10 Must-Know Mac Tips and Tricks for Beginner Users
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10 Must-Know Mac Tips and Tricks for Beginner Users

There are still new users coming to Apple’s iconic Mac—hard to believe considering that there are over 100 million active Macs throughout the world. The amazing fact is that over 50% of Mac buyers are completely new Mac users.

Are you a new Mac user? Need some help to get the most from your new Mac?

Read this article to learn the top Mac tips and tricks for beginners.

1. Launch Spotlight

Spotlight is your Mac’s way of helping you locate a wide variety of things on your Mac. It’s immediately available on the desktop but you can call it up when you need it with a simple trick. Simply press command and space at the same time.

Spotlight pops up and you’re ready to type in your search query. It will find files on your Mac, suggest web pages and even give you access to other Mac functionality. All this comes without you needing to take your hands off the keyboard.

2. Menu Bar Tidy-Up

The menu bar on your Mac is a convenient place to find certain icons. They allow you to find and launch apps conveniently. The thing is, you don’t always want the same apps as everybody else.

If you don’t feel the need to have a particular app icon on the menu bar, you don’t have to have it. You can remove them. Simply hold the command key and use the mouse to drag the icon away from the menu bar.

For example, do you need to have the volume icon permanently available on the menu bar? You can always turn the volume up or down using the volume keys on your keyboard. So, if you want to remove the volume icon, do it.

3. Finder Sidebar

Finder is the application you use to find and launch files. The icon is the one with the two-tone smiley face. The sidebar of Finder is a useful way of organizing the contents of your Mac.

If it isn’t displayed when you launch Finder, select “Show Toolbar” from the View menu option. The list of folders is very useful but there’s more to this than meets the eye.

You can create your own folders and they will be available for you to access whenever you want them from the Finder sidebar. Drag a folder to the sidebar and release it. Now it and all its contents are available to launch from the Finder sidebar.

4. Handy Screenshot

Sometimes it would be really helpful to be able to capture part of your screen as an image.

For example, you want to capture part of a webpage that contains a recipe. You are viewing Google maps and need to take a quick clip of a portion of the map to insert into a document. A strange error appears in an application you would love to just capture what the screen is showing at this moment.

The Mac lets you take a picture of a selected part of your screen. Press command, shift, and the number 4 key. Use your mouse to select the portion of your screen you want to capture.

The image is stored on your desktop. Click on the screenshot icon to view it. You can move it, save it elsewhere, use it in a document or export it as a pdf.

5. Unit Conversion

Do you ever need to do a quick unit conversion?

Of course, you can browse to a unit conversion website and enter the units you want to convert. That’s slow and tedious compared to the Macs unit conversion tip.

Call up Spotlight using the command and space keys. Type in the conversion you want to do and instantly, Spotlight does it for you. Type “5Kg” and Spotlight will display the weight in pounds.

If you need a more obscure conversion type the request in full and Spotlight will do it’s best to give you an answer. 

6. Hands-Free Messages

If you find Siri helpful on your iPhone, you’ll love the Mac version.

Call up Siri by holding down both the command key and space bar. Siri will launch just as it does on an iPhone.

Give Siri a verbal command. For example, you can use it to send a message to someone in your address book.

7. Siri Is Your Friend 

Just as you can use Siri to send messages, you can use it to call up services such as advice on how to do something.

For example, want to learn how to turn off your pop-up blocker in Safari for some reason? Instead of Googling ‘turn off pop up blocker,’ just ask Siri and you will be presented with some options.

8. Menu Bar Disappearing Act

The menu bar is a handy place to find your frequently used applications. You may find it handy to have it displayed at all times. If that’s not to your taste and you want more of your screen for the applications you are working with at the moment you can change it.

Go to the Systems Preferences and General. You can select the option to automatically hide the menu bar.

9. Preview Power

The Preview app provides you with surprisingly powerful tools without having to use third-party software.

For example, when you open an image in Preview you have several editing tools that allow you to crop, draw or annotate the image.

10. Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can be great for improving your productivity. Instead of several mouse clicks and searching screens for options, use a keyboard shortcut.

In System Preferences, look for Keyboard and then App Shortcuts. Add a shortcut and you can decide on the application you want to work with.

Type in the menu command you wish to use and select a key combination. You now have a custom keyboard shortcut at your disposal.

Use These Magic Mac Tips and Tricks

Try these Mac tips and tricks and you’ll be experiencing the tip of the Mac iceberg. There’s much more to learn and enjoy. You’ll be amazed at the magical Mac.

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