5 Super Easy Yet Useful Tricks for Mac
The Mac has a myriad of features available to make our computing lives easier and we cover them regularly, but here we will highlight five particularly simple yet incredibly useful tricks that Mac users can access and use. Some of these tips may be well known by power users, and others less known by everyone else.
From instant information lookups, quickly reviewing every open window in Mac OS, speedy Emoji access, focusing attention by ignoring notifications, and using Spotlight as a quick launch tool, read on to learn some great tricks.
Use Look Up for Dictionary & Wikipedia Access
Have you ever been reading an article or document and wished you knew what a particular word meant? Perhaps you want to learn more about a given topic or term? The Mac Lookup feature gives you instant access to a dictionary, thesaurus, and Wikipedia:
- Right-click on any word and choose “Look Up” (alternatively, you can use a three-finger tap on a trackpad)
The same lookup feature also can be used for movies names and apps too.
Note the tap-to-define ability may need to be enabled separately in the Trackpad settings of Mac OS.
See All Open Windows
It’s easy to get swamped with a gazillion open windows, files, and applications, and then lose one particular document or window in the maze. An excellent way to find what you’re looking for is to use the Mission Control feature that views all open windows on a Mac:
- Hit the Control + Up Arrow keys (alternatively, you can swipe up with four fingers on a trackpad)
Now all open windows on the computer are in front of you, easily scannable, and you click on any of them to bring it to the forefront.
This is one of my favorite Mission Control tricks, but there are many others that are just as useful.
Rapid Emoji Access
Emoji is very popular, and the Mac has a super easy quick access Emoji panel where you can browse and type out Emoji instantly:
- Anywhere you can enter text, hit Command + Control + Spacebar to open the Emoji panel
This shortcut trick is the fastest and easiest way to type Emoji on the Mac.
Use Spotlight as App Launcher and Document Opener
If you’re quick with a keyboard, using Spotlight as an application launcher and document opener is extremely fast and efficient:
- Hit Command + Spacebar, then enter the name of the application or document you want to open and hit return
For fast typists and power users, Spotlight is one of the fastest methods of accessing just about anything on their Mac.
There are some other helpful Spotlight keystroke tricks to learn here if you’re interested.
Silence Notifications for 24 Hours
Annoyed with constant alerts and notifications from Mac OS about software update, new Maps data, reminders, inbound messages, new emails, photos posted to someones photo stream, and all the other notification nuisances? You can instantly enter Do Not Disturb mode with a simple trick and silence all alerts for a day:
- Hold down OPTION key and click the Notification icon in the top corner of the screen
This will place the Mac into Do Not Disturb mode and mute the Notification Center and silence all alerts for 24 hours on Mac OS, no more annoying alerts, notifications, or other pestering nuisances making it easy to focus.
Did you enjoy these tips? Do you have a particular favorite Mac tip you want to share? Let us know in the comments!