Seven Useful macOS Tricks You Might Not Know

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

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

    In the latest video over on our YouTube channel, we've rounded up some useful macOS tips and tricks that you might not know about.

    1. Universal Copy Paste - In iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, Apple introduced a universal copy paste feature. On devices where you're signed into your iCloud account, if you copy something on one device, you can paste it to another. So if you copy something on your iPhone, for example, you can swap over to your Mac to paste it.
    2. Menu Bar - If you hold down the Command key, you can use your mouse or trackpad to rearrange the icons of the menu bar at the top of your screen.
    3. Dragging Text - You can highlight text on your Mac and then hold down with the trackpad or a mouse to drag that text into another app. If you drag text to the desktop, it'll create a new text clip document.
    4. Split Screen - To quickly access the split-screen multitasking mode on your Mac, click and hold the mouse cursor over the green button in the upper left hand corner of any app window.
    5. Emoji - To insert an emoji into any document or message, hold down the Control and Command keys and then press the space bar to bring up an emoji menu interface where you can choose an emoji.
    6. Picture-in-Picture - When you watch a video on your Mac, like the YouTube video above, click on the Picture-in-Picture button that's in the bottom right of the video player (it looks like an arrow pointing at a separate screen). If there's no Picture-in-Picture button, you can hold down Control and then double-click inside the video to open up a shortcut menu. From there, you'll have a separate video window that can be moved and resized.
    7. Signing Documents - When viewing a PDF or document in an app like Preview, there are tools for inserting a signature. You can create a signature using a finger on the trackpad of your Mac, which is a handy way to sign digital documents.
    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, where we highlight macOS High Sierra tips and tricks in addition to everything you need to know about the operating system.

    Article Link: Seven Useful macOS Tricks You Might Not Know
  2. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    Very impressed with Macrumors the last two weeks. You guys (and gals) have stepped up your internet game. Articles like these are the kinds of things that keep people coming back to the site, not to mention the wonderful forum members who are always full of vim and vigor. :)
  3. lec0rsaire macrumors 65816

    Feb 23, 2017
    Magnet is a better app for arranging windows and only costs a buck. The emoji and PIP stuff is made really simple with the touch bar. Still it’s great to highlight these things for non-tb macs and those newer to the OS. I also like to clear my recently used emojis after a while and this can be done by opening keyboard prefs, pulling up the emoji character window and clicking on clear/delete recently used on the upper left corner.
  4. atomic.flip macrumors regular


    Dec 7, 2008
    Orange County, CA
    Click bait .... sad.
  5. dan9700 macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2015
    magnet is bad for Mac high Sierra use BetterSnapTool much better
  6. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    Look up the definition of “click-bait.” This article wasn’t even close to that.
  7. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    In what way? I’ve been using magnets without issues.

    Also, universal copy paste is the most unreliable thing. It rarely if ever works. I have tried it so many times with such letter success that I don’t even bother.
  8. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    I would say Universal has been about 85% first try success for me.
  9. lec0rsaire macrumors 65816

    Feb 23, 2017
    I haven’t encountered any issues with Magnet. I’ll check out BetterSnap though.
  10. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

    Sep 26, 2017
    Didn't know about that one. Pretty nifty, and more handy now that I've moved up to a 27" display.
  11. LV426 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2013
    7. Signing Documents

    Such a pity that, in 2018, you still can't properly sign a document using your Apple ID. I'm not talking about slapping a graphic on the document. I'm talking about digitally signing it so that it can be proved that you were the author, and that the document is genuine.
  12. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Did not know about the emoji shortcut, that's useful.
  13. xplora, Mar 2, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018

    xplora macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Hamilton, New Zealand
    This is badly worded, you need to click and hold the green button as the video says, not hover over it as "... hold the mouse cursor over ..." suggests.

    Now fixed, per jclo below.
  14. mariusignorello macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2013
    Just showed someone how to use signatures in Preview the other day. They didn’t even know it was there.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 2, 2018 ---
    Uh if it’s informative and covers things not usually discussed it is definitely not click bait.
  15. JohnApples macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2014
    Wow, I actually didn’t know 5 of these 7 tips. Pretty nifty stuff!
  16. star-affinity macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2007
    I agree. And I also wouldn't say it's a very quick way of doing it, thus making way for software such as Magnet and BetterSnapTool that has been mentioned. Window management is one of the few user interface things I like better in Windows 10 – holding down the Windows key combined with the arrow keys can quickly juggle windows around in a coherent way.

    Many windows in once sentence…
  17. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    I think you're confusing "click bait" with "something worth clicking"...
  18. Miallo macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2016
    I discovered that when taking a selection-screenshot via Cmd+Shift+4 when pressing Alt it after the initial click it will resize the window from the center of the selected area (nice if you missed the initial position of the first click). And when pressing Shift it locks the expansion of the area to the one you move first until you release it.
  19. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    Didn't mean to suggest just hovering over the button. Thanks for the suggestion on wording, I've fixed it.
  20. kirky29 macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Lincolnshire, England
    I'm surprised that with all of Apple's Emoji love it's still relatively awkward to bring up the Emoji menu on Mac... With the new Touch Bar t's easier but on older Macs...
  21. allenvanhellen macrumors regular

    Dec 8, 2015
    You can also set up your signature by “scanning” it with the built-in camera. Just sign it on a clean white sheet. I find doing it a bit large works well.
  22. Ener Ji macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2010
    Thanks for the tips. Is #6 supposed to work in Chrome? Because I can't seem to get it to work in Chrome. I was able to pop out a window, but there's no video playing inside it.

    This is super useful, thank you!
  23. rhoydotp macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2006
    I can't make it to work on Chrome as well. Couldn't even get the pop-up. Works on Safari, though.
  24. Jeremy1026 macrumors 68020


    Nov 3, 2007
    You can’t prove that a document has been signed by the signature holder unless you witness the signing or the document is notarized. Linking to an Apple ID would only prove it was either the signature holder, or someone who gained access to their account.
  25. DogHouseDub macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2007
    Get a room...

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