9 Top Mac Hacks for New Users
Getting used to a Mac can be difficult, especially if you used to be a PC user. Everything just seems completely different. But, the good news is that there are a number of Mac hacks that can make your Mac experience easier and more enjoyable, until you finally get the hang of using a Mac.
1. Use Command + Shift + V to paste text without formatting.
Ever experienced copying something from a webpage then finding out that the text looks totally different when you eventually paste it to a document? This hack will be of great help to you.
In Microsoft Word, the shortcut is Command + Shift + Option + V.
2. If you need to type a special character, the easiest way is to hold down the letter and a character menu will pop up.
And from there, you can now choose the special character you want to use. This is convenient especially if you frequently use words like clichè or Beyoncè.
3. Place your mouse cursor over any text and press Command + Control + D to get an informative pop-up menu.
Does not only include the dictionary definition, but the thesaurus entry, and the Wikipedia entry as well. This will help when you encounter a new word and you need to know what it means.
4. Invert the colors of your screen to make it easier to read if you’re sitting outside in the sun.
Just simply press Command + Option + Control + 8 again to switch it back.
Note that this feature is by default disabled on Mountain Lion, so you’ll have to go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Accessibility to turn on the feature (just check the box that says “Invert Colors”).
5. The “Purge” command will free up memory when your computer starts to feel sluggish.
C’mon! This hack is less complicated than it sounds! You simply open the Terminal application and type “purge” into the command line. Just keep the Activity Monitor open in the background so you can see exactly what’s going on. The first time you execute this, you’ll free up 500MB+ of memory. You’ll need OS 10.7+ in order to do this. Watch this video if you need more exact instructions.
6. If you have a couple different audio output sources that you toggle between, click Option + Volume Icon to get an input/output menu.
Maybe you frequently toggle between using headphones and speakers. This is the easiest way to access those audio settings without having to go into the System Preferences from time to time.
7. Did you know that the Preview application provides a handy way to sign forms from your computer? No fax or scanner needed.
All you have to do is to simply open the PDF document you want to sign, click “Annotate” in the toolbar, and then click the Signature drop-down menu. Choose the first option. Sign a piece of paper and hold it up to your iSight/Facetime camera while Preview snaps a photo. It’ll then detect the signature and allow you to add it to your document, so you have a digital signature in as easy as ABC.
8. When restarting your computer, keep it from making that notorious startup sound by holding down the mute button.
If you’re in the middle of a brainstorming session, a class, or just simply working in a super-quiet office environment, this hack will definitely keep you from ruining everyone else’s concentration and focus.
9. If you just converted to Mac from a PC , this little shortcut will let you keep using the delete button the way you’re used to.
Use the fn + Delete shortcut to delete the letter in front of your cursor instead of behind. Another handy dandy tip: use option + delete to delete the last word typed.
You’ll get the hang of everything eventually. Just keep on exploring your Mac. For now, may these basic hacks help you enjoy your new Mac.