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15 Secretly Hidden Features of Mac You Probably Won’t Know If You Miss This

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15 Secretly Hidden Features of Mac You Probably Won’t Know If You Miss This

Mac OS X has several amazing features that are hidden from the user. If you have been using Mac for a couple of years then, we are sure you would have stumbled across a few Mac hidden features. Many users are unaware of these secret Mac functions even after several years of using the Mac OS X. In this article, we have gathered 15 useful, lesser known Mac features that are sure to surprise you.

Merge Folders

You can easily merge the contents of two identically named folders but dragging one folder onto another prompts a Replace dialog message. So, the trick to merge two folders is to use Option – Dragging the folder which prompts an additional choice to merge folders. One folder containing contents of both source and destination folders will be created.

Merge

    Create a Signature in Preview

    It is easy to add a signature to your document in Mac. Open the document in preview and open the Annotations toolbar. Click on the Signature button and choose the Create Signature from Built-in iSight option. Follow the on-screen instructions to add a signature to your document. You can save your signature for future use as well.

    Signature

      Quick Dictionary Access

      You can quickly access the dictionary in Mac systems with these shortcut options. In older version of Mac OS, use ⌘⌃D to bring up the definition of the world while hovering over the word. You can find the definition of a word by double tapping with three fingers in Lion version. Quick access to dictionary helps users find meanings to obscure words immediately.

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      Dictionary

        Restoring Scroll Bars

        Scroll bars by default are hidden in Lion version and are visible only when a user begins to scroll the page. This could be confusing at times and hence many users prefer to have the scroll bars on. You can have the scroll bars visible always by changing the default setting. Go to System Preferences, under General Category; select Always under Show Scroll Bars option.

        scroll

          Built-in emoji Support

          It is extremely easy to insert emoticons in Mac OS X. It comes with a built-in emoji which allows users to insert special characters. Press ctrl ++ space to open the window. This window contains an exhaustive list of special characters. You can choose the special characters and emoticons that you need from this window.

          macemoji

            Speech-to-Text Conversion

            Dictation-typing in Mac OS works amazing well. You can convert your speech-to-text by pressing the function (fn) key twice and begin speaking. Your voice gets converted to text when you press function (fn) key one more time. The OS X types out as you speak.

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            voice-typing

               Easy Volume and Brightness Control

              With this shortcut, volume and brightness control can be achieved quite easily. Hold ⇧ + ⌥ together to change the brightness in small increments. You can change your volume control without affecting the brightness control by just holding the ⇧ key.

              change-sound-and-bringtness-in-quarters

                Auto Complete of Words

                Do you have trouble with spellings? This hidden feature will help you spell difficult words correctly as you type in iChat or TextEdit. Press F5 or Option + Escape to bring up an auto complete menu that provides a list of possible spellings to the word that you have started typing. This feature is extremely useful when you are typing official documents.

                AutoComplete

                  Quick Duplicate Open File

                  Many of the apps on Mac lack the option of “Save As” to duplicate an open file. There is a way to achieve duplication of an open file without opening the File menu. Click on the filename at the top. This drops down a menu of options. Click on the option Duplicate which allows you to replicate the file.

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                  DuplicateFiles

                    Hot Corners

                    This feature allows you to trigger certain events by touching the corner of your screen. You can enable hot corner setting by navigating to System Preferences -> Desktop & Screen Savers ->Screen Saver Tab -> Hot Corners. It is a very useful feature which allows you to disable screensaver, launch notification center and open applications.

                    hotcorners

                      Close Running Apps

                      Running apps take up a lot of RAM space and slow down your system. Here is a quick solution to close your running apps on Mac. Simply hold + tab and continue holding and tab through all open apps. When you reach the app that you want to quit, press Q. If you want to hide the app, press H.

                      CloseApps

                        Turn Off Notifications

                        Open your Notification Center and scroll down the side-loading bar until you find Do Not Disturb toggle feature. Turn it on and you will not receive any notifications for a day. It is a convenient way to focus on your work without being disturbed by notifications that pop-up quite often. You can also schedule Do Not Disturb feature to be turned on for a specific period of time or for a particular event. For example, you can have it turned off when display is mirrored to a projector output.

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                        DND

                          Delete Apps in Launchpad

                          Deleting apps using Launchpad is an easy way to cleanup old apps. Open Launchpad interface and hold down Option to launch the iOS –style wiggle mode. This will activate the close icons on apps installed through Mac App Store. You can click on the cross icon to delete unused old apps from the system.

                          Delete Apps

                            Preview Files

                            Previewing files is really simple with this trick. Hold down the space bar when you select a file to preview the file. You can even preview image and video files with this option. You can switch between files while in preview by pressing the arrow keys.

                            preview-with-space
                                preview-with-space
                                  preview-with-space

                                      Create a New Desktop

                                      Mission Control is a cool new feature in Lion. In Mission Control, you can create a new desktop easily. A ‘+’ tab appears at the top right while you hover your mouse in Mission Control. If you want to move a window to a new desktop, you can drop them into the ‘+’ tab. You can have a dedicated desktop by simply dragging and dropping windows into this tab.

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                                      New Desktop

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                                        Last Updated on November 25, 2021

                                        How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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                                        How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

                                        There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

                                        Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

                                          What Does Private Browsing Do?

                                          When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

                                          For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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                                          The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

                                          The Terminal Archive

                                          While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

                                          Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

                                          dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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                                          Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

                                          Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

                                          However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

                                          Clearing Your Tracks

                                          Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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                                          dscacheutil -flushcache

                                          As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

                                          Other Browsers and Private Browsing

                                          Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

                                          If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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                                          As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

                                          Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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