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15 Hacks To Make Anyone A Mac Expert

15 Hacks To Make Anyone A Mac Expert

Macintosh computers offer users incredible fluidity and ease of use. One of the most beneficial ways to use this in your favor is by learning a few simple Mac hack shortcuts. By taking command of keyboard shortcuts you can truly master this intuitive and forward-thinking operating system.

1. Jump to Last Used Program: Cmd + Tab

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      By pressing Cmd + Tab, you can quickly switch to your last used program. This is particularly useful if you are copy and pasting between programs, since pressing Cmd + Tab twice switches you between the same two programs.

      2. View Program Switcher: Press and Hold Cmd, Then Tap Tab

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          Similarly, if you press and hold cmd, then tap tab, the program switch window will come up. From here, you can press tab to scroll right between your open programs or tap shift + tab to scroll left. To choose a program, highlight the program logo you need, then release the command key.

          3. View All Windows: Ctrl + Up Arrow

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            Another simple Mac hack is to see all your open windows. Merely hit ctrl + up arrow to see a spread of your current windows.

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            4. Show Desktop: F11

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              Similarly, to view the desktop quickly tap the F11 key. On some keyboards (particularly laptops) you may need to hold the function key for this Mac hack to work.

              5. Hide Window: Cmd + H

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                This trick is particularly useful at school or work when you might not be exactly on task. Quickly hit cmd + H to hide the window you’re currently in. This doesn’t minimize the window, it just hides it from view. However, like minimizing, hiding your window keeps your place in the application. To bring the window back, click on the application icon on the dock.

                6. Move to Trash: Cmd + Delete

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                  If you don’t like dragging items to the trash manually, there’s a simple way around it. Highlight the document or program you wish to delete, then hit cmd + delete.

                  7. Empty Trash without Warning: Cmd + Opt + Shift + Delete

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                    Similarly, an easy way to empty your trash without having to open it is to hit cmd + opt + shift + delete. Deleting your trash this way will also bypass the warning message asking you to confirm deleting your trash.

                    8. Undo Last Action in Finder: Cmd + Z

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                      If you’ve accidentally deleted something, or moved something into a folder you can’t find, simply press cmd + Z. Like most programs on an Apple computer, Finder recognizes cmd + Z to mean “undo last action.”

                      9. Take Screenshot: Cmd + Shift + 3

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                        Another quick Mac hack is to take a screenshot without needing an extra program. Simply press cmd + shift + 3 to capture your entire screen. This automatically saves the photo to the desktop.

                        10. Take Screenshot of Selected Area: Cmd + Shift + 4

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                          If you would rather take a screenshot of a selected area of your screen instead of the entire thing, hit cmd + shift + 4, then drag a rectangle with your mouse. Release the rectangle to capture the screenshot.

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                          11. Open Link in New Tab: Cmd + Click a Link

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                            Another quick Mac tip is to automatically open a new link in a new browser tab. To avoid losing the page your on, simply hold down cmd before you click a link.

                            12. Change Volume without Clicks: Hold Shift

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                              It’s also possible to change the volume without playing the clicks. Just hold shift while you adjust the volume.

                              13. Power on without Noise: F10 + Power Button

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                                You can power on your Mac without any noise as well—just hold F10 (mute) while your Mac powers up.

                                14. Use Emoji Keyboard: Cmd + Ctlr + Space

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                                  Most people don’t know that you can include mobile emoji characters from your Mac, even though it’s a desktop. Just hit cmd + ctrl + space while typing to open the keyboard selector.

                                  15. Use Special Characters: Hold Letter Key

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                                    If you need to include foreign characters while you’re typing, there’s an easier way than searching for the character, than copy and pasting it. Simply hold down the English letter equivalent to bring up a list of accents and variations right in the program.

                                    For a complete list of Mac hack keyboard shortcuts, see Apple’s official list here.

                                    Featured photo credit: Pete Markham via flickr.com

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                                    Alicia Prince

                                    A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                                    Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                                    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                    Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                                    Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                                    Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                                    So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                                    Joe’s Goals

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                                      Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                                      Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                                      Daytum

                                        Daytum

                                        is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                                        Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                                        Excel or Numbers

                                          If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                          What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                          Evernote

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                                            I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                            Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                            Access or Bento

                                              If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                              Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                              You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                              Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                              All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                              Conclusion

                                              I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                              What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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