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15 Mac Hacks You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

15 Mac Hacks You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

The Mac is one of the most powerful and versatile machines on the market today. There are so many great features included with your Mac that it’s nearly impossible to know every single one of them. From taking effortless screen shots to adding emoji to your messages, there’s a lot more to your Mac than meets the eye.

Check out the 15 Mac hacks below that you may have never seen before and get to know your Mac better than ever.

1. Master The Screenshot

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 11.26.43 AM

    Screenshots on the Mac are pretty awesome, and there are three ways to take a screen shot with your Mac:

    • Command + Shift + 4 and you’ll get a crosshair that you can drag with your mouse to capture exactly what you want.
    • Command + Shift + 4 at the same time and then let them go, then hit the Spacebar. Now you can click on any window you want and take a shot of that entire window, shadow included.
    • Command + Shift + 3 to take a shot of your entire desktop. You’ll get a file for each display connected.

    2. Move The Dock

    First, hit Command + Option + D on your keyboard to instantly hide the Dock. Hit the keys again to bring it back. What if you have two monitors and just want to move the Dock to another display instead of hide it? Just move your mouse to the other display and hold the cursor at the bottom center of the screen. The Dock will jump over and make the new display its home until you do the same action on the original monitor again.

    3. Use Spotlight As A Calculator

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    Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 11.36.48 AM

      If you just need some quick math done, just launch Spotlight by hitting Command + Spacebar and type the problem out. When you’re all done just hit esc and you’re back to what you were doing.

      4. Make A Quick Apple Icon

      Just hit Option + Shift + K to make an Apple icon quickly and easily. You can use this in text messages, emails, Word documents and really anything that allows for keyboard input.

      5. Use An Emoji Keyboard

      Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 11.49.17 AM

        By hitting Command + Control + Spacebar, you can access an emoji keyboard on your keyboard. This doesn’t work in every text entry field, but when texting and emailing it tends to work seamlessly. If you use an emoji where it doesn’t show correctly you’ll see a triangle.

        6. Quickly Delete Files

        All you have to do is select the file, then hit the Command + Delete keys and the file will be moved to the trash. If you want to empty your trash quickly, just hit Command + Shift + Delete and approve the empty. No more files.

        7. Access The Dictionary In A Snap

        You can look up words fairly quickly by using Spotlight to find their definition, but did you know you can actually do this with a few taps of your MacBook touchpad? Just hover over the word in question and tap the touchpad with three fingers. Doing so will pop up the definition as well as a thesaurus entry for the word! Super useful for readers and writers.

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        Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 11.58.25 AM

          8. Create A Signature

          Signing documents electronically can be a major pain. If you have a Macbook with an iSight camera and OS X Yosemite you can create a digital signature and apply it to documents in both Preview and Mail. There’s a few steps involved in this, so check out this post for all the details.

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            9. Disable Notifications

            The Notification Center in OS X is the home for all the apps and websites on your Mac that need to tell you what’s going on, but if you want to disable notifications for your Mac you can click on the Notification Center icon in the OS X Menu Bar and turn on “Do Not Disturb” (DND) in the Today tab.

            Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.05.41 PM

              Even quicker, you just hold down the Option button on your keyboard and click the Notification Center icon in the Menu Bar and it will shade itself out. This means DND is turned on.

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              10. Use Incremental Volume Adjustment

              Hold down Shift + Option and hit the volume Up or Down keys to incrementally adjust the volume up or down.

              Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.11.26 PM

                11. Use Incremental Brightness Adjustment

                Hold down Shift + Option and hit the brightness up or down and you’ll get an incremental adjustment. This is perfect if you’re trying to attain just the right brightness in a dark room.

                12. Cycle Through Running Apps

                To do this just hit the Command + Tab keys on your keyboard and you’ll be presented with the window seen above. From here you can hold the Command key and cycle through apps by tapping the Tab key. Whatever app you release the Command key on will be selected.

                Screenshot_1_3_15__12_16_PM

                  13. Use Dictation On Your Mac

                  Believe it or not, your Mac can actually take dictation and make writing pretty easy. Out of the box this feature works fairly well, but if you have some extra space on your hard drive, you can do a quick update and make dictation nearly seamless.

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                  Open up System Preferences and click on Dictation & Speech.

                  Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.21.03 PM

                    From here, click the radio button next to Dictation so On is selected, and make sure Use Enhanced Dictation is checked. This will allow you to dictate when not connected to the Internet and make it much faster. To activate dictation, press the Fn (Function) key on your keyboard twice quickly.

                    Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.24.30 PM

                      14. Batch Rename Files

                      There was a time that you had to use a 3rd party app to rename files en masse on the Mac, but with OS X Yosemite the feature is built in. To batch rename files highlight the files you want to rename and right-click them. In the menu that appears select Rename x Items.

                      Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.26.34 PM

                        You’ll see the rename utility pop up over your files. Just select the formatting you want and click Rename when you’re all done. The files will be renamed and you’re all set.

                        15. Type Special Characters

                        The last tip in our list is pretty important if you ever need to type special characters and letters with accent marks. To access these accent marks for letters, hit and hold the letter you want to see special versions of and OS X will pop up a list of available characters. Choose the one you want by clicking it or by hitting the number that lines up with it.

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                        Published on November 9, 2018

                        How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                        How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                        Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                        Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                        So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                        6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                        When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                        1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                        Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                        To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                        In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                        • Microsoft Excel
                        • Microsoft Access
                        • Statistics
                        • Data Analytics
                        • Adobe Campaign
                        • Quickbooks
                        • XML Database management system
                        • Filemaker Pro
                        • MATLAB
                        • Hive
                        • FORTRAN
                        • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                        • SAS

                        2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                        Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                        Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                        • Content Management System (CMS)
                        • Google Analytics
                        • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                        • Email Marketing
                        • Web Page Design
                        • WordPress
                        • Digital Media
                        • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                        • Campaign Management Software

                        3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                        A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                        • Adobe Photoshop
                        • Adobe InDesign
                        • Adobe Illustrator
                        • AutoCAD
                        • CorelDRAW
                        • Microsoft Visual Studio
                        • Maya
                        • Microsoft Word
                        • Microsoft Publisher
                        • Operating Digital Cameras

                        4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                        The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                        To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                        • HTML
                        • C/C++
                        • Java
                        • Python
                        • XML
                        • UI/UX
                        • LINUX
                        • CISC and RISC architecture
                        • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                        • Memory Management
                        • PCB Layout
                        • SQL

                        5. IT Troubleshooting

                        Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                        So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                        • Backup management
                        • Diagnostics
                        • End User support
                        • Client-Server management
                        • Installation and configuration
                        • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                        • System administration
                        • Tech support

                        6. Enterprise Systems

                        Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                        Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                        The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                        Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                        Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                        Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                        1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                        a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                        Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                        Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                        b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                        This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                        c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                        Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                        Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                        2. Rule the Social Media World

                        a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                        Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                        From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                        b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                        This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                        c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                        Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                        Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                        3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                        a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                        From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                        b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                        Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                        The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                        c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                        The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                        4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                        a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                        It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                        From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                        b. Canva Design School

                        From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                        c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                        62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                        d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                        The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                        Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                        5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                        a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                        IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                        It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                        b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                        The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                        Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                        The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                        • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                        • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                        • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                        • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                        • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                        • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                        • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                        Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                        Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                        1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                        It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                        Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                        2. Work on Your Efficiency

                        Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                        For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                        3. Look for Shortcuts

                        Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                        4. Apply for an Internship

                        Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                        By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                        How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                        The Bottom Line

                        Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                        So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                        Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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