11 cool OS X El Capitan tips to use today

You’re only ever a few Preference Settings away from getting the Mac you need.

Apple, OS X, Mac

A short collection of useful tips.

Fast conversions

Immediate unit conversions are easy in Spotlight. Just tap the amount and unit you want converted and it will do the rest, as this conversion shows. More Spotlight tips.

Ninja Menu bars

Launch System Preferences>General and choose ‘Automatically hide and show the menu bar’. In future you won’t see a menu bar until you glide your cursor to the top of the screen.

Split view

Split view is really useful for working on documents, the only drag being key apps like Office 2011 don’t support it (you need to get Office 2016). To enter Split view just hold down the green traffic light button at the upper-left corner of a window, the window will shrink and you can drag it to either the left or right side of the screen. Release the button and you can select another window to populate the other side of the screen.

Faster Photos

You can improve Photos app performance by turning off the motion effects in the application. Launch Photos, select General in preferences and choose Motion: Reduce motion and toggle the feature off. (Thanks to OS X Daily).

Also read: OS X: Everything you need to use Smart Folders

Search better

Need to search Amazon for an item? Looking for a specific page on any site? Simply type search [location] and [item or headline] and Safari will offer you the capacity to search the relevant site for what you seek – no Google required.

Share files fast

If you run AirDrop on your Mac and use an iPhone 5 or later you can quickly chuck files from your Mac to your smartphone using AirDrop. Open Control Center on your phone, then control click on the file you wish to transfer on your Mac, choose Share and then select AirDrop.

Give tabs a little closure

If you use multiple Macs and iOS devices then you should already be familiar with this great feature, and if you’re not then you should be. In Safari click on the icon to the top right that looks like two squares one above the other. You’ll see a view of all your currently open windows, scroll down and you will see what browser windows are open on all the Macs and iOS devices signed into that iCloud account. That’s useful to help you find pages you opened elsewhere, but if you hover over a page and then click the small circled X that appears you can close the pages remotely.

Also read: OS X: How to create and use Mail groups


Press F3 to enter Mission Control’s Expose mode. When you do you’ll see minimized views of all your open documents so you can quickly navigate between them.

Third-party extensions in Photos

Don’t neglect to use third-party extensions to make Photos more effective.

Quick Look

If you use Quick Look to check file contents before launching its app then you might also enjoy this tip to explore multiple files. Select a bunch of files in Finder and then select Option-spacebar. One of the files will show up in QuickLook view in a black window, but select the circular control with four squares inside and you’ll be able to check all the files you’d previously selected, all without opening an app.


Sick of new Finder windows opening in All My Files view? Take control in Finder Preferences>General where you can choose something else in the New Finder windows show menu.

I hope this short list provides you with a couple of OS X settings you’ve not encountered before. Please take a look at these essential OS X El Capitan utilities.

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