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10 Useful OS X Tips and Tricks

This is a guest post by Mariana Ashley about some useful OS tips.
For the most part, there are two types of computer users: Mac users and Windows users. Sure, there are other operating systems available, but for the most part we each own either a windows machine or an apple machine. In a previous post, Siju George presented 16 Useful Windows 7 Tips and Tricks. These tips are immensely useful for regular Windows users and for Mac users who are less comfortable handling a Windows machine. Because computer use is so fundamental to our society today, knowing the basics of both the Windows operating system and OS X (the Mac operating system) is essential. The following is a list of 10 basic tips and tricks for using OS X:

1. Right click on an open PDF in Safari (the web browser that comes with Macs) to get a context menu which includes the option to open the PDF in Preview.

2. Pressing Command and Q at the same time will close all applications when command-tabbing. This is the fastest way to close several applications at one time.

3. Macs with remote controls can be put to sleep by holding down the play button on the remote. While this is not applicable to all Mac computers, it can be extremely helpful for Mac laptops that do come with remote controls. For example, you can use your computer as a reading light and then turn it off with the remote control, instead of having to stand up when you want to go to

4. If you triple click on a portion of text in your word processor, the whole paragraph is selected.

5. In order to select a block of text, click the start position, then hit Shift and click the end position. What is particularly interesting about this tip is that it works in more areas than just your word processor. This combination of commands also works with non editable text, such as
text from a webpage or PDF. This technique is immensely quicker than clicking a dragging to select text.

6. Pressing Command, Shift and then 4 will capture a selection of the screen for a screenprint. Pressing Command, Shift and then 3 will capture the entire screen in a screenprint. While most people using Macs know how to screenprint on them, many do not know that by pressing the Spacebar, you can toggle between selection mode and select whole window mode.

7. In Safari, pressing Command, Shift and then clicking a link will open that webpage in a new tab and immediately displays the page.

8. There are several tricks that the Option key offers on Macs that many do not know about. For example, holding down the Option key and clicking the minimize button will minimize all the windows in the application.

9. By clicking Option and then clicking on the minimized windows, you will restore all the windows for that application.

10. If you hold the Option key and then click the close tab icon in Safari, it will close all other tabs in the browser. Obviously, this command could have some dire consequences if used accidentally. Be careful.

Hopefully these 10 tips can help the Mac newbie get the hang of some of the operating system's shortcuts. Being fluent or at least comfortable using both the Windows operating system and the Mac operating system is invaluable in today's tech savvy world.


Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online college. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031

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