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Last Updated on November 14, 2017

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 September 20, 2018

                        11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                        11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                        In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                        Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                        In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                        Minimizing Tabs

                        Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                        Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                        Incognito Mode

                        Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                        1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                        2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                        3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                        This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                        Save Webpages as PDF Files

                        Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                        Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                        Open Recently-closed Tabs

                        Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                        One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                        The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                        Solve Mathematical Problems

                        Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                        For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                        Play Media Files

                        Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                        In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                        Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                        With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                        Stay Focus(e)d

                        Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                        Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                        With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                        This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                        Grammarly for Editing

                        Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                        You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                        Loom

                        There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                        There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                        With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                        Chrome Calendar Extension

                        No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                        Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                        Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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