9 sweet Mac OS X secrets you’ll want to use

Get your Mac user tips here!

I could write about how Apple is crushing Samsung and Xiaomi, predict a massive Mac sales spike, or let you know some of the new features of the Apple Watch, but I didn’t want to today. Instead, I thought I’d assemble a small but sweet collection of Mac OS X tricks I think you’ll use.

Apple Dictionary

Apple has created a dictionary of every Apple-related term. The collection is available to you when you launch Dictionary, and select the Apple tab in the list at the top of the window. Now you can find out more about Unix, Access Control Lists, and other named elements of the OS. Very useful if you are your family’s tech support!

Small volume

Tweak your Mac volume in tiny increments by pressing Option-Shift and volume Up/Down. Look at the on-screen volume icon and you’ll see volume increasing in only tiny shifts. You can do the same when tweaking screen brightness. This is just one of hundreds of Option-click secrets you need.


The Mac is able to swiftly summarize long tracts. To do this, just right click on the selected text and click on “Services” in the sub menu that appears. If “Summarize” isn’t yet available navigate to the app menu item, select Services and open Services Preferences. You enable Summarize in the Shortcuts section under Text. Now read this for more Services tips.

Head of the queue

You may manage to get your printing done faster in a shared office with this tip. Launch System Preferences>Printers & Scanners. Now select all the shared printers in your office you use and create a printer pool that includes all of them. In the future, when you print, remember to select the pool, and your print will be completed using the first available printer from your collection.

The great dictator

Press the function (fn) key twice to launch Dictation on your Mac, start speaking and press fn once you’ve finished. As you speak what you are saying will automatically be placed within the active application. It’s kind of cool. Learn more about controlling your Mac with your voice.

Better screengrabs

When you press ++4 to grab an image you can toggle between an image you select using a crosshair or a full-window snap by keeping those keys depressed and pressing the Spacebar. Many more screenshot tips right here.


Most Mac users know that if you press Command and hit tab you can move between applications. What many may not know is that if you keep Command pressed you can use other keys to Q (Quit) or H (Hide) a selected application.

Command tricks in Dock include:

Command and click on a dock icon to open a Finder window with the app inside the folder it is in. Or lose (or reclaim) the Dock by pressing Command-Option-D. Try using Command in your Menu bar to unlock other hidden features.

Keyboard tip

To make sure your Mac accurately navigates between sections when filling in documents and online forms, change this setting: System Preferences>Keyboard, and click the All controls radio button for Full Keyboard Access. More tips.

One more thing..

Want to record what’s happening on your iOS 8 device’s screen? You can with a Mac, just plug the device into the computer using a Lightning cable and launch the QuickTime Player app on your Mac. Now in QuickTime choose File and New Movie Recording, then select your mobile device from the drop-down list next to the record button.

More hints?

Want more ideas? Take a look through my archives, starting with these reports. They  will help you get even more out of your Mac life.

Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

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