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MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,971
17,347



macOS, the operating system that runs on Apple's Macs, has tons of hidden shortcuts, keyboard commands, and features that have gone under the radar. In our latest video over on our YouTube channel, we dug deep into macOS and came up with a list of useful but lesser known tips and tricks.

You might think you know everything there is to know about the Mac, but we bet there's something new here you've never come across or have forgotten over time, so make sure to check out our video.


[*]Continuity Camera - In macOS Mojave, Apple introduced a feature that lets you take a photo on an iPhone or iPad and have it ported over to the Mac into the document or app of your choosing. To get to Continuity Camera in any app where it's supported, go to Edit > Insert From Your iPhone or iPad. From there, choose "Take Photo" or "Scan Document," and it will automatically activate the camera on your iOS device so you can snap a quick photo. You can also right click in most documents to bring up a menu with the option.
[*]Password Protect a Folder - Your Mac is protected by a password, but you can add an extra layer of security by password protecting any folder. To do it, open up Disk Utility, select "File" from the menu, choose "New Image" and then "Image from Folder." From there, select the folder you want to protect and create a password. Delete the original folder, and you'll need to enter a password when opening the new folder.
[*]Custom Lock Screen Message - There's an option in macOS to create a custom message that shows up on the Lock screen, which is useful if you misplace your Mac because you can put in a phone number and an email address that people will see right when it's opened up. To get to it, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General > Set Lock Message.
[*]Emoji Quick Access - It can be a chore to add emojis to documents, texts, and social media on macOS going through the menu insert options, but there's a keyboard command that will bring up the macOS emoji selector interface in any app. Just press Control, Command, and Space Bar all at once.
[*]WiFi Passwords in Keychain - Want to find a lost password for a WiFi network you've connected to before? It's stored right on your Mac in Keychain. Open up Keychain Access, choose System, and locate the WiFi name you're looking for. Right click on it (or double click), choose "Get Info," and then select "Show Password."
[*]Copy Paste Screenshots - You can take and share a screenshot without cluttering up your desktop using the hidden screenshot copy paste feature. Hold Command + Control + Shift + 4, select what you want to screenshot, and it's copied to your clipboard. From there, you can paste it within any app, and there's no screenshot on your desktop when you're done.
[*]Messages Screen Sharing - Need to help a parent or a friend with an issue on the Mac? You can use Messages to access their screen to make it easier. Just open up Messages, select the name of the person you want to help, and then click on "Details." Click on the screen sharing icon to connect. You can also click on "Buddies" at the top to get more screen sharing options.
Have other useful Mac tips that we didn't share here? Let us know in the comments and we might include them in a future tips and tricks video.

Article Link: Seven Handy Mac Tricks You Might Not Know
 

jdmachogg

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2008
52
61
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
[*]Custom Lock Screen Message - There's an option in macOS to create a custom message that shows up on the Lock screen, which is useful if you misplace your app because you can put in a phone number and an email address that people will see right when it's opened up. To get to it, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General > Set Lock Message.

Should be 'misplace your Mac' and not 'misplace your app'
 

neliason

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2015
439
877
Nice tips. As for the last one it is a great one, if it works. I tried to screen share with a family member this week and couldn’t get it to work. After wasting time trying to use this feature I had him install TeamViewer. Then I could finally get around to offering tech support. Having to give tech support to give tech support didn’t make me happy.
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
6,017
6,854
[*]Messages Screen Sharing - Need to help a parent or a friend with an issue on the Mac? You can use Messages to access their screen to make it easier. Just open up Messages, select the name of the person you want to help, and then click on "Details." Click on the screen sharing icon to connect. You can also click on "Buddies" at the top to get more screen sharing options.

I use this all the time when helping my parents, family, and friends.

I wished there was a way to do this with the tvOS.
 
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Scooz

Suspended
Apr 9, 2012
339
348
Small detail on the screen shot feature:

You can start the capture without holding control and still will be able route it to the clipboard by pressing/holding control once you press the shutter/let go of the selection rectangle.

The clipboard feature also works with full screen captures (cmd-ctrl-shift-3), but there you have no delay and actually have to start the command with holding the control at the same time.

Also, cmd-shift-5 now brings up a neat capturing dialog in Mojave.
 

BaccaBossMC

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2016
204
731
NC, USA
Make a folder on your desktop for screenshots to automatically land in:
Create a new folder on your desktop named whatever you want, ideally "Screenshots".
Open terminal, type in: defaults write com.apple.screencapture location /Users/[YourNameHere]/Desktop/[FolderName]
Hit enter, and all screenshots you take will now end up neatly in a folder. Also, you can add the folder to the sidebar of Finder for quick access within Finder. When setting up a new Mac or Hackintosh, this is one of the first things I do.

Also, if you have to convert a lot of papers written in Pages to PDFs like I do, here is a simple Automator Script:

on run {input, parameters}

repeat with theFile in input

tell application "Finder"

set theFilesFolder to (folder of theFile) as text

end tell


tell application "Pages"

set theDoc to open theFile


set theDocName to name of theDoc

set theName to (characters 1 thru -1 of theDocName) as text

export theDoc as PDF to file ((theFilesFolder & theName & " PDF.pdf") as text)


close theDoc


end tell

end repeat

return input

end run

Formatting got messed up, but you might get the idea.
 
Last edited:

usarioclave

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2003
1,447
1,506
For screen sharing, you can also click on the person then to to the "Buddies" menu.

I wish it worked on iOS too, that would be ultra-handy since most issues now are iOS related (ie: how do I do this)
 

coolfactor

macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2002
5,222
5,692
Vancouver, BC
WiFi Passwords in Keychain - Want to find a lost password for a WiFi network you've connected to before? It's stored right on your Mac in Keychain. Open up Keychain Access, choose System, and locate the WiFi name you're looking for. Right click on it (or double click), choose "Get Info," and then select "Show Password."

This works for any password stored in Keychain. And you don't need to reveal the password. Just highlight the matching keychain item in the list, and press Cmd-Shift-C to copy the password straight to the clipboard. Of course you are prompted for your user password first. I use this technique daily.
[doublepost=1550711446][/doublepost]
Messages Screen Sharing - Need to help a parent or a friend with an issue on the Mac? You can use Messages to access their screen to make it easier. Just open up Messages, select the name of the person you want to help, and then click on "Details." Click on the screen sharing icon to connect. You can also click on "Buddies" at the top to get more screen sharing options.
Have other useful Mac tips that we didn't share here? Let us know in the comments and we might include them in a future tips and tricks video.

You don't need to do this via the Messages app. Just open up the "Screen Sharing" app directly and type in an Apple ID. The other person will be prompted to accept the invitation to share and control their screen.
[doublepost=1550711504][/doublepost]
Except continuity camera has never worked on my imac...........

Do you have Bluetooth enabled on both devices, and are they on the same Wifi network?
 

SeattleMoose

macrumors 68000
Jul 17, 2009
1,960
1,669
Der Wald
  • Password Protect a Folder - Your Mac is protected by a password, but you can add an extra layer of security by password protecting any folder. To do it, open up Disk Utility, select "File" from the menu, choose "New Image" and then "Image from Folder." From there, select the folder you want to protect and create a password. Delete the original folder, and you'll need to enter a password when opening the new folder.
Good lord this is convoluted. Why not "Password Protect" when you right click on a folder? WTH does "image" have to do with a folder when all you want to do is PW protect it? The "intuitiveness" of apple software features has gone downhill...just like the bloated and unintuitive iTunes over time. And why hide things like "Save As" in the Mac OS File menu and "Repeat Song/Album" in iTunes? I mean "Shuffle" is right there and not hidden. At least be consistant. And why not put a time limit on the iOS timer/alarm so the user determines how long it runs? It is almost like Apple was started by young hungry geniuses and is now run by old content rich guys who favor moron emoji designers over REAL engineers and visionaries.
 
Last edited:

Apple_Robert

macrumors Penryn
Sep 21, 2012
29,214
37,572
In the middle of several books.
  • Password Protect a Folder - Your Mac is protected by a password, but you can add an extra layer of security by password protecting any folder. To do it, open up Disk Utility, select "File" from the menu, choose "New Image" and then "Image from Folder." From there, select the folder you want to protect and create a password. Delete the original folder, and you'll need to enter a password when opening the new folder.
Good lord this is convoluted. Why not "Password Protect" when you right click on a folder? WTH does "image" have to do with a folder when all you want to do is PW protect it? The "intuitiveness" of apple software features has gone downhill...just like the bloated and unintuitive iTunes over time. And why hide things like "Save As" in the File menu and "Repeat Song/Album" in iTunes? I mean "Shuffle" is right there and not hidden. At least be consistant. And why not put a time limit on the iOS timer/alarm so the user determines how long it runs? It is almost like Apple was started by geniuses and is now run by moron emoji designers.
I agree. It would be better if we could access it via right click and create the password etc. Very convoluted right now.
 

az431

Suspended
Sep 13, 2008
2,131
6,122
Portland, OR
Make a folder on your desktop for screenshots to automatically land in:
Create a new folder on your desktop named whatever you want, ideally "Screenshots".
Open terminal, type in: defaults write com.apple.screencapture location /Users/[YourNameHere]/Desktop/[FolderName]
Hit enter, and all screenshots you take will now end up neatly in a folder. Also, you can add the folder to the sidebar of Finder for quick access within Finder. When setting up a new Mac or Hackintosh, this is one of the first things I do.

Also, if you have to convert a lot of papers written in Pages to PDFs like I do, here is a simple Automator Script:

on run {input, parameters}

repeat with theFile in input

tell application "Finder"

set theFilesFolder to (folder of theFile) as text

end tell


tell application "Pages"

set theDoc to open theFile


set theDocName to name of theDoc

set theName to (characters 1 thru -1 of theDocName) as text

export theDoc as PDF to file ((theFilesFolder & theName & " PDF.pdf") as text)


close theDoc


end tell

end repeat

return input

end run

Formatting got messed up, but you might get the idea.

Or you could just hit Command + Shift + 5 then Options and pick a new folder.
[doublepost=1550717696][/doublepost]
Long live these threads, MR's essence at it's finest.

Certainly better than the bug of the day articles.
 
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spiddyman007

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2017
172
74



macOS, the operating system that runs on Apple's Macs, has tons of hidden shortcuts, keyboard commands, and features that have gone under the radar. In our latest video over on our YouTube channel, we dug deep into macOS and came up with a list of useful but lesser known tips and tricks.

You might think you know everything there is to know about the Mac, but we bet there's something new here you've never come across or have forgotten over time, so make sure to check out our video.


[*]Continuity Camera - In macOS Mojave, Apple introduced a feature that lets you take a photo on an iPhone or iPad and have it ported over to the Mac into the document or app of your choosing. To get to Continuity Camera in any app where it's supported, go to Edit > Insert From Your iPhone or iPad. From there, choose "Take Photo" or "Scan Document," and it will automatically activate the camera on your iOS device so you can snap a quick photo. You can also right click in most documents to bring up a menu with the option.
[*]Password Protect a Folder - Your Mac is protected by a password, but you can add an extra layer of security by password protecting any folder. To do it, open up Disk Utility, select "File" from the menu, choose "New Image" and then "Image from Folder." From there, select the folder you want to protect and create a password. Delete the original folder, and you'll need to enter a password when opening the new folder.
[*]Custom Lock Screen Message - There's an option in macOS to create a custom message that shows up on the Lock screen, which is useful if you misplace your Mac because you can put in a phone number and an email address that people will see right when it's opened up. To get to it, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General > Set Lock Message.
[*]Emoji Quick Access - It can be a chore to add emojis to documents, texts, and social media on macOS going through the menu insert options, but there's a keyboard command that will bring up the macOS emoji selector interface in any app. Just press Control, Command, and Space Bar all at once.
[*]WiFi Passwords in Keychain - Want to find a lost password for a WiFi network you've connected to before? It's stored right on your Mac in Keychain. Open up Keychain Access, choose System, and locate the WiFi name you're looking for. Right click on it (or double click), choose "Get Info," and then select "Show Password."
[*]Copy Paste Screenshots - You can take and share a screenshot without cluttering up your desktop using the hidden screenshot copy paste feature. Hold Command + Control + Shift + 4, select what you want to screenshot, and it's copied to your clipboard. From there, you can paste it within any app, and there's no screenshot on your desktop when you're done.
[*]Messages Screen Sharing - Need to help a parent or a friend with an issue on the Mac? You can use Messages to access their screen to make it easier. Just open up Messages, select the name of the person you want to help, and then click on "Details." Click on the screen sharing icon to connect. You can also click on "Buddies" at the top to get more screen sharing options.
Have other useful Mac tips that we didn't share here? Let us know in the comments and we might include them in a future tips and tricks video.

Article Link: Seven Handy Mac Tricks You Might Not Know
I never memorize any shortcut because they’re too complicated
 

ultrafiel80

macrumors newbie
Feb 20, 2019
16
58
Here is a shortcut I recently learned that blew my mind. Guess it started with macOS Sierra:

command + shift + .

This will toggle show/hide hidden files in the Finder. So much easier than using command line or a utility app.
 
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