Mac Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts in easy steps (2015)
In this section we will look at some window tricks, AirPlay mirroring your Mac, and other tweaks you can make. We will also explore the numerous Accessibility options.
Close a Finder window while you open an app
This is not exactly a killer tip but it is useful nonetheless. Quite often if you have multiple windows open, including Applications or Utilities, and you double-click an app, the Applications window remains open:
•Hold down Option then double-click the app and the window (e.g. Applications) will close
Close all open Finder windows in one go!
If you have lots of Finder windows across your Desktop you can close them by clicking one at a time or you can close them all at the same time:
•Hold down Option then click the Close button and all the windows will disappear at once!
Resize your icons in Finder windows
I like my icons really small but sometimes it’s great to have huge icons:
Open a Finder window and change to Icon View (⌘ + 1)
Use the slider at the bottom right and slide to the right to make the icons large
This allows you to display your Mac’s screen on a TV hooked up to Apple TV. The “Air” part is there because the mirroring is wireless. Both Mac and Apple TV must be on the same network so they can see each other.
AirPlay mirroring is very easy to set up, as you will see from the instructions below.
To use AirPlay Mirroring
Your TV must be connected to Apple TV 2 or later
Your Mac must be on the same Wi-Fi network as the Apple TV
Switch on the TV and Apple TV and make sure you can see the Apple TV menu on the screen
From your Mac go to System Preferences > Displays > AirPlay mirroring: OFF/ON
Choose the Apple TV for mirroring
You should then see the Mac screen displayed on your TV.
Creating Digital Signatures
A digital signature is useful if you need to email a PDF of a letter. You can also use it in Apple Mail signatures so a personalized handwritten signature is appended to your emails.
Getting the best scanned image
Use a thick black marker pen and write your signature (fairly large size) on white paper
Scan the image at high resolution using your scanner
Take into Preview or Photoshop and crop so that there is not too much redundant white space
Whiten the image slightly to avoid having a gray rectangle around your signature when dropped into a Microsoft Word document, for example
Example of digital signature (TIFF) file
Digital signature dropped onto a Pages document.
Apps for Tweaking your Mac
There are several great apps allowing you to make changes to the look and feel of your Mac. These have been touched upon earlier in the book but we will look at the main contenders here: OnyX, Cocktail, and Mountain Tweaks. (Mountain Tweaks is covered here.)
Provides a large suite of maintenance and tweaking tools.
Probably the best suite, with a huge number of tweaks and maintenance tools.
Sharing Using AirDrop
This cool feature introduced with Yosemite allows you to transfer files, photos, and others between your Mac and iOS device.
On the Mac choose AirDrop from the left Finder panel
Your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch should show up in the window on the Mac
Send your file to the iOS device by dropping it onto its icon
This new feature introduced with Yosemite allows you to share someone’s Mac screen from the Messages app. You can also use it to share your Mac screen with someone else using a Mac. You cannot share the Mac screen with an iPhone or iPad.
Open Messages on your Mac
Select a message and click Details (top right)
You will see three icons (screen sharing, FaceTime and Call). Choose the screen sharing icon
Choose between sharing their screen on your screen or share their screen
Below you can see my iMac screen being shared with my MacBook Pro.
Record your iOS Screen
This is a great new feature of Yosemite. It allows you to record your iOS device screen as a movie. You can play games and record all the action, or help people with their iOS devices by sending them a movie of how to do things.
Plug your iOS device into your Mac using a lightning cable
Open QuickTime Player and choose File > New Movie Recording
Make sure your iOS device is selected
Record your iOS screen then save the file