Seven Useful macOS Tips You Might Not Know

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    There are many hidden features in both macOS and iOS that often go under the radar, either because they haven't received a lot of attention from Apple in marketing materials or they've been forgotten after a period of time.

    In our latest video over on YouTube, we've done a second video in our macOS tips series, offering up some useful tricks and shortcuts you might not know about.

    1. Custom Keyboard Commands - You can create custom keyboard commands for specific applications or for all of your apps by going to System Preferences --> Keyboard --> Shortcuts and choosing App Shortcuts. From here, click on the "+" button to add a new keyboard shortcut and a title for it. In our example in the video, we've replaced standard paste with paste and match style, which strips out formatting for copy pasted content. With this replacement, when we use the Command + V keys to paste, it uses paste and match style instead of regular paste.
    2. Spotlight Calculator - Rather than opening up the calculator app, you can use Spotlight to do quick and easy calculations. Just type Command + Space to open up spotlight and type in the simple math problem you need to solve.
    3. Using Keychain Access to Find WiFi Passwords - If you've forgotten the password to a WiFi network, you can use Keychain Access to figure out what it is. Open up the Keychain Access app and then choose "System" to see all of the saved passwords for WiFi networks you've connected to. Select one, click on "Show Password," enter your account credentials, and the info will be shown in plain text. You can access all of your saved logins and passwords in Keychain Access if needed.
    4. Hide the Menu Bar - A lot of people have their docks hidden for more available screen space when the dock isn't in use, and you can do the same thing with the menu bar at the top of your Mac. Go to System Preferences --> General and then check the "Automatically hide and show the menu bar."
    5. Touch Bar Escape Keyboard Command - If you hate the non-physical escape key on Apple's Touch Bar MacBook Pros, there's a keyboard command alternative that's supported by most apps. Use Command + Period in lieu of the escape key to do things like exit out of full screen windows.
    6. Make Minute Volume and Brightness Adjustments - If you hold down Option + Shift while you use your volume or brightness keys, you can adjust the brightness or volume in smaller increments.
    7. Use Command + Tilde to Switch Between Windows - If you have multiple windows of the same application open, you can shift between them quickly using Command + Tilde. So, for example, if you have a ton of Safari windows open, this keyboard command will let you sort through them quickly.
    For more of our how tos and guides, make sure to check out our How To and Guide roundup sections on the site. For more Mac specific tips, keep an eye on our macOS High Sierra roundup and our macOS Mojave roundup, where we highlight macOS tips and tricks in addition to everything you need to know about the two operating systems.

    Have some awesome lesser-known tips and tricks for macOS that more people should be aware of? Let us know in the comments and we may include them in a future video.

    Article Link: Seven Useful macOS Tips You Might Not Know
  2. OlliFlamme macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2018
  3. emayteeteex macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2014
    In macOS Mojave, 6 no longer works. That was one of my favorite things to do for video edits :(
  4. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    Yep, looks like you're right. Bummer. I've updated the article to note this. I do think it was phased out once before in a different update and then added back, so maybe Apple will bring it back again?
  5. Lopezzi macrumors newbie


    Jul 23, 2002
    Springfield, MO
    I believe it's Option-Shift for the incremental volume and brightness, not just shift by itself. Shift by itself does seem to mute the feedback with the volume buttons though.
  6. BillyBurke macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2014
    --- Post Merged, Aug 3, 2018 ---
    Number 2 doesn't appear to work for me. 10.13.6
  7. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    Not just wifi passwords, but website passwords, too.

    Cmd+Tab to switch between open apps
    - and shift cmd+tab to go "backwards"

    I use cmd+space to bring up spotlight search, and then a couple of characters of the app I want to open. For me, this is faster than launcher or mission control.
  8. MacHiavelli macrumors 65816


    May 17, 2007
    new york
    OPT SHIFT in Mojave.
  9. MrTemple macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2013
    Canadian Pacific North Wilderness
    Opt-Shift in High Sierra too.

    Article needs updating.
  10. jacjustjac macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2008
    New York, NY
    Minute changes in volume/brightness works on touchbar models too. You just need to enable the preference that shows the traditional function keys when you hold down the function button, and then hold fn-opt-shift and change the volume and brightness.

    Also what do you mean command-space gets you out of fullscreen apps? Doesn’t that open spotlight?
  11. dyt1983 macrumors 65816

    May 6, 2014
    Item #2 and #5 are suggesting the same keystroke for two different actions. ⌘-space is usually for Spotlight (#2), and even if that shortcut is disabled, doesn't normally act as ESC. ESC is normally ^[ and ⌘-. (as the link suggests) is a break (^C), which in some functions will have the same result as ESC, but usually not.
  12. lec0rsaire macrumors 65816

    Feb 23, 2017
    I just really love macOS. I get that most people believe an OS should just be something that stays out of the way while you use programs. However, for me macOS is the main attraction. It is just so beautiful and always a pleasure to use. I used to think Leopard and Snow Leopard were the pinnacle but the truth is it has never been as good as it is today. All of the new features introduced since Yosemite would be hard to live without today. I haven’t installed the Mojave beta but I’m sure I’m going to like it more than Sierra/High Sierra.

    While it is really intuitive and looks simple, it is also incredibly complex as well in a good way. Lots of customization is available for those that want it. It is loaded with tons of features and little things that even long time users probably aren’t aware of although I’m not talking about these examples in particular.
  13. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Command + "." (period), not Command + Space (that triggers Spotlight).
  14. SigEp265 macrumors 6502


    Dec 15, 2011
    Southern California
    Sierra is command space, for me.
  15. Xavier macrumors 68030

    Mar 23, 2006
    I didn't know about Command + Tilde. That one is super useful!
  16. Internet Enzyme macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

    Feb 21, 2016
    I really like that cmd+tilde shortcut but it only works in finder. The volume thing sounds intriguing but as im running mojave i guess i cant do it
  17. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    Correct, it's option shift. I've updated.
  18. donglewhine macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2016
    Here goes one I find extremely useful: when you highlight a file in Spotlight (and many other apps too), use cmd+R to locate it, i.e. open the containing folder.
    Also, keeping cmd pressed (this one in Spotlight only) reveals a status bar down below displaying the path to the file.
  19. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    I used to show people that the small icon at the top of a window, like in Word - you can drag'n drop it onto mail messages, or into a different folder.

    I thought I was pretty smart until someone showed me that you can right click the icon, and it will show you the path and allow you to rename it.
  20. jmh600cbr macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2012
    Command space opens spotlight doesn’t close full screen??
  21. Starfia macrumors 6502a


    Apr 11, 2011
    #4 – whoa, since when is the Mac's menu bar called the status bar? (And the option refers to hiding and showing the "menu bar," not the "menu bar app.")
  22. Rorosbutt macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2013
  23. Gameboy70 macrumors 6502


    Sep 21, 2011
    Santa Monica, CA
    I knew about this for macOS, but is there a similar volume incrementer for iOS? I always have to make minute volume adjustments by using the Digital Crown on my Apple Watch.
  24. mijail macrumors 6502a

    Oct 31, 2010
    A menu bar is a bar containing a menu (heh), a status bar is a bar containing a status. The menu bar in MacOS has always been called "menu bar", because it is a menu bar. And according to the System Preferences, it is still called "menu bar".

    So, why call it here "status bar"??
  25. Sdtrent macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2017
    Actually, number 6 does work with the Touch Bar. Do shift + option and then swipe/flick on the volume button on the Touch Bar to get it to go up and down in increments.

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