s assume you want to invoke information regarding sports information, video search and stock quotes, all the results will come up with more or less details in the Spotlight box. And the size of the search box is not fixed anymore; you can drag it to the height you want.

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You can invoke Spotlight search by clicking the magnifying glass in the right top corner of the menu bar. You can move the box of search results anywhere you want. Type in the search string and if the result set does not fit in the box then you can drag it down by placing the cursor on the bottom edge.

2. Searching in common language

There is a chance that you have worked on a document last week but you forgot what you have named it. Never mind. Open the Documents and search document, assuming we have ordered the documents by date. Or type into the Spotlight search something like “Documents that I have worked on last week”, then results will appear in box. You can also speak the command, by pressing the Function button twice.

3. Simultaneous display of windows on the screen

We can open two programs at the same time parallely in the full-screen view to easily locate the track of live windows. Each running program is assigned half of the display, but you can adjust the relative portion of the windows.

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We can minimize the running window by holding the green full-screen button, one of the three provided buttons (red, amber and green) which are on the top left hand side of each window. After holding, its shape will change showing that it’s ready to be snapped. Then drag it to top of the screen. Click on the other program and it will automatically fit into the other half of the screen. Thus both are accessible and live.

4. Wiggle to enlarge the cursor

Sometimes we can’t find the cursor; El Capitan provides the answer to this problem. Wiggle the mouse to find the cursor. Once the mouse is wiggled, it enlarges the cursor massively so you can find it. It remains large as long as you wiggle and returns to the normal size once you stop which saves time.

5. Mail Enhancement

Mails have a number of enhancements when used in full-screen mode. While composing a message in full screen, one can swap over to another conversation or click on their inbox which makes copying a text from another email or adding attachments from one message to another message by dragging them easier.

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If a mail comes containing a phone number or an invitation to an event, there is a toolbar at the top of each message which can be used to add content to apps like Calendar and Contacts. A right swipe will mark mails as read or unread and a left swipe lets you delete messages.

6. Photos Enhancement

El Capitan comes with the addition of third-party editing tools within the Photos app. All the Photo editing apps in the Mac App Store will be sharing their tools with Photos, so it’s possible to edit images with these apps without actually leaving the Photos app. Thus in the Photos app when you tap on the “More” button, it will show up all third-party apps that it is supporting.

7. Safari

As a part of Safari’s improvement, there is now a Pinned Sites feature that shows frequently visited websites on the left side of the tab bar. So when a website is pinned, it keeps on updating in the background, thus when you are viewing it again it will always have recent info. Such a feature is good for sites like Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter, which you use often.

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8. Maps

The Maps app has a new Transit view feature, which displays subway, walking, bus, train, and ferry routes, for planning a trip that involves mass transit routing in advance. Before, getting transit directions required using a third-party mapping service.

9. Disk Utility

The useful and widely used disk utility in EI Capitan has been overhauled and now looks prettier than ever. You’ll find multiple options and new additions in disk utility, like a repair permission feature.

Enter the password when asked. The disk will be checked and any error which persists will be reported and will be fixed if possible. Disk utility is indeed helpful to fix disk related errors. If the problems cannot be fixed using disk utility or if it’s crashing, it’s time to use a reliable third party tool like Mac Data Recovery Guru and move all your important data first. Mac Data Recovery Guru is especially helpful when a disk is about to fail or stopped responding and you don’t want to lose all your crucial files and folders..

10. Hiding Menu Bar

You can hide the Menu Bar that runs across the top of the screen as well as the bottom. Go to System Preferences, choose General in the options, and then select the box marked automatically hide. This means that you can opt for a screen that’s completely clean.

Undoubtedly, these features make the latest El Capitan more powerful and of course a must try version of the OS X. Once you start exploring these hidden treasures of the Mac OS X 10.11, you will definitely start admiring it.

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Abhay Jeet Mishra

Writer at Lifehack & Enterested.com

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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