An A-Z guide to OS X Mavericks: Part two (N-Z)

OS X Mavericks hints and tips: Here, as promised, is part two of the A-Z guide to some of the operating system's best tips, tweaks and features. (Also read the A-M collection).

An A-Z guide to OS X Mavericks: Part two (N-Z)

[ABOVE: Emoji and special characters now feature in Mavericks.]

N: Notifications

When you receive a Messages notification all you need to do is click it in order to respond -- there's no need to launch the Messages app.

O: Offline dictation

Your Mac now supports offline dictation, meaning you don't need to be connected to the Internet to dictate to your Mac. Enable by checking "Use Enhanced Dictation" in the Dictation & Speech preference pane. Try it.

P: Power Saver

Safari's Power Saver feature means you don't waste processing power playing pointless Flash animations (usually ads) when you surf. Safari shows you a preview of such content and lets you choose to play it, or ignore it.

Q: Quick scroll

Want to get to the top of your email? You can: just click once on the 'Sort by…' bar that sits above your list of messages.

R: Reminders

Mavericks' Reminders app lets you sort Reminders out by date, priority and creation date. Changes are pushed to your devices via iCloud and completed reminders are stored for re-use.

S: Special characters

Mavericks supports emoji characters. To use them type Command-Control-Space to invoke the character palette (it includes the same characters you get on an iPhone/iPad). It only works inside apps that support it, though -- now Word.

T: Tapestry

There are 43 beautiful desktop wallpapers hidden inside Mavericks. In the Finder menu select the Go menu and 'Go To', Type: /Library/Screen Savers/Default Collections/ and you'll be directed to the collections. Launch Desktop & Screensaver preferences and you can drag the four collections: National Geographic; Aerial; Cosmos and Nature Patterns into the Folders section of the Desktop picture collections.

U: Under the hood

Mavericks' many services are integrated, meaning they work together under the hood. For example, place your mouse over an address in Contacts and a "Show Map" button appears. Click it to launch Maps and show that address.

V: Volume

Hate the popping sounds you hear when you use volume controls on your keyboard? Prevent this by holding down the Shift key when using them.      

W: Window cleaning

The situation: You have multiple Finder windows open on your Desktop. The solution: In Finder, choose Merge All Windows from the Windows menu. Finder will gather them together inside one Window under different tabs.     

X: Excluded apps

Mavericks doesn't make it easy to use/install apps that aren't verified by Gatekeeper, including the wonderful OnyX. Get round this by Right-clicking the app in Finder and use the contextual 'Open' command. OS X then recognizes the app as one you want to use, and overrides Gatekeeper. (More here).

Y: Years and numbers

A neat little feature helps you create an ascending number naming scheme when duplicating folders. Say you have a folder called "Deadline 2014", hold down the option key and drag it to duplicate it (drag anywhere within the Finder Window, and release) a new folder appears, called "Deadline 2015", or "Folder name 2".

Z: Snooze

If a Notification appears for an upcoming event you can already choose the Snooze button and it will reappear later on. However, if you click and hold the Snooze button you can choose how long to delay its reappearance from a selection of eight durations, starting at one minute.    

I hope you've enjoyed the A-Z guide to OS X Mavericks. I'm gathering new hints and would welcome it if you could share your own in comments below.   

Mavericks Tips and Tricks

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